Skip to main content

Full text of "Two Dianas in Alaska"

See other formats

. ) [ANAS 




" Better far, I guess, 

That we do make our entrance several ways, 
That if it chance the one of us do fail, 
The other yet may rise." 




H 9 



" The sweetest companions in the world " 


I DO not know if any words of apology are needed 
for the mediocrity of the portion of this work which 
I have contributed. If they are necessary, however, 
this may be found in the plea that my vocation and 
lessons in life have been chiefly concerned with the 
use of the sword before that of the pen. Nothing 
save the urgent request of my fair co-author would 
have induced me to undertake such a task. Once, 
therefore, having committed the awful deed of " put- 
ting pen to paper," I can merely crave the indulgence 
of my readers when they compare my lack of descrip- 
tive power with the more accomplished productions 
emanating from the pen of my colleague. If I have 
failed in jus et norma loquendi, I may claim in ex- 
tenuation of the offence that my contributions to 
this book try to represent a true picture of the habits 
of men and animals as I saw them in the wastes and 
forests of the dark and silent North. 
























To face 

Agnes Herbert in Native Parka Dress . . Frontispiece 

Firs and Cedars fringed the Country to the very Edge 

of the Sea . * ... . . . 28 

The Town of Kodiak . . . . . . .42 

The Site of our First Landing . . . . .48 

Our First Anchorage at Kodiak Island .... 54 

Thousands of Tiny Cascades in the Rocks . . .56 
Where the Snow-line extends from the Sea-level . . 80 

Abandoned and Silent, lies a Noble Three-masted 

Vessel . . . . . y . . .86 

Natives Outside a Barabora . . . . . .92 

A Storm-swept, Desolate Coast 94 

A Landing on the Bering Sea Coast . . . . 116 

Finding the Bullet '. 120 

The Skins of Our Two Bears . ._ . . . 140 

Native Salmon Drying-ground near an American 

Cannery in the Bering Sea ... . . .146 

The Leader's Walrus Head . . . . . .152 

A Herd of Walrus entering the Water . . . .168 


To face 

A Fine Walrus 176 

A Calm Spot in the Bering Sea 180 

A Camp in the Caribou Country 208 

A Fairly Decent Animal 216 

A Glacier in the Sheep Country . . . ^ .226 
A Magnificent Head . . . . . .228 

The Leader of the Expedition in Native Parka Dress . 240 
A Good Ram . . . . . . . . 246 

Distant Snow-clad Mountains towering Aloft . . -274 
There lay the Wondrous Head, for Ever Still , . 290 
A Timber Wolf . . .... '. . 296 

The Record Head . . . . . , . 304 

The Trophies on the Sushitna River . . . . 306 





Come, let's go together 


Danger shall seem sport, and I will go 

Twelfth Night 

MY last book, which was the record of a shooting 
trip in Somaliland, has just been returned to me by 
a lady to whom I gave a copy, as she said she " didn't 
like so much killing." Are we not all killing crea- 
tures every day? In savage and animal life it is 
done as a matter of course, and if one wants to 
describe savage life the killing cannot be left out. 
My friend shudders at my slaying a rhinoceros, but 
manages to eat part of an unfortunate sheep im- 
mediately afterwards. I wonder if the good lady's 
words ring true. She may be right, and books on 
sport and adventure are only for men and boys, the 
sterner sex. If, therefore, you, reader o' mine, should 
regard all forms of taking life as unwomanly, read 
no more. An you do, it is on your own head. We 
went to Alaska to shoot, and we shot. Perhaps I 



should like you to persevere, and if for no other 
reason, because the book is mine. 

Our little expedition to Alaska consisted at its onset 
of the cousin who shot over Somaliland with me, none 
the less a sportsman for all that she is a woman, and 
myself. Our preparations consisted in sending on 
some of the heavy kit to Victoria, British Columbia, 
which place we meant to use as a base, and where 
we knew we could garner in all the stores to fit out 
the small sealing schooner which we meant to hire for 
the trip. On sport and adventure bent, the ways and 
means thereof were more or less as yet a matter for 
conjecture, since nothing could be really definitely 
decided until our arrival in Victoria. 

Leaving England in early December we made New 
York in record time, and put up for a day or two at 
one of the largest caravanserais in the town. Our 
immediate intention was to proceed to Victoria by 
way of Butte City, Montana, as Cecily, my cousin, 
wanted to see a young brother of hers who is ranch- 
ing " Out West." I know now that she had excel- 
lent reasons for this strenuous desire to include Butte 
in our route. It was not her brother who acted as 
magnet, but some one else's brother. 

We were much interested with everything in our 
short two days in New York, and the hotel was " im- 
mense " in every way. So was our bill. When it 
was presented we thought we really must, inadvert- 
ently, have purchased the building. Baths at fifty 
cents each are not conducive to the state of cleanliness 
which is next to godliness, for the reason that it is 


too expensive to indulge in them very often. Our 
regret was that we hadn't known the charge at the 
time. We should certainly have run the taps all 
over again, and had a second dip, in the laudable 
desire to get our money's worth. 

A trip across America is so familiar to most people 
that there really isn't much that is new to say about 
it. The gymnastic feat of undressing on one's berth, 
with the upper one pressing down upon one's head 
like the lid of a box; the persistency of the ticket 
collector, who acquires a sort of second wind of most 
unnecessary activity during the midnight hours; the 
delight of playing Horatius in the poky little dress- 
ing-room, holding it against a crowd of infuriated 
fellow-passengers, cease to interest at last from con- 
stant habit. But the astonishment one feels at the 
much-vaunted excellence of the sleeping arrangements 
is ever new. Could publicity farther go ? Is a Pull- 
man sleeping-car the place for domesticity run ram- 
pant? I only ask mildly. It seems to me that to 
portion out the car o' nights, half for the men folk, 
half for the women portion of the travelling com- 
munity, would improve matters all round. Then, by 
dropping a curtain in the centre of the passage-way, 
the joyful consummation of somewhere to undress 
would be arrived at, and all the embarrassing waving 
of apparel, muddled up with curtains and cuss-words, 
would be avoided. But I hate carping, so I'll stop. 

It is glorious lying on one's berth, with the blinds 
of the windows up, as the vast train sweeps up some 
snow-clad giant slope, and down again to a pathless 


plain. A panorama which can banish sleep, and 
give a glimpse into a wonder-scene more perfect than 
a world of dreams. 

I love the friendliness of Americans. Every one 
on the cars talks to every one else without a suspicion 
of being taken for a bandit or footpad as is the rule 
in England. We shared our "section" with a 
voluble little lady, whose business and hopes and 
aims were all spread out before us in the first quarter 
of an hour. Not to be ready to say whither you 
are bound, and wherefore, is a contemptibly close way 
of travelling about the States. If you don't want to 
tell the truth you must tell a fib, but you must tell 
something, since you will be asked a multitude of 
questions instanter on making a new acquaintance. 

Our companion presented us with her visiting-card. 
It read 

Miss Mamie G. Carlson Potts, C.S., 
Great Falls, 


I thought C.S. must stand for Civil Servant, but it 
signifies, Miss Mamie told us, Christian Scientist. 
She was a "healer," and I suppose that it carries 
a kind of accolade. It seems odd to have the sect 
you belong to printed on your visiting-card. 

Miss Potts was in a fix. She had so many lovers 
she did not really know which to select. She told 
us all about them, and we did our best to help her 
to choose. Cecily was all for a man " in the dry- 


goods way," but I strongly advocated the claims of a 
persistent "drummer." A musical husband is such 
an acquisition. I did not know until later that 
"drummer" is merely Americanese for a common 
or garden commercial traveller. Miss Mamie could 
not make up her mind. It did seem hard that one 
woman should have such a glut of would-be hus- 
bands, while we two were with not even one husband 
in sight. 

" Husbands ain't come by easy," said Miss Mamie 
sententiously. " What you two gals need to do is 
to go out and scratch for 'em." 

How energetically she must have scratched ! Such 
a list came up every minute. And Miss Mamie was 
quite old, older than we were, quite thirty-two, I'm 
sure. But I notice that the older a woman gets the 
more proposals she can remember. 

Cecily whispered to me what a joke it would be 
if we could only put all the myriad lovers into the 
same cage, and let them fight the matter out as bucks 
and tigers do. I said very likely they wouldn't do it, 
and it would end like a great scorpion and tarantula 
battle we once went to see. Instead of fighting they 
were tremendous pals, and took to one another like 

Miss Potts spent her entire day with her front hair 
wound in and out of a spiky fence of tin arrange- 
ments, and this chevaux-de-frise was only let out for 
a brief half-hour before bed-time, when it didn't 
matter, and in this resplendent condition our friend 
considered her "bang," as she termed the mass of 


short hair tangled to a fuzzy mass of on-endedness, 
" real cute." 

The most interesting man aboard the cars was a 
splendid type of strenuous America, a man with a 
mind, a great personality. He had chosen a wife 
who made the whole scheme of things inexplicable. 
If, as I hope, she touched the spot somewhere, she 
could not have touched the machinations of his brain. 
They were travelling in great state, with their own 
car and servants, and were most hospitably anxious 
that we should join them, Miss Potts too, if she 
liked, but we thought it would be too much like a 
pasha travelling with a harem. 

Our friend of the private car had made a vast for- 
tune by coming in at the right moment. Any one 
who really studies human nature and discovers what 
it is human beings most stand in need of, and then 
supplies this want, is bound to lay up treasure on 
earth, and, moreover, the cheaper the article the 
more universal will be the demand. In Mr. Quilter's 
case it was quinine, and through quinine life had 
become to him as a gigantic game of draughts, 
opposing forces cleared from the board, and all his 
men in the king row. One evening we dined with 
him in splendour, and Miss Mamie would have gone 
to the party with prisoned hair had we not pointed 
out to her that no greater occasion was likely to 
come her way just then. We had a merry dinner, 
only darkened by the upsetting of a cup of scalding 
coffee all over Miss Mamie's foot. It was her last 
night on the cars, and she retired to her loft early, 


telling us that she had "a bad claim," which is, it -. 
seems, Christian Science talk for a scalded foot. 

We reached Great Falls at breakfast-time, and the 
cold was so intense the windows of the heated car 
became steamed beyond a possibility of outlook, and 
when one wished to view the snow-covered land- 
scape there was nothing for it but to brave the terrors 
of the chilly platform of a rear car. Everything in 
Great Falls was on runners, made into sleighs, and 
the last we saw of Miss Potts was her departure in a 
hired hack, its body set right on the snow, and all 
the portmanteaux and kit bumping along behind, 
tied on to an improvised platform. 

It was a world of dazzling whiteness, the whole of 
the vast Missouri River, with a water-power second 
only to Niagara, frozen over. 

So at last we came to Butte City, surely the ugliest 
town in all America. Like some Gargantuan bar- 
nacle it clings to the hillside, and over it, grey and 
sombre, looms a pall of smoke, tinged green with - 
the fumes from the famous smelters. No flowers or 
grass grow in Butte. They cannot. And if some 
stray enterprising young shoot does peep out it soon 
alacks the day and withers away in horror at the vista 
it has been born to. Never was there such a rushing 
place as Butte. It just seems to take away one's 
breath. The drum of the energetic Salvationist 
fights for the mastery over the strident music of the 
myriad saloons, which, with doors ever a-swing, 
radiate warmth and Nirvana. All the hurrying men 
and no one ever walks slowly look tense and 


anxious, everybody is in a furious hurry. They 
have all the time there is, but not nearly enough. In 
the hotel each man dips constantly into his pocket 
for bits of blue ore, and the words " seventy per cent.," 
"claims," "options," sing in the very air. Does 
all the ore smelt seventy per cent.? It would seem 
so. We were invited to take shares in at least six 
different mining ventures before we had been as 
many hours in Butte, and all the prospective ore 
was bound to smelt seventy per cent. For its size 
no city produces more wealth than Butte, seething 
whirlpool of plots and plans, and groans and griefs. 

Everything was a source of interest. Even to listen 
to the many mining men who lived at our hotel 
talking the jargon of the smelters fascinated us. The 
passing through guest is referred to as "a transient." 

"You're a tranjan ?" said our chambermaid, dash- 
ing in with my chota hazari. 

" I suppose so," I answered doubtfully, wonder- 
ing whatever on earth I had claimed to be. 

One evening as we sat in the ante-room off the 
main hall we heard the bustle of a new arrival, and 
all inquisitive ears caught the sound of an English 
voice. " All right," it said. " All right," just that. 
Cecily and I looked at one another, for we should 
know that voice wherever we heard it in jungle, 
debate, or Babel of tongues. It could belong to one 
man only, and that one he whom we had christened 
the Leader of the opposition party that formerly shot 
over Somaliland at the same time as we did. My 
kinsman, Ralph Windus, would of a certainty be here 


also, for these two never part, if they can help it. 
They were at Sandhurst together, and afterwards 
joined the same regiment. 

Then, in a flash, I guessed why Cecily had come 
by way of Butte 1 

" You are as good at scratching as Miss Mamie 
Potts," I said sternly. 

Cecily looked guilty, and I hope she blushed. We 
peered round the door, and yes, there was Ralph, 
running his finger down the back numbers of the 
hotel register. He turned and spoke to his friend, 
standing alongside, and in another moment came in 
like a whirlwind, afire with pleasure at seeing Cecily 
us, I mean. Ralph and his fidus Achates had been 
after big-horn and wapiti in Wyoming and Montana, 
and had come off with some fine heads, which we 
might see on the morrow. Don't you love to- 
morrow? To-morrows have but one drawback, they 
so soon become yesterdays, and I hate yesterday as 
much as old Omar did. 

'Twas such a glorious evening, such a merry 
dinner, such retrospections, quips, and teasings. If 
Cecily found a seventh heaven in a corner seat with 
Ralph, I felt equally contented in my chat with the 
elder warrior. He caught my meanings so quickly, 
he loves the same things that I do, the humorous, 
trie playful, the joyous, the pitiful, the pathetic, the 
imaginative. We discussed the heads they had, and 
the heads they hadn't, for with the sportsman it is 
always the heads that are most worth having which 
are not there. We spoke of our prospective Alaskan 


trip, and showed them our route so far as we knew 
it ourselves by the map. And this time our friends 
threw no cold water on our schemes. They~looked 
at one another. "A splendid trip, isn't it?" said 
Cecily meditatively. 

Then like a bombshell came, " May we go too?" 
from Ralph. 

The silence of intense surprise fell on Cecily and 

" May we go too?" repeated Ralph. 

" We are going," said his fidus Achates firmly, 
and that seemed to settle it. 

Next morning we arranged matters. We four 
would go together to Alaska, and yet not together. 
That is to say, in some ways the expeditions would 
be separate, in others amalgamated. Our camps 
should at times be one camp, at others, when it suited 
us, they should be distinct. There should never be 
any demanding the same hunter at the same time; 
no seeing too much of each other. 

We bestowed the accolade of commander-in-chief 
of the trip on the one time Leader of the opposition 
shoot of Somaliland days, but reserved to ourselves 
the right of vetoing any command he might make. 
What Mrs. Grundy thought of the whole arrange- 
ment I do not venture to say. In the wild such a 
personage does not exist, and we only thought of 
the wild. How it called us, how it never ceases to 
call if once you have answered ! Besides, women 
who have passed the rubicon of thirty let it be 
" wropt " in mystery how long since do not need 


chaperons anywhere, being by right of age and 
common-sense each one a full-blown chaperon in 

We mapped out the united trip, the route, the ways 
and means, as well as we could at the time, and 
collecting our mountains of kit, took train for 
Seattle, the Sound Port, and from there crossed to 

The auberge we put up at was like all the large 
Canadian hotels, with the usual quaint notices in 
the bedrooms. 


Imagine ! This was in a really first-class hotel. 
You must take the risk, or hie you to the basement, 
where you climb to a majestic lofty perch, reminis- 
cent of a dental chair, and sit enthroned the while 
your boots are polished ! 

Cecily took the risk, because she said her boots 
weren't wearable anyhow, and there was a chance 
that they might return to her rejuvenated. The door 
opened suddenly, no tapping, or " By your leave," 
and a twangy voice said, " Ten cents ! Where's the 
ten cents?" 

We were too astonished to do anything but pay 
up gracefully. Better arrangements for boot-cleaning 
in Canadian hotels need making. 


This last notice was a considerable puzzle to us at 
first, for we wondered where else we should be per- 


mitted to undertake cleansing operations. We dis- 
covered that the curt notice was addressed to 
remittance men only, and a good many of them 
board at even somewhat expensive hotels. The 
hotel proprietors know that in between remittances 
John Chinaman frequently turns rusty, and says, 
" Me no washee no more," driving his patrons 
perforce to the bedroom washing-basin. It is an 
interesting sight on a moon-lit night to see the upper 
windows of some of the hotels and boarding-houses. 

At nights around us for we were not in the heart 
of the town a few early frogs commenced their 
evening concert, singing in twisting notes their long 
drawn-out chirps. So many together made a really 
big vibrating noise, and the sopranos and contraltos 
combined to create a most harmonious whole. I 
liked to hear them, and looked forward to the little 
choir's entertainment. I tried to get a specimen of 
the warblers, but they were too wary for me, and as 
I approached quietly and furtively, I invariably 
caught nothing but the sound of a gentle splash, 
as each frog dived for safety. Then silence awhile. 
After a few moments, a trying-it-on sort of chirrup, 
then another in more assertive tones, and soon all 
the swamp was ringing again with the gay fairy- 
like music. 

Our next procedure was to advertise in a local 
paper for a sealing schooner. There are many of 
these strong and powerfully-built ships lying idle at 
Esquimalt. They are about seventy tons burden, 
and real stalwarts, able to withstand the terrific seas 


of the Arctic regions. To have a ship of one's own, 
even a rough-and-ready affair, on an expedition to 
Alaska is the next best thing to possessing the magic 
carpet of the Arabian Nights. We should have but 
to command, and could land on any shore, or inlet, 
that we chose. We had five replies to our advertise- 

Each owner of a sealer described his property 
as a veritable Lusitania, and, presumably to clinch 
matters, one of our correspondents enclosed the 
photograph of his skipper, a piece of quaintness 
which amused us vastly. The skipper in his pictured 
presentment was a really personable man, and ought 
to have pleaded in eloquent silence. Of course a man 
might be a good sailor with any sort of a face. 
Besides, photographs fib so. One cannot rely on 
pictures at all. Even Henry VIII found that out. 
Do you remember what happened to Henry VIII ? 
The people of England wanted to make the succes- 
sion doubly sure, and so did old Hal, but he hadn't 
a wife at the time. Anne of Cleves was thought to 
be a good political move, and Henry said he would 
like to see her. The people of England were not to 
be caught out like that. They knew their Hal. A 
beautiful portrait was prepared, so flattering that 
Anne would not have recognized herself. The bluff 
one was charmed. "Send her along at once," he 

said. When he saw her But history luckily 

does not cuss in print. 

I like a good-looking face, I do confess, but in 
the case of a skipper good navigation counts more, 


especially in a trip like ours, covering ground, or 
rather water, charted indifferently well, rocky, diffi- 
cult, and fog-bound. We selected the application of a 
Scandinavian, who sailed his ship for a small com- 
pany. A good many captains of sealers own their 
own boats. We went in a body to inspect the 
chosen. Ugly and massive-looking, she sat the 
water like a tub of standing. Her deck planks were 
filthy, every inch of her was smeared with seal-oil, 
but her name was Lily. Her hatches had been white 
once, but that was aeons ago. 

Down-stairs Cecily hints I must say " down the 
companion," or I shall be taken for a landlubber 
there was a large hold for the skins, which we meant 
to use for stores and kit generally, and, some joyful 
day, trophies, and a bare compartment we grandilo- 
quently referred to as "the saloon," from which led 
two insignificant smelling little cabins with two 
berths apiece. The men all slept in a hideous fo'- 
castle, where alas ! our food would have to be 

After coming to an arrangement with the owner 
by which we were to be allowed to spend a certain 
sum improving the cabins, etc., we engaged the 
Lily, her skipper, and all hands to take us whither- 
soever we wished. We carefully inserted a clause 
to this effect in our agreement, but the skipper 
pointed out that the Lily had her limitations. 

The next scheme was for the thorough cleansing 
of our ship, and the fitting her up so that she might 
be at least endurable to live in, if not all that one 


could wish. Clean bedding, knick-knacks for the 
cabins, a few cushions, and books, made for Sybaritic 

Food of all sorts, tinned and otherwise, we pur- 
chased in the Victoria stores, and the majority served 
us well. One or two of the Chinese seemed inclined 
to trade on the " take the cash and let the credit go " 
principle, but a little adroitness put matters to rights. 
The tents for the trip were made to our order in 
Chinatown, and when completed weighed a little over 
seven pounds each. They were A-shape, about six 
feet high at the ridge-pole, and although very thin, 
withstood any amount of rain. 

Camp equipment on an Alaskan trip is a matter 
for very careful consideration, and luxuries such as 
beds, chairs, and a plenitude of cooking utensils, 
which seem so necessary in a country of camel trans- 
port, have to be rigidly ignored. There are no pack 
ponies to be had, and if there were, it would be im- 
possible to take them on occasions aboard bidarkas, 
or get them through the primeval forest after moose. 
With hunters and packers demanding such exorbi- 
tant sums for their services, camp attendants have to 
be few in number, and the sportsman himself finds 
it needful very often to shoulder a none too flimsy 

Having passed in review the many sleeping-bags 
now on the market, we decided on the Norwegian 
variety, made of reindeer skin, and they proved won- 
derful assets, being so warm, light, and durable. 
Waterproof bags were provided for carrying our 


clothes. The general idea which the average person 
has of Alaska is somewhat hazy, and a traveller bound 
for the Northern solitudes is regarded very much in 
the light of a cross between a Nansen and a Peary. 
The North Pole and Alaska would seem to the man 
in the street to be synonymous. 

As a matter of fact, however, some days of the 
Alaskan summer are too warm to be pleasant, but in 
going there a warm outfit is needful, and our khaki 
serge coats were lined through with woollen material 
of Jaeger make. For hunting moose every hunter 
has his own idea of the most suitable footgear. 
Moccasins are very silent, but prone to slip on damp 
logs and wet ground, and are, of course, useless in 
the rough country where the white sheep live. Our 
shooting-boots were made with rubber soles, and for 
hunting bears in the sleughs we provided American 
gum-boots, most difficult things to get about in if 
any speed is required. Since our Somaliland trip 
my cousin and I had transferred some of our affec- 
tions being women, and therefore changeable 
from weapons of other days, and now meant to use 
as our main stand-bys a couple of small-bore magazine 
rifles, a '375 bore, and a '256 Mannlicher. We also 
had in our rifle-cases our old 12-bores, a '35 Win- 
chester, a '22 Winchester, and a ^lo-bore collector's 

We finally made up our minds to send on our 
schooner to Kodiak via the west coast of Vancouver 
Island, we ourselves following some ten days later 
by steamer from Seattle. The inside passage is very 


difficult, if not impossible, for a sailing ship, the 
fiords are so narrow, and the current rushes through 
the narrows at so great a pace. The west route 
also is a particularly disagreeable one in spring and 
autumn, as the wind blows great guns all the time. 
Everything considered, we felt we should be doing 
the most sensible thing to join our ship at Ko'diak. 

During the enforced stay in Victoria we found 
the time hang rather heavily on our hands. For 
Ralph and the Leader there was always the open hos- 
pitality of that excellent institution the Union Club, 
but for Cecily and myself there was little to amuse 
us, save daily visits to the harbour in order to watch 
what progress was being made in renovating our 
future quarters on board the Lily. I tried to develop 
an interest in golf, for sheer joy in the wandering over 
the beautifully-situated links, with the glorious 
vista across the Sound. There must be some element 
of sport lacking in my nature, for the mysteries of 
golf have never seized me in the fierce grip of their 
charms, as has been the case with so many good 
sportsmen of my acquaintance. 

We took to riding about the neighbourhood on a 
couple of cayuse ponies hired from a livery stable. 
Livery stables are very plentiful in Victoria, but the 
business evidently has its vicissitudes, if we can 
judge by the following appealing notice which we 
saw printed on the walls of the establishment 
patronized by us 

" To trust is to bust, to bust is hell ; 
No trust, no bust, no hell," 


The cayuse, or Indian-bred pony, breaks into a 
rocking-horse-like lope the instant it sets out, a most 
comfortable and easy mode of riding. And they 
keep up this rolling canter for a very long period. 
It was rather quaint to notice the manner some 
butcher-boys and drivers in one or two buggies 
manoeuvred things whenever it was necessary to 
leave the horse alone for a minute or two. An 
ordinary two-pound weight was fixed on to a strap 
which ran to the horse's head, and, at a standstill, 
the weight was slung out on to the sidewalk, or 
roadway, and there the horse remained, anchored. 
Mounting, the butcher-boy would slip the weight into 
his pocket. 

The animal I sampled first had one white eye and 
one dark brown. I saw him look at me jocosely as 
I neared him, so I bewared. Sure enough, the in- 
stant he felt the weight upon his back he gave two 
stag-like bounds, and bucked and bucked. Not 
being a broncho-breaker, I changed my mettlesome 
steed, willy-nilly. 

The second cayuse was an amiable-tempered beast, 
but rather uncertain in the feet. He never appeared 
to be able to judge the distance of the next step for- 
ward. On the way home from the other side of 
Goldstream one night I missed the way, and had to 
cut through seven miles of bush as lonely and dark 
as night could make them. In a bad place my pony 
came down, but neither of us was hurt. He was so 
nice about it, never made a fuss and got frightened, 
only sort of apologized, and hoped I wasn't injured. 


Sometimes we took the road to Esquimalt, and 
there visited the studio of a sculptor, to whom we ha'd 
letters of introduction. Isn't there a peculiar fascina- 
tion about a studio? Sculptured legs, arms, half- 
finished paintings, studies for heads, horrors of 
anatomy, all lying helter-skelter in delightful confu- 
sion. Light from above. Why are not all rooms 
lighted from above, open to the sun ? 

The Chinese theatre in the large Chinese quarter 
in Victoria attracted us, but when we got there we 
wished ourselves anywhere else. The Chinese have 
passed us. Our problem plays are food for babes 
compared with Chinese drama. They have left the 
Problems behind, and overtaken the Purpose. If 
you must go to a Chinese theatre, go alone. It is 
very embarrassing to go in company. 

In between the appalling situations we four rushed 
into conversation, nervously, to cover up our tracks, 
as civilized people do, seizing on immaterial details 
and discussing them with the fierce grip of drowning 
men clutching at straws. 

" In this indistinct light," the Leader said, "your 
hair looks quite red." 

"Very likely it is so," I responded, having to 
laugh at last, "I'm a magenta-coloured blush from 
head to heel." 

The heat and the smell of a Chinese theatre make 
a visit very short. The silence is so dispiriting also. 
There is no applause. How, I wonder, does an 
actor in China know when he reaches the constella- 
tion stage ? 


The ordinary theatre in Victoria was not open 
regularly, week by week, when we were there, but 
the companies coming in from the States and 
Canada were often very good. The boards were 
sacred too, for they had been trodden by " the Bern- 
hardt," as the divine Sarah is always referred to " out 
there," and other famous touring stars. 

One evening we went to hear a very much adver- 
tised American band. I mustn't particularize. It 
was a very excellent band indeed. Before almost 
everything they played they produced a board with 
"By desire" printed upon it in very large type. 
Some one had expressed a desire apparently for 
almost every item. I was so amused to hear a lan- 
guid-looking, rather unintelligent lady, who was 
seated just in front of me, remark sotto voce to her 

" What a large number of pieces this man 
'Desire' has written, hasn't he? Have you ever 
heard of him?" 

The amusing part of it all was that the man she 
questioned was equally at sea, and they both agreed 
that they must lose no time in acquiring some of 
" Desire's " taking efforts from a Government Street 
music store ! 

In between the buying of stores and the getting 
the Lily started off, Ralph managed to find time in 
which to make a complete stupid of himself. It was 
all brought about, he afterwards confided to me, by 
Cecily's apparent indifference, and came of a desire 
to make her jealous. A foolish idea at any time 


to stir up jealousy. It is ever unwise to take jealousy 
lightly, as if it were an insignificant thing that may 
be disregarded. With people that feel deeply it is 
a very serious thing, and it is a very curious thing, 
for it is often strongest where there is least cause. 
How came the Bard to paint Othello as he did ? Can 
he' have tasted jealousy himself to portray it so? 

Ralph's ladye for of course a woman was the 
cause of all the trouble was staying at our hotel, in 
between moments of globe-trotting. We had not 
talked to her for half-an-hour before she told us how 
completely misunderstood she was by her lord and 
master, an elderly, well-meaning person, far too good 
for the draw he'd made from the matrimonial lucky- 
bag. Yes, she was hopelessly misunderstood, her 
" soul was starved," whatever that might mean. Her 
husband, she said pitifully, was a " mere money- 
making machine, an insensate log, who could never 
do aught but drag her down from the heights of 
poetic fancy." She had soaked herself in such a 
lot of psychological nonsense it was really difficult 
at times to follow her meanderings. 

First she slid out her minnow to the Leader, but 
he would not bite, being by way of practising 
misogyny; next she tried Ralph with a fine cast, and 
he swallowed her bait greedily. Every one of us had 
to listen to the mournful recital of imaginary woes 
all brought about by the unsympathetic conduct of 
the husband. Madam was looking, she said, for a 
real love, which should be "an ethereal fantasy, 
sweetly idealistic in short, a poem." 


" My husband says a woman should be content to 
remain within what he calls her limitations," she 

" Sounds fairly sensible," I said. 

" But what if she has none?" the absurd creature 
said grandiloquently. " I am not a woman with 
limitations. I can soar and soar." 

" Where to?" I asked vaguely. 

" With one beloved, be he prince or pauper, any- 
where. On and on, into infinite space." 

" You couldn't soar far with a pauper," I quibbled; 
" ballooning is exceedingly expensive, and even in 
space you will find some one who needs tipping." 

" If only my husband understood me ! What a lot 
of poor suffering women are misunderstood by their 

" And understood by other people's," I added. 
" One cannot help noticing it." 

Evidently in Ralph Madam thought she saw the 
embodiment of all her idealistic dreams. She was of 
a very coming-on disposition, and did not let the 
grass grow beneath her feet. The climax was reached 
one night at a little dance, and Master Ralph was 
very nearly caught out. 

The Leader and myself were sitting on the veran- 
dah, when we heard voices below us in the garden, 
and without any previous intention of eavesdropping 
heard enough to make us long to hear every word. 
Yes, wasn't it mean of us? But there it is. 

" 'Tis on such nights," Madam Misunderstood 
murmured in soft caressing tones, " that our hearts 


are filled to overflowing, and we respond with all the 
vigour of our pent-up longing. We grope with our 
puny words to comment upon situations which cannot 
even be comprehended. I throw out my arms so 
and gasp, as for air." 

"Bad business," said Ralph, in an alarmed voice. 
" Do you feel faint?" 

" I merely spoke figuratively," very reproachfully. 
" You might have known that. I gasp for the air 
that is outside us, beyond, above, not the common- 
place every-day air we breathe into our lungs. Give 
me true ventilation, the ventilation of our psychic 
natures. You follow me?" 

" It's a bit clever for me, don't you know," Ralph 
replied, in a trying-to-appear-enlightened tone, " but 
I thoroughly enter into the thing. It is on the 
lines of the Johnnies who go in for star-gazing, 
dissecting beetles, and other occult sciences, isn't 

"You dear boy! The very thing, but crudely 
expressed. Can it be that you are a kindred spirit?" 

"Of yours? Yes, always." 

" Can I trust you?" asked Madam pensively. 

" Entirely. I am wholly at your service. You 
must have guessed that." 

" Yes, I guessed by the wonderful power which is 
given to so few of us. We are so material. But by 
the means of thought transference, by the very sensi- 
tiveness of my mind, by the aid of its acute mental 
photographing process I can follow and grasp all 
the thoughts that come to an affinity." 


" Good business !" said Ralph admiringly. " Can 
you see what is working in my mind now?" 

" In your mind now. I see it is coming, taking 

" A face," broke in the shameless Ralph. " Some 
one's face. Whose?" 

"You must not speak, you blur the colours." 

"The colours!" 

"Yes," the ridiculous woman went on, "it is I, 
myself, in a rainbow of cloud, purple orange 

" I say ! Can you really see all that?" 

" And does your imagination dress me in those 
sweetly Oriental shades, this lovely colour scheme 
reminiscent of the Old Masters in all the profusion 
of the National Gallery?" 

" No pigments ever mixed," affirmed the excited 
Ralph, "could equal the er the er whatever it is 
you are so sweet as to have divined in my feeling 
for your charming self." 

" Ralph," persevered the outrageous creature, " I 
love you. With a love that had seemed impossible 
in aught but theory. My affections have wandered 
before, but now It has come ! I have found my 

" I only meet ideals in dreams," said Ralph ner- 
vously, trying to hedge a little. 

" We have met in dreams. I know it now. It 
is you I have been seeking, even whilst I have been 
following will-o'-the-wisps, mere purple illusionary 
myths. And now, what is to be done, now that 


the long dark age of groping is over. And you have 
groped, dear?" 

" I suppose so," replied Ralph, completely be- 
fogged, but, masculine-like, desirous of pleasing to 
the last. 

" We will live up to our ethics," said the com- 
ing-on lady. " We will go to the ends of the earth." 

" But, I say, don't you know, I er I'm bound for 
Alaska, and and " 

Here the Leader, who could not keep quiet any 
longer, laughed like anything, and we both had to 
run away, and hide our eavesdropping heads. 

Tap-tap at my door that night. It was Ralph, 
duly penitent and ashamed. 

"I've a good mind not to help you, Ralph," I 
said in my wrath. " I've a good mind to let her 
elope with you to the ends of the earth." 

" But I don't want to go there," he maintained, 
" I don't want her to elope with me. I want to go 
to Alaska with you and Cecily." 

" Cecily ! If she only knew !" I said viciously. 

Well ! of course I agreed to save him, but only 
on condition that he went to Seattle next day, whither 
we all speedily betook ourselves, having seen the 
Lily started off on her voyage to Kodiak. 



Hence, and bestow your luggage 

The Tempest 

Here in this island we arriv'd 

The Tempest 

ON arriving at the Rainier Grand Hotel in Seattle we 
found that the Nome City was timed to sail from the 
Schwabacher Dock on April the 3rd, two days earlier 
than we had thought. It was a very good thing we 
turned up when we did. To have missed the boat 
would have meant a serious alteration in our well-laid 

At Seattle the taking of the census was in progress, 
or rather the arriving at a conclusion as to the growth 
of the city since the previous year. We helped to 
swell the population, and filled in the forms we found 
placed in our bedrooms. The questions were alarm- 
ingly of the order known as " leading," the one anent 
age being most difficult to get over, in spite of a care- 
fully worded reassuring sentence explaining that the 
number of the years should remain a mystery for ever 
save to the powers that be. Another interrogation 
seemed a trifle intimate, I thought. " How many im- 
beciles are there in your family ?" As though families 

ever gave away things like that ! The invariable 



scheme is to make out the weak-minded members to 
be profoundly learned people with one or two fads. 

Cecily set herself down as twenty-eight, and was 
immensely glad of the opportunity, and I wrote " full 
age " on my paper, forgetting that I was not at last 
filling in a matrimonial certificate. We gave Ralph 
as the only imbecile of the quartet, agreeing that if 
he wasn't one he ought to be, after that near thing 
in elopements with the coming-on lady on the look- 
out for an affinity. 

April the 3rd saw us taking up our quarters in 
the state-rooms secured, and with winds in varying 
moods the Nome City steamed off on her northward 
voyage, a voyage that has no parallel in any clime. 

Except that the sea was not always peaceful the trip 
was like an excursion up some great river, for always 
the beautiful peaks of distant ranges were in sight to 
charm us with their myriad-tinted glories, and the 
dark green of the firs and cedars fringed the country 
to the very edge of the sea. For a thousand miles 
there is but a half-day of open water. In and out 
among the islands dotting her path, down straits so 
narrow that at times a well-thrown stone would strike 
either shore, the Nome City threaded her way. One 
fears illimitable tragedy as, in the hours of darkness, 
our ship steams nonchalantly along, no lighthouses 
to guide her, come what, come may, through rock- 
strewn channels, hardly slowing up for fogs. Indeed, 
the only difference these maritime horrors made to 
our complete contentment was the constant shrieking 
of the horn. 


This was not intended as a warning to other ships 
that pass in the fog, for the waters hereabouts are 
not busy, and the times and likely positions of the few 
ships that ply over them can be arrived at more or 
less by a little calculation beforehand. The fog-horn 
wakens the echoes, and the echoes call back the degree 
of danger the ship is running into. If it is desperate 
the news is given from such close quarters that the 
helmsman guesses immediately whether port or star- 
board means the road to safety. The whole journey 
is crammed with amazing sensations, and one cannot 
help speculating very often on the slightness of the 
barrier that at times appears to be the only block to 
a swift eternity. 

One day we had to anchor for a whole twelve hours, 
owing to some defect in the steering gear, and we 
four annexed a boat and hied us ashore forthwith, 
penetrating the woods of Vancouver Island". Landing 
was easy, for the prettiest of little shingly beaches, 
covered with baulks of timber, washed white by the 
waves, were inset into the frowning rock and moss- 
grown ramparts of the isle. 

The silence of the bush was very impressive. Birds 
there were, but they had no singing voices, the tap- 
tap-tapping of the woodpecker alone breaking the 
stillness. I penetrated far into the thick cover, the 
forest was a dream of beauty in its new spring green. 
Many black-tailed deer took the fallen boulders in 
lithe, swinging bounds, in small bunches of twos and 
threes they crossed the path frequently. The large 
bird that does duty in Canada for the robin, brown- 


coated, red-breasted, and as big as a thrush, crept in 
and out the fallen pine stems in the Canadian forests 
there are as many trees lying down as standing, grow- 
ing again and overgrown brilliant blue-jays, with 
crests erect, flew round in chattering dismay. 

In the midst of the thick tangle of green, ever and 
again one comes on a blackened oasis with bare stand- 
ing tree-stems holding up their maimed limbs sky- 
wards in piteous appeal. Desolate bits of country 
licked up by the forest fires, but with a kindly carpet 
of the ready growing deer's-foot to make the poor 
nakedness seem less acute. 

Afar in the bush I heard the booming of the blue 
grouse. They make the most remarkable love-notes, 
exactly like the deep tones of a drum, and appear to 
evolve them from the depths of their inner conscious- 
ness. It is remarkable how hard it is for untrained 
eyes to detect these birds when they remain motion- 
less. I crept along on the line of sound, and the 
drum-like noise guided me to a beautiful forest glade. 
So silent was I that the beautiful bird pirouetting for 
the delight of his ladye was in no way disturbed, 
and from my fastness of wreathed syringa I could 
watch the little drama quite unnoticed. 

On a great fallen cedar the grouse " cake-walked " 
from end to end, his thick black ruff of neck feathers 
erect, his tail an extended fan. Every few seconds he 
boomed forth his love-song, so loud a noise for so 
small a bird. Sometimes he jumped into the air, 
alighting most gracefully. On a tree near-by Miss 
Grouse sat criticizing. She was bored almost to 


death, 'twas plain to see from her demeanour, but she 
bravely tried to hide it from her suitor. When he 
turned to trip along his log, she preened her feathers, 
and took no count of him ; but as he finished his 
length, she affected alertness, interest, and delight. A 
true feminine, little Miss Grouse, who would screen 
from her admirer any failing of hers. Very human 
too, for it is human for all feminine things to shun 
showing their faults to the masculine creatures who 
admire them. It is the law of nature. In wild life 
the male puts on his gaudiest colours, and the female 
chooses. In the long run she selects what is best for 
her species, and we get the survival of the fittest. In 
civilization the woman decks herself. It all comes to 
the same thing. 

A rustle of my making, my shooting boot, not 
suited to this silent tracking, crunched a protesting 
twig. The blue grouse paused, his head alert, listen- 
ing, and his little ladye flew off, glad of the excuse, 
and vanished among the feathery fir tops. My friend 
sat on defiant. Perhaps he guessed that I would not 
take his life even though the pot cried out in empti- 
ness, for it is not thus that we reward such well-graced 

"Begone!" I called. "Go after her. You've 
done very well. I admire you exceedingly." 

He deserved the compliment, and that made it worth 
having. Flattery is not often sincere, rarely, indeed; 
it usually has an end, " that thrift may follow 

In one clear rocky inlet Ralph and the Leader 


longed to bathe, but it was far too cold as yet in these 
waters to think of swimming. I should never want 
to try it at any time, for that lurking terror, the 
octopus, is not uncommon in the deep recesses of the 
Vancouver rocks. That very morning as Cecily and 
I paddled our boat round a jutting headland, where 
the water was as clear as crystal right down to the 
rocks below, we saw a small octopus swimming for 
home, long arms and suckers extended, travelling 
tail first, an odd method of locomotion. We hung 
over the side, interested spectators, and as we did so 
the long-armed horror seemed to turn the water around 
it to an inky shade, hiding its whereabouts, making 
it impossible for us to trace its course to its rocky 

The evenings were rather long on board the Nome 
City. Had Cecily and I been enthusiastic card- 
players the hours, I suppose, would have seemed too 
few. Ralph and the Leader said it wasn't whist we 
played, but some fearsome hybrid that made time 
impossible to bear. So we took to reading aloud. It 
is always rather interesting, I think, to see the sort 
of literature individuals rush to if given free choice. 
Ralph was very trivial, and mostly went in for French 
novels, and when he read these got so tied up in 
making expurgated editions we really were often 
fogged as to what the tale was all about. He only 
gave us what he liked, and " bowdlerized " the story 
out of all sense. 

The Leader on the other hand never wearied of Max 
Nordau, and read Degeneration aloud with gusto. 


Well, I like Max Nordau when he writes of Paul 
Verlaine, the French Mystics, and the Pre-Raphael- 
ites. How he puts his knife into that variety of poet 
who delights in fogging everybody, including him- 
self. Max Nordau is quite right. Healthy-minded 
poets like Shakespeare and Dante never mystified, and 
yet how deep and magnificent they are. How he 
tears our faults to tatters, and unpicks humbugs un- 
erringly and relentlessly, yet he realizes all the forces 
of nature, and even admits love and tenderness. He 
is right also when he says that if we behave less 
punctiliously than civilization decrees we are degener- 
ate. And Nature says degeneration is bad, though 
she does not allow it to breed more than a generation 
or so. In her scheme all works for good. But what 
I want to know I asked the Leader, and he only 
cried "Help!" is, did God make the ethics of 
Nature for civilization, as civilization is the outcome 
of Nature? 

The passenger list of the Nome City was a curious 
one, and I think it would be perhaps the most de- 
scriptive thing to say of our fellow-voyagers that one 
and all had their hearts in the right place. I do not 
know where else a heart could be kept, but the phrase 
aptly describes the entire worthiness of human beings 
without dwelling too unnecessarily upon the polish 
and veneer which is, after all, but the result of an 
effete civilization. Miners mostly, trappers, traders, 
remittance men, prospectors, an olla podrida of 
classes, and only three ladies to grace the show. 

The third lady was an acidulate who cared very 


little what she said or how she said it, and with her 
husband was travelling to some hot springs at Hoonia, 
the other side of Sitka. Ruskin said that wherever 
men are noble they love bright colour. This lady 
was the acme of nobility, and dazzled every one with 
the radiance of her peacock plumes. She was an 
amateur dressmaker, of the variety who do not con- 
sider it worth while to trouble to supply hooks and 
eyes, and the entire structure was always apparently 
dependent on the staying powers of one pin. I used 
to meditate on the awful happenings if it should fall 
out. She came on board attired in her latest triumph, 
a velveteen dress in shades of violet, with a yellow 
lace collar. Her hair was brushed back with precise 
neatness, and arranged into an infinitesimal knot held 
together with one solitary hair-pin. All her pinning 
arrangements seemed to go in ones. The husband 
was a pastor of a Seattle church, to which they always 
referred as " The Episcopalian." He began life as 
a veterinary surgeon, but, realizing his error in time, 
fled to the nearest back door and entered the Church. 
A very kindly, well-intentioned man, harassed and 
jaded looking. You could tell that he was married on 
sight. He had long ago discovered that matrimony 
is very much like a dinner at a big restaurant you 
get everything but what you want. 

The poor man used to try and join us at the make- 
believe whist occasionally, but Madam always 
dragged him back. One night he did manage a 
rubber, thinking that his lady had retired, but she 
rattled her cabin door so vigorously, as a signal for 



the game to cease, that some disturbed person sent a 

message to ask why the donkey-engine had started. 

" Did you not hear me pounding on my door last 
night, young man ?" she asked Ralph. " Gee ! I did 
pound it !" 

She always called Ralph " young man." Once she 
asked him if he belonged to the Episcopalians, and 
not understanding what she meant in the least, or pre- 
tending not to, he claimed to be a Plymouth Rock ! 
Mixing up the hens with the Brethren. 

For two days rain fell in waterspouts, which was 
curious considering that the coast we were hugging 
was sunny and dry. In between times, on sloppy 
decks, we tried to play cricket, on a tiny cricket field 
about the size of a handkerchief. The enjoyment I 
personally derived was a half-broken head received 
through running into what Ralph called "a bob- 
stay." The game was no sort of a success, because 
the Leader in his delight at the chance of making half 
a run rammed the skipper, who was nothing like the 
same weight, and sent him flying. 

Filthy dug-out canoes came to greet us from every 
Indian settlement. The Siwash Siwash is the name 
of the fish-eating Indians of the Pacific coast women 
do a great part of the work of paddling, and are very 
difficult indeed to tell from their lords and masters. 
The men clothe themselves in antiquated raiment 
bearing a far-off resemblance to the sartorial I hope 
I am using the right word developments of the white 
man, and the blanket of the North American Indian 
is unknown. A klootchman which means woman in 


the Chinook lingo is an absolutely shapeless creature, 
in short, nondescript skirts, with usually a gay plaid 
shawl folded about her, tied in with string at the place 
where her waist would be if she had one. Sometimes 
a belle Indian adds a check apron. Very different all 
this to the royal braves of Fenimore Cooper, with their 
leather leggings, shoulder skins and feathers. There 
is nothing magnificent or romantic about the Siwash. 
He is a very low-grade person indeed, is always a 
Siwash, and perpetually smells of fish. Of no stature 
to speak of, bullet-headed, non-intelligent, he is every- 
thing the Indian of the prairie is not. It almost seems 
to argue that a fish diet for generations does not make 
for the betterment of the race. 

The Chinook language, which is mostly used by the 
coast Indians, was manufactured years and years ago 
by a fur trader who found the necessity for some more 
direct means of communication in his bartering deals 
than arm wavings and signs. Now his invention has 
spread far and wide, and even the Chinese use it. 
With no grammar to bother one, the few words of its 
composition may be picked up very quickly. They 
are very few, and only need to be juggled with this 
way and that. Always put the cart before the horse, 
so to speak, and you've got it. 

The Indian reservations are a collection of ill-built, 
rough-timbered barn-like houses of large size, and 
lofty, roofed with shingles split from cedar-trees. So 
far as we could make out, from observations at Sitka, 
and other places, the men and women all camped 
together in the same big earth-floored domiciles. 


Miserable bunk beds, aheap with piles of dirty clothes, 
and blankets, were all round the walls, and in the 
middle of the apartment a wood fire smouldered, with 
fish grilling in the cinders, a hole in the roof letting 
out some of the smoke. 

Many of the Indian dug-outs are enormous, hewn 
from forest giants, and relic of the more warlike 
times of the grim Haida, and his Northerners they 
call each extra-sized vessel a " war-canoe." 

In these primitive ships a whole Indian family 
annually sets out from Vancouver Island to cross the 
Gulf to the Eraser River to take part in the salmon 
harvest. From the aged grandfather, his cheeks in 
the deepest furrows Time can plough, to the latest 
addition in the way of the quaintest of babies. Youth 
at the prow, old age at the helm, the father of the 
family asleep, and the mother, the grandmother, and 
the daughters doing all the paddling amidships. 

Almost all the journeys taken by the coast Indians 
are by water, and even babies of four and five have the 
ubiquitous paddle thrust into their tiny hands, and 
speedily learn to use it with agility. Paddles vary 
slightly according to the tribes, but nearly all the 
blades are roughly carved, and decorated with blue 
and red stain. They taper to a point, and the whole 
thing is about four feet in length, slightly longer for 
use in canoes of great size. The wonderfully adroit 
use of the single paddle interested me extremely. By 
a firm touch at the psychological moment the frail 
craft is held at " safety," and answers the command 
immediately. The paddler seems one with the craft, 


the rhythm, the balance, and the easy grace is so 

Some of their great war canoes scale seventy feet 
or more in length, and are so deep that a man standing 
in the centre cannot see over the gunwale. All hewn 
from a single tree, a cedar if possible, and to their 
aid the Indians summon the Spirit of fire, controlling 
the havoc he would make in his fierce excavations by 
water. After a big deep hole is formed in the rough 
trunk native chisels are called into requisition, and 
slice off the wood outside and inside. They have no 
measurements to guide them, no set dimensions, and 
yet these rough builders invariably turn out a grace- 
ful craft of correct lines, seaworthy, and lasting. The 
vessels are nearly always carved, and ornamented with 
the inevitable bear, beaver, and eagle. Weird con- 
tortions of all three, picked out in indelible blue and 
red stain. 

On the morning of the sixth day out from Seattle 
we made Juneau, which nestles at the foot of a 
Gibraltar-like rock, and snow covered as the summit 
was, with the dark green relief of the spruce-trees on 
its hoary cliffs it would be hard to find a more ex- 
quisite scene. The whole beauteous panorama lay 
reflected in the still waters around our ship. We did 
not go ashore, and left almost at once for Sitka, the 
one-time capital of Russian Alaska, now the seat of 
satrapy of the United States. 

Here, at Sitka, we said farewell to the Episco- 
palians, who were going to remain awhile in the 
capital, as it was rather early as yet to go into camp 


at Hoonia. I did not envy the padre his summer 
holiday; even as they got on to the wharf they were 
verging on what Hardy calls " the antipathetic, re- 
criminatory mood of the average husband and wife 
in Christendom." 

Leaving Sitka we stood out for the open sea, cross- 
ing the Gulf, making for Yakutat, over three hundred 
miles distant, and for the next few hours such glories 
were laid before our astonished eyes as my poor pen 
can in no way adequately describe. The mighty 
Mount Fairweather compelled admiration first, but 
appeared almost insignificant as Mount St. Elias 
burst upon our vision. Perhaps it is no exaggera- 
tion to say that this mountain is the most awe-inspir- 
ing in all the world, outdoing Cotopaxi and its 19,600 
feet, for it must be remembered that Mount St. Elias 
rears its 18,200 feet from the very edge of the sea, and 
most mountains can only be viewed from an already 
high level. 

A wealth of beautiful scenes held us spellbound. 
Mountains rising to great heights with bold and lofty 
peaks covered with an everlasting snow mantle, sup- 
ported on their giant sides the wondrous glaciers. 
Contrasted with the even-coloured snow above, these 
frozen sunlit ways seemed to glitter in all imaginable 
tints, blue and green, green and deeper blue. Range 
upon range of peaks, and each valley filled with the 
wonderfully iridescent glaciers. Great blocks of ice 
are perpetually tearing off with a splitting reverbera- 
tion, and sometimes the effect on the water was 
terrific, as the disturbed waves lashed around the 


berg, and then passed on to spend themselves in 
battle with each opposing crest. 

Before we reached Yakutat we touched the fringe 
of a majestic storm. It began in sudden squalls from 
the mountains, termed in Alaska "woollies," though 
there is nothing soft or wool-like about them, and 
before long we had to lie to in a heavy sea. The 
tempest raged for three hours, and often we could see 
nothing for the spray driven before the wind. Banks 
of foamy clouds were piled up on a lurid sky, and 
at intervals lightning played about the horizon. It 
was a dark, impressive scene, and had a very sober- 
ing effect on all our spirits. The men were drenched 
to the skin in the war with the elements. 

An albatross, with great stretch of wings, hung 
over us, in the teeth of the gale, his head slowly 
turning from side to side. The vast wings never 
flapped, the bird seemed to cleave the air in graceful 
lengthy curves and slants. Now and again it disap- 
peared into the mists, to return like some strange 
solitary spirit of the storm, whose air of complete dis- 
regard for weather and wind was magnificent in its 

To the north-west of Yakutat lies the great glacier 
which is christened after Malespina, the Spanish 
navigator who explored for the North-west Passage 
more than a century ago. Monarch of all the 
glaciers it has a frontage of fifty miles, and goes back 
thirty more to the ranges of Mount St. Elias. The 
sea for miles around is tinged with the "glacier 


As the sun set, the snow fields took on the rosy 
light called by the Swiss " Alpine Gluehn." The 
exquisite blazing shades, luminous, prismatic, changed 
constantly from tones of pale pink to crimson, and 
lasted some evenings for an hour or more, until the 
twilight shadows quenched the glowing glories. 

The next place of any account after Yakutat, for 
we stopped occasionally to put down prospectors at 
God-forsaken inlets once or twice, was Valdez, and 
nearly all our passengers quitted the ship here. The 
glaciers surrounded the spot on every side, and we 
felt the cold considerably. Valdez is at the head of 
Prince William Sound, with its islands and fiords 
running up into the land. 

After leaving Valdez we got into an amazing tide 
rip, which carried the Nome City a great deal nearer 
shore than was exactly pleasant. We hugged the 
coast as we crawled along. 

Here the canoes which shot out to meet and greet 
us were manned by Aleuts, and the Siwash type 
appeared to have been left behind. The boats, too, 
were not of heavy dug-out variety, but light and 
portable. These bidarkas, as the natives call them, 
are constructed of a skeleton framework, covered with 
seals' skin, sewn together, and no nails are used. 
There is a little hole for each person to sit in, one, 
two or three, or more, as the bidarka builder most 
requires. They are propelled by paddles, Indian 
fashion, from one side, and the man in the stern does 
all the steering. Very, very easily upset, they yet can 
travel over and through tremendous seas, but the 


balance must be perfect. Up rivers the bidarka is 
ideal, because so little depth is required to float them, 
and they are so easily carried over portages. In 
rough weather the bidarka mariner dons a quaint 
variety of shirt called a cameleeka, and made of bear 
or seal gut, fastened round the neck and then over 
the hatchway wherein he squats to paddle. This pro- 
tective arrangement prevents the boat from shipping 
water and being swamped. So, equipped with a spare 
paddle in case of accidents, and a row of spears, the 
Aleut will go to sea in any weather. We learnt to 
manoeuvre these frail craft quite creditably, having 
had considerable experience in managing tiny Berthon 
boats in the roughish waters of the Irish Sea. 

Near Cape Elizabeth the Nome City skirted past 
some rocks alive with sea-lions. A shriek from our 
fog-horn sent hundreds of the creatures scuttling to 
the sea. Some swam out towards us, with childish 
faces upraised in interested wonderment. Gloomily 
coated cormorants shared the rocks, beautifully tinted 
in iridescent greens, and the harlequin duck breasted 
the waves, tossing lightly over the crests; puffins, too, 
scurried over the face of the waters. Flocks of scoters 
fished assiduously, and the graceful Arctic tern, look- 
ing like a first cousin to the swallows, gyrated round 
about us. 

Two days out from Valdez we made Saldovia, and 
reached the latter place early in the morning. It is 
situated at the entrance of Cook's Inlet, the largest 
bay in Alaska, for it runs one hundred and fifty miles 
inland, and is over fifty across at the mouth. Moun- 


tain monarchs frowned down upon us, and across the 
Inlet, wrapped in a spotless white mantle, Iliamna 
and Redoubt reared their volcanic peaks, and from 
the former a jet of steam issued, and hung low about 
the summit. 

Towards Kodiak, which lies south of Cook's Inlet, 
the climate grew a little milder with the balmier airs 
blowing from Southern seas. The village of Kodiak 
lies on the east end of the island, and as we skirted 
the shores, still under snow, the slopes reminded us 
of the lawns at Richmond. The wilderness of forest 
was absent, and here and there we caught glimpses of 
park-like expanses, home-reminding pasture country. 

Through tortuous channels winding in and out of 
tiny islands we ventured, feeling our way, up the 
strait whereon lies Kodiak, the St. Paul of Russian 
days. From the rear of the town a mountain covered 
with snow added picturesqueness to the beautiful 

The enchantment of the northern solitudes had laid 
its spell on us. Winter and spring commingled. 
The island was a paradise, and all for us. 



