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buffalo, as well as birds innumerable, who would keep up an almost inces sant conversational soliloquy even when entirely separated from the rest of their kind. The moping owl is seized with fits of this description.

The presence of these sea-lion hunters brings under notice an interesting and hotly-disputed question as to the natural dietary of these great beasts. On the one side are ranged the fishermen and salmon-canners; on the other the scientists. The former hotly denounce the sea-lions as among the deadliest foes of the salmon and other fish, alleging that, not content with capturing them in open chase, they will hang about the gill-nets spread in the mouths of the rivers, when the chinook are running up to their spawning places, and tear the thirty-pound "silver sides" right out of the meshes of the net-with what effects upon the latter fabric may be readily imagined. They allege that the sea-lions simply swarm about the mouths of the rivers, when the salmon are running, like deer about a salt-lick, and that one sea-lion will destroy hundreds of salmon in a short season. Not only do they kill and devour them, but they are also said to rush furiously in among the ranks of the fish and snatch and tear in every direction, burying their teeth in the flesh, or eating a single mouthful of a salmon and then dashing for another, killing for the mere lust of slaughter like a wolf among sheep. For a long time no one dreamed of challenging this assertion, and the sea-lion was put down, like Artemus Ward's Indian, as "pizen wherever found." But a few years ago a biologist was appointed by one of the State institutions to investigate the question, which he proceeded to do by securing the bodies of as many sea-lions as possible and examining the contents of their stomachs. A number of stomachs of the creatures were also secured by fishermen and

others and sent in with their contents for examination. The result was somewhat startling, for in no single instance were fish-bones or scales to be found either in the stomachs or in the intestines of these great brutes, while an abundant supply of the remains of cuttlefish and traces of shrimps, jellyfish, etc., were discovered. Whereupon the distinguished scientific gentleman was compelled to state that, so far as he could discover, the alleged atrocities perpetrated by the sea-lion upon salmon and other fish were not supported by sufficient evidence. This naturally annoyed the fishermen, as nobody likes to be flatly contradicted, even when he is told that an imaginary enemy of his is really doing him no harm whatever; and as they were agitating for a bounty to be placed upon the heads of sea-lions, as enemies of the State, they demanded a further investigation. Another expert was thereupon set to work and reported precisely the same results, only the "pens" of cuttlefish being found in the alimentary canal, instead of bones and scales.

In spite of this, however, the fishermen and cannery men having a considerable number of votes and the scientists only one or two, the legislature was induced to pass a Bill granting a bounty of 2.50 dollars for the scalp or other evidence of the killing of a sealion. Whereupon our fishermen afore said had taken advantage of the slack season in the salmon fishery to embark on their little lion-hunting expedition. Unluckily for our friends Solomon and Indian Joe, by a base trick of fate or a special dispensation of providence (according as one sides with the scientists or the fishermen) it was discovered after the bounty-bill had been passed that no funds had been provided to pay the scalp fees, but as this did not come to light until the first batch of scalps was actually presented their enterprise was under full way before its

hopes were dashed to the ground. The naturalist's sneaking fondness for biology (of which he declares that man and all his works form only one small chapter) was unexpectedly stirred by the problem, into which he suddenly plunged, if not up to the eyes at least up to the elbows. A number of gruesome and fragrant carcases, victims of the hunters' rifles, strewed the beach, and equipped with a large huntingknife he proceeded to dispute with the gulls for the possession of these entertaining pieces of carrion.

In spite of

the abundant supply of excellent, if rather rancid, oil which his investigations provided, the flame of his enthusiasm waned lower and lower, after each ghastly encounter, until finally after two days, during which not only everything which he handled or ate or looked at but even his very dreams fairly reeked with train oil, he announced with a snort of disgust that the rest of the question might settle itself, so far as he was concerned. One small incidental advantage derived from the process was that his hands and boots were both practically waterproof and protected from "salt-chap" during the remainder of his stay.

However, the five huge paunches which he did succeed in quarrying out of the cavernous interiors of these great hulks, weighing from 1,500 to 2,000 lbs., absolutely confirmed the reports of the scientists. Not one of them contained the faintest trace of any form of fish-food, nearly all being occupied by a thick, reddish fluid, which closer investigation showed to be a purée of shrimps, and from one to a dozen "pens" (or chitinous plates from the dorsal mantle) of cuttlefish. After careful collection and sifting of the evidence of a number of fishermen he was able to arrive at a conclusion which was satisfactory at least to himself. His decision was a somewhat Delphic one, that both parties were

