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as if set out by the hand of art. As we cast our eyes over this fresh and delightful valley, we beheld a troop of wild horses quietly grazing on a green lawn, about a mile distant, to our right; while to our left, at nearly the same distance, were several buffaloes, some feeding, others reposing, and ruminating among the high, rich herbage, under the shade of a clump of cotton-wood trees. The whole had the appearance of a broad, beautiful tract of pasture-land, on the highly ornamented estate of some gentleman farmer, with his cattle grazing about the lawns and meadows.
4. A council of war was now held, and it was determined to profit by the present favourable opportunity, and try our hand at the grand hunting manoeuvre which is called 'ringing the wild horse.' This requires a large party of horsemen, well mounted. They extend themselves in each direction, at a certain distance apart, and gradually form a ring of two or three miles in circumference, so as to surround the game.
This must be done with extreme care, for the wild horse is the most readily alarmed inhabitant of the prairie, and can scent a hunter a great distance, if to windward.
5. The ring being formed, two or three ride toward the horses, which start off in an opposite direction. Whenever they approach the bounds of the ring, however, a huntsman presents himself, and turns them from their course. In this way they are checked, and driven back at every point, and kept galloping round and round the circle, until, being completely tired down, it is easy for hunters to ride beside them and throw the lariat over their heads. The prime horses of the most speed, courage, and endurance, however, are apt to break through and escape, so that, in general, it is the second-rate horses that are taken.
6. Preparations are now made for a hunt of this kind. The pack-horses were now taken into the woods and firmly tied to trees, lest in a rush of wild horses they should break away. Twenty-five men were then sent under the command of a lieutenant to steal along the edge of the valley within the strip of wood that skirted the hills. They were to station themselves about fifty yards apart, within the edge of the woods, and not advance or show themselves until the horses dashed in that direction.
7. Twenty-five men were sent across the valley to steal in like manner along the river bank that bordered the opposite side, and to station themselves among the trees. A third party of about the same number was to form a line, stretching across the lower part of the valley, so as to connect the two wings. Beatte and our other half-breed, Antoine, together with the everofficious Tonish, were to make a circuit through the woods so as to get to the upper part of the valley, in the rear of the horses, and drive them forward into the kind of sack that we had formed, while the two wings should join behind them and make a complete circle. au-tum'-nal graz'-ing cir-cum'-fer-ence com-plete'-ly op'-pos-ite ap-pear-ance al-armed'
en-dur'-ance fringed de-ter-mined scent
pre-par-a'tions fo'-li-age fa'-vour-a-ble di-rec-tion edge re-freshed' op-por-tun'-i-ty ap-proach' bord'-ered de-light-ed re-quires checked
sta'-tion wea'-ried grad'-u-al-ly gal'-lop-ing cir'-cle buf'-fa-lo, bison or wild ox, found gul’-lies, channels worn by running in the wilder parts of America.
water. mea'-gre, thin.
Red Riv'-er, an American river, a scrub oaks, small oak trees.
tributary of the Mississippi.
en-am'-elled, covered over.
coun'-cil of war, meeting to consider con-tem-pla'-tion, looking at.
what was to be done. mon-ot'-on-ous wastes, wild unculti- ma-neu'-vre, a clever performance.
vated country where one part ex-treme', great. is like another.
prai’-rie, a large tract of land, withdi-ver'-si-fied, varied; changed in out trees, and covered with tall appearance.
coarse grass. groves, woods of small size.
lar'-i-at, a long cord with a no se, clumps, clusters.
used in catching wild animals. dis-posed', placed.
prime, best; finest. lawn, an open space between woods. pack-hors'-es, horses which carry re-pos'-ing, resting.
the provisions and baggage. rum'-i-na-ting, chewing the cud. lieu-ten'-ant, leader or officer hold. tract, large extent.
ing the place of another. or'-na-ment-ed, adorned with trees of-fi'-ci-ous, meddlesome. or flowers.
cir'-cuit, journey round about. EXERCISES.—1. The Saxon prefix (1) under- means beneath, below ; as undervalue, to value below its worth ; underground, beneath the ground. (2) Up- means motion upwards ; as upstart, to start upwards ; uproot, to tear up by the root.
2. Analyse and parse the following : ‘The pack-horses were now taken into the woods and firmly tied to trees, lest in a rush of wild horses they should break away.'
3. Make sentences of your own, and use in each one or more of the following words : Ornament, repose, officious, circuit.
RINGING THE WILD HORSE-II. 1. The flanking parties were quietly extending themselves out of sight, on each side of the valley, and the residue were stretching themselves like the links of a chain across it, when the wild horses gave signs that they scented an enemy; snuffing the air, snorting, and looking about. At length they pranced off slowly toward the river, and disappeared behind a green bank.
2. Here, had the regulations of the chase been observed, they would have been quietly checked and turned back by the advance of a hunter from the
trees. Unluckily, however, we had our wild-fire, Jack-o'-lantern little Frenchman to deal with. Instead of keeping quietly up the right side of the valley, to get above the horses, the moment he saw them move toward the river, he broke out of the covert of woods and dashed furiously across the plain in pursuit of them.
3. This put an end to all system. The halfbreeds, and half a score of rangers, joined in the chase. Away they all went over the green bank. In a moment or two the wild horses reappeared, and came thundering down the valley, with Frenchman, halfbreeds, and rangers galloping and yelling behind them. It was in vain that the line drawn across the valley attempted to check and turn back the fugitives. They were too hotly pressed by their pursuers: in their panic they dashed through the line, and clattered down the plain.
4. The whole troop joined in the headlong chase, some of the rangers without hats or caps, their hair flying about their ears, and others with handkerchiefs tied round their heads. The buffaloes, which had been calmly ruminating among the herbage, heaved up their huge forms, gazed for a moment at the tempest that came scouring down the meadow, then turned and took to heavy, rolling flight. They were soon overtaken; the promiscuous throng were pressed together by the contracting sides of the valley, and away they went, pell-mell, hurry-skurry, wild buffalo, wild horse, wild huntsman, with clang and clatter, and whoop and halloo, that made the forests ring.
5. At length the buffaloes turned into a green brake, on the river bank, while the horses dashed up a narrow defile of the hills, with their pursuers close