. ) [ANAS
T ADAS RA
AGNES HERBERT IX NATIVE PARKA DRESS
BY AGNES HERBERT
:: AND A SHIKARI ::
" 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."
LONDON : JOHN LANE, THE BODLEY HEAD
NEW YORK : JOHN LANE COMPANY. MCMIX
RICHARD CLAY & SONS, LIMITED, LONDON AND BUNGAV
CECILY AND RALPH WINDUS
" 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.
CHAP. ^ PAGE
I. WE SET OUT FOR ALASKA ..... I
II. THE VOYAGE NORTH 26
III. ON KODIAK ISLAND 43
IV. BROWN BEARS 53
V. COASTING ALONG THE ALASKA PENINSULA . . 69
VI. DUTCH HARBOUR AND ITS ENVIRONS ... 84
VII. A BEAR HUNT AND AN EPISODE .... 99
VIII FURTHER TRIPS ON THE PENINSULA . . .112
IX. A VARIETY OF SHOOTING AND FISHING INCIDENTS 128
X. A MOVE IN SEARCH OF OTHER QUARRY . .151
XI. AMONGST THE WALRUS ISLANDS . . . .164
XII. THE ESTUARY OF THE KUSKOKWIM . . .177
XIII. ON THE KUSKOKWIM RIVER 192
XIV. HUNTING THE WHITE SHEEP 218
XV. THE SPIRIT OF THE MOUNTAIN .... 237
XVI. IN THE PRIMEVAL FOREST 252
XVII. MOOSE HUNTING 273
XVIII. A SCHOLAR OF THE WILDERNESS .... 292
XIX. THE PRECIPICE MATRIMONIAL .... 307
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
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
WE SET OUT FOR ALASKA
Come, let's go together
Danger shall seem sport, and I will go
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
2 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 3
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
4 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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.
Miss Mamie G. Carlson Potts, C.S.,
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-
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 5
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
" 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
6 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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,
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 7
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
8 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 9
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
io TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
Then like a bombshell came, " May we go too?"
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 11
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
VISITORS PLACING BOOTS OUTSIDE THE DOOR DO SO
AT THEIR OWN RISK.
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
We were too astonished to do anything but pay
up gracefully. Better arrangements for boot-cleaning
in Canadian hotels need making.
NO WASHING IN THE BEDROOMS.
This last notice was a considerable puzzle to us at
first, for we wondered where else we should be per-
12 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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-
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 13
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,
i 4 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 15
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
16 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 17
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,"
i8 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
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
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.
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 19
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 ?
20 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 21
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."
22 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
" 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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 23
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."
24 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
" 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."
"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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 25
the long dark age of groping is over. And you have
" I suppose so," replied Ralph, completely be-
fogged, but, masculine-like, desirous of pleasing to
" 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.
THE VOYAGE NORTH
Hence, and bestow your luggage
Here in this island we arriv'd
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 27
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.
28 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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-
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 29
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
30 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 31
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.
32 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 33
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
34 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 35
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.
36 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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,
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 37
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
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
38 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
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
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 39
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
40 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 41
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
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-
42 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
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.
ON KODIAK ISLAND
(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 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
44 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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.
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 45
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.
46 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 47
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
48 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
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-
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 49
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
50 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
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
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 51
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
52 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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.
'.4 CHAPTER IV
Thou'dst shun a bear
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
54 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 55
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
56 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
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
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-
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 57
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 !
58 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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-
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 59
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
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
60 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
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-
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.
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 61
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
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
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
62 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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-
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 63
yards. Neither of the men washed, or ever thought
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
64 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 65
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.
66 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
By this time Ned had seen enough to convince him
that we were fairly safe to go out with, and knew the
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 67
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
68 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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.
COASTING ALONG THE ALASKA PENINSULA
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
70 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 71
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.
72 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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,
TWO" DIANAS IN ALASKA 73
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,
74 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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.
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 75
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
76 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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."
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 77
" 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
y8 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
of procuring some good specimens of brown bears on
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-
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 79
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
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
8o TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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.
