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Chapter IX: Santa Cruz, Patagonia, And The Falkland Islands 


Santa Cruz -- Expedition up the River -- Indians -- Immense Streams of Basaltic Lava -- Fragments not transported by the River -- Excavations of the Valley -- Condor, Habits of -- Cordillera -- Erratic Boulders of great size -- Indian Relics -- Return to the Ship -- Falkland Islands -- Wild Horses, Cattle, Rabbits -- Wolf-like Fox -- Fire made of Bones -- Manner of Hunting Wild Cattle -- Geology -- Streams of Stones -- Scenes of Violence -- Penguins -- Geese -- Eggs of Doris -- Compound Animals.

APRIL 13, 1834. -- The Beagle anchored within the mouth of the Santa Cruz. This river is situated about sixty miles south of Port St. Julian. During the last voyage Captain Stokes proceeded thirty miles up it, but then, from the want of provisions, was obliged to return. Excepting what was discovered at that time, scarcely anything was known about this large river. Captain Fitz Roy now determined to follow its course as far as time would allow. On the 18th three whale-boats started, carrying three weeks' provisions; and the party consisted of twenty-five souls -- a force which would have been sufficient to have defied a host of Indians. With a strong flood-tide and a fine day we made a good run, soon drank some of the fresh water, and were at night nearly above the tidal influence.

The river here assumed a size and appearance which, even at the highest point we ultimately reached, was scarcely diminished. It was generally from three to four hundred yards broad, and in the middle about seventeen feet deep. The rapidity of the current, which in its whole course runs at the rate of from four to six knots an hour, is perhaps its most remarkable feature. The water is of a fine blue colour, but with a slight milky tinge, and not so transparent as at first sight would have been expected. It flows over a bed of pebbles, like those which compose the beach and the surrounding plains. It runs in a winding course through valley, which extends in a direct line westward. This valle varies from five to ten miles in breadth; it is bounded b step-formed terraces, which rise in most parts, one above th other, to the height of five hundred feet, and have on th opposite sides a remarkable correspondence.

April 19th. -- Against so strong a current it was, o course, quite impossible to row or sail: consequently th three boats were fastened together head and stern, two hand left in each, and the rest came on shore to track. As th general arrangements made by Captain Fitz Roy were ver good for facilitating the work of all, and as all had a shar in it, I will describe the system. The party including ever one, was divided into two spells, each of which hauled at th tracking line alternately for an hour and a half. The officers of each boat lived with, ate the same food, and slep in the same tent with their crew, so that each boat wa quite independent of the others. After sunset the first leve spot where any bushes were growing, was chosen for ou night's lodging. Each of the crew took it in turns to b cook. Immediately the boat was hauled up, the cook mad his fire; two others pitched the tent; the coxswain hande the things out of the boat; the rest carried them up to th tents and collected firewood. By this order, in half an hou everything was ready for the night. A watch of two me and an officer was always kept, whose duty it was to loo after the boats, keep up the fire, and guard against Indians Each in the party had his one hour every night.

During this day we tracked but a short distance, for ther were many islets, covered by thorny bushes, and the channels between them were shallow.

April 20th. -- We passed the islands and set to work. Ou regular day's march, although it was hard enough, carrie us on an average only ten miles in a straight line, and perhaps fifteen or twenty altogether. Beyond the place wher we slept last night, the country is completely terra incognita for it was there that Captain Stokes turned back. We sa in the distance a great smoke, and found the skeleton of horse, so we knew that Indians were in the neighbourhood On the next morning (21st) tracks of a party of horse and marks left by the trailing of the chuzos, or long spears were observed on the ground. It was generally though that the Indians had reconnoitred us during the night Shortly afterwards we came to a spot where, from the fres footsteps of men, children, and horses, it was evident tha the party had crossed the river.

April 22nd. -- The country remained the same, and wa extremely uninteresting. The complete similarity of th productions throughout Patagonia is one of its most striking characters. The level plains of arid shingle suppor the same stunted and dwarf plants; and in the valleys th same thorn-bearing bushes grow. Everywhere we see th same birds and insects. Even the very banks of the rive and of the clear streamlets which entered it, were scarcel enlivened by a brighter tint of green. The curse of sterilit is on the land, and the water flowing over a bed of pebble partakes of the same curse. Hence the number of waterfowl is very scanty; for there is nothing to support life i the stream of this barren river.

Patagonia, poor as she is in some respects, can howeve boast of a greater stock of small rodents [1] than perhaps an other country in the world. Several species of mice ar externally characterized by large thin ears and a very fin fur. These little animals swarm amongst the thickets in th valleys, where they cannot for months together taste a dro of water excepting the dew. They all seem to be cannibals for no sooner was a mouse caught in one of my traps tha it was devoured by others. A small and delicately shape fox, which is likewise very abundant, probably derives it entire support from these small animals. The guanaco i also in his proper district, herds of fifty or a hundred wer common; and, as I have stated, we saw one which mus have contained at least five hundred. The puma, with th condor and other carrion-hawks in its train, follows an preys upon these animals. The footsteps of the puma wer to be seen almost everywhere on the banks of the river and the remains of several guanacos, with their neck dislocated and bones broken, showed how they had met thei death.