(By the Leader of the Expedition) 

Such a worthy leader, wanting aid 

King Henry VI 

Thou hast astonished me with thy high terms 

King Henry VI 

As we imagined, our arrival in Kodiak caused no 
small stir in that peaceful settlement, and on the news 
spreading that the whole party, including the ladies, 
were "mighty hunters before the Lord" we were 
soon inspected by most of the residents. Having 
regard to the fact that the weather was comparatively 
mild for the time of year, and everything pointed to 
an early spring, we were anxious to make a move as 
soon as possible in quest of bears, and although con- 
fident that they were more numerous on the mainland 
of the Alaska Peninsula than on Kodiak Island, we 
felt that our trip would not be complete unless at 
least one specimen of the Kodiak bear (Ursus mid- 
dendorffi) figured in the bag, since these beasts are 
the largest specimens of the bear tribe now living on 
the earth. 

The chief thing which we required to procure from 
Kodiak was the services of some good native hunters, 
with a knowledge of the surrounding country and the 



habits of the various animals found there. Thanks 
to the assistance of a local storekeeper four natives 
were found who undertook to accompany our expedi- 
tion at a price which seemed to us somewhat exorbit- 
ant, namely one and a half dollars pay per diem. 
Compared with our former experience of the amounts 
demanded by natives in India and Africa, where a few 
annas will engage good men, these Alaskan terms 
seemed excessively high. But we had yet to learn 
that the Alaskan natives are probably the most inde- 
pendent and highly paid members of the race of 
hunters on earth, and this may chiefly be ascribed to 
the fact of the ease with which they can obtain a 
living from the unlimited supply of fish, flesh, and 
fowl that still abounds in the waters and untrodden 
lands of the Alaskan shores. Moreover, the scarcity 
of white men along these coasts enables the native to 
demand, and obtain, extraordinarily high wages if 
he is inclined to work in such places as the mines, or 
any of the numerous commercial enterprises which 
are being rapidly opened up in Alaska. 

The four men who had volunteered to accompany 
us rejoiced in the names of Ivan, Pete, Steve, and 
Ned, but their weird-sounding family names were 
utterly unpronounceable by our foreign tongues, and 
hence they were always hereafter referred to by their 
Christian names. As regards their racial type they 
were half-breeds between Russians and Aleut natives, 
and spoke Russian and Aleut far better than English, 
although their conversation and vocabulary com- 
prised a certain amount of quaint American sayings. 


The men were informed that they would be required 
to accompany us on a trip extending far beyond the 
confines of their native island, but this appeared to 
have no terrors for them since they had all made 
expeditions in former days along the shores of the 
Alaska Peninsula, when engaged on board sailing 
vessels in quest of the valuable sea-otter and fur seals, 
which then were plentiful along those coasts. 

We were advised to take on board the schooner two 
or three of the native bidarkas, and our men assured 
us that these little craft would be found most useful 
when making expeditions up any of the numerous 
rivers of the country, and this indeed subsequently 
proved to be a fact. We also purchased two flat- 
bottomed boats known as " dories," which we were 
told would be invaluable for landing in shallow places. 

One more day was given up to making final 
arrangements for our departure from Kodiak, and a 
few more necessaries and supplies which had been 
omitted in Victoria, were laid in from the local stores 
in order to make the commissariat department as 
complete as possible. 

It had been decided to make a trip to the westward 
along the southern shores of Kodiak, and to look 
for bears in some of the bays which indent the island's 
coast. The men assured us that in a certain bay, 
well known to them, we should find a good anchorage 
for the schooner, near a place where bears had once 
been very numerous. But they added that persistent 
killing of them for years by the natives had greatly 
diminished the number of bears on the island. 


As the month of April was now well advanced, and 
the snow was fast disappearing from the low grounds, 
we were anxious to get on the hunting ground as 
soon as possible. Therefore, early next morning, as 
Captain Clemsen pronounced the wind favourable, 
we bid farewell to the kindly residents in Kodiak, 
who had displayed to us every hospitality within their 
power during our short stay in the settlement. The 
morning was bright and clear, with that peculiar 
crispness, and bracing feeling, in the air which in 
arctic regions impart to men a wondrous sensation 
of rejuvenescent energy. A fair breeze was blowing 
when once we were free from the harbour's shelter, 
and as the white wings on reading this part Agnes 
ejaculated, " You know they were as black as ink, 
really!" of the Lily were unfurled, and as we went 
gliding out between the picturesque islands of Kodiak 
and its neighbour, Wood Island, on to the broad 
bosom of the Pacific, the gods and the face of nature 
alike seemed propitious for the commencement of our 

During our stay in Kodiak we had wisely procured 
complete outfits of fur costumes similar to those worn 
by the native Aleuts and Eskimos. The most useful 
of these garments is one known locally by the name 
of a parka, and consists of a whole skin coat with 
a hood to it and no opening down the front, the coats 
being pulled over the head like a jersey. The skins 
used in the making of them are usually those of the 
caribou, or marmot, and the fur is worn on the out- 
side. Some of them are highly decorated ingeniously 


by the natives, and are marvellously constructed when 
it is considered that they are often made with crude 
ivory needles, and sewn with the sinews of animals 
in place of thread. 

Robed in these new furs our whole party spent most 
of the day on deck watching the picturesque scenery 
as we glided by the innumerable bays and inlets 
which thickly stud the shores of Kodiak Island. 
Captain Clemsen told us that if the wind held as 
favourable as it then was, we should reach our destina- 
tion ere next morning. Towards evening it got 
bitterly cold, and we were glad to seek the welcome 
warmth below decks around the cabin stove. After 
dinner a rubber of whist whiled away the time until 
we turned in, and then, having taken a parting 
glimpse at the stars from the deck, we retired shiver- 
ing, none of us envying the man at the wheel, nor 
his attendant look-out watchman in the schooner's 
bows, nor the untiring captain who seemed to spend 
most of the hours of the day or night on deck so long 
as we were in proximity of land. 

Being a remarkably sound sleeper I have only a 
dim recollection of hearing some unusual noise 
during the night, which can have been nothing but 
the running out of the chain as the anchor was 
dropped, for on being roused next morning by Tom 
the cabin boy he informed me that we were at anchor 
in the bay. Hastily dressing, I went on deck. Here 
the view was magnificent, as the schooner lay calmly 
in a land-locked bay some five miles long and over a 
mile in width. Four big valleys debouched into the 


bay, through each of which a river ran, and between 
the valleys rose lofty mountains of which the tops 
and higher slopes were thickly clothed in snow. The 
open channel leading outwards to the sea, through 
which we had entered this snug bay, was screened 
from view by mountain spurs, and high rocky bluffs, 
which gave this fine natural harbour the appearance 
of an inland loch. 

Shortly after my arrival on deck the ladies appeared 
with Ralph, and universal delight was expressed by 
every one at the magnificent scenery with which we 
were surrounded on every side. Although we lay 
anchored fully a mile from the nearest point of land, 
the hills in this rarefied northern atmosphere looked 
almost near enough to be within a stone's throw of 
the schooner. 

Since we were all eager to make our first land- 
ing, and inspect the happy hunting grounds, a hasty 
breakfast was the next move. Immediately after- 
wards the largest dory was launched and manned by 
two of the crew, rifles and telescopes were quickly 
produced, and all four of our party proceeded to 
pack ourselves rapidly into the boat. The natives 
preferred to launch their bidarkas, and led the way, 
paddling far quicker than our men could row the 
heavy dory. These bidarkas are wonderful little 
craft, and the natives kneel in them in a crouching 
position, sitting on their heels, but to any person 
unaccustomed to it, this is a most uncomfortable 
position and generally produces violent cramp if it 
is adopted for any length of time. My advice, there- 


fore, to any stranger who occupies a bidarka for the 
first time is to adopt a sitting position, and to remain 
very still at that, for these little canoes are as easily 
capsized as a child's toy boat if one is unused to their 

We steered for the nearest river's mouth, and on 
arrival there the ladies expressed a desire to explore 
the river for some distance up stream, and Ralph and 
I set out again in the dory to inspect the neighbour- 
ing valley which lay some two miles distant and 
further up the bay. Promising to return late in the 
afternoon we said au revoir to the huntresses, and 
being favoured with a slight breeze hoisted the sail 
of the dory, thus making good time by travelling 
close along shore. On arrival at the next river we 
hauled the dory ashore, and leaving the men in charge 
to amuse themselves as best they could, Ralph and I 
taking our rifles walked up the river bank. If ever 
the river had been frozen in winter it was now entirely 
free from ice, and although about fifty or sixty yards 
wide was very shallow at the mouth, particularly at 
low tide. On its lower reaches it ran through a 
wide open valley, which was mostly bare of timber, 
and intersected with numerous back lakes, or small 
lagoons, which were the haunt of numerous mallards, 
harlequin ducks, teal, and other wild fowl that rose in 
great numbers as we advanced up the valley. In 
summer the grass and vegetation must attain a con- 
siderable height, but it was then all lying flat and dead 
from the effects of its heavy winter covering of snow. 

As we proceeded further up the valley, clumps of 


fir and cottonwood came into view, and soon we 
found ourselves amidst a thick growth of trees inter- 
spersed by dense alders and willow bushes. Here in 
the sheltered valleys timber grew abundantly, although 
the trees did not reach any considerable size in height 
or girth. Here also the river ran more swiftly as it 
wound a serpentine course, now rushing over rocky 
shallows, here and there hollowing out deep pools 
beneath the overhanging banks, whilst in other spots 
the foaming waters came tumbling down a seething, 
boisterous mass, where the river had for centuries past 
cut deep gorges through the solid rocks which rose 
dark and frowning sheer on either side above the 
raging waters. 

Along the river banks great sunken bear trails ran, 
showing where for ages past these huge beasts had 
wandered up and down the stream in quest of salmon, 
which teem at spawning time in most Alaskan rivers. 
Even now, dead bodies and decaying skeletons of fish 
were thickly strewn along the banks or lying in the 
eddies of deep pools, grim relics of a strange fate 
which befalls Alaskan salmon after they have spawned. 

Bears were not in evidence, but their tracks of recent 
date showed up plainly on the snow, where they had 
been wandering on the hillsides seeking patches of 
grass which forms their earliest food on issuing from 
winter quarters. 

Having pushed on some four or five miles up the 
valley without seeing a living thing, save a few willow 
grouse, and after searching the hillsides in vain with 
glasses for sight of a moving bear, we decided to 


retrace our steps. By the time we reached the boat 
the sky had become overcast, and lowering banks of 
clouds looming on the horizon to windward betokened 
bad weather. No time was lost, therefore, in making 
for the small cove where we had parted from the 
ladies, the men having a hard pull to get the dory 
against a rising wind and tide. 

I was fully prepared for an indefinite period of 
waiting, and was agreeably surprised to see the whole 
party coming along the river bank soon after our 
arrival. The natives, it appeared, had wisely advised 
a hasty retreat in view of the threatening weather, 
knowing that, although in the sheltered bay, an 
Alaskan wind can make even inland waters danger- 
ous. We noticed that Pete was carrying something 
on his back, which on closer inspection proved to be 
a fine specimen of a red fox. This had been seen 
creeping along the river bank in quest of any form 
of food, which was as yet scarce enough in these parts. 
The ladies had tossed up in true sportsmanlike fashion 
for who should take the chance of bagging reynard. 
Agnes, who persistently declares that she cannot win 
at any game of chance, maintained her reputation by 
losing the toss, and thus a short stalk, and a good 
long shot had rewarded Cecily with the first blood of 
our expedition. But she, with true feminine caprice, 
was less elated by the excellency of her shooting per- 
formance, which had much impressed the natives, 
than by the prospect of what a splendid muff that 
skin would make on our return to civilization. 

Our return to the Lily was not unalloyed joy, for 


a heavy, choppy sea was running in the bay, and the 
dory kept shipping small seas as she went smashing 
into the crest of each big wave, so that every one was 
drenched to the skin ere we reached the vessel. It 
was little short of marvellous to watch the way the 
natives handled the small bidarkas, as they rode like 
ducks over the seething mass of waters. And ever 
afterwards the scene remained vividly impressed on 
my mind, since it was a revelation to see in what 
waters these cockleshell craft could live when properly 

All that evening the wind rose and came howling 
down from unknown space beyond the mountain 
heights. By way of extra precaution the captain 
ordered a second anchor to be dropped lest we should 
find a premature ending to our trip by drifting ashore. 
All night the Lily tugged and strained at her anchors, 
rolling and tossing as huge waves came thundering 
neath her bows, whilst overhead a biting icy wind 
went whistling and shrieking through the rigging. 
And then we had a foretaste of Alaskan hail and sleet, 
which cut the hands and face like whip lashes, in fact 
it seemed as if all elements combined to make night 
hideous with a satanic pandemonium. 



Thou'dst shun a bear 

King Lear 

Will not the ladies be afeard? 

Midsummer Nighfs Dream 

AFTER leaving Kodiak in the Lily and reaching the 
Mecca of our hopes, a land-locked bay, on the south 
side of the island, we had a preliminary canter from 
ship to shore, and finding it such a nuisance to have 
to return to sleep aboard, we decided that, cold as it 
might be, we would camp for a time, a course which 
would enable us to cover more ground than if we 
had to return to our ship every night. 

We landed with a considerable quantity of kit, the 
four hunters and the bidarkas. Ralph and I actually 
made shore in the two-hatch bidarka, chiefly because 
he bet me I dared not trust myself in it with him for 
pilot. He paddled in such a wavering fashion that I 
breathed a prayer, and thought my last hour had 
come. He said that the bidarka had a permanent 
list to starboard, and we flew along well on the 
side of our fragile vessel full steam ahead. If I 
hadn't understood the laws of equilibrium, which 
prompted me to shift ballast at the right moment, I 
should have been hurtled into the sea. Fate is kind 



to amateur sailors, as we know from watching them 
at seaside resorts, and the game was exciting. 

We portioned out the loads, and some of the stores 
were placed in the bidarkas to be paddled up stream, 
and the rest every one took a share of. We were not 
going to make the mistake of trekking too far away 
from the coast, for, in the spring, when the new grass 
is shooting up, the bears come to the slopes of the 
coast line to feed. 

The great brown bear, Ursus middendorffi, of 
Kodiak, Uganuk, and Afognak, is the largest of the 
tribe to be found in the world, and there is not much 
difference between it and the brown Ursus dalli gyas 
of the Alaskan Peninsula, at least to the average 
person who cannot detect the difference in the con- 
formation of skull when the great heads are covered. 
The variations from the grizzly type may be plainly 
seen by the veriest tyro, for the Alaskan bear has 
not the long, straight, white claws which are so 
characteristic of his cousin, neither has he the furtive 
snake-like head. The brown bear grows to a much 
greater size than the grizzly, and his claws, though 
immensely powerful and long, are curved and dark 
in colour. The head also is extraordinarily large, 
and seems unduly big even on so vast a body. 

We followed the river closely as well as we could, 
but here and there on its sloping banks alder clumps 
dodged our every step, holding us back in dogged 
persuasion. Save for the waterfowl the island was 
as yet untenanted by birds, and the solitudes were 
still in thrall to the grip of winter. We came on 


belts of cottonwood trees, but none of any girth, rested 
about noon, and after a further trek in the afternoon 
hours lighted on a place which seemed an ideal camp- 
ing ground. With ready hospitality the trees gave 
us of their best, and the ridge poles for our tents were 
fitted with agility. That night, in spite of the rein- 
deer sleeping-bags, we felt the cold intensely, and 
next morning, like Balbus, we built a wall around 
us, on the zareba principle, and it was not long 
before we felt the difference of temperature in the 

The Leader came into camp with news of the most 
wonderful fall of water, a small Niagara, he said, and 
dwelt so long on its myriad charms that I was up and 
off with him the instant we finished breakfast. The 
booming of the water came to our ears before we 
breasted the intervening hill, and as we got nearer 
and nearer the wild music seemed to vibrate in all the 
air. Then, suddenly, without any warning, the glory 
of the falls burst on my delighted vision. A great 
torrent rolled down the precipitous sides of a gigantic 
granite kloof in exceeding volume, and then broke up, 
descending quite slowly, like snow. 

How I should love to see the chaos that the rains 
would bring. The early sun gave a glint to the white- 
ness which was indescribably beautiful, the etchings 
were limned so clearly, the colours painted so defi- 
nitely. At the bottom where the fall met the river 
was an indistinguishable boiling, seething pot; and 
the tossed spray arose, enshrouding the falls, and as 
it lighted on the Titanic masses of granite, meeting a 


different temperature, it condensed, and forme'd 
thousands of tiny cascades in the rocks. 

After a very disappointing day as regards sport, 
without the encouragement of coming on the smallest 
traces of bears, save evidences of year-old perambula- 
tions, the Leader and Ralph decided to trek on the 
morrow to some distant bays and try their luck there. 
We chose the two best-tempered hunters to remain 
with us, and settled down to stalk the country for 
miles round. 

For three whole days Cecily and I roamed those 
hillsides, wandered by the river, swept the country 
with anxious glasses, and did all we knew to find the 
smallest evidence that Kodiak was then inhabited 
by bears at all. With no result, and we could not 
help being a trifle cast down. Our luck seemed won- 
derfully on the up-grade when, within three miles of 
camp, we struck the trail of a large-footed bear, 
hitherto overlooked. It was quite recent, damp and 
oozy, and the ground yielded up the secret of the 
passing of a monster creature. Our hands trembled 
with excitement as we got out the tape. The impress 
of the hind feet measured fourteen and a quarter 
inches in length, so we judged we were really on the 
way at last to bagging a worth-having specimen of 
the bear tribe. From the crisscross of fainter tracks 
we judged that Bruin had come this way to the river 
very often. 

We followed along the trail for some way, sinking 
up to our knees in swampy ground in places, in others 
held back by a veritable fastness of alders and inter- 


laced willows. Tracking back to the river we dis- 
covered that on the banks the most succulent grass 
grew, one side being tinted emerald by the slender 
spears. It was quite late afternoon when we came on 
our great find, and although we lay in ambush until 
the twilight fell nothing happened, and the real cam- 
paign had to be put off until the morrow. 

We rose with the day, for bears come out early and 
late as a rule, and we breakfasted in excited haste, 
saw to our rifles, and warned both our men not to go 
near the bit of river we meant to watch all day if 
needful. They looked at us in ill-disguised amuse- 
ment, and crouched over the embers of the fire again. 

Cecily and I hurried to the bear track, and en- 
trenched ourselves on the other side of the river, in a 
vantage ground of alders, directly opposite the begin- 
ning of the path, thereby enfilading the whole posi- 
tion. We were some eighty yards from the place 
where our quarry should, if he had any consideration 
at all, emerge. For the time being the wind was 
propitious, but there is absolutely no reliance to be 
placed on Alaskan winds. It is never in the same 
mood for two hours together. 

Cecily lay flat, in excellent position, and I sat, Joss- 
like, in cramped uncomfortable attitude, for the cover 
was so sparse there was not sufficient of it to go 
round, and there was no room to spare. The forest 
growth was much denser opposite us, up above the 
grass-covered slopes. We should not be likely to get a 
good glimpse of Bruin until he was right on us, even 
if he came. Oh, but he must come ! He surely must ! 


Our fervent faith got a trifle dashed as half-hours 
crept by with no sort of result. Save for the 
rippling of the river the silence was unbroken. My 
foot went to sleep, and pins and needles racked it. I 
felt that I must move, though I ruined every chance 
I had. Then, even as I essayed a changed position, 
with an electric-like shock I realized that the opposite 
alder tops moved gently, sinuously, one after the 
other a-quiver, all down the pathway which we 
watched, lynx-fashion, with keen, alert eyes. A great 
beast was travelling, the thrill in the very air held us 
as in a vice. 

Out he came, right into the open, as magnificent a 
picture of wild life as it has ever been my lot to see. 
His vast bulk outlined against the green of the under- 
growth behind him, his head carried so low that the 
great arches of his shoulders appeared to equalize the 
width of the wide skull, and the depth from nose to 

Pausing for an instant the bear came to the very 
edge of the water, and presently actually drank from 
it. With his mouth dripping, the ponderous animal 
mounted the bank again, and fell to, like some great 
ox, on the grass round about him. We could have 
shot him easiest as he slaked his thirst, but held our 
fire in the desire to watch this drama of the wild. 
Even as we watched, the bear seemed meditating a 
move to a more distant patch of country. Cecily 
looked at me. I nodded. I raised my rifle with a 
momentary fear in my heart that the cramped attitude 
of my position might render it next door to impos- 


sible to rely on a steady aim. I drew a bead on the 
swelling shoulder, just behind the blade, and phut ! 
The bullet found its billet right enough. The great 
creature gave a deep-toned " woof " and looked about 
him in astonished amaze, which was an opportunity 
not to be missed. Cecily hit him fair and square in 
the region of the heart. 

Like a clockwork toy the bear automatically raised 
himself on his hind feet, snorting or rather gasping 
in little spurts of sound, and faced us gallantly, look- 
ing for all the world like a very annoyed and irritated 
chauffeur; with a pair of goggles the disguise would 
have been complete. He looked so human that I felt 
like a murderess. Standing for a second thus, the 
massive legs gave way suddenly, and the bear dropped 
in his tracks. Over and over the body rolled, down 
the slope to the edge of the river; a little farther and 
he had been in the water. On the verge he rested, 
one forearm extended, more like a chauffeur than 
ever. I hoped all the bears wouldn't look quite so 
human, or I should have to leave them for more 
game-like game. 

We got across the intervening river lower down, 
through it somehow, afire to investigate our prize. 
What a colossal beast, immovable in majesty ! The 
pelt was in excellent condition, thick and even, and 
the face bore signs of vigorous contests, one great 
gash extending from eye to jaw. 

Cecily went back to camp, and I kept guard until 
the men came to take over. The glamour of the scene 
crept over me, the witching stillness lured every sense 


to pleasurable emotion. What wonder of civilization 
can compare with the mysterious fascination of the 
wild ? The weird enchantment, the silence, the space, 
the intangible something of everything. Ah, it is 
living indeed. 

Steve and Ned commenced with delighted ejacula- 
tions to skin our treasure, answering our myriad ques- 
tions the while. For we would know how old he 
was, and hear how great a weight it was surmised our 
bear would be. It was an astonishing sight as the 
skin was stripped to see the great layers of fat cover- 
ing the carcase. One would imagine that after the 
long hibernation the bears would emerge thin and 
poor. This one was none the worse for his long fast. 
Just before " holing up " for the winter they are roll- 
ing in fat, and put it on all through the summer at a 
great pace. The splendid pelt was a biggish load 
to pack back to camp, and when we weighed it the 
scale turned at sixty-eight pounds. From the nose 
to the end of the tail Bruin measured ten feet two 
inches, and this result was arrived at very fairly, with 
the skin laid casually upon the ground before pegging 

We spent the rest of the afternoon watching Steve 
clean the green skin. This he was most careful and 
particular over. All Aleuts are past masters at pre- 
paring furs. 

The cooking in our small camp was absolutely hap- 
hazard, any one who was idle cooked. Ptarmigan 
stew occurred with clockwork regularity and our men 
drank quarts of tea. 


The management of native guides and hunters in 
Alaska is quite different from anything one is used to 
in Africa. The numbers are so many less, wages 
being so high, and what one loses in quantity is not 
gained in quality either. The all-round capability 
of the average African head-man is non-existent in 
any follower one may acquire in Alaska. To hand 
over the whole domestic mechanism of camp affairs 
to an Alaskan servant would just mean utter chaos. 
They have not attained the smallest notion of the 
duties of a head-man. They can guide, know the 
whereabouts of game, and some of them are excellent 
still-hunters though none of them, in my opinion, 
come up to the black shikari and all of them are 
splendid at carrying terrific loads. I am hard to 
please now, as regards hunters, and am for ever 
trying to find in each new man I go out with some 
of the attributes my old Somali shikari possessed. 
And it is absurd, since I shall never look upon his 
like again. 

All of the Alaskan tribes, Aleut, Innuit, and rag- 
tag-and-bobtail of indiscriminate race mixings, can 
remember happenings of a week back, and not a 
day beyond. 

The ordinary humdrum man of all work round 
camp asks a dollar and a half a day, but the real 
finished article, especially if he is a white, or half- 
breed, demands his five, and can get it too. The 
mines claim so much labour, and raise the scale of 

Steve, our first hand first by right of the amount 


of his pay was a stolid individual of no brains or 
acumen whatever. We called him the hunted instead 
of the hunter because he always contrived to be some- 
where else when wanted. The son of an Aleut 
mother and a Russian father, the blend did not seem 
altogether successful. When we first met he was 
practically a man of two words, and those two most 
aggressive, if expressive. "Oh, hell!" he said 
when anything good or bad happened. There is 
nothing in a swear-word really, if you come to ana- 
lyze, but this particular word was not " ben trovato." 
It grated, and worried us. One day I heard Cecily 
who sat beside Steve on a fallen log ask our hench- 
man if he would like to learn a better safety-valve. 

" ' O-badiah ' is a much more expressive thing to say 
than ' Oh, hell,' Steve," she said persuasively. " And 
quite as easy. Try it. Say it after me. O-badiah." 

" O-badiah " practised Steve diligently, and ever 
afterwards he used the joyful find, and we had much 
ado not to laugh at it. Purists will say that O-badiah 
said viciously enough is just as shocking as any 
cuss-word. Perhaps it is. But it didn't grate on 
our sensibilities so much, and that was the main 

Ned, a more general factotum, was a pure Aleut, 
and all the knowledge of fish-craft, sea-craft, and 
forest-craft was his by right of birth. His stature 
was infinitesimal but his strength amazing. His voice 
came from the depths somewhere, and clanked with 
the sepulchral ring of footsteps going down a stone 
entry. His lightest whisper conjured up church- 


yards. Neither of the men washed, or ever thought 
of washing. 

For ten days more we spoored in every direction 
with the most disappointing results, and but for year- 
old trails we found no signs of bears at all. We 
appeared to have bagged the one and only specimen 
of the Kodiak bear in the vicinity. Talking it over 
together, Cecily and I decided to get back to the coast, 
and try our luck there. Steve said he thought the 
journey might be made in the bidarkas, as it was a 
down-stream trip, and a lot of the stores could be 
placed in the spare hatch-way, the rest must be piled 
in with each individual. We struck camp on a pour- 
ing wet day, and commenced the voyage, a gloriously 
exciting affair, the men piloting the fragile craft over 
swirling rapids, shallows, and currents with the most 
surprising agility. We made the coast by late 
afternoon, and bivouacked near the alders which 
fringed the land-locked beach. Fortunately drift- 
wood was plentiful, and we soon had a roaring fire 
going, a fire large enough to defy the wetting mist 
which continued to envelop the whole scene for some 
twelve hours longer. 

On the pools of sea-water which intersected the 
country for some way into the island hereabouts we 
saw many kinds of wildfowl. One variety of wader 
looked as though he walked on stilts, so tall were his 
stick-like legs. Yet he was not inelegant, and strode 
about in the shallow water with proud and lofty mien. 

Early next morning we put on gum-boots and wan- 
dered in and out of the backwaters until we had 


covered a mile or more of coast line. In Alaska a 
backwater is a " sleugh," unless you happen to meet 
a French Canadian, who terms it "w'c/m." 

Leaving the water-line we struck up into the alder 
belt, and as fair Fate would have it, suddenly came on 
a bear track, and amid the countless indents of Bruin's 
fairy footsteps discoved some that were obviously 
very new indeed, going towards the sleugh. The 
sodden ground held the impress like a mould, there 
was the long flat expanse of the foot, there, well 
defined and clear, the imprints of the great claws, and 
at the ends of them the earth furred up slightly. 

There was a low exclamation from Cecily, and right 
out on the sand-spit, grovelling in the sand for clams, 
we saw a cumbersome bulk, very much the colour of 
the scene around him. A bear at last! Stolidly he 
hunted, nor guessed the presence of enemies in his 
vicinity. The wind, what little there was, blew over 
the sea, landwards. We practically held all the trump 
cards, for the bear was in the open, we were concealed, 
and the odds seemed unfairly against our quarry. He 
scraped awhile, and then commenced to walk with 
rolling gait and slow, obviously his purpose was to 
enter the alder scrub much lower down than his usual 

" Cut him off!" I whispered, and as lightly as we 
could encumbered with our difficult-to-manoeuvre foot- 
gear, in silent rushes we ran up the bear-path, and 
onwards at right angles to the point where we ought 
to intercept our quarry. Intercept him we did, but 
I mustn't lay too much stress on our condition of 


readiness. Bruin arrived some seconds before we 
expected him, and we dashed practically into his way. 
We were considerably taken aback at the finesse of 
the creature. More I must not say, or I shall remind 
you of that American fugitive who called out to the 
officer who attempted to rally the regiment, " For 
heaven's sake, don't try to stop me; I am so fearfully 

The bear must have galloped the instant we lost 
sight of him, perhaps even, he had some premonition 
of the threatening danger. On seeing us scattering 
to right and left the bear, who seemed absolutely 
enormous to my untrained gaze, stiffened all over, 
and his little eyes grew oblique with rage. He 
appeared to pull up almost on to his haunches. Cecily 
and I fired simultaneously, and at such close quarters 
that both shots were bound to be effective. With an 
extraordinary noise, half groan, half rage, the beast 
rose on hind feet, appearing to tower high above us, 
his wide head and massive neck turning from side to 
side. Like all the fiends he laid about him with great 
quivering arms, striking the air with weighty blows, 
helpless, a Samson shorn of his wondrous strength ; 
and even as he strove to avenge the manner of his 
death the bullets did their work. With a lurch forward 
the vast creature tottered, righted himself erect once 
more, and then fell on his face with a dull, resound- 
ing crash. An awe-inspiring and impressive sight. 

We did not approach the prostrate heap for some 
time. Many a man has met his end by investigating 
a supposed dead Alaskan bear. 



Feeling desperately hungry, we began to feast off 
biscuits and tinned beef, and presently Ned appeared 
up the trail, telling us that the shots had called him 
out. We knew he could not possibly have heard 
them in our distant camp, and I suspect that he was 
tracking us in the furtive, secretive way these people 
have. Very often a lurking form glided phantom- 
wise between the tree-stems, causing me to pause a 
moment, only to find that it was no forest-dweller, 
but one of our own hunters hunting us. A strange 
trait of inquisitiveness ; dangerous too. 

Ned had a string of ptarmigan over his arm, and 
our '22 Winchester on his shoulder, but the whole lot 
gave way at the sight of the bear, and he dropped on 
his knees beside the carcase. 

" You shoot all right, you bet," he said in sepulchral 
tones of amazement. We had known from the very 
first that our men regarded the feminine part of our 
expedition very much in the light of an American 
dime show a great deal of fuss and palaver, and 
very little when you really get to it. We did not 
mind. It was a matter of indifference to us what they 
thought. Why talk to them of other experiences 
days with rhino, lion, leopard, as though one could 
not do them again ? It always seems to me that when 
anything you have done in the past looms very large 
and splendid in your eyes, it argues that you have not 
accomplished much to-day. Deeds, not words, count 
with natives. 

By this time Ned had seen enough to convince him 
that we were fairly safe to go out with, and knew the 


use of firearms. He handled my Mannlicher next, 
as though he would wrest from it the secret of our 
astonishing success. Then thoughtfully he laid the 
weapon down. I think this last hunt completely con- 
verted Ned, who ever afterwards treated us with the 
same consideration and respect which he accorded 
the masculine element of the expedition. And where- 
fore not ? 

Were we not dressed alike, in the quaintest of fur 
parkas, with a modicum of knickerbocker showing 
below ? and did we shirk damp, danger, or dismay ? 
" I grant I am a woman ; think you I am no stronger 
than my sex?" Cecily quoted laughingly to Ned. 
But in his eyes there was no answering light of recog- 
nition. The Immortal One has not as yet been trans* 
lated for the benefit of the Aleuts. 

Next to the skinning, and though we did not take 
any part in it, we helped at intervals to shift the 
massive bear to a more get-at-able position. The 
"he," I regret to say, was a "she" of "uncertain 
age," with much-worn teeth and claws. 

All Ned had with him was an insignificant bit of 
string, so, producing all we could offer, he tied the 
pelt together, and with the skull hanging over his 
shoulder we set out campwards. We also took a little 
of the meat, because of course we wanted to be able 
to say that bear steak had at least been sampled. 

The ground was very bad going, and at intervals 
we sank in marshy hollows above our knees. We 
wondered how on earth our man could struggle on 
impeded as he was, forgetting the immense strength 


of these Aleuts. Very likely he did not feel the pack 
he was carrying half so much as we did the two rifles. 
Nature- suits her strength to the burdens, as the 
burdens to the strength. 

" You do not mind my weight?" said the apologetic 
fly in the elephant's ear. 

" Not at all," replied the elephant; " I really did 
not know that you were there." 

We passed by a tract of country very much like 
an Indian snipe jheel, and sure enough we saw a few 
snipe rise from the marshy ground. 

The bear steak we took back to camp with us was 
very dark in colour, the darkest flesh I have ever seen, 
most unappetizing to look at, and the fibre was coarse 
and tough. It was not really downright disagreeable 
when cooked, but nothing very special. When the 
bears get on to a fish diet the meat becomes very 
strong and unpalatable. 

As our stores were ominously low we set about 
repairing to the Lily, which lay at anchor not more 
than five miles away, and she seemed a very pleasant 
home, sweet home, to us as we climbed on to her deck 
from out the dory. 



She sings like one immortal 


'Tis gold which makes Diana's rangers false themselves 


BY this time we had discovered that we had great 
cause to complain of the ship's chef. He could cook 
all right when he was able, but, then, he was so often 
hors de combat. He told me that he was "saved," 
but from what did not transpire. Certainly not from 
whisky, of which he appeared to own an illicit still. 
Fortunately our cabin boy, Tom, a first-class youth, 
was able to cope with the duties so often thrust upon 
him, the while our cook lay huddled in his berth 
crooning, " Yes, there'll be glory for me, for me. 
Oh yes, there'll be glory for me." 

Tom, in a burst of confidence, told me that an end 
to the carousals must come, because the whisky supply 
would not continue to meet the demands made upon 
it. So there was nothing to do but wait the coming 
of that day of days. 

Routine on board our ship as regards the saloon 
department was only noticeable in the mornings. As 
a rule breakfast was forthcoming in good time, but 

the day following the bear hunt appeared to be a dies 



non so far as getting anything to eat was concerned. 
At last Tom being nowhere to be seen I ventured 
into the fo'castle to investigate. The cabin boy was 
busily cutting bacon, running the risk of losing his 
head, for he was attacking half the side of an out- 
sized pig, and he cut towards himself, the knife being 
just level with his neck. The cook was helpless in a 
bunk, assuring any one who cared to listen of his 
complete confidence in the fact that there would be 
glory for him, for him. 

There was nothing like enough coal in the stove to 
cook anything upon, and so I went to find some. The 
' ' open sesame ' ' to the most used coal-locker was set 
in the flooring of the passage leading to the saloon. 
Most unfortunately I forgot, in my hurry, to replace 
the lid. The next instant such a crash and such 
language ! I rushed to see whatever had happened, 
and there, half in and half out of the coal-hole, was 
the Leader of the expedition. He had not noticed the 
absence of the top board, and I do think it was silly 
of him. Somehow or other I got him back into the 
saloon, and he was very hurt and very huffy. I 
should have offered to get him some brandy if I 
hadn't known that the cook had made away with all 
there was available. It was no use precipitating a 

The Leader sat ruefully rubbing his knee, and I 
explained about the breakfast and everything, and 
tried not to laugh, and just then remembered to 
replace the board over the coal-locker before any one 
else fell down it. Then such a groan from the 


fo'castle ! I felt absolutely certain that the knife had 
slipped after a further parley with the bacon, and Tom 
was decapitated. As I know nothing whatever of 
ambulance work, and had had quite enough worry 
for one morning, before breakfast too, I went on deck. 

Presently the Leader came to me. The cook, he 
said, was in a species of fit, and would I help? I 
was so relieved to hear that it was not the bacon 
knife I went willingly, though I am completely ignor- 
ant of any workable method for the suppression of fits. 
I once helped to suppress a swarm of bees, and danced 
about crashing two pan lids together; but fits are 
another story. If it had not been for a wonderful 
little paper, a domestic encyclopaedia, called Home 
Snips, engineered by the clever man who runs the 
Daily Wail, we should have been in parlous case 

Luckily the cabin boy had a copy in his kit, and 
presented it to us. Fortunately there was an article 
on " Fits : and how to cure them," and we did all it 
said. Home Snips is such a remarkable little paper, 
quite indispensable to housewives it claimed to be, and 
I should think with reason. I found a recipe for 
making a good imitation of tomatoes, should tomatoes 
happen to be expensive, by parboiling some strips of 
red flannel, and another invaluable hint for converting 
turnips into a creditable representation of mushrooms 
by carving them into shape, and then serving up the 
deceptions with a covering of mushroom ketchup. 

We finally breakfasted at n A.M., and by that time 
the Lily was under weigh, heading for the Trinity Isles. 


The entire route of the expedition had now to be 
definitely mapped out, for it was hardly fair to our 
captain that our plans should be so very much en Vair. 

The season for sheep and moose commencing on 
September the ist, we had to arrange matters so that 
we should be in the best possible part of the country 
at that time. The Sheep Creek district having been 
the Mecca of so many sportsmen for so long, we 
decided that our chances of procuring a few really 
fine specimens of Ovis dalli thereabouts were small. 
All the plans were very chaotic, owing to the fact that 
Cecily and I had already formulated a scheme which 
we fully intended to carry into effect, and Ralph had 
another, and the Leader yet another, but every one 
wanted to hunt in the other's vicinity. 

" Will you listen to reason, Ralph?" said the 
Leader, testily, as Ralph suggested the Mount St. 
Elias ranges, and pushed his views strenuously. It 
is nice when a person will listen to reason. It gives 
the reasoner such a chance to talk. 

The route planned by Cecily and myself, to take 
effect after the summer hunts along the coast of the 
Bering Sea, was to the mouth of the Kuskokwim 
River, where we would quit the Lily, leaving instruc- 
tions with her skipper to sail his boat back to Cook's 
Inlet, there to await our arrival, whenever that might 
be. He was to engage suitable men at the Sushitna 
settlement and send them, with bidarkas, up the 
Sushitna to meet us. We, landed at the mouth of 
the Kuskokwim, would hire Innuits on the spot and 
have them guide us up that river to the headwaters, 


and on meeting the contingent from the Cook's Inlet 
side our hunters from the Bering Sea could return to 
their homes. Our present men from Kodiak could 
return with the Lily as she sailed back to Cook's 

With every one wanting to set sail for a different 
locality matters got a trifle difficult. On talking it 
over with Cecily we decided that the plan of plans 
was to get the Leader of the expedition into a belief 
that the proposed trip up the Kuskokwim was his 
idea solely, when, man-like, he would hang on to it, 
and run it for all he was worth. If a man is judici- 
ously allowed to think he is having his own way com- 
pletely a woman can do anything with him, and, by 
the law of contraries, let a woman get but a glimmer- 
ing notion that she is having her own way and a man 
can do nothing with her. 

The thing worked like a charm. By adroit man- 
oeuvres, hints, and fragile suggestions we initiated 
the Leader into the first steps of the already arranged 
trip, and by lunch-time he was confident that he had 
thought out the details of it, and by tea-time he would 
have sworn by all his gods that he alone had evolved 
the scheme. The Sushitna-Kuskokwim route was 
carried. When I was asked had I ever considered 
that it would be a good line of country for the expedi- 
tion to travel over, I didn't remember. Cecily, too, 
had a most astonishing lapse of memory. It is well 
for a woman to have a faulty memory on occasion, in 
fact, it is rather stupid for a woman over thirty to 
have a memory at all. Her object is, or should be, 


to keep young, and memories are fatal, mere aiders 
and abettors of Anno Domini. 

We sailed by the Trinity Islands to the Semidi 
Islands. On the North Semidi the first fox ranche was 
established with the idea of making a great industry 
of raising blue foxes to supply the fur markets of the 
world. Nobody has made a fortune out of it, but the 
foxes can be reared to great perfection, the animals 
being killed between November and January. The 
blue fox living wild is now exceedingly rare in Alaska, 
but the islands set apart for the raising of them in 
domesticity are numerous, the sine qua non being 
that it must be two miles away from any other land. 
This to prevent the foxes swimming away. Some 
of the islands have as many as a thousand head. The 
food provided is meal and fish, mixed together, given 
once a day. The beautiful creatures get to know the 
hand that feeds them, not dreaming that some day it 
will turn and rend them. It takes about nine months 
for the cubs to grow to maturity, and the litters usually 
number six to eight. 

One or two islands go in for propagating the silver- 
grey fox, whose pelt is worth so much more than the 
blue. The silver-grey, however, is less profitable in 
the long run, because it is so difficult to take them 
without harming the fur. A blue fox will readily 
enter his death chamber, the box trap, without in- 
quiry. Not so his cousin, the silver-grey. No schem- 
ing will induce him to enter anything of the trap 
variety, and poison does not answer because males 
and females alike swallow it. 


The blue fox pelts vary, naturally, in quality, and 
as much as fifty dollars is paid for a really excellent 

Anchoring at last in a land-locked cove we found 
ourselves on the shores of a fox ranche, set on an 
infinitesimal island, and proceeded to go ashore to say 

We made our way between scanty bushes to a little 
shack, with a stove pipe through the roof for chimney, 
and a heterogeneous collection of empty coal-oil cans 
doing duty for buckets beside the door. On a clothes 
line slung from the house to a pole a pair of dainty 
clocked stockings waved in the breeze. 

Clocked stockings on a fox ranche ! 

Instantly w r e longed to quest for the Golden Girl 
who sometimes wore them. What would she be like? 
It was a burning question of unbridled curiosity. In 
the distance, coming from a group of ill-built sheds, 
we heard some one singing. 'Twas like the trills of 
a nightingale. The singer came nearer, the owner, 
it must be, of the clocked stockings. Well, she was 
like her foot-gear, dainty, charming, quite young. 
A French Canadian, as pretty as they make them. 
Here she had lived for two years, winter and summer, 
caring for the foxes, helping her partner to bear the 
lonely lot of a fox rancher in the Northern wilds. 
There was some deep-set mystery about this couple, 
which we, of course, did not seek to probe. They 
were not the type of people to be where they were, to 
work as they were working, and thereon, I suspect, 
hangs a tale. The owner of the fox ranche was a 


well set up Englishman, whose mellifluous tones 
proclaimed him thoroughbred. He spoke of know- 
ledge, so it was not difficult to guess where he had 

Our new friends came to dinner on board the Lily 
after much persuasion. The dainty little lady was so 
retiring, but we could see the pleasure it gave her to 
meet white women again. The acoustic properties of 
the cabin on a sealing schooner are not of the best, 
so we took to the deck, and our nightingale consented 
to sing after we had convinced her that we all wanted 
to hear more of her voice. 

Ralph accompanied her on his violin. First it was 
Auber's laughing song, then a gay little French ditty, 
next Saint Saens. 

The more I heard of her voice the more marvellous 
it seemed to be. So full of infinite variety that she 
never appeared to produce the same effect twice, so 
wonderfully tender that she must love royally, so 
delicate, so grand, so sonorous, so full of pathos, fire, 
feeling, art, laughter, tears, so thrilling, so moving, 
I have never heard a voice like it. I would rather 
hear it than any other living. It started so sweet, and 
sank, and rose, and swelled, and trembled, and dwelt, 
and enraptured, and died away, like some beautiful 
dream. It was a wondrous thing. It was divine. 
My very heartstrings were vibrating. 

" If you would but go to Europe, you would have 
no need to raise foxes any more," said Ralph, as soon 
as he could speak for the witchery of the singer and 
the song. " The world would be at your feet." 


" My world is here," said she, and her eyes smiled 
at her man. 

" My world is here." That was her reason for 
remaining on that hideously bare island, whatever 
her partner's might be. Though possessing a gift of 
song unparalleled this Northern nightingale loved her 
grim cage too well to fly away from it, to flash, meteor- 
like, into a firmament of stars, outclassing all. 

She is quite unforgetable, this dainty songstress, 
for her presence on the earth is so hard to ex- 
plain. Nature has made types, but she was not a 
type. Darwin says that all types have their excep- 
tions, but Tennyson has it that Nature is most careful 
of the type. 

We anchored for a whole twenty-four hours at Sand 
Point, a bay inset on Popof Island, driven thither by 
the wrath of the elements. The Lily had groaned 
and creaked in the battering onslaughts of the sea. A 
large length of the gunwale resigned office suddenly, 
and we had to run for shelter without delay. 

The storm was heralded by an ominously fine 
mirage, an enchanting illusion of unsurpassed clear- 
ness. Every shore, and point, and peak, and island 
were piled one above the other, fancifully painted in 
shadowy tones, as if reflected in a mirror suspended 
over the ship. 

We had sailed by Aniakchak Bay, Afognak, and 
other bear-hunting grounds, wanting to get ashore, 
yet refraining, and bottling up our ardour for the 
chase. We knew that the farther afield we got, the 
more out of the beaten track, the better our chances 


of procuring some good specimens of brown bears on 

the mainland. 

The mighty forests were a thing of the past, and 
from now onwards we saw nothing but beautifully 
green slopes, dotted with infinitesimal patches of alder 
or stunted willows in the valleys, and sheltered 
grounds, varied by the rolling tundras of the barren 

Here at Sand Point the familiar magpie was very 
much en evidence. The old Nursery rhymes about 
him were useless the " One for sorrow, two for 
mirth " because the magpies were so numerous there 
were not enough verses to meet the case. Bald-headed 
eagles sat on the rocks, silently meditating with that 
air of profound reflection which dominates the genus. 

As soon as the storm abated we set sail for Un- 
alaska, and though the sea was still troubled the atmo- 
spheric conditions were ideal, a delightful piece of 
luck, for we were thereby enabled to obtain a much 
more comprehensive view of the Pavlof volcanic peaks 
than is often the case. Indeed, our skipper told us 
that he had never before seen the peaks so clearly. 
Weird and majestic cones, about eight thousand feet 
high, with snow-clad sides blackened with the smoke, 
which belched forth, from one of the peaks, as though 
from a mill chimney in Lancashire. All the Alaska 
Peninsula and its islands are of volcanic origin, and 
everywhere one notes the typical " transition periods" 
of volcanic architecture. 

Beating against a head wind we remained in sight 
of the Aghileen Pinnacles for hours. So needle- 


pointed are they that not even the snow clings to 
their spires. Thence past emerald tinted expanses, 
grey pyramidal cliffs, valleys, and strangely shaped 
rocks alive with sea-birds. Murres, the commonest 
of all the Alaskan diving birds, in myriads, and 
hundreds of tufted puffins with the wondrously tinted 
extra-sized bill adopted for the breeding season, to 
aid and abet the charms of the wooer, which is cast 
away, just as it is with us human things, and our 
adopted attractions, when he is married and a'. 

Following steadily in our wake sailed a slender 
fulmar, a very distant relative of the albatross, whom 
in many ways it imitates. The fulmar is a very rigid 
flier, but it cannot glide indefinitely with never flap- 
ping pinions, neither has it that air of absolute 
mastery of all the laws of graceful flight which the 
albatross exhibits. 

At the tip of the Peninsula, on Unimak Island, the 
volcanic peaks of Shishaldin and Isanotski reared 
their nine thousand feet of altitude. One of them 
looked impressively sombre, with a great white ruffle 
of pure coloured snow around the base. The snow 
line extended from the sea level to half way up the 
mighty cone, where it ceased suddenly, straight edged, 
to give place to blackness. Its mountain twin ap- 
peared to be leaking vapour at every pore, and from 
each rent and fissure jets of steam issued. 

Now between Akun Island and Unimak we turn at 
last into the Bering Sea. It looks like any other sea. 
What had I expected, I wonder? Seals and sealers, 
whales and icebergs, Eskimos and walruses. Of 


these expected treats the whales alone turned up to 
give us greeting. They were belugas, or white 
whales, and of various sizes, the largest probably 
about twenty-five feet long. The big ones were very 
white in colour, and the small ones slate-grey. They 
appeared and disappeared with clockwork regularity, 
until we ran into a belt of fog, and so lost sight of 

From out the enveloping mist a wonderful bird 
gyrated, curving in and out of our rigging with un- 
swerving rigid wings. Again and again it uttered a 
mournful cry, low and penetrating, the voice of the 
Arctic. " The wilderness has a mysterious tongue," 
and it seemed to call to us insidiously through the 
medium of this seafaring bird. I knew it must be 
a shearwater, because I saw the similarity to the 
shearwater (Pufjinus anglorum) which at one time 
frequented the more remote parts of the Isle of Man. 
Since that once delightful spot has become tripper- 
ridden, and every cave and cranny of its most 'distant 
rocks given over to the rampant love-making of the 
lower orders, the shearwater has sought islands new. 
It chooses the lonely, storm-swept countries, unfre- 
quented by man. This agile bird would never seek 
terra firma at all save for the need of somewhere to lay 
its solitary egg upon. The nest is built in a hole, in 
some half-inaccessible part of the chosen island, and 
only the one egg is laid. The shell is remarkable for 
a strong scent of musk, and exceedingly fine texture. 
Most aptly named, this shearwater, for often it sails 
right through the crested breakers. 


We went on to Dutch Harbour, on Unalaska, most 
beautiful of islands, where we found to our surprise 
another hunting camp located, preparatory to moving 
on. It was that of a solitary Englishman, out after 
brown bears, and he had made Unalaska from Kodiak 
on a chance trading vessel. He now intended creep- 
ing back to the mainland of the Peninsula in a dory, 
a very sporting thing to dare to do. 

Such a dare-devil trip would, I imagine, have re- 
sulted in the complete exodus of the venturesome 
sportsman from Alaskan waters, and for his sake we 
were very relieved to hear of the purchase of an 
ancient brig, much the worse for time and inaction, 
which might, with a little fettling up, be persuaded 
to make a sort of swan-song trip of a voyage back 
along the Pacific Coast. 

Our wayfaring countryman was an Imperial Yeo- 
man. He did not look imperial, but he was, oh very. 
HE HAD BEEN TO SOUTH AFRICA. And could not for- 
get the fact. He demonstrated with the few forks our 
limited supply ran to, how he turned the Wakker- 
strom turning movement, built a Vaal Krantz with 
the salt-cellars, and rode into Ladysmith on the 

" He sailed away at break of day," before we were 
up; and not until we needed them did we discover 
that two of Diana's rangers had falsed themselves, 
and enlisted under the banner of the Imperial Yeo- 
man. He would not know, of course, that the avari- 
cious renegades were under contract of sorts to hunt 
with us, and probably agreed to pay the two dollars 



a day or so which would be demanded of him to what 
he assumed were a couple of unattached hunters on 
the lookout for a likely billet. Steve and Ned re- 
mained true, and this, I suspect, because they had 
not had a chance of bettering themselves. 

We were very cynical these days on the native 
hunter question. 

We remained in Dutch Harbour almost five days, 
and it was the 2nd of June ere we quitted the 
beautiful place. The day previous to sailing Cecily 
and I had an ideal ramble on the hillsides, and up 
the slopes of a silvery river. Spring was in all the 
air, and countless birds sang to us of summer days 
to come. Deep moss upholstered every solitude, and 
in the green gardens the golden crown, a sparrow of 
exalted plumage, crept in and out the grass spears, 
he was just everywhere, this plaintive minstrel. 

The various thrushes were in full spring song, the 
tender cadence of the exquisite love-notes cleaving the 
air in liquid trilling tones. Here, too, we noticed that 
most beautiful of all small birds, that little ball of 
fluff one longs to hold awhile in sheer delight in its 
wondrous charms, the chestnut-backed chickadee. 
Anything more perfectly sweet does not live in the 
world of birds. 

On the river we saw the belted kingfisher, his crest 
in spring splendour, and all else of him iridescent. 
His flight was not the accurate darting motion of our 
home birds, but wavering and hesitating. 

I often wondered, during my sojourn in Alaska, 
whether any one understands the laws of the country 


as now evolved, even the administrators. For every 
law that stands there appears to be another to nullify. 
All over the territory liquor is a prohibited import, the 
Act says so, and it ought to know, and if, when 
smuggling, you are careless enough to be caught red- 
handed fines and confiscation will result. But get the 
stuff into the country, by fair means or foul, and 
every one is delighted to welcome it, and the said 
prohibited drink is sold quite openly and above- 
board. Another Act sets forth, with due decorum, 
that no white man shall live with an Indian woman 
unless he is married to her, but as very few of the 
Alaskan padres are minded to " put a blessing " on 
such unions, the Act is of very little moral use. 



(By the Leader of the Expedition) 

This little world, 

This precious stone set in the silver sea 

King Richard II 

ON an island, where the turbulent sea washes its 
shores, there stands to-day a town nestling cosily at 
the head of the picturesque land-locked harbour. 
The town itself is of mushroom growth, having its 
origin in one of the great gold rushes so common 
in Alaska. The buildings are of wood, and replete 
with such comforts as men can construct under pre- 
vailing conditions in the far North- West of America. 
Among the dwellings may be seen a fine hotel, and 
numerous comfortable houses^, all now entirely 
deserted, save for the presence of a few residents who 
still cling to the abandoned town, either in hopes 
of better times reviving or lacking other places in 
which to cast their lot. On rare occasions a ship 
calls here to replenish her coal supply, since the 
town lays proud claim to being a coaling station. 
What matters it if the coal store is seldom replenished 
or depleted? So sudden has been the exodus, and 
houses now standing in empty silence bear such recent 



traces of habitation, that the spectator is reminded of 
a city of the dead, as it were forsaken owing to some 
terrible visitation of pestilence. 

The island's beauty is entrancing, and a dreamer 
is bewitched in its solitudes by the glamour of 
Nature's graces. To appreciate the surroundings in 
all their glory one needs to climb one of the many 
small hills, whence the eye may revel in the charm 
and wonder of the scenery. 

It is evening, and all the air is redolent with 
mingled perfumes of sweet flowers and soft decidu- 
ous grasses. The panorama is bewildering in its 
diversity. The island lies in a sheltered bay, sur- 
rounded by hills, lofty and majestic, of the main- 
land, through which a narrow entrance leads out to 
meet the ocean. 

Clothed with a verdant carpet of innumerable 
flowers and grasses, the isle resembles a bright 
emerald surrounded with transparent blue setting 
formed by the bay's calm waters. The varieties of 
flowers are multitudinous, and their beauty and 
colouring are exquisite. Let the eye roam far out 
across the bay, and there we have on every side 
glimpses of lofty hills which assume all forms of 
shapes found in mountain scenery. Conical, ser- 
rated, concave, or convex, the sharp curves of hills 
and valleys stand out in bold relief, each line accen- 
tuated by the clearness of this Northern atmosphere. 
The setting sun is sinking behind the distant peaks 
in an effulgent glory peculiar to the Arctic regions. 
Dying rays shining on motionless clouds are reflected 


in wondrous colour tints, and softly clothe the highest 
snow-clad peaks with a golden mantle. 

The scene is of surpassing loveliness, whilst over 
all there hangs a death-like stillness lending weird 
charms to this island of solitude, once so full of 
human life, but to-day wrapped in silence. Even the 
birds flit noiselessly amongst the luxuriant grasses, 
seeming as if smitten with sad forebodings of winter, 
For are not they, even as us, wanderers, in this land 
Of short, fickle summers, and the days are not far 
distant when perforce they needs must undertake 
once more those long, weary flights, battling their 
way over countless miles of watery wastes, or cross- 
ing dark forests, in quest of warmer climes. 

If the wanderer who visits these shores explores 
the neighbourhood his reward will be strange and 
novel sights. If his course lies to the westward there 
are islands innumerable, barren, desolate, inhospit- 
able spots. The home of gigantic volcanoes, and 
even to-day a new island has recently been bodily 
erupted from the ocean's depths, so that where less 
than two years since vessels sailed in deep waters, 
now there stands a forbidding emblem of Nature's 
handiwork, with a rocky mountain top rising sheer 
from the sea. Volumes of steam and smoke issue 
from its summit. 

If destiny turns the wanderer eastward his ship 
may take him to a land of low-lying shores which 
during winter months lie fast locked in the chill 
grip of ice and snow. Here, on isolated sandbanks, 
are the haunts of countless sea-birds, whose weird 



cries by day and night find responsive echoes in the 
hoarse bellowing of walruses, or shriller barking of 
the roving seals, all seeking here a harbour of refuge 
in sanctums where the murderous hand of man 
seldom leaves its mark. Weird, desolate, wind- 
swept coasts, on which neither trees nor bushes 
flourish, where life seems to be a continuous struggle 
against Nature's fiercest elements, and where the call 
of the wild speaks loudest in hearts of man and 
beasts alike. Here we see the ravages of a higher 
power, which defies man's labour, and bids defiance 
to his skill. Abandoned and silent, lies a noble 
three-masted vessel, high and dry on the sands, grim 
relic of an ocean's wrath. Her sole occupant a bold 
fox, which has somehow found its way in quest of 
food on to this desert island, and made its home on 
board the ship. What more touching sight is there 
than this gallant craft, perfect in all respects, save 
that her sails will never carry her again proudly over 
those waves which she, in her pristine beauty and 
strength, defied. Fast embedded in the sand, long 
will she remain an object of superstitious dread to 
the natives who know that on her brave men met 
their death. 

