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hurry. But a moment more, and the they came dragging themselves along, mother-turkey would have shared the stiff, foot-sore, gaunt, and hungry. For fate of the geese. There she lay at a day or two afterward they lay about the end of the string, with extended the kennels, seeming to dread nothing so wings, bitten and rumpled. The young much as the having to move. The roosted in a row on the fence near by, stolen hunt was their “spree,” their and had taken flight on the first alarm. “bender,” and of course they must take
Turkeys, retaining many of their wild time to get over it. instincts, are less easily captured by the Some old hunters think the fox enfox than any other of our domestic joys the chase as much as the hounds, fowls. On the slightest show of danger especially when the latter runs slow, as they take to wing, and it is not unusual, the best hounds do. The fox will wait in the locality of which I speak, to find for the hound, will eit down and listen, or them in the morning perched in the play about, crossing and recrossing and most unwonted places, as on the peak doubling upon his track, as if enjoying a of the barn or hay-shed, or on the tops mischievous consciousness of the perof the apple-trees, their tails spread and plexity he would presently cause his their manners showing much excite- pursuer. It is evident, however, that ment. Perchance one turkey is minus the fox does not always have his share her tail, the fox having succeeded in of the fun: before a swift dog, or in s getting only a mouthful of quills. deep snow, or on a wet day when his
As the brood grows and their wings tail gets bedraggled, he must put his develop, they wander far from the house best foot forward. As a last resort he in quest of grasshoppers. At such times “holes up.” Sometimes he resorts to they are all watchfulness and suspicion, numerous devices to mislead and escape Crossing the fields one day, attended by the dog altogether. He will walk in a dog that much resembled a fox, we the bed of a small creek, or on a rail. came suddenly (or rather the dog did) fence. I heard of an instance of a fox, upon a brood about one third grown, hard and long pressed, that took to a which were feeding in a pasture just rail-fence, and after walking some disbeyond a wood. Instantly, and with the tance, made a leap to one side to a holcelerity of wild game, they launched low stump, in the cavity of which he into the air, and, while the old one snugly stowed himself. The ruse 800perched upon a tree-top as if to keep an ceeded, and the dogs lost the trail ; but eye on the supposed enemy, the young the hunter coming up, passed by chance went sailing over the trees toward near the stump, when out bounded the home.
fox, his cunning availing him less than The two honnds above referred to, he deserved. On another occasion the accompanied by a cur-dog, whose busi- fox took to the public road, and stepped ness it was to mind the farm, but who with great care and precision into a took as much delight in running away sleigh-track. The hard, polished snow from prosy duty as if he had been a took no imprint of the light fuot, and schoolboy, would frequently steal off the scent was no doubt less than it and have a good hunt all by them- would have been on a rougher surface. selves, just for the fun of the thing, I May-be, also, the rogue had considered suppose. I more than half suspect that the chances of another sleigh coming it was as a kind of taunt or retaliation, along, before the hound, and obliterating that Reynard came and took the geese the trail entirely. from under their very noses.
One Audubon relates of a certain fox, morning they went off and stayed till which when started by the hounds althe afternoon of the next day; they ran ways managed to elude them at a certhe fox all day and all night, the hounds tain point. Finally the hunter concealed baying at every jump, the cur-dog silent himself in the locality, to discover, if and tenacious. When they returned possible, the trick. Presently along
came the fox, and making a leap to one and noblemen of a borough, superbly side, ran up the trunk of a fallen tree mounted, go riding over the country, which had lodged some feet from the guided by the yelling hounds, till the fox ground, and concealed himself in the is literally run down and murdered. Here top. In a few minutes the hounds came the hunter prefers a rough, mountainous up, and in their eagerness passed some country, and, as probably most persons distance beyond the point, and then know, takes advantage of the disposition went still farther, looking for the lost of the fox, when pursued by the hound, trail. Then the fox hastened down, and, to play or circle around a ridge or bold taking his back-track, fooled the dogs point, and, taking his stand near the completely.