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 81
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
82 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 83
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.
DUTCH HARBOUR AND ITS ENVIRONS
(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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 85
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
86 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
ABANDONED AND SILENT LIES A NOBLE THREE-MASTED VESSEL
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 87
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
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
88 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 89
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
90 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 91
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
9 2 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 93
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.
94 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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-
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 95
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
96 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 97
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
9 8 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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.
A BEAR HUNT AND AN EPISODE
(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
ioo TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 101
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-
102 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
" 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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 103
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
104 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 105
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
io6 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 107
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
io8 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 109
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
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
How far we had gone I reckoned not, as with my
no TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA in
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
What the nature of the toll was is left for you to
FURTHER TRIPS ON THE PENINSULA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 113
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
ii4 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 115
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
u6 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
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, - .
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 117
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
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-
ii8 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 119
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
120 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 121
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-
122 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 123
watched their holt for an hour or more with no sort
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
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
124 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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-,
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 125
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
126 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 127
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
A VARIETY OF SHOOTING AND FISHING INCIDENTS
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
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-
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 129
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-
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
i 3 o TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 131
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
132 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 133
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
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
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
134 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
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
The whole thing worked like a charm at first. Our
hunter remained at the spot from which we first
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 135
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
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,
136 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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.
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 137
"Kill her!" said the Leader laconically, with the
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-
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
138 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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-
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 139
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
140 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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-
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 141
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
i 4 2 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 143
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
i 4 4 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
That fish was resolved to die game, but the effort
exhausted most of his waning strength, and he was
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 145
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
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
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.
146 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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.
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 147
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
i 4 8 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 149
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
i5o TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
A MOVE IN SEARCH OF OTHER QUARRY
(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-
152 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
THE LKADER'S WALRUS HEAD
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 153
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,
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
154 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
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
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 155
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
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
156 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 157
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
158 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 159
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
160 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 161
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
162 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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,
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 163
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.
AMONGST THE WALRUS ISLANDS
(By the Leader of the Expedition)
How many goodly creatures are there here ?
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
We soon saw quite a number of foxes moving on
the side of a sandy hill above, and nothing would
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 165
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
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
166 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 167
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
168 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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.
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 169
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
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
170 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 171
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
172 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 173
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,
174 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 175
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
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
176 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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 ESTUARY OE THE KUSKOKWIM
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
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
178 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 179
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
i8o TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 181
changed out go the slim red feet, and make the
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.
182 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 183
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.
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
1 84 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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,
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 185
" 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
1 86 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 187
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 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-
1 88 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 189
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
i 9 o TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 191
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.
ON THE KUSKOKWIM RIVER
Then sit we down, and let us all consult
I'll pluck thee berries,
I'll fish for thee, and get thee wood enough
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,
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 193
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
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."
194 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 195
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
196 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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-
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 197
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
ig8 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 199
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."
200 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 201
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
202 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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.
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 203
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
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
204 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 205
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.
206 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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,
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 207
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
208 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 209
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
210 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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.
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 211
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
212 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 213
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
214 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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,
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 215
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
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
Could anything be more exquisite than this head
216 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 217
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
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.
HUNTING THE WHITE SHEEP
Now for our mountain sport
Here's the place ; stand still !
And dizzy 'tis to cast one's eyes so low
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 219
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-
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
220 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
Nature granted us the strength, to be going on climb-
ing and climbing until we climbed even higher than
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.
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 221
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
222 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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,
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 223
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
224 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 225
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.
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 227
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
228 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
A MAGNIFICENT HEAD
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 229
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
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
230 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 231
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.
232 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
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,
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 233
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
234 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 235
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
236 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
THE SPIRIT OF THE MOUNTAIN
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-
238 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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,
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 239
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
240 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
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,
THE LEADER OF THE EXPEDITION IN NATIVE PARKA DRESS
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 241
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.
242 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 243
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.
244 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 245
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
246 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 247
" '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
248 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 249
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
250 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 251
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.
IN THE PRIMEVAL FOREST
By honour, truth, and everything, I love thee so
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 253
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
254 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 255
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
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
256 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
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.
