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Mode of Hunting the Jaguar in South America.
ever price he chose to demand. The his flocks, would never, I apprehend, butter, or Manteca de Marano, as they induce him to risk a single combat call the lard, was also in great demand with such fierce animals ; but there is among the grandees, who fried most of a stronger stimulus, viz. that killing their food in it. A party of eight would seven jaguars, or six tigers, will give destroy two or three hundred badgers him the title of guapo, or warrior, and and a quantity of deer, on their return entitle him to choose the fattest virgin home, beside guanas. These hunting for his companion in the tribe ; for parties are so delightful, even to the with them the lady who is most en bon women, that the hopes of being allow- point is most beautiful. This alone is ed to accompany the men will be a a sufficient inducement; and they enstimulus to conduct themselves proper- deavour to complete their task as early ly the year round. On those excur as the age of seventeen. . On the apsions they live well, and seem more proach of the breeding season, they happy than during the rainy season : watch with great assiduity the battles in their way home they travel day and that take place between the male and night rapidly, in spite of all obstruc- female, as this is a sure indication of tions, carrying long poles between her littering, not wishing to have the them, on which the animals are slung; male know where she deposits the the skins and lard the boys carry. The cubs, as some, naturalists assert that
are certainly the heaviest he eats them; others, that he hugs loaded, and must keep pace with those them to death. However this be, she gentry; the dogs too are better fed never suffers him to approach the junduring this period, and seem to return gle, if I may be allowed to call it so, with regret. A cloud of vultures gen- until they are able to run after her. erally hover over them, and are seen During this period, he awaits her with - by their clans a day or two before they the most tender solicitude, and even arrive, who make every preparation to brings her a portion of his prey. He receive them: their return is greeted is seen hovering instinctively about the like that of victors. The rainy nights place where she is couched at noonare passed in recounting their exploits tide. When the Laneros perceives one to another.
this, he envelops himself in a jaguar's THE JAGUAR.
skin, and approaches him, taking good The taking of this fierce creature care to have the wind in his favour, forms a portion of the warlike features as the jaguar's keen scent would soon distinguishing the Indians of South discover the imposition. Even this America, particularly the Laneros, or sagacity and instinct they think they men of the plains, though these crea- have got over, by burning plantain tures "invariably avoid the haunts of leaves so as to take away any human men, and commit very little depreda- scent the body has for hours; though tions on any property unless sheep and this is probably a fancy. As soon as goats, as the forest affords them plenty the Laneros perceives the jaguar, he of prey, and their sagacity is great in runs from him on all fours, and endiscovering the numerous herds of deer deavours to mimic the whining cry of and mountain goats. Fierce in his the beast, which by some is said to be habits, he will not attack man, unless like a cat, or like hogs crouching in a he scents human blood; in this case stye; the latter is what I would comhis thirst gets the better of him, and he pare them to, as I have seen them mushas been frequently known at night to tering by night previous to hunting. leap over six or seven file of men, in As soon as the male perceives him, he attempting to reach a wounded man: bounds towards him ; when the Laneof this the Laneros are so well con ros dexterously throws the nooșe over vinced that they encompass the wounds him, and soon strangles him. Someed. One inducement a Laneros has times he wounds him with his lance, in pursuing the jaguar is the honour of and then a sanguinary conflict takes the feat,-for the value of its skin, and place. As the Laneros has his left the little depredations it commits on arm well bound round with tanned