right, as their apparently conflicting results were obtained at different seasons of the year. The only season at which the sea-lions can be captured in any considerable numbers, or at which their bodies can be obtained for study, is during their breeding-period from May to August, when they collect upon the reefs and rocky islands in swarms and herds. Now during this season (as the fishermen promptly and without any leading on his part informed him) they are like their cousins, the fur-seals, eating nothing at all or confining themselves to cuttle-fish, jelly-fish, hydroids, shrimps and such exceedingly small deer as can be captured in the open sea; just as the findings of the scientists from their stomach-contents indicate. As soon, however, as the autumn sets in and the fall run of salmon begins they disappear from these breeding places and begin to frequent the mouths of rivers and smaller streams, which are packed with the masses of the salmon. There seems no reason to doubt the veracity of the fishermen's testimony in this regard, as salmon have been found with large pieces bitten out of them, and these rovers of the sea have also been seen dashing in among the frightened salmon, coming up to the surface with a great "steel-back" between their teeth, tossing him into the air and catching him as he falls with a resounding snap, just like a greyhound with a hare. Until a sea-lion can be caught, during either the fall or the spring run of salmon, in one of their chosen beats, the question must remain unsettled, with the burden of proof on the side of the fishermen. So far as analogy is concerned, their near cousins, the seals, are well known to be as destructive to fish of every description as terriers are to rats, and may be seen driving or herding schools of mackerel, like sheep dogs their flocks, and chasing them up into nar

row and shallow inlets of the bay, where they can be secured by the rest of the waiting pack. On the other hand there is no inherent improbability in such behemoths supporting life entirely upon a thin and unsubstantial diet like shrimps and cuttle-fish. Those mastodons of the ocean, the whales, live exclusively upon such food-materials, and even include infusoria and tiny hydroids as well.

But fate had in store for us a much more intimate acquaintance with these spoilers of the sea than even investigation into their stomach-contents could bring. Every night we lay awake, listening to the wind and trying to imagine that the roar of the surf was fainter than it had been, and the grey of morning saw us each day taking our march up the beach to our fisherman's but in the hope that his watchful eye might have detected some gaps in the furious ranks of our enemies, the breakers.


On one of these mornings, as two of us were beating our way on our wheels up the beach, in the teeth of a fierce and exceedingly wet sea-wind, caught sight of a black mass on the wet sand, about fifty yards above the edge of the receding tide. As we looked at it, it moved slightly, and instantly, a sudden awakening of the hunting-instinct sent us both scudding forward, heads over handle-bars, to get between it and the breakers. In a few minutes we had cut off its retreat, thrown down our wheels and were advancing in open order upon a young sea-lion, which lifted up its head and barked bold, baby-defiance at our approach. The little chap was about the size of a large setter-dog, or female harbor-seal, with beautiful big black eyes and a voice like a musical mastiff. After striking and worrying fiercely for several minutes on the butt of my gun, he concluded that we were not exactly comfortable fish to bite,

and we were enabled to catch him, one by the tip of each flipper, and carry him, spread-eagle fashion, a safe distance up the beach. He very soon came to understand that we meant him no harm, and after we had sent for the wagon and conveyed him to our camp the smell of a bottle of milk changed his "offishness" into an affection so effusive, as to be, with his weight and baby-elephant clumsiness, positively disconcerting. One hundred pounds of pure affection and flippers, suddenly landed in your lap, and rubbing its milky nose all over your face and clothing, is a trifle embarrassing. We soon became the best of friends, and "Tillamook" was promptly adopted as the baby of the party, assigned quarters in a deserted shack close to the camp, and had an extra half-gallon of milk added to our daily supply-list on his behalf. And he took every ounce of it, too, except the odd half-pint which he would insist, at every mealtime, with a but imperfectly-appreciated generosity, in distributing over the overalls and coat-sleeves of his feeder. He was about the most strenuous eater I ever saw. A feedingbottle was not a gently-pleasing object, to be peacefully approached and meditatively sucked dry; it was a wild, fierce thing to be grabbed, the life shaken out of it, and then to be swallowed whole, if possible. Feeding him was as exciting, and well-nigh as arduous, as a Græco-Roman wrestling match. The moment he smelt milk he came at you like a battering-ram, his nose high in the air, bunting wildly about, evidently hunting for the massive bulk of his lost mamma, and apparently incapable of recognizing anything much smaller. It was no manner of use putting any kind of nozzle or nipple on the bottle; for when you did at last succeed in landing the mouth between his teeth, if the milk did not instantly pour down his throat

like a stream from a hose, he either flung it aside in disgust or attempted to swallow it whole. Nor did he improve in this regard in the slightest with training. His idea of milk was evidently something to be swallowed in half-pint gulps, and the only possible way in which you could get him "connected" with the bottle for more than a second at a time was to stop the mouth of it with your finger until it could be jabbed between his teeth, and then to withdraw the finger and, holding him by the nose with one hand and "up-ending" the bottle with the other, let it empty itself down his throat. So strong and unmistakable was this curious gulping instinct, not only in "Tillamook," but also in five other sea-lion cubs which were washed ashore during our stay, that I was more than half inclined to suspect that the mammary gland of the mother sealion might be provided with some sort of a detrusor muscle, capable of squirting the milk directly down the throat of the young, just as is the case in the whale and in certain marsupials.