Strange indeed, to the minds of civilized beings in 
the twentieth century, is the anomaly of life amongst 
the denizens of this chill and lonesome North. Here 
may still be seen a race little affected by the march 
of civilization, as regards the customs and habits 
ruling their daily life. A people without aspirations, 
or ambitions, with strange fancies and superstitious 


beliefs, 'dreamers having the weird imagination of 
children, but happy, content to live and die as their 
ancestors have done before, representing a faot dis- 
appearing form of primeval man, whose highest 
intellectual attainments consist in devising means of 
obtaining food and clothing. Suffering much, in 
various periods of their history, at the hands of more 
powerfully armed marauders from far-distant climes. 
Gaining little in return for the importation of vile 
spirits, or unknown diseases, which have wrought 
havoc amongst their numbers. A race of fishermen 
and hunters, but under the improved conditions of 
the American rule, they have developed the industry 
of fur trading. Formerly the valuable furs collected 
for their own use too often fell a prey to the hands 
of their marauding enemies, or Russian taskmasters. 
With the purchase of Alaska by the Americans 
from Russia in 1867, a new era dawned for the 
natives. A rule of bloodshed, murder, and plunder 
was succeeded by what is to-day an equally lenient 
and in some cases too considerate form of govern- 
ment. Some laws have been enacted giving them 
certain privileges denied to many white men. This 
applies more particularly to the framing of the 
Alaskan Game Laws, whereby the natives are prac- 
tically unrestricted as to time, numbers, or anything 
else in their wanton destruction of game, both great 
and small, throughout the country. Many wise rules 
have been made to protect the game from too indis- 
criminate slaughter by sportsmen and others. No 
doubt can be entertained that such policy is an error 


of judgment, since it leads the natives in certain 
districts to consider themselves the equals, or 
superiors, of the white men visiting the country. 

Time and experience have taught Englishmen 
throughout the world that the only successful way 
to rule natives is by firmness tempered with justice, 
compelling them to feel a certain dependency upon 
their white associates. Beneath the skin of a native 
lies the heart of one born to be ruled by a superior 
hand, whether it be that of his own kind or that of 
an alien race. Kindness is too often interpreted by 
them as a form of weakness, familiarity breeds con- 
tempt, and equality between the white and coloured 
races will eventually end in disaster. 

It is with the latter terrible problem, a demon 
yearly increasing in size and significance, that the 
whole American nation is faced to-day, nor can any 
man say what will be the final outcome of the great 
racial upheavals which are bound to arise at some 
future date. Slow, methodical, behind the times, in 
the onward rush of civilization as we are to-day, 
England, and Englishmen alone, are those who can 
still successively rule the native races upon earth. 
Hence the secret of success in the colonization of the 
vast Empire which is to-day ruled by the population 
of a small island kingdom. 

Perhaps the one point on which the Americans 
display more judgment in the treatment of natives 
than is the case with many Governments of the old 
world, is in the matter of so-called religious teaching. 
As a rule, little is done to try and convert the natives 


from the religion and beliefs of their ancestors. 
Consequently we see little of what has caused so 
many of our own petty wars, where the missionaries 
are followed by fire and sword, to quell the disturb- 
ances which their well-meant, but ill-advised teach- 
ings have aroused, in their devoted attempts to over- 
throw the traditions and customs of centuries. 

The writer is full well aware of the storm which 
may be aroused in certain quarters by these remarks, 
but, nevertheless, speaking from experience of natives 
in various countries, he has no hesitation in saying 
that for corruptness in all its branches there is 
nothing which equals the semi-Christianized native, 
in comparison with whom, their savage brethren, act- 
ing according to the traditions and teachings of their 
community, are often paragons of perfection. 

The number of different tribes (if they may be thus 
designated) inhabiting the coast line of Alaska is 
almost bewildering to an amateur in the study of 
anthropology, ranging as they do from races of 
the low-class Siwash Indians in the South, to Aleuts 
on the Alaska Peninsula and Aleutian Islands, and 
again to wandering bands of Eskimo found on the 
shores of the Arctic and Bering Sea. The Babel of 
languages is even more confusing, since inhabitants 
of one settlement have often considerable difficulty 
to make themselves understood in their native tongue, 
when speaking to dwellers in other settlements 
situated at no great distance apart. In such cases 
they often have to resort to the Russian language, 
which is still in vogue among them, and even now 


is taught by priests of the Russian Church in certain 

It is a noticeable fact that except amongst the 
Northern tribes of Eskimo, the majority of native 
settlements past and present are situated on or very 
near the coast. This may probably be attributed to 
the fact that the one staple food amongst the inhabit- 
ants has for centuries been fish. In spring, or early 
summer, the ocean supplied their needs, and later the 
countless salmon running up the various rivers were 
easily captured and dried for winter use. In recent 
times the purchase of firearms by natives has become 
a real menace to all forms of game in the country. 
Bears, moose, caribou, seals, and other forms of fur- 
bearing animals supplied them with their clothing, 
and formerly, when armed with primitive weapons 
of their own construction, these animals were in no 
danger of extermination. But, alas, to-day the use 
of firearms, traps, and the more villainous poison, 
have wrought havoc and destruction in the numbers 
of both the great and small mammals throughout the 
country. No longer are even the hardy, keen-eyed 
mountain sheep immune from ruthless slaughter by 
those men armed with modern weapons of destruc- 
tion, and many boatloads of these fine animals' 
carcasses are annually brought down from the moun- 
tains by the rivers. 

At present the American Government is wisely 
making strenuous efforts to put down the sale of 
hides, or heads, of the big game, in which consider- 
able traffic has recently been done by natives, and a 


few professional hunters of white persuasion. As a 
sample of what is still done in this way by certain 
men of the country, I may mention that I saw the 
return of a well-known professional hunter with three 
boats containing the horns and skins of moose, 
sheep, caribou, all killed in a celebrated game district. 
And this, moreover, a part in which now all the 
species of game mentioned are strictly protected from 
the few wandering sportsmen who occasionally find 
their way to far distant Alaska. 

The greatest annual function amongst the dwellers 
on the coast, is the capture and drying of salmon 
for winter use. For this purpose whole settlements 
of men, women, and children adjourn to the banks 
of some river where the salmon ascend during the 
summer months in countless millions, the men 
using nets, spears, and every kind of appliance to 
capture the fish, the women and children remaining 
in their temporary camp to clean and dry the catch. 
The latter process is simple, as the fish are merely 
cleaned, split open, and the heads removed. They 
are then hung in rows on rails, ropes, or trees to 
dry in the sun and wind. 

The terrible smell arising from the offal, carelessly 
thrown in heaps near the dwellings, is so overpower- 
ing that the average white man is glad to escape as 
soon as possible from a visit to one of these camps. 

When found in immediate proximity to American 
trading posts, salmon canneries, or mining camps, 
the inhabitants of native settlements show a tendency 


to adopt the habitations and dress of civilization. 
Here, in consequence, the natives are indolent, impu- 
dent, and, if possible, more avaricious than their 
less cultured brethren. 

Amongst the Aleuts, where timber is Scarce, the 
ordinary dwellings, locally called baraboras, are 
small dug-out huts, half below the ground level, 
having the sides and roofs composed of logs covered 
with earth. Poor, miserable hovels, scarcely suited 
for dog-kennels in a civilized land. The hardy 
Eskimo are nomads, dwellers in tents during the 
summer, or houses made from the skins of walrus, 
called topeks, but with the commencement of winter, 
and the first heavy snow-falls, they construct snow 
houses, which are known as iglus, and in these they 
dwell until the approach of spring. 

The true Eskimo, or Husky, of the barren lands, 
still remain unsullied by the tarnish of civilization. 
Their character has been well described by Mr. David 
Hanbury in his book. Travel in the Northland of 
Canada. Few men are better qualified to speak of 
the Eskimo as they are to-day, he having " lived 
their life, shared their habitations, clad in deerskins, 
and subsisted on caribou and musk-ox meat in winter, 
and on fish in summer." 

He says : " The Husky character is naturally easy- 
going, happy and contented. To counterbalance an 
occasional display of sulks he has many good, even 
noble, qualities. The good Husky knows no fear, 
and never gets excited either on land or water. 


Among them there is no knowledge and no idea of 
a Supreme Being, nor of a future state. One whom 
I questioned said, ' Husky die, no more Husky.' 
They have no account of the creation of the world, 
and their story of the origin of the human race is 

Is it then a matter for wonderment that these wild 
children of illimite'd barren wastes, dwellers in a 
land of mournful solitudes, should cherish in their 
hearts strange illusions, or weird phantasies of the 
dread unknown ? In a land where the fickle and 
short-lived summer gives place for long weary 
months to the chill, fierce grip of ice and snow, 
when nature is clothed in garbs of cruelty, and 
seldom smiles in gentle moods; where in southern 
regions the sighing of the wind moans through 
dense, silent forests, or across northern wastes, icy 
blasts rush down from snow-clad mountain tops to 
mingle in wild cadence with tempestuous waves on 
a storm-swept, desolate coast. 

During our brief stay in Dutch Harbour we paid 
several visits to the adjacent picturesque little settle- 
ment of Unalaska, and upon one of these occasions 
we were fortunate enough to encounter a man named 
Macdonald. He had spent many years on these 
coasts, having been skipper of a sealing schooner in 
the palmy days when the valuable sea-otter and fur 
seals were still numerous along the Bering Sea 
shores. In course of conversation with Captain 
Clemsen, this man displayed such an intimate know- 


ledge of the various bays, islands, and rivers along 
the coast that the former felt Macdonald's services 
would be a welcome addition to our party. So, 
finally, on fairly reasonable terms for a white man 
in Alaska, we induced him to accompany us as far as 
the Kuskokwim River, whence we promised to send 
him back to Unalaska in the Lily, as she returned 
to await our arrival in Cook's Inlet. 

Macdonald's local knowledge proved of the greatest 
benefit to us, and also to our skipper, for probably 
without his assistance we should never have success- 
fully sailed along those treacherous coasts, nor found 
the haunts of several species of big game which we 

As the season was now so far advanced, and the 
weather getting decidedly warm, we were anxious 
to push on in order to obtain a few specimens of the 
great bears which inhabit the Bering Sea coasts of 
Alaska. As soon, then, as a favourable breeze set 
in we bade " adieu " to Dutch Harbour, and shaped 
our course N.E., standing in along the shore as near 
as we dared to sail. 

Making good progress under a full spread of 
canvas the Lily glided past Akutan Island, affording 
us magnificent views of its lofty snow-clad mountain 
peak, and then past Akun Island, across the entrance 
to Unimak Pass. Here countless thousands of sea 
birds congregated, the most numerous species seem- 
ing to be a large dark-coloured petrel, which wheeled 
and flew about the vessel in huge flocks. Far as the 


eye could reach the air was black with pinions. Here 
were wheeling flights of eider ducks, guillemots, 
puffins, scoters, and various kinds of gulls, all pass- 
ing to and fro in bewildering profusion, winging 
their way by day and night either from or to their 
breeding grounds which are situated far from the 
haunts of men. 

Never throughout my travels in many lands have 
I seen such countless numbers of birds assembled 
in one place, and probably the reason of it was that 
Unimak Pass is the main highroad through which 
these birds passage from North to South, and vice 
versa. In fact it may be called the parting of the 
ways between Arctic regions and more temperate 
climes, for here is the spot where first the mighty 
Pacific Ocean meets in endless strife with those turbu- 
lent waters of the Bering Sea. Few men who have 
sailed along these coasts can relate that they have 
ever seen the waters here peaceful and calm. 

As night came on the wind veered round and almost 
died away, leaving us floundering and wallowing in 
that most unpleasant thing of all, a heavy tide rip. 
For sheer discomfort commend me to a sailing vessel 
becalmed in such a place. The utter feeling of help- 
lessness, added to the qualms of mal-de-mer, with a 
glorious uncertainty as to when the next breeze may 
come, whilst with idly flapping sails a ship wallows 
in the trough of choppy waves, this indeed is the 
acme of misery. 

Next morning those of us who could sleep under 


these trying conditions awoke to find the Lily engaged 
in tacking against a head wind. This again in rough 
waters is neither pleasant nor a speedy means of pro- 
gress, and as Agnes graphically described it, the 
whole business reminded her of a mouse which runs 
around a washing tub, taking endless trouble in 
travelling a long way to reach the point from which 
it first started. 

It is a long lane, however, which has no turning, 
and rarer still is a wind in the Bering Sea which 
does not quickly shift. Thus, as once more the wind 
veered round and blew steadily off shore, we soon 
found our good ship tearing along through the waters 
helped by a spanking breeze. Close hauled, under 
every stitch of canvas which the skipper dared set 
up, the Lily displayed her finest sailing powers. 
Heeling over with our starboard gunwale half under 
water she went ploughing through the waves, sending 
showers of spray from beneath her bows as we leapt 
buoyantly over the deep, smashing and driving her 
sharp prow into those foaming crests as if rejoicing 
in taking revenge upon the wicked waters which had 
buffeted her for long weary hours whilst she lay help- 
less on their bosom. 

Swiftly we sped along the shores of Unimak Island, 
a barren, desolate coast, but the island is interesting 
to sportsmen, for it is the most western point of 
Alaska upon which both bears and caribou are found. 
According to the natives these latter animals repeat- 
edly swim from the mainland to the island, a distant 
of some two or three miles across Falk's Pass or 



Isanotski Straits. Here we would fain have landed, 
but Macdonald said no safe anchorage could be found 
along the Bering Sea coasts of the island, and if 
we persisted and insisted on doing so the Lily must 
perforce abandon us, and sail on many miles ere she 
could find a sheltered harbour. 



(By the Leader of the Expedition) 

Thus will I save my credit in the shoot 

Love's Labour s Lost 
Was ever man had such luck 

You seem to me as Dian 

Much Ado About Nothing 

AT last we came to a place called Izenbeck Bay, and 
here Macdonald said we should find a harbour of 
refuge, and moreover declared that bears were plen- 
tiful upon the mainland near this spot. The entrance 
to this bay was sheltered by a chain of low sandy 
islands, which occur at intervals with great regularity 
along the Bering Sea coast, and are perhaps the 
most uninviting, dreary-looking spots on earth. 
Nevertheless, after many hours of enforced idleness 
and certain discomforts since our departure from 
Dutch Harbour, we all yearned to go ashore and 
stretch our legs once more. So our skipper steered 
a course between the islands and dropped anchor in 
the sheltered bay. 

It was too late in the day to attempt a landing on 
our arrival, but early next morning we decided on 
making two expeditions from the ship, Agnes to 



accompany me, Ralph taking Cecily to another point 
upon the mainland; each party taking one native, 
and two men rowing the flat-bottomed dories. The 
latter boats we found most useful for drawing close 
in to shore, since here the gently sloping, sandy 
bottom was often only covered with a few inches of 
water fully a mile from shore. It usually ended 
in what the Americans call "a gum-boot proposi- 
tion," since every one had to don rubber boots and 
wade ashore for considerable distances ; men being 
always left in charge of the boat to pull her farther 
in, or push her farther out, as the tide came in or 

After going through the customary performance of 
wading ashore, Agnes and I landed on a small sand- 
spit, near which a little river flowed into the lagoon. 
In the river countless humpbacks and dog salmon 
were running up to spawn, and far as the eye could 
reach up the stream was seen an endless piscine pro* 
cession. In many places the stream was only a few 
inches deep, but, nothing daunted, here the fish were 
seen struggling upwards in thousands with their fins 
and backs clear out of the water, all going to their 
spawning beds. 

Here they mate, and soon afterwards perish miser- 
ably, since none of these fish ever live to return to 
the sea when once they have spawned. Whether it 
is the action of fresh water upon them after sojourn- 
ing in the sea, or whether it is the actual process of 
spawning which exhausts these fish, it is hard to say, 
but the fact remains that of the countless millions of 


these salmon which ascend the rivers of the Bering 
Sea and Pacific Ocean none ever live to return again 
into the sea. Their anadromous habits appear to 
be the cause of a cruel waste of life amongst these 
fish. If they would only take any form of lure in 
fresh water an angler might break all world's records 
with a rod and line upon some of these far Northern 

Although we repeatedly tried with flies and spoons, 
we never moved a salmon of any kind when once 
they had entered and commenced to run in any of 
the rivers which we visited. This remark does not, 
however, apply to certain of the salmon on these 
shores when they are in tidal waters, and in fact we 
took a number of the fine king salmon, and also 
many of the silver salmon by trolling and casting 
a spoon at the mouths of the rivers where these fish 
were running. During summer, and in the fall, 
salmon form the staple food of the Alaskan bears, 
and it was easy to see from recent tracks along the 
banks and sandy beach that this river was the haunt 
of more than one of these four-footed fishermen. 
But as the afternoon sun was still high in the heavens, 
and as by now we had learned the habits of these 
bears sufficiently to know that their feeding times are 
late in the evenings or early mornings, we rightly 
surmised that it was wasting time to go in quest of 
game just then. 

Since Agnes had come out with murderous intent, 
she needs must slay something to while away an 
hour. And thus she set off to the boat, again return- 


ing triumphant with a boat-hook which she said was 
to be improvised as a new form of fishing-rod. In 
vain I pleaded that we had been told that these two 
kinds of salmon were not really nice to eat. She 
merely retorted 

" How do you know until you have tried them 
yourself ? I do not believe all I hear in Alaska, and 
not always what I see, so therefore you can watch 
me catch a salmon, and help me eat it afterwards." 

True to her word she very soon hooked out several 
fine fish, weighing about eight or ten pounds each ; in 
fact the whole procedure was ridiculously easy, since 
the fish kept jostling each other up over the shallows 
in such crowds that many of them were almost driven 
ashore by sheer weight of numbers. Agnes, who 
does not profess to be a fisherman, had no compunc- 
tion in slaying about half-a-dozen in this unsports- 
manlike fashion. I am bound to confess that when 
subsequently cooked on our return to the ship these 
fish were by no means bad eating, although the 
colour of their flesh was almost white, and they could 
not compare, in my opinion, with the magnificent 
king salmon, which when fresh killed is almost as 
good as the true Salmo solar of European waters. 

As it drew towards evening we decided to follow 
up the river bank and take up some position whence 
we could obtain a view towards the distant foot- 
hills from which we knew bears must come, since it 
was here that they laid up by day, hidden in dense 
alders which heavily fringe the hillsides. In its 
lower reaches the river flowed through a low, sandy 


plain on which in places long patches of coarse grass 
were growing, whilst here and there we crossed soft 
boggy spots covered with dwarf moss and rushes, 
typical tundra of barren Arctic lands. 

A mile or more ahead of us there rose a sandy hill 
which domineered the whole country. So bidding 
the men remain with the boat until we should return, 
Agnes and I set out to reconnoitre from the distant 
hillock. On arrival there we found that all the 
ground between us and the foothills for at least a 
mile was clearly visible from the summit. 

Outlined on the plain lay the snake-like windings 
of the river, till it disappeared from view behind a 
distant spur of the foothills. Dotted at intervals over 
the open tundra were a few roving caribou, which 
in this district are classified by American mammal- 
ogists under the scientific name of Rangifer granti. 
Knowing that the bulls' horns were still in velvet we 
left them unmolested, contenting ourselves with a 
careful scrutiny of the river banks on which we hoped 
ere long to see our friends the ursine fishermen. 

All along the river banks well-worn bear trails 
ran, signs that for generations these huge beasts had 
wandered up and down the stream. Beside the shallow 
places numerous fresh tracks, some of them gigantic 
in size, showed that bears came daily down to fish. 
In many spots we found partly-eaten bodies of dead 
salmon, where the bears had hauled the fish out into 
the high patches of grass, and there devoured their 
bodies, leaving usually the head and tail parts only. 

Whilst walking up the stream, and even on the 


hilltop, countless hordes of mosquitoes viciously 
attacked us, and as this was our first experience of 
these pests, we had come out unprovided with 
mosquito nets. No one, until they have seen mos- 
quitoes in these northern latitudes, can imagine what 
their numbers are, nor the misery which they inflict 
on men and beasts alike, and although I have battled 
with these pests in torrid zones and tropical climes, 
yet never have their numbers and ferocity equalled 
anything which I have encountered amongst these 
voracious blood-suckers in the Arctic regions of 
Alaska and Siberia, where during the summer months 
men and beasts are seldom free from their attacks 
by day or night. Since the breeze was blowing 
downwards from the hills I ventured then to light a 
pipe, and by this means repelled a number of the 
venomous insects, but for Agnes, who does not smoke 
" penny poisons," otherwise cigarettes, there was 
little peace, until at last a gentle rain commenced to 
fall and drove away our unwelcome visitors to shelter 
beneath the clustering grasses. 

We scarcely hoped to see a bear before the dim 
and mystic hours of twilight, but a fact that never 
entered into our calculations was that here, remote 
from even the haunts of native men, these beasts had 
roamed for ages immune from all attacks of their 
dread enemies the human race. 

And so perchance they had grown callous or far 
bolder than their species is in the hunted districts of 
Alaska. Thus it was with no small joy, whilst the 
light was good, we simultaneously espied a huge 


skulking form slowly emerge from a distant patch 
of alders, and there in the full light of a setting sun 
stood the most gigantic specimen of a bear which 
either of us had ever seen. 

Although fully half-a-mile from us it needed not 
the assistance of our glasses to tell us that here indeed 
was a king amongst bears, for standing on a patch 
of the bare hillside the brute looked, as Agnes said, 
as big as an elephant. 

He seemed in no hurry to descend the hillside, but 
remained a while as if listening, lifting his great head 
as though sniffing the air in quest of scenting any 
hidden danger. We knew that as far as we were 
concerned everything was safe, since the wind was 
blowing straight towards us. 

Presently the bear began to move, and slowly, with 
a rolling gait, he descended to the river bank. On 
arriving there a curious metamorphosis took place in 
the antics of the bear, for suddenly the ungainly brute 
appeared as active as a kitten. After standing 
motionless on the bank for a moment he sprang into 
the water, and a second afterwards appeared gallop- 
ing up the bank with a salmon in his mouth. The 
whole performance was so quick, and the distance 
was so great, that we were unable to see how the 
actual capture of this fish had been effected. But 
upon subsequent occasions when closely watching 
these great bears fishing, I observed that they always 
pounce upon a fish, transfixing it in shallow water 
with their claws, and then carry it to the bank in their 
mouth. Once on land they retire to some thick patch 


of grass, or friendly screen of bushes, where they 
eat their prey, and soon return in quest of others. 
One salmon of ten pounds by no means suffices these 
monsters for a single meal. 

Then the question arose as to how best we should 
make an approach and get within shooting distance of 
the bear. The whole ground lying between us was 
destitute of cover, save for the high grass growing on 
the river banks, and the only thing to do appeared to 
be to follow the water course. Quickly then we clam- 
bered down, and hastened at our best pace up along 
the river side. Fortunately the stream was very low, 
and had receded from the banks, leaving on either 
side a miniature beach of sand and pebbles, over 
which the travelling was easy. Thanks to the wind- 
ing course, the river bed was securely screened from 
the spot where Bruin fished. And fish he did, for 
not even Agnes with her boat-hook was as certain 
as this beast whenever he essayed a strike. During 
our stalk, which lasted barely twenty minutes, we 
observed the bear make a raid three successive times, 
and each time he returned triumphant with a salmon 
to his feeding spot upon the bank. So intent was 
he on his fishing operations that I think we might 
have crawled to within a few yards of his lair if an 
unforeseen contretemps had not arisen. 

Agnes and I had called a temporary halt behind 
some tall overhanging grasses, to regain breath ere 
making the final advance nearer to the spot at which 
the bear came down each time to a shallow place, 
and close by which we knew he was still devouring 


his last caught fish. We had been so intent on 
watching the particular patch of grass in which we 
knew our quarry lay that neither of us looked to 
right or left. Suddenly, as though it were from out 
of space above us, on the bank there loomed the 
head and shoulders of another bear. So close indeed 
it stood that we could well have hit it with a twelve- 
foot fishing-rod. Just for a moment I cannot say 
who looked the most surprised, but of the three of us 
trie bear was the quickest to recover, and then, with 
a snort and kind of frightened squeal, it dashed off 
up the bank towards where the other beast was 

Standing erect I quickly saw the newcomer was a 
small beast compared with our former friend. But 
one thing now was certain, namely, that the smaller 
beast would pass and warn the other of approaching 
danger by its mad stampede. Seeing this I said to 
Agnes, " Come quickly, and follow me." 

We started running along the bank towards the 
high grass where we last had seen the big bear 
disappear. As we reached a point about a hundred 
yards away from this spot the huge beast stood erect, 
and for an instant gazed towards us as we ran. 
Realizing that this was our last chance for a steady 
shot, I stopped and bade Agnes take the first shot 
at the beast. As she hurriedly took aim the great 
bear swung round and started off at a lumbering 
gallop for the nearest cover, which was a large patch 
of alders growing on the hillside. Agnes was using 
a double-barrelled '375 rifle, and at her first shot I 


saw the sand fly up just beneath the bear, and he 
passed on untouched. At her second shot the beast 
lurched forward and almost fell, but in a moment 
had recovered and started off again as if not badly 
wounded. Seeing that we were likely to lose the 
animal unless I could contribute to his discomfort, 
I drew a bead upon him, and just as Agnes had done 
I pulled off and shot low at my first attempt, but the 
second bullet from my heavy '450 cordite rifle fairly 
bowled the bear upon its side. 

By this time he had almost gained the shelter of 
the bushes, and ere either of us could reload the 
beast once more recovered, and though apparently 
very sick, disappeared into the high alders. 

My disgust at seeing the huge beast disappear 
can be better imagined than described, and although 
I knew that he was mortally wounded there was little 
hope of finding him if left till the morrow, because 
a soaking rain had then set in which would probably 
obliterate all tracks and blood trail within a few hours' 

Turning to Agnes I said, " If you will stay here a 
little while, I am going to try and find that bear." 

I was fully prepared for her laconic reply, " And 
me too." 

It is characteristic of Agnes Herbert that she does 
not waste words on such occasions as these, and 
realizing that to argue with her under the circum- 
stances was but a useless waste of time and breath, 
I was at some trouble to make up my mind as to 
what was the right course to follow, knowing full 


well that to pursue a wounded bear into such dense 
brush was, to put it mildly, looking for trouble. 

Therefore I reluctantly said, " Very well, then we 
will leave him till to-morrow, and send the men to 
look for the brute." 

Assuming great indignation, Agnes said, " I be- 
lieve you are afraid to follow a wounded bear into 
the bush." 

It has always been a mystery to me why Eve had 
not sufficient cunning to outwit a snake, because her 
descendants have more than enough sagacity to out- 
wit the average man. Agnes is no exception to this 
rule, since full well she knew that nothing could have 
stung me to action quicker than this taunt. 

"Very well," I said, falling into her trap, "if 
you think so come and see, but you are to keep be- 
hind me all the way." 

Now Bruin haH entered the brush by a well-worn 
trail, and soon we found ourselves threading a way 
between the dense alders and thick grasses which 
grew beneath them, the latter often reaching to our 
shoulders. The huge tracks were plainly visible 
every yard along the trail, whilst here and there 
great blood tracks, deep splashes on the grass and 
twigs, showed that our quarry was baclly wounded. 
Our rate of progress was not rapid, since in many 
places it was necessary to crawl between big alder 
stems which these huge bears, owing to their weight, 
can force aside as easily as we could do with grass 
or rushes. 

How far we had gone I reckoned not, as with my 


eyes intently fixed upon the tracks I slowly plodded 

Suddenly, without any perceptible sound, a huge 
body rose beside me, scarcely two yards away, and 
so quiet an'd silent was the movement that Agnes 
had uttered a warning cry of, " Look to your left !" 
ere I realized that the wounded animal was standing 
almost within arm's-reach of me. 

Just for a moment I stood irresolute, since I have 
proved to my own personal satisfaction that the old 
adage, " quick as thought," is a misnomer when 
applied to minute seconds in which we face a mortal 
peril. And although both sight and sound warned 
me now of this threatening danger, it took the torpid 
mind a second before it bade my limbs bestir them- 
selves to fend off a disaster. In one brief instant a 
thousand schemes were crowded into one, the net 
result of which was that I needs must shoot or run. 
By many writers we have seen these moments spoken 
of as if they lasted ages, yet for me the fleeting second 
seemed too short a space in which to come to a 

And, horresco referens, just for a moment also I 
forgot the imminent danger in which my companion 

But with her it was otherwise, for even now the 
scene comes vividly back to me of seeing Agnes 
raise her rifle, and ere yet my inert muscles could 
obey the brain's command, a shot rang out, and reel- 
ing like a drunken man the vast brute crashed for- 
ward with a bullet through his skull ; so close indeed 


it was that only by jumping nimbly aside was I 
enabled to avoid the impact of the fall. 

Then to me there came that moment of reaction in 
which, reflecting on a recent peril, we think what 
might have happened had things turned out other- 
wise. Such moments do not come often in a life- 
time, and still rarer are the occasions on which men 
owe their lives to the cool courage of a woman. As 
a full significance of the facts broke upon my clouded 
senses, I found Agnes smiling, and furtively regard- 
ing both me and the fallen beast. Suddenly the 
magnitude of my debt to her arose clear in my mind, 
high above all other thoughts, and thereby possibly 
awakening sentiments which hitherto I had done my 
best to despise. 

Here, reader of mine, lest you should expect a 
dissertation or a treatise on the gentle arts of Cupid, 
let me preface the following remarks with a statement 
that, according to strict compact with my collabor- 
ator in this " work," I am excused from the recording 
of all sentimental episodes. 

Suffice it therefore if I say that I walked to where 
Agnes stood, and as she held her smoking rifle in 
one hand, I took possession of the other, and look- 
ing squarely into her brave eyes I said, " Little 
woman, you have saved my life, and for that I pay 
thee toll." 

What the nature of the toll was is left for you to 



Fortune brings in some ships that are not steer'd 


AFTER the Izenbeck Bay hunting, during which we 
bagged two fine specimens of Ursus dalli gyas, our 
pilot, whose knowledge of the Bering Sea was said 
to be like Sam Weller's acquaintance with London, 
" extensive and peculiar," advised making for a bay 
in the vicinity of Cape Rodgnof, and the Lily set her 
nose into a bank of fog which rose, white and insidi- 
ous, before us. But if one waits for the fog to clear 
in these parts one may wait for ever. Fog is the 
normal condition of the Bering Sea. 

Captain Clemsen did not profess to have any great 
knowledge of the coves and inlets where we would 
fain hunt; his acquaintance with the regions north- 
ward was confined to the ordinary route taken by 
sailing vessels. He struck me as being most cordi- 
ally thankful to have some one aboard who would 
undertake to manoeuvre our craft through the rocky, 
treacherous sea which lay ahead of us. 

The following morning, very early, our new man, 
a canny Scotchman too, surpassed himself and 
inaugurated his reign with eclat, and no mistake 
about it. 



The day broke very cold, so cold that I had gone 
back to my parka, a costume we had discarded since 
June came in with smiling days. We were feeling our 
way for the breeze was light, and the sea for a wonder 
calm through a dense fog, doing our best to creep 
into a safe anchorage in a near-by creek thoroughly 
well known to our pilot, when suddenly, apropos of 
nothing, with a horrible grating sound we struck a 
submerged rock, and swung there on its table top like 
a see-saw. The serious side of the affair was quite 
swamped for me by the ludicrous conduct of the 
Leader, who rushed to me in the greatest excitement, 
and made the most embarrassingly strenuous efforts 
to tear my parka from my back. " Get the thing off 
at once," he said; " if the ship goes down you'll be 
drowned like a rat in a trap," which was quite a 
mistake, I imagine, for my parka was of caribou-skin, 
and a caribou is an animated lifebuoy, every hair 
being hollow, and consequently buoyant. That is 
the reason, I think, why caribou swim so exceptionally 
high out of the water. 

But I am digressing, and I left the Lily in a terrible 
quandary upon a rocky pinnacle. 

We all calmed down in a moment or two, as nothing 
more untoward appeared likely to happen, and as the 
tide rose fortunately for us the tide was coming in 
at the time of the disaster the ship rose also, and 
presently got some way on, and we knew that we 
were clear. None of the planks seemed to have 
started or suffered from the impact so far as we could 
judge, but the steering gear was totally disabled, and 



the schooner did not answer to her helm at all. As 
it was not the moment to try conclusions, we got out 
a dory and towed. Hard work and slow, but effective 
enough, and by nightfall we had run the gauntlet of 
the fog, and made the looked-for creek set in a waste 
of tundra. 

On the greater part of the Bering Sea the low- 
lying tundra rises from the beaches or coast line like 
vast, rolling prairie meadows. So smooth and invit- 
ing it looks, and yet appearances are deceptive in 
tundras as in so many other things, and the whole 
place is more often than not a quagmire and morass. 
In places the marshes are really deep, in others just 
wet and spongy. Beneath the tundra the ground is 
for ever frozen, and only the surface thaws out each 
year. The grassy plains in summer are gardens full 
of blazing flowers lupines, yellow anemones, calypso 
orchids a scheme of tints impossible to any master 
mind save that of nature. With the dull brown for 
background, the wonderful colours spread with lavish 
hand in labyrinthine splendour look like a matchless 
carpet of fairy weaving. 

Here on the tundras countless birds build their 
nests black and red throated divers, geese, terns, 
scoters and all the air vibrates with the numerous 
calls. Again and again ring out the newly-acquired 
love-notes of the golden plover, his shrill whistle 
changed to a tender cry, alluring and joyous. In 
solitary pairs, with chequered wings, the golden 
plovers lighted on the grassy expanse and sang " their 
wild notes to the listening waste." As our home 


birds do, the plovers of the tundras play-acted little 
comedies of death in life to detract our attention from 
the nesting-place. One bird flew on before me one 
afternoon feigning to be wounded, dropping with 
ruffled feathers, helpless, into a crumpled mass, and 
even as I stopped to raise the piteous little heap was 
up and off again, fluttering on stronger wing away 
and away from the zone of her nest. 

The Lily being on the sick-list, we decided to take 
our chance of getting a bear or so in the country round 
about us. The creek in which we lay up was on the 
Unimak side of Cape Rodgnof, and a serviceable 
little river flowed down the valley to the sea. 

Prospecting round, we came on undoubted traces of 
the former presence of caribou, numberless shed 
antlers denoting the fact that, as our men told us, the 
caribou in their hundreds seek this part of the pen- 
insula in the fall of the year. Careful scrutiny of all 
the hills around with powerful glasses failed to reveal 
to us a caribou in the flesh, but Ned, backed up by 
the beautiful and beneficent arrangement which 
permits natives to kill game in and out of season, went 
off on a shoot of his own, and spoored to some purpose, 
for he returned with a caribou bull with the tiniest of 
horns, protruding about four inches from the head, 
and as soft as putty. Our hunter said he required the 
animal for food, when I remarked that it seemed a pity 
to kill so wantonly. Which was pretty cool of him, 
considering that both our men had been, up to then, 
gorging like boa-constrictors daily at our expense. 

Our idea was to camp up river some way, and 


reaching the foot-hills we might calculate on wood for 
fires. Here, on the desolate coast, timber was at a 
premium, and the great white, wave-washed baulks, 
which are so large a feature of the beaches fringing 
the Pacific, were few and far between. 

A native settlement of three huts lay a mile to our 
westward, and one of the inhabitants promptly arrived 
to offer his services. Being rather short handed for 
a tow up-stream we engaged our find after some diffi- 
culty. He could not speak a word of English, and 
everything we, said had to be arranged and translated 
by Ned. 

We loaded up a dory, and with our new man in his 
bidarka towing another, conveying more stores, we set 
out up the banks of the river. This towing business 
was very heavy work, as the water rushed very heavily 
down stream, and frequently our men could make no 
headway at all, and the only means of forward pro- 
gression was to give the tow-rope a turn round a 
rock some way ahead, and then pull up to it. On 
the second day we reached quite dense alder scrub. 
Here on the river sides, and in the marshy hollows 
where an evil-smelling yellow plant grew, we dis- 
covered fairly recent tracks of bears, and deciding that 
this particular spot would do us very nicely, Cecily 
and I suggested to the Leader and Ralph that they 
should seek pastures new up the stream, and shoot 
over the neighbourhood some miles farther on. This 
plan was carried nem. con.; and Steve and Ned, 
being allotted to us, set about halving the stores, and 
setting up the tents. 

HSi '.' r'" 

v, - . 


Hanging on to the end of a bough of a dwarf alder 
I found the nest of the golden-crown kinglet, an 
exquisite in tiny birds, so aptly named too. The 
majestic title of king would o'erweight so small a 
monarch, and a monarch he is, for he is crowned with 
gold. The nest was a very dainty residence. Moss 
comprised the outer covering and feathers lined the 
inside, and to compact and cement the whole structure 
the spiders had contributed of their webs. The 
golden-crowned kinglet fluttered round me in 
anguished dismay as I neared his domicile, for his 
queen was at home, and her smaller tiara flashed in 
the sun as she slid out and made a bid for safety. 
There were seven eggs in the nest, white, with yellow- 
brown speckles, and I withdrew to a little distance, 
and lay concealed until I saw the little queen return 
in complete contentment. 

That very same evening our luck was astonishing, 
for, prowling along the river slopes, over ground 
which must have been covered by Ralph and the 
Leader, we saw a large bear standing meditating on 
a little knoll. We were all on the same side of the 
river, and probably not more than two hundred yards 
separated us. 

The bear instantaneously scented danger and whipped 
off, with surprising agility for so large a bulk, towards 
the alder scrub. I threw up my rifle, and at that 
same instant Steve, who was immediately behind me, 
took it on himself to order the proceedings, and in 
quite loud tones said, "Shoot, shoot now!" To 
emphasize his remark he gave me a decidedly vigor- 


ous push as though to indicate the precise moment 
for me to pull the trigger. My shot, naturally, fell 
very wide indeed, and went ricochetting into space. 
Cecily got in two, which she declared were effective, 
because she saw the disappearing animal half stop 
and raise himself as the bullets told. As the bear 
must by then have been quite two hundred yards away 
from us I confess I had my doubts. Cecily had none, 
and we followed our bear up immediately. It was as 
though the earth had swallowed him. 

We spoored in every direction, trying to pick up 
the trail, but there was nothing to guide us. The 
grass-covered ground gave no sign of the bear's 
passing, and every clump of alders looked like another. 
At last Cecily, stooping, discovered the faintest spot 
of blood, and taking lines to various points we came 
on another and another. A dense fastness of alders 
lay ahead, and as we cautiously neared the place a 
low continuous growling met our ears, changing to 
ugly snarls and short, savage throaty mutterings. 
We prepared for action, confidently expecting to be 
charged. We could see nothing but the alders 
stirring in the light breeze, and though they 
were so stunted they were thick enough to be a bit 
of a poser. To go in recklessly meant a certain 
mauling, to remain outside and await developments 
required time, and this last was just what we had 
not got. 

Night, like "the big black crow" of Alice's ad- 
ventures, darkened all the sky. The only common- 
sense solution of the difficulty was to wait for the 


morning hours. The bear could not travel far, he 
was evidently seriously disabled, and as Steve said, 
" Him very sick." Reluctantly and regretfully we 
abandoned the chase for the day, and it was well we 
did so, for the sky grew black and overcast ere we 
made camp, and our bearings were not of the 
clearest. This because Steve took us what he called 
"a short cut," and like many other short routes it 
proved in the end to be the longest way round. 

As to Steve well, I expressed to him, in no mild 
terms, what George Moore calls " the thought at the 
back of one's mind." Cecily backed me up, and said 
that speaking from the point of view of an unbiassed 
observer she considered Steve to be a real rotter as 
far as bear hunting is concerned. That made me 
laugh, and I forgot to be cross any more. For there 
are so few fair and unbiassed observers in the world. 
The majority of us can only count one, and natural 
modesty won't allow us to give him a name. 

All that night Cecily worried on about the wounded 
bear left out in the bush. It was a great, if impos- 
sible-to-be-helped, pity. It is a hateful thought that 
you didn't kill your animal straight out, and that, 
in consequence of some negligence on your part, the 
creature is at large, suffering. " A small thing, but 
it troubled me," said Mr. Pepys, as he tore his new 
cloak on the door, and this small trouble weighed on 
us all night and drove sleep away. We were not 
sporting enough, I suppose, to be indifferent. 

Might it be that, being women, we could not learn 
to take such normal accidents pertaining to the chase 


with calmness ? After all, are not pin-pricks notori- 
ously harder to bear than a good rapier-thrust, which 
needs must be attended to? Balzac, most wonderful 
of observers, held that more men commit suicide be- 
cause a few pin-pricks follow one on the other than 
from some terrific trouble. Of course we didn't feel 
like committing suicide, but we got up in an agreeable 
blend between night and morning, and went out after 
the wounded bear before we had our breakfast. 
Which is suicidal in tendency. Breakfast is the main 
stand-by of the Briton, and by their breakfasts ye 
shall know them. 

We decided to have nothing to do with either of our 
hunters, whose methods of stalking were much too 
slap-dash for us, and sallied forth alone. We took 
the exact route of the previous night, and gained the 
alder fastness in no time. Everything was very 
silent. Save for the liquid notes of a hermit thrush 
carolling his song to the dawn, the wilderness was not 
awake. Cautiously we investigated, keeping together. 
It was no use entering the place from opposite sides, 
for, in the event of a scrimmage, we might shoot one 

Making a wide detour, circling the spot, we came 
up in the rear of the place where last night our enemy 
had entrenched himself. The citadel was much easier 
carried thus. With great care and discretion we 
penetrated the clump of alders, and each step we took 
was on the impress of myriad bear tracks. This way 
and that the trails ran, evidently the fastness was a 
favourite haunt of Bruin's. As we progressed we 


gassed bed after bed, and then through a maze of 
intervening boughs we caught sight of something 
bulky, something brown, lying on the pressed down 
branches of a fragile tree. It was our bear ! Cecily 
touched my arm, and signed to me to ask whether or 
no she should make certain sure by putting a bullet 
into the prone form. It was, of course, the most 
sensible thing to do, but I did not like the idea at all. 
Talk about hitting a man when he's down ! 

We shouted instead and beat the bushes, but the 
great brown bear never stirred. He was dead indeed, 
and had lain so for some hours. As he lay huddled 
up we recognized that he was a fine beast, of huge 
size and girth, and belonged to the variety known as 
Ursus dalli gyas. 

Getting back to camp for breakfast we sent out the 
men to commence skinning operations, and made 
them take an axe along in order that the ground might 
be cleared around the carcase and permit of the busi- 
ness being thoroughly done. After a little time we 
returned to the scene of action, because we were rather 
curious to discover how and why Cecily's bullets had 
taken effect so expeditiously, when, as it appeared to 
us, she was badly placed for a shot, and the possi- 
bilities were against her. The first bullet had entered 
behind the shoulder joint, and raking through had 
passed the heart by a quarter of an inch only, and ex- 
panding had caused considerable internal havoc. The 
second shot had splintered a rib and finally lodged in 
the off-shoulder muscles. 

On the way back to camp we found the first ptarmi- 


gan's nest, and the hen was sitting. It was placed on 
a hillside exposed to the sun, and farther on we came 
on quite a small colony of nests. Most of them had 
five eggs and some three. 

We spent the rest of the day cleaning our bear's 
skull and watching the men prepare the skin for dry- 
ing. They sat down on the ground, tailor-fashion, 
with the pelt across their knees, holding a bit of it 
between the teeth, and then, with a sharp knife, every 
piece of fat and meat adhering to the hide was rapidly 
picked off. The dexterity displayed was amazing, 
and must have come of years of practice. 

Cecily compounded some bear soup that evening, 
and rendered camp hideous with its smell. It was a 
very poor imitation of soup, for though we stewed it 
and stewed it the strength of the flesh did not seem 
to go into the liquid at all, which remained much as 
it came from the river, save for masses of floating fat 
and nauseating taste. 

The day had been so perfect, the great day of the 
finding of our bear, dead in his sanctuary. We had 
even seen the frail wraith of a butterfly, fluttering 
weakly over the river into which it fell, and ended its 
brief career. The air blew warm until late evening, 
and the mosquitoes advanced on us in force, with 
reserve battalions and flanking parties. We had to 
light smudge fires all about us, cost what labour they 
might in gathering wood. We turned in at last to 
get away from the pests, and left the river bank re- 
luctantly, for Mr. and Mrs. Otter, who lived next door 
to us, had not been out to say " Salaam." We had 


watched their holt for an hour or more with no sort 
of success. 

We slept cosily until the dawn, to waken to hear 
the wild god Boreas rushing down from the mountain 
tops to beat with tempestuous purple wings against 
the walls of spring. 

"Tarry yet awhile!" whistled the keen breath of 
the snow-sheeted mountains. "Tarry yet awhile!" 

And as if in mockery the proud and laughing 
chuckle of the cock ptarmigan echoed across the 

Then followed a couple of days of icy blasts, driving 
rains and hail. Our tents could scarce stand up 
against the war of Nature's forces. Fireless we lived 
in philosophical discomfort. I think we made more 
of our uncomfortable situation than needs be, because, 
all the time, the proximity of the Lily, and the recol- 
lection of her comforts, made odious comparisons to 
our minds. 

Another day of villainous weather finished us off, 
but as the Leader and Ralph had taken the flotilla 
along with them, we could do nothing but wait until 
they called for us on the way coastwards. We began 
to formulate impossible schemes for a trek, and just 
then, fortunately, the dory came swirling by and 
drove right into a bank below us, she had so much 
way orn We soon got our trophy and the tents 
aboard, and with the Leader for pilot I set out 
in a bidarka, Cecily, Ralph and Ned annexing the 

We had a lively time on our lightning voyage, for 


the water ran strong, and the eddies and rapids were 
numerous. There was little for the paddler to do 
but keep the canoe head on. We flashed down to the 
coast in the shortest of short times, mud banks, gravel 
reaches, stunted alders, rocky ramparts, and grass- 
grown slopes passing in kaleidoscopic swift array. A 
red fox stood by the river side as the first bidarka 
raced by, and I saw him loping off, with bushy brush 
held straight out, in flurried surprise. 

At the cove where the Lily lay we were quite aston- 
ished to notice the numbers of hair seals, which had 
arrived in their myriads since our departure. The 
lure of the salmon so soon about to run up the river 
had caused the influx. We did not try to shoot a 
specimen, because when the seals are thin and in 
spare condition it is impossible to recover the carcases, 
which sink to the bottom like stones. The natives 
kill these seals for bidarka coverings, shoes, etc., etc., 
in the late season, August and September, when the 
creatures are fat and rolling in blubber. Buoyed up 
with good living the dead bodies float to the surface. 

" Once aboard the lugger " things were not exactly 
halcyon. The cook, who was now a teetotaler from 
force of circumstances, refused to make porridge, or 
" mush," as they always called it, for the pilot, who, 
being Scotch, required porridge to sustain his strength. 
When asked why he did not make porridge without 
so much fuss, the cook replied that the pilot could not 
really need such a dish, and if he did he ought not to. 
They were both at loggerheads of the most cross-, 
grained variety. 


Tom, our cabin boy, confided to me that the 
porridge question was merely a side issue, and the 
cause of the rumpus lay in the fact that the pilot had, 
inadvertently, it is to be hoped, drunk the last re- 
maining bottle of the cook's whisky, his one ewe lamb 
of a bottle. Tom told each of us in turn, and always 
as a great secret. He knew, I suppose, that a secret 
is not thoroughly established as a secret until it has 
been confided to several people. A one-man secret is 
a make-believe affair. 

The cook was bribed with a bottle of whisky from 
our stores, a casual, no-reason-at-all sort of present; 
so the porridge was forthcoming and the pilot's 
strength supported, though whether the piloting was 

any better but the Leader wants to talk about that 

before very long. 

Many varieties of ducks paddled about the cove, 
and helped us in the commissariat department. Pin- 
tail were the best eating, and very easy to shoot. The 
male pintail has two great feathers which give the 
bird much the appearance of a pheasant, and the alert 
head and jerky movements foster the likeness. Scoters 
were difficult to bag, as they swim, almost invariably, 
in " open order." We sampled one of this species 
Cecily shot it from the dory and it tasted just like 
flying-fish. Indeed, our mate, who was a tepid 
Roman Catholic, told us that his church allows scoters 
to be eaten in Lent because the flesh is fish-like enough 
for anything. I should think it is a fairly safe per- 
mission to give to a fasting person. First catch your 


Of all the beautifully coated ducks the most ex- 
quisite is the golden-eye. His beauty is but skin deep, 
for he is a most unpleasant bird at table. As these 
birds fly the beating of their wings is a musical rustle, 
a whistling patter of sound almost impossible to de- 
scribe, but something akin to the shivering rattle with 
which a peacock animates his feathers as he sets his tail 
into a fan. Most alert of birds, golden-eyes, never 
still, for ever diving, flying hither and thither, rest- 
less as a petrel. I think they have solved the mystery 
of perpetual motion. Here, in Alaska, they fre- 
quented the coast and rivers. 

The natives told us that these birds nest in holes of 
trees. In Lapland, I know, the golden-eye chooses a 
hole in a tree to build in, but on the Bering Sea coast 
I do not know how the habit can be fostered. A very 
far journey would have to be taken before a tree cal- 
culated to support even the most emaciated golden-eye 
could be discovered. The parent birds, Steve told us, 
carry the little ducks to the water when the right 
moment comes. A tremendous business. Like an 
excursion to Margate of Punch variety. For the 
golden-eyes have enormous families, eight or ten as a 

The phalaropes were the most taking little birds, so 
solemn in face and mien, so sombre in plumage. 
Picture a sandpiper riding on the breast of the waves, 
buoyant as a cork, lightsome as a bit of thistledown, 
and you have the phalarope. Like a sandpiper he is 
ashore, for this bird of many parts is as agile on land 
as on sea, flitting gaily here and there, and running 


with tricky darts along the sand-spits. Such quick 
dexterous paddling is amazing in so small a bird, but 
the feet are exceedingly broad-lobed, like those of a 
coot, and perhaps in this lies the secret of such speed 
and safety. 



Weaving spiders, come not here ; 
Hence, you long-legg'd spinners, hence 

Midsummer Night's Dream 

Come on, poor babe, 

Poor thing, condemn'd to loss 

Winter's Tale 

IN the days of my youth I was expected to make 
myself familiar with the philosophies of a wise old 
gentleman, one Thales of Miletus, and among the 
aphorisms which he scattered about his writings like 
the pebbles of Little Poucet, I remember this, 
" Water is the beginning of all things." I wonder 
if Thales had been exploring in Alaska, and pene- 
trated the sleughs and barren lands fringing the 
coast line in some parts. Water is certainly the be- 
ginning of all things there, the end too, very often. 
The sea and rivers meet, intersecting the land, and 
one may try sleugh after sleugh and not find fresh 
water for the kettle. 

The Leader and I had four days' hunting amid a 
scene of desolation which would have been hard to 
beat anywhere, and the Lily, meanwhile, took Cecily 
and Ralph onwards to a bay famous for its bears. 

We decided to try our luck on this bit of Never- 



Never country, because our pilot spun us such in- 
spiriting yarns about the numbers of bears bagged in 
the region last season. 

We landed with tents, a bidarka, and Steve in 
attendance, on a waste of sand, water, and tundra. 
There were no sticks big enough to support our 
canvas residences, and it looked like camping out in 
the open until, fortunately, after wandering along 
the coast line for a mile or more, we came on a native 
burial ground, and borrowed some of the poles we 
found set up over the graves. The natives arrange 
that the poles shall be tall enough to show above the 
snow in winter, for they will not walk over the dead. 
On one or two graves a row of spears and a paddle 
were placed, on others nothing. We thought it must 
be that the men only are given the advantage of 
implements to be of use to them in the Happy Hunt- 
ing Grounds. 

Here gum-boots were stern necessities. I found 
them most uncomfortable of foot-gear, but we should 
certainly have got very wet without their protection. 
Salmon, flocking to the rivers, lay dead in dozens 
all along the reaches, and we wandered in and out 
among the decaying bodies searching for bear tracks. 
Anxiety over the commissariat was quite set at rest, 
for we had salmon, salmon, and again salmon for 
the taking. The Leader annexed a monster fish, 
wresting it from a bald-headed eagle, to whom by all 
the laws of first blood the trophy belonged. I 
watched the struggle from camp. The eagle was 
endeavouring to dig his talons deeply into the silver 


fish, which lay on the edge of a sleugh. Sometimes 
the great bird got a fair start, and rose into the air 
for a few feet, to drop the heavy salmon to earth 
again. The Leader dashed up just as the salmon 
had descended for the second time, and said in effect 
" Shoo !" to the king of birds. A most familiar way 
to treat majesty. The eagle resented it, and seemed 
to me to strike out fiercely, wheeling low about the 
Leader's shoulders. Then realizing defeat, disap- 
pointed, it soared away foodless, to hunt again under 
more propitious circumstances. 

What a cook Steve was ! Or rather what a cook 
he was not ! If he had to boil the kettle he must 
upset it, and extinguish the valuable tiny fire, whose 
wood was so precious and so scarce; if he fried he 
set the fat on fire, and if he stewed he forgot to add 
water, and set a solid in the pan, alone, until it burnt 

In the late evening a red fox came down to the 
sleughs to drink. I thought a bear had arrived at 
last from Steve's excitement, for he windmilled 
impossible-to-understand messages of joy and ex- 
citement, and rolled his eyes in startling manner. I 
was cooking supper at the time, and the Leader was 
prowling somewhere after the bears that were not. 
My patch of ground had been part of Alaska when 
we struck it first, now it was busily trying to make a 
separate island of itself. Like Canute, I had been 
stemming the tide for an hour or more, in futile 
endeavours to keep back the embracing sea. My 
rifle was " over the water," on the farther shore, and 


to possess myself of my weapon I needs must show 
myself very much in full view. 

By the time I had crossed the sleugh, and grasped 
my rifle Reynard had a good start, running low. 
Ten to one I miss him ! I fired, but the bullet went 
wide, and I saw the sand spurt up in a little jet. 
Raising the three hundred yards' sight, and taking 
in plenty of foresight, I had another try. The fox 
sat down as suddenly as though he were a mechanical 
toy worked by a string. Running nearer, I got in 
a shot which somewhat damaged the beautiful coat, 
but put the beast out of pain. Steve soon ha'd the pelt 
drying before the atom of fire, and the ravens and 
kites made short work of the remains. 

We had Steve carry the bidarka to a river which 
ran between ugly mud banks down into a wide 
estuary. From early dawn the Leader and I paddleH 
energetically up stream, hoping that the lure of the 
salmon would call out the bears to the banks. We 
took it in turns to paddle, and when one of us got 
cramped up with the awkward attitude necessitated, 
we landed, and gingerly changing places set off 
again. We worked so hard that although a Strong 
current ran against us, we covered some miles of 
river, and actually discovered a belt of dwarf alders, 
which were almost as scarce hereabouts as the bears. 
Getting ashore we spoored this way and that, with 
poor results. A bear trail was discernible, but it 
was very ancient, and not, I think, of our season. 

Ptarmigan were very plentiful and very tame. 
Throwing stones would not dislodge a bird which 


meant to remain. Rambling on down a path through 
the alder scrub, a lonely track of dwellers in the wild, 
I strode right into the midst of a fluffy band of cheep- 
ing yellow chickens. To the right and left they 
scattered, and at my boot in a flash came the gallant 
little mother, making a reconnaissance in force until 
the helpless chickens found safety, her tiny eyes 
aflame with anger, feathers ruffled up, hissing defi- 
ance at me. Brave little hen ! Again and again my 
small foe returned to the attack, pecking my boots, 
screaming in furious chuckles her commands to me 
to begone. I could not help smiling at her tactics, 
they were so obvious, even whilst I loved the small 
thing's courage and forgetfulness of self. I ran 
backwards, and with a whirr of wings the ptarmigan 
flew off into a patch of salmon berry bushes. 

Cheep ! Cheep ! I crept warily along, and there, 
ever and again, in and out the sanctuary of cover, I 
caught glimpses of my tiny enemy collecting her 
babies beneath shelterings wings. 

Down-stream again, and all suddenly the atmo- 
sphere changed to a muggy dampness which clung 
to our coats in dew-like moisture. And as the light 
bidarka sped over the shallows of the gently-rushing 
river, the whole air in the vicinity of the banks be- 
came like passing through the finest of fine gauze. 
Hair, eyes, all of us was enveloped in the silken 
mesh. Our protesting fingers broke through a maze 
of interlacing webs. 

Myriads of tiny red spiders were entangled in the 
gossamer, and all the atmosphere was thick with the 


venturesome little aeronauts, hanging apparently 
from fragile single threads beginning and ending 
Heaven knows where, all tangled with each other's 
films of silk. On every side the fairy gossamer en- 
filaded our position. 

