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who knew every nook and cranny British sometimes turn up their of the surrounding country, and noses at - the Spanish fowling, the haunts of the deer and wild- piece: notwithstanding their boar. I imagined, from the late- sneers, however, the barrel is ness of the hour, they had break- generally a bit of good stuff, and fasted, but was quite out of my from the strength of the lock, reckoning ; for after the party main-spring, and Auted face of had all come up, instead of the hammer, the Spanish firebeginning the important business lock seldom gives a miss-fire, of the chase, they made a dead even with an indifferent Aint. stand, and without the least cere- The detonating system is liked mony stripped the mule of all by the Spaniards, and is in pretty the stomach provender and other general use. moveables, and turned it to graze; We all now assembled in a and by means of steel, flint, and group, in order to make the artinder, a blazing fire in a few rangements necessary in forming seconds was at their service. We the batido, or party employed Gentlemen cooked the more deli- with dogs in beating covert ; cate kinds of food; the coarser, but and as two of our Gentlemen unmost substantial, was reserved for derstood the Spanish language the hungry Spaniards-- although the intended movements were of we had to guard our stock of course made known to every one. wine and prog, as an evident at- Accordingly about six Spaniards traction existed between them and all the dogs were selected for and the hands and jaws of our this important duty; and a leadSpanish sportsmen. The gallanting man of the remaining Spaand brawny Welshman at this niards pointed out to the beating feast lost a number of fine cigars, party the extent and boundaries which theft elicited from him a of the thicket to be scoured, and few hearty curses; notwithstand- the intended line of posts ing, the cigars did not again come stations along the margin of the to light. After solids commonly covert to be occupied by each follow fluids; so the Spanish person, armed, and lying in hunters, after filling their bellies, wait or ambush for the deer or managed with tolerable facility boar.
The posts fixed upon to effect a shrinking, or a few were always near the path or wrinkles in the skin of wine. track followed by these wild ani
Being thus fortified, and the mals. mule reloaded, we directed our The placing of each man at course north-westerly, through a his station was a work of cerepass in the hills, along a winding mony and explanation. The and very irregular foot-path, and men of the batido rested at the reached the face of a declivity margin of the covert with the which overlooked a ravine filled dogs, when the principal Spaniard with wood, exhibiting the rich of the foraging party began to est verdure of spring. This place each of us at our post, exthicket was destined to form the actly like sentries. The distances scene of the first essay of our san- between each station varied from guinary pastime. Each Spaniard 100
100 to 500 yards, according to had a gun of his country. The the natyre of the ground or
of his post.
position of the covert. This gin of the covert; the first man chief, from former experience, coming out near the sentry first likewise, in due form, pointed posted, whom having joined they out to each of the foraging party marched together along the line the course, or path, the deer of stations, and the other beaters or boar would take, if they hap- making their exit from the covert pened to pass any particular sta- in succession thus gradually tion ; and strict cautions were at picking up and re-assembling each the same time given to each individual of the foraging party; sentry not to fire in a direction and before this was effected the that might endanger the life of his extreme wing of the beating brother sportsman on either side party had time sufficient to scour
On a reasonable the furthermost point of the time being allowed for placing covert before the general muster every man at his station, the men of men and dogs was and dogs eagerly entered the plished. skirts of the covert, opposite to Not having had a shot at, or the line of stations occupied by even seeing, a boar or a deer in the shooting party; and, sepa- this our first sally, added a fresh rating at various distances from spur to our exertions. We all each other, formed a curved line, assembled, and moving along on and beat covert in a direction the face of a hill we soon looked facing obliquely the posts of the down upon a ravine, which surrespective armed sentries. passed the first in the beauty of
T'he hills and dales soon re- the landscape and the chequered sounded with the clamour of the hues of the foliage. Rugged rocks dogs and men. Although at first and a purling stream occupied the it seemed insipid pastime to be bottom. A second council of fastened to a spot like a post, still war was held, when the thicket when the sound of the men and to be beaten and the course to dogs approached, and ascended be pursued by the batido being from the valley below, a plea- decided on, each man with his surable kind of excitement was firelock was fixed at his post, kept up in the mind, from the and strict injunctions, as before, impression that a deer or boar given relating to the plan of acmight in a moment pass close to tion. The joyful report of a our post. One barrel (double- musket in the wood soon mingled guns) was loaded with buck-shot, with the multifarious sounds of the other with ball; the single men and dogs. This made every pieces with ball.
