An Old And
Experienced Trapper, When Mounting Guard Upon The Camp In Dark
Nights And Times Of Peril, Gives Heedful Attention To All The
Sounds And Signs Of The Horses.
No enemy enters nor approaches
the camp without attracting their notice, and their movements not
only give a vague alarm, but it is said, will even indicate to
the knowing trapper the very quarter whence the danger threatens.
In the daytime, too, while a hunter is engaged on the prairie,
cutting up the deer or buffalo he has slain, he depends upon his
faithful horse as a sentinel. The sagacious animal sees and
smells all round him, and by his starting and whinnying, gives
notice of the approach of strangers. There seems to be a dumb
communion and fellowship, a sort of fraternal sympathy between
the hunter and his horse. They mutually rely upon each other for
company and protection; and nothing is more difficult, it is
said, than to surprise an experienced hunter on the prairie while
his old and favorite steed is at his side.
Montero had not long removed his camp from the vicinity of the
Crows, and fixed himself in his new quarters, when the Blackfeet
marauders discovered his cantonment, and began to haunt the
vicinity, He kept up a vigilant watch, however, and foiled every
attempt of the enemy, who, at length, seemed to have given up in
despair, and abandoned the neighborhood. The trappers relaxed
their vigilance, therefore, and one night, after a day of severe
labor, no guards were posted, and the whole camp was soon asleep.
Toward midnight, however, the lightest sleepers were roused by
the trampling of hoofs; and, giving the alarm, the whole party
were immediately on their legs and hastened to the pens.
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