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tercup, though in every other respect it appears quite identical with our Eastern plant. Along the borders of the small streams, especially where the ground was shaded, grew a small variety of our evening primrose, of several tints, from pale straw-color to nearly orange; and in low, moist spots I noticed several specimens of a flower only differing from this in the possession of black spots and a carinated structure dividing the corolla into segments, upon the middle of each of the petals. Another plant, which seemed to me a species of the abutilon, had handsome cupellate blossoms of a deep-orange color, striated longitudinally along the petals with delicate pale yellow. Here and there grew a white species closely allied to our garden “rocket;” and a wild sunflower, with a root which I found quite as edible and as flavorous as our Jerusalem artichoke, was very common on all the slopes of the divides. But the two most charming flowers of the region, the one for its perfume, the other for its color, were a tiny species having the habits and appearance of the water-lily, to whose family I supposed it to belong, and a crimson cup as large as a small althea, whose only name among the ranche people was “the ground poppy,” though whether it be really allied to that plant I regret my inability to state. Its plant-leaves are multilobed, and somewhat like those of our own poppy; but it grows upon running stalks close to the ground, and to unscientific eyes seems quite as closely connected with the mallows. It appears in patches varying from a few feet to several rods in circuit, and wherever these occur, the ground is one gorgeous mass of magenta fire. It is the glory of the fertile plains in May and early June, and we afterward found it extending for miles among the barren sanddunes beyond Fort Kearney, encroaching upon the ter. ritory of the cacti and the gramma-grass. Wherever it appears, it is the chief visual delight of the Plains, Flora. The tiny water-lily above mentioned, I only found once in all our progress to the buffalo country. We had halted at the bottom of a wet-draw to water our horses. I went above the place where they were drinking, to quench my thirst at a brown pool which appeared a trifle less stagnant than their wateringplace, and, lying down with my face over the water, noticed an exquisitely subtle fragrance like that of tuberose and orange-flower combined. On pushing away the weeds which grew out over the pool, I found a nest of lovely white blossoms, smaller than the smallest strawberry-flower, shaped like an Eastern waterlily in miniature, with delicate yellow stamens and pistil, and moored on the water by slender green filaments rooted in the ooze of the pool. No American blossom that I am acquainted with, not even the trailing arbutus, possesses such an indescribable ethereal fragrance as this tiny water-lily. I sought in vain to preserve specimens of it. The pages of the note-book in which I pressed them, absorbed the petals as if they had been dew, and only stains were left, having none of the flower's characteristic odor. We had been travelling less than an hour, and had crossed a wet ravine, called “White Ash Draw,” between our original divide and the next further south, when we saw our first antelope. He was a mere glancing spot on the sunny side of a slope two miles off, and disappeared too soon to be resolved by the field-glass. From that time forward we were continually uncovering pairs or groups of these lovely creatures, and before noon got near enough to some of them for
a shot. Butler's rifle brought down a fine young buck.
a quadruped, sometimes rather like a rocket than either. Occasionally we surprised a pair of antelopes on a wide area of even ground, where we could watch their stampede for alonger period without obstruction; and the study of their motion became a perfect delight to the eye. They seldom or never leapt like deer, but ran with level backs, and in smooth rhythm, like sheep, — their legs glancing faster than sight could follow. We got no expression for this peculiar gait till George Comstock, looking at a flock of them in full flight, ejaculated, idiomatically, “Lord! don't they open and shet lively l’” It was quite amusing to see them baffle the attempts of one of our mounted men, whose enthusiasm overcame his experience. Clapping spurs to his horse, he rode with all his might at a flock of them, feeding within long rifle-shot, and came about eighty yards from them before they snuffed him and turned tail. For nearly ten minutes they treated him as a butterfly treats a school-boy. Putting half a mile between them and his panting horse in as little time as it takes to write it, they paused, stood with their noses in air, and seemed to be having a quiet laugh among themselves; let him approach nearly as close as before, and then floated away, on a line at right angles to their former retreat, tempting him with the delusion that he might head them off. As often as he turned, they repeated these tactics, until at last he stopped, quite provoked at himself, and with his horse thoroughly winded, to see their “clean linen” flash for an instant in the sun, as they went out of sight among some thick cotton-woods, on the edge of a distant run. It was about as hopeful a piece of business as trying to run down a telegraph message.
Later in the day, we learned the only way to hunt antelope with unvarying success. It is an old Indian method, and the white men on the Plains have learned as much adroitness in it as their exemplars. The antelope is not afraid of horses; and by walking in the cover of his saddle-animal, the hunter can get quite near a flock without being discovered, provided he approaches against the wind. If the wind blows from him, it is astonishing how quickly their scent warns them of him, without the least aid from their eyes. Having got as near them as he dares in this way, he throws the coil of his lariat down from the saddle-horn, crouches and pickets his horse with a sharp stake, always carried with him for the purpose. Lying in the grass, he ties his bright colored bandanna (a strip of white cloth will answer, faute de mieux) to a tall sunflower stalk, his ramrod, or a stick of any kind. If still too far off to attract his game, he crawls low on his hands and knees, dragging his rifle by his side, until he reaches a spot of such prominence that they would be sure to see him in an instant if he stood up. There he quietly lies down again on his stomach, and lifts his extemporized flag as high as he can reach. The antelopes see it, stop browsing, raise their heads, and peer forward with bulging eyes, but show no signs of fright. The flag is for a moment dropped out of sight into the grass. The beautiful creatures lower their noses, and attempt to resume their dinner. But there is something on their minds. After one or two distrait pulls at the sweet grass-roots, their heads are again lifted, and again they peer earnestly forward. Up goes the flag once more, and this time perhaps with a slow waving motion. The antelopes' curiosity is now thor