run-way, shoots him down. I was told of & Silver-gray fox in A still-hunt rarely brings you in sight northern New York, which, when pur- of a fox, as his ears are much sharper sued by the hounds, would run till it than yours, and his tread much lighter. had hunted up another fox, or the fresh But if one is mousing in the fields, and trail of one, when it would so manœuvre you discover bim before he does you, that the hound would invariably be you may, the wind favoring, call him switched off on the second track. within a few paces of you. Secrete
In cold, dry weather the fox will some- yourself behind the fence, or times elude the hound, at least delay other object, and squeak as nearly him much, by taking to a bare, plowed like a mouse as possible. Reynard will field. The hard, dry earth seems not to hear the sound at an incredible distance. retain a particle of the scent, and the He pricks up his ears, gets the direction, hound gives a loud, long, peculiar bark, and comes trotting along as to signify he has trouble.
It is now
piciously as can be. I have never had his turn to show his wit, which he often an opportunity to try the experiment, does by passing completely around the but I know perfectly reliable persons field, and resuming the trail again where who have done it. One man, it crosses the fence or a strip of snow. ture getting his cows, called a fox which
The fact that any dry, hard surface is was too busy mousing to get the first unfavorable to the hound, suggests, in a sight, till it jumped upon the wall just measure, the explanation of the wonder- over where he sat secreted. Giving a ful faculty that all dogs in a degree loud whoop and jumping up at the same possess to track an animal by the scent time, the fox came as near being frightof the foot alone. Did you ever think ened out of his skin as I suspect a fox why a dog's nose is always wet ? Examine the nose of a fox-hound, for instance; In trapping for the fox, you get perhow very moist and sensitive! Cause haps about as much "fun" and as little this moisture to dry up, and the dog fur, as in any trapping amusement you would be as powerless to track an animal can engage in. The one feeling that as you are! The nose of the cat, you may ever seems present to the mind of Reyobserve, is but a little moist, and, as you nard, is suspicion. He does not need know, her sense of smell is far inferior experience to teach him, but seems to to that of the dog. Moisten your own know from the jump that there is such nostrils and lips, and this sense is plainly a thing as a trap, and that a trap has a sharpened. The sweat of a dog's nose, way of grasping a fox's paw that is therefore, is no doubt a vital element in more frank than friendly. Cornered in its power, and, without taking a very a hole or den, a trap can be set so that long logical stride, we may infer how a the poor creature has the desperate alterdamp, rough surface aids him in tracking native of being caught or starve. Heis game.
generally caught, though not till he has A fox-hunt in this country is, of braved hunger for a good many days. course, quite a different thing from what But to kpow all his cunning and it is in England, where all the squires shrewdness, bait him in the field, or set
in the pas
your trap by some carcass where he is cunning seems to look out of their young wont to come. In some cases he will
eyes. The parent-fox can never be examine the trap, and leave the marks caught in the den with them, but is of his contempt for it in a way you hovering near in the woods, which are cannot mistake, or else he will not ap- . always at hand, and by her warning cry proach within a rod of it. Sometimes, or bark telling them when to be on their however, he finds in a trapper more guard. She usually has at least three than his match, and is fairly caught. dens, at no great distance apart, and In such cases the trap, which must be moves stealthily in the night with her of the finest make, is never touched charge from one to the other, so as to with the bare hand, but, after being mislead her enemies. Many a party of thoroughly smoked and greased, is set in boys, and of men, too, discovering the a bed of dry ashes, or chaff, in a remote whereabouts of a litter, have gone with field where the fox has been emboldened shovels and picks, and, after digging away to dig for several successive nights for vigorously for several bours, have found morsels of toasted cheese.
