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“THEY STARTED For THE FARTHER SIDE SWIMMING SIDE BY SIDE **
real thing and that's something. It ain't a bad idea to remember that everything in the woods will run from you if you let it alone, unless it's a she bear with cubs and even then she's not looking for trouble,” said Jack.” “Talking about bears, I got a little start myself last fall,” remarked George. “I was on a buckboard down near the Kibby, along in the edge of the evening, and two other fellows with me, when the horses acted restless and, looking ahead, I saw what I took to be a man walking in the road. He looked big to me, though at dusk one's eyes are not to be trusted, still I was a little leary when I heard the clank of a chain as he turned off into the woods. “It was a big bear with a trap fastened upon his left forepaw and as his trail showed next morning, he had come along alternately dragging the clog, which had been broken off at one end, and holding it off the ground with his other forearm. He had swung that thing against trees, stopped and torn at them in his rage until he had scarred numerous trunks along the way, mute evidences of his might when fierce with pain. It was a small job to run him down and hand him his finish in a dense growth of young spruces.” “Say, if you lads want some good stuff for pictures, I'd advise you to hot foot for the Kibby, since George has
spoken of it. Beaver and deer are about as thick as mud and you can't lose. There's a good camp right there and trout fishing galore. I'll take time off and go along if you say the word.” “Surest thing you know, Harry. We won't say—we'll yell. Will you make it to-morrow P” “As well then as any time for me. You need some strong arm chap to carry the truck. Suppose we whip the stream from a canoe and keep quiet while we do it. I'll lay my head you'll see some pretty sights before night and, perhaps, after supper as well.” “Us to the lily whites then, for I know your early starts. Hate to appear inhospitable to this bunch, but I’m about to wind up the clock, turn out the cat and forget this world. Good-night, old scouts. Come to my birthday to-morrow evening.” “How many of those do you have on this trip? That makes four since we left Ed. Grose's hotel at Stratton. You're living too fast for me, Hank. Get on a freight train for awhile.” “Children don't count, Clyde. You're mussed up too easy for your own comfort. Sand the rail, you're slipping, you're slipping.” Along the Kibby there is a diversity of scenery that keeps one continually on the qui vive at the prospect of witmessing forest drama or comedy at every turn of the winding waterway. Here the shore slopes gradually to the stream from light growth of popple and birch, there it breaks suddenly into high-banked margins, heavily overgrown with evergreen spruce or hemlock. Skirting a bit of country of bolder character, Harry's sharp eye, attuned to the harmony of woodsy shades, detected the light brown of a doe's body against low waterside bushes as he peered through undergrowth and silently motioned for caution. Stepping to his side, “But” gave expression to a chuckle and smile of appreciation. Standing well into the deeper water, so that the flow barely cleared her belly, the mother deer posed quietly, watching, with apparent amusement, the eager attempts of a young fawn to secure its supper. Nothing noting of the advent of interested parties, it was an easy matter to approach within sixty yards as our friends were down the wind from the game and their sensitive noses caught no warning scent. After “But” had roughly sketched suggestions for the finished picture, two snapshots were taken, one as the animals stood at ease and the other when a startled doe left her fawn for the forest depths at a conspicuous wave of Jack's hand. The little one saw nothing and remained in the water, looking about and bleating for its mother, who was now invisible. “Walk up this road a little way and go quietly. The doe will circle and return to this spot as sure as we are three men and a boy. Steady, Irish, where are you, you beggar?” Just at their feet was a hollow log and as Harry gazed about for his terrier, a yellow nose pushed out from the other end toward the road and remained rigid with eyes glaring straight ahead. The object of his gaze became theirs, the doe returned and stared at her child in the stream. A quick glance about and failing to discover the causes of her previous alarm, she stepped softly down the bank, swam over to the fawn and together they started for the farther shore, swimming side by side. “But” sketched rapidly, the cameras got in their work and spattering muddy water in all directions, the pair of beauties legged it away through the woods. “Fish for supper, eh? Clyde, get busy and we'll soon have a fire going in the cabin. There's one of the best places on the stream where the water breaks at the foot of the swift current. It's up to Jack to use that new axe on some firewood and when you return with the finnies, ‘But will clean them for you. He likes the job.” “Dying for it and in it, that's a pipe. Don't catch onto a whale and fall in the drink, though. I have no use for water after my trip on the broncho.” Twenty minutes later he was down on his knees on a big rock in the
stream, cleaning a dozen trout Clyde had placed his trade-markon. Harry watched his chance when “But” was rot looking his way and threw a rock into the water near him. Starting suddenly to look for his disturber, “But' dropped one of the slippery trout, reached over for it quickly, lost his balance and fell full length into the drink, where he floundered, spitting his mouth clear of the Kibby and vowing vengeance upon the perpetrator of the crime. “You grinning hyenas look just alike to me and while I have my suspicions who did that, I don't suppose he'll own up. Nix with that camera, Jack! You don't illustrate any of your jokes at my expense,” but he was too late and his picture, all dripping from the stream, will help make him famous some day. “Guess you'll discover you're in a prohibition state, where everyone has to learn to drink rain water, “But.' You'll rust your iron constitution if you take too much both outside and in, though,” chuckled the Brooklynite. “Never mind the dousing—I didn't get it. There's a subject for you, “But,’ that will make you forget the stream.” Perhaps a couple of hundred yards north of the Kibby some very respectable hills, showing bare ledges on the side next the water, formed a grand background for an