Press enter after choosing selection

Deer Hunting At Dexter

Deer Hunting At Dexter image
Parent Issue
Day
8
Month
September
Year
1899
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

The following is a continuation of tbe letter from an arrny officer written in Dexter in 1888, the first of which was pnblished yesterday. "Tired alike witb walking and vexation, and parched with thirst, J(I had neitber eaten Dor drnnk since breakfast, and it was now nightfall,) I advanced to the only shanty near, and knocked at the door. ïhere was do answer, and I shook it violeutly. A rnsh bottomed chair rattled, and a cat, the solitary oconpant, sprang ont throngh a brokeu window. I soon fotind my way, however, to the dilapidated trnnk of a large sycamore tr6e near, which fornied the top of a well, and drawing np a moss covered bucket, I placed my lips tojj the rusty iron bound brim, and took a draugbt, with which the most deiicious cbateau, margaux were but vile vin da pays in comparison. I can remember bnt one drink in rny liíe before to compare with it, and that was trom a similar goblet, after other lips than mine had hallowed the brim. A few mornents after a lad rode into the yard with the object of my pursuit, whose bridle had beun broken to pieces in the effort of gBveral men to catch him a mile or two off. I past mounted in a moment, and regained my lodging in an hour; when I found that the adventure of the day had not impaired ray relish for a supper of fresh pike and white fisn, just smoking on the table. The range of bilis which traversed the peninsula longitudinally near here, though never, I believe, more than a 150 feetjhigh, are said by some to cons;itute tne most elevated part of .Michigan, as tbey abound in game, and consist altogether ofj oak openings, yon can conceive of nothing more animatïng than to gallop over thein on horseback. I was ont again aruong them yesterday ; and having a pocket compass aud a map of the country with me, I ventured to leave the trails that wind among the hollows, and scamper over the bilis as mv fancy led me. A large flock of grouse rose almost from beneath horse's feet as I topped the n'ret slight eminence; and then, just as the animal was recovering the flnrry into which tbe rnshicg sonnd of their wirigs threw him, a tall broad antlered tuck, the largest I ever saw, sprang trom a small covert, _and bounded türongh the wide forest glades. Away too, I went - the feeling was irresistible - I could see the fellow leaping as if he had wings over the rolling land, and the clear braoing atmospbere had given spirits to my horse, that sant os ahead like one and the same animal. In spite of the deer's prodigions jumps wbich were as high as tbey were long, I had decidedly gained on him, when on coming to the' brow of a steep hill, he dashed down the side, and was far away over another before my less agile horse conld desceud the first. I saw two more deer, besides several flocks of' gronse, dnring my morniug's ride. Singnlarly enougb, this was the ouly time that I had moved a mile without a gnn since 1 lei'fc New York , and it was tbe only opportunity I have had to use one toadvantage. If DerFreyHcbutz were in this regiou, 1 shonld certaiuiy let the wild bnutsman make his owu terms with me for better lnck. Today, for the first time, I saw the nieadows on firp. They are of vast extent, running far into the woods-like the friths of a lake; and as the wild grase, which tbey supply in the greatest profusión, furnisbes the new settler with all the hay he uses for hia stonk, they are burnt over thns annually to make it tender. These fires, traveling far over the country, seize upon tne large praries, and consume every tree ia the woods, exoept the haïdiest, cause the often mentioned oak openings.Jso characteristic of Michigan scenery. It is a beaatiful sight to see the fire shooting in every dircetioD over these borad expanses of land, which are kindled at a vanety of points. The flame at one moment cnrls along the groand, and seems to hek up its fuel below, while at the uest it tumbles over like the breakers of the sea upoii the dried grass, and sweeps it in a wave of fire frorn the ground. ] found myself repeatedly snrroundec by the fire while riding hither and hither, watching its progress; bat was only on two occasions exposed to any ïuconvenience - once when rny horee sank in the mire to the sadditj girtbs, so that I had to dismount in a morass covered with high weeds, to whicl the flames were approacbing and another tinjer,when I found myelf in a small patckof woodland, which crackeü and roared like Tophut itself. As rode to and fro, trying to find a poin where, if necessary, I might encounter the flame to the least disadvantage, i tinable to avoid it altogether, the ridi culous position in which I bad placee myself reminded me not a little o that which Andrew Fairservice oc cnpied on the rock, when he trottoc hither and thither on his nanow platform, to avoid the bullets of Bo Roy's caterans. A flner ünbject fo reflection, however, presented itse! near the spot. A small brook crosse the meadow, and I betbonght rnyself of placing it between me and the fire ; but uiy horse, when I rode hiru rapidly to the briuk, and enaeavored to jurnp hiin, recoiled. I wheeled round, and tried it again, but his reeent experience ia the treacherous marsh made him fear the soggy margin, aud nothïng could prevail upon the cautious animal to approach it. At the last atternpt, he recoilacl so snddenly with a terrified snort, that I was nearlj thrown over his head ; and looking for the new cause of anxiety, where the stream wotmd arouiid so as almost to doublé itself iu toont of me, I saw, on the little península of tne bnraing meadow thus formed, au Indian standing with folded arms amid tha wreatnmg smoke, and surveyiug my motions with an aspect of perfect calruness. He was a middle aged man, rather talk, and in the full costume of his tribe. The hair on his forehead, which was seamed with severa I ghastiy scars, was nearly white; but three long plaited locks of raven black feil down behiud, from the crimson handkercheif which bonud his brows. He wore a woelen frock, edged with black, with scarlet leggings and moccasins; white arml of silver, and a belt oontaining his scalping kuife, completed his equipmeut. All these, however, were observed afterward, when I had given up the attempt to cross the brook, and, spnrring through the flame where it was lowest, had placed myself by the side of the old warrior. But for the present I remaiued fixed in my seat, gazing on the noble apparition with as much delight as if my own cali had cooked it from the ground. I had seen a dozen Iudians, of all sizes and sexes in the conrse of the day, not one of hotn had awakened the slightest ïnerest; bat there was that abont the ort and beariug of this grim looking avage which, with the somewhat the;rical attitndo !ig assumed andthecirnmstances unc.er which I first beheld lim, carried me r away completely. e saailed wheu I approached him, and alnted me with great kindness of maiiuer; thongh, as neither of us nnerstood the language of the other, ïere could be but httle interchange of deas betweeu us. The few Indian exressions óf which I atn master were oon expended, and he seeiued not to lave a worn of English to give me in xchange. He made me understand. owever, that the frightful wounds which disflgured his noble front were eceived wnile fightiug on the side of ae British agaiust the Americans at andusky.