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the heather thrown on the fire blazing up as it dried. To rush out was the first impulse. It was snowing, and the roof was covered with a thin coat of snow, which had no effect in checking the fire. The burn ran close by, and with our bonnets we laved up water on the low roof, and soon got the fire extinguished, but at the expense of leaving a little lake to fill the place so lately occupied by our beds. This was uncomfortable enough, and as we sat under the roof, which still sheltered us from the snow, longing for daylight, we formed certain vows against being caught bivouacking again on the 'burn of the Carouries. The night had an end, and we sallied out prepared to yield to fate and the weather, and to make for the low country; when the snow suddenly ceased falling. The sun, not yet risen above our horizon, began to tinge with rose the white cairn of Cairngorm. Then top after top caught the glow, till the whole mountains round shone in glorious light. Coming from that dark smoky cabin, the change was magical. It was perfectly still : even on the highest cliffs there was not a breath. As we walked forward, the ptarmigan crowed and rose at our feet. Taking up our dogs, we began shooting, and had several hours of very fine sport. The birds when found were generally down on the white moss beside the little streams that intersect it; but on being flushed, they took short flights and lighted on the steep corries, often within sight, so that ‘marking' was of as much importance as in a day of Norfolk partridge-shooting. In that our henchmen’ excelled, and also in directing our approaches to the game when marked. It would be a nervous sort of climbing in other circumstances, but with the game before him, a man thinks little of the danger, and really incurs less from not thinking. Before the weather changed, which it did at mid-day, our bag was well filled. We have seen many a fine day round the black rocks of Loch Awn and on the side of Cairngorm; but that morning rests brightest in our memory
The Earl of Seafield's shootings which are let-partly in Inverness-shire, but chiefly in Moray and Banff sbires-are about 245,000 acres in extent, at rents which seem to average 11. for a hundred acres, varying from one-half to two-thirds of the grazing. rent of the same ground.
In Inverness-shire it has been found impossible to obtain any tolerably accurate statement of the extent of the shootings let. The whole rent derived from shootings in this large county is about 90001., exclusive however of the portion of rent which may be called the grazing-rent of deer-forests, that is, what could be obtained for the ground for sheep-pasture. The smallness of produce froin this favourite county is in some degree accounted
for, by several large properties, which were formerly rented for shooting, having been lately purchased by sportsmen, who now keep the game for their own use. Lord Lovat and several of the old proprietors also have large districts in their own occupation.
As the traveller journeys northward by the great Highland road, and, arriving on the banks of the Spey, turns to trace down for many miles its magnificent valley, he has on his right hand the grand range of the Cairngorms, for which the light of the morning or evening sun reflected from their bare scalps of red granite has obtained from the Badenoch shepherd the name of the Mona Ruadh (Red Mountains); while, to distinguish them, he calls the range on the opposite or north side of the valley, the Mona Liadh, or grey mountains. These last are not much seen from the road, except where they throw out into the valley the prominent heights of Craig-dhu,' once the battle-cry of the sept of Macpherson, and ·Craigellachie,' whose name gave the old slogan of the Grants. Behind these, rises the wild high range of the Mona Liadh, where the streams collect that feed the river Findhorn. It is a desolate dreary region, intersected by one or two green glens, fringed with dwarf birch and juniper, and studded thick with the black towns,' as the little clusters of turf hovels are denominated, where is seen the ancient mode of life and crowded population now banished from most of the Scotch glens. The lord of all this country is the chief of Macintosh, whose forefathers, · Captains of Clanchattan,' used to draw a formidable band of followers from those glens now so quiet. It was into those fastnesses the unbroken and frowning body of the Highland army retreated after the defeat of Culloden; and they retreated unmolested. It was not ground for Hanoverian horse or Lowland foot to give them much annoyance. For long after the Rebellion, the tract was hardly visited but by the shepherds, and now and then a deer-stalker from Kingusie. Grouse were not worth killing, if the poor Highlander had had the skill and the apparatus for their slaughter. Even after grouse-shooting had become somewhat fashionable, the Mona Liadh was neglected. No road led into its wild solitudes, and it was set down in men's minds as the interior of Africa in the old maps, where strange monsters and naked savages are painted to represent the untrodden desert. The first sportsman who penetrated the district was an adventurous officer quartered at Fort George some thirty years ago. He was hardy, and could put up with the shepherd's fare and mode of life; he found grouse in abundance, fine streams, and several lakes full of trout; roe, and a fair sprinkling of red deer, notwithstanding the constant molestation of shepherds and sheep-dogs; and he secured the exclusive sport
of the whole territory, said to be 40,000 acres, for 201. a-year. Times are changed in the Mona Liadh. A good road now leads up to the door of a comfortable shooting-box; the lease has just expired, and the Laird' proposes to divide the ground, and build another lodge five miles farther up; and as there is range for six or eight guns, he may expect 5001. or 6001. per annum for the shooting.