The dear fellow propounded a scheme of schemes
to me. How would it be if he asked Cecily to make
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 257
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
258 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
" 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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 259
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.
260 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
" 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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 261
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
262 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 263
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
264 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
to collect our scattered belongings, and ascertain the
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-
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 265
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
266 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 267
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
268 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 269
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-
270 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 271
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
272 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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-
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
B74 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 275
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
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
276 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
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
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 277
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
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
278 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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.
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 279
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
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
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 281
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-
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 283
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
284 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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.
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 285
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,
286 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 287
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
288 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 289
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
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-
290 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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,
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 291
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
A SCHOLAR OF THE WILDERNESS
No temple but the wood,
No assembly but the horn-beasts
As You Like It
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 293
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
294 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 295
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
296 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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 "
A TIMBER WOLF
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 297
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
298 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 299
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
300 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 301
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
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
302 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
turned in a flurried circle, then fled pell-mell into the
embracing underbrush, away and away from the zone
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 303
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
304 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 305
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
It is one thing to fag up a river, against the stream,
3 o6 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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.
THE PRECIPICE MATRIMONIAL
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
3 o8 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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.
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 309
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-
" 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
"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,
3 io TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
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.
TWO DIANAS IN 'ALASKA
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
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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
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.
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 313
" 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
3 i4 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
Northern Pacific pays very well, and the cars are
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
TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA 315
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.
HOIST WITH HER OWN PETARD
THE HUSBAND MARKED THE GAME
WHAT SHOULD THE LADY DO?
I wonder myself. What could a woman do under
such circumstances? It is a problem. I cannot
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.
316 TWO DIANAS IN ALASKA
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.
THE WORKS OF
T has long been a reproach to
England that only one volume
by ANATOLE FRANCE
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
THE WORKS OF ANATOLE FRANCE
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 :
THE RED LILY
MOTHER OF PEARL
THE GARDEN OF EPICURUS
THE CRIME OF SYLVESTRE BONNARD
THE WELL OF ST. CLARE
THE OPINIONS OF JEROME COIGNARD
JOCASTA AND THE FAMISHED CAT
THE ASPIRATIONS OF JEAN SERVIEN
THE ELM TREE ON THE MALL
MY FRIEND'S BOOK
THE WICKER-WORK WOMAN
AT THE SIGN OF THE QUEEN P^DAUQUE
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
11 The translation of these books has been entrusted to
such competent French scholars as MR. ALFRED ALLINSON,
HON. MAURICE BARING, MR. FREDERIC CHAPMAN, MR.
THE WORKS OF ANATOLE FRANCE
ROBERT B. DOUGLAS, MR. A. W. EVANS, MRS. FARLEY,
MRS. JOHN LANE, MRS. NEWMARCH, MR. C. E. ROCHE, MISS
WINIFRED STEPHENS, and MISS M. P. WILLCOCKS.
^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
(1879). THE CRIME OF SYLVESTRE BONNARD
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.
THE WORKS OF ANATOLE FRANCE
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 :
THE RED LILY
MOTHER OF PEARL
THE GARDEN OF EPICURUS
THE CRIME OF SYLVESTRE BONNARD
for which I enclose ..
JOHN LANE,PuBLisHER, THE BODLEY HEAD, VicoSr. LONDON, W.
'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.
LIVING MASTERS OF MUSIC
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
HENRY J. WOOD. By ROSA NEWMARCH.
SIR EDWARD ELGAR. By R. J. BUCKLEY.
JOSEPH JOACHIM. By J. A. FULLER MAITLAND.
EDWARD MACDOWELL. By L. OILMAN.
EDVARD GRIEG. By H. T. FINCK.
THEODOR LESCHETIZKY. By A. HULLAH.
GIACOMO PUCCINI. By WAKELING DRY.
ALFRED BRUNEAU. By ARTHUR HIRVEY.
IGNAZ PADEREWSKI. By E. A. BAUGHAN.
