The Arctic Prairies By Ernest Thompson Seton

 -  I used the pump, but saw that it
failed to operate; on going forward the Grouse skimmed away and
returned - Page 10
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I Used The Pump, But Saw That It Failed To Operate; On Going Forward The Grouse Skimmed Away And Returned No More.

Preble said, "Never mind; there will be another every hundred yards all the way down the river, later on.

" I could only reply, "The chance never comes but once," and so it proved. We heard Grouse drumming many times afterward, but the sun was low, or the places densely shaded, or the mosquitoes made conditions impossible for silent watching; the perfect chance came but once, as it always does, and I lost it.

About twenty miles below the Landing we found the abandoned winter hut of a trapper; on the roof were the dried up bodies of 1 Skunk, 2 Foxes, and 30 Lynxes, besides the bones of 2 Moose, showing the nature of the wild life about.

That night, as the river was brimming and safe, we tied up to the scows and drifted, making 30 more miles, or 60 since embarking.

In the early morning, I was much struck by the lifelessness of the scene. The great river stretched away northward, the hills rose abruptly from the water's edge, everywhere extended the superb spruce forest, here fortunately unburnt; but there seemed no sign of living creature outside of our own numerous, noisy, and picturesque party. River, hills, and woods were calm and silent. It was impressive, if disappointing; and, when at last the fir stillness was broken by a succession of trumpet notes from the Great Pileated Woodpecker, the sound went rolling on and on, in reverberating echoes that might well have alarmed the bird himself.

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