Passing red deer are met with on all the higher ranges of this county. But it is chiefly on the estates of Lord Lovat, Sir G. M. Grant, and Cluny, the chieftain of Macpherson, that large districts are cleared of sheep and devoted exclusively to deer. Where these deer-forests are let, the tenant of course pays the rent of the land as pasture, as well as the shooting-rent. The landlord benefits by an increased rent; the natives of the glens have no reason to complain; so far from this practice tending to dispeople the country, the very opposite is the case. Glenfeshie, a fine valley of a tributary of the Spey, was until a few years ago occupied as a sheep-farm; and an arable farm of one hundred acres round the house of Invereshie being laid down in pasture for wintering the sheep, three shepherds and a boy were all the servants then required, with the addition of a few hands at sheepshearing. It is now let as a deer-forest. The tenant of the forest employs seven keepers on yearly wages, four watchers during the shooting-season; and an average of about a dozen
gillies.' When the last tenant, Mr. Ellice, rented the forest, as many as twenty-six gillies have started on one morning from Invereshie-two attending each sportsman. The tenant and his guests require a number of ponies, which are furnished by the neighbouring farmers. The arable land, instead of being kept in permanent pasture, is regularly cultivated, employing the establishment of servants and cattle required for such a farm. Another tract of Sir G. M. Grant's (the ancient forest of Gawick) is now again brought under deer, and let in the same manner.
Cluny Macpherson's deer-forest, and a large range of grouseground, are let to the Marquis of Abercorn, who has 40,000 acres, freed of sheep and kept for deer only. He has established his summer lodge on the lovely banks of Lochlaggan; and it may be readily imagined what advantage is derived to a Highland glen from such an establishment. In that and many other instances, the occupant of the shootings, though only a tenant, becomes attached to the place, and either secures a long lease or makes it the interest of his landlord to keep him : thus ending the evil which sometimes results from an ephemeral occupancy, and bringing the gentry of the lodge and the people of the glen to regard each other as old friends and permanent neighbours.
Lord Lovat does not let his deer-forest of Strathfarar and Strathglas. It is rather narrow, but in some places of exquisite beauty.
From the best information we have been able to obtain, the shootings usually let in Ross-shire produce about 40001. a-year.
In Sutherland, which, with the exception of one or two estates of moderate size, is the property of the Duke of Sutherland, we have not heard of any shootings being let.
In Caithness, moors are let only for grouse-shooting, producing an average rent of about 17001. a-year. There are no deer-forests.
It is to the varied sports afforded by this wide region of moor and mountain, lake and river, that we would now introduce such of our southern readers as do not scorn our gentle guidance.
