Journeys Through Bookland — Volume 5 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 468 pages of information about Journeys Through Bookland — Volume 5.
the windows of my bedroom, that a large pond not far off was covered with wild ducks.  In an instant I took my gun from the corner, ran downstairs, and out of the house in such a hurry that I imprudently struck my face against the doorpost.  Fire flew out of my eyes, but it did not prevent my intention; I soon came within shot, when, leveling my piece, I observed to my sorrow, that even the flint had sprung from the cock by the violence of the shock I had just received.  There was no time to be lost.  I presently remembered the effect it had on my eyes, therefore opened the pan, leveled my piece against the wild fowls, and my fist against one of my eyes.  A hearty blow drew sparks again; the shot went off, and I killed fifty brace of ducks, twenty widgeons, and three couple of teals.

IV

I dare say you have heard of the hunter and sportsman’s saint and protector, Saint Hubert, and of the noble stag which appeared to him in the forest, with the holy cross between his antlers.  I have paid my homage to that saint every year in good fellowship, and seen this stag a thousand times either painted in churches, or embroidered in the stars of his knights; so that, upon the honor and conscience of a good sportsman, I hardly know whether there may not have been formerly, or whether there are not such crossed stags even at this present day.  But let me rather tell what I have seen myself.  Having one day spent all my shot, I found myself unexpectedly in presence of a stately stag, looking at me as unconcernedly as if he had known of my empty pouches.  I charged immediately with powder, and upon it a good handful of cherrystones, for I had sucked the fruit as far as the hurry would permit.  Thus I let fly at him, and hit him just on the middle of the forehead between his antlers; it stunned him—­he staggered—­yet he made off.  A year or two after, being with a party in the same forest, I beheld a noble stag with a fine full-grown cherry tree above ten feet high between his antlers.  I immediately recollected my former adventure, looked upon him as my property, and brought him to the ground by one shot, which at once gave me the haunch and cherry sauce; for the tree was covered with the richest fruit, the like I had never tasted before.  Who knows but some passionate holy sportsman, or sporting abbot or bishop may have shot, planted and fixed the cross between the antlers of Saint Hubert’s stag, in a manner similar to this?

[Illustration:  I BEHELD A NOBLE STAG]

V

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Journeys Through Bookland — Volume 5 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.