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The Boy Hunters   By: (1818-1883)

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The Boy Hunters Adventures in Search of a White Buffalo

By Captain Mayne Reid This book was written after Mayne Reid discovered that writing books in which not too many people died, and there was not too much violence, was better business than writing as he did at first. There are three boys living with their father, now just a little disabled, but an avid collector of natural history specimens. The father says he would give almost anything for the hide of a white buffalo, and that such a beast exists cannot be disputed. The boys volunteer to get up an expedition to bring back the much desired hide, and off they go.

This book is the story of their quest. But it is also an interesting exposition of the animals and plants that inhabit the great prairies of America. The only real fault is that we are inevitably given the Latin name of the plant or animal. I don't know why I should object to this, but I do. I don't think it sits well within speech.

Still, the story is really interesting, and I greatly enjoyed transcribing it. I am sure I will read it many more times before my days are numbered, if I can. NH

THE BOY HUNTERS ADVENTURES IN SEARCH OF A WHITE BUFFALO

BY CAPTAIN MAYNE REID

CHAPTER ONE.

THE HOME OF THE HUNTER NATURALIST.

Go with me to the great river Mississippi. It is the longest river in the world. A line that would measure it would just reach to the centre of the earth, in other words, it is four thousand miles in length. Go with me to this majestic river.

I do not wish you to travel to its source; only as far up as Point Coupee, about three hundred miles from its mouth. There we shall stop for a while a very short while for we have a long journey to make. Our route lies to the far west over the great prairies of Texas; and from Point Coupee we shall take our departure.

There is a village at Point Coupee a quaint, old, French looking village built of wood. In point of fact it is a French village; for it was one of the earliest settlements of that people, who, with the Spaniards, were the first colonists of Western America. Hence we find, to this day, French and Spanish people, with French and Spanish names and customs, all through the Mississippi valley and the regions that lie west of it.

We have not much to do with these things at present, and very little to say of Point Coupee, more than we have already said. Our subject is an odd looking house that, many years ago, stood upon the western bank of the river, about a mile below the village. I say it stood there many years ago; but it is very likely that it is still standing, as it was a firm, well built house, of hewn logs, carefully chinked, and plastered between the chinks with run lime. It was roofed with cedar shingles that projected at the eaves, so as to cast off the rain, and keep the walls dry. It was what in that country is called a "double house," that is, a large passage ran across the middle of it, through which you might have driven a wagon loaded with hay. This passage was roofed and ceiled, like the rest of the house, and floored with strong planks. The flooring, elevated a foot above the surface of the ground, projected several feet in front of the passage, where carved uprights of cedar wood supported a light roof, forming a porch or verandah. Around these uprights, and upon the railing that shut in the verandah, clung vines, rose bushes, and convolvulus plants, that at certain seasons of the year were clustered over with beautiful flowers.

The house faced the river, standing, as I have said, on its western bank on the same side with Point Coupee. In front was a lawn, some two hundred yards in length, that stretched toward the river, and ended on the low bluff forming its bank. This lawn was enclosed by high rail fences, and variegated with clumps of shrubbery and ornamental trees... Continue reading book >>




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