Another curious instinct of his proved to be highly troublesome. Being a seabeast, we naturally supposed that his line of possible flight would be towards the water; and when we had blocked with pieces of drift-wood the seaward gate of the old corral in which shack stood, we supposed that we had little to fear from his wandering tendencies, even if he should succeed in slipping out of his pen. Judge then of our surprise when, on visiting his quarters just after breakfast one morning, we found them empty, and a broad trail, as of a dragged potatosack, leading across the sand and bentgrass, not downward towards the beach, but unmistakably upward and inland toward the foot of the sandy bluffs which bounded our camping-paddock on the landward side. In vain we searched for a side-trail leading to

wards the surf; we found no trace; and as both bears and panthers were numerous in the neigborhood, we had about come to the conclusion that some evil beast had captured him and dragged him up towards the mountains, when we suddenly heard his musical bellow, uplifted in an unmistakable breakfast-call, from high up upon the brushy hillside above us. His trail was as easy to follow as that of a fire-engine, and dashing up it we soon came upon him perched upon the very edge of a miniature precipice, looking out toward the sea and fully a hundred feet above the beach. He was perfectly delighted to see us and to be brought down again to his beloved bottle; and though completely puzzled we concluded that misfortunes must have turned his brain and converted his nor

mal "surfo-tropism"-to paraphrase Professor Loeb-into an opposite or "cliffo-tropic" impulse. But the very next time he succeeded in bulging his way out through the half-rotten walls of his shack-and as a flying-wedge he was a model, even for Harvard, in all but speed-he paid absolutely no attention whatever to the cool, wet sand and crisping surf, scarcely a hundred paces below him, but started straight up the sandy slopes of the bluff with the enthusiasm of a member of the Alpine Club, though from his necessary method of progress the performance must have been about as exhilarating as dragging oneself along on one's elbows with both hands and feet tied together.

It was the most extraordinary spectacle to see this amphibious creature, as thoroughly aquatic in his habits as a frog, turning his back upon the sea and climbing up into the hills for dear life. Perhaps, however, this instinct was not an inverted one, after all; as by great good luck four or five other sea-lion cubs were washed ashore, and adopted by the ranchmen along the

beach, it was possible to extend my observations; and I soon discovered well-marked traces of the same tendency in nearly all of them. They would quickly find their way to the highest point of ground in the enclosure in which they might be placed, or if laid at the foot of a bank would scramble clumsily but determinedly up it. It suddenly occurred to me that possibly baby sea-lions, like baby seals, did not take instinctively to the water during the first few days of life. Indeed, the latter, for the first week or so in their lives-until, in fact, they have shed their birth-robe of soft, silvery-grey fur-cannot swim at all, and would drown, if pushed into the water, unless supported by the mother-seal. Such observations as the surf would permit us to make of those lying upon the rocky ledges of the islets confirmed this impression. Water is evidently a source of danger to the infant sea-lion, and its earliest tendency is to climb as far away from it as possible. When in doubt, its instinctive "trump" is to climb as high up on the rocky ledges as it can get. The dozen or more which are washed ashore from the Netarts rookery each season show both the stern need of this "Excelsior" tendency on their part and how utterly helpless they must be in the water, since not even their mothers' frenzied assistance can enable them to get back on to the rocks again.

The ultimate fate of these sea WaterBabies is sad enough. Although eagerly adopted and cared for by ranchmen, fishers or campers along the beach, not more than one in ten survives. Their keen appetite for milk fails gradually, and they pine away and die quietly within a few weeks. Of the six washed ashore during the week of our visit not one lived more than ten days; and though "Tillamook" was apparently well and hearty when I left him, five days after his rising like Venus from

the sea-foam, he died before the party broke camp, much to everyone's regret. At last, after days of waiting, we woke one keen, bright morning with a curious sense of something missing. A moment later it dawned upon us that it was the roar of the surf that was gone. There could be no mistake about it. We threw our ears up the wind, and could catch only a dull, drowsy growl in place of the loud, angry snarl which had become a part of the substratum of our consciousness. Before the griddle was fairly hot, down came a messenger, hot-foot from Captain Indian Joe, to say that our chance had come. Cameras were loaded, guns given a last smear with oil, egg-boxes piled into the wagon, and in less than half-an-hour we were off up the beach to the hunters' hut.

Here our first difficulty cropped up. The tide was out; and as it would have been madness to risk our chance by waiting (although full-tide would have been far the most favorable time to slip through the surf) there were some two hundred yards of shining sand over which our huge old whale-boat had to be dragged by hand before she could be launched. This three-quarters-ofan-hour job merely prepared us to form a due and respectful estimate of the power of the breakers, when we felt her tossed about beneath us like a tooth-pick a few minutes later. Fortunately we were all accustomed to rowing, and our six oars, with Indian Joe at the tiller, quickly drove her through the lowest place in the surfbarrier and out to sea without misadventure.

The sea-lion rocks were the innermost of the group; and as we drew near we could see ripples begin to run through their ranks, which finally reached the water's edge, and the great dun beasts began to pour into the waves in a steady, undulatory stream. Those nearest the edge just "wobble"

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