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NEW MONTHLY MAGAZINE.
No. CCXXIV.—JANUARY, 1869. —VOL. XXXVIII.
THERE's a city vast yet voiceless, growing ever street on street,
Never greeting ever meet.
There are traders without traffic, merchants without books or gains ;
Listening silence ever reigns.
For the Fleece is sailing by.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1868, by Harper and Brothers, in the Clerk's Ofice of the District Court of the United States, for the Southern District of New York.
Vol. XXXVIII.—No. 224.-10
Tresses flow and none caress.
Hushed are all these many mansions, barred and bolted door and gate; Narrow all the walls and earthy, and the roof-trees steep and straight; Room for all !—the high and lowly. Rich and poor here equal mate;
Equal dwell and equal mate.
VI. Flowers are blooming near these mansions, kissed by loving dews at night : Breathing softly round their porches, flowing through the cooling light; Pealing from their bells sweet music, pealing odors pure and white :
Pealing only to the night.
Here each keeps his well-ceiled dwelling, fearing naught of quarter-day;
Paying never quarter-day.
Spectres now, men yesterday.
Growing ever side by side.
THE American bison, or buffalo, as the ani- A somewhat extended investigation leads me
1 mal is here familiarly designated, differs in to believe that the bison once ranged as far east very many prominent points from the European as the Atlantic sea-board in Virginia and the bison and the Indian buffalo of Asia and Afri- Carolinas, but there is no evidence that they ca. It has a pair of ribs more than the Euro- ever reached points to the east of the Hudson pean bison, and two pair more than the do- River or Lake Champlain. mestic ox. The limbs and tail of the Ameri From Catesby we learn that about the year can bison are much shorter than those of any | 1712 herds of buffalo were to be seen withof the bison species, unless, indeed, we except in thirty miles of Charleston, South Carolina. the musk-ox, which inhabits the coldest regions At present, however, if one desires to do bufof this continent.
| falo hun ing he must journey something like
two thousand miles westward from the Atlan- combats by an admiring concourse of wolves, tic coast. A few English gentlemen recently who are ever ready to come in at the death of undertook a buffalo hunt among the Catskill either of the combatants, or will even take a Mountains, and in the neighborhood of Coving-chance in and finish any killing that has been ton, Kentucky, but in each case failed to find imperfectly done. the game of which they were in quest. These It is at this season, too, that the young bulls gentlemen should now go to Leavenworth, Kan- promote themselves, by establishing a retiring sils, and from thence proceed west by the Union board and driving the old and useless officers Pacific Railroad, Eastern Division, or, as it is out of the herd. This expulsion is final, as familiarly known in the Western country, “the after being thus driven ont the old bulls wanSmoky Route." Then they may find the buf- der singly or in small bands over the Plains. falo herds, hunt them, and perhaps be hunted At times they may tarry in the vicinity of a by them too, if they prove no better buffalo herd, but I have never known them to join one hunters than some of the Britons that I have permanently. seen scutter away chased by a wounded bull. The leader of a buffalo herd is generally a Neither will the party need the permit which splendid-looking young bull, who, having fought an English gentleman who had journeved across himself into his position, holds himself ready to the Atlantic in quest of sport was anxious to maintain his rank by the same prowess that has obtain. Could any thing be more absurd to an gained it. This party, it may be needless to American than to have, as once I did, a person remark, has now and then a fight on his hands, ask, “Ah, and could you favor me with the or may be, to speak very correctly, horns. person's name who would kindly furnish me The buffalo cow carries its calf eleven months, with a permit to hunt the buffalo? Are they July being in Indian parlance “the moon of carefully preserved? They should be." heat and buffalo pappoose." The buffalo con
The best hunting-ground at present will be tinues to grow until it is seven or eight years found between the Republican and Arkansas old, and ordinarily lives, if unmolested, to reach rivers. For days I have traveled pony-back the age of twenty-five or thirty years. I once over this section of the Plains, when at any saw a buffalo killed (by a green hunter) which, moment I could glance in some direction and judging from the rings upon the horns and othlook upon vast herds of buffalo. There may be er signs of age, must have been nearly if not some little objection to this hunting ground quite fifty years old. The meat, I may rearising from the fact that it is the favorite one mark, was a little tough. of the most unreliable Indians that range the The average gross weight of grown bulls is Plains, and you are safe only so long as you about twenty-five hundred pounds. I once are not discovered by these same aborigines. killed a buffalo that weighed over three thou
From the last of July until the first of Sep- sand pounds gross. Old bulls are not often tember the buffaloes are engaged in settling killed by the experienced hunter, as the beef family matters for the year to come. The bulls of the younger members of the herd is far preffight viciously, and are attended during these l erable as food, it being more tender and free
from the decidedly disagreeable and rank flavor | sufficiently close to the trains to be killed by noticeable in the tough old bull-beef that nov- shots from the car windows and platforms; the ices are apt to select as their game.
engineer being accommodating enough to slow The young calf is very light in color. This the locomotive sufficiently to keep pace with changes and deepens as fall gives way to win the buffalo, which were seemingly engaged in ter, and the chill, keen winds of the Plains a race with the iron horse. When buffalo were begin their frosty song, “More hair, more killed the train was stopped, the game secured hair." Will Comstock used to aver this to be being granted a free ride in the baggage-car. the burden of the music of the breezes; “ for,” | It would seem to be hardly possible to imagine he would say, “don't you see how quickly the a more novel sight than a small band of buffalo Indian beef puts on his thick coat? That is loping along within a few hundred feet of a undoubtedly the reason why he does it.” Dur- railroad train in rapid motion, while the pasing the winter season the hair is of a rich brown sengers are engaged in shooting, from every color. This coat of hair is shed from the flanks available window, with rifles, carbines, and reand sides, as well as considerably thinned out volvers. An American scene, certainly. about the head and shoulders, during the next The feeding-ground of the buffalo is usually summer; and the fall of the second year sees it located at some distance from the streams at darker and more luxuriant than during the sea- which they quench their thirst. If undisturbed, son previous. Once past the prime of life and the buffalo frequently graze for days in the same the hair becomes tinged with a rusty brown. vicinity, moving once each day, usually at evenWill Comstock used to designate these as “old ing, toward the water. At this time it is a moss-backs," which could not carry any of his picturesque sight to see them; each band is belead, and might be good coyote bait, but not ing led by its chief, and the whole herd by “a the kind that he bit at if he had any choice in leader.” Flankers are thrown out; the cows the matter. But the tongues, tender-loin, and and calves are in the centre of the herd, which hump of such a buffalo are not to be despised, moves slowly. Many of the buffalo are formed and the rest of the beef would not be consid- in lines of greater or less numbers. Their heads ered tough by the frequenters of some of the are down, frequently so low that the long, matrestaurants of Gotham.
ted beard drags and brushes the ground. They A few months since passengers on the way to seem satisfied that the sentinels are doing their Denver and Salt Lake, by the Smoky Hill route, duty, and that any sign of danger would be had frequent opportunities of seeing herds of quickly noted and signaled to the herd. buffalo from the cars of the Union Pacific Rail- Some hunters have told me that the buffalo road, and on several occasions the buffalo werel is supplied with a sort of internal reservoir, by