horse-skin, impervious to the jaguar's tusks, he presents his left hand; as soon Pero de Agua water-dog, and otter as the jaguar seizes it, he is stabbed are synonimous terms in both lanwith a long knife, which seldom misses guages. As hunting this species of the heart, as the principal excellence otter in South America forms a recreaof a guapo is killing the beast with as tion for the grandees or better sort of few stabs as possible. As soon as he gentry for two or three months in the despatches the male, the female be- year, like our grousing or partridge comes an easy prey. Sometimes the shooting parties, an account of their Laneros, when their numbers are com- aquatic excursions may prove interestplete, will, to prove their dexterity and ing. In the month of May the parties address, decoy the jaguar into a defile, assemble by previous arrangement, when the man uncovers and shows composed principally of the chief inhimself; the jaguar endeavours to re- habitants of these districts and their treat, but is prevented by other In- relatives or clans and visitors, male dians, who scare him with fire-brands, slaves, muleteers, &c. Having asfor they can produce fire by rubbing cended the waterfalls, they encamp two pieces of wood together, as quick near those clear and transparent rivers as if with tinder. In this manner they in which otters abound in great numsometimes worry hini with dogs, while bers. After the business of physicking they keep him at bay uptil the women the blood-hounds and a species of arrive to witness their cruelty. As the bluish cur without any hair, they make jaguar gets frantic, he endeavours to their bunting dispositions, and appoint bite at every thing near him; as often their land and water captains to head as the creature opens his mouth he is each party; the duty of the latter is to sure to have a burning torch rammed stand in the prow of the canoe and into his throat, until madness exhausts cheer the dogs to the prey. A huntshim, and he is no longer able to close man, in fact, is mostly an Indian, as his jaws; then the women and boys those dogs will not hunt to any other descend from their high positions, chop tongue; what this is owing to, whether off his paws, hammer out his teeth, and custom or sagacity, I know not, but it often skin him alive, while the boys is certainly the case; however, the are smeared with the blood, in order to young Spaniards and Creoles bave latmake them good warriors, and the terly remedied this defect, and are now mothers take delight in seeing the ani- as well qualified to hunt a hloodhound mosity they have to the creature, even in the Indian tongue as an Indian himwhen no longer able to do any injury. self. Both parties having armed themAs to the female jaguar, they have selves with otter spears, barbed like only to come near her couching-place harpoons, and with long handles to provoke a quarrel, as she will often made of rough light wood about ten attack them before they are within feet or more, they cheer on the bloodtwo hundred yards of it: in her they hounds, who no sooner wind the prey sometimes find a more formidable ene- than they join chorus with their huntsmy than in the male, although much men, until they arrive near the Calle inferior in point of size and strength, Pero, or otter city, when the land party but more subtle and crafty : their bite divide into three; one watch; another is difficult to heal, and the Laneros ascend the ford; while the others poke think a wound from a jaguar a great the banks, in order to eject the creadisgrace ; so much so that a young as- ture. As soon as he is started, the pirant for the title of guapo, who had hounds are again in full cry, and the the misfortune of being wounded in a curs are loosed to dive after him, and rencontre, was so much ashamed of will relieve each other in this task : as acknowledging it, that he suffered a
soon as one is up down goes the other, mortification sooner than expose the while the hounds keep up the cry in wound, although he was well aware the the water at a slow pace, until they women possessed a salve that would eventually force the creature to the cure him.