Some of the little spiders sailed away on their 
silken wires like pantomime fairies, other enterprising 
spirits investigated the bidarka thoroughly, running 
over her skin decks on to the paddle blade, and then 
on the endless threads over the side into the water. 
Even then they did not drown, but seemed to skim 
over the surface lightly, deftly, with the grace of a 
coryphee. About twenty yards or so of river was 
enchained by this gossamer web, a sort of spider 
" Cook's Excursion " somewhere. I am afraid we 
must have upset the calculations of the little travellers 
very much. 

The next day we crossed the river, skirted the 
estuary, and covered the coast-line for some distance, 
until the face of the country changed and low alders 
grew to the edge of a little creek, whose reaches were 
covered with decaying salmon. On our horizon some 
moving forms loomed, and in great excitement we 
made out, through the glasses, that the perambulat- 
ing bears were four in number, two fully grown, and 
two cubs. 

This was a most unusual thing. Sometimes a she- 
bear wanders in company with a previous youngster 
of two seasons back and this year's baby the natives 
have it that bears seldom breed two years in succes- 
sion but it is certainly unusual for the little band 


to be escorted by paterfamilias. It seemed to me 
that in between courting times the males of the bear 
tribe roam alone, seeking " the great waste places," 
like the very much married gentleman in Ibsen. 
Lo ! here, evidently, was a big bear doing the heavy 
father to the top of his bent, for, looking closely, 
I saw him cuff the larger cub as though to teach it 
better manners. 

The old bears were turning over the salmon, and 
our difficulty was to get within range unobserved, 
since there was no cover, only the patch of alders 
which grew in some profusion on the far side of the 

Here I suggested an entirely novel way of stalk- 
ing, namely, that we should get back a little and 
work round until we were dead level with the patch 
of alder cover the bears would have to make for, and 
then, at the right moment, with nothing but the open 
ground between us, it would simply be who could 
run the fastest. It would be three points of a 
triangle, the bears in the open, ourselves preparing 
to run into the open ground, and all making straight 
for the scrubby bushes. The Leader formally 
adopted this plan because he could not think up a 
better; besides, it was such a chance anyway that 
we could detach Mr. Bruin, if Mr. Bruin he proved 
to be, from the bosom of his family, and of course 
we had no intention of trying to bag Madam or the 
little ones. 

The whole thing worked like a charm at first. Our 
hunter remained at the spot from which we first 


sighted the bears, very glad of the chance to rest 
and doze. Two were quite sufficient to run the 
blockade, and our man had been very bored all the 
morning. It makes a wonderful difference to a native 
whether he is hunting because he is hungry, or just 
for sport. Which is, after all, natural enough. But one 
would like to see the sporting instinct have some place. 

We trailed across the open space carefully, warily, 
dropping flat whenever it seemed likely that we must 
be noticed, and took an apparently unconscionable 
time getting to our vantage ground. A few moments 
to get breath, and now must we run like Atalanta, 
and see what we should see. The Leader outstripped 
me and gained a few paces. It was a race of races. 
Our feet crushed the summer flowers, and took the 
little grassy hummocks in bounds. 

The bears in wonder pulled together for the frac- 
tion of a moment, as though thinking out the manner 
of defence, then the larger cub, with the greatest of 
acumen, broke back, and went for all he was worth, 
until, in the excitement of the moment, I lost sight 
of him. 

The larger bear, which we knew to be undoubtedly 
a fine male, cantered towards the cover without a 
thought for the safety of his companions, followed 
by the she-bear and the tiny cub, going very slowly 
and painstakingly. The Leader dropped on one 
knee, and at some two hundred yards planted a well- 
placed bullet into the neck of the foremost animal. 
It seemed to check the onrush, for the wounded crea- 
ture pulled up in a great hunched slide, half rose, 


then dropped to four feet again. Another shot, and 
another, and the great brown bear tottered and fell 
over prone, motionless, on to his side. That was 
undoubtedly the moment when we should have 
remembered that discretion is the better part of 
valour, and called to mind the useful little axiom, 
slightly paraphrased, " He who shoots and runs 
away, lives to shoot another day." For we were now 
exceedingly close to the alder patch, and fairly in 
the way of the oncoming she-bear. With a sort 
of beautiful and refreshing trust in Providence, we 
both imagined that her ursine highness would turn 
aside and avoid us. A she-bear with a cub to pro- 
tect is a big thing to tackle in any country, in Alaska 
she is a fiend let loose. 

With a short sharp yell of rage, voicing the fury 
of her rage and offended majesty, she came straight 
for us. How she travelled ! And the very small 
cub ambled behind as though nothing untoward was 
afoot. The front claws of the bear appeared to take 
a real grip of the ground as she propelled herself 
in great gallops over the coarse, knotted grass, 
through the maze of blazing buttercups. 

" I leave it to you," I said, hardly knowing the 
tone of my own voice, it was so huskily excited. 

The Leader threw up his rifle, fired, and for a 
moment the oncoming bear certainly checked her 
speed. I saw, in a kind of dazed wonder, my com- 
panion wrestling with his rifle, hurriedly, anxiously, 
feverishly something was wrong the cartridge 
would not rise into the magazine. 


"Kill her!" said the Leader laconically, with the 
greatest sang-froid. 

Of course it had to be. I was using my old i2-bore 
best of friends a terrifically hard-hitting, heavy 
weapon, and had just time to get in a shot at a near 
thing of thirty yards, but it was well in the fore- 
head. Still the game and courageous animal came 
on, her head dipping low to earth, and as I danced 
backwards she crashed over, so close to me that I 
could have touched her as she fell. A brave and 
gallant beast ! 

" Thus she passed over, and all the trumpets 
sounded for her on the other side " the Happy Hunt- 
ing Grounds. 

To have had to kill a she-bear ! 'Twas the way 
luck went. Would that it had gone some other way. 

The poor little cub stood bewildered a little way 
off, and presently he advanced to the great prone 
form and stood beside it, with his quaint little feet, 
and tiny growing claws, set in a faint trickle of blood. 
My heart-strings were tugged with the pity of it ! 
What a brute I felt ! I took out my very grimy 

" You aren't going to cry about it, Agnes, are 
you ?" the Leader asked apprehensively. 

"You know I'm not," I answered indignantly; 
" I'm going to wipe the cub's feet, if I can catch 
it. I do think it is dreadful for it to be standing in 
the blood of its own mother." 

"What a woman you are!" laughed the Leader. 
" Killing one minute, and healing the next. I 


wonder you have acquired your wonderful collection 
of trophies at all." 

" You're jealous," I said calmly. 

We played "You're another" until we managed 
to catch the little cub, a most beautiful little thing, 
very young and furry. As soon as the Leader saw 
that I did indeed mind very much having helped to 
make an orphan of the cub, he gave over charring, 
and did all he knew to comfort me. It was the truest 
fellowship. In countless tender ways he made the 
deed of blood seem less gory and revengeful. 

Tendernesses are so dainty, so delicate, they are 
the work of Nature's genius. So long as a man can 
bring himself to give a woman tenderness and I use 
the word in its highest sense then she may know 
she has his love safe. 

" I wonder who the little beggar takes after," Said 
the Leader meditatively, as he held the little animal, 
struggling fiercely, in his arms; " its father or its 

" Neither. It is just like Lord Kitchener." 

And so it was. An amazing likeness. I often 
notice the extraordinary resemblance of expression 
which some animals have to some people. This cub 
was an excellent photograph of K. of K. We 
christened him Kitchener in consequence. And the 
small animal who had crept so unexpectedly into 
our lives crept into our hearts as well during the 
short three weeks he lived aboard the Lily with us. 
We so hoped to be able, somehow, to get him home, 
for he was evidently on the way to being a fine speci- 


men of Ursus dalli gyas ; but, alas ! it was not thus 
to be. Kindness killed him. Or indigestion. The 
crew, though forbidden to do so, would feed the 
cub, and one morning we were greeted with the 
sad intelligence that our Kitchener lay dead. But 
I anticipate, as the novelists say. 

Our man had by this time joined us, and we were 
faced with the stupendous task of skinning the two 
great bears. First we had lunch, which we badly 
needed, and sitting beside the brown carcases, I am 
bound to say that one by one my qualms vanished, 
and in their place raged the fierce exultant joy of the 
chase which can only be understood by those who 
have experienced it. I should not have been human, 
and a huntress, if the sight of those magnificent 
beasts had not deepened in my heart the lust of sport. 

" Fill the cup, and in the fire of Spring 
The winter garment of repentance fling." 

The Leader owned a ridiculous pocket compactum 
knife and fork, which, when opened and unfolded, 
worked all right, and made lunch away from camp 
quite civilized. Of course he always had to offer 
it to me, and use his fingers himself. The thing 
was no use unless its proprietor was at hand to undo 
it, its mechanism defied the ordinary brain, which 
curtailed its usefulness somewhat. 

' Well, I will always touch the spring for you," 
the Leader said, when I complained of the limitations 
of the combination cutlery. It was rather like the reply 
of the young man to some one who inquired whether 


he still kept a samovar. " I did," he answered, 
" until the engineer struck." 

Far as the eye could reach, the surrounding tundra 
was wreathed in flowers. In grim Alaska summer is 
like a magician who changes as with a wand of 
gold the harsh face of the earth to a verdant paradise. 
Every yard brimmed over with blossoms, a blaze of 
narcissus buttercups made a glowing carpet of 
gorgeous yellow, the blue of the polemonium and 
the bluer forget-me-not commingled, a riot of colour 
tints; every gentle wind wafted the fragrance of this 
wealth of scented flora, and rustled the nodding 
plumed heads of the myriad grasses. 

In and out of the flowers white and purple butter- 
flies flickered on trembling wings, slender, gossamer- 
pinioned, Ariel-like. 

We carefully examined the Leader's rifle, which 
was his favourite Mannlicher, and found that a small 
bit of grit had got into the breech, and thus jammed 
the bolt action. The trouble was merely a small 
affair, and was soon rectified by removing the bolt. 
Fortunately this disaster, which is so common with 
all magazine rifles, did not entail any loss of life, 
as has happened before when men will use these rifles 
for dangerous game. The careful skinning of the 
bears occupied some hours; the Leader set to work 
upon the larger bear, and Steve commenced opera- 
tions on the other. The animals were much the 
lightest-coloured bears I had seen in Alaska, being 
of a very pale fawn tint. The baby was much 
darker, and his fur very frizzy. I had to hold him 


during the modus operandi of the dismemberment 
of his parents. His little eyes were dimmed with 
a great wonder, but he fell to licking my fingers 
with a rough tongue, and soon the little creature 
curled itself up to sleep, trustfully and peacefully, 
just as a St. Bernard puppy might do. 

Steve, being a practised hand, finished his bear 
first, and then helped the Leader, who was nearly 
eaten alive by mosquitoes. At last the messy busi- 
ness was over, and laying the skins casually upon 
the ground we put the tape over them, and quite 
unstretched, the pelt of the she-bear, from head to 
tail, came out at six feet five inches, and that of the 
male just seven feet. 

Bald-headed eagles gathered in the blue ether, 
sailing round and round, swooping low to earth, then 
rising high to the heavens again, scenting from afar 
the mighty banquet. 

The carrying of the rolled skins, with skulls and 
feet, was a heavy and daunting affair. I took no 
hand in it; but I consider that I did not shirk hard 
work also, considering that it fell to my lot to con- 
vey Kitchener in my arms to the river, and he must 
have scaled twenty pounds or more. We had to make 
two or three journeys over, having but the one 
bidarka, and I did pray, as I stepped into the hatch- 
way of the frail craft, that the small bear had his fur 
parted directly in the middle, and that he would 
refrain from struggling and kicking out. He was 
very good, and every one, and everything, got over 


Arriving at our forsaken-looking camp, we tied our 
little visitor to a pole of the Leader's tent, and mixed 
up some Nestle's milk, which the cub would not 
touch. We administered some of the liquid in 
medicinal-like doses, a spoonful at a time. Kitchener 
could eat, he wished us to know, and had a decided 
preference for licking very high salmon which Steve 
procured from the coast-line. 

The next day the Lily returned for us, but in the 
early morning we sought the estuary and the river, 
to discover the reason for the presence of so many 
bobbing seals and wheeling birds of prey. The 
salmon were running up the river, seeking the lake 
away up in the distant foothills. As we neared the 
water we heard a sound like the rushing of a river 
over rattling stones, and going to the elevation of a 
sandy hummock alongside the stream, an amazing 
and wonderful spectacle presented itself. In the 
clear waters of the crystal river thousands of silver 
fish pressed onwards with deep-set purpose. 

" And thick and fast they came at last, 
And more, and more, and more." 

Over the shallows at the head of the estuary the 
salmon forced their way, stranding themselves 
momentarily very often, an unending stream of 
silver, layers and layers of glittering fish, flank to 
flank, head to tail, close together. Over shallow 
reaches the salmon put on a spurt and travelled more 
speedily, as though to obviate the danger of being 
stranded. We left our vantage ground to wander 
up- and down-stream the better to view the piscine 


progress, and though we remained, fascinated, for an 
hour or more, the end was not when we left. 

The shores of the river were strewn with the bodies 
of stragglers pressed out of the water by sheer weight 
of the multitudes forcing up in serried ranks, and 
the cry was "Still they come!" We gathered up 
a number of fish for drying, beautiful, shining 
salmon, of exquisite proportions, fresh run. 

The salmon never jumped, only the fins and noses 
showed above the surface of the water. And as I 
gazed in interested wonderment, it seemed 'difficult 
to believe that this great swim, this stressful journey, 
was the last the strenuous salmon would ever take. 
It is, I believe, an indisputable fact that of this 
triumphal procession not one fish would live to return 
io the sea. It makes one ponder and ponder how 
it can be that the supply is kept up yearly. And 
yet it never fails. 

In a land where salmon are so easily caught by 
simple methods, fishing with rod and line is un- 
known, but the lure of a spoon ensnares some 
monster fish, and provides some unforgetable sport. 
One evening, as the salmon came into the inlet in 
shoals, Cecily and I had out the ship's boat, and 
Ralph and the Leader the dory, when we had a 
lively two hours' trolling, fishing with spoon bait, 
and successfully landed some fine fish, successfully 
losing still finer. It was quite an education as far 
as the customs and manners of Alaskan salmon were 
concerned. The instant I threw my spoon over- 
board a fish seized it with such avidity that he bit 


the gut right through, and went off with all the hooks 
in his " Little Mary." How uncomfortable must 
that poor fish have felt that night ! They were not 
in the least capricious, and distributed their favours 
very evenly. Sometimes a dog-fish, who followed 
in the wake of the glittering salmon, seized the bait, 
and was hauled to the side of the boat, turning over 
and over. This necessitated rowing to the other 
boat, Ahat they might cut the creature off, for we 
had tp be as careful as can be with the tackle, and 
such weighty fish play great havoc. 

Suddenly Cecily hooked a mighty salmon, who 
ran off like a torpedo towards the river, but the water 
got into his gills and he had to stop. We saw him 
slashing the surface of the water, churning the sea 
to little wavelets. Next he ran so close inshore to 
the rocks we feared the line might be cut, or the 
weight of the fish break him loose. Cecily took in 
a few yards of line, and the Leader and Ralph fever- 
ishly watched the end of the ding-dong struggle. 
They called to Cecily to make a landing and play the 
fish from shore, but Cecily was paying out again, 
and could not for the moment alter her tactics. 
The salmon got behind a rock, and rested and 
sulked, and meditated on the problem of life and 

I rowed the boat to the beach, and as the boat's 
nose touched Cecily jumped ashore with the rod in 
her hand. 

That fish was resolved to die game, but the effort 
exhausted most of his waning strength, and he was 


hauled in almost to striking distance of the gaff, 
which Ralph, who had also landed, held in readiness. 
As if foreseeing his fate the salmon rolled over, 
showing all his glittering scales and perfect propor- 
tions, and then swam out of reach again. The 
angler took to the water, wading waist-deep, and 
dragging her prize along the beach-line drowned him 
remorselessly. He was hauled in, and the gaff went 
through him. 

How I admired that salmon, and yet there was 
something unsporting in the glorious sport. The 
shooting of pachyderms is merciful in comparison. 
Of course the fish has no such complex system of 
nerves, but his agony is so long-drawn, he has no 
chance from the beginning. If he did break loose, 
he has the hideous thing within to torture him 
slowly to death. I like my quarry to stand as good a 
chance of escaping me as I have of bagging him. 
In this sort of salmon fishing the chances are all 
against the fish, for the line is strong and the gut 
very short. 

But the instinct of pursuit is strong in all of us, 
and is part of the great scheme of Nature. 'Twas 
but an incident, and I was as full of the lust of kill- 
ing as any of them. 

How magnificent the fish looked as his thirty-two 
pounds hung from the scales, his fins just quivering 
as the rigor was overtaking him ! 

All about us the silver creatures flicked the water, 
and at intervals monster fish jumped out of the 
smooth sea, in frolic or in fright. 



After the salmon came the dog-fish and hair-seals. 
On the reaches of the river countless bald-headed 
eagles hovered and sat waiting. 

There are several varieties of salmon on the Pacific 
and Bering Sea coast, but for canning purposes it 
is usually the king called in British Columbia 
" chinook " and the red salmon which is put up. 
In short seasons, when the catch seems likely to be 
insufficient, one or two other kinds may be pressed 
into the service, or rather into the cans I The dog- 
salmon only is anathema, and this only because its 
flesh, though firm, is white and unpleasing-looking. 
In all other respects the fish is "fit to stand by 
Caesar," which is the king variety. 

All the salmon running into this creek were of one 
species, but our men told us that up some rivers 
one or two varieties of salmon run at once. The 
eggs hatch out in winter, and when the ice is broken 
down come the small fish to the sea, a piscine army. 
The average king salmon when fully grown scales 
fifty pounds, and frequently reaches eighty. The 
salmon most in demand for canning purposes is the 
small red, for its dark crimson colour lends it an 
enchantment to the home-buyers of canned salmon 
which all the others lack. 

Cecily's delight when she saw Kitchener was 
boundless. The little creature made no favourites, 
and did not bestow his favours by halves. He 
simply loved every one alike enthusiastically. Our 
cabin-boy constituted himself nurse-in-chief, and the 
cub seemed very contented. 


We delayed sailing again for a few hours in order 
that every water-keg and tank might be filled up 
preparatory to setting out on a quest after walrus. 
Our pilot promised to steer us to some islands where 
he confidently hoped to prove to us that it was not 
too early for walrus to haul out. 

We anchored for the night in as sheltered a cove 
as we could find, a little farther up the coast than 
the spot where we had slain the two bears, and 
weighed anchor early. When I came up on deck 
after breakfast the atmosphere was clear, and the 
placidity of the sea most unusual. Strange eddies of 
air rushed at intervals through the shrouds, gusty 
and ominous. Then from the distant mountains a 
mighty puff of wind came singing over the sea, and 
the mainsail flapped with a report as of a gun going 
off. Far on the horizon line was a dark riband of 
purple, and on the now freshening breeze strange 
murmurous deep-toned mutterings of a brewing 
storm became noticeable. Vast black clouds rolled 
over the sky, travelling apace, and then a swinging 
wind lashed the sea to a seething, boiling pot. Cap- 
tain Clemsen, cool as ever, gave his orders in clear 
tones, and in no time the Lily was almost bare of 
sail. This was a "woolly" of "woollies." The 
waves charged and ran in cataracts over our small 
craft, and it seemed to me, watching from a safe 
perch on the companion-ladder, that at intervals the 
ship heeled over down to her waterways. 

Suddenly, in the squall and driving spray, a 
phantom-like hull arose on our lee, driving the waves 


before her graceful bows, tossing, eddying, falling 
as a sea-bird on a crest of foam. Behind her trailed 
a wake of snowy water. Captain Clemsen saluted 
by running up a small ensign, and I saw it fly out 
with that wave of patriotic emotion which must, I 
think, come to every Britisher as he stands beneath 
the Union Jack. I say "wave of emotion," but 
afterwards I was a little afraid that the feeling of 
tremulous excitement was much more hum-drum and 
prosaic than an emotion of pride of place. The way 
in which the Lily was acting just then was too much 
for a fair-weather sailor like myself. 

From the peak of the passing vessel we saw the 
Stars and Stripes break and batter in the gale. An 
American cruiser, and a very smart ship she looked 
as she drove slanting by. 

How I wished, in my distress, that Father Time 
would jump the next twenty-four hours, and then 
stand stock-still awhile, or give me back the 
glorious harmony of yesterday. No, not yesterday. 
Yesterdays are yesterdays, and but ' ' light us fools 
the way to dusty death." A wonderful to-morrow, 
pray you, Father Time, to make up for this most 
miserable to-day. 

We had to put back to the shelter of a rocky cape, 
where a tiny cove granted sanctuary. Here Nature 
had outdone the art of any engineer, and built a 
most effective rocky breakwater. 

On the surrounding rocks countless birds resorted, 
in numbers almost incredible. The murres out- 
numbered all the others by quite ten to one. Each 


bird stood sentinel over an egg. If we made a 
sudden noise, shouted or dropped anything heavily, 
many birds took fright and flew into the air. The 
whole atmosphere was thick with murres, the water 
'dotted with them, the rocks alive with them. The 
feeding of such an army would be almost impossible, 
one would think, to any ocean. And yet they mul- 
tiply and multiply. Nothing checks the numbers 
save the inadequate supply of nesting-places, and of 
that a murre craves but three inched. The torrent 
of sound from this hatchery waS almost deafening, 
and every bird seemed to contribute to the general 
Hin by uttering a weird crooning cry. 

The Bering Sea is not a sea to be trifled with, 
and he who sails over it should have time unlimited 
at his disposal, for you may arrange, but thS fog will 
disarrange, you may sail, but stress of weather forces 
you to anchor. Our captain appeared quite in- 
different lo the multitudinous dangers of the coast, 
and his small craft seemed to him as safe as a 

Familiarity must kindly breed contempt in sailors 
more than in any other race of men, I think. Surely 
it must be habit which permits a sailor to be so 
absolutely fearless anH disregardless. Captain Clem- 
sen once told me he would be very much afraid 
to face an Alaskan bear, and wondered how on earth 
we did it. He reminded me of a comical drawing I 
once saw In an American journal, which depicted 
a workman standing on a steel shaft three hundred 
feet in the air, over an airy network of scaffolding 


and pitfalls, watching a street-cleaner in a congested 
thoroughfare. " Now that man," said the workman, 
standing nonchalantly erect, with arms folded, 
" must have great nerve to do such dangerous 



(By the Leader of the Expedition) 

There ! I hit it right 

Romeo and Juliet 
How ill it follows after you have labour'd so hard 

King Henry IV 

AFTER several dreary days of sailing up the coast we 
could faintly distinguish a small chain of islands lying 
near the mainland, which Macdonald, our pilot, told 
us was our long-sought goal, and the haunt of mighty 
walrus bulls. As we approached them we saw that 
these islands were merely desolate barren sandbanks, 
between which and the mainland lay a large sheltered 
lagoon, where Macdonald said we should find a safe 
anchorage. Whilst still a mile or more from shore 
the look-out man reported some large animals swim- 
ming in the sea, and these, with the aid of glasses, 
we soon made out to be a herd of bull walruses 
besporting themselves in the water, their hoarse 
bellowing roar being audible to us whilst still a great 
distance from them. 

As the Lily glided slowly in towards the lagoon the 
walruses evinced decided curiosity at the unwonted 
sight, and commenced swimming towards us, roar- 


ing, diving, and rolling over in the water, displaying 
the marvellous swimming powers of which these un- 
gainly brutes are capable. As we sailed to leeward of 
them they approached within a hundred yards of the 
vessel, a performance which we afterwards discovered 
they would not have done had the wind been blowing 
in the opposite direction, since they are very keen- 
scenting animals, and, like most other wild beasts, are 
terrified by the smell of a human being. 

The whole herd consisted of some fifty or sixty 
bulls, and Macdonald informed us that at this period 
of the year all the cows and young ones had gone far 
north through the Bering Straits on the edge of the 

The bloodthirsty Cecily was all for trying a long- 
range shot, as several of the huge brutes raised their 
head and shoulders high out of the water, taking a 
good look at the vessel. But she was at once dis- 
suaded, since Macdonald declared that a dead walrus 
immediately sinks, and there was no chance of getting 
it ashore unless it has been killed and harpooned from 
a boat, and thus towed to land. He said that our best 
chance was to wait until the animals hauled themselves 
out on dry land, as they often did. 

It required some skilful seamanship on the part of 
Captain Clemsen to sail the Lily safely in between 
the islands, as the entrance to the lagoon was very 
narrow, and constant shifting of these sandbanks 
renders all charts more or less unreliable. The wind 
had almost died away, but fortunately what breeze 
remained blew dead astern, so that we were enabled 



to steer a straight course through the narrow entrance. 
Here a rising tide rushing into the lagoon caused a 
current swift as that of a fast-flowing river, which 
drifted us onwards ahead of the light wind. One 
sailor, standing in the bows heaving a lead-line, kept 
reporting a depth of four or five fathoms. This was 
ample water for the Lily, which only drew some ten 
feet of water. Suddenly, after the usual monotonous 
cry from the bows of, " By the mark four," every one 
was electrified by a sudden bump on the keel, and the 
vessel gave a lurch which nearly threw us off our 
feet, and then she remained stationary. It did not 
need Captain Clemsen's forcible language, nor hastily- 
shouted orders, to tell us that we were again " held 
up." Rushing to the wheel himself, the captain 

" Hell, boys ! I guess she's aground. Let go the 
anchor, and pull down the darned canvas." 

Quick as lightning this was done, and then Agnes, 
who never seems to lose her sang-froid, but who, like 
all true daughters of Eve, must have her little say in 
all emergencies, mildly asked, " And what next, 
please, Captain?" 

Had I been in the skipper's place I think I should 
have been wild enough to say things which would 
have hurt, but being a bluff, good-tempered soul, and 
also imbued with a sense of humour, he burst out 
laughing, and replied 

"Well, search me, marm, if I know what next; 
you've got me beat all right. I guess the old hooker 
has got her nose fixed in a mudbank, and unless 


Father Neptune is pleased to send us a drop more 
water, you bet she'll stop there till kingdom come." 

Fortunately rock is a thing which doesn't exist in 
these waters, and it appears that the action of the ice 
has in past centuries ground everything into fine sand 
or mud, so that there was no risk of a hole being 
stoved in the vessel's side. 

It was impossible to say how much higher the tide 
might rise, and the only cheerful fact was that it still 
continued to do so. A boat was lowered, and it was 
soon found that the ship was aground on a narrow 
sandbank, in less than one and a half fathoms of 
water. On either side of the bank lay deep water, 
and by sounding it turned out that we were only a 
few yards away from the deep channel leading through 
the lagoon. 

There was nothing in the nature of a panic amongst 
members of the crew; men such as these, who daily 
and hourly carry their lives in their hands upon these 
treacherous coasts, are too accustomed to look death 
in the face at close quarters, and therefore do not 
worry about such a trivial contretemps as grounding 
on a sandbank. Certain misgivings, however, came 
uppermost in my mind at the prospect of having to 
abandon our ship, and trust ourselves to the hand of 
fate in nothing better than small boats on these fierce 
Northern waters. 

Meanwhile, the crew were actively engaged in row- 
ing some distance astern, where they dropped two 
anchors attached to long cables, by means of which 
the skipper hoped to pull off the ship by hand if the 


tide rose sufficiently to help us. And this proved the 
method of our salvation, since in the space of an 
hour the water had risen high enough to impart a 
gentle heaving motion to the Lily. As Ralph said, 
" the prognosis was favourable," all hands, including 
the ladies, started hauling on the cables. Never did 
tug-of-war teams struggle for an army championship 
as did our two teams hang upon those ropes. Slowly 
and surely, inch by inch, the ship moved backwards, 
until suddenly, with a slight lurch, she glided back 
into deep waters. 

Little time was lost in hoisting the foresail and 
regaining the deep channel. Once there, an anchor 
was dropped, and the skipper sent men ahead in a 
boat to take soundings in order that they might 
locate a safe spot for an anchorage inside the lagoon. 
It was not long ere we found ourselves riding safely 
at anchor in the placid waters of the lagoon, and 
rather more than a mile from its junction with the 
open sea. 

The situation was far from picturesque, since on 
one side lay flat, uninteresting stretches of the main- 
land, vast undulating sand dunes quite destitute of 
timber far as the eye could reach, to where they rose 
in steeper contours, till they merged in the blue dis- 
tance with lofty, unknown mountain heights. Look- 
ing outwards to the open sea a semicircle of low, 
sandy islands lay, and formed a natural breakwater, 
which closely resembled a coral reef to the eyes of 
those who have seen these curious formations in 
Southern seas. Beyond the reef for ever rolls that 


turbulent waste of waters, the Bering Sea. Gazing 
northwards out across those surging billows the mind 
goes back over untold years, through which, for ages 
past, as still to-day, that fascination of the magnetic 
North has cast the spell of its glamour deep in the 
hearts of hardy mariners or world-famed explorers. 
Great men and bold have risked and lost their lives 
in quest of the unknown, but still to-day the dark 
and silent North retains her hidden mystery. 

Since the days of Sir Hugh Willoughby, who in 
! 553 wa s the first Englishman to lead a big expedi- 
tion in quest of a passage to China and the Orient, 
by way of the Arctic Ocean, many of our countrymen 
have left their mark on history by reason of their 
explorations in these Northern regions. The names 
of Cook and Franklin loom big upon the roll of 
honour, and their deaths are amongst the many which 
have paid toll to the explorers' quests. Of recent 
years have we not the deeds of men like Nansen and 
Peary, which tend to show that even in these effete 
days of modern luxury men may still be found who 
fearlessly forsake the fleshpots of Egypt and wander, 
for sheer love of adventure, amidst those icebound 
lands, in search of the great unknown ? Have not I, 
even in my puerile way, felt the call of the wild, and 
the spirit of Wanderlust, gripping at my very heart- 
strings, bidding us be up and doing, so that ere yet 
it be too late we may travel along some untrodden 
path which leads to fame or to the grave ? 

I have traversed the shores of the Bering Sea from 
north to south, from east to west, from Kamchatka to 


the Arctic Ocean, and if I found myself there again 
to-morrow my one heartfelt cry would be, "A few 
miles farther north." 

Since we had come out to slay walruses, why do I 
not get, as the Yankees say, " right down to the 
solid business " ? 

Now, a walrus is an animal around which there 
clings a host of historical romance and fable. Nor 
is this altogether to be wondered at when we regard 
the almost pre-historic appearance of the Bering Sea 
walrus (Odobaenus obesus), the largest living species 
of its tribe, nor when we consider at what great dis- 
tances remote from the haunts of ancient historians 
these gigantic brutes lived. Even to-day the number 
of our fellow-countrymen who have actually seen these 
animals is small, and fewer still have ever killed one. 
Moreover, I believe it is correct to say that a whole 
specimen of this particular walrus does not exist to- 
day in any of our leading European museums. 

We read in a work, De Animalibus, compiled by a 
certain historian, Albertus Magnus, who died in 1280, 
that " the walrus is taken by the hunter while the 
sleeping animal hangs by its large tusks to a cleft in 
the rock. Cutting out a piece of its skin and fasten- 
ing to it a strong rope, whose other end is tied to 
trees, posts, and large rings fixed to rocks, the hunter 
wakens the walrus by throwing large stones at its 
head. In its attempts to escape it leaves its hide 
behind. It perishes soon after, and is thrown up half 
dead on the beach." 

So much for our friend Albertus Magnus. The 


only thing which surprises me is the apparent fact of 
a walrus possessing such a strong constitution in 
former days that it was not thrown up quite dead on the 
beach, after this somewhat severe treatment. If any 
further support is required of the authenticity of this 
tale it is forthcoming in the shape of a drawing by 
one Olaus Magnus, which was published circa 1555, 
and in which the whole scene is depicted as above 

It is the custom of these beasts to haul out on the 
sandbanks and lie sleeping there, often for long 
periods at a time. And it is upon these occasions 
that the natives run in and spear them ere they can 
regain the water. One beast always keeps a sharp 
look-out whilst the others sleep, and if the wind is 
blowing from a hunter to the walrus it is hopeless to 
approach within fair shooting distance. 

Far out in the offing we could see the monstrous 
brutes rolling and splashing in the sea like gigantic 
porpoises. And distinctly on the gentle breeze was 
borne to us the hoarse, bellowing, roaring notes to 
which the bulls repeatedly gave utterance. Towards 
evening the whole herd was seen swimming in toward 
the shore, and finally some of them slowly hauled out 
on the beach of a sandspit at the entrance to our 
lagoon. As night was falling all hope was then 
abandoned of attempting to stalk them where they 
lay. Every one was deeply interested in watching 
the actions of the ungainly brutes as they laboriously 
hauled themselves ashore. Telescopes and glasses 
were directed on the sandspit, and it was seen that the 


herd numbered some forty-five old bulls, many of 
them having splendid pairs of tusks. 

We noticed that they only lay up a few feet from 
the gently-breaking waves, and as the tide continued 
rising they repeatedly kept moving higher up on to 
the sandspit, and occupying fresh positions. Night's 
falling shadows soon obscured the picture from our 
view, and uttering fervent prayers that the morrow 
might reveal them still upon the sand we bade au 
revoir to our distant quarry. 

The next day was ushered in by bright sunshine, 
and as I was dressing Captain Clemsen came below 
with the glad tidings that our herd of walruses were 
still on the sandspit. 

Nothing would satisfy the ladies save a hasty break- 
fast and an immediate attack upon the walruses' posi- 
tion. Ralph and I, with true chivalry, decided that 
they should share alone the honour of bagging the 
first walrus, and with secret pangs of envy in our 
hearts we watched them put off in a boat and row to 
a point about a mile to leeward of where the herd was 
lying. Here they landed, and left the boat in charge 
of the two sailors who had rowed them to the island. 
In the clear light with our telescopes we watched the 
drama as if it were enacted on a stage at close quarters 
just before us. 

Not a stick nor stone large enough to hide a mouse 
lay upon the sandy shore. Here and there a few 
patches of high, coarse grass were growing, but these 
afforded scanty covering for the stalkers to avail them- 
selves of as they advanced. Creeping and crawling 


slowly the two Dianas advanced, taking advantage of 
every knoll and mound of sand, behind which they 
rested at intervals to regain their breath. 

Even from our distant coin d'avantage it was clearly 
visible that one large bull was ever on the alert. At 
intervals he raised his head and gazed in sleepy 
fashion all around, and then appeared as if, like his 
companions, he had sunk to sleep. But such was not 
the case, for in a few seconds up bobbed the vast head 
once more, and the nose was raised, sniffing the air 
to see if it could detect any invisible enemy. This 
constant alertness on the part of the sentinel caused 
our friends considerable trouble, since, as they drew 
nearer to the sleeping herd, danger of being seen by 
this old bull grew greater. In consequence the play 
grew into a comedy for us, because the raising of the 
watchman's head was a signal for the two stalkers to 
fall flat on their faces in the sand and remain there 
till the head sank once more in momentary repose. 
During the latter interval the stalkers would scramble 
and crawl a few yards nearer, ere they fell prone once 
more. As the final stages of the stalk were reached, it 
is questionable as to whether the stalkers or Ralph and 
I were the most excited pair. 

Whilst we judged them to be about one hundred 
yards or more away a great commotion began amongst 
the herd. A loud bellowing note of warning from the 
watchman roused his sleeping companions, and they 
with one accord started with strange lumbering 
motions to make for the water a few yards distant 
from them. Agnes and Cecily, realizing that all 


secrecy was at an end, sprang up and ran quickly 
forward, thus gaining a few yards more ere the walrus 
reached deep water. Agnes dropped on one knee 
she hates to shoot standing and by her side stood 
Cecily. We could distinctly see their rifles raised, 
and the echoes of four shots rang out across the water, 
wakening strange unknown sounds upon this desolate 

In vain we looked to see one animal collapse, and 
from our distant spot fruitlessly we tried to guess the 
cause of the disaster, for it was clear that the whole 
herd had taken to the water without leaving one of 
their number upon the beach. Still watching closely 
we saw the walruses swim out towards the open sea, 
moving very fast through the water, diving and re- 
appearing again at ever-increasing distances from the 
shore, all travelling at a great pace. Presently we 
noticed one animal lagging behind the rest, and then 
we saw Cecily running frantically along the beach, 
waving for the boatmen to bring up the boat. It was 
clear for us to see that the straggling bull was badly 
wounded, since he moved but slowly, and kept making 
shorter dives, until at last he seemed to give up swim- 
ming altogether, or spun round in small circles. 
Obviously the ladies hoped to get up to him with the 
boat before he sank, and possibly to tow his carcase 
ashore. And this indeed was what they had designed, 
but Fate was otherwise disposed. For, though the 
men rowed hard and both ladies jumped aboard her 
as she touched the beach, the boat was still a hundred 
yards away when the struggling walrus sank from 



view. Although the boat was rowed for some time in 
circles where the animal had sunk, and a sharp look- 
out was kept by its occupants, nothing could be seen 
of the sunken beast. Ultimately it was a very doleful 
pair of huntresses who returned empty-handed to the 
ship, and each more like Niobe than Diana gave us 
their version of the episode. 

It appeared that whilst stalking the sleeping animals 
they had especially singled out one bull which ap- 
peared to carry a particularly fine pair of tusks, and 
they had both agreed to shoot first at this one, and if 
it fell to try and bag another before they all took to the 
water, and although finally they had despatched four 
bullets at the animal he had managed to get away. 

We questioned them closely as to where they had 
aimed, and they said that their fire had been directed 
to a spot which they believed was behind the animal's 
shoulder, but that in such a huge, ungainly shape it 
was hard to locate at a distance where the brute's 
heart might lie. Subsequently Macdonald told us that 
this was absolutely an unreliable place in which to 
shoot a walrus, and he regretted not having told us 
sooner that the correct place to kill a walrus was by 
placing a bullet in the back of its head, where the 
skull was thin. But he added that not even our 
powerful '450 cordite rifles would kill walruses if shot 
in the forehead, where, he declared, their skulls were 
many inches thick, and also that the vast mass of 
blubber and fat, which constituted their bodies, con- 
tained very few really vulnerable parts. This we 
found subsequently to be a fact, 


Needless to remark Agnes and Cecily were exceed- 
ingly chagrined at their failure to bag a walrus in 
their first attempt. We were doubtful if the animals 
would return to the same neighbourhood for some 
time after being thus rudely disturbed, but Macdonald 
declared that it was hard to drive them away from a 
favourite haunt, and that, as there were no native 
settlements within a long distance of our lagoon, prob- 
ably this particular herd of walruses had never been 
hunted by men, and therefore they might not be very 
wild, and would probably return before long to one or 
other of the sandbanks. 



(By the Leader of the Expedition) 

How many goodly creatures are there here ? 

The Tempest 

And let us banquet royally 
After this golden day of victory 

King Henry VI 

THE question now arose as to what form of amuse- 
ment we could find to pass away the time whilst our 
friends the walruses were pleased to forsake us and 
disport themselves in the open sea. The ladies were 
both in favour of rowing to the mainland, and 
although the flat sand dunes of the shore looked very 
uninviting and uninteresting we all decided on the 
trip. Taking our largest boat we set out with two 
sailors, rowing a distance of a mile or more to the 
nearest point, which was a sandy promontory jutting 
out into the lagoon. 

On landing we found the ground covered with a 
thick growth of long, coarse grass, and all along the 
foreshore were countless tracks of foxes, showing 
plainly where these animals had roamed along the 
beach in quest of fish, flesh, or fowl, thrown up by 
the tides. 

We soon saw quite a number of foxes moving on 

the side of a sandy hill above, and nothing would 



content Cecily but an attempt to bag another of these 
animals, since, she declared, a second one was needed 
to make a collar arrangement to match the muff she 
hoped to make out of the skin she had procured on 
Kodiak Island. In vain we tried to dissuade her from 
such murderous attempts, because I knew that at this 
season the. foxes change their coats, and the skins 
are worthless. 

But alas ! 'tis ever thus with women. 
Cecily said it was a case of " seeing is believing," 
and off she went, rifle in hand, to stalk the nearest 
fox. It was a curious thing that these foxes did not 
seem to fear the sight of human beings, and they ran 
about outside their earths in full view of us, just like 
rabbits playing outside some big bury in a warren. 
And with our glasses we could see that the whole hill 
was honeycombed with earths. 

There must have been between forty and fifty foxes 
moving at one time on the hillsides, and many of 
them permitted Cecily to approach within about a 
hundred yards before darting into earths. At last 
she singled out one more inquisitive than the rest, 
and raised her rifle. Slowly, very slowly and re- 
luctantly she brought it down again. Finally she 
returned to us looking very cross. In answer to a 
query from Ralph as to what the fox was like, she 
replied, " Rather like a mangy rat, and hardly a hair 
on it." It was needless to say, " We told you so "; 
in any case this was a situation in which silence was 

Henceforth, although we saw many foxes at close 


quarters, they were regarded as sacred, and not to be 

Along the shore we saw a number of gulls, terns, 
and smaller birds, such as phalaropes, small ringed 
plover, and several forms of waders. And of these I 
was enabled to make a small collection, having had 
the forethought to bring ashore the small 4io-bore 
collector's gun. 

Presently Agnes, who will always spend her time 
climbing to the highest point she can reach, shouted 
and beckoned me to come to her on the top of a small 
hill where she stood, and on arrival there she showed 
me a rare and wondrous find. Here the long grass 
ceased to grow, but in its place were masses of wild 
strawberries, positively acres and acres of them, larger 
round than a shilling piece, and all of them of the 
most splendid flavour. How and when this luscious 
fruit first happened to take root upon this barren spot 
it is impossible to tell, but here the strawberries grew, 
and probably still continue to grow, in such profusion 
as we had never seen, not even in the most highly 
cultivated English garden. Needless to remark that 
all hands set to eating as many of the fine berries as 
they could, afterwards filling handkerchiefs with 
quantities to take back to the ship. Nor indeed was 
this the last visit paid to our new-found garden, as 
various members of the crew made daily expeditions 
to the spot, armed with barrels, returning- each time 
with the boat laden, and looking somewhat like a 
loaded waggon en route to Covent Garden in the 
strawberry season. 


As we returned to the Lily a strong tide was run- 
ning into the lagoon. Our thoughts were always 
wandering to that absent herd of walruses, wondering 
when, if ever, they would return once more to their 
accustomed haunt upon the sandbank. It was, there- 
fore,, with no small satisfaction that as we rowed 
slowly homewards there was borne across the waters, 
from the open sea, those deep, hoarse, bellowing notes 
to which our ears were now accustomed. 

Soon we saw the herd of monstrous beasts swim- 
ming slowly, and coming in upon the rising tide. A 
gentle breeze was blowing towards the shore, and thus 
the oncoming animals could not wind us. Presently 
they swam right into the lagoon, and gradually ap- 
proached quite close up to the boat, some of the more 
inquisitive members even approaching to within thirty 
or forty yards of us. Very imposing and fearsome 
did they look. Again and again one bolder than the 
rest would dive, and suddenly appear quite close to 
us, then, raising his huge head and shoulders well out 
of the water, would gaze intently at us ere diving 
again and retreating to join his companions. 

Our sailors displayed unwonted energy in rowing, 
since they were clearly frightened by the thrilling 
yarns that they had heard of small boats being 
attacked and capsized by walruses in Arctic regions. 
Personally we regarded such stories as tales to be 
taken cum grano salis. 

As the monsters rolled and dived around the boat 
bitterly I regretted the absence of my camera, which 
reposed in my cabin aboard the Lily. But now I had 


hopes of using it successfully before we left the place, 
which we had christened Walrus Bay. 

Next morning it was by course of due rotation the 
turn of Ralph and myself to try our hand at bagging 
a walrus. Our hearts rejoiced when early dawn re- 
vealed to us the whole herd once more hauled out on 
the sandbank, and the wind still in a favourable 
quarter for a successful stalk. 

We did not forget to take the camera on this occa- 
sion, and we set out and rowed across to the same 
spot where Agnes and Cecily had previously landed. 
As the result of tossing for it the first shot fell to my 
lot, but being equally keen on shooting with the 
camera as with a rifle I elected to stalk with the former 

Ralph was sufficiently sportsmanlike to say he 
would remain behind, and allow me to stalk alone, 
and declared that he believed the beasts would not 
go far away even if disturbed by my stalking them 
without firing a shot. 

I shall long remember that arduous crawling along 
the barren sandy beach. Not a stick nor stone to 
afford any cover, and constantly having to lie flat on 
my face, in cramped position minutes at a time, in 
order to avoid the vigilance of the look-out sentinel 
bull. Three times during the time I took to crawl 
that distance did the sentinel get tired of his duty, 
and roused up another one to undertake this appar- 
ently irksome task. As each fresh sentinel took up 
his duty the former one promptly dropped his head 
and went off to sleep. 


How long that seemingly endless squirming and 
crawling occupied I knew not, but Ralph told me 
that it lasted about two hours, during which time I 
had barely covered eight hundred yards. Finally, 
having approached by slow degrees to within about 
twenty-five yards of the sleeping herd, I ventured to 
rise on one knee in an attempt to focus the camera. 
Being caught in flagrante delicto by the sentinel's 
watchful eye, he gave vent to a loud grunt or roar, 
and the whole group of animals were on the qui vive. 
Now or never was the time for a snap-shot, and trust- 
ing to luck I "pressed the button," and devoutly 
prayed that the great photographic company which 
advertises that they will " do the rest " might in time 
develop a fairly successful print as the result. 

The outcome was not equal to my anticipations, but 
it is ever thus. Life is made up of disappointments. 
This picture, though no exception to the rule, may 
still stand as a somewhat unique photograph, if only 
the inscription beneath it conveys to the spectator 
what particular scene it is intended to illustrate. And 
in this respect the snap-shot is not singular, for many 
others which we see might well be superscribed " this 
is a walrus," etc., etc., etc.^ and thereby leaves less to 
the imagination. 

It was only a few seconds ere the whole herd had 
floundered clumsily into the water, and started swim- 
ming some distance away from shore. I retired back- 
wards on hands and knees in crab-like fashion, hoping 
that the walruses had not all discovered the real cause 
of this trouble. And apparently my hopes were 


justified, since the animals remained swimming and 
diving close inshore and near the spot they had left. 

Throwing myself flat on the sand, and beckoning 
Ralph to advance, I began to excavate a form of im- 
provised shelter pit, using my hands to throw up a 
small mound of the loose sand in front of me. 

Ralph had the forethought to bring with him my 
rifle, and after a long crawl he reached the spot where 
I lay, without the walruses apparently having ob- 
served him from where they swam in the water. Soon 
we had both well screened ourselves by piling up sand 
in front of us, and there we lay, determined if need be 
to remain till nightfall, on the chance of the herd 
coming ashore once more. 

It was fully two hours before the bulls did finally 
show signs of coming to land again. From where we 
lay, a distance of eighty yards separated us from the 
spot where the walruses had been lying. And it 
seemed that this was their favourite haunt, because 
countlessJioles were made in the loose sand, showing 
where for ages past their huge bodies had reclined. 
At last, one by one, they came swimming in to shore, 
and when in shallow water again began floundering 
clumsily to land. It was very tempting to try a shot 
at them as their huge chests and foreheads were ex- 
posed to us, but profiting by former experience we 
decided to wait until we could get a side shot at their 

Gradually they hauled out on the sand, some rolling 
over on their sides at once and dropping asleep 


Already we had each singled out a beast apiece, 
and the two chosen ones seemed to carry the largest 
tusks. Just as the best heads are always the hardest 
to acquire, these very bulls were the last of all the 
herd to leave the water. 

Lying side by side Ralph and I were able to con- 
verse in whispers, and how very often during that 
momentous waiting each of us in turn restrained the 
other from shooting too hurriedly it would be hard to 
say. At last the two great brutes came rolling ashore, 
and for a moment they were both broadside on to us. 
On the word from Ralph, " Are you ready?" as pre- 
arranged, I replied, " Yes, fire," and simultaneously 
the two shots rang out. Both beasts dropped like 
pole-axed bullocks, and on examination of them we 
found that the solid bullets from our powerful '450 
cordite rifles had completely smashed to atoms the 
back part of the animals' skulls, thus killing them 

We might easily have got in a second barrel at 
others of the herd before they took to the water, but 
as there is no great sport or danger attached to slaying 
them Ralph and I had previously decided that one 
good head apiece would satisfy our wants, and these 
undoubtedly we had in those two before us. 

Ralph went and hailed the men to come up with the 
boat, and through the glasses I observed a bidarka 
put off from the Lily's side, shortly followed by our 
small dory, which contained the ladies, who obviously 
intended making an inspection of our trophies. 

The advent of Ned and Steve in their bidarka was 


a welcome addition to our strength, since the four 
men of our party were utterly unable to move either 
carcass, and roll the huge brutes a few feet beyond 
the rising tide. In fact, we found that with the united 
efforts of six men we barely moved each beast a few 
yards up the shelving sand. Hence it became a 
question of removing the skulls and scalp as quickly 
as possible. This was no easy task, as the hides were 
several inches thick, and so tough that a skinning- 
knife soon lost its edge. 

Before the operation commenced I photographed 
the dead beasts as they lay, and then ran the tape 
measure over them. The largest bull measured twelve 
feet nine inches from nose to tail, and its companion 
was only an inch or two shorter. We estimated that 
either one weighed nearly three thousand pounds. 
Veritable mountains of flesh, bone, and blubber. 
Ugly, ungainly brutes in life, and uglier still in death, 
weird monsters of a pre-historic type, but still trophies 
which a man can proudly show and say they cost 
him certain hardships to procure. 

Ere we had finished skinning them the water came 
rapidly upon us, and we all soon stood knee-deep in 
the breaking waves, determined at all costs to save 
at least the skulls. 

At last the heads were severed, and we rolled the 
decapitated carcases into deep water, where they soon 
went floating into the lagoon on a rising tide. Thus 
leaving their favourite haunt unpolluted if the herd 
returned once more to the sandbank. 

The weight of each head and scalp alone was just 


as much as two men could lift and carry to the boats, 
and finally we returned triumphant to the ship. Nor 
were the ladies behindhand with their congratulations 
upon our success, in spite of their previous bad luck, 
and displayed the truest camaraderie and sportsman- 
like sentiments. Indeed, Agnes had ordered a ban- 
quet of banquets, and a raid was made upon the case 
of champagne which we reserved for emergencies and 

Our natives were busily occupied for many hours 
in cleaning an'd whittling down the immense thick- 
ness of the walrus scalps, which before being pared 
down were almost three inches tfiick. It seemed 
almost incredible to us that any men could ever 
penetrate these tough hides and actually kill a walrus 
with* spears or harpoons, as the natives still do along 
the Arctic coasts. 

On the next day no walruses returned to the sand- 
bank, although through our telescopes a number 
of them could be seen swimming far out in the open 
sea. Macdonald assured us that these animals could 
sleep upon the waters, and that on occasions natives 
thus approached them noiselessly in canoes and 
harpooned them before the animals observed their 
presence. Whetfier or no this is a sailor's yarn I 
cannot say, but it strikes me from observation of the 
animals that the performance would not be an easy 
one to accomplish successfully. 

Whilst we were in the act of discussing this 
problem Macdonald, happening to glance over the 
vessel's bows, suddenly said, " Well, darn me, gents, 


if there ain't a thundering big brute bearing down 
on us now, and if he's not asleep, I guess he's dead, 

Hastily going forward with glasses we made out 
the body of a walrus coming up the centre of the 
lagoon on the fast-rising tide, and drifting in such a 
direction that it must pass close by the Lily. At first 
we thought it might be one of our floating headless 
carcases still drifting with the tides. But a closer 
inspection revealed the fact that the animal's head 
and neck were still intact, although the former lay 
deep in the water, as the body lay on its side. 

The animal was obviously dead, and then we 
realized that in all probability it was the beast at 
which Agnes and Cecily had fired two days before. 
A boat was quickly lowered, and Steve with two 
sailors put off to intercept the carcase as it came 
floating past. Steve stood in the bows holding a 
rope, which he soon slipped round the dead beast's 
head and thus towed it to the ship's side. 

Steve, who apparently thought we might be in 
doubt as to whether he had accomplished a perform- 
ance equalling that described by the worthy historian 
Albertus Magnus, shouted out, " He dead all right, 
big one, you bet I" And forsooth it was a big one, 
since Agnes and Cecily had had first pick of the herd, 
and this beast was even larger than either of the 
others, and carried a fine pair of tusks, measuring 
twenty-two inches below the gums. 

It was no easy matter to remove the scalp and 
head, as the carcase was too heavy to lift bodily on 


board the schooner. We found the most efficacious 
method to be that of pulling the head and shoulders 
out of the water by roping them up to the mast, and 
the natives getting to work on the skin by standing 
in two boats alongside the Lily. Fortunately a walrus 
has no hair to slip, and this huge brute's tough hide 
was none the worse. 

As the evening tide rolled in we heard the distant 
bellowing of walruses. A welcome sound, foretelling 
the return of that absent herd once more to our 
lagoon. For such a prospect we were all duly thank- 
ful, as each day wasted now in waiting meant a prob- 
ability of arriving late upon the grounds where we 
hoped to find some wild sheep, and thus far none of 
us could tell how long the proposed trip up the Kus- 
kokwim might take us ere we reached the mountainous 
sheep country. 

Early next morning I saw the walruses occupying 
the old haunt upon the sandbank, and soon after- 
wards the boat carried the ladies as before across to 
the desolate island. I had advised them to adopt the 
same tactics as used by Ralph and myself on the last 
occasion, and, of course, it was the intention to shoot 
but one walrus, as one head apiece was sufficient to 
take away as trophies of these harmless beasts. 

A friendly squabble arose between Agnes and 
Cecily as to whom the first walrus belonged. We 
suggested tossing up for it, on the understanding 
that the loser took the first shot on the chance occur- 
ring. Agnes, sticking to her usual assumption of 
bad luck, declared that she would never win anything 


at tossing, and that therefore the first beast was 
already as good as Cecily's. Nor was she wrong in 
this, for Cecily won the toss, and it was in vain that 
we tried to point out that at last she had actually won 
something, because the next shot was hers by all 
ruling of the gods of chance. 

She returned, unlike Niobe, all smiling, from the 
sea, triumphant in the result of a well-planned stalk, 
since with the first shot she bagged another fine 
walrus, and according to our compact Cecily, who had 
accompanied her throughout the long and arduous 
crawling process, had been obliged to come back with- 
out firing a shot. What force of will-power it re- 
quired on her part to refrain from firing at another 
beast, as the whole herd dashed into the water, she 
alone can tell, but it is on record in our memory to 
her everlasting credit that she did so. 



The story shall be changed ; 

Apollo flies, and Daphne holds the chase 

Midsummer Night's Dream 
Thus with imagin'd wing our swift scene flies 

King Henry V 

Do you know what it is to waken to a sense of im- 
pending disaster, to open your eyes to a cold world 
you confidently feel is just about to frown its 
blackest ? 

The murky little cabin looked its worst, the ubiquit- 
ous cockroaches have I told you of the portly 
cockroaches who resided in their dozens in the planks 
of the schooner? appeared more objectionable than 
usual in mine eyes, as Tom, for the nonce a messenger 
of evil omen, brought in my chota hazari, and the 
news which almost outed itself ere the necessary words 
could be formed and spoken. 

" Kitchener is dead, m'm." 

I sat up. The blow had fallen. I had felt it would. 
How can one hope to rear a bear cub on a sealing 
schooner with a crew constantly offering the animal 
rations, ranging from inadequately cooked beans to 
drinks of hot, greasy cocoa? 

The pretty little cub ! I would he were still a 

'77 N 


creature of the boundless wild, I would But Tom 

began, with the fell ghoulishness of the lower orders, 
to describe the manner of the end. This was too 
much. If he liked to harrow his own feelings why 
try to harrow mine? When we jump a stiff fence 
we sometimes land on a harrow, but there's no earthly 
need to put one there. 

On deck the crew were wrangling as to which of 
their number killed the little bear with o'er much 
kindness. The cook accused a shrinking youth, a 
French Canadian, who seemed so likely to be blamed 
for the disaster, as he had not sufficient go about 
him to repudiate all connection with it, that Cecily 
and I felt we must to his rescue, albeit we were 
biassed. Women are very seldom impartial; their 
sympathies go out, rightly or wrongly, to the weaker 
and losing side; their desire is always to "assist 
the dog that is under," and have nothing to do with 
the cynical advice of the philosopher who advocated 
the system of taking the part of " the man with the 
largest club." 

Cecily suggested that very likely the chef himself 
had overdone his attentions a little, a flank move- 
ment which diverted things, and left the cook 
stranded in a backwater of unspoken annoyance. I 
was glad that Cecily got in so telling a shot, for the 
cook paid no attention to any one save himself and 
his own creature comforts. In some men, as they 
grow older, the milk of human kindness dries up. 
They have no sympathy. 

