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I had made some courtship during this recommend himself to employment as 2. time to Miss Read. I had a great re- factor, and in time acquire wherewith to spect and affection for her, and had some trade on his own account. I approved, reasons to believe she had the same for for my part, the amusing one's self with me; but, as I was about to take a long poetry now and then, so far as to improve voyage, and we were both very young, one's language, but no further. only a little above eighteen, it was On this it was proposed that we should thought most prudent by her mother to each of us, at our next meeting, produce prevent our going too far at present, as a a piece of our own composing, in order marriage, if it was to take place, would to improve by our mutual observations, be more convenient after my return, criticisms, and corrections. As language when I should be, as I hoped, set up in and expression were what we had in view my business. Perhaps, too, she thought we excluded all considerations of invenmy expectations not so well founded as I tion by agreeing that the task should be a imagined them to be.

version of the eighteenth Psalm, which My chief acquaintances at this time describes the descent of a Deity. When were Charles Osborne, Joseph Watson, the time of our meeting drew nigh, Ralph and James Ralph, all lovers of reading. called on me first, and let me know his The two first were clerks to an eminent piece was ready. I told him I had been scrivener or conveyancer in the town, busy, and, having little inclination, had Charles Brockden; the other was a clerk done nothing. He then showed me his to a merchant. Watson was a pious, sen- piece for my opinion, and I much apsible young man, of great integrity; the proved it, as it appeared to me to have others rather more lazy in their princi- great merit. “Now," said he, “Osborne ples of religion, particularly Ralph, who, never will allow the least merit in anyas well as Collins, had been unsettled by thing of mine, but makes a thousand me, for which they both made me suffer. criticisms out of mere envy. He is not Osborne was sensible, candid, frank; sin- so jealous of you; I wish therefore, you cere and affectionate to his friends; but, would take this piece, and produce it as in literary matters, too fond of criticism.

yours; I will pretend not to have had Ralph was ingenious, genteel in his man- time, and so produce nothing. We shall ners, and extremely eloquent; I think I then hear what he will say to it.” It was never knew a prettier talker. Both were agreed, and I immediately transcribed it, great admirers of poetry, and began to that it might appear in my own hand. try their hands in little pieces. Many We met; Watson's performance was pleasant walks we have had together on read; there were some beauties in it, but Sundays in the woods, on the banks of the many defects. Osborne's was read; it Schuylkill, where we read to one another, was much better; Ralph did it justice; reand conferred on what we had read. marked some faults, but applauded the

Ralph was inclined to give himself up beauties. He himself had nothing to proentirely to poetry, not doubting that he duce. I was backward ; seemed desirous might make great proficiency in it, and of being excused; had not had sufficient even make his fortune by it.

time to correct, &c.; but no excuse could tended that the greatest poets must, when be admitted; produce I must. It was they first began to write, have committed read and repeated; Watson and Osborne as many faults as he did. Osborne en

gave up the contest, and joined in apdeavored to dissuade him, assured him he plauding it. Ralph only made some critihad no genius for poetry, and advised cisms, and proposed some amendments; him to think of nothing beyond the busi- but I defended my text. Osborne was ness he was bred to; that, in the mercan- severe against Ralph, and told me he was tile way, though he had no stock, he no better able to criticise than compose might, by his diligence and punctuality, verses. As these two were returning

He pre

home, Osborne expressed himself still I could to dissuade him from it, but he more strongly in favor of what he thought continued scribbling verses till Pope my production; having before refrained, cured him. He became, however, a as he said, lest I should think he meant pretty good prose writer. More of him to flatter me. “But who would have hereafter. But, as I may not have occaimagined,” said he, “that Franklin was sion to mention the other two, I shall just capable of such a performance; such remark here, that Watson died in my painting, such force, such fire! He has arms a few years after, much lamented even improved on the original. In com- being the best of our set. Osborne went mon conversation he seems to have no to the West Indies, where he became an choice of words; he hesitates and blun- eminent lawyer and made money, but ders; and yet, good God! how he writes!" died young. He and I made a serious When we next met, Ralph discovered the agreement, that the one who happened trick we had played, and Osborne was first to die should, if possible, make a laughed at.

friendly visit to the other, and acquaint This transaction fixed Ralph in his him how he found things in that separate resolution of becoming a poet. I did all state. But he never fulfilled his promise.

