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and went in a length a-head of Emma*. Being distanced for this fortunate and unintentional cross, the race was given to Emma, the winner of the preceding heat. We say fortunate, for by this means all disputes respecting the first heat were set aside. According to all racing laws, either the first heat went for nothing and it was a false start, or Whitefoot and Jocelyn were distanced, and consequently could not start for the second.
The next race was a Match for 50 sovs., 15st. each, between Capt. King's Archie (Mr. White) and Captain Hovenden's Saltfish (Mr. A. M'Donough), and was won easily by the former. From the weights it may be fairly presumed that the owners both belong to the heavies.
The Coplow followed next, once the leading attraction at this Meeting, but now, in common with most Cocktail Stakes, fallen into insignificance a prelude, we trust, to their abolition.
THE BILLESDON COPLOW STAKES of 25 sovs. each, h. ft., for horses not thorough-bred:-fouryear-olds, 10st. 9lb.; five, 11st. 7fb.; six, 12st.; and aged, 12st. 21b.-Mares allowed 3lb.A winner of the Bosworth to carry 51b.; of the Coplow or the Tally-ho, 7fb. extra; of two of the preceding Stakes, or one of them twice, 14lb. extra.-Gentlemen Riders. The winner to subscribe to this Stake and the Granby Handicap in 1841, and pay 15 sovs, to the Fand.→ Fifteen subs.
Mr. Bell's Fernely, by Gainsborough, 4 yrs (Capt. Williams)...
Not placed:-Mr. Maley's Bellissima, 5 yrs, won twice (Mr. W. Sadler); Mr. Jones's Bolivar, aged (Mr. Kent); and Colonel Thompson's Hamlet, 6 yrs (Owner).
Betting: 2 to 1 agst Fernely, 9 to 4 agst Arctic, and 5 to 1 each agst the others. Hamlet took the lead at starting, and when round the first turn made running at a strong pace, his rider evidently unable to hold him; Bolivar second, Arctic and Bellissima together, and Fernely a length behind in this order they went nearly to the straight running, when Hamlet dropped astern. When near the distance Bellissima was in front, but could not keep the lead; half way up Arctic had beat Bolivar; Fernely now came up, passed Arctic, and won by a neck.
A GOLD CUP, added to a Handicap of 20 sovs. each, 10 ft. and only 5 if declared by February 20, for horses of all denominations, two-year-olds excepted.-The winner of the Granby to carry 10tb., and of the Coplow, 71b. extra.-To start at the Scurry Post, and go once round, nearly two miles. Twenty-five subs., of whom eight paid 5 sovs, and ten 10 sovs.
Mr. Fairlie's The Hydra, by Sir Hercules, 5 yrs, 11st. llb. (Capt. Pettit)...
Not placed:-Mr. H. S. Thompson's Van Buren, 6 yrs, 10st. 2lb. (Owner); Mr. Harrison's Tumbler, 6 yrs, 10st. 2fb. (Mr. Whitworth); Lord Waterford's Cardinal Puff, 6 yrs, 13st. 5lb. (Owner); Mr. Rush's Pickwick, 6 yrs, 11st. 10lb. (Mr. Kent); and Mr. Milward's b. g. by Brutandorf, half-bred, 5 yrs, 10st. 1lb. (Captain Barton).
Betting: 5 to 4 agst Hydra, 3 to 1 agst Blue Pill, 5 to 1 agst Pickwick, 6 to 1 agst The Cardinal, and 8 to 1 agst Van Buren.-The Hydra was first off, but at the turn was passed by Tumbler and Mr. Milward's; the latter made strong running to the last turn, where The Hydra took the lead two or three lengths in advance, all the others passing the Brutandorf gelding. Blue Pill and Van Buren made a good race for the second place, The Hydra winning easily. Cardinal Paff ran honestly and well both in this race and that of the day before, and landed well among the lot at the straight run, but, being so Allan's speech to Mr. Stokes, the owner of Whitefoot, in praise of his horse, was very characteristic:-" By the powers, Sir, I wish I could afford to make you a present of him, for then, you know, he would be mine."
enormously weighted, could not go the pace. The horses not placed by the Judge came in in the order placed in our list.
THE MELTON PLATE of 50 sovs., given by the Inhabitants of Melton Mowbray, added to a Sweep-
Lord Chesterfield's Prizeflower, half-bred, 6 yrs, 12st. 12lb. (Lord Wilton).. 2
Not placed :-Mr. Doncaster's Single-weeper, 4 yrs, 10st. 9lb. (Capt. Pettit); Sir D. Baird's Morning Star, aged, 12st. 2lb. (Owner); Mr. Bestow's Speculation, 5 yrs, 11st. 6fb. (Mr. Rushton). Betting: 6 to 4 on Prizeflower.-The Marquis made strong running from the second turn, was never headed, and won easy, amidst the cheers of all on the ground. The mobility, with whom he appears an especial favorite, gave him in addition plenty of good advice. “Now,
my Lord, don't get off, mind and wait till you're weighed," was the cry which greeted him from these admirers all the way back to the weighing-house he laughed and received the admonitions with great good humor.