Ralph came upon the scene, and smoothed and 


soft-soaped the crew and glossed things over. If the 
cook had killed the bear, which was not for a moment 
so much as hinted at, he probably considered that 
the animal would prefer death to continued life aboard 
a sealing schooner. If the sailor in question had 
assisted our pet out of this world of tears, it was 
done in the way of kindness. If anybody else was 
responsible for closing the cub's career, no doubt 
there were excellent reasons to be brought forward, if 
we only knew them. In short, the blood of the bear 
was on its own head, or rather on its own " Little 

It was most annoying, and this backing the horse 
both ways, into which Ralph had suddenly launched, 
made Cecily and me think we must be electioneering, 
instead of sailing on a sealer over the Bering Sea. 

Ralph explained afterwards that it was a piece of 
diplomacy, and very necessary, as it was useless to 
annoy the crew, who had it in their power to make 
things very unpleasant for us an' they wished. I 
think now, looking back, that we should have got on 
much better than we did if we had used a little less 
diplomacy when we were on the Lily. Amateurs at 
it always show their hand, and the one weak spot 
at the same time. Indeed, even in the great crises 
of the world I am not sure but that diplomacy should 
be relegated to a back seat. Is it so good perpetually 
to gloss over ? Does it not often merely make a film 
over the ulcerous part, whilst rank corruption, under- 
mining all within, spreads unseen ? 

Off Cape Constantine we encountered the densest 


fog which had as yet barred our progress, and it was 
often impossible to see the bows of the ship from 
the stern. Creeping warily inshore we anchored in 
a little sheltered inlet, and there remained over- 
shadowed by a dreary belt of mist for two whole 

Weighing anchor at last, we sailed by the black- 
looking, forbidding precipices of Hagemeister Island. 
Our hunters told us it was said, by men likely to 
know, that bears of a fierce and magnificent descrip- 
tion inhabited the recesses of this frowning isle. 
We had not the time to verify the statement for our- 
selves, even had we the inclination. Bear pelts at 
this season are apt to be not worth the taking. 

On the gaunt cliffs the sea-birds rested in thou- 
sands, changing the colour of the dark grim rocks to 
tones of white and grey. Murres there were in 
myriads, but gulls, cormorants, auks, and other 
diving birds were present in solid masses. The 
Aleuts call the murres "arries," a familiar, meaning 
word, and I should like to know the origin of it in 
Alaska. " 'Arrys " are very common with us at 
home, too common altogether. Can it be that the 
Aleut mind bestowed the name in a spirit of fine 
irony? I think not. There be English "'Arrys" 
and Alaskan "arries." 

We sailed through a dense curtain of birds, divid- 
ing up their multitudes as our ship ran on. As a 
murre flies the feet do all the steering, for so stumpy 
a tail as is this bird's makes for awkwardness, and 
gives no guidance. When the course must be 


changed out go the slim red feet, and make the 
balance perfect. 

For one evening the wraith of the mist hung on 
the skirts of the horizon, and no fog banks dimmed 
the lustre of a perfect scene. Perhaps the silence, 
the loneliness, the fierce, sad splendour of the chill 
and haunting North, had never before seemed so in- 
sistent as the sun sank, lighting up a path of glowing 
glory for so far as the eye coulft reach, and rising 
high beside us, sombre and grand, the great rocks of 
Hagemeister Island, set in a waste of desolate waters, 
a facetted jewel in a crowned world. 

Around Cape Newenham races the strongest tidal 
current of the Bering Sea, an'd our skipper, fore- 
warned, took precautions accordingly, and gave the 
Cape a wide berth. Even so we felt the giant hands 
of the deep drawing us nearer, and ever nearer, to the 
coast. At times the strong ship turned as though 
she were on a fixed pivot, so little progress made she, 
so strong were the eddies and whirlpools arouncl her. 
Captain Clemsen, or, more properly speaking, the 
pilot, had not miscalculated, and we cleared the fear- 
some place with a few hundred yards to spare. 

Far out of the swirling, whirling rapids we caught 
a glimpse of two fur seals, the first we had seen, 
bobbing and curtseying on the waves. Their shrift 
would be short if the spirit of Wanderlust took them 
much closer to shore. Steve and Ned looked long- 
ingly at the bidarkas, and in fancy threw the deftest 
of deft spears, but the sea ran much too strong to 
permit of hunting seals. 


From Cape Newenham onwards to the estuary of 
the Kuskokwim one gravelly beach succeeded the 
other, and going ashore was made delightfully simple, 
because the water held deep right up to the tide line. 
Driftwood was very plentiful, but the only growing 
timber seemed to be entirely composed of belts of 
attenuated dwarf willows. 

Near one of the prettiest of the 'shingly beaches 
Cecily and I landed one afternoon bent on a long 
foray, and for the first time on this trip we intended 
to sleep in the open, with the sky for tent. The Lily 
lay out in the offing, a sentinel for our safety. 

With our sleeping-bags strapped to our backs, and 
a few eatables bestowed in our pockets, we took a 
straight line from the beach, through the dense 
willow scrub. 

Trekking onwards, with the enthusiasm of untried 
explorers, we suddenly came on the smallest little 
homestead, for all the world like a settler's hut in 
the Canadian backwoo'ds, which so surprised us we 
pinched our arms to see whether or no we were awake 
or dreaming. There stood the shack right enough, 
shakily, a rude dwelling made from the whitened 
timber cast up on the beach, a stove-pipe doing duty 
for chimney, and a window about the size of a hand- 
kerchief inset into the rough logs. A low door stood 
open, a-swing, and on a rubbish-heap near by a 
pair of bald-headed eagles fought each other for 
possession of some putrid bones. No smoke arose; 
the silence seemed charged with the electricity of 
mystery, ami burdened with weird, indescribable 


imaginings. A haunted homestead. Haunted by 
the ghosts of the Past, Regret, and Memory. 

We tip-toed across the marshy quagmire interven- 
ing, and peered inquisitively round the creaking door. 
In the cavern-like fireplace a dead log, charred and 
dull, gave the whole room the sad, forlorn aspect 
chill embers always bring. We ranged right inside, 
and through the bare room we caught a glimpse of a 
little lean-to, and surely a figure prone on the cold 
earth floor. This was exploring indeed. We called 
out to ask if we, who were already in, might enter. 
No reply. 

A squat, untidy figure lay before us, all of a heap, 
and a hood of a parka, made from loon skins, con- 
cealed the face. Cecily drew the folds back and 
with a gasp, which changed to a little cry as she 
saw us, an Innuit woman looked up at us. Old she 
was in grief, but not, I think, in years. It is very 
hard to guess accurately the age of native women, 
but we judged this one to be about twenty-four. 
There was nothing romantic about her, for an Innuit 
lacks royal grace and dignity of carriage, but there 
was that in her face which told of the sadness of the 
ages, and her eyes were wells of unshed tears. She 
rose to her feet in a sort of maze, and we stood, an 
extraordinary trio, looking inquiringly at each other. 

The Innuit woman spoke to us wonderingly, ques- 
tioningly, with eyes yearning. We could neither 
understand nor offer any comfort. 

By signs she made it clear to us that she no longer 
lived in this small shack, she lived somewhere " over 


there," waving to a distant settlement; but once 
this had been her home. Some one else, apparently, 
had lived here with her, some one she loved. The 
Some one was drowned, for we had the drama acted 
in silent pantomime before us. The throwing the 
spear, the first success, then the bidarka ripping open 
on a treacherous rock, the sudden immersion, the 
swimming, and then the end. It was all very 
marvellous, and most weird and heart-stirring to 

Our new acquaintance pitifully laid the gooHs and 
chattels of the drowned before us, bringing them out 
from a secure hiding-place in the roof. With some 
surprise we realized that the Some one must have been 
a white man, a trapper or prospector perhaps, " gone 
native," as is sometimes the case. The Innuit 
woman probably recognized that she stood face to 
face with others of her man's race. 

The relics were very few a pipe, an old silver 
watch, a very pre-historic Winchester repeater, and 
two photographs, of the variety to be found in every 
old album a lady with a chignon, a man with a 
wealth of white tie and murky apparel. They were 
tied together in a much-worn, much-read newspaper 
of ancient date. I looked at this five-year-old breath 
from the outer world, and found that the torn sheet 
emanated from Birmingham, and it recorded, in faded 
ink, a great speech made by Mr. Chamberlain. On 
the margin of the paper, written in pencil, in an 
educated hand, we made out, after some difficulty, 
the words 


" Joe loves his country. That is enough for a 

And lower ftown the column this comment 
" There can be no decay if such a vitality exists." 
This settled the matter for us. The man " gone 
native " was an Englishman, a patriot too, whatever 
else he was" not. More we could not grasp, save the 
paper, an'd that we annexed, by permission, as a 

Our Innuit, putting away her treasures, by signs 
begged us to follow her, and, having nothing on hand 
but the further gratifying of our detective propensi- 
ties, we decided we wished to pursue this aclventure 
to the end. Following our guide up hill and clown 
dale we rounded a bluff, and came on a small settle- 
ment, nestling on the banks of a small river. Our 
friend did the honours, and introduced us to the chief 
of the tribe, a crafty-looking personage of unusually 
small stature, and shifty, deep-set eyes. 

Every one crowded close about us in a state of 
unfeigned surprise. They were not at all unman- 
nerly, and seemed gla'd to have us there, but they 
could not hide the astonishment they felt at our 
appearance. The chief triecl to detach my rifle, 
whether because he would relieve me of its weight 
or not I cannot tell. Just as gravely, just as 
solemnly, I held on. Dried salmon was brought to 
us and berries, which made us feel the awkwardness 
of having nothing to present in return. We turned 
out our pockets, and found a spare box of matches. 
These took pride of place, and the chief condescended 


to accept them. We had a flask of whisky on us, 
but refrained from handing over. The natives of 
the coast line, from Cape Constantine to the Kus- 
kokwim, are free more or less from the temptations 
of strong drink, because the conditions which govern 
navigation thereabouts are not attractive to the 
whisky trader. Therefore, why create a want? 
Besides, as Cecily said, we should very likely neeH 
the contents of our flask ourselves before we had 

How glorious it was to lie in a warm sleeping-bag 
watching the stars twinkling in a sky of ultramarine, 
to listen to the desolate cry of a loon, the very tongue 
of the wilderness, and hear the plaintive snipe over- 
head. How splendid to be so independent of any 
camping arrangements, to require so little as to be 
able to say any instant, " Let us rest here," no fuss, 
no settling, no palaver of any kind. 

After a breakfast of some of the gift salmon, toasted 
by the fire, we set out in another direction, and to 
our vexation came on another Innuit settlement. We 
seemed to have found a very residential part of the 
country. The inhabitants of the coast, from the 
mouth of the Yukon to Bristol Bay, are called In- 
nuits, and they are the most numerous of any of the 
tribes allied to the Eskimo. Very simple-minded 
and kindly, it would be impossible to dislike them for 
anything but the absolute filth of their half-under- 
ground residences. These semi-earth houses, called 
baraboras, beggar all description for dirt and 
wretchedness. Some baraboras have square, wooden 


apartments raised on stilts, to be clear of the floods 
standing alongside, and these fish-drying and stor- 
ing rooms are infinitely preferable to the Innuit living 
establishment. For the most part these people live 
on the salmon of the country, hair seals, from the 
outlying rocks, and an occasional delicacy in the way 
of walrus meat. 

This newly-discovereH settlement was very de- 
serted, ami appeared to be in the charge of an old 
patriarch, who sat in the sun chewing tobacco. The 
younger people of both sexes were harvesting, the 
men spearing hair seals, the women catching clothes 
for the family in some far-off range. We noticed 
that the parkas worn by the Innuit women were made 
much shorter in length than those worn by the men. 
Some of the Innuit ladies affected shapeless boots 
made from seal-skin, which reached half-way up to 
the knee. 

The Innuit seldom smokes, but men and women 
chew, soaking the tobacco beforehand in seal-oil, and 
rolling it into a tight ball. Seal-oil is the everything 
of life to the natives of Alaska, sauce for all eatables, 
and no excursion is possible without a goodly store. 
Very often the oil is carried in an ingenious bag 
made from a whole seal-skin which has been skinned 
out from the neck. In the September berry season, 
when the wild raspberry, the saskatoon, and the soap 
berry can be gathered, the natives pick them by 
quarts, and putting them into a can or cauldron of 
sorts, squeeze the fruit through the fingers, beating 
it about until the whole is a frothing mass. Seal- 


oil plays the part of cream, and it is poure'd in 
lavishly. Then what a banquet ! We had much 
ado to refuse politely to sample a portion after in- 
terestedly watching its preparation. 

When both Cecily and I would not have even a 
small helping, the disconsolate faces around told us 
how much our friends felt the thwarting of their 
hospitable intentions. A weird-looking girl handed 
me a salmon from a pile of dried fish heaped near a 
barabora. I took" it and scrutinized it closely with- 
out thinking, for, of course, even in the Innuif world 
it is very rude to look a gift horse in the mouth. I 
was really trying to discover its variety, whether 
king salmon or salmon of lesser rank. Again a look 
of disappointment crossed the faces of our kindly 
would-be entertainers. How tactless it was of me 
to seem so unappreciative. A gleam of intelligence 
lit the eyes of an Innuit matron. Taking me by the 
hand, and bidding Cecily to follow, she led us to the 
back of a barabora, and there before us we saw 
what any one would take to be a very recently made 
grave. Such a large one, the tomb of a veritable 
giant Innuit. 

Ghoulishly our friend commenced to scratch up the 
soil, throwing it hither and thither. Prepared as 
we were by that time for an exhumation of some sort, 
we could not help gasping with astonishment as she 
struck boards, and beneath the boards, which the 
energetic woman carefully lifted, salmon in count- 
less dozens, decaying and rotting. The smell well- 
nigh overwhelmed us, but we realized that this time 


we must not fail to be obliged and appreciative. We 
stood our ground, and the Innuit lady seemed to 
fairly drink in the noxious odour, her nose wrinkling 
up like a rabbit's as it sniffs new grass. Dipping 
her arms deep into the mass of rapidly-decomposing 
fish, she brought out a specimen sans, a good deal 
of itself, but quite sufficient to be exceedingly impres- 
sive. This she smilingly bestowed upon me with the 
air of one who feels that this time at least there can 
be no doubt as to the value of the gift. 

My diplomacy was now to be tested. I grasped 
the horror by what tail it had left, and smiled and 
bowed my thanks. Every one seemed delighted that 
at last I was fixed up with something really edible, 
and in the end we had to take the salmon aboard the 
bidarka, which came to take us back to the Lily, 
because our friends of the settlement would not leave 
us, and had we remained ashore we must have been 
compelled to devour the fish. 

I afterwards discovered that these salmon pits are 
to be found in many Innuit settlements, and nobody 
dies from the effects. The natives are like the bears, 
and prefer salmon with a little " bings " about 

The skipper asked us that night if we had, by any 
chance, a skunk in the hold ! It was the redolent 
whiffs of my khaki coat really for the salmon had 
been consigned to its own element long ago and 
it took days and days to go off. 

Nearing the estuary of the Kuskokwim, a dull 
expanse of mud flats, rather like the reaches of the 


Severn round about Chepstow, a great colony of 
birds fished assiduously, scurrying and swirling on 
the face of the waters. The quarrelling and fighting 
was incessant, and the many cries rent the air in 
volume of sound. On the outskirts of the noisy 
throng was a solitary pure white gull, of Point 
Barrow variety, most handsome of sea-birds. No 
bars of black marked his spotless coat, his bright 
beak of flaming yellow being the only vivid colour 
about him. In slow majestic turns and twists the 
beautiful bird neared our ship to settle peacefully 
on the tossing waves beside a blue-black cormorant, 
a contrast in colour schemes. 

On the estuary numbers of brent geese paddled 
about in the oozy mud, washed by the waves. Most 
wary and careful of birds, they took to the open sea 
at night, and when rising to fly never sailed land- 
wards. As they flew, their wings beating the air in 
great rhythmical strokes, the whole concourse of birds 
called in a hoarse wild note, and given in the unison 
of several hundreds of throats the noise sounded like 
a clanking cough requiring a " One-day cold cure " 
badly. All around the feeding grounds the sea-grass, 
torn up by the roots, floated in solid masses, the most 
edible bits having been eaten off. 

Ralph got a lucky shot at a straggler, after stalk- 
ing the bird for an hour or more. Brent geese are 
really hard to bag without the paraphernalia of punt, 
gun, etc., and here on the estuary of mud stalking 
was a disagreeable, messy business. 

We anchored in the wide mouth of the Kuskokwim 


River, a bay in itself, and up stream we made out, 
with our glasses, a large native settlement, the Mecca 
of our hopes just now, since the next thing on the 
cards was to discover men willing to follow our 
fortunes after we should quit the Lily. 



Then sit we down, and let us all consult 

Titus Andronicus 
I'll pluck thee berries, 
I'll fish for thee, and get thee wood enough 

The Tempest 

NEXT morning we four, with Steve as interpreter, 
rowed to the settlement, nestling on the south bank, 
a filthy, evil-smelling collection of baraboras, and 
as we landed the women left their work and mounted 
the roofs the better to see the visitors. Pulling up 
the bidarkas with very willing hands, a crowd of 
Innuit men gave us greeting. 

Decaying carcases of seals and rotten salmon 
dotted the trodden earth, and but for the ravens and 
the eagles who played the part of Health Officers, I 
imagine the state of that Innuit abiding place would 
have been even more insanitary than it was. The 
birds swooped down and picked up pieces of decom- 
posing matter from under our very feet. The whole 
village was rather like an abattoir, and the most 
ordinary sense of smell would guide any one straight 
to it from a mile off. 

A great catch of hair seals was in process of being 
converted into blubber, and everything in the vicinity 

was larded with the liquid, people, beach, air, houses, 



dogs, and bidarkas, a veritable orgy of oil. At in- 
tervals, down what Ralph called " the High Street," 
fires were burning, encircled with stones, and a strong 
iron kettle, somewhat like an Irish pot, simmered 
on the red ashes, reducing pieces of seals' fat to liquid 
form. An attendant handmaiden ladled out the 
bubbling oil as it melted into native baskets, so 
wonderfully woven and meshed that they were water- 
tight. As the oil cooled it was run off again into 
bags made from whole seals, or primitive tubs for 
storing purposes. 

Other women prepared the seals for the pot, lifting 
the carcasses off-handedly as a fishmonger seizes a 
salmon for cutting up. All the seal seemed of use 
save the head and clean-picked backbone, which 
was thrown on to the beach to add to the already 
shocking condition of things. The skilful dismem- 
berment of the seals was accomplished by the aid of 
a rude stone knife of great sharpness. The split car- 
case was then laid, hair side down, and having 
removed the body of the animal almost whole, the 
deft worker stripped off the fat in a solid sheet clear 
off the skin. 

Seal-oil boiling is to the Innuit matron what the 
domestic function of preserving is with us. They 
stir and watch it just as diligently. But for the smell 
almost one could think strawberry jam manufacture 
was in progress. We got so interested and muddled 
with memories, that Cecily said at last, very anxiously 
to one matron, "Oh, I'm sure it is time to skim 
now. The scum is rising." 



Propped against the half-underground dwellings 
stood worn grey vertebrae of whales, souvenirs of the 
passing of the whaling fleet. 

All the inhabitants of the village wore the parka, 
and here the shirt-like costume was cut much longer 
at the back than the front, giving a quaint tail-like 
effect. One could hardly make a way through the 
settlement for poles and crisscross thongs whereon 
were drying remnants of seal, salmon, and flat fish 
of great size. Skins full of the blubber swung from 
standing scaffolding, nets made from seals' skins set 
traps to catch the unwary feet, and all sorts of in- 
genious bags and baskets made from the ubiquitous 
universal provider to the Innuits dried in the wind 
and sun. The skins are made up in all kinds of 
ways, into useful hold-all baskets, sagging in the 
middle, sewn to two pieces of wood, not unlike a 
butcher's tray, and contrived into the fashion to which 
I have already alluded; bags skinned out from the 
neck, or into a most useful second variety cut from 
flipper to flipper, and then laced together. 

A great many dogs were sniffing and gnawing 
amongst the refuse. They were large grey brutes, 
not unlike a coyote, fierce and wolfish-looking. Their 
looks bewrayed them, for they greeted us with 
courtesy, and made no attempt to snarl or bite. 

We held a council with the chief, or headman of 
the tribe, explained our wants, and expressed our 
desires through Steve, who seemed to be able to make 
himself understood with most of the natives we had 
come across. We desired to engage six Innuits, with 


bidarkas, to take us to the headwaters of the Kus- 
kokwim, thence to trek with us across the divide 
between that river and the Sushitna, and carry our 
stores, trophies when we got any ! as we hunted 
the country we should traverse. On meeting the 
band of natives to be sent up from Cook's Inlet by 
Captain Clemsen, the men from this settlement at 
the mouth of the Kuskokwim could return to their 

The affair seemed most difficult to arrange. The 
general impression and consternation which we 
created could not have been more acute had we been 
calling for volunteers to accompany us on an expedi- 
tion to the North Pole. I imagine it was because 
the trip was an up-stream affair, therefore a hard 
nut to crack. All the Alaskan tribes look with suspi- 
cion on anything which they have not personally 
seen and sampled for themselves. These men did 
not know the river so far up, nor guessed the exist- 
ence, so far as we could gather, of the great divide 
which lay between the rivers. Unknown bits of any 
world must be bad. The chief thought so, and the 
men followed suit. 

" Him say no good, you bet," said Steve, method- 

Never strike sail to the fear of a native, I Say, 
and the Leader agreed with me. Indeed, the more 
difficulties the Innuits set in the way the more resolved 
seemed the Leader to overcome and overthrow them. 
As a real leader should do. It always seems to me that 
a man fitted by nature to lead and govern others 


never complains of the idiocy of his coadjutors, of 
their incapability, unsuitability, and other shortcom- 
ings. A born leader sees in all these things the 
proof of his power, his power to meet and beat them. 

At last appeared a real travelled Innuit, who was 
introduced to us as a veritable Stanley, with a dash 
of Sir Richard Burton thrown in. This dolorous- 
looking individual had actually hunted over the sheep 
ground we were aiming for only some two years be- 
fore, when he convoyed an American magnate, for 
whom the native had not one good word to say. It 
is always a matter for interested amusement to me 
to notice the manner in which all shikaris, black and 
white, talk of the last sportsman whom they served. 
The last is very first, and referred to, and his doings 
quoted and dragged into the conversation at all sorts 
of odd moments. 

According to native hunters but two varieties of 
sportsmen exist. The one a demi-god, a little lower 
than the angels, one whom it would be impossible 
to imagine doing aught wrong or mistaken, who never 
misses a shot, invariably clean kills his quarry, never 
swears, never loses his temper, and treats his shikari 
like a friend and a brother. A being almost too good 
for this world and most wearisome to meet, did he 
exist, for such self-evident worth and complacent 
excellence would pall inevitably. Then there's the 
other sportsman. Look on this picture, and on that. 
An imp of evil, a being brought into this vale of tears 
for no other reason than to make an honest shikari's 
life a burden, a bungler, a no sort of a shot, a cum- 


berer of the ground, a useless, greedy creature of 
uncertain temper, and new original swear-words. 
There is no middle path. Angel of light or demon 
of evil must you be. It all depends on the hunter's 
point of view. The much-travelled one counselled 
that some of the men of the settlement accepted the 
offer made to them, and matters took a more en- 
couraging turn. At first a dollar and a half per day 
was demanded for each man, and they stated that 
they were not moving up river for less. They were 
not skilled in the type of hunting we were about to 
engage in, and this seemed a stiff price. To our 
astonishment the avaricious creatures finally con- 
sented to take a dollar per diem each man. After 
agreeing to pay something for the hire of extra 
bidarkas we hied us back to the Lily to complete all 

I did wish we had a dug-out of Pacific Coast 
variety, for they are so excellent for poling up rivers. 
However, we had not, and a dory must be towed up 
so far as practicable to aid in the store carrying. 
Sorting the goods and chattels to be taken was a big 
business. Ample supplies had to be left on board 
the Lily for the men who were returning in her to 
Cook's Inlet, where more stores could be obtained, 
and ample supplies had to be taken for our big trek 
to the Sushitna. We calculated it would take us 
three weeks to get to the shooting-ground, and after 
leaving the Kuskokwim all the transport available 
would be the shoulders of our henchmen. 

That evening, a day but one before the start, as I 


was looking over the trophies in the hold, Steve stood 
beside me, and in his odd mixture of Americanese 
and English desired me to grant him a favour. 

11 You do this for me, you bet, I do all same for 

Which meant, in effect, that if his wants were 
favourably considered, mine would receive his careful 
attention when the right time came. 

The little native wished to remain with us, to see 
the trip through, to hunt with us, and be our inter- 
preter and general factotum. We had never figured 
on such a stroke of luck. Ned might safely be 
trusted to care for the trophies, and Steve could work 
his way back to Kodiac from Cook's Inlet as occa- 
sion offered. I closed with the sporting offer, and, 
much delighted, Steve curled himself up in a maze 
of blankets in a corner of the hold, and set himself 
to sleep. 

At dawn the loading up of our flotilla commenced 
in earnest. We conveyed everything to the mouth of 
the river, and then packed the bidarkas and a dory 
with a heap of stores, rifle cases, tents, and cases in- 
numerable. Leaving all sorts of instructions, verbal 
and written, with Captain Clemsen, we said good- 
bye to our fragrant Lily, with not a few regrets, and, 
speaking personally, not a few qualms. 

Now were we fairly launched into a nomadic life. 
I set out in a three-hatch bidarka, with a sinister- 
looking paddler, who hugged a little bag of seal-oil 
to his manly chest. The energetic paddler had not 
corked his treasure sufficiently, and presently the 


deck skin streamed with evil-smelling oil, and ere I 
discovered it I had mopped up a considerable quantity 
with my coat-sleeve. All the men appeared to cling 
like limpets to a skin full of the seal-oil, and we were 
glad each proprietor considered his quantum too 
valuable to let out of sight, for it made for the pre- 
servation of the stores. A seal-oil flavour does not 
commend itself to all men. 

Almost as soon as our journey up river commenced 
we landed again to call on the missionary in charge 
of a Moravian Mission, which made the natives' 
minds wonder considerably. A flourishing trading 
post stood alongside, all built in a neat corral. The 
natives living in this centre of civilization, an Alaskan 
metropolis, had in some ways risen above the habits 
of their ancestors, and in others fallen below their 

The influence of a trading post always has a direct 
effect on the clothing of natives, and here the men 
and women wore immaculate trouserines showing 
below their parkas. I have to call their kit trouser- 
ines, because the garments were not trousers, nor 
short enough for knickerbockers, but a sort of com- 
promise between the two, a sartorial half-way house. 
I wondered if the missionary had set the fashion in 
this attire. Or had the primitive savages evolved it 
from their inner consciousness? 

" Fashions that are now called new 
Have been worn by more than you ; 
Elder times have worn the same, 
Though the new ones got the name." 


Up stream, away from the benign influence, 
savagery came to hand grips with extreme punctili- 
ousness of costume, ousted it, and fairly ran amok. 
In some of the temporary residences of nomadic 
natives we came on Innuits of all ages, more or less, 
usually more, in " the altogether." 

The bidarkas which carried the stores naturally 
made slower progress than the ones less encumbered, 
and as for the manoeuvres of the men in charge of 
the dory they were strenuous in the extreme. Very 
often we settled on a spot for camp long before the 
necessary camp kit hove in sight, meanwhile we 
foraged around for anything we could get in the way 
of waterfowl to fill the pot. Teal delighted us with 
their unsuspicious ways. They so readily allowed 
us the easiest of shots, and were so amiably willing to 
fall into the snares of the fowler. No crouching or 
grovelling is required here, just a straight walk to 
the place where the birds settled, and with any luck 
a right and left chance was the inevitable reward. 
You need quick eyes and a ready finger, for the teal 
quits the land or water with a springing dart, an 
arrow-like movement, with no sort of a warning such 
as an upraised head, or hurried quack of alarm. 

Wood was scarce at first, and all along the banks 
for many days we came on small settlements whose 
inhabitants fished and hunted the little world around 
them, making it difficult for us to keep our larder 
filled. Tobacco was the " open sesame " to most 
things, and procured us the granting of our simple 
desires much more expeditiously than the proffering 


of the brightest silver half-dollar ever minted. Here, 
in this back of beyond, fifty cents was the standard 
trading amount, not the dollar, as in so many other 
parts of North America. This is a great economy. 

The daily vista was uninteresting enough at first, 
but as we progressed the river banks became more 
entrancing, the bird life more amazing. Save for 
the presence of the ferocious mosquitoes our days 
would have been cloudless. The little pests were the 
source of the greatest annoyance, and necessitated 
the wearing of veils and gloves. 

Our daily programme varied but little, and our 
custom was to start after breakfast in any kind of 
weather, and do as much travelling as strength per- 
mitted, then to halt, rest awhile, cook a good meal, 
and go on again until late evening, when we camped 
for the night. 

I wish I could tell of hairbreadth 'scapes, of battling 
against rapids, and running into rocks, for such 
things would seem to be an indispensable part of the 
exploration of a comparatively unknown river in the 
wilds of Alaska, and inseparable from the mysterious 
whole. There were rapids, there were rocks, but 
truth compels me to say that neither were dangerous. 
The Kuskokwim has no big rapids, some swiftly 
running water, racing apace over sandy bars, but the 
finesse of our little navigators was never at fault, and 
they propelled the light bidarkas gallantly over the 
tossing ripples. The slow, tortoise-like dory hugged 
the bank, usually in tow from the shore ahead. 

The greatest hardship on the voyage was the 


cramp in our limbs, a natural result from the awkward 
position a bidarka mariner must take up. The same 
little sinister Innuit paddled my craft daily, and at 
first I thought he was the ugliest living creature I 
had ever come across, but after glueing my eyes for 
days to the nape of his short neck, ringed round with 
creases, and catching a glimpse of his countenance 
as he half turned to the paddle, I got so used to this 
vision of hideousness that almost he seemed to climb 
to a pinnacle of ugliness, and tumble over to a Look- 
ing-Glass topsy-turvy world which returned him 
revivified and passable. Have you ever noticed that 
queer-looking people are like ugly photographs they 
grow on one? At first you think "Dear me, I 
cannot bear this caricature near me." Next you get 
to, "It is really not so bad, after all," and, lastly, 
a sort of pleasant toleration comes. 

Sometimes a great log came rolling by, continuing 
its weary journey from the heart of Alaska to the 
sea. Our men would dash after the treasure-trove, 
lasso it, broncho fashion, and haul the baulk ashore. 
A big fire would follow, and much drying of camp 
kit, indiscriminate roasting of fish, flesh, and fowl 
also. Not often flesh, just occasionally. I bagged 
a small black bear one night as he feasted upon 
berries, his jaws dyed red in the juices of the fruit. 
His paws were stuck full of porcupine quills, a 
prickly hint of sorts for Bruin evidently. The men 
feasted merrily on this addition to their rations. We 
kept to the birds of the air. Bear meat is really only 
possible when one is next door to starving. 


At one of our camps we called a longer halt, and 
Cecily and I had a washing day, making a fire by 
the unlimited water supply, and requisitioning the 
constant services of the camp kettle. As we rinsed 
the clothes in the river my boot struck against some- 
thing hard beneath the sand, and I stooped down 
to redeem the treasure trove of a mastodon tooth 
in excellent preservation. We thought that this rem- 
nant of a pre-historic monster had been washed down 
from the river banks during the floods of spring, or 
snow-falls of winter. Our natives told us that they 
often came on many large bones buried in the shale- 
like bluffs along the sides of the Kuskokwim. We 
* saw no game of any kind, and save for a musk-rat 
or two swimming away from us for dear life, and the 
wildfowl who had their haunts in the quiet slopes 
fringing the stream, this world of ours was solemn in 
its desolation. 

On and on we went, a round of days very much 
alike, rain and storm and shine, strenuous days 
enough, crammed to overflowing with the manifold 
interests of the trip. So at last to wilder waters, 
broken country, split up into many channels, with 
infinitesimal islands and streams branching forth from 
the mighty mother. Mountains loomed on our 
horizon, and above all rose the dominating peak of 
Mount MacKinley, the highest on the North American 
continent. Chains and networks of water intersected 
the land and spread into lagoons, where mallard, teal, 
and the common snipe abounded. 

On the other side of Fort Kalmakoff, established in 


1832, now a dreary native encampment, we steered 
right into the midst of the Upper Kuskokwim 
Indians, of whom we had heard from our friend 
the missionary at the mouth of the river. A large 
flotilla of bidarkas, and some graceful birch-bark 
canoes, lay hauled up on the banks above water-line. 
The chief came down to the edge of the river to 
receive us, and every other inhabitant of the settle- 
ment left work, if they ever did any, to come and 
look at us. 

The headman wore a very superior parka made 
from Siberian reindeer skin, and some of the belles 
had on parkas composed of loon skins stitched to- 
gether, and these garments were in a pitiable condi- 
tion of moulting, and dropped feathers as the wearers 

We could have run the blockade of this encamp- 
ment without going ashore if the pilot in the first 
bidarka had not made the welkin ring with im- 
possible-to-understand messages announcing our 
approach. We presented a little tobacco and a pen- 
knife or two, which seemed to please the people. The 
chief, oddly enough, spoke a Russian patois, and 
began a persuasive argument in varying tones, trying 
first a high key, then, as no answering light of under- 
standing shone in our eyes, dropped his remarks to 
a lower register, and finally, as he saw that his 
rhetorical efforts stood an excellent chance of being 
entirely wasted, came out with a basso-prof undo 
sentence which made us jump with surprise. Obvi- 
ously a reply was expected. Naturally we looked 


to the Leader to do the right thing. All he said 

"Oh er really, hang it! Where's Steve?" 
Steve could not help here either, and finally we 
discovered a minion who translated to Steve in a 
lingo understood by him, and the message gradually 
filtered through to us. The chief would like some 
" hootchinoo." A diabolical form of whisky. We 
explained, again by the complicated form of word 
transmission, that we were anti-hootchinooers, and 
proffered a small bottle of lime juice instead. A 
woman seized it, somewhat roughly certainly, and 
the outraged chief caught her a terrific blow on her 
shoulders, and annexed the trophy himself. 

The women of this camp struck us as being a 
frightfully put-upon lot, and even in the short time 
we were there we saw one or two incidents which 
made our blood boil. Perhaps it would be too much 
to ask that savages should not push and cuff their 
women-kind in a scrimmage of get-there-first variety, 
but at least they need not treat the harmless feminines 
as though they were militant suffragettes. Juvenal 
asked, "Who shall guard the guards themselves?" 
Cecily and I paraphrased this query and inquired, 
" Who shall guard the Indian women from the 
Indians?" But there was no reply. However, this 
tribe, whatever they might be called, could not be 
regarded as pure Indians. A strain of Indian hung 
about them, showed in their cheekbones, in hands 
and skull conformation, but the infusion of other 
blood was stifling the characteristics of the Redskin. 


Slowly and surely the bad attributes of all the amal- 
gamated tribes were coming to light. 

They did not use baraboras, and thereby differed 
from the Innuit. Rude, worse-for-wear tents made 
up their residences for the time being. Steve said 
that as winter approached the tribe would move to 
more permanent quarters. In the chief's tent lay a 
pile of half-dried caribou skins and moose antlers of 
last season. He offered us our pick for a bottle of the 
much-demanded " hootchinoo," just as though we 
went about loaded up with the stuff. " Get thee 
behind me, Satan !" murmured Ralph, for really the 
heads were tempting. Such magnificent antlers, 
with a span of anything up to seventy-two inches ! 
We admired, and passed on. 

I shall never forget the filth of that settlement. The 
eagles and the crows descended and ascended steadily, 
but for these scavengers the health of the community 
must have suffered considerably. Children rolled 
about in piles of rotting fish, unwanted skins putre- 
fied on heaps, fearsome scraps slid beneath our boots 
nuff sed ! We fled to our canoes thankful to start 
off again on our journey. This camp being passed, 
every sign of human occupation in this remote corner 
of the world faded. 

On these quiet waters, where the trappers ceased 
from troubling, for the reason that as yet no trapper 
had found them out, the beavers were unmolested, 
and could be seen in great numbers all along the 
banks. One or two daring spirits swam out to us 
and investigated thoroughly the great trespassers, 


lifting rounded noses clear of the water, sniffing, and 
gazing at us with beady, interested eyes. Then, 
satisfied that there really was something very unto- 
ward afoot, the investigator dived quickly, and in 
turning over the strong wide tail hit the water with a 
smack, a sauve qui pent signal, which sent every 
beaver scuttling. They are wondrous little animals, 
with their endless schemes and plots and plans. 

It is difficult to see a beaver actually at work on 
tree-felling, because the little creatures are only busy 
at night, but the result of the labour is very apparent. 
For the most part the trees felled are of small girth, 
cottonwoods and poplars, but here and there we came 
on a few really large trees cut through by the sharp 
teeth. The provender for winter is then dragged 
just the top branches to the river's edge, and thence 
to the beaver pantry down below their houses. 

Cecily and I overhauled one beaver residence, un- 
doing it from the top, for there is no ingress save by 
diving down into the river, and coming up the narrow 
channel leading to the marvellously planned little 
house nestling upon the bank. Quite imposing 
miniature residences, domed, and made of logs and 
sticks, all plastered together with river mud and clay. 
In the centre of this bee-hive apartment we found 
everywhere exquisitely coated with grass and more 
mud, every interstice snugly lined, making a warm 
nest for the facing of the Northern winter. Though 
the river be frozen for miles around, the food, tightly 
packed away deep below the surface, is always get- 
at-able, and needs but a dive to bring back a succulent 


bit of bark from the supply. Mr. and Mrs. Beaver 
alone dwell in these houses, no mother-in-law or 
sisters, or cousins, or aunts. Just Mr. and Mrs. 
Beaver and the youngsters of one season. 

On two of the backwaters of the Kuskokwim River 
we found beaver dams of great size, amazingly 
planned. One was in the course of construction, the 
other alas useless now, and all its little engineers 
and contractors were dead and gone. The hand of 
the trapper is over the land, and where for generations 
the beavers have worked unmolested the day inevit- 
ably comes for their whereabouts to be discovered. 

The life of the trapper is a terribly hard one, work- 
ing as he usually does all alone through the bitter 
winter that he may catch the fur-bearing creatures 
when their pelts are at the best. He has a string of 
residences dotted about his district, for his traps are 
laid over a great tract of country and each trap is 
visited once a week or so, if possible. With the 
aid of his snow-shoes the trapper can put a girdle 
round his little world. 

The sky was intensely blue and almost always 
cloudless, only the jagged peaks of the mountain 
monarchs round us were swathed about the summits 
with white vapour. 

In one desolate ravine we found the former home 
of some energetic trapper, the abode of him, I 
suspect, who had put an end to the engineering works 
of the beaver colony near by. The tiny hut was of 
tree stems, laboriously garnered. It stood there, 
looking so out of place man's handiwork in a 


region in which every element of wild nature reigned 
sovereign in magnificent desolation. 

I have often wondered if our men, on their return 
journey back to their homes at the mouth of the 
Kuskokwim, ended the lives of the little beavers 
whose home we came on by chance. I fear so ! The 
native knows too well the value of every pelt. 

Along the shores the wild raspberry and the soap- 
berry, the latter a small red fruit with a very bifter 
taste, grew luxuriantly, and Cecily and I stewed them 
in quantities for ourselves and the men. We had to 
eat the fruit without sugar, because the supply was 
not equal to any undue demands. Sugar in one's 
tea is a necessity to the sweetest of us. The men 
tackled their portions of the stewed berries with a 
plentiful bespreading of the seal-oil, a shocking 
looking feast, but a great favourite with them. 

At last the day arrived when it was considered we 
might vacate the bidarkas for good. We found suit- 
able places to cache the small craft, far beyond the 
possibility of a flood, ready for the returning Innuits 
as they harked back to the Kuskokwim to make their 
homeward trip. The dory we hauled to safety, plac- 
ing it high and dry on a grassy hummock. 

We formed camp near by the while we carefully 
thought out the best line to take, for it was our desire 
to get some good caribou heads on the divide before 
we climbed to the roof of the world above the 
Sushitna. With the map before us we decided on 
a route, leading us in a fairly even line to the moun- 
tains, and then carefully and methodically we divided 



up the whole of the stores into packs such as men 
could carry. Women too, for we meant to do our 
share. It is rather extraordinary how little seems so 
much, and how much seems so little when it comes 
to carrying one's all in an expedition like ours. 

For two days we rested by the river, dawdling 
away the time, prospecting around for points and 
things of interest, until we all felt thoroughly fit and 
ready to take on the big trek before us. I found a 
shed antler of a caribou, very old, in a hollow near 
the stream, which was encouraging as a precursor 
of the hoped for hunting. 

Our little band set out into the wilderness, crawling 
laboriously up hill and down dale, for all the world 
like a small colony of loaded giant ants. The ground 
was very heavy going, the small stones hurt the 
feet so, even through shooting-boots. They were 
rubber-soled, and may be that made all the difference. 
Big journeys are wearisome enough when accom- 
plished with unladen shoulders, but impeded by 
multitudinous packs we found the task of "getting 
there " a trying affair enough. It was always a very 
joyful moment when one might lay one's burden 
down, and remember that holiday was the order of 
the hour until to-morrow. 

To save trouble Cecily and I shared one tent be- 
tween us, and the Leader and Ralph slept in the open. 
They seemed to think that until rain fell, or necessity 
demanded, it was such a nuisance to have to undo the 
carefully made up packages. We had enough open 
as it was. 


The first day we covered ten miles, the next a little 
more, and the third twelve. A prodigious feat, all 
encumbered as we were. 

On the third evening Ralph sighted four caribou 
as they crossed a bit of plateau ground, and all about 
us grew the sort of herbage beloved of the tribe. 

In the keen air, and as a result of the exercise, our 
appetites became enormous, and we began to fear 
a shortage of provisions. The inroads on the stores 
were already great. We had no fresh meat, and but 
a few tins of beef for use in emergencies. Except for 
flour, tea, coffee, and a few impossible-to-get-along- 
without necessaries our supplies were not overwhelm- 
ing in quantity. We were rather alarmed at the 
prospect of depending entirely on our rifles for a 
living. The problem of " How to live on nothing a 
year" was as great a poser to us as it becomes 
annually at home during the "silly season" corre- 
spondence-era. Our men, too, were a ravenous 
horde, and needed some providing for. Meat simply 
must be forthcoming, and we planned out a regular 
campaign for the next day. If possible all four of us 
must return to camp with a caribou, bull or cow, and 
some of the surplus meat could be dried. Immediate 
necessities being provided for, we should be able 
to take our own time to pick and choose our heads. 

We planned and arranged as though a thousand 
head of caribou waited our pleasure on the grassy, 
snow-patched slopes. I walked and walked from 
early morning to late afternoon, until I was 
thoroughly wearied out, with a hungry henchman 


walking behind, carrying my rifle. Never a sign of 
a caribou had I sighted all day. Save for nothing 
but a red fox, and the marmots all I suppose un- 
palatable my beat was very lonely. 

I wandered up the bed of a river, dried up by reason 
of a natural dam of stones fallen from the mountain, 
which had deflected the flow of water, climbed up- 
wards towards a rounded bluff, and curving round 
the moss and snow-covered slopes I espied on the 
shoulder of a high escarpment, high above me, away 
to my left, something which looked like a very excel- 
lent imitation of a caribou lying down. My glasses 
told me more. It was a caribou, but the haunches 
of the animal were towards me, and the head was 
held so low I could not tell whether it carried decent 
horns or not. I quite forgot in my excitement and 
interest that I was not out head-hunting, but larder- 

I signed to my man to remain where he was, for 
the position was too open to allow of his following 
me. He handed me my rifle with a world of entreaty 
in his eyes. " I am hungry," they said eloquently, 
" get me meat." I prepared for a most careful stalk, 
thinking out the best course to take, and making a 
big circuit, commenced to climb the hill on the other 
side to that upon which my quarry lay. I intended 
climbing until I was level with the animal, and then 
to creep round the edge of the bluff, when, if Provi- 
dence had any consideration for me at all, matters 
would be so arranged that I merely had to shoot to 


A small brown bird twittered ahead of me, always 
keeping just in front, rising sometimes with a blithe 
air of abandon to settle again on the stones before 
me. He had a slender song, with a silvery ring about 
it, not many notes, but very alluring and joyous. 

I put up a ptarmigan, then another, and another. 
They flew off with a flurried whirr of wings and 
chuckles of dismay, swooping down to the river bed 
below. In summer the mottled coat of the Alaskan 
ptarmigan blends with the rocks they love to sun 
themselves upon, and in winter their snowy plumage 
is one with the whitened landscape. 

A few stones rolled from beneath my feet, and 
I waited in silent trepidation. The caribou was 
apparently still ignorant of my proximity, though I 
could not see the creature. We should not meet 
until I had ringed the summit, but I should have 
heard any attempt at breaking away. 

I reached the altitude which I judged would be the 
required height, and next instant realized that my 
plans were well laid indeed, for the cause of all my 
trouble lay just below me, not more than fifty feet 
away. I grew quite indifferent then. I knew that I 
held the trump card. I stood upright, and prepared 
for action. With a start my quarry awoke from 
sound sleep. She was a graceful cow, with prettily 
turned horns, though so small, and well-formed 

Turning round, paralyzed with sudden terror, she 
faced me, her limbs rigid, her stiffened legs immov- 
able. Never before have I seen deadly fear so 


strongly expressed by any wild creature. The scent 
of a human being, so terrifying to all the deer tribe, 
reached her nostrils, the sight of the intruder filled her 
with unnameable horror and dread. 

We stood looking at each other, and so interested 
was I that I made no attempt to get up my rifle, and 
my position was by no means the comfortable thing 
I could so easily have made it. The great, soft, 
round, appealing eyes of the beautiful deer looked 
full into mine, as though she would read her doom, 
asking begging entreating praying. 

She asked life of me, and I gave her life, even at 
the cost of mine hunger. 

" Pass, Agnes Herbert's caribou, and all's well," 
I said, laying my Mannlicher down, and subsiding 

The creature gathered herself together, and with 
a rush and an arrow-like dart she cleft the hillside 
in mighty bounds, disappearing for ever from my 

Ah, well ! I like not to war with feminine things. 
They have enough to contend with as it is. Let her 
go, and my blessing with her. 

As to my man, who had seen his certain chops and 
steaks vanish on the horizon, he met me with a look 
which should have withered me entirely. 

Fortune, tricksy dame, next half-hour rewarded me 
full measure, running over. A splendid caribou 
crossed my line, going strong with a little harem 
of cows about him. They did not see me, as I 
dropped in my tracks, and I counted on the chance 
I ought to have should the animals get the wind, 


as it seemed likely they would, of my hunter, who 
roamed a hillside gathering berries, and eating them 
in reproachful mouthfuls. So carefully I watched 
every moment of the little group; there were eight 
of them, counting the bull I craved, and presently, 
sure enough, they halted, pulled together, and with 
little tails erect, as is the way with caribou when 
startled, trotted back over the path by which they 
had come. 

Going easily, they passed within a hundred and 
fifty yards of me, as I waited a chance to get the 
sights on my bull. A cow suddenly sorted me out as 
something untoward, and in her amazement cannon- 
aded violently against the following animal, thus 
disorganizing and jumbling up the party. The bull 
was, by this manoeuvre, well in range, outlined like 
a target, and I speedily took advantage of the excel- 
lent opportunity, drew a bead on his heart, and fired. 
The caribou ran on for some paces, and getting in 
another bullet well behind the shoulder-blade, I saw 
the animal's nose touch the earth, and he fell forward 
all of a heap. 

Circling round in wondering amazement, the cows 
with fearless interest pondered on the disaster which 
had overtaken their lord. With sniffing noses and 
extended necks the beautiful animals ventured very 
close to me. A strange contrast to the conduct of 
their sister of the mountain top. As my hunter came 
up, into the midst of this embarras de richesses in 
the way of meals for days ahead, the cows trotted 
silently away. 
Could anything be more exquisite than this head 


of my first caribou ! The horns were of great length, 
and measured fifty-four inches over the curves and 
the spread came out at forty-nine inches. The whole 
effect was w r onderfully symmetrical, with thirty-eight 
points. From the base to the tops the glorious horns 
were most gracefully palmated, and the brow antlers 
matched one another exactly, thus rendering the head 
unusually valuable. I knew that I had been lucky 
enough to obtain an extraordinarily fine troph)?-, even 
without the " Oh's " and " Ah's," expressed in an 
unknown tongue, with which my hunter greeted me. 
Some of his delight was very personal, no doubt, 
but apart from selfish considerations his congratula- 
tions were genuine. 

We were about six miles from camp, and it was 
then getting ominously towards late evening. The 
larder question was forgotten by me, the distance 
from camp troubled me not at all. Everything was 
lost in the wonders of contemplation. The marvels 
and the splendours of my caribou filled all my 

A shout from the top of the hill, and in giant 
strides Ralph came down the side of the bluff, with 
Steve hurrying after him. 

" I've been watching that herd for twenty minutes 
or more, and was just contemplating rushing down 
the slopes to meet them. Aren't you lucky? This 
is a topping head!" 

Ralph had not been within shooting distance of a 
caribou all day, which was rather convenient now, 
as he was completely unloaded, and could well help 
to transport portions of my beast to camp. The 


men accomplished the dismemberment process, and 
then we all loaded ourselves up, carrying as much 
as we could. Personally, I hauled along more than 
I bargained for, and the leg of caribou, which I 
changed from my right hand to my left, seemed a 
terribly out-sized and over-weighty affair ere I put 
it down triumphantly in camp. 

The Leader had bagged a fairly decent animal, and 
Cecily a two-year-old bull, so the wolf was not as 
yet to howl discordantly at our door. 

I may as well say right here that caribou shooting 
has no sort of interest for me, and the whole thing 
to do with stalking these animals, if one can call it 
stalking, is what one would imagine a battue among 
cows at home might be like. The caribou in the 
district we shot over having been so little hunted 
knew no fear, and would just as soon join the hunter 
as not. In fact one animal did keep Ralph company 
whilst he skinned her dead lord. It made him feel 
so small and impertinent for having rudely broken 
into so friendly a domestic circle he said he could not 
apologize enough. 

The veriest tyro could procure two good heads in 
three days in the region we trekked across,^ and as 
soon as we had totalled that number apiece, shooting 
no more and no less, we set gaily off for the heart of 
the mountains. Before climbing much higher we 
buried our caribou heads in an accessible tomb, to 
be retrieved later. The head-skins had to be taken 
with our party, so that the curing process might 
have no cessation. 



Now for our mountain sport 


Here's the place ; stand still ! 

How fearful 

And dizzy 'tis to cast one's eyes so low 

King Lear 

WE marched each day into more and more exquisite 
scenes, with only the scenery to interest us, for shikar 
of any moment was not, and all the signs of big game 
we discovered for five days was the very old spoor of 
caribou. We came on it as we crossed a clay tract, 
which held the impress like a mould. 

Giant mountains towered on every side, miles on 
miles of snowy peaks, great gorges, narrow valleys, 
hemmed in by precipitous cliffs, were on our line of 
route. It seemed to me, wearied and often consider- 
ably overtaxed, that we should never reach the sum- 
mit. The place of our desire was always just beyond, 
like trie jam to-morrow, jam yesterday, but never jam 
to-day of Alice. 

Clouds of vapour-like mist enveloped us each day 
as the sun gained power, a veil of obscurity which 
looked like being as difficult for us to combat as it 

would be helpful to the sheep. Through tortuous 



purple-black gorges whose walls at times excluded the 
light, and only a jagged line of blue told us that the 
day was ours to hold a little longer. Over a shining 
glacier, a frozen Niagara, emerald tinted and opal- 
escent, to an autumn valley, afire with myriad glowing 

The scheme of colouring was Nature's own, and 
therefore perfect. Everlasting mountains pressing 
close about one adumbrate the spirits, it becomes 
wearisome to be perpetually overshadowed. This was 
the smiling valley. There was nothing wanting. 

Here we camped, and knocking over four ptarmigan 
had a supper worth remembering. All around us 
these beautiful birds were forming into packs, in 
autumn habit, the cock ptarmigan crowing in mourn- 
ful tones the requiem of the short summer, so different 
to the laughing chuckle with which he salutes the 

The brilliancy of the stars at this altitude was a 
revelation, and the transparency of the atmosphere 
imparted a very clear-cut effect to all the surrounding 
country. The tiniest crevasse in any mountain limned 
clear its slopes in magical array. It was as though 
one perpetually viewed the landscape through a power- 
ful field-glass. 

If Ovis dalli had minds like ordinary sheep such a 
spot as we were camping in would be their Mecca, 
but, then, they are not common uneducated specimens 
of the genus, and take up positions at a great altitude 
with the deep-set purpose of obtaining a clear view 
of all on-coming enemies. We were supposed, if 


Nature granted us the strength, to be going on climb- 
ing and climbing until we climbed even higher than 
our quarry. 

On the mountainous slopes of a range lying to our 
westward we hoped to be able to take our pick of 
heads, and divided up the country into blocks in order 
that there should be no overlapping or poaching on 
each other's preserves, with the possible result of spoil- 
ing chances. Needs having to be fined down to the 
barest necessities, we decided to form a comfortable 
base camp where we were, and then go off on expedi- 
tions from it which should last as long as possible. 

Cecily and I rose betimes, and taking as much and 
as little as we could, set off for the sheep ground, 
accompanied by two of the least complaining of our 
retinue. We climbed steadily all the morning hours, 
but climbing is very exhilarating if one is in the mood. 
For there's the wonder, and the interest, the expecta- 
tion and the mystery, and that indefinite feeling of 
something new which urges one on and on. 

In the distance we saw many sheep dotting the hill- 
sides, but all of them were quite out of our proposed 
path, and we thought it better to hold on and not be 
tempted from the straight, if narrow, way. 

At last ideal sheep country. The face of a preci- 
pice with tiny dark riband-like bands across its surface, 
ledges whereon the sheep could find a foothold and 
keep the balance. Camp was formed here, an in- 
significant camp enough, on a terraced plateau, with 
the roar of mighty torrents sweeping down from the 
snow-fields to sing us to sleep o' nights. 


The ridge poles for the tents, one for ourselves and 
another to shelter the men, took some procuring, and 
we did not get them pitched until night fell. All our 
wood had to be carried for a great distance, and the 
two hunters spent most of the hours hauling it, and 
the rest sitting practically in the glowing embers of 
the fire. We could only permit ourselves a small one ; 
hard lines this, as the snow lay patchily all about us 
and at night the cold was painfully acute. The men 
never gave over grumbling, and were the most 
egotistical couple any sportsman was ever burdened 

Ovis dalli feed in the early morning and late even- 
ing, and spend the rest of the day lying down, spying 
out the land. 

We got up on our first morning in this mountain 
camp in blue-black darkness, a pair of miserable 
feminines, in shivering distress. But the cup that 
cheers, which we had to prepare for ourselves, even 
to lighting the fire, as neither of our men were up 
and about, soon helped us to a happier state of things. 
Presently one of the men, a sad-eyed individual, with 
never a smile for anything, condescended to put in an 
appearance. Cecily and I christened him Mrs. Gum- 
midge. He simply could not look on the bright side 
of things, and admired nothing that anybody else 
admired (Nil admirari, etc.) and wet-blanketed every- 

Gummidge knew the country, and had hunted it 
once before with an American, who got some fine 
rams hereabouts. Very likely, Gummidge said, all 


the best ones were shot then. Just as though the sheep 
world stood still ! Below us, miles below, we saw a 
mass of vapour waiting to encompass all our little 
world, so it behoved us to hurry. The blue-black 
light gave place to grey, the faintly outlined precipices 
took on clearer pencillings, the sun arose in majesty, 
and it was full day. 

Off we started, Cecily, Gummidge and I, striking 
up the bed of a small frozen water course towards a 
steep ascent, leading Heaven knows where. After a 
considerable amount of climbing had been done, in- 
volving no small amount of stress on our clothes 
Cecily is an ascetic in all but her khaki suit we came 
on a distinct path, trodden down and clear, the path 
of sheep for centuries. Following its course we were 
led to a fearsome corner of the world, a jutting 
promontory, round which we craned our interested 
heads. Precipice on precipice met our eyes, going 
down, down, to a foaming torrent beneath. 

Gummidge said he saw some sheep, but though we 
looked and looked we could make out nothing alive. 
It is very difficult to see white on white, even with 

Then yes, yes ! Three-quarters of a mile away 
some goat-like specks, in single file, leaping the 
terrible ridges, nonchalantly, easily. We retraced our 
steps for a little way, then climbed again, watching 
the while the ever-nearing bank of cloud that crept 
insidiously towards us. Over a spiky ridge, down the 
slopes of another ravine, and there, round another bit 
of jutting rock, we saw bands of sheep, many ewes, 


and, in lofty isolation, groups of rams, in threes and 
fours. All completely out of range. Gummidge, in 
unusually hopeful mood, said that the way of the wind 
did not matter in the least, that sheep could not scent 
a human being at a greater distance than a hundred 
yards or so. I afterwards found that this fallacy was 
held by a great many natives. We did not stop to 
argue the point, but laid our plans without consult- 
ing our hunter. We thought out the ways and means 
of a careful stalk, a really masterly stroke. 

