It was lovely in the early morning to stand on some high hill and watch the mist rising lazily from the valley; it was even more lovely to watch the approach of a rainstorm. The sunlight on some distant hillside or valley would suddenly be blotted out by a sheet of rain a few minutes later the next valley would be darkened as the storm swept toward us, and perhaps before it reached us we could see the farther valleys over which it had passed lightening again.
We managed to cover a great deal of ground during that week, and were rewarded by seeing a fair amount of game-four caribou, of which one was a bull, a bull and three cow moose, and six does and one buck deer. I had but one shot, and that was at a buck deer. We wanted meat very much, and Bill said that he didn’t think one shot would disturb the moose and caribou. He was a very large buck, in prime condition; I never tasted better venison. Had our luck been a little better, I would have had a shot at a moose and a caribou; we saw the latter from some distance, and made a long and successful stalk until Wirre, on his way from the main camp with some fresh supplies, frightened our quarry away.
On these trips between camps, Wirre several times saw moose and caribou within range.
After a week all foregathered at the main camp, Clarke had shot a fine bear and Jamieson brought in a good moose head. They started down-river with their trophies, and Thompson and I set out for new hunting grounds. As bill had gone with Jamieson, I took his son Willie, a sturdy, pony-built fellow of just my age. We crossed the river and camped some two miles beyond it and about a mile from the lake we intended to hunt. We put up a lean-to, and in front of it built a great fire of old pine logs, for the nights were cold.
My blankets were warm, and it was only after a great deal of wavering hesitation that I could pluck up courage to roll out of them in the penetrating cold of early morning. On the second morning, as we made our way through dew-soaked underbrush to the lake, we came out upon a little glade, at the farther end of which stood a caribou. He sprang away as he saw us, but halted behind a bush to reconnoiter-the victim of a fatal curiosity, for it gave me my opportunity and I brought him down. Although he was large in body, he had a very poor head. I spent a busy morning preparing the skin, but in the afternoon we were again at the lake watching for moose. We spent several fruitless days there.
One afternoon a yearling bull moose appeared: he had apparently lost his mother, for he wandered aimlessly around for several hours, bewailing his fate. This watching would have been pleasant enough as a rest cure, but since I was hunting and very anxious to get my game, it became a rather irksome affair. However, I could only follow Saint Augustine’s advice, “when in Rome, fast on Saturdays,” and I resigned myself to adopting Willie’s plan of waiting for the game to come to us instead of pursuing my own inclination and setting out to find the game. Luckily, I had some books with me, and passed the days pleasantly enough reading Voltaire and Boileau. There was a beaver-house at one end of the lake, and between four and five the beaver would come out and swim around. I missed a shot at one. Red squirrels were very plentiful and would chatter excitedly at us from a distance of a few feet. There was one particularly persistent little chap who did everything in his power to attract attention. He would sit in the conventional squirrel attitude upon a branch, and chirp, precisely as if he were an automaton.
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