Puslapio vaizdai

but the melancholy soughing of the winds
through the lonely cypress.
leaped from his horse, and, commanding
Old Asa
silence, knelt and placed his ear close to the
ground. For a few moments the silence
was painful. Then, springing to his feet, he

"All right, boys! The b'ar has turned toward camp; I heard them distinctly; they are fighting very close."

"How will we cross the bayou?" asked Rogers. "It would bog a saddle-blanket here."

"Follow me, young un," said old Asa, "and I'll l'arn you what never did-how to cross a boggy bayou." school-master your

Then proceeding up the bayou, he selected a spot where the cypress-knees were thickest, and led the way safely across; then pushing rapidly forward, flanking the canebrake and keeping to the open woods, after a detour of a mile we were again in hearing of the pack.

"He has turned back," shouted old Asa. "Scatter out across the opening, and some of us will get a shot."

We promptly obeyed the order, and soon heard them coming, crashing through the canebrake like a cyclone. Presently, out jumped the bear, near Major Duncan's stand, with the dogs pressing him like a legion of furies. As the major attempted

to shoot, his horse wheeled, and before he could turn, the bear had seen him and





turned back into the cane, facing a score the opening, and crossed close to Rogers, of dogs rather than one hunter; going farther down the cane he again burst into who had dismounted and was standing by a fallen tree. As the bear leaped the log, Rogers fired. Although a bear is a large animal, yet, when he is running, he is not so good a target as one would think. If the


an oak, and seated himself in a fork about twenty feet from the ground.

By this time my companions had arrived, and it was agreed that Rogers, who had never killed a bear, should have the shot. He took his position in front of the tree and attempted to get a sight at the bear's head, but a bear's head is a bad target, as it is in constant motion, and the frontal bones are so sharp and hard that, unless the hunter makes a center shot, the ball will glance and do but little harm; moreover, when wounded, however slightly, the bear is almost sure to abandon the tree. At the report of Rogers's gun, though slightly stunned by the glancing ball, Bruin threw his arms around the tree on the opposite side, and came down, as old Asa said, “like a streak of greased lightning." The pack covered him as he touched the earth, Major Duncan rushed to the rescue of the dogs, who are almost sure to get hurt if a bear is wounded; but the dogs were so thick the major could not shoot. I saw Bravo caught in Bruin's arms, and saw the major push a couple of dogs aside and fire, but he only succeeded in knocking the brute down and releasing the old dog. At the same moment a stroke of Bruin's paw sent the major's gun spinning through the air. The bear then rushed away into the canebrake. Around and around within the space of a few hundred yards, the battle raged fiercely. The hunters were all scattered through the canebrake, when the bear chanced to head directly for Rogers, who fired, and as the bear charged, took to his heels, and but for the courage of the dogs, would have been caught.


Except old Asa, who carried a rifle, we were all armed with short, double-barrel shot-guns, loaded with buck and ball. This, in my judgment, is the most effective weapon for bears, as they are generally shot in a tree or on the ground at close quarters; and after the labors of a bear-chase the nerves are apt to be a little shaky for drawing a fine bead with a rifle.

reader will attempt to put a ball through the center of a barrel-head while it is in rapid motion, he will have some idea of shooting at a running bear. Rogers missed, but the dogs, encouraged by the report of his gun, attacked with renewed vigor. Across the open woods in plain view we beheld a grand sight. As the dogs charged at the report of Rogers's gun, Rocket, a large, active fellow (a cross between a mastiff and a greyhound), seeing the way clear, made a dash, and catching one of the bear's hind feet, tripped him so adroitly that he rolled over on his back, and before he could recover was covered with dogs. But a sweep of his huge paws scattered his foes in every direction. It was like Samson among the Philistines. A few leaps and he again reached the canebrake, and soon we heard the dogs at bay. We dismounted, hitched our horses, and quietly proceeded on foot to the scene of action. But it was slow work, for the bear always seeks the heaviest canebrake for his battle-ground. We had to creep and crawl, sometimes prostrate upon the ground, under the tangled mass of cane and vines, often having to use our hunting-knives in disentangling ourselves.

Cutting our way through the mass of cane, we reached the outer circle of dogs and beheld the bear sitting with his back against the trunk of a tree, his fore paws just touching the toes of his hind ones as they projected up in front of him. With his rear thus protected, he stood at bay, occasionally making a rush for a dog who had ventured too near, and when he had scattered his foes, returning to his position, pressed again in turn by the dogs he had pursued. It was a splendid picture-the huge beast, shaggy and grim, with the white froth dripping from his red lips and lolling tongue, beset on every side, fighting a host, relying alone upon the strength of his mighty arm to keep his foes at bay. At length, greatly worried, he resolved to do what a large fat bear greatly dislikes, viz., take a tree. Making a rush, as a feint to scatter his enemies, he sprang up into

At the report of the gun, the maddened pack covered the game again, and he had to stop to shake them off. Rearing on his hind feet, he would strike down with his fore paws, his long, sharp claws making the "fur fly" wherever they struck. The bear generally strikes downward, as he is pigeontoed, and from the conformation of his fore-arm cannot well strike laterally, when rampant. If, perchance, he catches a dog in his giant arms, he does not squeeze him to death, but simply holds him while he bites; but I am digressing.

