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carried, one for sheltering their packs at night and the other for sleeping purposes.
In his book called “The Wilderness Hunter,” Mr. Roosevelt has given many of the details of this grand hunt, which he says was one of the most exciting as well as most pleasurable undertaken. With an interest that cannot be mistaken, and which betrays the true sportsman at every turn, he gives minute descriptions of how the tents were erected, how everything in camp was put in its proper place, and how on wet days they would huddle around the camp-fire in the middle of the larger tent to keep warm and dry. He also tells how the packs on the horses were adjusted, and adds that the hunter who cannot take care of his outfit while on the hunt, or who must have all his game stalked for him, is a hunter in name only; — which is literally true, as every genuine sportsman knows.
The young Civil Service Commissioner went out garbed in a fitting hunting costume, consisting of a buckskin shirt, with stout leggings, and moccasins, or, when occasion required, alligator-leather boots. Heavy overcoats were also carried and plenty of
blankets, and for extra cold nights Theodore Roosevelt had a fur sleeping-bag, in which, no doubt, he slept “as snug as a bug in a rug."
The horses of a pack-train in the wild West are not always thoroughly broken, and although the majority rarely do anything worse than lag behind or stray away, yet occasionally one or another will indulge in antics far from desired. This was true on the present occasion, when at different times the pack-beasts went on a “shindy that upset all calculations and scattered packs far and wide, causing a general alarm and hard work on the part of all hands to restore quietness and order.
For two days the hunters pushed on into the mountains with but little signs of game. Then a rain-storm set in which made the outlook a dismal one.
“Going to have a big storm,” said one of the old hunters.
“Never mind, we'll have to take it as it comes, was Mr. Roosevelt's philosophical
“We can't expect good weather every day.”
It was almost noon of that day when all
heard the call of a bull elk, echoing over the hills. The sound came from no great distance, and in the face of the rain, Theodore Roosevelt and the hunter named Woody set off on foot after the beast, who was still calling as loudly as ever.
It was not long before the hunters could hear the bull plainly, as he pawed the earth, a challenge to another bull who was answering him from a great distance.
“We are gettin' closer to him,” said Woody. “Got to go slow now, or he'll take alarm and be off like a flash.”
The timber was rather thin, and the ground was covered with moss and fallen leaves, and over this the pair glided as silently as shadows, until Woody declared that the bull was not over a hundred yards away.
“ And he's in a tearing rage, on account of that other bull,” he added. “Got to plug him fair and square or there will be trouble.”
Without replying to this, Theodore Roosevelt took the lead, keeping eyes and ears wide open for anything that might come to hand. Then through the trees he caught
sight of the stately horns of the elk, as he stood with head thrown back, repeating his call in trumpet-like tones.
As the hunters came closer, the elk faced around and caught sight of his human enemies. Up went his antlers once more, as if to defy them.
“ He's coming !” shouted Woody. And scarcely had he spoken when Theodore Roosevelt took aim and fired at the animal. There was a snort and a gasp, and the elk turned to run away. Then Roosevelt fired a second shot, and over went the monarch of the forest in his death agony. It was a fine bit of game to bring down, the antlers having twelve prongs. The head was cut off and taken back to camp, along with a small part of the best of the meat.
After that the forward march was resumed in the face of a sweeping rain that wet everybody to the skin. On they went until, just as the rain ceased, they reached a bold plateau, overlooking what is called Two-Ocean Pass, a wild and wonderful freak of nature, surrounded by lofty mountains and watered by streams and brooks flowing in several directions. Far up the
mountains could be seen the snow-drifts, while lower down were the heavy forests and underbrush, the haunts of the game they were seeking
In this Wonderland Theodore Roosevelt hunted to his heart's content for many days — bringing down several more elk and also a fair variety of smaller game. It was now growing colder, and knowing that the winter season was close at hand, the hunters decided to strike camp and return homeward.
The movement was made none too soon. The snow was already filling the air, and one morning, on coming from his tent, Theodore Roosevelt found the ground covered to a depth of a foot and a half. To add to his discomfort the pony he was riding began to buck that day and managed to dislocate his rider's thumb. But Theodore Roosevelt stuck to him and showed him who was master; and after that matters went better. The snow continued to come down, and before the end of the journey was reached, at Great Geyser Basin, the hunters almost perished from the cold.
Such pictures as the above give us some idea of the varied life that Theodore Roose