Cecily was to get much higher, and then, by creep- 
ing to the very edge of the place, cover as much as 
she could with her rifle, whilst I did a big detour down 
a water course, and come up, a Nemesis in khaki, just 
below the feeding sheep. We proposed, but the 
elements disposed. I dived down and climbed up as 
carefully and silently as I could, but I took an uncon- 
scionable time over it, and by the time my quarry 
should have been at my mercy the clouds had crept 
like a protective barrier around them. I could hear 
the stones falling in showers as the agile feet dis- 
turbed them, hear the moving, hear the bleating; 
and, oh, how I prayed that the mist would lift for one 
instant, just one little instant ! 

I sat ever so still on a boulder waiting and hoping, 
for I did not dare to move, and perhaps spoil the 
possibility of a shot. I grew numb with cold. A 
sheep at very close quarters would have been fairly 
safe with me just then. Rain began to fall, indeed, 
the mist itself seemed a heavy drizzle of most wetting 


I shouted, and all the echoes took it up and bandied 
my voice from one ravine to another. Then Cecily's 
ringing treble, and the throaty bass of Hunter Gum- 

A fog on these Alaskan slopes can be as dense in 
its own way as a " London particular," and this one 
illustrated the fact effectively. We all met at last 
after bumps and falls innumerable, and together tried 
to negotiate the return to camp. We had completely 
lost our bearings, if we ever had any. " This way," 
said Gummidge, dolorously, but a torrent, dull sound- 
ing under its coverlet of ice, surged before, and in 
another instant we should have all been waist deep. 
This is no game, with waterfalls, ravines and preci- 
pices on every side. Hither and thither we wandered, 
falling and scrambling, until I suggested we should 
call out the other man from camp by firing three 
times in quick succession. No help arrived, I expect 
our henchman was asleep over the fire. There was 
nothing for it but to stay where we were for the time 
being. We crowded close together the better to with- 
stand the cold. The minutes dragged by somehow, 
lengthened into hours, when, even as we meditated 
on the horrible possibility of being out on the slopes 
all night, the mist lifted slightly, then rolled down to 
the valleys below. 

That night was hideously cold, even in the valued 
shelter of our sleeping bags, and the ever useful parka 
on top. We wakened to a clear bright atmosphere, 
and the very sunrise heralded a Red Letter occasion. 
As the glinting rays smote the lofty peaks with 


lances of gold the snow reflected back, heliograph- 
wise, the message of the dawn of a perfect day. 
Underfoot the snow patches, overhead the sky of 
wondrous blue, and so to the sheep ground. 

We took a new direction this time, and as we 
climbed the rarefied air told on us, and our senses 
seemed awhirl. Rounding a corner, on a ledge of a 
precipice, a small black bear, shambling and shy, met 
us face to face. He fled, wise animal, to a fastness 
of rock in his rear. We had no designs on his simple 
life, because our sole quest was the wily sheep, and 
our watchword was silence. 

Outlined on the giant slopes we made out many 
feeding groups of rams and ewes, but to get within 
range seemed beyond our powers of limited endur- 
ance. On peeping round a rocky wall I saw, perched 
on a ridge of a black-looking crevasse, a lordly 
patriarch, whose head seemed to me the most to be 
desired in all the world. He had got beyond even his 
powers of climbing, and looked more than a little 
puzzled as to his next move. 

Cecily was behind me, Gummidge behind her, and 
a long way off, like a klipspringer on a pinnacle of 
rock, sat our other man, with a coil of emergency rope 
round about his shoulders. I alone could peer round 
the frowning fortress, and that only by leaning care- 
fully against the wall of the precipice above us, with 
due regard to the drop below, a yawning abyss that 
stretched in unbroken lines down to the glacier 

He was still there, my ram I called him mine 



already. For what chance had he now, unless he 
contested the path whereon I played Horatius ? There 
was no escape else that I could see. Beyond him a 
row of upright spurs stood sentinel. Below my 
cornered prize yawned a crevasse, below again shale- 
like terraced plateaus, which made feeding ground for 
many sheep, then the glacier country. 

I carefully got up my rifle. The slightest mistake 
now and I should pay a heavy price. A whisper to 
Cecily, and she braced herself against the cliff, press- 
ing me with her as tightly as she could. I levered 
myself carefully against the spur, saw my quarry in 
one dazzling moment square on, a chance which 
would have delighted the heart of the veriest amateur, 
sighted for the shoulder, and pressed the trigger, 
instantly seizing with a now tremulous hand a piece 
of rock which seemed to speak of safety. My ram, 
oh, where was he? He took a header into space, 
alighted again, bowled over and over, and then in an 
avalanche of dislodged stones fell smack over the 

We all got ourselves round the point of the danger- 
ously jutting cliff, in such a fever of excited interest 
that the difficulties and awkwardnesses of the trip did 
not worry us in the least. To have hit the splendid 
ram, and to have lost him ! 

"Look!" from the hunter, who was lying down, 
flat on his face, peering over the edge of the crevasse. 
I crept alongside him. Ah, there I My ram I A 
crumpled mass, pinned behind a boulder. 

Then began a discussion as to how to retrieve him. 


It does not, I think, really require much strength to 
do things, but it almost always requires great strength 
to know just what to do. Finally we decided that, as 
there was no other way of getting at the sheep, one 
of us must go over the ravine after the trophy. Being 
the lightest weight the onus of the business fell on me. 

A shout for the other hunter, and that tattered 
person hurried up, taking a considerable time to edge 
himself round the jutting spur. Alas ! his rope failed 
to reach the depths, a distance of some forty-five feet 
down. Then began a weary wait in an icy blast the 
while we sent back to camp for every available scrap 
of rope. In worried trepidation we watched the 
ubiquitous white vapour gathering, gathering on our 
horizon, rolling nearer, ever nearer. 

The rope came at last, and it was firmly knotted to 
our inadequate supply. Gummidge made a noose, 
and we adjusted it underneath my arms, gave the rope 
a turn round a convenient promontory, padding the 
parts where it rubbed; the two men and Cecily took 
hold of the line, taking up as firm positions as could 
be found, and with a tremor in my heart and a hope 
that it did not show outwardly, I crept to the edge 
of the crevasse, holding the rope in my hands. For 
a sickening second it seemed to me that I swung clear, 
the next I crept spider-wise against the face of the 
cliff, and all the while the rope paid out slowly and 

Not for nothing had I birds' nested in the days of 
my youth on the great gaunt cliffs of Hall Caine's 
island. Barring a few rasps to hands and knees I 


reached terra firma safely, when, releasing myself 
from the cutting rope, I made my way to the sheep, 
and discovered him, wonder of wonders, more or less 
intact. Less as to body, more as regards horns. 
After this bit of amazing luck nothing else mattered. 

Fitting the rope around the carcase I gave the word 
to haul up. My shout was called from rock to rock 
until all the air commanded. The heavy body dragged 
over the shale surface, but I held the wondrous head 
out of the way of harm until up and up he whirled, 
sometimes coming in hideous contact with outstand- 
ing rocks, sometimes catching on needle points, until 
at last he was hauled to the surface safe and sound. I 
could see Cecily's excitement from my depths below. 

My ladder to safety alighted at my very feet, and 
the ascent proved a much easier business than the 
swift coming down, or else it was that the thoughts 
of my reward at the top made the fearsome journey 

The white sheep of Alaska, Ovis dalli, takes its 
name from Professor Dall, who was one of Alaska's 
earliest explorers. It has its habitat in very inac- 
cessible fastnesses (unless in a region rarely hunted), 
and has a wide radius, from within the Arctic circle 
to the Liard River. White in the coat, every hair is 
tipped as though slightly singed by fire, and in 
summer the back takes on a darker shade. 

Always residing far above the timber line, beyond 
man's footsteps, the stalking of this Ovis dalli tribe, 
wary and agile as they are, makes excellent sport, and 
calls into play every quality of finesse and endurance 

4 m 



a hunter of any worth possesses. When dotted about 
the mountains, away from the snow patches, sheep 
can be very plainly seen, and in the wonderful atmo- 
sphere it was often the simplest thing in the world to 
judge accurately from a great distance whether or no 
a head was worth the trouble involved in the taking 
of it. 

The Indians have it that by the rings on the horns 
you can tell the age of a sheep. A dreadful give- 
away this for the ladies of the genus ! They only 
carry small, graceful horns, curving backwards, which 
rarely exceed eleven or twelve inches. The sheep in 
the locality we hunted over are considered to boast 
much finer heads than the rams of the Kenai Pen- 
insula country and nearer the coast. A circumference 
of fifteen inches at the base of the horn would be a 
very splendid trophy from most of the get-at-able 
sheep districts. One of mine from this Sushitna 
River region came out at sixteen and a quarter inches 
base measurement, and forty and a quarter inches on 
the curves. A magnificent and wonderful head. One 
of our other trophies topped fifteen and a half, another 
fifteen, so that we grew exceedingly uppish, and 
regarded anything under fifteen as too beggarly for 

I think it is quite accurate to say that the rings 
around the horns do tell the age of the carrier, for it 
is easy to estimate the years of a sheep by the teeth, 
and almost always the teeth and the rings, taken in 
conjunction, gave the same evidence. 

We had mutton chops for supper the night we 


killed our first ram, indeed, we lived on mutton for 
days afterwards, the supply seemed inexhaustible. 
Two days of drenching rain followed, a real distress 
in so exposed a spot. Then hail and icy winds, which 
blew our meagre fire this way and that. We moved 
to a sheltered cave, an ideal camp, which had passed 
unnoticed before, and had a real drying of everything. 

We planned a great campaign, and agreed to 
separate for the day, taking a man each, leaving the 
tents to see after themselves. My route lay over vast 
pyramids of Titanic rocks, down gigantic masses of 
contorted glacier country, and so at last to a series 
of terraced plateaus over which I could keep watch 
and ward. Hours I waited, silent and inert, numbed 
by the cold, hoping that the bunch of sheep I had in 
view might give me just the smallest chance. So 
wary were they that I had not been able to approach 
within striking distance. In a clatter of stones a fresh 
lot of sheep suddenly rushed joyously towards me. 
Down the terrible gorges they clattered, easily, out of 
range as yet. Ah, they have winded me ! They 
rush downwards, change their minds ; they come, they 
come towards me ! Now, now or never ! Phut ! 
The bullet told. Over went the foremost ram, and 
for an instant I thought he would die where he fell. 
Gaining an impetus he rolled over and over, poised 
for a second on the edge of a mighty ravine his 
silhouetted form hung for the fraction of a second, 
and then was gone. 

Afire with eagerness I slid and pushed and tumbled 
my way to the depths below, where I searched and 


searched, investigating each cranny and every seam. 
And as I forgot the flight of time the vapour clouds 
descended into my little world, which caused my 
hunter much concern. He advocated giving up the 
search for the day. I espied an escarpment, high 
above our heads. " The ram will be there," I con- 
fidently remarked. But my hunter would have none 
of it. Impossible, he said, the sheep did not fall in 
that direction. Why should I be so convinced that 
it did ? 

" I have no other but a woman's reason. 
I think him so because I think him so." 

This puzzled him more than ever. He was like an 
Englishman in requiring a woman always to have 
an adequate reason. And why should she? A 
reasonable woman is always stealing something from 
man's prerogative. I hate a silly woman, but I like 
a woman to be natural, as God made them, and if 
He happened to make a few of them reasonable I am 
sure He never meant them to air this freakish faculty. 
Perhaps my hunter thought that if I had no plain-to- 
be-seen reason it must just be a caprice, which does 
not, in a woman, by any means follow All men, 
black and white, hate a capricious woman. She so 
often hurts their amour-propre. 

I wasted no more words, but commenced to ascend 
the cliff, the man perforce following me. There, 
wedged in between Titanic rocks, lay a broken heap 
of white. I raised the head. Alas ! the beauteous 
horns were smashed beyond all hope of mending, 
and the handsome head was a thing of beauty and a 
joy for nevermore. 


The man loaded himself up with scraps of mutton, 
and hid the rest until he could return for it. We had 
more than a sufficiency as it was, for Cecily returned 
from her expedition with a fine ram and a small black 

The management of natives in any country is 
always a difficult affair for women to tackle, but with 
such low-class half-breeds as we had in camp it 
became a real annoyance. Generations of looking 
down on femininity, and familiarity with the ways of 
some white men had made an impression impossible 
to erase. The contamination of race mixings had 
worked the inevitable havoc. We tried always to be 
very fair in our dealings, never requiring anything 
done which we would not do ourselves; but fairness 
our men took for weakness, kindness for fear. It 
was often a puzzle what line to take. Women are not 
given the same amount of power, in its wider aspects, 
as men, and they like to use what they have. If not 
used with fairness, the softer is often as harmful as 
the rougher. 

Matters reached a climax one afternoon when Gum- 
midge entered our tent, without a " by your leave," 
or "with your leave," and nonchalantly, with all the 
assurance of a friend of standing, sat himself down 
on a box of provisions. He commenced to say some- 
thing, but the words died in his throat as I ordered 
him out. My fingers had jumped to my belt, and 
half instinctively I had pulled my shikar pistol out. 
I frightened my man all right. Familiarities were off 
henceforward. I thought I should never get over it, 


never be won over, but every man has his price, 
Talleyrand said. I expect he included women. My 
price was an Ovis dalli ram, and when Gummidge 
brought me the propitiatory news, an hour or so later, 
I forgot and forgave like a good Christian. 

The ram, he said, was a ram of rams, and the span 
of its horns was wide as this spreading out his arms. 
It lay asleep on a hillside. Following my guide I 
crossed the narrow end of a shining snow-field on to 
a shale slope, across a small ravine to another valley. 
There, sure enough, as I could see by my glasses, lay 
a very fine sheep indeed, motionless, and his head 
looked topping. I commenced to climb above him, 
and threw a bit of grass into the air to see the way of 
the wind. The Fates were kind, and what air there 
was blew in a favourable direction for me. The little 
grey marmots scattered to right and left as I disturbed 
them, in long shrill whistles giving warning of our 
approach. Sentinels for the sheep these small rodents, 
often signalling to the ewes the presence of a predatory 
eagle bent on annexing a lamb for dinner. 

I crept on as silently as I could, but sometimes a 
stone would rattle down the slopes. I waited for the 
ram to rise and break away. I came within splendid 
range. How well I'd stalked. How clever it was of 
me ! What a really excellent plan I must have laid. 

I gained a still nearer vantage ground, but hated 
the idea of murdering my quarry in his sleep, it was 
not sporting. Let him have his chance. " Shout," 
I said to my man, who was close up with me. He 
yelled until the echoes rang, and all the distant white 


dots that peppered the surrounding hillsides started 
in amaze. No movement of any kind from my sleep- 
ing beauty, and then I realized that there must be 
something untoward. He slept indeed. Death, in 
kindly fashion, had stricken him, and he lay, as yet 
untouched by eagles and carrion hawks, a gem of his 
kind. His perfect head in an attitude of repose, his 
splendid horns catching the rays of the setting sun. 
A patriarch by the rings, and this easily come-by 
trophy was our record head, we never matched it in 
beauty or inches. 

I could not help feeling amused at the praise I had 
so generously given myself for my masterly stalk ! 
Things one takes are seldom deserved. We take 
credit to ourselves to bolster up hope, to counter- 
balance our liabilities. Unfortunately we are not our 
own auditors, and the recording angel only accepts 
items that pass muster. 

We were on the verge of a grocery famine, having 
worked through our small stores of tea and sugar, etc., 
so decided to trek next day to the base camp and refit. 
Setting out very early we marched ahead of our men, 
and all suddenly came on a path of sheep, the tracks 
looking very new. On down another ridge, and 
there, right on the sky line, silhouetted on a topmost 
pinnacle, stood a fine ram listening. He faced the 
other way, and clearly had not winded us. I dropped 
into a sitting position, and prayed that the men would 
have the sense to keep quiet and not spoil it all. 
Nearly two hundred and thirty yards separated me 
for I paced it afterwards from the sheep, and I 


telegraphed with my eyes a message to Cecily to ask 
her if she would take on the job to add to our bag. 
I felt I would much rather she missed the creature 
than I. She smiled, and shook her head. 

I sent up silent prayers that it might be written in 
my Kismet book that I should bring off the somewhat 
difficult shot. I fixed the two hundred yards' sight, 
and aimed for the side, the most vital part in my line 
of vision. Then my nerves began to play me false, 
and my rifle came down a trifle. This irritating 
"buck-fever" is not unknown to quite experienced 
shikaris, and comes, I think, from long inaction. In 
these minor shoots there is so much tracking with so 
little real excitement to become used to. At any rate, 
I, personally, find it very different from shooting, or 
trying for dangerous game, and I ascribe it to the 
fact that in stalking game more than able to defend 
itself the rigour of the chase is continuous, steady, 
and uniform in daily excitements. All the same I 
did not spare myself to myself, and the result was a 
moment of supreme courage and confidence, and I 
dropped my ram " in one." 

Before we made the smiling valley Cecily had added 
a remarkably fine specimen of the black bear tribe, a 
quaint-looking little creature, whose coat was in ex- 
cellent condition considering the time of year, though 
it was very short, but a good black. Cecily shot it 
just as we entered the timber belt which had provided 
us with firewood. 

At the base camp we found that Ralph and the 
Leader had just come in too, as they were all but 


out of provisions also. We gloated over all the 
trophies, and my patriarch, whom I had found dead 
upon the hillside, kept his pride of place, none of the 
other heads could touch his, 

We reorganized things, and fitted out two more 
expeditions, this time arranging that Cecily should 
hunt with Ralph and I with the Leader. I was very 
glad of this new position of affairs, because now the 
Leader would have to boss the men, and I was heartily 
sick of them. I expressly begged that Gummidge 
should be allotted to Ralph, who was in such a state 
of happiness at being with Cecily again I thought 
that no amount of dolorousness could affect the idyllic 



Nay, how absolute she's in't, 
Not minding whether I dislike or no ! 


Lay not your blame on me if you have lost him ; 
Why, I have lost him too. 


THE Leader and I made for quite a different part of 
the ranges, not nearly so difficult as the ground shot 
over by Cecily and myself. The peaks were much 
lower, and though there were some difficult bits to 
daunt us, the place was not a sort of miniature 

We chose a delightful spot for camping, a green 
strip of ground, backed by a rocky escarpment, on 
which dozens of ptarmigan thoughtfully roosted o* 
nights. A river ran almost at our very feet. 

The first evening led us down the ravines and up 
again to the hillsides, which were dotted all over with 
bands of sheep. Sometimes we needed both hands 
to help us keep the balance, and rifles had to be 
carried in slings. The men had a holiday, and we 
tried our luck alone. Half-way up a shale slope, 
fissured with small dry water courses, we heard a 
great commotion. Crash ! Crash ! A noise like a 
heavy bale of goods falling with a thud as the some- 



thing struck terra-firma, a sound of showers of stones 
rattling, then silence. Far up the precipitous sides 
of the opposite valley we saw a lonely sheep, rushing 
along post-haste to tell the others to be warned in 
time. It must have got our wind, and decided to 
make a bold bid for safety by taking a header down 
the steep incline. 

Clinging spider-like to the ridges we worked our 
way to a fearsome bit of country, beyond which many 
worth-having rams grazed in bunches of three and 
four. To get to the fairly open ground within range 
it was shorter to cross a natural bridge to the spot, 
a narrow track leading round the side of the crevasse. 

The Leader said he did not think it advisable to 
travel by this route, as the path appeared to him to 
have no real ending round the corner, and we should 
probably have to retrace our steps and so have all 
the excursion for nothing. I gave it as my opinion 
that the track continued for some way beyond our 
line of vision along the side of the ravine. I was 
not stubborn about this, because I am open to con- 
viction on any point. I am ready at a moment's 
notice to change completely round if I can see I was 
wrong at first. I pride myself on being able to say, 
" I have made a mistake." There are some men, 
and many women, who think it a sign of strong- 
mindedness to stick to a thing when once they have 
said it. I count it greater and more magnanimous 
to confess an error and redeem it. 

We never stopped to convince or think it out, but 
essayed the bridge of Nature's building. Crossing it, 


with the cliff on our left, the drop down into the ravine 
on our right, we covered a few hundred yards only 
to find that the path was barred as the Leader had 
feared, by a sheer drop leading down to nothingness. 
He only smiled at me, and being a man there was no 
triumphant, " Told you so." 

Turning to go back again, we luckily delayed our 
return for a moment that we might watch the flight 
of two golden eagles circling far above us in blue 
ether. Suddenly a mighty dismemberment sounded 
through all the ravine, a splitting, tearing noise which 
wakened the very echoes, and the path, our road to 
safety, receded from our very feet, leaving us with 
but a scanty foothold. The stones and earthworks of 
centuries caved in, loosened by the chance passing 
over. The Leader said I must be very heavy ! The 
gap widened to an impassable gulf, and for some 
minutes little rivulets of earth and stones chased 
each other down the chasm just created. We had 
now got ourselves into a really awkward situation. 
With the cracking away of the path behind us the 
way we had come was effectually closed, to climb 
upwards was unthinkable, for the face of the cliff 
curved, prow-like, over our heads. Below was the 
steep shale slope, then a drop, and the dried water 
course, in the bed of which a few stunted alders 
struggled to grow. 

The Leader looked at me. ' ' You are not fright- 
ened?" he asked. And I was not annoyed at such 
a question as I surely would have been at any other 
time, for there was that in his voice which said plainer 


than any words that he would build me a wide path 
to safety, if he could. 

Does not tenderness sit more sweetly on rough 
men when it deigns to settle there at all ? Tenderness 
should come, I think, in little flashes, illuminating 
everything. It should not be incessant. If it were 
it might become obtrusive. Nature has ordained, 
with her marvellous wisdom, that there should be 
nothing in the world of which we cannot have enough. 

My brains grew like dice in a box, ever so rattled, 
but I said nothing. I watched the Leader's face, the 
while he thought out the ways and means. Then 
action was needed, he said, instant action, for night 
would fall presently, and our men would never trouble 
to come and look for us, and if they did, what could 
they do ? Our only way was to take hands, set our 
heels firmly, and go sliding down the face of the 
precipice to the bottom. A bad fall only would 
result, perhaps not even that. Would I do this 
thing ? 

Would I not, for such a Leader? How I loved 
his recklessness, and yet I never like headlong insane 
recklessness. Give me the man who weighs the 
ways, and then regardless of self chooses the one best 
suited to the end in view. That is noblest. Calm 
self-reliance, not over-confidence, just collected 
presence of mind. That is why, I think, that I 
admire Marlborough more than Wellington, as I 
cannot help doing. Wellington was admittedly 
lucky, though wise. His enemies so often gave him 
victory. But Marlborough foresaw as no other man, 



there was no element of gambling in his schemes, 
and they always seemed to come out as he had cal- 
culated. He would chance very little, and was a 
positivist, and yet when chances had to be taken he 
took them boldly and fearlessly. There was no half- 
hearted element in his nature. I would ever take a 
leaf out of his book; not all the leaves, for some of 
them won't bear translating. 

When my Marlborough asked " Ready?" I clicked 
my heels together, stood rigid, and waited if only 
we had never come along the treacherous path. 
" Now!" With a sickening rush we slid right over 
the edge of the kloof, the shaley stones following us 
in a little shower, and in a sort of mazed shock I 
realized that the sheer drop was before us to be 
jumped, or fallen over, somehow. 

"Jump!" came a clear, commanding voice. I 
jumped obediently. A friendly clump of alders 
broke my fall, and I was not really hurt, save for the 
knock my rifle gave me as it jerked in its sling, 
just dazed, and shaken and very much astonished. 

"Not hurt?" he asked gently. 

" No, Marlborough, not at all." 

We went back to camp through the weird silences 
of the black ravines, with ah occasional bleat of a 
startled sheep to break the stillness, or a shrill whistle 
of a disturbed marmot as he sped over the ground 

After supper we sat on our terraced plateau, dwarfed 
by mountain giants, enfiladed on all sides by mighty 
ravines, marvelling at the wealth of beautiful stars. 



Never before had they seemed so lustrous, so dazzl- 
ing in brilliance. Marguerites in a sea of blue. 
Little filmy clouds, shadow-like, flitted across the face 
of the heavens. The stage was set for a drama. 

I had turned in for the night, but at the Leader's 
call I turned out again to see that wonder of wonders, 
the Aurora Borealis. Contrasted with the inky black- 
ness of the ravines about us, the desolate wastes of 
mountain, glacier, and stream, over which the marvel 
cast the brilliance of its forked spears, the light 
seemed extraordinary, awe-inspiring, and intense. 
Right over the heavens from end to end the silver 
glory shimmered, an emperor's diadem, and from 
the glowing mass sudden flashes and tongues of white 
flame quivered across the sky, putting the stars out. 
The ravines gave up the secrets of the night, the 
mountains, silver-tipped, limned clear their slopes 
in the wondrous Polar lights. Marvel of the world, 
how exquisite ! Never still, moving hither and 
thither, tongues and forks and darts and spears of 
molten silver. It seemed to me, watching, that from 
such a vision of splendour a Jupiter must arise, 
radiant, glorious, transfixing Phaethon in chariot of 

Contracting, spreading wide again the silver arrow 
shafts, in even waves and billows of flame the lights 
died out, suddenly as they came. Then again from 
out the high blue arc the marguerite-like stars 
twinkled and shone. For some seconds, to my de- 
lighted eyes, the wondrous Aurora still glowed, 
unforgetable, and with a brilliancy which seemed to 


exist in my retina long after the magnificence had 
paled and fled away. 

With the dawn came a silver mist of rain, light, 
but most penetrating, and it was not possible to see 
clearly for more than fifty yards ahead. We played 
patience in more ways than one, and I understand 
that there are some ninety ways of doing it. 

We were really anxious to bag a ram to fill our 
larder, for we were trenching on the stores again. 
The men were exceedingly anxious to be allowed to 
try and shoot a ewe, as a native is permitted to do 
at all times and seasons, but we managed to stave 
the thing off by saying confidently that we hoped to 
return from the next stalk with a quantity of meat. 

The following morning dawned bright and clear, 
and it did not need our glasses to tell us that the 
hillside opposite our camp was dotted with myriad 
moving sheep. It was a "hen" party though, for 
counting up to one hundred and ten we could not spot 
a decent head among the number. 

We set off along our side of the river, Steve fol- 
lowing in our wake, and commenced the ascent of the 
canon, whose slopes were some 1,500 feet high, and 
fairly sheer, in places really precipitous. At the 
summit, crossing an undulating bit of plateau country 
a fine ram got up from nowhere, and standing a 
moment in terror-stricken amazement, actually bolted 
straight towards us. At sixty paces off it pulled up 
in a great slide, with fore-feet planted well together, 
head slightly lowered, a formidable looking creature. 

Place aux dames, in our shoot, anyhow. 


I fired, and missed ignominiously. It seems a 
ridiculous thing to clean miss so large a mark as an 
Ovis dalli ram at sixty paces. But when winded, 
after a long, hard climb the hands are apt to be very 
unsteady, and an odd trembling of the limbs affects 
a certain number of us. 

I felt very small as the Leader raised his rifle to 
mend matters. All this takes a long time to tell* 
but it happened in the fraction of a moment really. 
The ram, not moved by my fusillade, presented a 
most desirable chance, standing broadside now, 
quivering; he seemed almost magnetized with terror. 


The bullet passed over the back of the sheep, and 
for that animal the spell was broken, and he bolted 
incontinently, slipping and sliding down the slopes. 

" You might say it for me too, will you?" I said 
to the Leader, who was saying things to his rifle, 
as he regarded it closely, as though wondering if he 
might portion some part of the blame to the weapon. 

Steve was heartbroken. Why not kill a ewe, and 
have done with it? We could get any quantity, he 
Said, without travelling so far. Just as though our 
object on the trip was to keep these natives going 
with unlimited provender ! 

At that moment a bullet hit the ground about four 
paces from us, another fell ominously close to Steve, 
who ran round and round in a circle in a most ridicul- 
ous manner, as though by keeping moving he might 
avoid the hail of lead. Another and another bullet 
struck the rocks near us, and we were just about to 


fly on the wings of terror to some likely bit of cover 
when suddenly, on the peak above us, a tatterde- 
malion figure appeared on the sky line, and slowly 
sauntered down to us. He showed no surprise at 
seeing us, expressed no regret for making targets of 
us, and he did not seem in the least inquisitive as 
to whence we came or why. He stood leaning non- 
chalantly on his rifle, and let us admire him ; he 
knew we were doing so, and indeed we could not help 
it. A great sombrero curved on the red-grey hair, 
which fell to his shoulders, a wavy beard grew to 
his waist, and in the interregnum between it and the 
top of his trousers was a band of red leather stuck 
full of cartridges. A scarf of red was knotted about 
his throat, and ever and again we caught a glimpse 
of a lump of Cassiar gold, big as a pigeon's egg, 
doing duty as tie-pin. This romantic figure of the 
mountains, who had been doing his best to send us 
out of this world, said he guessed his bullets had 
fallen " kinder close." He was real mad at missing 
a fine ram, so blazed away anyhow. 

" Rather a waste of cartridges," I said, thought- 

" Say so, ma'am," our friend answered, " but you 
waste them or words these times." 

He invited us to lunch with him upon the moun- 
tains, striding on ahead the instant the invitation was 
given, as though he were a Pied Piper we must fain 
follow. So he was to Steve, for at the first mention 
of food, that worthy practically ran the trail at the 
heels of our host-to-be. Round the green slopes, 
climbing still at an easy gradient. And set in a 


little cleft of an overhanging rock, a Titanic mass of 
granite, with three sides of the walls ready made, 
stood a crude, stern homestead, with frontage of the 
grey, grim rocks. It had all the appearance of 
Druidic remains. It was Alaskan beginnings really, 
or perhaps endings. I don't know. No window, 
an entrance for a door, a pile of wood ashes where 
a fire had been, a roof of alder branches, banked out- 
side with earth. There was no furniture whatsoever, a 
heap of blankets lay in dishevelment in a dim corner. 

The forequarter of a sheep hung on an outstanding 
point of rock, most convenient walls had this small 
domicile, with hat stands and pegs ready made. 

Presently strips of mutton frizzled on the stones 
before a small wood fire. Help from on high to 
Steve, who scarce waited for the flesh to warm 
through ere he seized it with greedy fingers and 
devoured it au naturel. This was the simple life if 
ever it was lived. 

" Guess you are speculating what I'm doing here?" 
said our host, in between moments of gnawing a 
mutton chop. We had no bread or biscuit. 

" I confess to a slight feeling of curiosity," replied 
the Leader, " but of course " 

Slight feeling of curiosity I I nudged him fur- 
tively. I did hope he would not pretend we were 
not consumed with inquisitiveness. The detective- 
like propensities which lie dormant, unless they are 
active, in every woman, were all alert in me now, and 
I judged, and considered, and decided the case every 
five minutes. 


" 'Twas a game of poker." The red-grey head 
nodded towards the Pacific Coast, as though locating 
the scene of the catastrophe. " He cheated, and 
wal, I shot him dead!" 

We went on eating, to all appearance quite uncon- 
cernedly, though I remember being thankful that 
Steve sat out of earshot. 

" You'll not give me away," said the great rugged 
creature, with a kind of certain confidence. "I'm 
glad I told you, guess it's kind of lonesome up here." 

"How long must you remain?" I asked, a wave 
of pity for the broken man surging in me. " Surely 
you will not winter at this altitude?" 

"No," he said, dully, "when winter comes I'll 
turn trapper, and take to the woods." 

A group of four rams passed below, pulling up to 
graze; the Leader picked up his rifle, handling it as 
though he was glad to be recalled to the present, 
sighted carefully, and bang ! Another try. The 
rams raced off, but one lagged behind, going with 
difficulty. A well-planted bullet finished the busi- 
ness, and the sheep jumped clean into the air, an 
expiring effort, then fell a-heap. 

As the Leader ran forward down the hill to in- 
vestigate he put his foot into a pitfall that waited for 
the unwary, and fell heavily. He was in great pain, 
too great to bear sympathy just then. I have always 
found that the axiom about a woman being such a 
ministering angel rather vague and indefinite. Cer- 
tainly it says, " When pain and anguish wring the 
brow, a ministering angel thou." It all depends upon 


how long the pain and anguish have lasted. At the 
first shock of anything of the kind the instinct of a 
man in pain is to creep away like an animal and hug 
his wounds in silence. The woman who attempts to 
offer sympathy at the first onslaught of the anguish 
which is sufficient to wring a man's brow, stands a 
very good chance of hearing sotto voce, of course 
desires expressed that some beneficent being or other 
would take her away and wring the ministering 
angel's neck ! 

Very rude, but my advice to ministering angels 
is, don't commence to minister until the psycholo- 
gical moment. Then bring up the sympathy in cart- 
loads, and you cannot overdo it. 

The big romantic murderer helped to carry the 
fallen Leader to the Druidic cottage, and most unlike 
a murderer I have really very little experience of 
the genus, this was the first murderer I have met in 
society helped to ascertain the damage. He diag- 
nosed the case as a sprained ankle, and put his 
country seat at the Leader's disposal. 

Steve went back to camp with orders to bring up 
my tent and some stores to this roof of the world, 
where we had to sojourn awhile whether we would or 
no, as the Leader could not put his foot to the 

It was a land flowing with milk and honey for 
our men. This spirit of the mountain had but to 
wave his wand, and lo ! a sheep, ram, or ewe, it 
mattered not, fell before it. 

I made some bread from hops, and cooked the 
dough in the ground in a tin pan, with glowing wood 


ashes set around and over it. The poor murderer 
had not tasted bread since he fled up here, a month 
ago. He had mixed up flour with water, and cooked 
it over the fire. My bread was to him what a lump 
of cake would have been to me. 

Below the Druidic cottage, on a rock platform, 
guarded on all sides by forbidding precipices, a 
pair of golden eagles had an eyrie. The friendly 
murderer told me of it, thinking I might like to see 
it. He called the eagle residence " a nest." Some- 
how it seems to me that such a word, the simplicity 
of which strikes home to all of us, is out of place 
in connection with the egg-home of the King and 
Queen of the air. Eyrie is much higher sounding, 
therefore more suitable. Nest is almost Use majeste. 
A King would be out of place in a nest. He might 
possibly condescend to inhabit an eyrie. Then 
there's the old world meaning to add lustre to the 
word. Eyrie came, I think, from the Saxon " eghe," 
with the g sounded like y. Modern English would 
get that to eggery, and old English would make it 
eyrie. Chaucer, too, wrote of egg as " ey." 

Leaning over the edge of the cliff, with my oblig- 
ing friend the murderer hanging on to my coat with 
a good firm grip, I could see the great heap of nest, 
four feet or more across, and with my glasses two 
young birds, fully plumaged, sitting dolorously in- 
side. A second family, perhaps. I don't know. 
But it was late in the season for young birds to keep 
to their breeding place, unless indeed the youthful 
eagles go on using the eyrie until they are quite 


big, and able to fend for themselves under any 

I watched the parent birds for hours, as with 
mighty sweeps they cleft the air, circling with 
scarcely moving pinions over infinite space, magnifi- 
cent creatures of the rugged cliffs. I never saw the 
young ones make any attempt to fly. They simply 
sat there, Micawber-like, and waited for something 
to turn up. 

The second evening after the accident as we sat 
by a small wood fire it had to be small because the 
men grumbled so at hauling wood such a distance 
overlooking a scene of grandeur which baffles de- 
scription, our host suggested a game of cards. 
Poker ! I fairly trembled. I frequently cheat at 
cards, either to end the game, or from sheer lack of 
interest, and almost invariably revoke. If it is 
possible to revoke at poker I should do so, without 
a doubt. It really was not safe. Whatever might 
not the consequences be I 

I said very firmly but politely that unfortunately 
I do not play cards, and as for the Leader, it was a 
standing joke that he did not know one card from 

" Read, then," commanded this extraordinary 
being, " read out of that book you carry in your 

I drew out my Shakespeare, and obediently set to 
work on Julius Ccesar. My audience said that 
Julius Caesar " fairly beat the band," whatever that 
might mean. It was appreciative though, for 
presently he would know if "Julius," as he called 


him, ever lived; Shakespeare, too, was he anybody? 
Did I suppose that Julius Caesar was as great a 
soldier as General Howe of Bunkers Hill it was 
easy to read the hero worship in the haggard eyes 
and this Shakespeare, would he be as handy with 
his pen as Mrs. Beecher Stowe? 

It was an odd quartet. Julius Caesar, Shakespeare, 
General Howe, and Mrs. Beecher Stowe. Never 
mind, different as they are, each name rings for ever 
down the corridors of time. 

As soon as the Leader could move four days after- 
wards we trekked away, for we had so much to do 
in a very given time, Cecily and Ralph to meet, 
the moose hunting, and the locating of our new men 
who were to come up from Cook's Inlet. 

We left our friend of the Druidic cottage as much 
of our stores as we could possibly spare, and the last 
we saw of his solitary figure was the red-grey hair 
waving in the breeze, and the glint of his fiery tie. 
Cecily and Ralph waited for us impatiently in the 
base camp, and having loaded ourselves up with all 
the new trophies we trekked for the moose country. 

At last the fringe of a mighty forest belt, a mass 
of greens on greens, and wonderfully timbered 
glades. We prospected carefully round as we gained 
the Sushitna for signs of our servants to be, but the 
great silences were unbroken. Our servants from 
the Kuskokwim settlement kindly agreed to remain 
with us until the new followers arrived to take over, 
and the four of us settled down to the most enjoyable 
sport of the trip. 



By honour, truth, and everything, I love thee so 

Twelfth Night 

She'll not be hit with Cupid's arrow ; she hath Dian's wit 

Romeo and Juliet 
And I myself will see his burial 

King Henry VI 

Now began the times of times in the moose world. 
Every Jack was seeking a Jill, rushing through the 
vast forests to find her, roaring out his love troubles, 
calling defiance to rivals, thrashing the trees with 
vigorous antlers. All around we heard them, in the 
tense silent nights, and our world seemed a-hum with 
weird sounds, which carried on the new frosty air 
with great distinctness. 

From the early days of September the bull moose, 
monarch of all the deer tribe, travels rapidly, from the 
low-lying swamps and rivers where he sought, after 
the last of the snows, the sweetest willow shoots, to 
the higher grounds, after the cows sequestered in the 
sheltered forests and secluded timbered glades. The 
calves are born early in the June days, and here, in 
the primeval forest they all remain until the heavy 
snows drive them to lower grounds. 

In Alaska the primitive birch-bark horn is not used 



as a lure to attract the bull by imitating the " Come 
hither " call of the cow moose. In the New Bruns- 
wick backwoods many gallant beasts are lured to 
slaughter through answering this alien call of the 
wild. The Mic-Macs, too, are past masters at it. 
There are very few men in Alaska who make a suc- 
cess out of moose calling at all, and the ones who are 
adepts use, instead of the counterfeit mating cry, the 
challenge of the bull. Both forms of "sport" are 
very low down ways of procuring splendid heads, for 
used successfully there is no difficulty in getting a 
choice and to spare. To my mind this calling is the 
antithesis of sport, since it is not argued, I suppose, 
that there is any overwhelming difficulty in shooting 
so large a bulk as a called-up moose, standing like a 
target. If one is not allowed the pleasure, and the 
interest, of still-hunting him, I would forgo the delight 
of possessing the finest moose head in all the world 
if it came to me by the mere luring of the noble 
creature into my very presence by an artificial cry. 
There is something rotten in the state of Denmark 

I know that this system of calling is acceptedly in- 
stalled, is held in honour among most sportsmen, 
and who am I that I should judge; but I am proud 
to say that what moose we got we worked hard for, 
and they had their fighting chance. We certainly 
were not tempted at first, for none of our Bering 
Sea men could counterfeit the war challenge at all, 
and attempts at imitating Mr. Moose on our parts, 
with the idea of making observations, were much 


more reminiscent of a person in the throes of mal-de- 
mer than anything else. Steve had a way of hitting 
the trees with a stick, which he said was in imitation 
of the noise a bull moose makes as he thrashes the 
willows with his antlers, preparatory to going for a 
hated rival. 

Any sort of noise will bring up moose in this 
strenuous season, and they have been known to come 
right into camp, attracted by wood chopping. Still- 
hunting for moose in the primeval forest, requiring 
as it does knowledge of the habits of the quarry, skill, 
finesse, endurance, and scheming, is surely one of the 
most heart-gripping forms of stalking. I loved it, 
and played the game to the top of my ability. 

I saw my first bull moose when out early with Steve 
for guide. The forest seemed possessed, and as we 
crept through it, in moccasined feet, eerie sounds of 
moving moose met my listening ears. But I saw 
nothing. Thrash ! Thrash ! A moose, with sharp 
rattling noise, polishing his antlers. He gave a 
coughing, panting roar, and it sang through the 
woods. I crept on warily, praying that the wind 
might be favourable. Alas I the unkind breezes 
carried the warning, and I heard a crashing of the 
undergrowth, a rush of galloping hooves striking the 
dry ground. I moved on, and a short tour round 
some fallen forest giants brought me to a bit of 
thickly timbered country. A bull roared close to me, 
so close indeed that we must be practically in each 
other's presence. I could hear his quietest grunts 
distinctly, and located him to a nicety by them. I 


feared to move, for now that the frosts were so sharp 
at nights the recesses of the forest did not thaw out 
much in the sunny hours, and every twig and branch 
snapped sharply as one trod upon it. 

Into my line of vision strode the giant deer, a king 
of his kind. I could see his great bell hanging, see 
too the glimmer of his brown antlers with their whiter 
shining tips. It appeared to be a fine head, but 
through the intervening trees it was difficult to make 
absolutely certain. I did not wait, but took my 
chance, not a particularly good one, I am glad to 
think, for I missed ignominiously, and the big bull 
rushed away in the thick fastness in front of him, 
going as easily as though he were negotiating park 

I followed on his tracks as quickly as I could, a 
hopeless and useless task, and encumbered as I was 
with a rifle and shod in moccasins, the going was rather 
difficult. A piece of alder struck me across the face, 
a stinging blow, and stopped my progress for a 
moment. A cow moose crossed my path, at some 
distance, and after her raced a love-lorn swain, a two- 
year-old with indifferent head, and stubby antlers of 
small span. 

The most noticeable thing to me in this tracking 
out of the large deer of the Northern wilds is their 
immense indifference to danger. Not exactly indiffer- 
ence, for they see after themselves to a certain ex- 
tent, but compared with the alertness of the African 
antelopes, with their sentinels and outposts, every 
muscle taut for their instant flight, these denizens 


of the Alaskan forests seem absolutely lethargic, and 
lymphatic. Of course, on the constant watchfulness 
of the antelopes of Africa depend their every hour of 
life, menaced as they are on every side by beasts of 
prey. The moose and his kind has little to fear from 
any enemy save man, and but for the country he 
chooses to inhabit the stalking of moose would not be 
a matter of tremendous difficulty. Possibly if they 
lived in the open they might adopt different methods 
and modes of precaution. 

Back to camp after a blank morning, and yet not 
entirely blank, for the sight of one's first moose is a 
Red Letter day of a kind. Perhaps, too, the head 
might not have turned out nearly so splendid as it 
looked to my excited imagination. So I consoled 
myself and hoped for " Better luck to-morrow." 

In a world of love-making it was perhaps fitting 
that Ralph should come to me with his amatory con- 
fidences. He loved Cecily; oh, how much he loved 
Cecily ! To think of it, that a jungle man, more used 
to bloodshed than to tenderness, should come to play 
Romeo ! 

All his trouble no love affair is happy if there's no 
trouble in it lay in the fact that, being comparatively 
a poor man, he could not ask a rich woman to marry 
him. Why not, I wanted to know ? Love should not 
be confounded with money. 

" Sometimes money confounds love," said Ralph. 
"What then?" 

The dear fellow propounded a scheme of schemes 
to me. How would it be if he asked Cecily to make 


over her fortune to a fund for the Alleviation of the 
Sufferings of the Cree Indians, or a Mission to Dis- 
tressed Dervishes ? Anyway, something like that, 
and then they could both live on his small income, his 
very own to ask her to share. I smiled at his earnest- 
ness, and tried to be duly serious. 

"That would be silly," I said sententiously. We 
used to hear that President and Mrs. Kruger lived on 
the extra allowance called " the coffee money," but 
history never said, because they were able to do this, 
that they were foolish enough to return the Presi- 
dential salary. " Cecily is grovelling in the river for 
salmon," I added; " go you and grovel too." 

I was in the confidence of both the lovers, for Cecily 
was a lover too all right, though she was so full of 
doubts and fears. Being a sensible woman, and a 
thinker, she knew that marriage often proves a terrible 
destroyer. One of the saddest things in life is that 
love is destructible. Would not this affection of 
theirs, which was an anachronism, and should have 
belonged to the days of chivalry, succumb to 
marriage? Better not to force fate. 

I do love the beauties of Nature, and Nature too 
for her bounty and forethought, but she kills every- 
thing. She will not let you keep. It is the one thing 
that she strikes at. It seems so cruel. I who love 
her so much should not call her cruel, but doesn't 
it seem hard? "Here you are," she says, "take 
anything you want. You can have it to play with 
for a time." And she appears to let you have love 
for a shorter space than anything else. What is the 



reason, for she has an admirable reason for every- 
thing ? Oh, never mind the reason ! Drink the red 
wine! Carpe diem! 

"Don't you hope they get engaged at last?" I 
asked the Leader, as I watched him cleaning his big 
moose head. 

" Yes, I do," he answered, with enthusiasm for 
such a misogynist. " We must have a disaster of 
some magnitude before we can find an adequate excuse 
to open the last of the bottles of emergency cham- 

Then what a squabble royal ! I don't know which 
of us enjoyed it the most. We were not capable of 
paying each other off, for there was no antagonism 
between us. We fought with our wits, not with our 
hearts. Are we human beings capable of hurting 
what we love in our inmost hearts? Do you not 
think that to inflict a smart by way of retaliation 
argues that the heart does not really love? To be 
piqued is one thing, to seek revenge is another. 
Sometimes little hurts are given by accident, they 
are trifles and soon heal. There is no wound so 
deadly as one given by design. 

We opened the champagne that night. Cecily had 
met her Waterloo. 

A woman's devotion is a wonderful thing, perhaps 
the most beautiful thing in this world. She seems 
to play with love for a time, then gives a little, then 
takes it back, then she pretends, then she won't give 
any, then from pity spares a particle, then she is 
sorry, then she doesn't know her own mind, and at 


last she gives, not half, or some with reservations, but 
all, everything on earth she possesses, and if she had 
her soul to bestow she would add that without a 

The forest scenery around our camp was exquisitely 
beautiful, but there was a chilling solemnity in these 
Northern woods absent in those of sunnier countries. 
Perhaps the frequent finds of skeletons of trees, 
burnt, or decayed to the heart, turned the woodlands 
to a charnel house, or it may be that such deep, un- 
fathomable tangles overshadow one, being so entirely 
different to the calm uniformity of the horizons in our 
English forest glades. 

In the heart of a wanton maze of green, by a 
mighty shaft of granite, Ralph and I, hot on the track 
of a never-to-be-come-up-with-moose, discovered the 
whitened bones of a man, mouldering at the base of 
the wild monument. By the shape of the skull we 
saw that this was no Indian, Aleut, or member of 
countless other tribes, but some one of our own race, 
fallen by the way some one, perchance, whose love 
for the lode had been his death, or lonely trapper, 
overtaken by the cold of the chill solitudes wherein 
he hunted. It was a saddening moment in our day. 
I am as easily made sad as glad, I cannot go hum- 
drum through life. I must take things intensely or 
not at all. 

I wanted the piteous bones buried,, far from the 
tearing winter winds, or hurtling forest branches. 
Ralph, too, might read a few words from the Burial 
Service, because " it " was a white man. 


" I haven't got a Prayer-book in my kit," con- 
fessed Ralph shamefacedly. " I er I don't think 
I ever carry one." 

" Then you ought to ?" I said sternly. " And why 
haven't you got one?" 

" If it comes to that," he returned, rallying a little, 
" why haven't you ?" 

We dispensed with play-acting a service, and 
tenderly placed the poor bleached bones in a grave 
made by the granite mass, an everlasting monument, 
silent witness of the sad beginning, silent guardian of 
the piteous end. 

Next day we left the vicinity of our gruesome find, 
and, at the Leader's command, moved to another 
stretch of forest country. Not until then did my 
spirits recover their balance. Sorrow is like a fish 
that seizes my hook and drags my float right down, 
but it cannot stay down, my tendency is always to 
come up. But for the fishes I should always be up. 
When he saw my float below, in countless ways the 
Leader sought a landing-net, took the fish and flung 
it far away. 

The mosquitoes hereabouts had entirely disap- 
peared, and in place of these wretched little pests we 
had the moose-fly, a small round atom, black in 
colour, with a venomous bite. The first result of an 
attack is a small round red spot, which presently 
swells up, and causes great pain. The face can be 
protected from all the onslaughts, but gloved hands 
in still hunting do not make for stillness at all. 

Around our new camp, which was situated on a 


backwater of the Sushitna, the profusion of shed 
antlers told us that this spot was a wintering ground 
beloved of numerous moose. Our men reported many 
recent tracks leading to the river, and in the evening 
Cecily and I investigated for some miles along the 
reaches. Steve led us to a ford where obviously moose 
crossed to the opposite bank, too deep for us to tackle, 
and we planned an excursion thither on the morrow. 
Making a wide detour, into the forest belt we turned 
our steps campwards, and had hardly covered more 
than half-a-mile before we suddenly jumped a bull 
moose, who rushed away, his antlers striking the trees 
in resounding whacks. When going off, startled, a 
moose crashes through all obstacles, anyhow ; but 
given their own time, they can pass through the 
forest like wraiths, travelling silently as any panther. 
Here and there we crossed trails of great distinctness 
and width, evidence of the passing of numerous moose 
to the river extending over a period of many years. 

Following up one trail in desultory fashion, all sud- 
denly I realized that walking leisurely along, the 
same way as we ourselves were travelling, was a fine 
upstanding moose. He browsed as he went, or 
sniffed the ground, and I caught the gleam of antlers 
as he stooped. I could get in a shot which would 
rake through to the off-shoulder, so, signing to our 
man, who was now beginning to prance about in his 
excitement lest I should fail to see so splendid a chance, 
to keep quiet and give over signalling to me just as 
though a moose at seventy yards' distance in open 
ground could be easily overlooked I aimed clear of 


the hindquarters to the most vital part in my line of 
vision beyond the hip, and fired. 

I saw no effect of any kind, save that, half-turning, 
the great moose looked at me, fair and square. Like 
some prehistoric monster he stood, his wondrous 
head outlined by the greens of the forest around him. 
Seizing the short opportunity I put the ivory fore- 
sight on his forehead, beneath the antler nearest to 
me, and in a maze of excitement pulled the trigger. 
The bullet told, and the giant deer staggered to 
the shot, ran on for a few paces with lurching gait, 
fell to his knees, then raised himself to career on for a 
few yards further, when, overtaking him, I ran in, 
and at thirty paces distant got in a heart shot which 
was instantly effective, and my first moose crashed to 
the ground. The massive antlers struck the earth so 
heavily I almost feared for their safety, forgetting the 
terrific blows they are constantly called upon to 

Cecily and I examined the head with interest and 
delight; it was particularly finely formed, and the 
points, instead of being the stubby affairs one so 
often gets on moose antlers, were quite sharp and 
tapering. When measured it came out at sixty-five 
inches span, and was somewhat white in colour, 
owing to the fact that it had not long been out of 
velvet. Indeed, tiny shreds still adhered in places 
from the tips. Our men had it that the larger the 
moose the longer it took to get the horns clean. The 
bell, or growth of hair, which hangs from beneath the 
throat, was not long and thick in this specimen which 


I shot, as it was on two or three other moose bagged 
by members of our party. My beast, being a mature 
animal, had the adornment in so bedraggled and hair- 
less a condition that the appendage ceased to be a 
thing of beauty and became a mere bit of loose skin. 
We measured the bell of a younger moose which 
Cecily shot, and it came out at fourteen inches long, 
and the hair was very coarse, anl shaded from brown 
to grey black. 

Steve set about taking the head-skin, which was 
going to be such a lengthy business we persuaded him 
to decapitate the great deer and struggle to camp with 
the whole head. He wanted some of the meat, but 
couldn't manage to carry more than he was already 
burdened with, so we comforted him by saying he 
could return for another load to-morrow. We helped 
to carry the weighty head by tying it on to a stalwart 
tree stem, taking one end, the man the other, and the 
great trophy swung in the centre. On the walk home 
the weather broke suddenly, and drizzling rain fell, 
which was the precursor of a storm which raged all 
night. A terrifying affair enough, and as the tearing 
wind whistled through the forest I couldn't help think- 
ing what a chance there was of our being flattened out 
by some tree going down before the wrath of the 
tempest. All around us the branches crashed to the 
earth, the tents were blown this way and that, and 
our occupation during the midnight hours was to 
hang on to our canvas residences that we might have 
them for another night. With the morning the fury 
of the gale had passed, but it took us some little time 


to collect our scattered belongings, and ascertain the 
damage done. 

After breakfasting on the everlasting salmon, 
Cecily and I made our way to the spot where we left 
the meat on the previous evening. I rather wanted 
to retrieve the feet of my moose in order that they 
might be set up somehow. We travelled very softly, 
as it behoves a hunter to do in a part of the world in 
which the most unexpected things happen at any 
moment. We stopped to pick and eat a few salmon 
berries which grew in profusion near the place where 
the headless moose lay. 

Suddenly, with very little parting of the under- 
brush, a hunched, cat-like form streaked along, a 
piece of thieved meat between its jaws. Cecily, 
quicker than I can set it down, had her rifle up, and 
the quick bullet caught the retreating animal in the 
hindquarter. It was a lynx, and a very well set up 
specimen too. On being hit the poor creature gave 
the most piercing shriek, a concentrated essence of 
cat-calling, and bowled over and over. Cecily, 
worried at her failure to kill her beast outright, and 
grieving for its pain, ran forward, and the cat, with 
amazing dexterity, turned with flattened ears and 
vicious, snarling face, and shot towards my cousin 
with arrow-like swiftness. It flew straight at the calf 
of Cecily's leg, and its teeth struck in, through gaiters 
and all, and clung there, tooth and nail. 

Impeded by the gripping terror the victim could do 
but little to free herself, and I ran in, laying my rifle 
down. I seized a stout gnarled stick which lay con- 


veniently adjacent and brought it down with a Swing- 
ing smash on to the shoulders of our enemy. The 
blow was at such close quarters Cecily almost fell with 
the impact, but the cat, fortunately, let go suddenly, 
turned a half somersault, and to my immense sur- 
prise dropped dead in its tracks. We afterwards 
found that Cecily's bullet had penetrated farther than 
we had at first thought. I carried the remains to- 
camp. It was such a beautifully marked beast, with 
enormous length of whisker, and thick, glossy coat. 

Cleaning the wound on Cecily's leg I found that 
the incisor teeth had made considerable havoc, so I 
iodoformed and bandaged. 

When Ralph returned to camp with a wonderful 
story of a moose that was missed, he was terribly 
upset over the lynx episode. If Cecily had been 
gnawed by a tiger he could not have fussed more. 
All his regret was that he had not been with us. In 
that case the accident could never have happened. 
Isn't it odd, the way in which men consider them- 
selves such lighthouses and pillars of strength ? 

" And how could you have prevented the lyrrr 
biting me, I should like to know?" said Cecily, con- 
cluding that her reputation as a capable huntress was 
seriously impugned. " Besides, I suppose I can be 
bitten if I like." 

For three days we feared blood-poisoning, arid 
things looked quite nasty, but matters took a turn for 
the better, and bar a few days of absolute lameness, 
Cecily got off all right. She and Ralph pottered 
about the camp, collecting birds and a musk rat or 


two from a little colony who dwelt on the river bank, 
near to us. We could hear them snorting in the 
water at night, when all was very still, and the faint 
aroma which clings about them was distinctly notice- 
able if the wind happened to be our way. Rabbits, 
which were very plentiful in these woods, had been 
warned off the commissariat department. Our natives 
told us of some unknown and terrible scourge that had 
visited the rabbit genus, a scourge that had killed 
them off in dozens. That this plague had not entirely 
passed was evidenced by the fact that once or twice 
we came on newly-dead carcasses, and the rabbits had 
not come to a violent end by the efforts of eagles, 
lynxes, wolves, or other preying creatures. It seemed 
safer to abjure rabbit altogether, and nobody fancied 
it. The ubiquitous spruce grouse abode with us to 
fill the pot, and dried salmon formed a really valuable 

Nikolai finally brought home the remains of the 
moose I shot for the men to gorge upon. The eagles 
as well as the lynx had found it out, and one way 
and another it did not look inviting. The men seemed 
to find no fault with it, and roasted it in strips for 
every meal. 