First in rank is the royal sport--the noblest of bill-craft—the chace of the red-deer. To illustrate the art of deer-stalking, Mr. Scrope has devoted his skill as an artist, and his knowledge and experience as a veteran sportsınan. We have endeavoured to do justice to his work on that subject in a former Number (Quart. Rev., vol. lxiii. p. 73). He has painted deer-stalking as he enjoyed it in the Duke of Athol's forest-and in every page we recognise the hand of a thoroughbred and most gallant sportsman. The only defect is that Mr. Scrope's proceedings have usually been on the grandest scale-conducted with all the appliances of a princely establishment-no end of retainers of all classes at his disposal. Accordingly it could be but on rare occasions that he was able to exert in perfection the powers of tact and personal endurance of which some of his chapters prove him to be possessed. We are confident he would have enjoyed the sport still more than he did, had he been compelled to trust more exclusively to his own good eye and sinews. In truth, the superiority of deer-stalking over other sports lies in its calling forth and putting to the test the highest qualifications of a sportsman. To hope to succeed in it, a man must be of good constitution, patient of toil, cold, hunger, and all hardship, and not to be discouraged by ill success. He must be active and quick of foot; he must have a keen eye and steady hand, and unshaken nerves; but, bringing all these preliminary qualifications, the young deer-stalker must still further learn to know the nature of the ground and the habits of the animal : he is to contend against the lord of the mountain. The red-deer is unmatched in strength, and speed, and endurance; he is very watchful; his sight is perfect; his hearing perfect ; his sense of smell so acute that it detects the taint of a human enemy on the wind at the distance of miles. It is against these qualities and instincts, in a region best suited for their display, the deer-stalker has to match himself; and it is no inglorious triumph for human reason if he has the superiority. We think the individual exertion, the perseverance and sagacity, necessary for success when the devotee goes forth, single-handed, are well shown in a few pages from a journal of a sportsman to which we have had access. We have used the liberty of abridging it, but have neither added nor altered anything of the sense, and can vouch for its being literally and wholly true. At the time of the adventures described, the writer was a very young man, fresh from a London life; but he was 'come of a good kind,' and took to the rough doings of the mountain life with that hearty enthusiasm and resolution not to be beat, which we love to think characteristic of Englishmen:
Sunday.--This evening, Malcolm, the shepherd of the shealing at the foot of Benmore, returning from church, reported his having crossed in the hill a track of a hart of extraordinary size. He guessed it must be “the muckle stag of Benmore," an animal that was seldom seen, but had long been the talk and marvel of the shepherds for its wonderful size and cunning. They love the marvellous, and in their report “the muckle stag" bore a charmed life; he was unapproachable and invulnerable. I had heard of him too; and having taken my informations, resolved to adventure to break the charm, though it should cost me a day or two.
· Monday.—This morning's sunrise saw me with my rifle, Donald carrying my double barrel, and Bran, on our way up the glen to the shealing at the foot of Benmore. Donald is a small wiry old Highlander, somewhat sleepy in appearance, except when game is in sight, but whose whole figure changes when a deer comes in view. I must confess, however, he had no heart for this expedition. He is not addicted to superfluous conversation, but I heard him mutter something of a “ feckless errand—as good deer nearer hame.” Bran is a favourite : he is a sort of lurcher—a cross between a high-bred Highland staghound and a bloodhound; not extremely fast, but untiring, and of courage to face anything on four legs, already the victor in many a bloody tussle with hart and fox. We held generally up the glen, but turning and crossing to seek every likely corrie and burn on both sides. I shot a wild cat, stealing home to its cairn in the early morning; and we several times in the day came on deer, but they were hinds with their calves, and I was hent on higher game. As night fell, we turned down to the shealing rather disheartened; but the shepherd cheered me by assuring me the hart was still in that district, and describing his track, which he said was like that of a good heifer. Our spirits were quite restored by a meal of fresh-caught trout, oat-cake and milk, with a modicum of whisky, which certainly was of unusual flavour and potency.
Tuesday.—We were off again by day break. I must pass several minor adventures, but one cannot be neglected. Malcolm went with us to show where he had last seen the track. As we crossed a long reach of black and broken ground, the first ascent from the valley, two golden eagles rose out of a hollow at some distance. Their Aight was lazy and heavy, as if gorged with food, and on examining the place we found the carcass of a sheep half-eaten, one of Malcolm's flock. He