Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]
[graphic][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

SUNDAY
UNDAY in camp is generally looked son's Bay “four pointers,” and slept

upon as the holiday of the week, the sleep of the just. when letters are written, and a hun- In the morning we were aroused by dred and one tasks difficult of accom- strains of melody issuing from that inplishment on other days are disposed dispensible article of camp outfit, the of, with a smoke and a yarn between frying-pan, which cook was manipulatwhiles. When not otherwise engaged, ing a la tambourine. It was our daily we sometimes ramble away for the day reveille, and in raw, cold weather it on a prospecting tramp, a hunt, or a was enough to put one in a homicidal climb up one of the

humour to be thus mountains. For

awakened from a the latter we en

refreshing sleep. tertain no particu

This, however, was lar relish, as there

a day of days, when is little pleasure to

mere existence is counterbalance the.

a pleasure, and great hardships of

deep draughts of such an excursion.

the pure morning Nevertheless, once

air seem to invigor twice a year,

orate one's whole like the deer's

being, causing thirst for the salt

every muscle to lick, comes the de

swell with the pride sire to scramble up

of conscious health the great heights.

and strength. AfSeveral times,

ter breakfast we however, can I re

prepare collect having to

lunches of ham return without

sandwiches, and, gaining the desired goal, owing to the shouldering our rifles, we start off for inaccessible precipices forming an effec

our tramp up Mount H

Foltual barrier to our further progress. lowing the pack trail for half a mile

The following little excursion Scotty down the river, we arrive at a tree and I had planned out weeks before, and which we had dropped

across the on Saturday night over our last smoke stream some time previously, and on we decided that an early start was this walk to the other bank. necessary; so having given cook word To the novice, walking a small log to that effect, we rolled in our Hud- across an angry stream is sometimes a

[graphic]

some

A

DIFFICULT ASCENT.

a

ticklish experience, and attended, prob progress is necessarily slow. Still we ably, with a ducking, if nothing worse. struggle along, with frequent and brief With us, however, it was an every day periods of rest, but the unusual exeroccurrence, and it is really only a mat cise tells upon one fearfully, for the ter of self-confidence and taking care muscles brought into play are entirely that the eyes do not wander away from different to those used in walking or the log

ordinary travel. The water is now as clear as crystal, Here the mountain-side becomes more but by three in the afternoon it will be a broken, the timber sparser and more turgid muddy torrent, subsiding again stunted, and there are frequently small to its normal condition before the next precipices around which we have to morning. This is due to the melting make detours. of the snow in the great heights above The ascent now becomes both diffius, all mountain streams during the cult and perilous. Our rifles are also summer months being so influenced. a great hindrance, and were it not that

We now follow the course of a small we may see a goat at any time now, I torrent, which winds its way up the should feel very much tempted to leave mountain-side through tangled mine until my return. After an hour's growth of alder bushes from five to tough struggling in some really dangereight feet in height, and it seems diffi ous places, that make one feel uncomcult of belief that this is the path of an fortable when thinking of returning, avalanche. But it is so, the alder we arrive at a pleasant grassy slope, bushes assuming a recumbent position where, disposing our racked and weary after the first few feet of snow have limbs in the most comfortable attitudes, fallen, again to spring up when the we enjoy a well-earned rest. This “beautiful ” disappears; and, if we ex slope, which seems almost level in comamine closely, we see that the bushes parison with what we have just traare even now leaning down hill at an versed, is covered with a short, bunchy angle of forty-five degrees. The ground grass and low bushes, interspersed we are walking upon is all debris, with patches of heather, of the latter brought down by the slides, probably there being three varieties, red, white, the accumulation of thousands of years, and purple. Upon examination I find and it must be of great depth, to judge

this is not the same as the Scotch from the convexity of the surface with heather and that found in other parts regard to the general contour of the of Great Britain, the blossoms being mountain-side.

much larger and coarser, but still very About three-quarters of a mile from pretty.

All kinds of flowers sprinkle the valley we reach a point where the the ground in profusion ; in fact, upon slide narrows and divides into two rav all the open patches of ground on our ines, or clefts, in the solid rock ; here way up we discovered flowers of all and there patches of snow remain still descriptions, the varieties changing as unmelted. These ravines have bare we ascended. There was also a moss walls of rock fully fifty feet in height, with a very pretty pink blossom, the the bottom and sides being worn as name of which I am unable to give, smooth as polished marble by the ac not having much botanical knowledge, tion of the snow and ice, and in places but imagine it is rare. The timber-line the glossy surface is roughly scarred as is quite a distance below us, the highif by large rocks in their rapid transit est shrubs here being only about eighvalleyward.

teen inches above the ground. Further travel up the course of the Looking down into the valley we are slide being impracticable, we start unable to see that part of the mountain climbing up the tongue between the we have just traversed, so steep is it two ravines, where the ground is one compared with the slope upon which mass of “deadfalls,” and thickly cov we are resting, and as we are fully a ered with small standing timber. Our hundred feet back from the brink, it

[graphic]

seems as if we were looking over the edge of a precipice. The awful depth down into the valley is truly horrifying to contemplate, and a feeling of giddiness overcomes me as I gaze, with a sensation of falling headlong into the abyss. Closing my eyes and turning upon my side, this disagreeable sensation soon passes away.

Upon opening my eyes blinkingly in the glaring sun, what do they rest upon but a goat !!!!

Yes, a goat, which to my eyes looks as large as a house at that moment. Scotty's eyes bulge out like saucers when I whisper, “Look at that goat!”

Picking up my rifle, I fire, whereupon the goat gives a bound in the air,

Walking a small log across an angry stream is someand comes down upon all

times a ticklish experience." four feet at once, giving himself a good shake after the oper audible several times, made me jump at ation, as if not sure whether he is the conclusion that he had been sufferawake.

ing from an attack of “buck fever,” Bang !!! Again I miss him, and and such being the case, as heafterwards like a flash he is out of sight, to reap

confessed. He had just pumped every pear again, however, in a few moments, cartridge out of his rifle without firing a about fifty feet higher up, standing out shot. on a pinnacle like some statue. Bang !!! Being conscious that a smile was And that's the last of him, unhurt, too, stealing over my face, and not wishing as any one can easily see.

to hurt his feelings, I turned my head At that moment, probably, I made away. Indeed, as far as that was conuse of language which can be most fit- cerned, I had not much to brag about tingly described as “ Things one would myself, firing three shots at short range rather have left unsaid,” and small without making a hit. My glance, blame to me, too, considering the cir however, chancing to rest upon the cumstances. Truly we were two great backsight of my rifle, the whole myshunters, lolling at our ease and the tery was explained. The sight was up game standing around inspecting us. to the 500 yards notch, so there was

During this time Scotty had neither not much to be wondered at. The fired a shot nor said a word, and turn rifle was provided with a sporting ing in his direction I discovered him backsight, which, as every one familiar with rather a red face, picking up some with Marlin and Winchester rifles cartridges from the ground, and slip- knows, is a spring, which is forced up ping them into the magazine of his by a wedge indented with notches for rifle. This, coupled with the fact that ranges from 100 to 500 yards. It was the “click, click” of the lever back therefore evident that on the journey up wards and forwards had been quite something had struck the sight, forcing

« PředchozíPokračovat »