TRACKING THE ELEPHANT

THEODORE ROOSEVELT

To most people Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) typifies the ideal American citizen. As soldier and statesman he exhibited such tireless enthusiasm in the performance of his duty that at times both friends and opponents were taken aback. In the presidency he became conspicuous for his "big stick” policy and the doctrine of the strenuous life. He preached violently against race suicide, the destruction of our forests, and industrial monopoly; was instrumental in securing the Panama Canal for the United States; and was father of the Progressive Party of 1912. After his retirement from the presidential office, he spent several years in travel and exploration, notably in South America and Africa. The accompanying selection from African Game Trails, published in 1910, is a vivid narrative of personal adventure.

For two days after reaching our camp it had stopped. Of course we went in in the open glade on the mountain side it single file and on foot; not even a bear rained. We were glad of this, because it hunter from the cane-brakes of the lower meant that the elephants would not be in Mississippi could ride through that forthe bamboos, and Cuninghame and the est. We left our home camp standing, 'Ndorobowent off to hunt for fresh taking blankets and a coat and change of signs. Cuninghame is as skilful an ele- | underclothing for each of us, and two phant hunter as can be found in Africa, small Whymper tents, with enough food and is one of the very few white men able for three days; I also took my wash kit to help even the wild bushmen at their and a book from the Pigskin Library. work. By the afternoon of the second First marched the 'Ndorobo guides, each day they were fairly well satisfied as to with his spear, his blanket round his the whereabouts of the quarry.

shoulders, and a little bundle of corn and The following morning a fine rain was sweet potato. Then came Cuninghame, still falling when Cuninghame, Heller, followed by his gun-bearer. Then I and I started on our hunt; but by noon came, clad in khaki-colored flannel shirt

and khaki trousers buttoning down the From African Game Trails; copyright, 1909, 1910, by Charles Scribner's Sons. By legs, with hobnailed shoes and a thick permission of the publishers.

slouch hat; I had intended to wear rubA primitive tribe of hunter-savages in

ber-soled shoes, but the soaked ground East Africa.

was too slippery. My two gun-bearers followed, carrying the Holland and the fleshy limbs, that writhed out through the Springfield. Then came Heller, at the neighboring branches, bearing sparse head of a dozen porters and skinners; he clusters of large frondage. In places the and they were to fall behind when we forest was low, the trees thirty or forty actually struck fresh elephant spoor, but feet high, the bushes that choked the to follow our trail by the help of a Do- ground between, fifteen or twenty feet robo who was left with them.

high. In other places mighty monarchs For three hours our route lay along of the wood, straight and tall, towered the edge of the woods. We climbed into aloft to an immense height; among them and out of deep ravines in which groves were trees whose smooth, round boles of tree ferns clustered. We waded were spotted like sycamores, while far through streams of swift water, whose above our heads their gracefully spreadcourse was broken by cataract and rapid. ing branches were hung with vines like We passed through shambas, and by the mistletoe and draped with Spanish moss; doors of little hamlets of thatched bee- trees whose surfaces were corrugated and hive huts. We met flocks of goats and knotted as if they were made of bundles hairy, fat-tailed sheep guarded by boys; of great creepers; and giants whose butstrings of burden-bearing women stood tressed trunks were four times a man's meekly to one side to let us pass; parties length across. of young men sauntered by, spear in hand. | Twice we got on elephant spoor, once