only an empty hole for their pains. The A light fall of snow aids the trapper's old fox, finding her secret had been found art and conspires to Reynard's ruin. out, bad waited for darkness in the cover But how lightly he is caught, when of which to transfer her household to caught at all! barely the end of his new quarters, or else some old for-huntoes, or at most a spike through tho ter, jealous of the preservation of his middle of his foot. I once saw a large game, and getting word of the intended painting of a fox struggling with a trap destruction of the litter, had gone at dusk which held him by the hind leg, above the night before, and made some disthe gambrel-joint! A painting alongside turbance about the den, perbaps flashed of it represented a peasant driving an somo powder in its mouth-a hint which ox-team from the off-side! A fox would the shrewd animal interpreted rightly. be as likely to be caught above the gam- The more scientific aspects of the brel-joint as a farmer would to drive his question may not be without interest to team from the off-side. I knew one that some of my readers. The fox belongs was caught by the tip of the lower jaw. to the great order of flesh-eating animals He came nightly, and took the morsel of called Carnivora, and to the family cheese from the pan of the trap without called Canidæ, or dogs. The wolf is a springing it. A piece was then secured kind of wild dog, and the fox is a kind to the pan by a thread, with the result of wolt. Foxes, unlike wolves, howas above stated.
ever, never go in packs or companies, I have never been able to see clearly but hunt singly. The fox has a kind of why the mother-fox generally selects a bark, which suggests the dog, as have all burrow or hole in the open field in the members of this family. The kinwhich to have her young, except it be, as ship is further shown by the fact that some huoters maintain, for better secu- during certain periods, for the most part rity. The young foxes are wont to come in the summer, the dog cannot be made out on a warm day, and play like pup- to attack or even pursue the female fox, pies in front of the den. By having the but will run from her in the most shameview unobstructed on all sides by trees faced manner, which he will not do in the or bushes, in the cover of which danger case of any other animal except a wolf. might approach, they are less liable to Many of the ways and manners of the surprise and capture. On the slightest fox, when tamed, are also like the dog's. sound they disappear in the hole in the I once saw a young Red fox exposed for twinkling of an eye. Those who have sale in the market in Washington. A watched the gambols of the young foxes, colored man had him, and said he had speak of them as very amusing, even caught him out in Virginia. He led bim more arch and playful than those of kit- by a small chain, as he would a puppy, tens, wbilo a spirit profoundly wise and and the innocent young rascal would lay on his side and bask and sleep in the few hunters have ever seen one. The sunshine, amid all the noise and chaffer- American Fur Company used to obtain ing around him, precisely like a dog. annually from fifty to one hundred skins. He was about the size of a full-grown The skins formerly sold for twenty-five cat, and there was a bewitching beauty dollars, though I believe they now bring about him that I could hardly resist. On only about five dollars. another occasion I saw a Gray fox about The Black or Silver-gray fox is the two thirds grown, playing with a dog, rarest of all, and its skin the most valuaabout the same size, and by nothing in ble. The Indians used to estimate it the manners of either could you tell equal to forty beaver-skins. The great which was the dog and which was the Fur Companies seldom collect in a single fox,
season more than four or five skins at any Some naturalists think there are but one post. Most of those of the American two permanent species of the fox in the Fur Company come from the head-waters United States, viz., the Gray fox and of the Mississippi. One of the younger the Red fox, though there are five or six Audubons shot one in northern New varieties. The Gray fox, which is much York. The fox had been seen and fired smaller and less valuable than the Red, at many times by the hunters of the is the southern species, and is said to be neighborhood, and had come to have rarely found north of Maryland, though the reputation of leading a charmed life, in certain rocky localities along the and of being invulnerable to any thing Hudson they are common.
but a silver bullet. But Audubon In the southern States this fox is often brought her down (for it was a female) hunted in the English fashion, namely, on the second trial. She had a litter of on horseback, the riders tearing through young in the vicinity, which he also dug the country in pursuit till the animal is out, and found the nest to hold three run down and caught. This is the only black and four red ones, which fact fox that will tree. When too closely settled the question with him that black pressed, instead of taking to a den or and red often have the same parentage, hole, it climbs beyond the reach of the and are, in truth, the same species. dogs in some small tree.
