“He backed out, and I crawled up and took his place. There was the old bear about ten yards away, lying down and bleeding from a great many wounds. She seemed to be nearly exhausted and out of breath. I was in the act of raising my rifle to take aim at her head, when she caught sight of me and suddenly sprang up and rushed at me. She was almost upon me in two jumps, and I thought I was in for a bad time of it. I had no time to aim, but pushed out my rifle instinctively and fired in her face. The bullet struck her in the mouth, and the pain caused her to stop, wheel around and make a rush through the chaparral in the opposite direction. Such a shot as that from a Winchester express would have blown off the whole roof of her head, but my bullet, as I found later, tore through her tongue, splitting the root, and stopped when it struck bone.
“When she broke out of the brush on the other side three of the boys fired into her and she fell dead. We looked her over and found more than thirty bullets in her. We had been shooting at her and dodging her in the brush from 11 o’clock in the forenoon; until after 3 o’clock, and she had caved in from sheer exhaustion and loss of blood, not from the effects of any single bullet.
“We packed the three carcases into Sonora that night and a butcher named Dodge offered to cut them up and sell the meat without charge to us if we would let him have the bears at his shop. That was the first bear meat ever taken into Sonora, and everybody in the camp wanted a piece. In the morning there was a line of men at Dodge’s shop like the crowd waiting at a theatre for Patti tickets. Men far down the line shouted to Dodge not to sell the meat in big pieces, but to save slices for them. The meat sold for $1 a pound. Everybody got a slice, and we got $500 for our three bears.
“One of our crowd was so elated over the profits of bear-hunting that he started out alone the next day to get more Grizzly meat. He didn’t come back, and the boys who went out to look for him found his body, covered up with leaves and dirt, in the edge of a clump of brush. His skull had been smashed by a blow from a Grizzly’s paw.”
The adventures of Pike.
Pike was one of the oldest of Yosemite guides and altogether the quaintest of the many queer old fellows who drifted into the valley in early days and there were stranded for life. He had another name, no doubt, but nobody knew or cared what it might be, and he seemed to have forgotten it himself. “Pike” fitted him, served all the purposes for which names were invented, was easy to pronounce, and therefore was all the name he needed. Pike was tall, round-shouldered, lop-sided, slouchy, good-natured, illiterate, garrulous, frankly vain of the little scraps of botanical nomenclature he had picked up and as lazy and unacquainted with soap as an Indian.