Then we struck into the great forest, of a single bull, once of a party of three. and in an instant the sun was shut from Then Cuninghame and the 'Ndorobo resight by the thick screen of wet foliage. doubled their caution. They would It was a riot of twisted vines, interlacing minutely examine the fresh dung; and the trees and bushes. Only the elephant above all they continually tested the wind, paths, which, of every age, crossed and scanning the tree

scanning the tree tops, and lighting recrossed it hither and thither, made it matches to see from the smoke what the passable. One of the chief difficulties in eddies were near the ground. Each time hunting elephants in the forest is that it is after an hour's stealthy stepping and impossible to travel, except very slowly crawling along the twisted trail a slight and with much noise, off these trails, so shift of the wind in the almost still air that it is sometimes very difficult to take gave our scent to the game, and away it advantage of the wind ; and although the went before we could catch a glimpse of sight of the elephant is dull, both its it; and we resumed our walk. The elesense of hearing and its sense of smell are phant paths led up hill and down--for exceedingly acute.

the beasts are wonderful climbers and Hour after hour we worked our way wound in and out in every direction. onward through tangled forest and mat- They were marked by broken branches ted jungle. There was little sign of and the splintered and shattered trunks of bird or animal life. A troop of long- the smaller trees, especially where the haired black and white monkeys bounded elephant had stood and fed, trampling away among the tree tops. Here and down the bushes for many yards around. there brilliant flowers lightened the Where they had crossed the marshy valgloom. We ducked under vines and leys they had punched big round holes, climbed over fallen timber. Poisonous three feet deep, in the sticky mud. nettles stung our hands. We were As evening fell we pitched camp by the drenched by the wet boughs which we side of a little brook at the bottom of a brushed aside. Mosses and ferns grew ravine, and dined ravenously on bread, rank and close. The trees were of mutton, and tea. The air was keen, and strange kinds. There were huge trees under our blankets we slept in comfort with little leaves, and small trees with until dawn. Breakfast was soon over big leaves. There were trees with bare, and camp struck; and once more we be

gan our cautious progress through the left to crack under my feet. It made lim, cool archways of the mountain for- our veins thrill thus for half an hour to est.

creep stealthily along, but a few rods Two hours after leaving camp we came from the herd, never able to see it, beicross the fresh trail of a small herd of cause of the extreme denseness of the perhaps ten or fifteen elephant cows and cover, but always hearing first one and alves, but including two big herd bulls. then another of its members, and always At once we took up the trail. Cuning- trying to guess what each one might do, hame and his bush people consulted again and keeping ceaselssly ready for whatand again, scanning every track and mark ever might befall. A flock of hornbills with minute attention. The sign showed flew up with noisy clamor, but the elethat the elephants had fed in the sham- phants did not heed them. bas early in the night, had then returned At last we came in sight of the mighty to the mountain, and stood in one place game. The trail took a twist to one side, resting for several hours, and had left and there, thirty yards in front of us, we this sleeping ground some time before we made out part of the gray and massive reached it. After we had followed the head of an elephant resting his tusks on trail a short while we made the experi- the branches of a young tree. A couple ment of trying to force our own way of minutes passed before, by cautious through the jungle, so as to get the wind scrutiny, we were able to tell whether the more favorable; but our progress was too animal was a cow or a bull, and whether, slow and noisy, and we returned to the if a bull, it carried heavy enough tusks. path the elephants had beaten. Then the Then we saw that it was a big bull with Ndorobo went ahead, travelling noise- good ivory. It turned its head in my lessly and at speed. One of them was direction and I saw its eye; and I fired clad in a white blanket, and another in a a little to one side of the eye, at a spot red one, which were conspicuous; but which I thought would lead to the brain. they were too silent and cautious to let I struck exactly where I aimed, but the the beasts see them, and could tell exactly head of an elephant is enormous and the where they were and what they were do- brain small, and the bullet missed it. ing by the sounds. When these trackers However, the shock momentarily stunned waited for us they would appear before the beast. He stumbled forward, half us like ghosts; once one of them dropped falling, and as he recovered I fired with down from the branches above, having the second barrel, again aiming for the climbed a tree with monkey-like agility to brain. This time the bullet sped true, get a glimpse of the great game.