In the preceding races we have mentioned the sum actually added ; to have done this with the Melton Plate would have brought the sum to 43 sovs.—an illegal Stake for a Plate. At the same time we cannot help expressing an opinion that there is no greater humbug than professing to give a certain amount, and then deducting a fourth of it as a bonus to other Plates or towards expenses.
A Free Handicap of 5 sovs. each, with 25 added; once round.— The following accepted :
Lord Waterford's Cardinal Puff, 13st. (Owner).
Lord Waterford's Redwing, 10st. 8fb. (Capt. Pettit).
Mr. Rush's Pickwick, 12st. (Mr. Kent).
Mr. Thompson's Van Buren, 11st. 6lb. (Owner).
Cardinal Puff took the lead at a good pace, Blue Pill and Van Buren next, Redwing and Pickwick lying behind. On coming up the straight run Redwing passed all but the Cardinal; when half way up the distance he was close upon him: a severe struggle ensued, spite of the Marquis telling his jockey that he wished to win, and a dead heat was declared, Cardinal Puff afterwards walking over. As the Marquis was cantering up to the starting post, Lord Rosslyn inquired with which he meant to win." With neither," was the prompt reply.
Thus ended this highly interesting Meeting, which appeared to give universal satisfaction. The course was in admirable galloping condition, not being nearly so heavy as usual. There are three Stewards, but all the active part of the business appears to devolve on Lord Wilton, the Marquis of Granby not being present, and Lord Forester being a sleeping partner as far as the racing arrangements are concerned. We believe there is every prospect of an equally good, if not superior Meeting next year, Mr. Assheton Smith having contributed £100 to the Fund. Would the Duke of Rutland allow the course to be improved, and the worthy but not very capable Judge be pleased to resign, Croxton Park Races would be second to none at this early season of the year.
"DID you ever hunt a skunk?" was the question put to me by an old North-west fur-trader when we were out in the bush and looking after racoons. Answering him in the negative, he replied, grinning in his peculiar manner, "Then, if you can help it, never do." After a short pause he continued, "I have, although much against my own inclination, and, I assure you, but little to my personal comfort or satisfaction."
The pole-cat of North America, there commonly known by the name of "skunk," is a great deal larger than our pole-cat; and in the disagreeable odour it emits at pleasure far surpasses that or any other animal I ever in all my peregrinations came in contact with. The largest skunks are nearly the size of our badger, resembling that animal a good deal in shape; their bodies being much stouter than those in general of that class of animals to which they belong.
During our excursion my companion related an adventure which he had had some years before with a family or party of skunks; "but that was," he said, "when it was all an etarnal everlasting wilderness, and long before there had been a settlement at Green Bay west of Lake Michigan." It appeared that one day he was out with his rifle, accompanied by an old and faithful companion, a dog of the common breed among the north-west traders of those days, being a cross between a wolf-hound and a half-cur, half Newfoundland-at all events one whose identity could with difficulty be more regularly defined-and he rejoiced in the name of "Rover." That day my friend had deviated a little from his usual pursuits, for his favorite and more regular game consisted of deer, elk, an occasional bear or two, pheasants, and wild pigeons during their visits to those parts; but on the day in question he amused himself with shooting mud-turtle. It may be observed, that at particular seasons of the year the mud-turtles mount upon the horizontal stems of the prostrate trees which through the lapse of ages have tumbled headlong from the contiguous banks of the lakes and rivers into the water. Upon these they will bask or sleep in the sun for several hours; but if they accidentally become alarmed or disturbed, they crawl back as fast as possible into the water. On the day alluded to my companion had amused himself, for it was a bright and sunny morning, with shooting mud-turtle on the shore of a small secluded lake where these amphibious gentry were very abundant. They are not generally considered good eating, although I have occasionally met with persons, and some of them epicures too, that professed to consider the mud-turtle "quite a delicacy." In general the northwest traders are not over particular about a dinner, the produce of the waters and the woods being their sole dependence, and yet not at all imes to be depended on.
On the day in question he had succeeded in shooting two or three of the "muddies," and Rover had just landed with another fine large fellow that a rifle-ball had knocked off the log where it was sleeping into a somewhat shallow part of the water, when all on a sudden a suffocating odour seemed diffused through the surrounding atmosphere,
VOL. XXI.-SECOND SERIES.--No. 121.
