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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 4.djvu/167

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FURS AND THEIR WEARERS.

ladies' sets, sacque-trimmings, etc., of an inferior quality. The black portions of the skin are sometimes carefully selected, completely de-odorized, made into sets of furs of the natural color, and sold under the name of black marten. The pole-cat, or fitchet weasel, has long, coarse, dark-brown hair, and an under-coat of short, silky, pale-yellow fur. This fur, though inferior, is imported and used for ladies' sets, etc., and is sold under the name of fitch. The Virginia opossum has the habit of feigning itself dead if slightly struck or wounded, but, if seriously attacked and badly hurt, it will fight bravely. Its fur is a long, woolly down, which is of a dingy white. Though of little value, the fur is colored so as to resemble fitch, and is sold under that name.

The color of the arctic fox during winter is a pure white; in summer, brown, gray, or bluish. It is then called a cross or pied fox. The fur is long, fine, and woolly, and is occasionally used here for ladies' sets and other purposes, but it is mostly exported to Europe;

Fig. 16.
PSM V04 D167 Wolverine.jpg
Wolverine. (Tenney.)

as are also the skins of the red fox and its varieties, the cross fox and the silver or black fox. The color of an adult silver fox when in prime fur is a deep, glossy black, with a silvery grizzle on the fore-head and flanks. This variety is extremely rare, and its rich fur is. more valuable than that of any other quadruped. The skin of the silvery fox of Labrador has been sold in London for $500.

The panda, or wah, of the Himalaya Mountains, is about the size of a large cat. It is covered with a soft, thickly-set fur, which, above, is of the richest cinnamon red; behind, of a fawn color; and, beneath, of a deep black—while its head is whitish, and its tail like a lady's boa, and banded with red and yellow. Fred. Cuvier calls this the most beautiful of known quadrupeds.

The color of the raccoon is light gray overlaid with black-tipped hairs. The outer hair is long and coarse, the inner softer and more like wool. The fur is mostly used for making hats. It is sometimes