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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