and as I lowered the rise from my shoulAt last we could hear the elephants, der, I saw the great lord of the forest and under Cuninghame's lead we walked come crashing to the ground. more cautiously than ever. The wind But at that very instant, before there was right, and the trail of one elephant was a moment's time in which to reload, led close alongside that of the rest of the the thick bushes parted immediately on herd, and parallel thereto. It was about my left front, and through them surged noon. The elephants moved slowly, and the vast bulk of a charging bull elephant, we listened to the boughs crack, and now the matted mass of tough creepers snapand then to the curious internal rum- ping like packthread before his rush. He blings of the great beasts. Carefully, every was so close that he could have touched sense on the alert, we kept pace with me with his trunk. I leaped to one side them. My double-barrel was in my and dodged behind a tree trunk, opening hands, and wherever possible, as I fol- the rifle, throwing out the empty shells, lowed the trail, I stepped in the huge and slipping in two cartridges Meanfootprints of the elephant, for where such while Cunninghame fired right and left, at a weight had pressed there were no sticks the same time throwing himself into the

we

bushes on the other side. Both his bul-keys, and as happy as possible, all, porters, lets went home, and the bull stopped short gun-bearers, and 'Ndorobo alike, began in his charge, wheeled, and immediately the work of skinning and cutting up the disappeared in the thick cover.

We ran quarry, under the leadership and superforward, but the forest had closed over vision of Heller and Cuninghame, and his wake. We heard

him trumpet

soon they were all splashed with blood shrilly, and then all sounds ceased.

from head to foot. One of the trackers The 'Ndorobo, who had quite prop- took off his blanket and squatted stark erly disappeared when this second bull naked inside the carcass the better to use charged, now went forward and soon re- his knife. Each laborer rewarded himturned with the report that he had fled at self by cutting off strips of meat for his speed, but was evidently hard hit, as there private store, and hung them in red feswas much blood on the spoor.

If

had toons from the branches round about. been only after ivory we should have fol- There was no let up in the work until it lowed him at once; but there was no tell- was stopped by darkness. ing how long a chase he might lead us; Our tents were pitched in a small open and as we desired to save the skin of the glade a hundred yards from the dead eledead elephant entire, there was no time phant. The night was clear, the stars whatever to spare. It is a formidable shone brightly, and in the west the young task, occupying many days, to preserve an moon hung just above the line of tall tree elephant for mounting in a museum, and tops. Fires were speedily kindled and if the skin is to be properly saved, it must the men sat around them, feasting and be taken off without an hour's unneces- singing in a strange minor tone until late sary delay.

in the night. The flickering light left So back we turned to where the dead them at one moment in black obscurity, tusker lay, and I felt proud indeed as I and the next brought into bold relief stood by the immense bulk of the slain their sinewy crouching figures, their dark monster and put my hand on the ivory. faces, gleaming eyes, and flashing teeth. The tusks weighed a hundred and thirty When they did sleep, two of the 'Ndorobo pounds the pair. There was the usual slept so close to the fire as to burn themscene of joyful excitement among the gun- selves; an accident to which they are bearers who had behaved excellently- prone, judging from the many scars of and among the wild bush people who had old burns on their legs. I toasted slices done the tracking for us; and, as Cuning- of elephant's heart on a pronged stick behame had predicted, the old Masai Do- fore the fire, and found it delicious; for robo, from pure delight, proceeded to I was hungry, and the night was cold. have hysterics on the body of the dead We talked of our success and exulted over elephant. The scene was repeated when it, and made our plans for the morrow; Heller and the porters appeared half an and then we turned in under our blanhour later. Then, chattering like mon- kets for another night's sleep.

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