“I never was in a battle, but if they made any more noise at Bull Run than Boston was making, I’m glad I wasn’t there. I thought I was running away from the biggest fight on record. It was what our military authors call ‘a continual roll of musketry.’ But while running away from one battle I piled into another and had all the fight I needed on my hands. The dogs and two bears were mixed up in some sort of disagreement about things in general, and I was in it, as the Dude would say, with both feet and a crutch. We got some tangled, but things came my way pretty soon, and when the bears were laid out I stopped to listen. The fight was still going on down the canyon. The boy is still holding his own, I thought; it would be a pity to spoil such a battle. So I went on and dressed my bears, while the steady roll of musketry thundered in the gulch. Then I had a wash in the creek, had a smoke and sat down at the foot of a tree and fell asleep. The last I heard was a monotonous uproar indicating that the forces down the gulch were stubbornly holding their ground.
“I never did know how long I slept, but when I awoke all was quiet. Perhaps it was the silence following the cessation of hostilities that awakened me. I set out to find Boston, and groped my way down the gulch through a cloud of smoke. Presently I came to the scene of the fray. Where my hero had made his first and last stand was a stack of empty shells and the pump-gun so hot that it had set the dry leaves afire, but the bear hunter was gone. I yelled, but got no answer. I looked for tracks up and down the canyon, but there were no tracks. The kid had vanished.
“Then I climbed up the side of the canyon, high enough to see the tops of trees that stood in the bottom of the gulch. Near the scene of hostilities was a giant sugar pine, the top of which had been broken off. Boston had shinned up that tree when his ammunition gave out, and when I discovered him he was balancing himself upon the broken shaft and reaching out over his head into space for more limbs.”
“Yosemite” is an Indian word, signifying “place of the Grizzly bear,” and appropriately the Yosemite National Park is made a sanctuary for the California Grizzly by the regulations forbidding hunting or the carrying of firearms within its borders. Danger of extinction of the species, which was an imminent menace when the park was established, was averted by that act, and doubtless the bears have increased in numbers under protection of the United States. They were quite plentiful in that part of the Sierra Nevada in the early 90’s, when, as State Forester, I co-operated with the first superintendent of the National Park, Capt. Wood, Fourth U. S. Cavalry, in driving out the sheep-men with their devastating flocks of “hoofed locusts,” and protecting the Sierra forests from fire.