Adventures in the Forest, on the River, and in the City
The Bear Hunter’s Story.—Service
in the Legislature.—Candidate for
Congress.—Electioneering.—The New Speculation.—Disastrous
Voyage.—Narrow Escape.—New Electioneering Exploits.—Odd
Speeches.—The Visit to Crockett’s Cabin.—His Political Views.—His
Honesty.—Opposition to Jackson.—Scene at Raleigh.—Dines with the
President.—Gross Caricature.—His Annoyance.
Crockett was very fond of hunting-adventures, and told stories of these enterprises in a racy way, peculiarly characteristic of the man. The following narrative from his own lips, the reader will certainly peruse with much interest.
“I was sitting by a good fire in my little cabin, on a cool November evening, roasting potatoes I believe, and playing with my children, when some one halloed at the fence. I went out, and there were three strangers, who said they come to take an elk-hunt. I was glad to see ’em, invited ’em in, and after supper we cleaned our guns. I took down old Betsey, rubbed her up, greased her, and laid her away to rest. She is a mighty rough old piece. but I love her, for she and I have seen hard times. She mighty seldom tells me a lie. If I hold her right, she always sends the ball where I tell her, After we were all fixed, I told ’em hunting-stories till bedtime.
“Next morning was clear and cold, and by times I sounded my horn, and my dogs came howling ’bout me, ready for a, chase. Old Rattler was a little lame—a bear bit him in the shoulder; but Soundwell, Tiger, and the rest of ’em were all mighty anxious. We got a bite, and saddled our horses. I went by to git a neighbor to drive for us, and off we started for the Harricane. My dogs looked mighty wolfish; they kept jumping on one another and growling. I knew they were run mad for a fight, for they hadn’t had one for two or three days. We were in fine spirits, and going ’long through very open woods, when one of the strangers said, ’I would give my horse now to see a bear.’
“Said I, ‘Well, give me your horse,’ and I pointed to an old bear, about three or four hundred yards ahead of us, feeding on acorns.
“I had been looking at him some time, but he was so far off; I wasn’t certain what it was. However, I hardly spoke before we all strained off; and the woods fairly echoed as we harked the dogs on. The old bear didn’t want to run, and he never broke till we got most upon him; but then he buckled for it, I tell you. When they overhauled him he just rared up on his hind legs, and he boxed the dogs ’bout at a mighty rate. He hugged old Tiger and another, till he dropped ’em nearly lifeless; but the others worried him, and after a while they all come to, and they give him trouble. They are mighty apt, I tell you, to give a bear trouble before they leave him.