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saw many trunks a foot in diameter, and some as thick as eighteen inches, gnawed through with an even bevel all round the girth, as neatly as an experienced wood-chopper could have cut them with an axe. Beside the trees, which the next strong wind or another night's felling-bee of the beavers would tumble to the ground, we found immense numbers of logs, varying from the full length of the trunk to three feet, lying near the severed stumps, awaiting deportation to some projected dam, or further truncation by the tools which had felled them. . A neater workshop or nicer work than this on the bank of the Republican never existed among the professors of any handicraft. Where the logs had suffered their final reduction, they were of as uniform length as if they had been cut by the gauge, and their conical extremities of such polished smoothness that one had to examine closely before perceiving the channels made by the ivory gauges of the little workmen. With true human dishonesty, we helped ourselves freely from their woodpile, and in a few moments had a blazing camp-fire and a kettle singing pleasant prophecies of coffee. Before the water boiled, and while the antelope was dressing for dinner (the last he should ever be invited to, poor little fellow !) a few of us strolled out beyond the timber with our field-glasses. We did not need them to discover that the crown of the whole adjoining bluff was alive with buffalo. There were certainly quite a thousand in plain sight; yet these were only the second line of outposts, – the first, as we had seen, having already been pushed across the river as skirmishers. Some of them stood on the brink of a clay precipice, fifty or sixty feet high, surveying the horizon, but without any apparent emotion in view of our presence, while the farther ones cropped their way slowly through the grass without raising their heads. Two miles of plain and the height of the bluff intervened between us and them, accounting for a nonchalance far greater than that of any other absolutely wild animal I am acquainted with. A herd of elk, deer, or antelope would have tossed up their heads and been away down the wind before we could have snapped our fingers at them. This bovine stolidity, as we shall see hereafter, is no result of misplaced confidence in human goodness, but a well based faith in the most admirable strategic arrangement known to the gregarious tribes of the brute world. My first experience of antelope-steak, was a gastronomic sensation, surpassing all the luxuries offered the palate by civilized bills of fare. The finest venison, the most delicate mountain mutton, afford no just comparison for it, though it possesses all the game flavor of the one, and the tenderness, without the inevitable tallowy suggestion, of the other. Springchicken, quail-breast, or frog's hind legs, are not more delicate; and there is a flavor in the juice quite indescribable, belonging in fact to the idiosyncrasies and monopolies of nature. We had our antelope cooked in several modes: steak broiled on a gridiron; a rib-roast, made by spitting the meat on a sharp stick thrust into the ground before the fire; liver, as exquisite as sweet-bread, sauté with a few scraps of salt pork; and large collops fried with the same relish to suit the hearty appetite of our frontiersmen. The only condiments we had with our meat were pepper, salt, and a can of the Shaker peaches, brought from our own party's commissariat; nor would sauce of any piquant kind have been anything but an unwarrantable intrusion on the inmost Eleusinian mysteries of gourmanderie. But I can imagine Soyer looking down on us from some fifth sphere of the world, where he is inventing a five hundredth method of treating ambrosia, and saying with tears of still human regret, “Ah! I died too soon!” After dinner, the artist opened his color-box, and began making a study of the antelope's head, which had been left entire for his purpose, while the two other gentlemen of our Overland party, accompanied by John Gilbert, Ansell Comstock, Butler, and myself, shouldered our guns and started for the bluff, to try stalking buffalo on foot. The afternoon was very warm, and the tramp through the grass of the riverbottom by no means easy; but the enthusiasm of a first hunt would have carried our neophytes cheerfully twice as far. We made our way to a precipitous draw, entering the bluff at a distance of three miles from our camp, and halted at its mouth to consider our course. On all the commanding prominences of the divide was stationed a giant bull, motionless, as if carven in bronze, noting our every gesture with red, inevitable eyes. We determined to hide in the cover of some low scrubby bushes, and wait until one of these sentinels came down from his post to drink (the only calculable relaxation of his vigilance) at a neighboring puddle, which lay stagnant in a hollow of the draw. Having distributed ourselves, we waited with held breath for nearly an hour. The sentinel had forgotten us, we thought, for he began moving toward our ambush on a slow stately walk, and descended the side of the draw. We crept along behind the bushes on our hands and knees, intending to flank him, and

get to the top of the bluff among the herd without his knowledge. Just as we came abreast of the puddle where he stood irresolutely snuffing, with an evident suspicion weighing on his crafty mind, we looked upward at the post he had just left, and there was another bull, as large and wary as the sentry off duty. We were out-maneuvered, after all; and in revenge for our calloused knee-pans, I regret to say that we poured one simultaneous volley into the buf. falo at the puddle. But even an old bull-steak, or the juicy hump and tongue, which were the only valuable part of him, were denied us by an excitement which confused our aim. Revenge must be cool to fire straight. As it was, we had the mortification of seeing him lash with his tail such inconsequential portions of his surface as we had hit at the shamefully small range of one hundred and fifty yards, and without apparent inconvenience shamble away on a leisurely cow-trot, up the draw toward his comrade. “Cuss his tough hide l’’ ejaculated John Gilbert. “Why didn't we shoot for him in the first place, instead o' trying to creep round? Then we'd a' had a good tongue for supper at least. Now we hain't got nothin’.” Some one suggested that we had intended to find better game in the herd, – if we had got there. “Ef—that's very good — ef,” said John Gilbert. “Well,—we didn't. Now I don't believe in throwin' away a chance that's clost to you, for a maybe ten mile off. It's too much like Thompson's colt, that swam a ráyvin [ravine] to get a drink, 'cause he'd allays been watered on t'other side.” Both the bulls had now moved out of sight, leaving their late sentry-station unoccupied. We concluded to move up the draw as fast as possible, and get to the top of the bluff before the panic had become general among the herd, – there to lie down out of sight, while confidence was getting restored, and finally to creep through the grass, near enough for another shot. We ran up the draw at double quick, bending as low as possible, and had nearly reached the upper debouchment, when a turn to the right uncovered us to another prominence, and there lowered another pair of vengeful red eyes, burning out of a shaggy fell of hair! We dropped down in an instant, but too late. With a leisurely step, the grim old vedette retreated in good order on the main body. To gratify new men, whose desire to see and capture buffalo was greater than any possible belief in human experience, our frontiersmen, telling us all the while that it was useless, assisted us for three hours in twice as many repetitions of this maneuver. We might as well have attempted to surprise Grant or Napoleon. Our failures were good for us; for they taught us more of the habits of the buffalo than we could have learned at home from a course of lectures, or a monograph of many pages devoted to that animal. Had we not learned it with our own eyes, we never could have regarded a true statement of the case as anything but a traveller's tale, and would have filed it alongside of stories about the Gyascutus, or the pelican feeding her young with blood from her own breast. In very truth, the disposition of the buffalo troops is not surpassed by the most skillful general's arrangement of his forces. On the moment of reach

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