The cleaning of a moose head is a really big busi- 
ness, and we had to do a lot of the drying of skins 
by the fires. The heat of the sun at this time was 
nothing very great. 

On an estuary of the river Ralph was fortunate 
enough to bag an otter by a very sporting shot. He 
hit the animal fair and square just as it slid from its 


holt, quite a marvellous performance when one con- 
siders the lightning movements of an otter about to 
take the water. The rush of the river carried it to a 
deep-set pool, and we had some difficulty in retrieving 
the treasure, which we accomplished finally by the 
aid of a salmon net. Of course, Ralph's otter was only 
the otter of the Alaskan rivers, not its valuable cousin 
of the sea, now almost extinct through such persistent 
hunting. Still, the pelt is a good one, and much in 
demand by fur traders. 

The Innuits were very much upset when they heard 
of the incident, because they have a quaint supersti- 
tion against shooting otters, which does not seem to 
apply to trapping the creatures. They believe that 
an otter haunts the man who shot it by coming to 
life again within the murderer's " Little Mary," which 
naturally causes the greatest annoyance and incon- 
venience. In fact, there intrenched the otter stays, 
unless you happen to have some milk or other delicacy 
to hand, when the revengeful creature may be tempted 
but no reliance can be placed upon its actions to 
jump back to terra firma out of the victim's throat ! 

Ralph, by extraordinary chance, was knocked up 
the day following the death of the otter, and, though 
the temporary indisposition was nothing in the world 
but a bilious attack, our men regarded the matter very 
seriously. The skin of the otter swung in the breeze, 
from the branches of an adjacent cottonwood, but 
this indisputable evidence appeared to carry no weight 
at all, forebodings dire were in the mind of each little 


The Innuits are very full of weird superstitions, and 
all believe in evil spirits who live far inland from the 
coast, spirits who descend from the Nunataks, or 
peaks, which are to be seen in the heart of the glaciers. 
The special function of the Nunataks, so far as I 
could gather, is to work havoc to the Innuit hunter 
to steal the fish from the drying ground, cut the skins 
of the canoes, drive away the seals to other waters, 
and generally make themselves all round disagreeable. 

At nights around the camp fires I would try and 
engage the men in such conversation as we could 
muster, but I could never discover that there were 
any good fairies in the country to counterbalance all 
the evil sprites. The goblins of Grimm alone hold 
sway. Oberon and Titania could not live in the 
frozen ways of the Arctic regions, needing the suns 
of the South to gild their revelries. 

M'uch of the folk-lore gleaned by the way from the 
natives, more especially from the Aleuts, is extra- 
ordinarily interesting and weird, but unfortunately 
very many of the stories are not printable in these days 
of High Moral Tone, Nonconformist Consciences, and 
the rest. The older natives yarn away these strange 
romances, full of fierce sad glamour, loves and hates, 
and feuds and factions. Alas ! that the majority of 
the legends must remain locked in the memory of the 
hearer. The " bowdlerizing " of them for books is an 
almost impossible task. There is one, less lurid than 
many, which is very firmly fixed in my mind, perhaps 
because it has for its raison d'etre the accounting for 
the creation and appearance at some long-ago period 


of that priceless creature, now almost extinct, the sea- 

A strange old Aleut told me the story as we sat by 
a flickering fire, beneath a sky of deepest blue, dotted 
with a wealth of silver stars, wreathed here and there 
in a veil of gossamer mist. And as the native wove 
his romance into the silence of the night the witchery 
of the scene and the hour lent a thrill of enchantment 
and imparted a sentimental feeling of poesy which, 
perhaps, the story lacks when told again in England, 
in plain, bald fashion. 

A mighty chief of the Aleuts had a beautiful 
daughter, and, by another wife, an equally handsome 
son. Nobody could hunt the creatures of the wild 
like this young Aleut; nobody flung a spear so 
accurately, or sought the earliest walrus with such 
success. These two young people, who lived but the 
breadth of a river apart, had somehow never chanced 
to meet until they were about seventeen and eighteen 
years old, and when at last Fate brought them to- 
gether she decreed that the ill-starred girl and boy 
should not know that their relationship was such as 
to preclude the great burning affection which instan- 
taneously arose between them. When the Aleut chief 
heard of the desire of the lovers to marry each other 
his horror knew no bounds, his rage no limits ; for the 
Aleuts regard a thing of that kind as deadly sin, con- 
trary to one or two other nations and tribes we wot of. 
He came as a Daniel to judge. His commands were 
issued, and they were to the effect that the young 
people must never meet again, nevermore hold con- 


versation together, on pain of instant death, and that 
the sentence should be carried out effectively the boy 
and girl were imprisoned in baraboras built at some 
distance from each other. Love laughs at locksmiths, 
and perhaps Alaskan locks are easier picked than 
most. The youth escaped, and straight as an arrow 
from a bow sped to the prison-house where lived his 
father's daughter. Even as they met they were 
caught, and so read their death warrant in the fierce, 
stern eyes of the offended chieftain. 

From the top of a great cliff, down the face of a 
precipice, the lovers were hurled to the sea below, 
striking the cruel rocks ere the bodies fell into the 
water. The spray shot up incarnadined, then still- 
ness. Next morning, round and round the scene of 
the death agony, in ever-widening circles, swam two 
strange creatures, otter-like, but more beautiful and 
wonderful than the otter of the rivers. The Aleuts, 
wise and learned in all animals of their sea and land, 
had never before known anything like these agile 
swimmers, who remained in the vicinity for some 
hours, and then headed to sea to return no more. 

The spirits of the lovers had not died, so said Aleut 
superstition. They lived on in a new form of life, 
lonely creatures of the deep, and from these two sea- 
otters sprang the race of the most scarce, much hunted, 
exquisite animal of the Northern Seas. 

Many more strange, weird tales come to my mind, 
but it is so hard to make them readable. Told in the 
heart of the mysterious and wonderful solitudes the 
barbaric plainspokenness of each legend is, by the 


very breath of the wilderness, freed of aught that is 
in civilization counted as unspeakable. 

One fine evening I shot a porcupine. I slew him as 
he made a meal of a piece of bark gnawed from off a 
cotton wood-tree. My quarry made no attempt to 
get away, or to conceal itself, trusting to its deadly 
quills, I conclude, for protection. They were very 
much in evidence, and their serrated edges were ready 
and waiting for immediate reprisals. The natives told 
me that as winter approaches the porcupine in these 
regions acquires a long growth of hair, which conceals 
the quills entirely. 

Ned carried my trophy back to camp by fastening 
it to a stout bough, which he carried across his 
shoulder, and the prickly porcupine swung to and fro 
a few inches from my henchman's back. All the way 
home I thought how best to make an appetizing meal 
of this innovation in our larder. One always hears of 
this Northern porcupine as being such a delicacy, 
especially in autumn and winter when they are very 

I was like Brillat-Savarin and his first wild turkey- 

" I," said he, " was lost in profound reflection, and 
I thought of how I should cook my turkey-cock." 

I wrestled with a similar problem with regard to my 
trophy, and went on puzzling as to the most reason- 
able manner of cooking it, until it was time to intro- 
duce it to the fire somehow or other. Finally the 
animal was stewed to a condition resembling leather, 
and it was a mass of little sinews of the toughest 


variety. It must have been a patriarch porcupine, 
and the oldest inhabitant of the forest. None of us 
liked it at all, and I suspect that the travellers who 
say that the flesh of this creature is so very appetizing 
have really eaten something else instead and didn't 
know it, or, most probable of all, were so hungry as 
not to care. 



(By the Leader of the Expedition) 

Well, in that hit you miss 

Romeo and Juliet 

How mightily sometimes we make us comforts of our losses ! 
And how mightily some other times we drown our gains in tears 

All's Well that Ends Well 

AGNES has asked me to describe the hunting of 
moose, and instance any particular stalk which still 
lingers in my mind. Although a spell of time and 
many thousand miles lie now between me and the 
scenes herein discussed, yet ever and anon there 
comes a gleam of vivid light travelling back across 
that bridge of memory which spans all time and 
space to help me live once more through never for- 
gotten days. 

Looking over cherished diaries of halcyon hours, 
there comes a picture of those distant lands, a picture 
fresh and bright, as if the artist's colours still lay 
moist upon its canvas. Once more I see those dis- 
tant snow-clad mountains towering aloft in silent 
grandeur, whilst from out of hidden ice-bound clefts, 
far up among the peaks, a host of foaming torrents 
spring, awakening strange echoes with the laughing 

273 T 


music of their bubbling waters. Far below the vast 
primeval forests lie, as yet scarcely trodden by the 
feet of men, and still immune from devastations 
wrought by their destroying axes. Here is the land 
of mournful solitudes, where oft " the air a solemn 
stillness holds," and where, when Nature shows her 
fierce moods, chill blasts sweep down from barren 
wastes to work destruction 'midst the fading summer 

Who is there amongst us that can listen unmoved 
in mountain lonelinesses or forest solitudes, to the 
wild, weird cadence of rushing waters mingled with 
the sighing of the winds ? 

Long since I read the words of an unknown writer 
who was gifted with that golden talent, the glory of 
words. Time has doubtless dimmed my memory, 
but I venture to attempt a repetition of the lines, 
since none which my feeble pen can create will so 
aptly describe the feelings of a wanderer in the wilds 
of Northern climes. 

" When the wan fires of twilight are dying to a 
weird and ghostly light, and the woods look lone 
and spectral against a fading sky, when the silence 
dares not breathe for dread, and the wind wails once 
and dies, it is as though some great magician had 
laid the world under a spell. For the feelings excited 
by twilight's phantom gloom are restless, fevered, 
morbid. An hour ago, looking on the ineffable 
glories of sunset, the soul was touched by a divine 
longing, raised to invisible heights, set above the 
reach of Time, with the angelic host in the eternal 


places. And then this spell of twilight, ghostly, 
vague, elusive, stirring the heart with fearful long- 
forgotten dreams of evil, of wild despair, and death. 
It is the fascination that the secret, the unknown, the 
terrible, have always exercised over the heart of man 
a survival, may be, of the primeval belief in the 
cruelty of Nature, and of the unseen spirits who do 
her will." 

The writer of those lines was surely one who in 
youthful dreams had wandered through the land of 
Faery, and whose thoughts perchance still roam out 
beyond the great divide to that shore where the 
waves of Time lie tideless, " soft by the walls of that 
fair city whose foundations are builded in Eternity." 
For him, for such of us who feel its spell, the glamour 
of the wild still murmurs softly through the silent 
wastes, or beckons with out-spreading arms of beauty, 
luring us onwards to those Elysian fields 'midst 
enchanted solitudes of far-distant lands. 

What is it, this undefined sensation, this indescrib- 
able fascination of the magnetic North, wakening in 
men's hearts such weird feelings as they gaze from 
lofty heights across boundless unknown regions, 
where fathomless waters and vast, silent spaces rest 
peacefully beneath the Arctic sun ? 

All the air is laden with perfumes, as Countless 
soft, subtle scents are wafted upwards, borne on the 
breath of gentle breezes as yet untainted by smoke 
and dust of cities. Here we stand face to face with 
Nature in her every mood. Thoughts drift back un- 
known ages, as we wonder if in bygone years these 


desolate wastes were fertile regions in which gigantic 
mammoths roamed amidst luxurious forests, where 
now for centuries untold their huge bones have lain 
deep buried beneath the soil. What sudden spell 
was cast upon the face of Nature? What fierce 
agency conspired to sweep from off the earth these 
prehistoric giants? 

Over dreary wastes, where once huge pachyderms 
roamed, the traveller now may journey countless 
miles whilst death-like silence reigns supreme. They 
loom insistent still, those weird and long-lost 
memories, finding responsive notes deep down in our 
hearts, awakening some forgotten cry, drawing us 
back across some visionless bridge of dark ages to 
the time of our primeval ancestors, rousing an un- 
speakable yearning to pierce oblivion's dark shroud, 
and live once more in scenes now dead and gone for 
ever. This, this is the Call of the Wild, and it 
speaks loudest to those who in childhood were 
dreamers, who, ever enthralled by elusive charms of 
unknown mysticism, sought to grasp the intangible, 
lived in a world of fancy, peopled with a host of 
unknown sprites. 

Ralph and I had been encamped for two days upon 
the western slope of the great mountain range which 
forms a divide between the valleys of the Kuskokwim 
and Sushitna rivers. Our tents were pitched in a 
sequestered nook overlooking a diminutive lake, from 
which a tiny stream emerged and flowed onwards to 
join the mighty Kuskokwim. 

Although none of them attained any considerable 


size in height or girth, a profusion of forest trees 
grew around us, and these consisted chiefly of firs, 
cottonwood and silver birches, which in places were 
most densely packed, since the region had escaped 
all forest fires, which in more frequented parts of 
Alaska have wrought havoc over countless acres of 
the woods. 

Not far from camp the timber line abruptly ended, 
and beyond there lay an open track of tundra, which 
sloped upwards till it reached the grassy mountain 
sides. From this point a climb of some three thou- 
sand feet led to the summit of a commanding peak, 
which we had christened Beacon Hill. On its top- 
most point our natives collected heaps of wood, and 
each night a brilliant fire was kindled there, to act 
as a guiding light and beacon for the natives whom 
we daily expected from the Sushitna. 

From the top of the hill on a clear day the climber 
was rewarded with a view which baffles description. 
Far below, on either side, lay the great basins of the 
Sushitna and Kuskokwim rivers. Gazing out to- 
wards the north-east, although some eighty miles 
away, the vast perennial snow-clad peak of Mount 
McKinley reared its towering height, a veritable 
giant amongst giants, the highest and grandest of 
Alaskan mountains, whose topmost pinnacle has still 
defied the foot of man to reach it. A lonely watcher 
on this Beacon Hill, looking upon the boundless 
panorama of great mountains, wide fopen valleys 
leading downwards to the ocean, vast forests dotted 
here and there with countless lakes, and intersected 


by winding, silvery streams, might dream that he 
stood upon the roof of the world. At his feet on 
every side lay some of the sublimest works which 
that great Craftsman, Nature, has devised. 

At the end of the second day, although we had 
seen a number of small bulls, we had only succeeded 
in bagging one animal, since we had firmly decided 
not to shoot at any heads which we thought did not 
attain a measurement of at least sixty-five inches span 
of horns. This standard may sound rather high to 
sportsmen accustomed to moose hunting in the 
Canadian forests, where a sixty-five inch head would 
be regarded as the trophy of a lifetime. Heads of 
seventy inches and over are by no means rare in 
the Alaskan forests, and the writer to-day possesses 
one head which he brought from the forests of 
Alaska, and when killed the antlers exceeded the 
gigantic spread of seventy-seven inches. 

One evening Ralph and I had wandered far from 
camp in quest of spruce grouse, commonly known as 
fool hens, which we shot for the pot with a small 
'22 Winchester rifle. These silly birds will fly up 
into a tree, and the whole brood, including young 
and old birds, sit calmly a few feet overhead whilst 
they are picked off one by one with a small-bore 
rifle. By this means a good dinner may be assured 
if the hunter is fortunate enough to encounter a few 
of these birds in his day's wandering. Moreover, 
the use of a noiseless rifle has the advantage that 
its small report does not scarce the game in the 
vicinity, as the use of a big shot-gun will do. 


I was walking slowly in front carrying a small 
rifle, whilst Ralph brought up the rear with a Mann- 
licher slung across his back. Suddenly we emerged 
into one of the numerous open glades of the forest 
which are bare of trees, where nothing save tundra 
and dwarf bog-myrtle flourish, and there, standing 
in full view, at less than a hundred paces, on the 
opposite side of the clearing, a noble bull moose was 
apparently listening intently, possibly having heard 
our distant footsteps. 

It required but a second for me to hold up a 
ringer to warn Ralph that there was game afoot, and 
gently stepping backwards I bade him advance to 
where he could get a good view of the animal. 

In moving slightly forward, intent on unslinging 
his rifle, Ralph unfortunately trod upon a small stick, 
which broke with a resounding crack. This noise 
immediately disturbed the moose, since it is seldom 
that a wild animal thus breaks a twig when moving 
at its leisure through the Alaskan forests, and this 
fact is all the more remarkable when we consider the 
enormous weight of such huge beasts as the moose 
and bears which inhabit those regions. Although I 
have watched for hours the movements of these 
creatures of the wild, even at close quarters, I have 
seldom heard them crack a twig unless scared into 
moving at a high rate of speed owing to the approach 
of danger. 

As soon as this old bull heard the snapping of 
that stick he commenced walking slowly towards the 
cover of the trees, and Ralph, realizing that he must 


shoot now or never, began to cover him with the 
foresight, in hopes of getting one chance of a cross- 
ing shot. For a second the great beast stood, and 
half turned towards us, affording a good chance of 
putting in a shoulder shot. As Ralph instinctively 
pressed the trigger, ere the bullet reached its mark, 
the bull turned diagonally away from us. Before 
he had put down his foremost foot the bullet struck 
him somewhere, and giving a convulsive spring side- 
ways, he dashed into the trees and disappeared from 

What Ralph said may be better imagined than 
described, as we hastened across the open giade with 
but faint hopes of being able to come up with the 
wounded beast, which seemed to be only slightly 
hit. After following his tracks a mile or more we 
found that he had not broken out of a long striding 
gallop, and scarcely a blood spot was visible, as is 
often the case from a wound inflicted with the small- 
bore rifles, such as a Mannlicher, which, in my 
humble "opinion, is the chief drawback to these handy 
little weapons. 

After deciding that our pursuit was hopeless we 
resolved to retrace our steps, which proved to be by 
no means an easy undertaking. For during the 
quest of the spruce grouse, and in tracking the 
moose, neither of us had taken notice of our bear- 
ings, and night was rapidly closing in upon us. In 
addition to which Ralph had lost our only compass, 
which he carried on a chain that had snapped with- 
out his noticing the event, probably as we forced our 


way through some of the dense underwood whilst 
tracking the moose. 

To make matters worse it commenced snowing 
sharply, and in the cool evening the flakes lying 
thick on trees and ground helped to disguise any 
distinctive trees or landmarks which we had passed, 
and might under different circumstances have recog- 
nized again. 

After wandering somewhat aimlessly for some time 
Ralph sat down on a fallen tree, and began to revile 
his fate and luck, etc., etc. As he tersely put it, 
" to miss the largest moose we had yet seen was bad 
enough, but to get wet through, and have to spend 
the night out cold and hungry in an Alaskan forest 
was the utmost limit which his patience could en- 
dure." This was rather amusing, since Ralph prides 
himself on being somewhat of a philosopher even 
under the most trying conditions. There came to 
my memory some old lines which I had seen in- 
scribed on the wall of a hunter's hut in the back- 
woods of western America, and quoting them as near 
as my memory could recall the words, I said 

" It is easy enough to look pleasant 
When life goes along like a song, 
But the man that's worth while, 
Is the man with a smile, 
When everything goes dead wrong." 

Had we not got three brace of grouse in our 
pockets ? Had we not plenty of matches, fuel galore ? 
If the worst came to the worst we could roast a 
grouse on a stick, which is food for the gods any 


day. But Ralph would not be comforted. Sud- 
denly he reminded me that on this very evening 
Agnes and Cecily had promised to come over from 
their camp three or four miles away to have supper 
with us, and compare notes. Then, and not till then, 
did I discover the cause of all Ralph's bitterness of 
spirit I Realizing that something must be done to 
relieve the present state of tension, I set my mind to 
work, and at last I said, " Well, as near as I can 
figure it out we have been moving due north most 
of the day, since the wind has been from the north, 
and we have travelled all the time with our faces 
to the wind." 

"True," said Ralph, "but how in this infernal 
Snowstorm when the wind is always shifting, and 
blows from all four quarters of the globe at once, 
and in this cursed darkness, how, I ask you, can we 
tell which is north and which is south?" 

My reply was that if he had not been temporarily 
off his mental balance he could have solved the prob- 
lem at once^ since we both knew that lichen and 
moss only grew on the boles of trees on the side 
which was sheltered from the icy northern winds in 
these Arctic regions. And thus, if we kept walking 
with the bare boles of trees facing us we must be 
travelling due south. Suiting my actions to the words 
I set out, keeping a careful eye upon the bare tree 
stems, and followed by Ralph in moody discontent. 

After walking for nearly an hour we came across 
a small stream, and trusting it might prove to be the 
one which flowed from the lake near our camp, we 


decided to follow its course up stream. Now, as a 
rule, there is nothing more confusing to a lost man 
who finds himself at the bank of a forest stream near 
which his camp is situated; for unless he can recog- 
nize some familiar landmark, he may be either above 
or below his camp, and possibly may decide to follow 
the river in a wrong direction for considerable dis- 
tances before discovering his error. 

In this case we were more fortunate, since we knew 
that if indeed this was the particular stream which 
we sought, our only plan was to follow it up to its 
source in the lake. Soon as we travelled along the 
banks we came across familiar spots where fallen 
trees blocked the watercourse, and just then if we 
had needed further assurance that we headed straight 
for home it was forthcoming. At no great distance 
off a shot rang out, showing that our natives in the 
camp were firing signals to guide us in the dark. 
This was a welcome sound, and Ralph cheered up 
amazingly, as he fired an answering shot to satisfy 
the watchers. The cheerful gleams of firelight broke 
upon us through the clustering tree stems, and 
as we advanced Cecily and Agnes were easily dis- 
cerned as they stood before the fi\es. 

Soon we all gathered to discuss an excellent meal 
of moose steaks and grouse stew, dished up for us 
by our men, and which tasted as good as if it had 
been served in one of London's greatest restaurants, 
although our cook was no cordon bleu. 

The ladies decided to stay the night, and the store 
tent was made ready, where fortunately there was 


ample room and a supply of spare blankets. After 
a long chat over our doings, we turned in for the night 
to waken to a clear, fine morning, with that crisp 
invigorating feeling in the air which so often heralds 
the day in Northern lands. A slight covering of 
snow still lay upon the ground and trees, its glaring 
whiteness shimmering in the morning sun, and stand- 
ing out in sharp contrast to a dark background of 
the sombre-garbed pine-trees. During the night 
another foreboding of approaching winter had cast its 
spell upon us, and a sharp touch of frost had made 
the snow firm and crackling, in which our footsteps 
left sharp imprints. On seeing this, at breakfast- 
time Agnes suggested that they remained yet another 
day with us, in order that we might together try to 
track a bull moose in the snow. 

Cecily and Ralph set off in one direction, whilst 
Agnes and I started out on the opposite side of 
camp, and for reasons best known to ourselves each 
party decided to dispense with the services of any 
natives. We had not proceeded really far from camp 
ere we came upon the tracks of moose, where a band 
of three or four cows had crossed a well-worn moose 
trail; but here we failed to see the track of any bull. 
Once we struck the trail of a lynx, but the track was 
partly covered up with snow, showing that the beast 
had passed here early in the night, ere the snow 
had ceased to fall. Towards noon we came across 
the hoof-marks of a single bull moose, their size 
was such, and the snow seemed so recently broken, 
that we straightway elected to follow up this trail. 


As we threaded our way onwards, here and there 
passing through dense patches of dwarf underwood, 
and moving noiselessly over the yielding snow, ever 
and again we came on places where the moose had 
stopped to browse upon the willow twigs, showing 
that he was not travelling very fast. Suddenly, 
during one of the occasional halts which we made to 
stop and listen for a while, there broke upon the 
still air the hoarse, deep, grunting note of an angry 
bull moose. Shortly afterwards it was answered by 
another bull, which seemed to be even closer to us 
than the first one. Standing motionless we listened, 
and could plainly hear the nearest bull thrashing the 
brushwood with his antlers, a certain sign that he 
was angry, and that a fight was impending. The 
nearest bull was barely then a hundred yards away, 
but so thick were the trees and underbrush that we 
could not catch a glimpse of him. Gradually the 
two animals sounded to be drawing nearer, until we 
heard the rushing of a heavy body through the 
bushes, and then a mighty crash of horns as the 
two monarchs met. Again and again there came to 
us the sound of the clashing horns, and whispering 
to Agnes that we must not miss this splendid sight 
we set off quietly in the direction of the sound. It 
appeared as if one bull was having rather the best 
of matters, and was driving the other further away, 
since we soon came on the spot where the combat had 
commenced, as was clearly evinced by the trampled 
snow and broken bushes. Following up the noise of 
battle we came on a small clearing, or forest glade, 


in which a wondrous sight met our gaze. There, 
with the furious light of battle in their eyes, one 
hundred yards away, stood two magnificent bull 
moose, glaring at each other a few paces distant with 
lowered horns, heaving flanks, and steaming nostrils. 
Scarce a moment they stood thus, and then again in 
a mighty rush they met with fast-locked horns, the 
shock of their impact being terrific. Each beast, in 
crouching attitude, fore-legs close together and hind- 
legs widely spread, endeavoured by the huge muscles 
of his hind-quarters to force the other backwards. A 
fatal moment would it be for either if for an instant 
he exposed his side to the deadly horns of his oppo- 
nent. So intent were they upon the combat that for 
a time they had thrown caution to the winds, and 
neither animal seemed to heed a greater danger than 
that which stood immediately in front of him. Both 
bulls were magnificent specimens of their race, but 
one carried a pair of horns which were gigantic in 
size, and far overlapping the spread of the other's. 
I whispered to Agnes, asking if she would take my 
rifle, and have a shot, since she had come out with- 
out her own. She was firm in her refusal to do this, 
declaring that she had already killed two moose, and 
I had only one. I proceeded to advance cautiously 
towards the edge of the clearing, fearing to trust 
a shot from where we stood, lest the bullet should 
glance off some of the numerous twigs which screened 
us from view. I felt sure that the vast bull, which 
carried by far the largest horns I ever saw, was then 
as good as mine, for it seemed impossible to miss so 


large a beast at such shore range. But alas ! I waa 
counting my chickens I Just as I was nearing the 
edge of the glade I came almost face to face with a 
cow moose, which had been screened from view by 
a patch of thick bushes, and had been probably an 
interested spectator of the combat, considering the 
fact that the whole trouble doubtless arose over a 
dispute about her ladyship's favours. 

Almost before I caught sight of her she was off 
at a gallop across the open ground, uttering a loud 
startled cry as she went, which gave the warning. 

Now, as our friend Livy states, " Mars is fickle, 
and the fortunes of war are contrary," and thus it 
was that although this contretemps was the means 
of saving the old bull's life from my rifle, it almost 
caused his death at the horns of his adversary. As 
I ran forward a few paces to get an open space for 
shooting, the big bull, warned by the cry, turned 
slightly towards us, and in that moment the other 
bull, taking advantage of the exposed side, smote 
the big beast between the joints of his harness, and 
struck him such a terrible blow on the shoulder that 
he almost lifted the huge animal off his legs. He, 
poor brute, taken at a disadvantage, and threatened 
by a known and unknown danger, was forced to save 
himself by momentarily seeking the shelter of the 
neighbouring wood. No sooner had he recovered 
himself from the other's attack than he swung round 
quickly and dashed out of sight into the brushwood. 

So quickly had the whole thing happened that I 
had no chance to get a shot at him ere the big bull 


disappeared, and realizing that he was off on a big 
stampede, I thought my best chance lay in shooting 
at the other bull. He seemed pleased to think that 
victory rested with him, and once more loudly blared 
his challenge note, little dreaming then the answer 
it^would bring, for ere he could move, like a cunning 
general following up the routed enemy, the deadly 
bullet from my Mannlicher had reached its billet. 
Reeling like a storm-struck ship he stood a moment, 
shot clean through the heart, and his great fore-legs 
collapsed as he crashed heavily on his side, never to 
rise again. 

At this moment Agnes ran up, exclaiming, " Why, 
oh why, did you not shoot at the other beast?" To 
which I could only retort that she need not add to 
my chagrin at having lost the finest trophy of my 
life, and that it was impossible to get a shot at the 
animal from where I stood when he dashed into 
cover. It was in no enviable frame of mind that I 
inspected the fallen beast, but we were both sur- 
prised at the size and remarkable symmetry of the 
horns. Producing a tape I found they measured 
exactly seventy inches. Then only did I dare con- 
jecture what the other bull's horns must have 
spanned, for beside his these great antlers looked 
small. Till my dying day I shall always believe 
that I have seen a living moose whose horns exceeded 
eighty inches spread. 

Agnes volunteered to return to camp and send back 
the men to skin and bring in the head, and taking 
my rifle lest she should encounter any big game 


en route she started, leaving me alone beside the 
dead beast. There was no need to give the men 
instructions how to find me, nor for Agnes to trouble 
how she should regain camp, for by following the 
trail of our footsteps in the snow these were both 
simple matters. 

Seated on a fallen log, silently watching the curl- 
ing smoke arise from my pipe in the still air of a 
glorious autumn afternoon, I fell to moralizing. 
Looking at the huge recumbent form of the noble 
beast beside me, there came a sense of revulsion 
when it seemed that the slaying of such splendid 
creatures was a deadly sin. What, I asked myself, 
wonderingly, had this poor animal done in his whole 
life to deserve his fate? There lay the wondrous 
head, for ever still, no more would beat that gallant 
heart which knew not fear whilst still the owner 
roamed the wilds, lord of the forest, proud of his 
fleetness and strength, defying all foes in the king- 
dom of his kind. Unlucky moose, that you should 
stray in this lonely spot across the path of the 
wanderer who came on slaughter bent ! Though 
your slayer looks with pride on those vast horns, 
which he hopes may long adorn his ancestral halls, 
had he the power to heal and undo, for very pity he 
would give back thy life. 

Perhaps these thoughts come to many men, but 
for my part, although admitting that I love the noble 
trophies, the destruction of some cruel beast has 
given me more genuine delight than the slaying of 
moose or wapiti, those noblest, yet harmless, speci- 



mens of the deer tribe. They say the all-knowing 
mysterious " they " that Outram never killed any 
but dangerous game. A fine hand to play, if the 
cards were always obtainable. 

My thoughts went wandering back across the 
many lands where formerly I roamed rifle in hand. 
I trod upon the burning sands of Africa, climbed 
again in fur-clad garb the vast snowy steeps of North- 
east Siberia, sought the keen-eyed sheep in his moun- 
tain fastness, or once more matched my wits against 
those lurking denizens of dense jungles. I saw a 
gallant salmon leap as he strove hard for dear life, 
and I went stumbling on with straining rod, over 
the rock-strewn banks of some fair river on Norway's 
wooded coast or Iceland's barren shores. 

The sound of voices. Two natives upon the scene. 
Fortunately they brought my camera, which enabled 
me to procure a picture of the moose as he lay. The 
removal of the scalp and head was not a lengthy 
matter when all three of us set to work upon the 
task, and soon we set off homewards, the two natives 
taking turns at carrying the head and horns, whilst I 
packed home the scalp. Dragging a huge pair of 
moose horns through the dense underwood is by no 
means an easy task, and it has always been a mystery 
to me why these denizens of the thick Alaskan forests 
should have developed such immense antlers, re- 
sembling those of prehistoric beasts, which must be 
more of an impediment than assistance to them in 
their daily life. 

On return to camp I found Cecily and Ralph there, 


the latter having bagged a fine timber wolf, the skin 
of which already adorned a pole outside the tents, 
and which Ralph had skinned and brought into 
camp himself, a job not altogether pleasing to his 
rather fastidious taste. 

Once more over the gleaming pine-logs Agnes and 
I stalked again the mighty bulls, bitterly bewailing 
the losing of the giant moose. In the world of sport 
it is ever so. Still we shall continue to lose those 
record heads, and countless are the forty pounders 
which we cannot land. It is the great uncertainty 
which lends the nameless charm to a wandering 
sportsman's life. 



No temple but the wood, 

No assembly but the horn-beasts 

As You Like It 

Cheated of feature by dissembling nature, 
Deform'd, unfinish'd 

King Richard III 

He was furnished like a hunter 

As You Like It 

THE moose of Alaska, Alces gigas, is an even finer 
beast than his relative Alces americanus, and the 
antlers obtained in the Kenai Peninsula of late years 
have surpassed in size, spread, and splendour the best 
trophies Canada has ever produced. Alces ameri- 
canus is a glorious creature, but the Alaskan cousin 
carries off the palm. 

The record moose head of the world came from the 
Kenai district, and was taken by a native from an 
animal discovered drowned in the river, caught in 
some scrub alders overhanging the banks. The span 
of antlers of this wondrous find came out at eighty- 
one inches, and the trophy eventually found its way 
to a New York club. All moose heads shrink a little 
in the drying, even when the antlers are wedged out 
with bits of wood betwixt them and the skull. Very 
often a head loses as much as two inches in the drying 




One exquisite evening, when the moon was nearly 
full, Cecily and I wandered along the shores of the 
near by lagoon, a tiny lake, formed by the river over- 
flowing to lower ground. Standing in the lush green 
grasses on the verge of the shimmering pool, up to 
her knees in water, a cow moose faced up, not more 
than forty paces off. The silver moonlight flashed 
on her huge ears, limning in clear-cut strokes her 
square wet nose, silhouetting cameo-like the stalwart 
figure. Two calves breathed on the water in inquir- 
ing sniffs, as though to discover what this wealth of 
liquid was composed of. One calf was much younger 
than the other, and would be, of course, an adopted 
child. A real mother, that moose evidently. A "let 
them all come " type of matron as rare, I expect, in 
Alaska as in Albion. 

With a start the ungainly cow winded us I think 
a cow moose is the plainest of any of the deer tribe, 
if a creature of the wild, with its mysterious charm of 
environment, and manifold allurements, can be called 
downright plain and the water splashed to her 
shoulders as she made a bid for safety, gaining the 
bank in excited rush. The surprised calves tumbled 
after her in flurried desire to follow on the trail. Into 
the sombre blue-black forest glided the hurrying 
forms, disappearing, like grey wraiths, into the heart 
of the silence. 

When the horns are growing the strain on the con- 
stitution of a moose is great, and often when seen 
carrying a head in the velvet a really fine animal 
looks lean and cadaverous of appearance. Once the 


antlers are hard, however, the bull puts on flesh at a 
tremendous pace, and gains in contour and weight 

One mighty moose crossed our path frequently, and 
his head carried no horns whatever. In size, bulk and 
general appearance he was a giant of his kind, but 
Fortune had docked him of his chief beauty. By 
some mischance, wound, or accident of sorts, his 
horns had ceased to grow; but there he was, a gay 
Lothario for a' that, with a heart for many a fair 
lady of the moose world. It was most strange, but 
this uncrowned monarch held undisputed sway over 
his range of forest kingdom, and his triumphal battle 
cry rang through the woods at night. Lying con- 
cealed in the underbrush one day, I saw our hornless 
friend drive before him a stalwart young moose, fitted 
out with antlers of most business-like appearance. A 
lunge of the great bull neck, a fierce drive from the 
razor fore-feet, and the deer fled before the battering 
onslaughts of his hornless foe. 

This particular animal appeared to keep to the same 
stretch of forest country, undeterred by our presence, 
for we frequently caught a glimpse of the rushing 
bulk; but, as a rule, when suddenly frightened, par- 
ticularly when crossing a trail and getting the scent 
of a human being, or sighting so fearsome a vision 
as a man in the precincts of the timber belt, a moose 
simply goes for all he is worth, sometimes covering 
ten miles at a stretch without drawing up. 

The early morning we found to be the best time for 
tracking, before the animals lay down for the day, and 


also the evening, as they fed before nightfall. Of 
course, in such dense forest it is very hard to determine 
how best to avoid giving a moose the scent which is 
at once his dread and, often, his deliverance. On 
straight ground the wind blows evenly, but in forested 
glades, up hills and down dales, the breeze circles, 
eddies, and varies ten times in an hour. We likewise 
found it difficult to judge distances, but fortunately 
we usually overestimated this. The great hollows 
and depths of the dingles and grassy expanses ac- 
counted, in part, for the many strange errors of judg- 
ment made in some of our stalks. We all came to 
the conclusion that stiff-handed shooting was useless 
with these rushing giants, and found that to aim well 
in front of the quarry, following the beast with the 
rifle, at his own pace, in the lightning dash a moose 
almost invariably made as he sighted us, gave the best 

We changed our camps in the moose country often, 
for the sake of novelty, but they varied little. Each 
one had some points of beauty, some unusual charms. 
Our last was pitched facing east, and situated just at 
the junction of two small streams, tributaries to the 
Sushitna, which flowed onwards into a lagoon of 
sufficient size as to allow its being dignified by the 
name of lake. On the north and south high alders 
formed a screen from the treacherous winds, which at 
times conspired to transform this paradise into an 
Inferno. Looking at the peaceful unruffled waters, 
scarcely shimmering beneath the evening breeze, it 
seemed hard to picture what it would be like in early 


spring as the fierce breath of the mountains rushed 
down from the snow-clad heights, lashing the lake to 
a seething, boiling turmoil. 

The witching scene was accentuated by an ethereal 
splendour. From our very feet, on the one side, rose 
the hills, first in gentle slopes, extending for a long 
way, till they mounted tier upon tier, towering aloft 
to altitudes of many thousands of feet. Between each 
mighty peak vast canons and gorges lay, deep in 
snow, beneath which the roaring torrents hurled their 
icy waters downwards to the river. The hillsides were 
densely clad with cloaks of alder, willow, birch, and 
mountain ash, whilst here and there bright patches 
of green carpeted a glade from which the snow had 

Higher still lay the vast fields of perennial snow, 
which defiant alike to sun and rain formed a back- 
ground in vivid contrast to the foliage around. The 
sun climbed over a gleaming white cone, most lofty 
and noble of all the noble peaks, and the rays reflected 
a thousand tints with a brilliancy only to be seen in 
the rarefied atmosphere of these Northern climes. The 
light danced and flickered on the highest snow-clad 
tops, and fell slowly athwart a dark green patch of 
alder, outlining the vivid clumps of mountain ash, 
gleaming on the boles of the silver birch. The gold 
and silver glory of the streams rippled over the tiny 
boulders at our feet, falling in a sparkling chain of 
cascades, clear as the snow from which they sprung, 
adding endless music to the scene. And over all the 
mid-evening silence rang the trilling " Good-night " 



of the hermit thrush, and the lightsome touch of our 
chatter and plans. 

It is on a night like this that one thanks God for 
the wild, for thinking it, for making it, for keeping it. 
He made the wild, as man the town, and the devil 
Suburbia. The nights were vibrant with the weird 
sounds of the wilderness. The forlorn cry of a loon, 
matchless diver of lake and sea, his note an epitome 
of indescribable desolation of solitude, the whirr of 
wings from myriad ducks winging their way to 
warmer countries " Summer has passed, summer has 
passed !" sang in the musical rustle the furious clash 
of horns as Greek met Greek in deadly forest combat, 
the soft alluring call of the cause of all the trouble, 
and once or twice on the cold night winds came the 
prolonged discordant hunting yell of a wolf. Few 
and far between are the wolves in the Alaskan woods, 
the trapper and the native hunter have seen to that. 

In this forest of Arden one early morning I came 
on the smoking embers of a fire, evidences of a just 
moved camp, and a chill foreboding came to me that 
our little world was our very own no more. The out- 
fit of another hunter, perhaps. But our men from 
Cook's Inlet. An investigation of the river, a walk 
up stream, and a moving figure glided from between 
the tree stems and hailed me. Sure enough, a 
straggler from our expected servants, the others, 
having pulled up the bidarkas, were wandering about 
haphazard on the looking for a needle in a haystack 
principle. So absurd, when we had provided strict 
injunctions that the party should persevere to the head 


of the river, where we would keep a lookout for 

It was full time that our little henchmen from the 
Bering Sea coast returned to their homes, ere the 
weather broke up and rendered the journey almost 
impossible of negotiation. They set off at once, after 
the arrival of our new men, and we saw the little band 
set forth, equipped with an ample supply of provisions 
from the supplies brought up to us from the Inlet. 
Gummidge waved a dreary farewell. He held out no 
hopes to his companions that any of them would ever 
see their happy homes again. 

Letters and newspapers, forerunners of civilization, 
greeted us, and a sort of comprehensive log of the 
Lily, compiled by Captain Clemsen good man who 
specially commended for favourable notice one of the 
newly-arrived acquisitions, whose fame as a hunter 
was a growing one. It was confidently said, reported 
the conscientious skipper, that our man rivalled the 
celebrated Andrew Berg, most renowned of Alaskan 
hunters, in successful moose calling. We sorted out 
our servant and inquired his name. 

" Pitka," he answered solemnly. 

" Only Pitka?" said Cecily. 

" Pitka Charley, sometimes Charley Pitka," replied 
the odd creature, with obliging differentiation. 

His personality at once arrested attention, individ- 
uality surrounded him like an aura. He was a hunch- 
back, almost a dwarf, with an alert, perceptive mind 
which seemed the more astonishing as one regarded 
the poor mite of a creature controlling the whole. A 


quick intuitive soul is so often housed in a deformed, 
misshapen body. It is as though Nature, one hand 
behind her back, withholding much, feels pity, and 
in part repents, bestowing with the other gifts of 
gold and pearls of price. 

The hunchback was a master of forest lore, he 
knew the name of every bird, whence it came, and 
went, and when, and why. The trees, the herbage, 
the grasses and rushes of the river side were all an 
interest to the small Aleut. It was sheer delight to 
track with him, for if we drew blank the hours were 
spent as profitably as though we had slain the fairest 
forest monarch of them all. The history of the wild 
was ours, the habits of the giant deer explained, his 
best loved trees pointed out, his sleeping places, his 
road to the river, a mine of knowledge. Now did we 
guess within an inch or so the span of horn of a 
rushing moose, tell his length of years by antlers, 
bell, and coat. 'Twas a liberal education. We loved 
to hear this scholar of the wilderness unfold the secrets 
of his realm. 

Pitka was, by far, the best hunter we met in Alaska, 
and in his methods of attack, natural common sense, 
highly developed cunning, and powers of endurance 
came nearer to the standard of an African shikari 
than any other native of Alaska whom we met, hunted 
with, or even heard of. The eagle owls talked to 
Pitka o' nights, giving back answer for answer, 
screech for screech. When I tried to imitate the hoot 
of an owl no response came. Ralph said that I 
paralyzed the birds with astonishment. Charmed I 


never so wisely, trying every inflection and modula- 
tion of voice at my command no reply. Let Pitka 
try again, and at once came the hooting answer of the 
bird of night. 

Pitka was very clever at making the moose call 
with mouth and hands, but, of course, this method 
did not carry very far. We were very anxious to 
see whether or no a moose would come to the call of 
our hunter, and persuaded him to hold a stance the 
very night of his joining us. 

" Me call up big horns, you shoot um, I guess," 
the man said, confidently. Early morning and late 
evening are the times most chosen for calling up 
moose, but Pitka would none of either, and waited 
until the night had fallen. 

I shall never forget the weirdness of the scene, the 
wonder of it, the witchery of the night, the perfect 
moon, lighting the open glades with shafts of silver 
glory, the slanting shadows falling athwart the eerie 
spaces, the great trees, the curve of the river, the 
shimmer of the water, and the silence that could be 
felt as with a touch. 

We took up positions allotted to us by our hench- 
man, a mile or more away from camp, and I lay be- 
hind a fallen log, not far from Pitka, and so could 
watch his every action. Instead of giving the call in 
the open, as I had expected, and as one always sees 
it in pictures, the hunchback set himself about four 
feet away from the largest tree in his neighbourhood, 
and as the grunting, sighing, coughing roar struck 
against the tree stem, the sound broke up and rang 


through the woods, broken, realistic, the actual inso- 
lent challenge of a forest monarch spoiling for a 
fight. Again and again the ringing call, full of 
pulsating life, an imperious summons, afire with 
furious throbbing passion. 

A little space of time, and then on the still air came 
the sound of a heavy body crashing through all im- 
pediments, a smashing of the undergrowth. My very 
blood tingled with excitement, little shivers ran up 
and down my spine. 

Straight as an arrow, from the depths of the forest, 
a moose broke into the open, coming at a quick pur- 
poseful trot, his rounded nose held high in the air, 
his beautiful antlers lying along his flanks. The 
moon shone full on the gleaming horns, and out- 
lined every contour of the massive body. A splendid 
tassel of hair hung from beneath the swelling throat, 
and every swinging movement was a perfection of 
royal grace. 

Up went the weighty head, and then in bellowing 
resonant tones came the answering battle cry, sobbing 
and panting over the silence. "To arms! To 

The great creature stood listening, tense and rigid, 
then, of a sudden, knowledge of the presence of the 
unseen people around him came to his inflamed brain. 
The wind carried the dread human scent to the sniff- 
ing nostrils, and I saw distinctly a visible tremor of 
alarm strike the moose as he stood so near to me 
that I could count the points of his antlers easily. 
Gathering himself together the frightened animal 


turned in a flurried circle, then fled pell-mell into the 
embracing underbrush, away and away from the zone 
of danger. 

Next evening Cecily and I, with Pitka in attend- 
ance, took an excursion around the lake, keeping to 
the banks, often crossing tracts of ground which gave 
way beneath us, and precipitated us over our knees 
in water. Here and there green rushes, undisturbed 
in all the centuries, formed great ramparts across our 
way, necessitating a big detour. The lagoon was 
wreathed in the white gossamer mists of autumn, 
through which the busy ducks sped and winged their 
flight to and fro, hither and thither, in chattering 
concert arranging for the exodus to other shores. Such 
activity presaged bad weather. When ducks are un- 
usually conversational the barometer is falling. 

In the soft hush of the evening, and the clean, sweet 
smell of the wilderness, we climbed a mossy bank and 
lay down, overlooking a piece of water to which ran 
many recent moose trails. The creatures seek the 
lakes and rivers to get away from the persistent flies 
and myriad biting gnats, and stand for long minutes 
in deep water for protection. The moose flies were 
present with us in force, even Pitka was troubled by 
the onslaughts, and cast his much tattered coat from 
him as though it were a shirt of Nessus. The insects 
got beneath it, he said, and made matters unbearable. 
Suddenly, everything happens suddenly in big game 
shooting, a cow moose loomed on our limited horizon, 
some three hundred yards away, unwieldy and in- 
elegant, a tiny calf, with huge ears for so small a 


thing, sauntering alongside. Then wonderful, and 
yet again most wonderful a few steps behind came 
a grand old bull. He walked to the edge of the 
lake and pushed into it, deep, deep, until the water 
almost covered him. " Big horns," whispered Pitka 

Big ! They seemed to us the most magnificent 
specimens we had ever gazed upon. Excited imagin- 
ation did much, but calm reason told us that the 
antlers were unusually fine. 

Anything more sinuous than the movements of our 
hunter as we prepared to get within fair range of our 
quarry cannot well be imagined. He passed between 
low-lying bushes, through rushes, over hummocks of 
grass with feline grace. The very undergrowth held 
buoyant beneath his agile feet, instead of giving way 
with resounding cracks as it was so often wont to do 
with Cecily and me. 

We crept along in as faithful an imitation of our 
henchman as we could muster. Ever and again we 
dropped and lay still awhile to disarm suspicion. 
Once for nearly ten minutes we lay thus, and raising 
myself carefully my survey told me that the cow, the 
calf with her, had gone, perhaps to lie down in the 
forest behind. We could hear the bull grunting with 
pleasure, breathing deeply as he pushed his nose into 
the cool waters. As we lay prone, waiting for the 
chance King Circumstance might deign to accord us, 
the giant deer emerged from the water We could not 
see, but we could hear him. Breathlessly we waited, 
and across the flume of open country ahead of us, some 


hundred and fifty yards away, the dripping bulk 
walked at a slow pace, head carried low, and great 
swelling shoulders hunched. The moose stopped and 
shook himself vigorously, such a great prolonged 
shake, tossing his crowned head. 

It was a shot which would have delighted the heart 
of a child in arms. 

My cousin fired simultaneously with me, and the 
animal staggered sideways, lurched forward, but did 
not fall. With a great effort of strength he made for 
the timber line. All pretence at scientific stalking 
was abandoned, and we simply rushed after our moose 
with the speed of Atalanta. We were using our 
12-bores, so that tracking was easy, a heavy blood 
trail led us through the dense forest. After a heavy 
chase we came up with the wounded moose, very 
sick, in a clump of alders. Out he jumped, and off he 
went, game to the last ; but Cecily got in two success- 
ful shots which finished the business. With a 
gigantic leap into the air, a last expiring effort, the 
wonderful creature fell to rise no more. 

This was our record head of the trip. No other 
matched it in grandeur, or grace. It was a noble 
trophy, with twenty-eight points, and a spread of 
seventy-four inches. In the subsequent drying this 
measurement reduced itself two inches, but enough 
antlers remained to make our head an unusually 
valuable, picked specimen of its genus. 

This piece of luck closed the most lucky trip, so far 
as shooting was concerned. It was now well into 
October, and the weather showed signs of breaking 


up. There is often a fly in the best bit of amber, and 
perhaps the saddest moment in life is the end of some- 
thing which we would, oh, so earnestly, desire to keep 
for ever as our own. This wild of ours, this what 
Goethe called, " the living visible garment of God," 
must be left behind, for we were not primeval hunters. 
The chill, fierce winter would soon hold our glades 
and dingles in icy grip; the face of Nature would 
frown ; the raving of the tempest drown the murmur- 
ous hum of the small, sweet sounds of the forest people ; 
the snow invest the wilderness of green in cloak of 
cruelty. The great transition was at hand. Would 
that we might be there when the world Mother, 
chameleon-like, took on once more the colours and 
the grace of spring. 

Our hunt was over. Well, I had made the most of 
it, and drank my fill without wasting a drop, and had 
taken Omar's advice, for one never knows what lies 
ahead. I have known disappointments before. 

Sorrowfully we broke up camp for the last time 
for our little makeshifts on the banks of the Sushitna 
were too insignificant to be termed camps at all said 
farewell to the much-loved haunts, prosaically cooking 
a terrific meal to set us well upon the way, and, having 
packed the heads and skins aboard a couple of dories, 
betook ourselves to bidarkas and the bosom of the 
river. Our trophies made a rare show. Black bear, 
caribou, Ovis dalli, and moose antlers of the most 
magnificent description, filled our hearts with pride 
and pleasure. 

It is one thing to fag up a river, against the stream, 


quite another to flash down, meteor-like ; and all too 
soon the uneventful journey was over, and the third 
day found us paddling past the Sushitna settlement 
out into the Inlet, where the black hull of the Lily 
waited us at Hope. 

We paid off the men, all save Steve, who desired to 
sail down the Inlet to Saldovia with us. Ned had left 
the ship at Kodiac, and since his departure Tom, the 
cabin boy, had seen to the trophies, and all of them, 
bear, walruses, and birds, were in perfect condition. 



And I must lose 

Two of the sweetest companions in the world 


I'll be an auditor, 

An actor too, perhaps, if I see cause 

Midsummer Night's Dream 

Therefore a health to all that shot and missed 

Taming of the Shrew 

IT was October the fourteenth when we reached 
Saldovia in the Lily, and the last steamer from the 
Inlet was due to sail for Seattle next day. The rush 
for berths was enormous, and if we meant to travel 
on her our minds had to be made up at once. Cecily 
and Ralph were anxious now to make civilization 
as soon as possible; for they had planned a honey- 
moon shoot to the interior of Mexico after Ovis 
nelsoni, a variety of bighorn carrying even finer 
heads than Ovis dalli. Of course the matrimonial 
preliminaries would need some arranging. 

All things considered, therefore, we considered it 
better for Captain Clemsen to sail the schooner, with 
the trophies on board, to Seattle, and we, travelling 
by the just-about-to-sail steamer, would be waiting at 
the Sound port, ready to receive and pack the 



The little ship was not a patch upon the Nome 
City, and she was crowded up like the steerage of an 
emigrant ship even the hold was requisitioned for 
sleeping accommodation. I don't think any one 
paid more than his neighbour; it was first come, first 

Leaning over the gunwale, watching the interesting 
scene, to our immense surprise we discovered a 
friend in the person of a well-known English shikari, 
a noted shot, returning home after a hunt in the 
Kenai Peninsula and Sheep Creek district. A dis- 
tinct acquisition to the passenger list. The sombre 
peak of Redoubt vanished into the scurrying mists, 
the melange of passengers, almost entirely of the 
masculine persuasion, dawdled about the grubby 
decks in unsettled confusion, and disjointed scraps 
of conversation floated to me on the freshening 

" It panned out seventy per cent. " 

That everlasting seventy per cent. ! 

A rough-looking prospector leaned against a deck- 
house near me. 

" If I can divorce my wife " drifted on the air. 

Cetera desunt. 

But what a peep behind the scenes ! 

Two small American boys ran about the ship, 
precocious children of a manager of a salmon can- 
nery, now closed down for the season. 

"Now, Hiram, sit there!" said the harassed 
mother. " Cyrus, if you hang over the side you'll get 
yourself drowned. Hiram, give over crying, you 


can't be sick yet. Cyrus, let go of that there rope. 
Hiram, quit cutting your name on the deck. Poppa, 
help me scare these 'ere boys ! Ain't the selfish- 
ness of men turrible? I can't tell what in the wide 
world women get married for!" 

We shared a stuffy cabin, furnished with three 
bunks a-heap with dark-coloured blankets, with a 
well-meaning woman, who was unfortunately very 
deaf. A great conversationalist too, which compli- 
cated matters. 

" I," she said proudly, introducing herself, " I am 
the professional gambler's wife." 

I do not know what a professional gambler may 
be, but he is evidently a personage of sorts. 

"Who are you?" the lady questioned. 

We bawled out humbly that we had no real reason 
to be in the world at all. We were just English- 
women, back from hunting different varieties of 
Alaskan game. 

"You walk very lame? I didn't notice it." 

"I'm afraid we're going to have it rough," said 
Cecily, trying not to smile. 

" Had about enough? I should think so, I had 
long ago. We're packed like herrings in a barrel." 

Then dinner, or rather a cross between dinner, 
tea, and breakfast. Every one could not sit down at 
once, and the meal came off in sections. The cap- 
tain, a bluff American, served out portions of a 
centipede chicken, a bird run entirely to leg. The 
prospectors, miners, loggers, and indiscriminate race 
mixings wielded knives with the dexterity of jugglers, 


balancing bits of fowl on the tips, and throwing the 
food into the waiting caverns in an abandon of relish. 
A leaky lamp swung over the table, lighting up the 
unwashed cloth and table cutlery of serviceable 

The English shikari had allowed himself, in an un- 
guarded moment, to be dragged into politics, and 
was giving his opinion forcibly on the question of 
American rule in the Philippines. 

" I advocate freedom of speech and action," he 
said, upsetting a carafe of water over his immediate 
part of the table in his excitement. " The country 
is going to the dogs, to the dogs ! The policy of the 
American Government is dFsastrous ! Presently a 
blow will fall, a blow will fall " Here the rop- 
ing of a tin box hanging on a nail behind the sports- 
man gave way, and fell with a resounding crash to 
the floor. 

It was a meal ! I did enjoy it. 

The professional gambler's wife greeted us as we 
reached the deck. The clouds were banking up, and 
little spurts of wind sped ominously through the 

" I fancy it is going to rain," said Cecily politely, 
as our cabin mate took a seat in our midst. 

"Got a bad pain? I don't wonder. Guess that 
there chicken came to Alaska with the first pro- 

A crowded, uncomfortable trip enough, but the 
elements were on the whole good to us, and we made 
Seattle in excellent time. 


We found that we had a few days' necessary resi- 
dence to put in, and this suited us admirably, as the 
Lily could not be expected to arrive for a week at 
the earliest. 

We thought of the Episcopalian padre to do the 
splicing business, our friend of the journey North on 
board the Nome City, and Ralph looked him up. 
The Episcopalians were very glad to see us, and 
most kindly asked us all to supper. I am sure she 
did not mean it, but really madam, she of the one- 
pin method of dressing herself, had a most compre- 
hensive way of keeping the guests off the food. 

"Did this duck die of pneumonia, Lee?" she in- 
quired of the Chinaman, "or is it the one I said you 
were to kill because its leg was broken?" 

Then, later, toying thoughtfully with the milk- 
pudding, she murmured, a propos of nothing in par- 
ticular, " Our cow is threatened with tuberculosis. 
Such a grief to us. She is a real friend of the 

Ralph said, when we got home, that he was starv- 
ing. But when once the door of an American coffee- 
room is closed nothing will open it again until the 
scheduled meal hour. 

The days passed too quickly, invitations to all sorts 
of festivities rained in. Our kindly American cousins 
welcomed us royally. 

Seattle society and it was most hospitable to us 
was all agog with a story of " Vanity Fair " 
variety, and as we knew all the actors in the little 
drama we took the same furious interest as the rest of 


the circle, and waited inquisitively for the denoue- 
ment, which was not, when we left. The whole 
thing leaked out because it had been made a secret 
of, and as such been confided to an intimate friend. 