After the one alert on his station, and enlapse of nearly an hour the beat- couraged the hope that the sun, ing party began to emerge at before dipping in the horizon, different points along the edge of would scatter his the thicket, their time of appear- carcase of a fine buck or boar. ing varying according to the A second shot soon echoed from nature and extent of covert to be the faces of the surrounding searched. From the oblique hills, and again afforded sweet course the be
ers took through music to the sportsman's car. the wood, they made their egress Our expectations were, however, one after the other on the mar. not realized; for after the lapse
rays on the
of above an hour we were mus- standing full 6 feet 2 inches, tered the third time, and learned shewing a face haggard, pendufrom the beaters that a boar had lous, and furrowed: the bones scampered past them in the cut a conspicuous figure in his brushwood, and that two balls physiognomy and corporation were despatched after him, but generally: his legs were of the without turning a bristle. After same thickness from the ancles to a romantic and circuitous route, the knees, the dimensions being two or three other ravines became only a little thicker than a walkalternately the theatre of action, ing stick; and what made our each of them displaying diversity party laugh most heartily was, in the blooming productions of that these emaciated natural supthe vegetable kingdom. In the porters were enveloped in a pair middle of one of these glens a of leather leggings as large as a shot was heard. In this instance sack: and, from the legs and lega dog was mistaken for a hog, and ings seeming to the eye to be severely wounded. On beating made throughout of the same the covert in the last ravine, all material, we unanimously and our prospects of killing a deer or viva voce dubbed with the name of boar the first day vanished with Leather-legs. From the cut of his the setting sun. From the wind- jib at first sight it was anticipated ing course taken on first starting by us all that his jaws, when opin the morning, we found our portunity offered, would commit selves by the end of the day's unusual violence and havoc on labour at the western extremity our prog and drinkables. On of the extensive and picturesque the cooking being finished, he plain, at the eastern corner of set to with the other Spaniards, which the party first assembled when our suspicions as to his and breakfasted. Towards the voracity were completely realised, south-west border of this verdant and to a most extraordinary delevel a hut was situated, fabri- gree; and, what is curious, he cated of mud, turf, and stones : appeared vastly surprised, and to this we bent our steps, and, on even grumbled, when we told him entering, the inmates made all of that had his work in the woodsbeen us welcome for the night. The at all commensurate to his eating fire was placed in the middle of and drinking, we might have a clay foor, and the smoke killed both deer and boar. After escaped by a hole in the roof. these hints he sat sullen for some
We had ample opportunities time: he was soon observed, during the day of marking the however, to move his spindlemanner, actions, and sayings of shanked person alongside the our Spanish hunting associates. skin of wine, and having untied Most of them were fine men, the throat-string, he with amazing but one individual, old, lazy, facility and address took at least and rather rotten at heart, whose six copious gulps. After, such mental and corporeal faculties good eating and drinking, as not being cast in a common mould, might be supposed, he became must be here taken notice of. good-humored and even facetiThe personage
alluded to was a ous, being literally, as Gil Blas tall, lank, withered, tawny man, would say, filled to the tongue.
The host was a quiet, good- likely more protuberant and natured countryman, a grazing muddy than usual, because he farmer, and possessed about firmly believed the deer twenty-five milch cows: the old going farther from him, and not lady had four or five children; the passing in a line approaching his eldest son married to a spruce post in a slanting direction; so cheerful young
woman, who John, without much consideradandled in her arms a child: tion, let fly the contents of both both father and son had their barrels at the distance of 120 or hair formed into a queue. Oppo- 130 yards. One ball raised the síte the door was situated an dust at the animal's feet. This oven made of stone and brick. was so far meritorious in John; The clay floor was our bed, but, on our return to the hut to although the hostess kindly sup- breakfast, we all roasted him . plied most of us Gentlemen with severely for not judging more à blanket or mat. I stretched correctly of the course pursued my limbs on the firm earth, by an animal running so close to drawing together a heap of his person. John was a fair shot, greasy Spanish leggings for a and would in all likelihood have pillow.