The following Volumes are in preparation :
RICHARD STRAUSS. By A. KALISCH.
CLAUDE DEBUSSY. By FRANZ LIEBICH.
STARS OF THE STAGE
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.
ELLEN TERRY. By CHRISTOPHER ST. JOHN.
HERBERT BEERBOHM TREE. By MRS. GEORGE CRAN.
W. S. GILBERT. By EDITH A. BROWNE.
CHAS. WYNDHAM. By FLORENCE TEIGNMOUTH SHORE.
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW. By G. K. CHESTERTON.
A CATALOGUE OF
MEMOIRS, BIOGRAPHIES, ETC.
NAPOLEON dfTHE INVASION OF ENGLAND :
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
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
DUMOURIEZ AND THE DEFENCE OF
ENGLAND AGAINST NAPOLEON. BY J. HOLLAND
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.
THE FALL OF NAPOLEON. By OSCAR
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."
THE BOYHOOD & YOUTH OF NAPOLEON,
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
A CATALOGUE OF
THE DUKE OF REICH STADT (NAPOLEON II.)
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
NAPOLEON'S CONQUEST OF PRUSSIA, 1806.
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."
NAPOLEON'S CAMPAIGN IN POLAND, 1806-
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."
NAPOLEON AND THE ARCHDUKE
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.
MEMOIRS, BIOGRAPHIES, ETC. 5
MEMOIRS OF THE COUNT DE CARTRIE.
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."
WOMEN OF THE SECOND EMPIRE.
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.'"
LOUIS NAPOLEON AND THE GENESIS OF
THE SECOND EMPIRE. By F. H. CHEETHAM. With
Numerous Illustrations. Demy 8vo (9 x 5| inches). i6j. net.
MEMOIRS OF MADEMOISELLE DES
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
JANE AUSTEN'S SAILOR BROTHERS. Being
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."
A CATALOGUE OF
SOME WOMEN LOVING AND LUCKLESS.
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.
POETRY AND PROGRESS IN RUSSIA. By
ROSA NEWMARCH. With 6 full-page Portraits. Demy 8vo.
js. 6d. net.
Standard. " Distinctly a book that should be read . . . pleasantly written and well
THE LIFE OF PETER ILICH TCHAIKOVSKY
(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."
COKE OF NORFOLK AND HIS FRIENDS:
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.
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
Evening Standard. " One of the most interesting biographies we have read for years."
MEMOIRS, BIOGRAPHIES, ETC. 7
THE LIFE OF SIR HALLIDAY MACART-
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."
DEVONSHIRE CHARACTERS AND STRANGE
EVENTS. By S. BARING-GOULD, M.A., Author of " Yorkshire
Oddities," etc. With 58 Illustrations. Demy 8vo. zu.net.
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. "
CORNISH CHARACTERS AND STRANGE
EVENTS. By S. BARING-GOULD. Demy 8vo. i6s. net.
THE HEART OF GAMBETTA. Translated
from the French of FRANCIS LAUR by VIOLETTE MONTAGU.
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."
THE MEMOIRS OF ANN, LADY FANSHAWE.
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.
8 A CATALOGUE OF
THE DIARY OF A LADY-IN-WAITING. By
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.
THE DAUGHTER OF LOUIS XVI.: Marie-
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.
THE TRUE STORY OF MY LIFE : an Auto-
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."
MEMOIRS, BIOGRAPHIES, ETC. 9
HUBERT AND JOHN VAN EYCK : Their Life
and Work. By W. H. JAMES WEALE. With 41 Photogravure
and 95 Black and White Reproductions. Royal 410. 5 5/. net.
SIR MARTIN CONWAY'S NOTE.
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.
VINCENZO FOPPA OF BRESCIA, FOUNDER OF
THE LOMBARD SCHOOL, His LIFE AND WORK. By CONSTANCE
JOCELYN FFOULKES and MONSIGNOR RODOLFO MAJOCCHI, D.D.,
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.
io A CATALOGUE OF
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."
THE HOUSE IN ST. MARTIN'S STREET.
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. 2is.net.