but it was the well-known effluvia given out by the obnoxious skunk. A momentary impulse induced him to call to his attendant, "Rover, seek him out;" but Rover, ever ready to obey orders, on the present occasion slouched his mongrel ears, stuck his tail within his hind legs, and slunk behind his astonished master. Where the stench arose from the hunter was unable to devise; but from its more than ordinarily overpowering nature it was evident that the unseen object was close at hand. The Sportsman was about to pick up the "muddy" that Rover had recently deposited, close to the turned-up roots of an old pine tree that had fallen headlong into the water, with the view of "cutting" as quickly as possible; but when in the very act of stooping for that purpose, a small stream of liquid matter, the genuine concentrated essence of skunk, was ejected with considerable force in his face, and no small quantity of which hit him directly in one eye! He assured me that the shock sustained by the nervous system was not to be conceived: for some minutes he scarcely knew what he was about, and he imagined that his eye was irretrievably gone, for the pain occasioned by this new species of eye-water was excessively severe, while the diabolical smell was literally suffocating. In the midst of his sufferings he again called upon Rover to "seck him out;" but Rover turned a deaf ear to all his entreaties. When he had partially recovered his sight, he was astonished at the scene that presented itself under the roots of the tree, for he actually beheld two old skunks, male and female, and two or three, he could not be certain which, young ones; but instead of attempting to approach them, and offering them battle, he was only anxious to escape, to breathe an atmosphere of comparative salubrity: but, alas! he knew it was impossible for him to meet with it that day, for he carried too much of the fetid essence about his own person. The "muddies" were all left behind for the benefit of the skunk family, provided they had a taste for turtle; and he assured me that during a long career in the wildernesses of the north-west, he had never been less successful, nor ever spent so deplorable a day as the one in question.
Several years afterwards I was angling in an elegant trout-streamto use an Americanism, for, as regarded appearances, there certainly was but little elegance connected with the scene. The stream itself was one of those headlong rivulets so common among the mountain ranges through which the Alleghany river forces a passage in its way to the great Valley of the Ohio; and in its downward course there was nothing appertaining to the term elegant, saving and except the beautiful trout which abounded in the succession of little pools occasioned by the frequent interruption of its course by prostrate and decaying trees, over which the transparent streamlet made continual leaps or little cascades. During the spring and early part of summer I used to make frequent excursions to the stream in question, notwithstanding my residence lay several miles off, for I had formed an opinion that the trout I caught there were superior in flavor to the trout found in any of the creeks and streams in the same neighbourhood.
I used to mount my horse and ride as far as riding was practicable, and, when there was no longer a possibility of travelling in this manner, leave my horse at the cottage of the last settler, pursuing my way on
foot through the woods to the well-known fishing ground. The skunks were pretty abundant in that vicinity: indeed of that fact my nose was continually reminding me. That, however, was the case generally in the wild and mountainous range of country before alluded to, to the great annoyance of such of the settlers as attempted to rear poultry ; for there is no other animal-neither the insinuating weasel, nor the prowling fox-that commits equal depredations in the poultry-house, although from the powerful odour these animals carry about with them they are often detected, and made to suffer the penalty they so richly
On one of these excursions I had been engaged some hours in angling with a bait which in summer is a very killing one, live grasshoppers; when, on mounting the trunk of a huge prostrate tree, and in the act of looking down on the other side for a convenient place to alight upon, I beheld a moderate-sized animal, half under the bole of the tree, and at the moment could make out neither kind nor quality, for I was not aware of the presence of a particle of that effluvia which skunks usually communicate to the circumambient atmosphere. After a few moment's inspection of the unconscious creature-for it was evidently fast asleep to my confusion, I may almost say horror, I made it out to be a skunk! What I had best do I knew not: if I retreated, it was very probable I should awake the creature; if I advanced, I was certain of doing so; and to remain any length of time where I was was out of the question, as it might awake any moment. I believe I should have attempted a retreat, had I not been aware of some beautiful trout-pools just below, where I had many a time killed several good fish. A thought struck me that I would attempt the destruction of the vile marplot, and that had to be effected by the stock of my fishing-rod. Fishing-rods in the American forests are mostly home-made articles"domestic," as the Natives would say, and none of your flash townmade wares. The butt of mine had been manufactured out of the heart of a beautiful piece of straight-grained pine timber, the extremity being neither hooped nor iron-shod, but pointed withal, for the purpose of sticking it in the bank occasionally, as circumstances might require. I forthwith proceeded to examine it, but I found it in no condition to penetrate the tough hide of my intended victim. I therefore cautiously took out my pocket-knife, and soon brought the butt end of my rod to such a point as I calculated would answer my purpose, that of impaling the miserable sleeping wretch beneath me. I then placed the stock of my fishing-rod in such a position against the side of the prostrate log upon which I was standing, as to give an aim and steadiness to the intended blow; and having brought the sharpened point to within halfa-foot of the animal's body, I gave my weapon so forcible a push that after passing directly through the creature's body, it penetrated the soft ground below to a depth of at least a foot. The moment I had done this, finding the creature securely impaled, I took to my heels up the valley, in order to escape, if possible, from the stench I knew would be sent forth. In a great degree, however, this I found impossible; for notwithstanding the slight breeze was something in my favor, I soon found myself overtaken by the infected atmosphere. After some little delay I soon ventured to return to look after my fishing-rod and its