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to stick to the dry pine branches, helped is altered somewhat. If the rain has just out, in the interest of coals for frying, by commenced, do not stop to clear out very a little dry maple or birch. If you need thoroughly, but . get your tent up as more of a blaze, you will have to search quickly as possible, in order to preserve out, fell, and split a standing dead tree. an area of comparatively dry ground. This is not at all necessary. I have trav: But if the earth is already soaked, you eled many weeks in the woods without had best build a bonfire to dry out by, using a more formidable implement than while you cook over a smaller fire a little a one-pound hatchet. Pile your fuel-a distance removed, leaving the tent until complete supply, all you are going to later. Or it may be well not to pitch the need—by the side of your already impro- tent at all, but to lay it across slanting vised fireplace. But, as you value your supports at an angle to reflect the heat peace of mind, do not fool with matches. against the ground.
It will be a little difficult to turn your It is no joke to light a fire in the rain. mind from the concept of fire, to which An Indian can do it more easily than a all these preparations have compellingly white man, but even an Indian has more led it—especially as a fire is the one trouble than the story books acknowledge. cheerful thing your weariness needs the You will need a greater quantity of birch most at this time of day—but you must bark, a bigger pile of resinous dead limbs do so. Leave everything just as it is, and from the pine-trees, and perhaps the unpack your provisions.
heart of a dead pine stub or stump. Then, First of all rinse your utensils. Hang with infinite patience, you may be able to your tea-pail, with the proper quantity of tease the flame. Sometimes a small dead water, from one slanting pole, and your birch contains in the waterproof envelope kettle from the other. Salt the water in of its bark a species of powdery dry the latter receptacle. Peel your potatoes, touchwood that takes the flame readily. if you have any; open your little provis: Still, it is easy enough to start a blaze-a ion sacks; puncture your tin cans, if you very fine-looking, cheerful, healthy blaze: have any ; slice your bacon ; clean your the difficulty is to prevent its petering out fish; pluck your birds; mix your dough the moment your back is turned. or batter; spread your table tinware on But the depths of woe are sounded and your tarpaulin or a sheet of birch bark; the limit of patience reached when you cut a kettle-lifter ; see that everything you are forced to get breakfast in the dripping are going to need is within direct reach forest. After the chill of early dawn you of your hand as you squat on your heels' are always reluctant to leave your blanbefore the fireplace. Now light your fire. kets, to fumble with numbed fingers for
The civilized method is to build a fire matches, to handle cold steel and slippery and then to touch a match to the com- fish.
fish. But when every leaf, twig, sapling, pleted structure. If well done and in a and tree contains a douche of cold water; grate or stove, this works beautifully. when the wetness oozes about your mocOnly in the woods you have no grate. casins from the soggy earth with every The only sure way is as follows: Hold a step you take; when you look about you piece of birch bark in your hand. Shelter and realize that somehow, before you can your match all you know how. When the get a mouthful to banish that beforebark has caught, lay it in your fireplace, breakfast ill-humor, you must brave cold assist it with more bark, and gradually water in an attempt to find enough fuel to build up, twig by twig, stick by stick, cook with, then your philosophy and early from the first pin-point of flame, all the religious training avail you little. The fire you are going to need. It will not first ninety-nine times you are forced to be much. The little hot blaze rising do this you will probably squirm circumbetween the parallel logs directly against spectly through the brush in a vain the aluminum of your utensils will do the attempt to avoid shaking water down on business in very short order. In fifteen yourself; you will resent each failure to minutes at most your meal is ready. And do so, and at the end your rage will peryou have been able to attain to hot food sonify the wilderness for the purpose of thus quickly because you were prepared. one sweeping anathema. The hundredth
In case of very wet weather the affair time will bring you wisdom. You will do
the anathema—rueful rather than enraged hour. And you are through for the day.
- from the tent opening. Then you will In the woods, as nowhere else, you will plunge boldly in and get wet. It is not earn your leisure only by forethought. pleasant, but it has to be done, and you Make no move until you know it follows will save much temper, not to speak of the line of greatest economy. To putter time.
is to wallow in endless desolation. If Dick and I earned our diplomas at this you cannot move directly and swiftly and sort of work. It rained twelve of the first certainly along the line of least resistance fourteen days we were out. Towards the in everything you do, take a guide with end of that two weeks I doubt if even an you; you are not of the woods people. Indian could have discovered a dry stick You will never enjoy doing for yourself, of wood in the entire country. The land for your days will be crammed with unendwas of Laurentian rock formation, running ing labor. in parallel ridges of bare stone separated It is but a little after seven. The long by hollows carpeted with a thin layer of crimson shadows of the north country are earth. The ridges were naturally ill lifting across the aisles of the forest. You adapted to camping, and the cup hollows sit on a log, or lie on your back, and blow speedily filled up with water until they contented clouds straight up into the air. became most creditable little marshes. Nothing can disturb you now. The wilOften we hunted for an hour or so before derness is yours, for you have taken from we could find any sort of a spot to pitch it the essentials of primitive civilizationour tent. As for a fire, it was a matter of shelter, warmth, and food. An hour ago chopping down dead trees large enough a rain-storm would have been a minor to have remained dry inside, of armfuls catastrophe. Now you do care. of birch bark, and of the patient drying Blow high, blow low, you have made for out, by repeated ignition, of enough fuel yourself an abiding-place, so that the to cook very simple meals. Of course we signs of the sky are less important to you could have kept a big fire going easily than to the city dweller who wonders if enough, but we were traveling steadily he should take an umbrella. From your and had not the time for that. In these own doorstep you can look placidly out trying circumstances Dick showed that, no on the great unknown. The noises of matter how much of a tenderfoot he might the forest draw close about you their be, he was game enough under stress. circle of mystery, but the circle cannot
But to return to our pleasant afternoon. break upon you, for here you have conWhile you are consuming the supper you jured the homely sounds of kettle and will hang over some water to heat for the crackling flame to keep ward. Thronging dish-washing, and the dish-washing you will down through the twilight steal the jealattend to the moment you have finished ous woodland shadows, awful in the sub .eating. Do not commit the fallacy of limity of the silent places, but at the sentry sitting down for a little rest. Better outposts of your fire-lit trees they pause finish the job completely while you are like wild animals, hesitating to advance. about it. You will appreciate leisure so The wilderness, untamed, dreadful at much more later. In lack of a wash-rag night, is all about; but this one little spot you will find that a bunch of tall grass bent you have reclaimed. Here is something double makes an ideal swab.
before unknown to the eerie spirits of the Now brush the flies from your tent, woods. As you sleepily knock the ashes drop the mosquito-proof lining, and enjoy from the pipe, you look about on the yourself. The whole task, from first to familiar scene with accustomed satisfac- . last, has consumed but a little over an tion. You are at home.
The New Opera Director Mr. Heinrich Conried, who has just been elected Director of the Metropolitan OperaHouse, New York City, is one of the most prominent and picturesque personalities in the dramatic world. His genius for stage direction is so great that his own theater (the Irving Place, New York City) may be said to be the only American playhouse preserving the classic traditions of the Comédie Française at Paris or the Burg Theater at Vienna. The guiding principle of each of these three theaters is to seek for excellence in performance rather than of performer. At each, leading actors are often invited to assume minor rôles. Theater-goers thus have the comfortable assurance that every character will receive adequate representation, and that the resultant whole will be consistently artístic. The emphasis of this principle should be characteristic of next year's performances at the Metropolitan Opera-House under Mr. Conried's direction. The audience will then have an opportunity to hear, not merely singers, but operas.