inch of floored the deer had he waited a the floor of the hut around us was few seconds. The son of Mars, covered with bipeds and quadru- of cooking celebrity, had a sumppeds. In such a state we enjoyed tuous breakfast prepared for us sleep, the fruit of exercise, and on our return to the hut. A not to be purchased by Emperors large copper filled with smoking or Kings!
tea, rendered delicious by fine By six o'clock next morning cream, hung over the fire, and the hunters advised us to try a this we conveyed to our lips by winding covert immediately be- means of wooden ladles, spoons, hind the hut. Accordingly we and drinking-horns: good bread, set off and ascended the hills to butter, and cold meat completed the southward. The Grenadier the repast. We might have was posted on my left; the origi- drunk milk to the mast-head. On nal character, John, on the right. leaving the hut to renew the Soon after taking our stations, much-wished-for attack, Leatherthe former, in a smothered voice, legs was discovered making a called out to me,
" Look out!” dead stand at a leg of mutton, Directing my eyes to the ridges with which he would have of the hills, two deer were seen walked off, had not the sharp bounding into the vale below in Gentleman last alluded to a direction towards us, and at frustrated his base designs. We every spring shewing the white had now seen enough of this said tuft of the tail. One of them Leather-legs to convince all of us evaded the dogs, and got back that he was a despicable rapainto covert; the other moved for- cious scoundrel, and had pushed ward, and would have passed himself into the party for the John obliguely, offering a shot sole purposes of thieving, eating, probably at forty or fifty yards: and drinking. but John's eyes, from mental We now marched in a westanxiety or over-keenness, were erly direction, and soon had to VOL. IV.SECOND SERIES.No. 20.
face a steep hill. The sun was our fighting friends had left for now pretty hot, and the ascent, the hut, having dropped all idea therefore, rather tough work, of beating more covert, from the more especially after such copious want of success heretofore expelibations of tea and milk. Al- rienced. Being of the though I may be accused of 'opinion I trudged along with the egotism, I beg to state, that if the supple Fusilier, who took imglorious pastime of shooting is
mense strides, and arrived at the persevered in for days together, hut at half-past 3 P.M., where there is nothing better in the we found the Gentlemen washing morning than two, three, or four their fowling-pieces, and prepa
tea or coffee solids rations making for a superb Irish being small in bulk, but efficient
stew. in nourishment, as mutton- The party being thus broken chop or a beef-steak, with a due up, and not relishing a second quantum of the staff of life, alias trial of last night's bed, I took bread. After a little fagging we my leave at four o'clock, after were posted along the declivity fortifying myself with excellent of a hill facing the north, and corned beef, and arrived at overlooking a long and winding Campomenta at 9 P.M., when ravine, the covert of which took
after quaffing off a bottle of the Spaniards and dogs nearly porter at Ricano's, a comfortthree hours to beat. They knew able bed waited my pleasure. the ground well, and all their Campomenta is a village on the movements
dictated by northern border of the Bay, former experience. We people
We people three miles from Gibraltar, and on guard, living in a state of hope, from twelve to fifteen from the heard a few shots in the thicket, scene of the deer hunting: but no wild beast approached We learned afterwards from our posts, although our firelocks the Spaniards that both deer and were in prime order.
boar were seen in the covert last sembling, and moving towards entered, and that, had the Gentlethe north-west, we had soon men remained with their detounder our eye a pretty extensive nators, blood might have been covert occupying a romantic spilled to some account, as from plain with winding streamlets the wet the flint guns snapped. intersected in every direction; As we were out we certainly and on viewing the rugged over- ought to have jogged to sunhanging rocks of the encircling set, more especially as the day hills, sublimity was conveyed to cleared up. the mind. A heavy shower of rain With the exception of Leathernow overtook our party. I got legs the Spanish hunters seemed under the shelve of a rock along to be well disposed, the peasanwith the nimble Fusilier, the oil- try civil, and exhibiting an air spiller, when we partook of a of manliness and independence. little brandy by way of keeping There is a something not easily out the wet. The rest of the to be described in the Spanish company took to the thicket,
very attitude and which we likewise soon after- clothing are in character: there wards entered, and found that all must be a tincture of the Ro