interesting neartragedy. Slinking along the edge of the ravine, a red fox could be seen approaching the resting place of a brace of grouse who seemed all unmindful of his threatening tactics. “But” put the field-glasses on him and watched eagerly for detail, while the general outline could be plainly seen by his companions. That supper in prospective looked mighty good to Brother Reynold and one could almost see his mouth water as he gradually drew near and set himself for a rush. A long, graceful bound to the very edge of the cliff, but just a trifle too late, and all joined in a laugh at the manifest discomfiture of the hunter as he sat back on his haunches and gazed, longingly, at the birds, booming their way down the valley with not so much as the loss of a feather. If ever there was a heartbroken fox, he was it. “Looks like a big night to me. We have illustrations enough now to satisfy a man for a month's travel, let alone four days. Did you say supper, Harry? I'm just a little hard of hearing when a man mentions grub. How in the dickens did you cook those fish without a frying pan? Boiled them? Who ever heard of that way of dishing them up and what do you eat on them?” “Lots of butter. Boiling them saves washing dishes and I do despise grease. They're not so bad. Do I beat my wife's cooking?” “Not you, sweetheart. Mrs. Pierce has a way of splitting them open and frying them flat that beats the world. Never ate such cooking as hers, in the woods or out. If you could find griddle marks on them, you'd swear they were broiled. That comes of having a red hot spider before she puts the fish in at all; eh, Harry?” “Camp secrets—can't tell.” No one owned a better moonlight
night over any property in New England than the one upon which they gazed after supper and that is equivalent to saying there is none better in the world, for no territory can successfully dispute New England's claim to the best of everything if they have tested the question. The evening was one of those perfectly quiet ones when every little sound is magnified many times and seems very near when, in really, it is quite a distance away. Sitting on the back porch of the cabin with pipes alight, no one spoke for several minutes, the sense of perfect peace blotting out all small talk. Away in the distance a wise old owl hooted, and immediately subsided as though ashamed of his silence-breaking. A gentle splash in the stream told the tragic tale of a cannibal trout and a murdered fly. A soft rustling in the low growth suggested some prowling child of the forest taking a quiet peek at those silent figures with the visible breath. “Gee, that must have been a big fish,” ejaculated “But.” “I’d like to get him on the end of a silken line.”
“You’d have a picnic, you would. That's no fish, but beaver at work under that bank and there's their house, see it—that mass of sticks close in shore—looks like a bunch of wreckage.” “Me for a try at a sketch of those workmen,” and crawling on all fours to the edge of the bank, the artist slowly craned his neck at the busy family scene beneath him. Plainly visible in the moonlight, he was blessed with the unusual privilege of seeing the operations of three beaver, one large male, a female and a young one. The father was busily cutting away at a popple log on the beach, the mother worked on top of the house and the youngster was gamboling about in shallow water, occasionally diving into deeper places for the swim home again. Three beautiful specimens with those ridiculous tails. The frontispiece of this issue is a faithful reproduction of a very beautiful scene. Two days at Kibby Pond Camps, located on a high ridge between the stream and lake, under the protection of the mountain of like name, were productive of many fine sketches and snapshots of deer, which became so common that Clyde was led to remark: “It looks too easy to get game. I've had chances to shoot a dozen deer within two days. What'll happen when the sportsmen get here in October? “At the first crack of a hostile rifle, in open season, the denizens of the woods know it and when you see them at all they are likely to be on the jump. Deer know as well as you do when men are out for a killing with the sanction of the law, and realize they must use nature's weapons in their own defense, Call it what you will, there is some subtle force in the killing fever that communicates a warning to game. “How often I have seen ducks peacefully feeding until a hawk sailed into view across the horizon. They lifted their heads, gazed long at him, rose rapidly and scurried down the wind at sixty miles an hour.
“Another day and they feed without anxiety when a hawk appears after raking that one long look. What's the secret? The first hawk was hungry and hunting a breakfast. They knew it by instinct. The second was not hunting food and they knew that. How? You tell. Many a good man will go home skunked this Fall, when we know the country is full of game by the evidence of our own eyes.” Three days after the return to King and Bartlett, but one day remained of the time allotted to this work and plans were laid to cross the four mile trail to Big Spencer Lake for a day's try at togue, where the big fellows run to a weight of nearly twenty pounds. Passing Beck Pond, five deer were seen at once in the neighborhood of the trailside spring and two attempts to get them on the run proved abortive. Sport at the lake was entirely satisfactory, but no large game was in sight except at a long distance from the camp, where two deer swam the narrows. Toward evening, Maurice produced a mysterious bundle from his pack and put together a big jack lamp that when lighted threw a strong and steady beam fifty feet across the trail to the canoes. Busy with a three-handed game of cribbage, no one noticed his movements until he asked: “Want to come for a sneak act on the lake?” “To the end of the world and beyond me, bucko, if I could see my hand before me,” answered “But.” “Something doing in the amen corner,” remarked Jack, as he caught a flash of light from the lamp. “Here's the chance of your life to see some royal sport. Not a firearm with us, not even a knife, but if this sketchist will follow the leading canoe I'll promise him some impressions worth putting on paper. Jacking deer at evening is fine fun, as they come down to drink and they will gaze at the new brand of lightning when the light is in their eyes, wondering why it does not flash and go out. In you go and we'll keep close to shore with not even a whisper from any of us. Sneak your pad