Mrs. A., the wife of a prominent Seattle banker, 
was a flighty, vain little personage, and had an 
ardent admirer in a certain Mr. B., a well-known 
real estate agent. The acquaintance was absolutely 
platonic. Mrs. A. said so, and naturally she would 
be in the know. Mr. B., as a faithful cavalier should 
do, escorted his ladye here, there, and everywhere, 
and one day, in the course of their perambulations 
among the shops, they came on a beautiful thing in 
sealskin coats, a perfect dream of a garment, priced 
at $500. 

Pretty Mrs. A. expressed her heartfelt admiration, 
and her great desire to own and wear such a certain 
incentive to feminine envy. Mr. B. said that if he 
could see his way to giving her the coat without 
arousing any undue astonishment on the part of 
Mr. A., such an opportunity should be at once seized 
upon with gusto and delight. 

But alas ! c'est impossible I So handsome a coat 
would take some buying, any one would know that. 
Mrs. A.'s allowance could not be held responsible 
for such an outlay. 

Then happy thought Mr. B. had an idea. He 
was not frightened, he often had them, but rarely 
such a brilliant gem as this scintillating affair which 
paved the way to the furriers, and, incidentally, of 
course, confusion dire. 


" Aha !" said the erudite young man, " I have it ! 
We will buy the coat, put it in pawn, and you, you 
shall hold the ticket." 

Mrs. A., puzzled by such lightning finesse, said 
that she did not see how the pawning of the longed- 
for coat would help the situation at all. She never 
had any occasion to pawn anything, and her husband 
would know quite well that she never had such a 
garment to pawn. 

Mr. B., with airy confidence, gave it as his opinion 
that when thoroughly grasped the carrying out of 
his idea would be found to be as easy of accomplish- 
ment as falling off a log, if not easier. 

The coat" was purchased, and duly put in pawn 
for the sum of twenty-five dollars, and taking the 
ticket Mrs. A. would explain to her worser half that 
she had acquired it from Mrs. X., a lady who had 
fallen on evil days, when Mr. A., if he had any idea 
of the duty of a husband at all, would at once rush 
to the pawn shop and please his wife by redeeming 
the coat of coats. The plan, worthy of a better fate, 
radiant with genius, worked like a charm at first. 
Next morning Mrs. A. launched herself on a sea of 
explanations, and mentioned the fact that she had 
come across, on the previous day, poor Mrs. X., 
whose husband was killed in the train smash at 
'Frisco. "You remember," said Delilah, "we met 
them on the train going to Spokane?" 

Mr. A. could not recall the fact, try as he would, 
which was a mere detail, for one meets so many 
people going to Spokane. That section of the 


Northern Pacific pays very well, and the cars are 
always crowded. 

On went Mrs. A. romancing about the pitiable con- 
dition of Mrs. X., who upon an urgent message from 
Chicago left Seattle hurriedly, finding herself so 
short of money that she came to sell the pawn ticket 
on a beautiful coat, a coat worth quite $250, which 
could be redeemed for the trifling sum of $25. 

Mr. A., being a business man, wondered how it 
seemed so certain that the coat was worth even so 
much as $25, but the artful Mrs. A. had seen the 
treasure in the window. Of course she herself could 
not enter a pawn shop, would John dear John 
attend to the matter for her ? Here she handed over 
the $25, which she was just able to scratch together 
out of her allowance. John dutifully promised to 
"fix it up," and everything seemed to herald a suc- 
cessful ending to the difficulty. 

On his return from the bank that evening Mr. A. 
had regretfully to admit that he had clean forgotten 
the whole thing, and his wife, in a decidedly anxious 
condition, wrung a promise from her lord that he 
would without fail hie him to the pawnbrokers the 
very first thing on the morrow. Arrival of Mr. A. 
next evening, who produced for his agitated wife's 
inspection a small diamond ring, which when new 
might have cost $30. 

" I guess there's some darned error about that 
coat, anyhow," he said. "This is what I got on 
ticket No. 20579." 

Tableau ! Collapse of Mrs. A., who foresaw some 


terrible blunder, and the possible loss of the desired 

The minute Mr. A. took his departure on the fol- 
lowing morning out dashed Mrs. A. to seek Mr. B., 
and send him post haste to investigate matters at the 
pawn shop. Hurrying along she took a short cut 
to the Real Estate Office, and skirted the granite 
premises of the bank. Coming jauntily down the 
steps, in full sail, tripped Mr. A.'s stenographer, a 
very pretty girl. And she was wearing the seal- 
skin coat ! 

Hinc illce lacrimce. 

The Seattle papers got hold of the story, and dished 
it up under thinly-disguised names. The head-lines 
were very thrilling. 




I wonder myself. What could a woman do under 
such circumstances? It is a problem. I cannot 
answer it. 

At last the day of the wedding. We had kept it 
a great secret so that it might be very quiet and to 
ourselves. The Leader did groomsman, and I gave 
the bride away. The wife of the padre was got 
up in a truly magnificent creation for the occasion, 
so heavy and massive that pins were useless and a 
bodkin of strength and girth had to be requisitioned. 
Captain Clemsen was present, by special invitation. 


And Cecily ? Well, she did not wear a parka, nor 
yet a khaki suit, but she looked every inch a beautiful 
Diana all the' same. 

It was all over they had gone ! I had waved 
" Good-bye " to the ship which took the bride and 
bridegroom to San Francisco. 

The bizarre hotel room looked hideously forsaken. 
A pair of Cecily's gloves lay on the table, a half- 
smoked cigar of Ralph's hung on the edge of the 
mantelpiece. Heavens ! What a dreary hotel ! 
What a great city full of unknown people ! What 
a crowd of uninterested busy creatures ! Why had I 
ever come ? Were the most wondrous trophies in all 
the world worth the price of so great a loneliness ? 

The handle of the door turned, and the Leader of 
the expedition that was stood in the doorway. His 
eyes were smiling, smiling. 

Perhaps, perhaps, I'm not so very lonely after all. 



T has long been a reproach to 
England that only one volume 
has been adequately rendered 
into English ; yet outside this 
country he shares with 
_ TOLSTOI the distinction 

of being the greatest and most daring 
student of humanity now living. 

11 There have been many difficulties to 
encounter in completing arrangements for a 
uniform edition, though perhaps the chief bar- 
rier to publication here has been the fact that 
his writings are not for babes but for men 
and the mothers of men. Indeed, some of his 
Eastern romances are written with biblical can- 
dour. " I have sought truth strenuously," he 
tells us, " I have met her boldly. I have never 
turned from her even when she wore an 


unexpected aspect." Still, it is believed that the day has 
come for giving English versions of all his imaginative 
works, and of his monumental study JOAN OF ARC, 
which is undoubtedly the most discussed book in the world 
of letters to-day. 

1T MR. JOHN LANE has pleasure in announcing that 
he will commence publication of the works of M. 
ANATOLE FRANCE in English, under the general 
editorship of MR. FREDERIC CHAPMAN, with the 
following volumes : 















JOAN OF ARC (2 vols.) 

11 All the books will be published at 6/- each with the 
exception of JOAN OF ARC, which will be 25/- net 
the two volumes, with eight Illustrations. 

11 The format of the volumes leaves little to be desired. 
The size is Demy 8vo (9 X 5f in.), that of this Prospectus, and 
they will be printed from Caslon type upon a paper light in 
weight and strong in texture, with a cover design in crimson 
and gold, a gilt top, end-papers from designs by Aubrey 
Beardsley and initials by Henry Ospovat. In short, these are 
volumes for the bibliophile as well as the lover of fiction, 
and form perhaps the cheapest library edition of copyright 
novels ever published, for the price is only that of an 
ordinary novel. 

11 The translation of these books has been entrusted to 
such competent French scholars as MR. ALFRED ALLINSON, 




^1 As Anatole Thibault, dit Anatole France, is to most 
English readers merely a name, it will be well to state that 
he was born in 1844 in the picturesque and inspiring 
surroundings of an old bookshop on the Quai Voltaire, 
Paris, kept by his father, Monsieur Thibault, an authority on 
eighteenth-century history, from whom the boy caught the 
passion for the principles of the Revolution, while from his 
mother he was learning to love the ascetic ideals chronicled 
in the Lives of the Saints. He was schooled with the lovers 
of old books, missals and manuscripts ; he matriculated on 
theQuaiswith the old Jewish dealers of curios and objetsd'art ; 
he graduated in the great university of life and experience. 
It will be recognised that all his work is permeated by his 
youthful impressions ; he is, in fact, a virtuoso at large. 

H He has written about thirty volumes of fiction. His 
first novel was JOCASTA & THE FAMISHED CAT 
appeared in 1881, and had the distinction of being crowned 
by the French Academy, into which he was received in 1 896. 

fT His work is illuminated with style, scholarship, and 
psychology ; but its outstanding features are the lambent wit, 
the gay mockery, the genial irony with which he touches every 
subject he treats. But the wit is never malicious, the mockery 
never derisive, the irony never barbed. To quote from his own 
GARDEN OF EPICURUS : Irony and Pity are both of 
good counsel ; the first with her smiles makes life agreeable, 
the other sanctifies it to us with her tears. The Irony I 
invoke is no cruel deity. She mocks neither love nor 
beauty. She is gentle and kindly disposed. Her mirth 
disarms anger and it is she teaches us to laugh at rogues and 
fools whom but for her we might be so weak as to hate." 

fl Often he shows how divine humanity triumphs over 
mere ascetism, and with entire reverence ; indeed, he 
might be described as an ascetic overflowing with humanity, 
just as he has been termed a "pagan, but a pagan 
constantly haunted by the pre-occupation of Christ." 
He is in turn like his own Choulette in THE RED 
LILY saintly and Rabelaisian, yet without incongruity. 


At all times he is the unrelenting foe of superstition and 
hypocrisy. Of himself he once modestly said : " You will find 
in my writings perfect sincerity (lying demands a talent I do 
not possess), much indulgence, and some natural affection for 
the beautiful and good." 

11 The mere extent of an author's popularity is perhaps a 
poor argument, yet it is significant that two books by this 
author are in their HUNDRED AND TENTH THOU- 
SAND,and numbers of them well into their SEVENTIETH 
THOUSAND, whilst the one which a Frenchman recently 
described as " Monsieur France's most arid book " is in its 

IT Inasmuch as M. FRANCE'S ONLY contribution to 
an English periodical appeared in THE YELLOW BOOK, 
vol. v., April 1895, together with the first important English 
appreciation of his work from the pen of the Hon. Maurice 
Baring, it is peculiarly appropriate that the English edition 
of his works should be issued from the Bodley Head. 



To Mr ......................................................................... _ ........................ _________ ................... __ 


'Please send me the following works of dnatole France 
to be issued in June and July : 

for which I enclose .. 



'Those 'who possess old letters, documents, corre- 
spondence ', <MSS., scraps of autobiography, and also 
miniatures and portraits, relating to persons and 
matters historical, literary, political and social, should 
communicate with Mr. John Lane, *The Bodley 
Head, Vigo Street, London, W., who will at all 
times be pleased to give his advice and assistance, 
either as to their preservation or publication. 


An Illustrated Series of Monographs dealing with 
Contemporary Musical Life, and including Repre- 
sentatives of all Branches of the Art. Edited by 
ROSA NEWMARCH. Crown 8vo. Cloth, zs. 6d. net 
each volume. 










The following Volumes are in preparation : 




A Series of Illustrated Biographies of the Leading 
Actors, Actresses, and Dramatists. Edited by J. T. 
GREIN. Crown 8vo. zs. 6d. each net. 

*** It was Schiller who said: " Twine no wreath for the 
actor, since his -work is oral and ephemeral." "Stars of the 
Stage" -may in some degree remove this reproach. There are 
hundreds of thousands of play goers , and both editor and publisher 
think it reasonable to assume that a considerable number of these 
would like to know something about actors, actresses, and 
dramatists, whose work they nightly applaud. Each volume 
will be carefully illustrated, and as far as text, printing, and 
paper are concerned will be a notable book. Great care has been 
taken in selecting the biographers, who in most cases have 
already accumulated much appropriate material. 

First Volumes. 






The Story of the Great Terror, 1797-1805. By H. F. B. 
WHEELER and A. M. BROADLEY. With upwards of loo Full- 
page Illustrations reproduced from Contemporary Portraits, Prints, 
etc. ; eight in Colour. Two Volumes. 3 2J. net. 

Outlook. "The book is not merely one to be ordered from the library; it should be 
purchased, kept on an accessible shelf, and constantly studied by all Englishmen who 
love England." 

Westminster Gazette. "Messrs. Wheeler and Broadley have succeeded in producing a 
work on the threatened invasion of England by Napoleon, which treats of the subject 
with a fulness of detail and a completeness of documentary evidence that are 

ROSE, Litt.D. (Cantab.), Author of "The Life of Napoleon," 
and A. M. BROADLEY, joint-author of " Napoleon and the Invasion 
of England." Illustrated with numerous Portraits, Maps, and 
Facsimiles. Demy 8vo. 2 is. net. 


BROWNING, M. A., Author of "The Boyhood and Youth of Napoleon." 
With numerous Full-page Illustrations. Demy 8vo (9 x 5f inches). 
izs. 6d. net. 

Spectator. " Without doubt Mr. Oscar Browning has produced a book which should have 

its place in any library of Napoleonic literature." 
Truth. " Mr. Oscar Browning has made not the least, but the most of the romantic 

material at his command for the story of the fall of the greatest figure in history." 


1769-1793. Some Chapters on the early life of Bonaparte. 
By OSCAR BROWNING, M.A. With numerous Illustrations, Por- 
traits, etc. Crown 8vo. 5^. net. 

Daily News. "Mr. Browning has with patience, labour, careful study, and excellent taste 
given us a very valuable work, which will add materially to the literature on this most 
fascinating of human personalities." 

Literary World. ". . . Mr. Browning has examined all the available sources of informa- 
tion and carefully weighed his historical evidence. His discriminating treatment has 
resulted in a book that is ... one that arrests attention by the conviction its reasoned 
conclusions carry." 



By EDWARD DE WERTHEIMER. Translated from the German. 
With numerous Illustrations. Demy 8vo. ^\s. net. (Second 

Times. "A most careful and interesting work which presents the first complete and 
authoritative account of the life of this unfortunate Prince," 

Westminster Gazette. " This book, admirably produced, reinforced by many additional 
portraits, is a solid contribution to history and a monument of patient, well-applied 
research. " 


By F. LORAINE PETRE. With an Introduction by FIELD- 
MARSHAL EARL ROBERTS, V.C., K.G., etc. With Maps, Battle 
Plans, Portraits, and 16 Full-page Illustrations. Demy 8vo 
(9 x 5! inches). \zs. 6d. net. 

Scotsjuan. " Neither too concise, nor too diffuse, the book is eminently readable. It is the 
best work in English on a somewhat circumscribed subject." 

Outlook. " Mr. Petre has visited the battlefields and read everything, and his monograph is 
a model of what military history, handled with enthusiasm and literary ability, can be." 


1 807. A Military History of Napoleon's First War with Russia, 
verified from unpublished official documents. By F. LORAINE 
PETRE. With 1 6 Full-page Illustrations, Maps, and Plans. New 
Edition. Demy 8vo (9 x 5 finches). I2/. 6</. net. 

Army and Navy Chronicle. "We welcome a second edition of this valuable work. . . . 
Mr. Loraine Petre is an authority on the wars of the great Napoleon, and has brought 
the greatest care and energy into his studies of the subject." 


CHARLES. A History of the Franco- Austrian Campaign in 
the Valley of the Danube in 1809. By F. LORAINE PETRE. 
With 8 Illustrations and 6 sheets of Maps and Plans. Demy 8vo 
(9 x St inches), izs. 6d. net. 

RALPH HEATHCOTE. Letters of a Diplomatist 

During the Time of Napoleon, Giving an Account of the Dispute 
between the Emperor and the Elector of Hesse. By COUNTESS 
GUNTHER GROBEN. With Numerous Illustrations. Demy 8vo 
(9 x 5f inches), \zs.6d. net. 

*** Ralph Heathcote, the son of an English father and an Alsatian mother, was for 
some time in the English, diplomatic service as first secretary to Mr. Brook Taylor, minister 
at the Court of Hesse, and on one occasion found himself very near to making history. 
Napoleon became persuaded that Taylor was implicated in a plot to procure his assassina- 
tion, and insisted on his dismissal from the Hessian Court. As Taylor refused to be 
dismissed, the incident at one time seemed likely to result to the Elector in the loss of his 
throne. Heathcote came into contact with a number of notable people, including the Miss 
Berrys, with wAom he assures his mother he is not in love. On the whole, there is muck 
interesting material for lovers of old letters and journals. 



A record of the extraordinary events in the life of a French 
Royalist during the war in La Vendee, and of his flight to South- 
ampton, where he followed the humble occupation of gardener. 
With an introduction by FREDERIC MASSON, Appendices and Notes 
by PIERRE AMEDEE PICHOT, and other hands, and numerous Illustra- 
tions, including a Photogravure Portrait of the Author. Demy 8vo. 
I2s. 6d. net. 

Daily News. "We have seldom met with a human document which has interested us so 

Athenceum. "As a record of personal suffering and indomitable perseverance against 

opposing circumstances the narrative of De Cartrie's escape to the Eastern frontier, in 

the disguise of a master-gunner, could not easily be surpassed." 


Chronicles' of the Court of Napoleon III. By FREDERIC LOLIEE. 
With an introduction by RICHARD WHITEING and 53 full-page 
Illustrations, 3 in Photogravure. Demy 8vo. 2i/. net. 

Standard^. "M. Frederic Loliee has written a remarkable book, vivid and pitiless in its 
description of the intrigue and dare-devil spirit which flourished unchecked at the French 
Court. . . . Mr. Richard Whiteing's introduction is written with restraint and dignity." 

Daily Telegraph. " It is a really fascinating story, or series of stories, set forth in this 
volume. . . . Here are anecdotes innumerable of the brilliant women of the Second Em- 
pire, so that in reading the book we are not only dazzled by the beauty and gorgeousness 
of everything, but we are entertained by the record of things said and done, and through 
all we are conscious of the coming ' gloom and doom ' so soon to overtake the Court. 
Few novels possess the fascination of this spirited work, and many readers will hope that 
the author will carry out his proposal of giving us a further series of memories of the 
'Women of the Second Empire.'" 


Numerous Illustrations. Demy 8vo (9 x 5| inches). i6j. net. 


ECHEROLLES. Translated from the French by MARIE 
CLOTHILDE BALFOUR. With an Introduction by G. K. FORTESCUE, 
Portraits, etc. 5.1-. net. 

Liverpool Mercury. ". . . this absorbing book. . . . The work has a very decided 
historical value. The translation is excellent, and quite notable in the preservation of 


the life and Adventures of Sir Francis Austen, G.C.B., Admiral of 
the Fleet, and Rear-Admiral Charles Austen. By J. H. and E. C. 
HUBBACK. With numerous Illustrations. Demy 8vo. I zs. 6d. net. 

Morning' Post. ". . . May be welcomed as an important addition to Austeniana . . .; 
it is besides valuable for its glimpses of life in the Navy, its illustrations of the feelings 
and sentiments of naval officers during the period that preceded and that which 
followed the great battle of just one century ago, the battle which won so much but 
which cost us Nelson." 



By TEODOR DE WYZEWA. Translated from the French by C. H. 
JEFFRESON, M.A. With Numerous Illustrations. Demy 8vo 
(9 x 5f inches). Js. 6d. net. 


ROSA NEWMARCH. With 6 full-page Portraits. Demy 8vo. 
js. 6d. net. 

Standard. " Distinctly a book that should be read . . . pleasantly written and well 


(1840-1893). By his Brother, MODESTE TCHAIKOVSKY. Edited 
and abridged from the Russian and German Editions by ROSA 
NEWMARCH. With Numerous Illustrations and Facsimiles and an 
Introduction by the Editor. Demy 8vo. js. 6d. net. Second 

The Times. "A most illuminating commentary on Tchaikovsky's music." 

World. " One of the most fascinating self- revelations by an artist which has been given to 

the world. The translation is excellent, and worth reading for its own sake." 
Contemporary Review. " The book's appeal is, of course, primarily to the music-lover ; but 
there is so much of human and literary interest in it, such intimate revelation of a 
singularly interesting personality, that many who have never come under the spell of 
the Pathetic Symphony will be strongly attracted by what is virtually the spiritual 
autobiography of its composer. High praise is due to the translator and editor for the 
literary skill with which she has prepared the English version of this fascinating work . . . 
There have been few collections of letters published within recent years that give so 
vivid a portrait of the writer as that presented to us in these pages." 


The Life of Thomas William Coke, First Earl of Leicester of 
the second creation, containing an account of his Ancestry, 
Surroundings, Public Services, and Private Friendships, and 
including many Unpublished Letters from Noted Men of his day, 
English and American. By A. M. W. STIRLING. With 20 
Photogravure and upwards of 40 other Illustrations reproduced 
from Contemporary Portraits, Prints, etc. Demy 8vo. 2 vols. 
32/. net. 

The Times." We thank Mr. Stirling for one of the most interesting memoirs of recent 

Daily Telegraph. " A very remarkable literary performance. Mrs. Stirling has achieved 

a resurrection. S_he has fashioned a picture of a dead and forgotten past and brought 

before our eyes with the vividness of breathing existence the life of our English ancestors 

of the eighteenth century." 
Pall Mall Gazette. " A work of no common interest ; in fact, a work which may almost be 

called unique." 
Evening Standard. " One of the most interesting biographies we have read for years." 


NEY, K.C.M.G., Commander of Li Hung Chang's trained 
force in the Taeping Rebellion, founder of the first Chinese 
Arsenal, Secretary to the first Chinese Embassy to Europe. 
Secretary and Councillor to the Chinese Legation in London for 
thirty years. By DEMETRIUS C. BOULGER, Author of the 
" History of China," the " Life of Gordon," etc. With Illus- 
trations. Demy 8vo. Price ^\s. net. 

Daily Graphic. " It is safe to say that few readers will be able to put down the book with- 
out feeling the better for having read it ... not only full of personal interest, but 
tells us much that we never knew before on some not unimportant details." 


EVENTS. By S. BARING-GOULD, M.A., Author of " Yorkshire 
Oddities," etc. With 58 Illustrations. Demy 8vo. 

Daily News. "A fascinating series . . . the whole book is rich in human interest. It is 
by personal touches, drawn from traditions and memories, that the dead men surrounded 
by the curious panoply of their time, are made to live again in Mr. Baring-Gould's pages. " 


EVENTS. By S. BARING-GOULD. Demy 8vo. i6s. net. 


With an Introduction by JOHN MACDONALD, Portraits and other 
Illustrations. Demy 8vo. js. 6d. net. 

Daily Telegraph. " It is Gambetta pouring 'out his soul to Leonie Leon, the strange, 
passionate, masterful demagogue, who wielded the most persuasive oratory of modern 
times, acknowledging his idol, his inspiration, his Egeria." 


Written by Lady Fanshawe. With Extracts from the Correspon- 
dence of Sir Richard Fanshawe. Edited by H. C. FANSHAWE. 
With 38 Full-page Illustrations, including four in Photogravure 
and one in Colour. Demy 8vo. i6s. net. 

** This Edition has been printed direct from the original manuscript in the possession 
of the Fanshawe Family, and Mr. H. C. Fanshawe contributes numerous notes which 
form a running commentary on the text. Many famous pictures are reproduced, includ- 
ing paintings by Velazquez and Van Dyck. 



LADY CHARLOTTE BURY. Being the Diary Illustrative of the 
Times of George the Fourth. Interspersed with original Letters 
from the late Queen Caroline and from various other distinguished 
persons. New edition. Edited, with an Introduction, by A. 
FRANCIS STEUART. With numerous portraits. Two Vols. 
Demy 8vo. 2 is. net. 

** This book, which appeared anonymously in 1838, created an enormous sensation, 
and was fiercely criticised by Thackeray and in the Reviews of the time. There is no 
doubt that it was founded on the diary of Lady Charlotte Bury, daughter of the *,th Duke 
of Argyll, and Lady-in-Waiting to the unfortunate Caroline of Brunswick, when 
Princess of Wales. It deals, therefore, with the curious Court of the latter and with the 
scandals that occurred there, as well as with the strange vagaries of the Princess abroad. 
In this edition names left blank in the original have been (where possible) filled up, and 
many notes are given by the Editor to render it useful to the ever-increasing number of 
readers interesttd in the later Georgian Period. 


Therese-Charlotte of France, Duchesse D'Angouleme. By G. 
LENOTRE. With 1 3 Full-page Illustrations. Demy 8vo. 
los. 6d. net. 

** M. G. Lenotre is perhaps the most widely read of a group of modern French writers 
who have succeeded in treating- history from a point of view at once scientific, dramatic 
and popular, He has made the Revolution his particular field of research, and deals not 
only with the most prominent figures of that period, but with many minor characters 
whose life-stories are quite as thrilling as anything in fiction. The localities in which 
these dramas were enacted are vividly brought before us in his works, for no one has 
reconstructed \"&th century Paris with more picturesque and accurate detail. " The 
Daughter of Louis XVI." is quite equal in interest and literary merit to any of the 
volumes which have preceded it, not excepting the famous Drama of Varennes. As usual, 
M. Lenotre draws his material largely from contemporary documents, and among the 
most remarkable memoirs reproduced in this book are " The Story of -my Visit to the 
Temple " by Hannand de la Meuse, and the artless, but profoundly touching narrative of 
the unhappy orphaned Princess: "A manuscript written by Marie There'se Charlotte 
of France upon the captivity of the Princes and Princesses, her relatives, imprisoned in 
the Temple." The illustrations are a feature of the volume and include the so-called 
" telescope" portrait of the Princess, sketched from life by an anonymous artist, stationed 
at a window opposite her prison in the tower of the Temple. 


biography by ALICE M. DIEHL, Novelist, Writer, and Musician. 
Demy 8vo. icxr. 6d. net. 

Daily Chronicle. " This work . . . has the introspective touch, intimate and revealing, 
which autobiography, if it is to be worth anything, should have. Mrs. Diehl's pages have 
reality, a living throb, and so are indeed autobiography." 


and Work. By W. H. JAMES WEALE. With 41 Photogravure 
and 95 Black and White Reproductions. Royal 410. 5 5/. net. 


Nearly half a. century has passed since Mr. W. H. James Weale, then resident at 
Bruges, began that long series of patient investigations into the history of Netherlandish 
art which was destined to earn so rich a harvest. When he began work Mem line was 
still called Hemling, and was fabled to have arrived at Bruges as a wounded soldier. 
The van Eycks were little more than legendary heroes. Roger Van der Weyden was little 
more than a. name. Most of the other great Netherlandish artists were either wholly 
forgotten or named only in connection with paintings with which they hau. nothing to do. 
Mr. Weale discovered Gerard David, and disentangled his principal 'works from Mem- 
line's, with which they were then confused. During a series of years he published in the 
" Beffroi," a magazine issued by himself, the many important records from ancient 
archives which threw a flood of light upon the wJiole origin and development of the early 
Netherlandish school. By universal admission he is hailed all over Europe as the father 
of this study. It is due to him in great measure that the masterpieces of that school, 
which by neglect were in danger of perishing fifty years ago, are now recognised as among 
the most priceless treasures of the Museums of Europe and the United States. The 
publication by him, therefore, in the ripeness of his years and experience, of the result of 
his studies on the van Eycks is a matter of considerable importance to students of art 
history. Lately, since the revived interest in the works of the Early French painters has 
attracted the attention of untrained speculators to the superior schools of the Low 
Countries, a number of wild theories have been started which cannot stand upright in the 
face of recorded facts. A book is now needed which will set down all those facts in full 
and accurate form. Fullness and accuracy are the characteristics of all Mr. Weale' s work. 


Rector of the Collegio Borromeo, Pavia. Based on research in the 
Archives of Milan, Pavia, Brescia, and Genoa, and on the study 
of all his known works. With over 100 Illustrations, many in 
Photogravure, and loo Documents. Royal 410. ^3. n/. 6^. net. 

*** No complete Life of Vincenco Foppa, one of the greatest of the North Italian 
Masters, has ever been written : an omission 'which seems almost inexplicable in these days 
of over-production in the -matter of biographies of painters, and of subjects relating to the 
art of Italy. In Milanese territory the sphere of Poppa's activity during many years 
he was regarded by his contemporaries as unrivalled in his art, and his right to be 
considered the head and founder of the Lombard school is undoubted. His influence was 
powerful and far-reaching, extending eastwards beyond the limits of Brescian territory, 
and south and west-wards to Liguria and Piedmont. In the Milanese district it was 
practically dominant for over a quarter of a century, until the coming of Leonardo da 
Vinci thrust Foppa and his followers into the shade, and induced him to abandon Pavia, 
which had been his home for more than thirty years, and to return to Brescia. The object 
of the authors of this book has been to present a true picture of the masters life based 
upon the testimony of records in Italian archives ; all facts hitherto known relating 
to him have been brought together; all statements have been verified; and a great deal of 
new and unpublished material has been added. The authors have unearthed a large 
amount of new material relating to Foppa, one of the most interesting facts brought to 
light being that he lived for twenty-three years longer than was formerly supposed. The 
illustrations will include several pictures by Foppa hitherto unknown in the history of art, 
and others which have never before been published, as well as reproductions of every 
existing work by the master at present known. 


CESAR FRANCK : A Study. Translated from the 

French of Vincent d'Indy. And with an Introduction by ROSA 
NEWMARCH. Demy 8vo. js. 6d. net. 

** There is no purer influence in modern music than that of Cesar Franck, for many 
years ignored in every capacity save that of organist of Sainte-Clotilde, in Paris, but now 
recognised as the legitimate successor of Bach and Beethoven. His inspiration " rooted in 
love and faith " has contributed in a remarkable degree to the regeneration of the musical 
art in France and elsewhere. The now famous " Schola C antorum " founded in Paris in 
1896, by A. Guilmant, Charles Bordes and Vincent d'Indy, is the direct outcome of his 
influence. Among the artists who where in some sort his disciples were Paul Dukas, 
Chabrier, Gabriel Faur and the great violinist Ysiiye. His pupils include such gifted 
composers as Benolt, Augusta Holmes, Chausson, Ropartz, and d' Indy, This book, 
written with the devotion of a disciple and the authority of a master, leaves us with, 
a vivid and touching impression of the saint-like composer of " The Beatitudes." 

JUNIPER HALL: Rendezvous of certain illus- 

trious Personages during the French Revolution, including Alex- 
ander D'Arblay and Fanny Burney. Compiled by CONSTANCE 
HILL. With numerous Illustrations by ELLEN G. HILL, and repro- 
ductions from various Contemporary Portraits. Crown 8 vo. 5*. net. 

Daily Telegraph. " . . . one of the most charming volumes published within recent years. 
. . . Miss Hill has drawn a really idyllic and graphic picture of the daily life and gossip 
of the stately but unfortunate dames and noblemen who found in Juniper Hall a 
thoroughly English home." 

The Times. " This book makes another on the long and seductive list of books that take 
up history just where history proper leaves off . . . We have given but a faint idea of 
the freshness, the innocent gaiety of its pages ; we can give none at all of the beauty and 
interest of the pictures that adorn it." 

Westminster Gazette. " Skilfully and charmingly told." 

JANE AUSTEN : Her Homes and Her Friends. 

By CONSTANCE HILL. Numerous Illustrations by ELLEN G. HILL, 
together with Reproductions from Old Portraits, etc. Cr. 8vo. 5.1-. net. 

World. " Miss Constance Hill has given us a thoroughly delightful book. . . ." 
Spectator. '' This book is a valuable contribution to Austen lore." 

Daily Telegraph. " Miss Constance Hill, the authoress of this charming book, has laid all 
devout admirers of Jane Austen and her inimitable novels under a debt of gratitude." 


Being Chronicles of the Burney Family. By CONSTANCE HILL, 
Author of " Jane Austen, Her Home, and Her Friends," " Juniper 
Hall," etc. With numerous Illustrations by ELLEN G. HILL, and 
reproductions of Contemporary Portraits, etc. Demy 8vo. 

World. "This valuable and very fascinating work. . . . Charmingly illustrated. . . . 
Those interested in this stirring period of history and the famous folk who were Fanny 
Burney 's friends should not fail to add ' The House in St. Martin's Street ' to their 
collection of books." 

Mr. C. K. SHORTER in Sphere. " Miss Hill has written a charming, an indispensable book." 


SPAIN (Camarera-Mayor). By CONSTANCE HILL. With 12 
Illustrations and a Photogravure Frontispiece. New Edition. 
Crown 8vo. 5/. net. 

Truth. " It is a brilliant study of the brilliant Frenchwoman who in the early years of the 
eighteenth century played such a remarkable part in saving the Bourbon dynasty in 
Spain. Miss Hill's narrative is interesting from the first page to the last, and the value 
of the book is enhanced by the reproductions of contemporary portraits with which it is 


Edited and Annotated by ALEXANDER CARLYLE, with Notes and 
an Introduction and numerous Illustrations. In Two Volumes. 
Demy 8vo. 25^. net. 

Pall Mall Gazette. " To the portrait of the man, Thomas, these letters do really add 

value ; we can learn to respect and to like him the more for the genuine goodness of his 


Morning Leader. "These volumes open the very heart of Carlyle." 
Literary World. " It is then Carlyle, the nobly filial son, we see in these letters ; Carlyle, 

the generous and affectionate brother, the loyal and warm-hearted friend, . . . and 

above all, Carlyle as the tender and faithful lover of his wife." 
Daily_ Telegraph. "The letters are characteristic enough of the Carlyle we know: very 

picturesque and entertaining, full of extravagant emphasis, written, as a rule, at fever 

heat, eloquently rabid and emotional." 

THE NEMESIS OF FROUDE : a Rejoinder to 

" My Relations with Carlyle." By SIR JAMES CRICHTON BROWNE 
and ALEXANDER CARLYLE. Demy 8vo. 3/. 6d. net. 

Glasgow Herald. ". . . The book practically accomplishes its task of reinstating Carlyle ; 

as an attack on Froude it is overwhelming." 
Public Opinion. " The main object of the book is to prove that Froude believed a myth 

and betrayed his trust. That aim has been achieved." 


WELSH CARLYLE. A Collection of hitherto Unpublished 
Letters. Annotated by THOMAS CARLYLE, and Edited by 
ALEXANDER CARLYLE, with an Introduction by Sir JAMES CRICHTON 
BROWNE, M.D., LL.D., F.R.S., numerous Illustrations drawn in Litho- 
graphy by T. R. WAY, and Photogravure Portraits from hitherto 
unreproduced Originals. In Two Volumes. Demy 8vo. 25*. net. 

Westminster Gazette. " Few letters in the language have in such perfection the qualities 
which good letters should possess. Frank, gay, brilliant, indiscreet, immensely clever, 
whimsical, and audacious, they reveal a character which, with whatever alloy of human 
infirmity, must endear itself to any reader of understanding." 

World. " Throws a deal of new light on the domestic relations of the Sage of Chelsea. 
They also contain the full text of Mrs. Carlyle's fascinating journal, and her own 
' humorous and quaintly candid ' narrative of her first love-affair." 

Daily News. " Every page . . . scintillates with keen thoughts, biting criticisms, flashing 
phrases, and touches of bright comedy." 


Account of his Life, Work, and Influence. By E. A. VIZETELLY. 
With numerous Illustrations, Portraits, etc. Demy 8vo. 2 is. net. 

Morning Post. "Mr. Ernest Vizetelly has given . . . a very true insight into the aims, 

character, and life of the novelist." 
AthencEum. ". . . Exhaustive and interesting." 
M.A.P. ". . . will stand as the classic biography of Zola." 
Star. " This ' Life' of Zola is a very fascinating book." 
Academy. " It was inevitable that the authoritative life of Emile Zola should be'from the 

pen of E. A. Vizetelly. No one probably has the same qualifications, and this bulky 

volume of nearly six hundred pages is a worthy tribute to the genius of the master." 
Mr. T. P. O'CONNOR in T.P.'s Weekly. " It is a story of fascinating interest, and is told 

admirably by Mr. Vizetelly. I can promise any one who takes it up that he will find it 

very difficult to lay it down again." 



detailed record of the last two years of the Reign of His Most 
Sacred Majesty King Charles the First, 1646-1648-9. Com- 
piled by ALLAN FEA. With upwards of 100 Photogravure 
Portraits and other Illustrations, including relics. Royal 410. 
I05/. net. 

Mr. M. H. SPIELMANN in The Academy. " The volume is a triumph for the printer and 

publisher, and a solid contribution to Carolinian literature." 

Pall Mall Gazette. " The present sumptuous volume, a storehouse of eloquent associations 
. . comes as near to outward perfection as anything we could desire." 


temporary Account of King Charles II. 's escape, not included in 
" The Flight of the King." By ALLAN FEA. With numerous 
Illustrations. Demy 8vo. 15^. net. 

Morning Post. "The work possesses all the interest of a thrilling historical romance, the 

scenes of which are described by the characters themselves, in the language of the time, 

and forms a valuable contribution to existing Stuart literature." 
Western Morning News. " Mr. Fea has shown great industry in investigating every 

possible fact that has any bearing on his subject, and has succeeded in thoroughly 

establishing the incidents of that romantic escape." 
Standard. " . . . throws fresh light on one of the most romantic episodes in the annals of 

English History." 

KING MONMOUTH : being a History of the 

Career of James Scott, the Protestant Duke, 1649-1685. By 
ALLAN FEA. With 14 Photogravure Portraits, a Folding-plan of 
the Battle of Sedgemoor, and upwards of 100 black and white 
Illustrations. Demy 8vo. zu. net. 

Morning- Post. "The story of Monmouth's career is one of the most remarkable in the 
annals of English History, and Mr. Fea's volume is singularly fascinating. Not only 
does it supplement and correct the prejudiced though picturesque pages of Macaulay, 
but it seems to make the reader personally acquainted with a large number of the 
characters who prominently figured in the conspiracies and in the intrigues, amorous 
and political, when society and politics were seething in strange cauldrons." 


Barres, Rene Bazin, Paul Bourget, Pierre de Coulevain, Anatole 
France, Pierre Loti, Marcel Prevost, and Edouard Rod. Bio- 
graphical, Descriptive, and Critical. By WINIFRED STEPHENS. 
With Portraits and Bibliographies. Crown 8vo. 5^. net. 

** The writer, who has lived much in France, is thoroughly acquainted with French 
life and with the principal currents of French thought. The book is intended to be a 
guide to English readers desirous to keep in touch with the best present-day French 
fiction. Special attention is given to the ecclesiastical, social, and intellectual problems 
of contemporary France and their influence upon the works of French novelists of to-day. 


being the Life of Sir Richard Granville, Baronet (1600-1659). 
By ROGER GRANVILLE, M.A., Sub-Dean of Exeter Cathedral. 
With Illustrations. Demy 8vo. IQJ. 6d. net. 

Westminster Gazette. "A distinctly interesting work; it will be highly appreciated by 
historical students as well as by ordinary readers." 


STEPHEN HAWKER, sometime Vicar of Morwenstow in Cornwall. 
By C. E. BYLES. With numerous Illustrations by J. LEY 
PETHYBRIDGE and others. Demy 8vo. js. 6d. net. 

Daily Telegraph. " ... As soon as the volume is opened one finds oneself in the presence 
of a real original, a man of ability, genius and eccentricity, of whom one cannot know 
too much . . . No one will read this fascinating and charmingly produced book without 
thanks to Mr. Byles and a desire to visit or revisit Morwenstow." 


GILCHRIST. Edited with an Introduction by W.GRAHAM ROBERTSON. 
Numerous Reproductions from Blake's most characteristic and 
remarkable designs. Demy 8vo. los. 6d. net. New Edition. 

Birmingham Post. "Nothing seems at all likely ever to supplant the Gilchrist biography. 
Mr. Swinburne praised it magnificently in his own eloquent essay on Blake, and there 
should be no need now to point out its entire sanity, understanding keenness of critical 
insight, and masterly literary style. Dealing with one of the most difficult of subjects, 
it ranks among the finest things of its kind that we possess." 


The correspondence of Edmund Pyle, D.D., Domestic Chaplain to 
George II, with Samuel Kerrich, D.D., Vicar of Dersingham, and 
Rector of Wolferton and West Newton. Edited and Annotated 
by ALBERT HARTSHORNE. With Portrait. Demy 8vo. i6s. net. 

Truth. " It is undoubtedly the most important book of the kind that has been published 
in recent years, and is certain to disturb many readers whose minds have not travelled 
with the time." 

GEORGE MEREDITH : Some Characteristics. 

By RICHARD LE GALLIENNE. With a Bibliography (much en- 
larged) by JOHN LANE. Portrait, etc. Crown 8vo. $s. net. Fifth 
Edition. Revised. 

Punch. "All Mereditbians must possess 'George Meredith; Some Characteristics,' by 
Richard Le Gallienne. This book is a complete and excellent guide to the novelist and 
the novels, a sort of Meredithian Bradshaw, with pictures of the traffic superintendent 
and the head office at Boxhill. Even Philistines may be won over by the blandishments 
of Mr. Le Gallienne." 


of the Ancestry, Personal Character, and Public Services of the 
Fourth Earl of Chesterfield. By W. H. CRAIG, M.A. Numerous 
Illustrations. Demy 8vo. I zs. 6d. net. 

Daily Telegraph. "Mr. Craig has set out to present him (Lord Chesterfield) as one of the 
striking figures of a formative period in our modern history . . . and has succeeded in 
giving us a very attractive biography of a remarkable man." 

Times. " It is the chief point of Mr. Craig's book to show the sterling qualities which 
Chesterfield was at too much pains in concealing, to reject the perishable trivialities of 
his character, and to exhibit him as a philosophic statesman, not inferior to any of his 
contemporaries, except Walpole at one end of his life, and Chatham at the other." 



of Caroline of Brunswick, Queen of England. From the Italian 
of G. P. CLERICI. Translated by FREDERIC CHAPMAN. With 
numerous Illustrations reproduced from contemporary Portraits and 
Prints. Demy 8vo. 2 is. net. 

The Daily Telegraph. "It could scarcely be done more thoroughly or, on the whole, in 
better taste than is here displayed by Professor Clerici. Mr. Frederic Chapman himself 
contributes an uncommonly interesting and well-informed introduction." 

Westminster Gazette. " The volume, scholarly and well-informed . . . forms one long and 
absorbingly interesting chapter of the chronique scandalcuse of Court life . . . reads 
like a romance, except that no romancer would care or dare to pack his pages so closely 
with startling effects and fantastic scenes." 


GRIDLEY HOWE. Edited by his Daughter LAURA E. 
RICHARDS. With Notes and a Preface by F. B. SANBORN, an 
Introduction by Mrs. JOHN LANE, and a Portrait. Demy 8vo 
(9x5! inches). l6s. net. 

Outlook. "This deeply interesting record of experience. The volume is worthily produced 
and contains a striking portrait of Howe." 

Daily News. " Dr. Howe's book is full of shrewd touches ; it seems to be very much a part 
of the lively, handsome man of the portrait. His writing is striking and vivid ; it is the 
writing of a shrewd, keen observer, intensely interested in the event before him." 


Translated from the Italian of an Unknown Fourteenth-Century 
Writer by VALENTINA HAWTREY. With an Introductory Note by 
VERNON LEE, and 14 Full-page Reproductions from the Old Masters. 
Crown 8vo. 5^. net. 

Daily News. " Miss Valentina Hawtrey has given a most excellent English version of this 

pleasant work." 
Academy. " The fourteenth-century fancy plays delightfully around the meagre details of 

the Gospel narrative, and presents the heroine in quite an unconventional light. . . . 

In its directness and artistic simplicity and its wealth of homely detail the story reads 

like the work of some Boccaccio of the cloister ; and fourteen illustrations taken from 

Italian painters happily illustrate the charming text." 


Fourth Edition. Crown 8vo. 5^. net. 

Daily News. " Mr. Herbert Paul has done scholars and the reading world in general a high 

service in publishing this collection of his essays." 
Punch. " His fund of good stories is inexhaustible, and his urbanity never fails. On the 

whole, this book is one of the very best examples of literature on literature and life." 

ROBERT BROWNING : Essays and Thoughts. 

By J. T. NETTLESHIP. With Portrait. Crown 8vo. $s. 6d. net. 
(Third Edition.) 

A LATER PEPYS. The Correspondence of Sir 

William Weller Pepys, Bart., Master in Chancery, 1758-1825, 
with Mrs. Chapone, Mrs. Hartley, Mrs. Montague, Hannah More, 
William Franks, Sir James Macdonald, Major Rennell, Sir 
Nathaniel Wraxall, and others. Edited, with an Introduction and 
Notes, by ALICE C. C. GAUSSEN. With numerous Illustrations. 
Demy 8vo. In Two Volumes. $2s. net. 

DOUOLAS SLADEN in the Queen. " This is indisputably a most valuable contribution to the 
literature of the eighteenth century. It is a veritable storehouse of society gossip, the 
art criticism, and the mots of famous people." 

Academy and Literature. "The effect consists in no particular passages, but in the total 
impression, the sense of atmosphere, and the general feeling that we are being introduced 
into the very society in which the writer moved." 

Daily News. " To Miss Alice Gaussen is due the credit of sorting out the vast collection of 
correspondence which is here presented to the public. . . . Her industry is indefatigable, 
and her task has been carried out with completeness. The notes are full of interesting 
items ; the introduction is exhaustive ; and the collection of illustrations enhances the 
value of the book." 

World. "Sir William Pepys's correspondence is admirable." 


RICHARD LE GALLIENNE. Crown 8vo. 4^. 6^. net. 

Daily Chronicle. "Few, indeed, could be more fit to sing the dirge of that 'Virgil of 
Prose ' than the poet whose curiosa felicitas is so close akin to Stevenson's own charm." 

Globe. "The opening Elegy on R. L. Stevenson includes some tender and touching 
passages, and has throughout the merits of sincerity and clearness." 


LE GALLIENNE. With a Bibliography by JOHN LANE. Crown 
Svo. 3.;. 6d. net. 

Guardian. " One of the cleverest pieces of criticism we have come across for a long time." 

Scotsman " It shows a keen insight into the essential qualities of literature, and analyses 

Mr. Kipling's product with the skill of a craftsman . . . the positive and outstanding 

merits of Mr. Kipling's contribution to the literature of his time are marshalled by his 

critic with quite uncommon skill." 


Memoir by W; A. GILL, and a Reprint of Mr. J. A. SYMONDS' 
Critical Essay on " Echoes from Theocritus." Photogravure 
Portrait. Crown Svo. 5^. net. 

The Times. " . . . the leading features of the sonnets are the writer's intense sympathy 
with human life in generaj and with young life in particular ; his humour, his music, and, 
in a word, the quality which 'leaves a melody afloat upon the brain, a savour on the 
mental palate.'" 

Bookman. "The Memoir, by Mr. W. A. Gill, is a sympathetic sketch of an earnest and 
lovable character ; and the critical estimate, by J. Addington Symonds, is a charmingly- 
written and suggestive essay." 


LIITH. Demy Svo. ~]s. 6d. net. 

** The bonk, which is largely autobiographical, describes the effect of diffidence -upon 
an individual life, and contains, with a consideration of the nature of shyness, a plea for 
a kindlier judgment of the inveterate case. 

Daily Mail. "Mr. Leith has written a very beautiful book, and perhaps the publisher's 
tJ claim that this will be a new classic is not too bold." 


H. W. NEVINSON. Crown 8vo. 5/. net. 

Daily Chronicle. " It is a remarkable thing and probably unique, that a writer of such 
personality as the author of ' Between the Acts ' should not only feel, but boldly put 
on paper, his homage and complete subjection to the genius of one after another of 
these men. He is entirely free from that one common virtue of critics, which is 
superiority to the author criticised." 

8vo. 5/. net. 

BOOKS AND PLAYS : A Volume of Essays on 

Meredith, Borrow, Ibsen, and others. By ALLAN MONKHOUSE. 
Crown 8vo. 5_r. net. 


By WILLIAM HAZLITT. Edited, with an introduction, by RICHARD 
LE GALLIENNE. To which is added an exact transcript of the 
original MS., Mrs. Hazlitt's Diary in Scotland, and Letters never 
before published. Portrait after BEWICK, and facsimile Letters. 
400 copies only. 410. 364 pp. Buckram. 2i/. net. 

TERRORS OF THE LAW : being the Portraits 

of Three Lawyers the original Weir of Hermiston, " Bloody 
Jeffreys," and " Bluidy Advocate Mackenzie." By FRANCIS 
WATT. With 3 Photogravure Portraits. Fcap. 8vo. 4*. 6d. net. 

The Literary World. " The book is altogether entertaining ; it is brisk, lively, and 
effective. Mr. Watt has already, in his two series of 'The Law's Lumber Room,' 
established his place as an essayist in legal lore, and the present book will increase his 


Men-of-War in the Days that Helped to make the Empire. By 
EDWARD ERASER. With 16 Full-page Illustrations. Crown 8vo. 

** Mr. Fraser takes in the whole range of our Navy's story. First there is the story 
of the "Dreadnought" told for the first time: how the name was originally selected by 
Elizabeth, why she chose it, the launch, how under Drake she fought against the 
A rmada, how her captain was knighted on the quarter-deck in the presence of the enemy. 
From this point the name is traced down to the present leviathan which bears it. This is 
but one of the "champions" dealt with in Mr. Fraser' s volume, which is illustrated by 
tome very interesting reproductions. 


Story of Ships bearing the name of Old Renown in Naval 
Annals. By EDWARD FRASER. With 8 Illustrations in colours, 
and 20 in black and white. 



The Record of a Shooting Trip. By AGNES HERBERT. 
With Numerous Illustrations. Demy 8vo. Price 12s. 6d. 

The Sportsman. " A more delightful book nay, so delightful a 
book is not met with once in a generation. It is sui generis; we 
know of none that can pretend to compare with it. There is not a 
line in it that cannot be read with pleasure, while the whole volume 
contains such a record of interesting and thrilling adventure as one 
rarely meets with." 

The Field. " The story is told with great animation throughout, 
and with a sense of humour that carries one on attentively to the 
end. We shall be much mistaken if this very attractive volume on 
big game shooting is not soon in a second edition." 

The Athenceum. " That most attractive book, ' Two Dianas in 
Somaliland,' which shows the author to be almost as skilful with 
her pen as with the rifle ; and that is saying a great deal. The 
book is exceptionally interesting." 

The County Gentleman. " Miss Herbert's light, breezy style in 
dealing with the humours of camp life is highly entertaining. We 
have never read a more piquantly written narrative of big game 

Country Life. " This sprightly and amusing book, full of wild 
life and adventure, of difficulties and dangers pluckily overcome, 
is a welcome change after the innumerable recitals of ' mere man ' 
in Africa." 

The World. " Miss Herbert wields her pen to good purpose. 
She has a keen sense of humour, she goes straight to the point, 
she scorns padding in purple patches, and yet so vivid is her style 
that she at once interests the reader in her subject. No man, and 
few women, will fail to follow her to the end of her adventures." 

The Liverpool Post. " It is a most chatty and vivacious account. 
The book can be enjoyed by all, sportsmen or not, and it will 
assuredly take an honoured place among its kip4" 

The Daily News. " Certain to receive a friendly welcome from 
the general reader. A keen eye for the humorous side of things, a 
fluent and lively pen, and occasionally the display of a somewhat 
caustic wit, make the volume most amusing reading. From one 
adventure to the other the book moves forward in breathless 
course. We congratulate the authoress on the lively narrative of 
her adventures. One can only hope that she will once again go 
a-hunting, and once again tell its story." 

The Birmingham Post. " This is a book to read, if only for its 
delightfully unconventional vein ; and there is a subtle suggestion 
of romance about it, too." 

The Dundee Advertiser. " The book in some respects is mar- 
vellous. It is a revelation of the sportswoman's mind. Miss 
Herbert has a facile pen." 

The Manchester Courier. " Miss Herbert's book is written light- 
heartedly. It is a delightfully humorous and witty record. It is 
also an unassuming one." 

The Daily Telegraph. " This finely-printed and well-illustrated 
volume is a thoroughly entertaining and amusing record. Every 
sportsman will find this brisk and vivacious narrative to his 

The Daily Mail. " ' Two Dianas in Somaliland' is a book out 
of the common run . . . very attractive reading." 

The Scotsman. " Certainly no one who reads this narrative will 
fail to be keenly interested and amused.'' 

The Daily Chronicle. "You need not be a sportsman or a 
sportswoman to enjoy this book, because it has a vivacity which 
would carry any reader along. It is written with the merry heart 
that goes all the day, and it has much to record besides lion 

The Evening Standard. " We doubt whether ever enterprise 
was more hazardous or unusual than the hunting trip in the 
reserves of Somaliland undertaken by Miss Agnes Herbert and 
her cousin we are sure that no such story was ever related with 
greater charm and incisiveness. The volume is very welcome.' 1 

The Outlook. "Miss Herbert certainly has the gift of writing in 
an amusing manner." 

Nottingham Express. "It can be safely said that not since 
Selous was at the height of his fame has such an entrancing story 
of a big shoot seen the light of day. It not only deserves to have 
more than a little autumn season of fame and then cease to be ; it 
is a book which should live long." 

The Glasgow Herald. "We have to announce a rarely ex- 
hilarating book. One of the most vivid and high-spirited accounts 
of a shooting expedition on record. Miss Herbert gives us 
entrancing accounts of jungle life." 

The Literary World. " So bright and graphic is every page of 
Miss Herbert's book, that even the non-sportsman will thrill with 
the joy of the chase as he reads." 

The Morning Post. "One of the freshest and most attractive 
books on sport of the year." 

M. A. P. " This is quite a remarkable book. It is something 
more than a book of travel and sport. It is light and epigrammatic, 
and happily humorous. The reader will have a lively time with 
this volume. It is certainly entrancing." 

Pall Mall Gazette. "The book proved of such interest to the 
present reviewer that he found himself in the small hours closing 
the volume with regret. Miss Herbert's book is well worth 

The Ladies' Field. " This book has the rare charm which an 
individual style gives to vivid personal experiences. Even in these 
days there are but few women who know their Shakespeare and 
Dante so thoroughly. We hope that every one who can will read 
a book which is the best story of a big game shooting expedition 
we have read this year." 

The Liverpool Courier. " The book is a most entertaining and 
readable narrative. The author has a happy knack of picturesque 
description, while the raciness of her style and her keen and witty 
observation make the reading of the book a genuine pleasure." 

The Globe. " Any reader who can enjoy a bright, exciting record 
will thank Miss Herbert for her account of a gallant feat." 

The Western Morning News. " Highly interesting reading." 

World's Work. " If all records of shooting expeditions were 
as breezy and unconventional they would be sought out by the 
reviewer as eagerly as they are now shunned by him." 

The Spectator. " Chivalry and fair criticism alike force us to 
give the place of honour among recent sporting books to the ' Two 
Dianas.' We are captivated in spite of ourselves. By the time 
the most prejudiced reader gets to the end he will admit that he 
has been well entertained." 

Forest and Stream, U.S.A. " One lays the book aside with the 
regret that its pages number but three hundred. The book is one 
of the most interesting of the year." 

The Boston Herald, U.S.A. "Such is the manner of this in- 
tensely entertaining book. Miss Herbert can write poetically as 
well as humorously." 

New York Times. " This record of adventure and achievements 
is a fascinating one." 

Le Chenil. " ' Tout est dans tout,' comme on dit et nous ne 
pouvohs mieux faire d'imiter Miss Agnes Herbert en empruntant 
le mot de la fin a son poete favori : 
' Well roared, lion ; 
Well run, Thisbe ; 
Well shone, moon ; 
Well moused, lion ;' 

pour applaudir tous les acteurs de ce drame cynegetique vecu au 
pays Noir.'' 

The Pioneer, India. " The story, without any straining at the 
jocose the bane of most sporting stories is brightened up by 
flashes of genuine humour and by 'no little graphic power. The 
interest is well sustained. There is not a dull or dry chapter in the 

The British and S. African Export Gazette. " Miss Agnes 
Herbert writes naturally, always without embellishment or effort, 
and invariably with a sparkle that irresistibly brings a smile, 
qualities which, notwithstanding her modest and unassuming denial 
to literary pretensions, unquestionably point to her being an 
authoress of more than ordinary merit. In short, all who read her 
delightful volume will doubtless share our hope that it will not be 
long before she again gives the public some further contributions 
from so capable and facile a pen." 

The New York Tribune. "This book forms an entertaining and 
gay record. The story bubbles with the spirit of fun. The reader 
finds the 'Two Dianas' delightful company." 

The Times of India. " The adventures are graphically related, 
and the book forms entertaining reading." 

Truth. "The book is very brightly written, and admirably 

The Newcastle Chronicle. " The charm of the book consists 
largely in the incidents that are detached from the actual killing, 
and in the droll observations of the authoress on men and things." 



Los Angeles 
This book is DUE on the last date stamped below. 




Herbert - 

Two Dianas in