head of the stream into shallow water,
where these curs either snap him up or only aquatic enemy of this creature, he is speared by the hunters; after with the exception of the shark, with this, the hounds are allowed the grati- whom he has very little intercourse. fication of monthing him until satisfied, It seems Father Ricardo caused a cagewhen they again return to depopulate pond to be erected in his garden, in this little commonwealth of otters. order to study their natural history. After all the old otters have fled, the His little legend teems with amusing young ones betake themselves to the anecdotes of the aboriginal hunters, of upperniost recesses of their burrows, whose club he was a member ; those and defend themselves with great ob- gentry, he said, during such excursions, stinacy when they are dug out of their lived well. Certainly, the echoing cry dirty habitation; a slight blow on the of hounds and hunters is the most de forehead will soon despatch them, as lightful I ever heard. It vibrates that seems their most vulnerable part. through every glen at the distance of In their abode the bead, fins, tails and five or six miles. fragments of several species of fish are The colour of the South American to be seen, for the otter is, like most otter is different from that of the Euaquatic monsters, a glutton ; as he sel- ropean ; the latter is much darker; dom eats more than a mouthful of each and thie male is still darker than the fish, he must cause frightful destruction female, who generally gets brown while among
the finny race, and his depreda- suckling her puppies ; Abbé Ricardo tion causes his haunts to be found out says that they change coats. The skin at low water, when the hounds would is now more valuable than formerly, aś pass him : Abbé Ricardo, who wrote General Parr's cavalry use them for a little treatise on the history of this pistol-covers, and foraging regimental animal, about a century ago, (in good caps are made of them. They also use preservation in the Cathedral of Car- their skins for segar cases, and the Inraccas) relates, that while the parent dians eat the flesh. In destroying fish, otters are in existence, they do not suf- the otter rejects the head, and will not fer the young gentry to attempt propa- use it, although pressed by hunger. In gating, but that the young are two or Buenos Ayres there is one quite dothree years under their parents' guar- mesticated, which will invariably bring dianship : one thing is very certain, home what it gets in the river: but in the same community are to be met tame habits make it lazy and indolent; three or four different generations of it is vicious during the breeding season, those creatures under the guidance of and is obliged to be chained. their patriarch. The alligator is the
KARL AND HIS HORSE NICOLAUS.
A YOUNG German who was servo ble for thee: Iam come to years of
ing his time to a jeweller, at discretion, and shall take especial care Magdeburg, was allowed by his mas- of thy neck and my own health and ter, in the third year of his appren- comfort !" Well ! on they jogged, ticeship, to go to Brunswick to see bis every now and then renewing this kind parents. That he might effect this of conversation, which always ended with comfort to himself, and in a way in the same manner. , About three worthy of the assistant of a reputable o'clock in the afternoon, Karl, to the tradesman and public functionary of entire satisfaction of Nicolaus, alighted Magdeburg, his master lent him one of at the Three Golden Bottles, a small his own horses, and provided him with herberge, or public-house, situated at money; whilst the old cook, with the extremity of a hamlet, replenished whom he was a great favourite, filled his meerschaum, and seated himself in his wallet with all the dainties that she a room set apart for the more respectacould lay her hands upon, and gave ble visitors of this notable house of enhim sundry well-meaning hints and ad- tertainment, on the outside of which monitions touching the temptations hung a board, whose crooked letters that awaited bim in Brunswick. It indicated to travellers that was on the morning of Midsummerday, in the year 1612, that he arose
Horses might a stable find, at six o'clock, lighted his travelling
And men have liquors to their mind. pipe, and mounted the steed, which by At one corner of the room he beno means seemed to sympathize with held two persons playing at cards, and his rider in the pleasure to be derived remarked that one of them, who apfrom the prospect of a long journey. peared by his dress and the sums of He was in truth a sluggish beast, over- money that he staked to be a substanfed and under-worked, and apparently tial farmer, continually lost; at which upon such good terms with himself the other, who was a dark mysterious that, when he took any thing into his looking man, only smiled, and every head, the whip was of no avail, and now and then incited him to continue the spur, however manfully applied, his destructive course, by saying, “It could not drive him from his purpose. is your turn now! play boldly—the He was so fat, that Karl, although a luck cannot always keep to one side. handsome stripling, looked with his Come! to give you a better chance, I legs sticking out almost at right angles will put down double to your single like a Y turned upside down. “The stakes.” The farmer, buoyed up with devil take thee on our journey said the hope of regaining his money, which Karl) if thou go not more speedily than was indeed the greater part of what he at present. Would I had all the mo- possessed in the world, played on until ney that has been expended on thee in he had lost all, and then, burning with the article of whips; truly with that I ill-concealed rage and disappointment, might buy a better animal than thou rushed out of the room, whilst he, who art, or hast been, or ever wilt be.” had made bimself the possessor of his As he concluded his petulant, but, un- wealth, laughed thrice loudly and trider all the circunstances, excusable umphantly, and stole out, as Karl supharangue, Nicolaus (for that was his posed, to follow his unfortunate comhorse's name) shook his head, and gave panion. Now, our young traveller had two or three most significant neighs, looked on attentively, and saw the rewhich seemed pretty much the same sult of their gaming with no very as "Hold thy peace, and speak not of pleasant feelings. He was in particuthat which thou understandest not! lar shocked and indignant at the coldAssuredly I am the best judge of what hearted laugh that escaped from the pace is most proper for me and advisa- dark lips of the stranger.' Karl drank
his wine faster and faster, and puffed been gambling with the arch master of out his smoke from his pipe with the ceremonies himself. He found greater rapidity and in larger volumes also that either astonishment or Rhethan he had heretofore done. He was nish wine bad had the effect of making vexed at the defeat and triumph he had his steps indecisive, his head giddy, just witnessed, and vowed in his own and reduced the chance of keeping on mind, should the man who had last left his legs, and the risk of falling down, him return, to stake all that his master to pretty even terms.
