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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 38.djvu/836

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

second visit, lie coolly recrossed the road to the turf, squatted on his haunches there, and looked over at the yard, and the game hens PSM V38 D836 Arctic fox.jpgArctic Fox. used for hatching out the pheasants' eggs. It was too much for the. keeper to put up with. Slipping a cartridge into his gun, he swung it up to his shoulder and let drive at the fox, saying, There's notice to quit, you thund'rin' sweep! "Then did Master Reynard play some extraordinary antics. First he jumped off the ground several times in the most lively manner, then he cuffed his ears vigorously with his fore feet, gave a bit of a yelp, and bolted at top speed. His skin is thick, and what would knock other things over would not cripple him.

When the hunters and the hounds chevy him across the fields honest farmer Giles complains most bitterly. "Dash my old gaiters, if I doan't wish as every warmint of a fox as ever run was cold and stiff; that I do; an' 'tis a pity as some folks ain't got better work for their bosses than ridin' over other people's craps an' breakin' fences an' gates. 'Tis wonderful what a likin' most of 'em have fur blunderin' thru a fence an' knockin' the padlock off a gate. Why doan't they jump over 'em? ef their hearts was as big as their hosses hap they wud. That there field of turmits will be punched inter sheep feed, they wunt want to go inter no cuttin' machine. Cuss all fox-huntin'! I sez; 'tis ruin for farmers!"

It was wonderful how quickly farmer Giles was brought to modify these strong opinions on fox-hunting by the appearance of a two-gallon bottle labeled Old Irish, "with the Hunt's compliments." He uncorked the bottle, smelt and tasted it more than once, with and without sugar, ejaculating between each sip, "Massy, oh alive!" Then he walked to those fields again over which they had ridden. Could it have been the softening influence of the Old Irish, or had he been making mountains out of molehills? for when he got back he told his "missus," with a beaming smile of benevolence on his face, that, "raly, considerin' the lot o' gentlemen as 'ad rid over the craps, the little harm as he cum across waunt wuth speekin' on."—Cornhill Magazine.