Rogers had gained on the bear by the dogs' renewed attack, but as soon as Bruin had shaken them off he again pursued his human foe, when old Asa, pushing Rogers aside, heroically stepped in front, and dropping on one knee, threw his rifle to his shoulder and fired. The bear, though

mortally wounded, sprang upon him. I was close at hand, but could not shoot without the risk of hurting my friend. I shouted to the pack. Regardless of danger, the brave dogs rushed to the rescue, and again covered the bear, just as he had seized old Asa by the leg. I sprang forward, and reaching the opposite side, struck a well-directed blow, and fell back, leaving my knife in the monster's heart. The experienced hunter always strikes a bear from the opposite side to which he stands, as the bear is sure to turn to the side from whence he receives the blow; and woe to the unlucky hunter caught in his death-grasp. As the bear rolled over and expired, old Asa sprang to his feet and exclaimed, as he grasped my hand: "Bully for you, old pard! A leetle more an' I would have been mince-pie for that tarnal critter, tryin' to save Greeny, thar. That's what one gets by taking an onedicated greenhorn into the woods. My brave dogs are literally chawed into sassage-meat, and the calf of my leg feels as if it had a redhot spindle through it. Hoopee, good dogs!" And, at the voice of affection from their master, they gathered around him, while the old hunter sat on the carcass of the bear and caressed his battlescarred pets, examining all of their wounds before he looked at his own. After sympathizing with his pack, which they gratefully recognized by piteous whines, he allowed his own wound to be examined. It proved to be an ugly, though not dangerous, bite on the calf of the leg.


Boys," he said, "we are only a mile from camp, and if I can get to the bayou just outside of this cane,

I can walk with less pain than I can ride through the brake."

Refusing all assistance, the old hunter started for camp alone, and, getting into the bayou, waded into the cold water, as he said, to numb the pain. We skinned and cut up the bear, which was no easy task, as a bear's hide does not peel off like a deer's, but is tight on his body, like a hog's, the removal of every inch requiring the assistance of the knife. We reached camp by dark, and found old Asa with his leg poulticed with medicinal herbs, in the virtues of which he was well acquainted. Wounded as he was, the old man was the life of the camp. He smoked his pipe and cracked jokes at everybody. Calling Hannibal, he instructed him in the mysteries of making a "filibuster." He first took the caul-fat, or bear's handkerchief, and spread it out on the inside of the fresh hide; then he cut slices of liver and choice bits of bear-meat, in the selection of which he was a connoisseur. Between the layers he placed a very thin slice of bacon, all the time rolling it in the caul-fat, occasionally inserting sprigs of fragrant spice-wood, as he said to give it a flavor, until a large meat sandwich was made. Then, sticking a wooden skewer through it, he roasted it before the fire. And a more savory dish never regaled the palate or olfactories of a hungry hunter.

In summing up the casualties of the fight, we found two dogs killed and seven wounded-three severely. Quiet at length settled upon our camp, the hoot of the barred owl alone breaking the stillness of the night. But it did not disturb the peaceful dreams of dogs or hunters, or of Hannibal, snoring to the accompaniment of the kettle, which hummed a lullaby as it prepared the head of Bruin for to-morrow's repast.



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THE reader of these pages who is not learned in natural history may need to be told that the finding of a large new moth, in a field believed to be so well explored as the United States, is an event of great rarity. The recent discovery near New Orleans, by Baron L. von Reizenstein, of the above unusually large and beautiful Smerinthus, has already awakened the surprise and admiration of the entomologists who have known of it,-including Professor J. H. Comstock, late Government entomologist, and Augustus R. Grote, Esq., editor of " Papilio," -who unite in regarding the species as not only clearly distinct from any other heretofore classified, but also intrinsically remarkable for size and beauty. Readers of "Madame Delphine" and "The Grandissimes" will be glad to note the compliment which has been paid to the author of those books in the choice of the specific name by the discoverer, from whose letter to us we make the following extracts.-ED. S. M.