The color of this fos, in a point-blank The Red fox is the northern species, view, is black, but viewed at an angle it and is rarely found further south than is a dark silver-gray, whence has arisen the mountainous districts of Virginia, the notion that the black and the silverIn the Arctio regions he gives place to gray are distinct varieties. The tip of the Arctic fox, which most of the season the tail is always white. is white.
In almost every neighborhood there The Prairie fox, the Cross fox, and are traditions of this fox, and it is the the Black or Silver-gray fox, seem only dream of young sportsmen; but I have varieties of the Red fox, as the black yet to meet the person who has seen squirrel breeds with the gray, and the one. I should go well to the north, into black woodchuck is found with the the British Possessions, if I was bent on brown. There is little to distinguish obtaining a specimen. them from the Red, except the color, One more item from the books. From though the Prairie fox is said to be the the fact that in the bone-caves in this larger of the two.
country skills of the Gray fox are found, The Cross fox is dark brown on its but none of the Red, it is inferred by muzzle and extremities, with a cross of some naturalists that the Red fox is a red and black on its shoulders and descendant from the European species, breast, which peculiarity of coloring, which it resembles in form but surpasses and not any trait in its character, gives in beauty, and its appearance on this it its name. They are very rare, and continent comparatively of recent date. PICTURES IN THE PRIVATE GALLERIES OF NEW YORK.
GALLERY OF MARSHALL O. ROBERTS. An urbane author of a time that is crated by the reverence of ages-and it past, who had the pleasing consciousness is enough for the gentle reader. This is of addressing the “gentle reader," was a picture which is almost as popular, fortunate in the temper he felt and while it appeals to much the same ferlings, touched. Accustomed to polite society, as illustrations of the lives of Catholic scrupulous about the anienities of life, Saints for devout Roman Catholics. It he knew that he must be agreeable ; and is a myth of the Puritan mind which in he was agreeable. To-day the “gentle beauty and vividness does not decline reader” seems a fiction of our fathers' before the historic splendor of the more time, and the style of the writer who prolific plastic imagination of the Cathoaddresses him is suggestive of the an- lic of the south of Europe. An ideal cient, and faded, and conventional. Yet of Protestantism is here realized. How if it were possible to revive his pleasing. much the Evangelical public has been presence he should be bere; and if, by gratified by this picture! We will not chance, we could discover his local habi. breathe a word of criticism before this tation, we would solicit the pleasure of figure consecrated by the affection and his company in the private gallery of veneration of a thousand homes. Away, Mr. Marshall O. Roberts. We would not profane and skeptical critic, nourished shock him with strange and late devel- on modern povels, modern science, modopments, but we would place him among ern French art, and American journalsome of the familiar pictures of his ism! You are before an ideal of a palmiest days; we would place him be- religious mind, albeit the ideal is in a fore Huntington of twenty years ago; conventional form. Mr. Huntington's and, instead of speaking, we should wish art can be brought in question elseto listen to him. But the gentle reader, where, and when criticism is less likely shade that he is, is likewise voiceless. to wound pious prejudices.
pious prejudices. And, after However sure of his tenderness towards all, rob the angel in his picture of the farnous pictures that were novelties lustre, and “Mercy" of grace, lower in the art of his time, we should get no the art of the painter, dispute his unverbal sign from him. But we will derstanding of form, obey the instincts even suppose him to be present; for no of a detractor, and be insensible to the spirit less gentle than his should pre- unction of Mr. Huntington's picture, and side over us in a gallery crowded with your task would not be productive of pictures that were famous ten years ago, good to any one. You might whisper but which must suffer from the present that it is most appropriate to a Sundayfashion of understanding art. Our genial school banner, but your very suggestion companion, whose face is peaceful and would be a vindication of the popular gladdening, and without a suggestion of significance and spotless purpose of the the influence of railroads and news. painter's work. papers, is suffused with pleasure be- Opposite to Huntington's picture of fore Huntington's picture of “Mercy's "Mercy's Dream” is a large picture Dream." The pure intention of the representing the “Good Samaritan." artist and the sacredness of the familiar By its size and subject it belongs to story, are united in a form of art conse- great art as understood in academies of