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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/120

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112
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

ing the winters it was dragged home by the dogs. Here it was cut into the proper lengths for the stoves and piled up in the yard. When required, it was carried into the kitchen and piled up in a large wood box. This work was generally done by Indian men. When none were at hand the Indian girls had to do the work, but it was far from being enjoyed by them, especially in the bitter cold weather. It was suggested one day that Jack could be utilized for this work. With but little instruction and trouble he was induced to accept of the situation, and so after that the cry, "Jack, the wood box is empty!" would set him industriously to work at refilling it.

To us, among many other instances of dog reasoning that came under our notice as the years rolled on, was one on the part of a large, powerful dog we called C├Žsar. It occurred in the spring of the year, when the snow had melted on the land, and so, with the first rains, was swelling the rivers and creeks very considerably. On the lake before us the ice was still a great solid mass, several feet in thickness. Near our home was a now rapid stream that, rushing down into the lake, had cut a delta of open water in the ice at its mouth. In this open place Papanekis, one of my Indians, had placed a gill net for the purpose of catching fish. Living, as he did, all winter principally upon the fish caught the previous October or November and kept frozen for several months hung up in the open air, we were naturally pleased to get the fresh ones out of the water in the spring. Papanekis had so arranged his net, by fastening a couple of ropes about sixty feet long, one at each end, that when it was securely fastened at each side of the stream it was carried out into this open deltalike space by the force of the current, and there hung like the capital letter U. Its upper side was kept in position by light-wooded floats, while medium-sized stones, as sinkers, steadied it below.

Every morning Papanekis would take a basket and, being followed by all the dogs of the kennels, would visit his net. Placed as we have described, he required no canoe or boat in order to overhaul it and take from it the fish there caught. All he had to do was to seize hold of the rope at the end fastened on the shore and draw it toward him. As he kept pulling it in, the deep bend in it gradually straightened out until the net was reached. His work was now to secure the fish as he gradually drew in the net and coiled it at his feet. The width of the opening in the water being about sixty feet, the result was that when he had in this way overhauled his net he had about reached the end of the rope attached to the other side. When all the fish in the net were secured, all Papanekis had to do to reset the net was to throw some of it out