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"The discovery of the larva from which I reared this conspicuous moth was made

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on the 18th of August, 1880, about six miles from New Orleans. I left the city on the ten o'clock night train, to hasten to Spanish Fort* for the purpose of entomological researches along the outlet of the Bayou St. John and the rear portion of the park. Annoyed by the continual shop-talk of three passengers opposite, I left my seat, went out on the platform, and inhaled the pure air of an exquisitely beautiful night, after a day almost as perfect. When the train had arrived at the Lake depot, I noticed Orion shining brilliantly in the cloudless sky, as if to rival the pouring floods of electricity with which the park was lighted. Thousands of people were here gathered, strolling gayly along the luxurious gardens of this summer retreat, unaware of the great treasures which nature offered in remoter places, whither I directed my steps. This fire-ocean was in reality an

A place of public resort, projected in miniature after the features of Coney Island, and situated at the mouth of the historic Bayou St. John, where it opens into Lake Pontchartrain.

imposing spectacle. The electric light illu- | long-sought-for connecting link between. minated for many miles the whole region beyond the limits of the salt-marshes, touched the remotest bungalows of the fishermen, and seemed sometimes to kiss the spires of New Orleans. In such a night you see before you, allured by the intensity of light, the whole insect world, and all the quivering nations of flies, which sport

'Thick in yon stream of light, a thousand ways, Upwards and downwards, thwarting and convolved.'

Skirting a reedy region, covered with water ankle-deep, I forced my way through creeping and trailing vines, intermixed with the trumpet-shaped red flowers of the Bignonia radicans; then through a pass fringed here and there with dense bushes of hawthorn, sweet-brier, and mimosa. Right here was the spot to look for entomological treasures, and in the next moment occurred an event that left a deep impression on my mind. My heart gave a leap-here was a wholly unexpected discovery! Here, in the full splendor of the electric light, I observed a large unknown larva, preeminent of all I ever saw, feeding on the leaves of the pickerel weed (Pontederia). My hand trembled as I seized the rare creature and hurried it quickly into the depths of my collection etui-an empty cigar-box, provided with numerous air-holes. Satisfied if I might get this home in safety, I did not stop to look for others, but extricated myself from the tangle as best I could.

"The new species seems to me to supply the missing link' between the true Sphingida and Bombycide. Within the limits of the United States there are known to be seven different species of the sub-genus Smerinthus, which are separated from the Sphinges proper: Smerinthus geminatus, myops, and juglandis, of the Southern States; S. Astylus and modestus, of the Lake Michigan region; excaecatus, of the Eastern States, and S. opthalmicus, of California-none of which exceeds three and a half inches in breadth, and all of which have in general a dusky coloration. My new species measures over five inches in breadth, and has a quite different style of coloration from the other Smerinthi, and many other important characteristics that warrant its separation from that genus. In the larval state it differs entirely from the larvae of our known Smerinthi, and, in fact, of all other known Sphinges. The larva resembles more those of the Bombycid genus Attacus, and I believe that it is the

VOL. XXII.-68.

Smerinthus and Selea Polyphemus and Samia licropia, those well-known gigantic moths of our States. The primaries or fore-wings of the new moth, when quite fresh from the chrysalis, are of a pale slate-color, interrupted with dark, cloudy bands, which show a somewhat greenish luster. The secondaries or hind-wings present a beautiful contrast. About in the middle is seen a large white crescent, surrounded by a deep black band. The remaining surface of the hindwings is shaded off with brilliant crimson. The under side of the wings is comparatively less vivid, if I exclude a large crimson patch on the fore-wings. The outer margins of the primaries are deeply notched and have by degrees lighter and darker tints. The antennæ are very prominent, strongly serrated, and of extraordinary length.

"But I must not forget the description of the wonderful larva. Its body is of a very clear bluish-green color, with a broad coralred dorsal line. There are golden lateral stripes on each side of the body, which is dotted with innumerable golden atoms of the greatest brilliancy. The head is of a triangular shape, similar to Smerinthus, but considerably more extended and pointed. The presence of the coral-red colored warts on the fourth segment is an astonishing ornamentation, which occurs only in the genus Dryocampa, and in some of the Saturniada.


Being the first describer of the above insect, I have, according to the custom recognized among scientific men, the right to name it. In honor of Mr. George W. Cable, who is so much identified with Louisiana as citizen and littérateur, I propose to name the insect Smerinthus Cablei. "L. VON REIZENSTEIN."

Some to whom the present discovery has become known have offered the conjecture that the larva found at Spanish Fort may have been carried from some portion of the Greater or Lesser Antilles, on drift moving across the Gulf of Mexico by the force of currents or of winds. But neither by currents nor winds could such an event be brought within the bounds of probability. The currents of the Gulf on its northern side set powerfully eastward through the straits of Florida. The nearest coast in the West Indies, that of Cuba, is several hundred miles from that of Louisiana, and the

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