« AnteriorContinuar »
escape, so that, in general, it is the second-rate horses that are taken.
Preparations were now made for a hunt of the kind. The pack-horses were taken into the woods and firmly tied to trees, 5 lest, in a rush of the wild horses, they should break away with
them. Twenty-five men were then sent under the command of a lieutenant, to steal along the edge of the valley within the strip of wood that skirted the hills. They were to station them
selves about fifty yards apart, within the edge of the woods, and 10 not advance or show themselves until the horses dashed in that direction.
Twenty-five men were sent across the valley, to steal in like manner along the river bank that bordered the opposite
side, and to station themselves among the trees. A third party, 15 of about the same number, was to form a line, stretching across
the lower part of the valley, so as to connect the two wings. Beatte and our other half-breed, Antoine, together with the everofficious Tonish, were to make a circuit through the woods so
as to get to the upper part of the valley, in the rear of the 20 horses, and to drive them forward into the kind of sack that
we had formed, while the two wings should join behind them and make a complete circle.
The flanking parties were quietly extending themselves, out of sight, on each side of the valley, and the rest were stretching 25 themselves, like the links of a chain across it, when the wild
horses gave signs that they scented an enemy,-snuffing the air, snorting, and looking about. • At length they pranced off slowly toward the river, and
disappeared behind a green bank. Here, had the rules of the 30 chase been observed, they would have been quietly checked and
turned back by the advance of a hunter from among the trees; unluckily, however, we had our wildfire Jack-o'-lantern little Frenchman to deal with.
Instead of keeping quietly up the right side of the valley, to 35 get above the horses, the moment he saw them move toward the river, he broke out of the thicket of woods, and dashed furiously across the plain in pursuit of them, being mounted on one of the led horses belonging to the Count. This put an end to all
system. The half-breeds and half a score of rangers joined in 5 the chase.
Away they all went over the green bank; in a moment or two the wild horses reappeared, and came thundering down the Valley, with Frenchman, half-breeds, and rangers galloping and
Velling like mad behind them. It was in vain that the line 10 drawn across the valley attempted to check and turn back the
fugitives. They were too hotly pressed by their pursuers; in their panic they dashed through the line, and clattered down the plain.
- The whole troop joined in the headlong chase, some of the 15 rangers without hats or caps, their hair flying about their ears,
others with handkerchiefs tied round their heads. The buffaloes, who had been calmly ruminating among the herbage, heaved up their huge forms, gazed for a moment with astonishment at
the tempest that came scouring down the meadow, then turned 20 and took to heavy-rolling flight. They were soon overtaken;
the mixed throng were pressed together by the sides of the valley, and away they went, pell-mell, hurry-scurry, wild buffalo, wild horse, wild huntsman, with clang and clatter, and whoop and
halloo, that made the forests ring. 25 At length the buffaloes turned into a green brake on the river
bank, while the horses dashed up a narrow defile of the hills, with their pursuers close at their heels. Beatte passed several of them, having fixed his eye upon a fine Pawnee horse, that had
his ears slit, and saddle marks upon his back. He pressed him 30 gallantly, but lost him in the woods.
Among the wild horses was a fine black mare. In scrambling up the defile, she tripped and fell. A young ranger sprang from his horse, and seized her by the mane and muzzle. Another
ranger dismounted, and came to his assistance. The mare strug. 35 gled fiercely, kicking and biting, and striking with her fore feet,
but a noose was slipped over her head and her struggles were in vain. It was some time, however, before she gave over rearing and plunging, and lashing out with her feet on every side. The
two rangers then led her along the valley by two long lariats, 5 which enabled them to keep at a sufficient distance on each side
to be out of the reach of her hoofs, and whenever she struck out in one direction, she was jerked in the other. In this way her spirit was gradually subdued.
As to little Tonish, who had marred the whole scene by his 10 rashness, he had been more successful than he deserved, having
managed to catch a beautiful cream-colored colt, about seven months old, which had not strength to keep up with its companions. The little Frenchman was beside himself with joy.
It was amusing to see him with his prize. The colt would rear 15 and kick, and struggle to get free, when Tonish would take
him about the neck, wrestle with him, jump on his back, and cut as many antics as a monkey with a kitten.
Nothing surprised me more, however, than to see how soon these poor animals, thus taken from the unbounded freedom of 20 the prairie, yielded to the control of man. In the course of
two or three days the mare and colt went with the led horses, and became quite docile.
HELPS TO STUDY
Notes and Questions Historical: In 1832 Irving made “A Tour on the Prairies” of what was at that time the Far West beyond the Mississippi, where, he says, “there is neither to be seen the log house of the white man, nor the wigwam of the Indian." The above selection is taken from his account of a month's stay “beyond the outposts of human habitation."
Find the Red River on some map | What preparations did Irving's in your geography.
party make for the hunt? What picture do the first three Tell the story of the hunt and paragraphs give you?
the capture. Tell how “ringing the wild | Who broke the rules of the horse" is accomplished.
What was the effect of this?
ease with which these horses were Do you like this description tamed! Why
Tell what you can about the What does Irving say about the l author.
Words and Phrases for Study PRONUNCIATION:
ragʻ-ged (răg'-ěd) lăr'-1-åt di-min'-u-tive
doc'-ile (dos'-il) di-ver'-si-fied (vûr) fu'-gi-tives (fū’-ji-tīvs) ru'-mi-nāt'-ing (roo') in-hăb'-i-tănt re-pos’-ing (poz) of-fi'-cious (o-fish'-ės) lieu-těn'-ănt (1ů) dé-file her’-bage (ür’-båj) rid'-gěs (rỉj'-ěs) må-neu'-vér (noo) gủl’-lies (iz) cir-cŭm'-fer-ěnce (sēr)
ümifer-ěnce (sēr grāz'-ing
prai'-rie (prā’-ri) scent (sént) cir'.cuit (sûr'kit) rāng'-er (jēr) rē’-ap-pear' (pēr) Paw-nee (pô-nē') ăn-ties whoop (hoop) marred (märd)
păn'-ic-—a great and sudden fright; terror. prime-first in excellence; of highest quality. brake-a thicket; a dense growth of shrubs.
WORDS AND PHRASES:
“council of war's
“pack-horses" “half-breed” “ever-officious" “flanking parties” “pranced off' "wildfire Jack-o'-lantern” “led horses" “ rangers” “thundering down the valley's “hotly pressed” "scouring down the meadow' “heavy-rolling flight”. “pressed him gallantly”
marred the whole scene” “unbounded freedom” "docile" «inbabitant of the prairie" "headlong chase” “dashed furiously”
.THE ARROW AND THE SONG
HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) was a native of Maine and a graduate of Bowdoin (bö'd’n) College, in the same class with Hawthorne. He became a professor in Bowdoin College and later at Harvard College. He was gentle and kind and a lover of children, for whom he wrote with simplicity and grace.
I shot an arrow into the air,
I breathed a song into the air,
Long, long afterward, in an oak
HELPS TO STUDY
Notes and Questions What became of the arrow? Of | Where was the song found? the song?
Point out lines that rhyme. Where was the arrow found? What is Longfellow's purpose in When?