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."
STORY OF THE PRINCESS DES URSINS IN
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
MEMOIRS, BIOGRAPHIES, ETC. n
NEW LETTERS OF THOMAS CARLYLE.
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."
NEW LETTERS AND MEMORIALS OF JANE
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."
EMILE ZOLA : NOVELIST AND REFORMER. An
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
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very difficult to lay it down again."
12 A CATALOGUE OF
MEMOIRS OF THE MARTYR KING : being a
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.
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."
AFTER WORCESTER FIGHT : being the Con-
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
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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
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."
FRENCH NOVELISTS OF TO-DAY : Maurice
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
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THE KING'S GENERAL IN THE WEST,
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."
MEMOIRS, BIOGRAPHIES, ETC. 13
THE LIFE AND LETTERS OF ROBERT
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
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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."
THE LIFE OF WILLIAM BLAKE. ByALEXANDER
GILCHRIST. Edited with an Introduction by W.GRAHAM ROBERTSON.
Numerous Reproductions from Blake's most characteristic and
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Birmingham Post. "Nothing seems at all likely ever to supplant the Gilchrist biography.
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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."
MEMOIRS OF A ROYAL CHAPLAIN, 1729-63.
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
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GEORGE MEREDITH : Some Characteristics.
By RICHARD LE GALLIENNE. With a Bibliography (much en-
larged) by JOHN LANE. Portrait, etc. Crown 8vo. $s. net. Fifth
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."
LIFE OF LORD CHESTERFIELD. An account
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
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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."
14 A CATALOGUE OF
A QUEEN OF INDISCRETIONS. The Tragedy
of Caroline of Brunswick, Queen of England. From the Italian
of G. P. CLERICI. Translated by FREDERIC CHAPMAN. With
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The Daily Telegraph. "It could scarcely be done more thoroughly or, on the whole, in
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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."
LETTERS AND JOURNALS OF SAMUEL
GRIDLEY HOWE. Edited by his Daughter LAURA E.
RICHARDS. With Notes and a Preface by F. B. SANBORN, an
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(9x5! inches). l6s. net.
Outlook. "This deeply interesting record of experience. The volume is worthily produced
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Daily News. " Dr. Howe's book is full of shrewd touches ; it seems to be very much a part
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writing of a shrewd, keen observer, intensely interested in the event before him."
THE LIFE OF ST. MARY MAGDALEN.
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
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."
MEN AND LETTERS. By HERBERT PAUL, M.P.
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.
MEMOIRS, BIOGRAPHIES, ETC. 15
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."
ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON, AN ELEGY;
AND OTHER POEMS, MAINLY PERSONAL. By
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."
RUDYARD KIPLING : a Criticism. By RICHARD
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."
POEMS. By EDWARD CRACROFT LEFROY. With a
Memoir by W; A. GILL, and a Reprint of Mr. J. A. SYMONDS'
Critical Essay on " Echoes from Theocritus." Photogravure
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The Times. " . . . the leading features of the sonnets are the writer's intense sympathy
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in a word, the quality which 'leaves a melody afloat upon the brain, a savour on the
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."
APOLOGIA DIFFIDENTIS. By W. COMPTON
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."
16 MEMOIRS, BIOGRAPHIES, ETC.
BOOKS AND PERSONALITIES: Essays. By
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."
OTIA : Essays. By ARMINE THOMAS KENT. Crown
8vo. 5/. net.
BOOKS AND PLAYS : A Volume of Essays on
Meredith, Borrow, Ibsen, and others. By ALLAN MONKHOUSE.
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LIBER AMORIS ; OR, THE NEW PYGMALION.
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
CHAMPIONS OF THE FLEET. Captains and
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.
THE LONDONS OF THE BRITISH FLEET : The
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.
JOHN LANE, THE BODLEY HEAD, VIGO STREET, LONDON, W.
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 '
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
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."
JOHN LANE, THE BODLEY HEAD, VIGO STREET, LONDON, W.
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LIBRARY
This book is DUE on the last date stamped below.
Two Dianas in