He however had given him, rather than that he paid bis host, and, without knowing should carry it with sò high a hand. how he got there, found himself on the The fact is, the old cook, to whom we back of Nicolaus, riding along as it have already alluded, had given Karl a appeared to him much more rapidly very respectable initiation into the than usual. What surprised him most inystery of card-playing, on divers of all was, that everything around him cold winters' nights by the kitchen fire. seemed likewise to have gotten the Now, the game at which the strangers travelling mania. There were some had been engaged was the very one fine old elms going at the rate of ten on which he prided himself not a lit- miles an hour, and, what was very retle. The truth must be spoken-mine markable, some little shrubs that grew is not a perfect hero. Besides being near appeared to keep up with them. double loaded with ambition, he was A large farm house was in pursuit of a primed with vanity, which no sooner barn, but they were so well matched, encountered the match of opposition that there was little hope of its being than explosion took place, which made overtaken. There was also an admi. many rather cautious of coming in his rable steeple-chase between the heads way. In a short time the successful of two distant churches, and a boy who stranger re-entered the chamber, but was sitting on a bank by the road side his adversary came not with him. He rode past him in excellent style. challenged Karl, who instantly accept 6. This may be all very agreeable (muted the offer, called for more wine, and tered Karl) to the parties concerned, again filled his pipe. He played for but, for my part, I care not how soon very small stakes, yet his little purse they finish their long-winded race. was getting lower and lower, for the Stop, stop— Nicolaus, no galloping if it stranger had an advantage over him please thee, thou unruly steed of Satan. which he was slow to believe, but Whenever I have desired thee to use which was at last too evident. At thy speed, thou hast gone slow enough, length he had little more than sufficient and now thou must, out of thy very remaining to discharge the bill of the obstinacy, and regardless of my safety, herbergist, and arose from the table hurry on as if thy inaster were behind with impatience and vexation. It is thee !” He pulled the rein as he findoubtful whether the loss of the money ished speaking, and Nicolaus suddenly affected him so much as the wound stood still. His rider had awakened that his youthful pride had suffered. him from a fine sleeping jog-trot, and He was turning to depart, when the he looked as if he much marvelled laugh, or rather yell, of his companion what satisfactory reason could be given checked him. Stung to the soul by for it. There was no stable near, the insult he had just received, Karl which doubtless appeared to him the flew towards him and aimed a blow only fair excuse for a full stop, nor was full at his face, but, in the act of doing there the least sign of provender. so, fell forward on his hands. He However, for once, he seemed detersprang up, but the stranger was gone, mined to do as his rider wished, and although the door had been and was still he stood still closed and the windows were As Hildebrand the gallant knighte, down. Karl's anger now gave place Who saw his ladye's ghost at nighte to astonishment. He was convinced Throwe off the veiling palle and shroude,
And vanish through a parted cloude. that the stranger had dealings with the devil; nay, he almost thought he had Karl began to be better satisfied, for