And, a few days later, there was a pretty little scene down town. “Sportsmen’s Goods,” the sign above the doorway said, and in the windows were numerous wooden ducks and dainty rods of split bamboo, and glittering German silver reels and gaudy flies, and a thousand things to delight the heart of a fisherman or hunter. Enter, a broad-shouldered gentleman and a haughty wisp of a woman, the latter a trifle embarrassed, despite her stateliness.
“How are you, Jack?”
This to the proprietor of the place, as he comes forward.
“How are you, Harlson?”
“This is Mrs. Harlson.” The ceremony takes place. “Now, Jack, here’s a grave matter of business. Have you a private room? And I want you to send in a lot of light wading-boots—the smallest sizes. And I want some other things.” And the list is given.
And the lady and gentleman disappear into a small room assigned them, and a lot of wading-boots are taken in, and time elapses. And, eventually, lady and gentleman emerge again, the man’s eyes full of laughter, and the woman’s eyes full of laughter and confusion, and a package is made up.
“Send it to my house, Jack,” says the man, and the couple leave the place.
Michigan is divided into two peninsulas, the apexes of which meet.
The State is shaped like an hour-glass, with the upper portion twisted to the left. About all the two peninsulas lie blue waters, the inland seas, lakes Michigan, Superior and Huron. Upon the upper peninsula are great mineral ranges, copper and iron, a stunted but sturdy forest growth, and hundreds of little lakelets. The lower peninsula, at its apex, is yet largely unclaimed from nature, but, toward the south, broadens out into the great area of grain and apple blossoms, and big, natty towns, once the country of oak openings, the haunt of Pontiac and of Tecumseh, braided and crossed by one of Cooper’s romances.
It is with the crest of the lower peninsula that this description deals. There exist not the rigors of the northern peninsula; there the timber has not tempted woodland plunderers, nor have dried brook-beds followed shorn forests, nor the farmer invaded the region of light soil. There is the dense but stunted growth of the hard maple and pine and beech and fir, and there are windfalls and slashes which sometimes bridge the creeks. There are still black ash swales and dry beech ridges, but they are not as massive as further south. There are still the haunting deer and the black bear and the ruffed grouse, the “partridge” in the idiom of the country, the “pheasant” of the South and Southwest. There are scores of tiny lakes, deep and pure and tenanted, and babbling streams, and there are the knighted speckled trout, the viking black bass and that rakish aristocrat, the grayling.