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From "Hunting the Grizzly," with the permission of G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York and London, publishers


One of my valued friends in the mountains, and one of the best hunters with whom I ever traveled, was a man who had a peculiarly light-hearted way of looking at conventional social obligations. Though in some ways a true backwoods Donatello, he was a man of much shrewdness and of great courage and resolution. Moreover, he possessed what only a few men do possess, the capacity to tell the truth. He saw facts as they were, and could tell them as they were, and he never told an untruth unless for very weighty reasons. He was preeminently a philosopher, of a happy, skeptical turn of mind. He had no prejudices.

On one occasion when we were out together we killed a bear, and after skinning it, took a bath in a lake. I noticed he had a scar on the side of his foot, and asked him how he got it, to which he responded, with indifference:

"Oh, that? Why, a man shootin' at me to make me dance, that was all."

I expressed some curiosity in the matter, and he went on: "Well, the way of it was this: It was when I was keeping a saloon in New Mexico, and there was a man there by the name of Fowler, and there was a reward on him of three thousand dollars-"

"Put on him by the State ?"

"No, put on by his wife," said my friend; "and there was this

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"Hold on," I interrupted; "put on by his wife, did you say?"

"Yes, by his wife. Him and her had been keepin' a faro bank, you see, and they quarreled about it, so she just put a reward on him, and so

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"Excuse me," I said, "but do you mean to say that this reward was put on publicly ?" to which my friend answered with an air of gentlemanly boredom at being interrupted to gratify my thirst for irrelevant detail:

"Oh, no, not publicly. She just mentioned it to six or eight intimate personal friends."

"Go on," I responded, somewhat overcome by this instance of the primitive simplicity with which New Mexican matrimonial disputes were managed, and he continued:—

"Well, two men come ridin' in to see me to borrow my guns. My guns was Colt's self-cockers. It was a new thing then, and they was the only ones in town. These come to me, and 'Simpson,' says they, 'we want to borrow your guns; we are goin' to kill Fowler.'

"Hold on for a moment,' said I, 'I am willin' to lend you them guns, but I ain't goin' to know what you'r' goin' to do with them, no, sir; but of course you can have the guns."" Here my friend's face lightened pleasantly, and he continued:

"Well, you may easily believe I felt surprised next day when Fowler come ridin' in, and, says he, 'Simpson, here's your guns!' He had shot them two men! 'Well, Fowler,' says I, 'if I had known them men was after


I'd never

have let them have the guns nohow,' says I.

That wasn't true, for I did know it, but there was no cause to tell him that."

I murmured my approval of such prudence, and Simpson continued, his eyes gradually brightening with the light of agreeable reminiscence:

"Well, they up and they took Fowler before the justice of peace. The justice of the peace was a Turk."

"Now, Simpson, what do you mean by that?" I interrupted.

"Well, he come from Turkey," said Simpson, and I again sank back, wondering briefly what particular variety of Mediterranean outcast had drifted down to Mexico to be made a justice of the peace. Simpson laughed and continued: "That Fowler was a funny fellow. The Turk, he committed Fowler, and Fowler, he riz up and knocked him down and tromped all over him and made him let him go !" "That was an appeal to a higher law," I observed. Simpson assented cheerily, and continued:

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"Well, that Turk, he got nervous for fear Fowler was goin' to kill him, and so he comes to me and offers me twenty-five dollars a day to protect him from Fowler; and I went to Fowler, and 'Fowler,' says I, 'that Turk's offered me twenty-five dollars a day to protect him from you. Now, I ain't goin' to get shot for no twenty-five dollars a day, and if you are goin' to kill the Turk, just say so and go and do it; but if you ain't goin' to kill the Turk, there's no reason why I shouldn't earn that twenty-five dollars a day !' and Fowler, says he, 'I ain't goin' to touch the Turk; you just go right ahead and protect him.'"

So Simpson "protected" the Turk from the imaginary

danger of Fowler, for about a week, at twenty-five dollars a day.

Then one evening he happened to go out and meet Fowler, "and," said he, "the moment I saw him I know he felt mean, for he begun to shoot at my feet," which certainly did seem to offer presumptive evidence of meanness. Simpson continued:

"I didn't have no gun, so I just had to stand there and take it until something distracted his attention, and I went off home to get my gun and kill him, but I wanted to do it perfectly lawful; so I went up to the mayor (he was playin' poker with one of the judges), and says I to him, 'Mr. Mayor,' says I, 'I am goin' to shoot Fowler.' And the mayor he riz out of his chair and he took me by the hand, and says he, 'Mr. Simpson, if you do I will stand by you'; and the judge he says, 'I'll go on your bond.""

Fortified by this cordial approval of the executive and judicial branches of the government, Mr. Simpson started on his quest. Meanwhile, however, Fowler had cut up another prominent citizen, and they already had him in jail. The friends of law and order, feeling some little distrust as to the permanency of their own zeal for righteousness, thought it best to settle the matter before there was time for cooling, and accordingly, headed by Simpson, the mayor, the judge, the Turk, and other prominent citizens of the town, they broke into the jail and hanged Fowler. The point in the hanging which especially tickled my friend's fancy as he lingered over the reminiscence was one that was rather too ghastly to appeal to our own sense of humor. In the Turk's mind there still rankled the memory of Fowler's very unprofessional conduct while figuring before

him as a criminal. Said Simpson, with a merry twinkle of the eye: "Do you know, that Turk, he was a right funny fellow too after all. Just as the boys were going to string up Fowler, says he, 'Boys, stop; one moment, gentlemen, — Mr. Fowler, good-by,' and he blew a kiss to him!"


From "Departmental Ditties," with the permission of A. P. Watt and Son, London, and Doubleday, Page and Company, New York


You may talk o' gin and beer

When you're quartered safe out 'ere,

An' you're sent to penny-fights an' Aldershot it;

But when it comes to slaughter

You will do your work on water,

An' you'll lick the bloomin' boots of 'im that's got it.
Now in Injia's sunny clime,

Where I used to spend my time
A-servin' of 'Er Majesty the Queen,
Of all them blackfaced crew

The finest man I knew

Was our regimental bhisti, Gunga Din.
He was "Din! Din! Din!

You limping lump o' brick-dust, Gunga Din!

Hi! slippery hitherao!

Water, get it! Panee lao! 1

You squidgy-nosed old idol, Gunga Din."

The uniform 'e wore

Was nothin' much before,

1 Bring water swiftly.

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