April 24th. -- Like the navigators of old when approachin an unknown land, we examined and watched for the mos trivial sign of a change. The drifted trunk of a tree, or boulder of primitive rock, was hailed with joy, as if we ha seen a forest growing on the flanks of the Cordillera. Th top, however, of a heavy bank of clouds, which remaine almost constantly in one position, was the most promisin sign, and eventually turned out a true harbinger. At first th clouds were mistaken for the mountains themselves, instea of the masses of vapour condensed by their icy summits.

April 26th. -- We this day met with a marked change i the geological structure of the plains. From the first starting I had carefully examined the gravel in the river, an for the two last days had noticed the presence of a few smal pebbles of a very cellular basalt. These gradually increase in number and in size, but none were as large as a man' head. This morning, however, pebbles of the same rock but more compact, suddenly became abundant, and in th course of half an hour we saw, at the distance of five o six miles, the angular edge of a great basaltic platform When we arrived at its base we found the stream bubblin among the fallen blocks. For the next twenty-eight mile the river-course was encumbered with these basaltic masses Above that limit immense fragments of primitive rocks derived from its surrounding boulder-formation, wer equally numerous. None of the fragments of any considerable size had been washed more than three or four mile down the river below their parent-source: considering th singular rapidity of the great body of water in the Sant Cruz, and that no still reaches occur in any part, this example is a most striking one, of the inefficiency of rivers i transporting even moderately-sized fragments.

The basalt is only lava, which has flowed beneath the sea but the eruptions must have been on the grandest scale. A the point where we first met this formation it was 120 fee in thickness; following up the river course, the surfac imperceptibly rose and the mass became thicker, so that a forty miles above the first station it was 320 feet thick What the thickness may be close to the Cordillera, I hav no means of knowing, but the platform there attains a heigh of about three thousand feet above the level of the sea we must therefore look to the mountains of that great chai for its source; and worthy of such a source are streams tha have flowed over the gently inclined bed of the sea to distance of one hundred miles. At the first glance of th basaltic cliffs on the opposite sides of the valley, it wa evident that the strata once were united. What power, then has removed along a whole line of country, a solid mass o very hard rock, which had an average thickness of nearl three hundred feet, and a breadth varying from rather les than two miles to four miles? The river, though it has s little power in transporting even inconsiderable fragments yet in the lapse of ages might produce by its gradual erosio an effect of which it is difficult to judge the amount. Bu in this case, independently of the insignificance of such a agency, good reasons can be assigned for believing that thi valley was formerly occupied by an arm of the sea. It i needless in this work to detail the arguments leading to thi conclusion, derived from the form and the nature of th step-formed terraces on both sides of the valley, from th manner in which the bottom of the valley near the Ande expands into a great estuary-like plain with sand-hillock on it, and from the occurrence of a few sea-shells lying i the bed of the river. If I had space I could prove tha South America was formerly here cut off by a strait, joinin the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, like that of Magellan But it may yet be asked, how has the solid basalt bee moved? Geologists formerly would have brought into play the violent action of some overwhelming debacle; but in thi case such a supposition would have been quite inadmissible because, the same step-like plains with existing sea-shell lying on their surface, which front the long line of the Patagonian coast, sweep up on each side of the valley of Sant Cruz. No possible action of any flood could thus hav modelled the land, either within the valley or along the ope coast; and by the formation of such step-like plains or terraces the valley itself had been hollowed out. Although w know that there are tides, which run within the Narrow of the Strait of Magellan at the rate of eight knots an hour yet we must confess that it makes the head almost giddy t reflect on the number of years, century after century, whic the tides, unaided by a heavy surf, must have required t have corroded so vast an area and thickness of solid basalti lava. Nevertheless, we must believe that the strata undermined by the waters of this ancient strait, were broken u into huge fragments, and these lying scattered on the beach were reduced first to smaller blocks, then to pebbles an lastly to the most impalpable mud, which the tides drifte far into the Eastern or Western Ocean.

With the change in the geological structure of the plain the character of the landscape likewise altered. While rambling up some of the narrow and rocky defiles, I could almos have fancied myself transported back again to the barre valleys of the island of St. Jago. Among the basaltic cliffs I found some plants which I had seen nowhere else, bu others I recognised as being wanderers from Tierra de Fuego. These porous rocks serve as a reservoir for th scanty rain-water; and consequently on the line where th igneous and sedimentary formations unite, some smal springs (most rare occurrences in Patagonia) burst forth and they could be distinguished at a distance by the circumscribed patches of bright green herbage.

April 27th. -- The bed of the river became rather narrower and hence the stream more rapid. It here ran at the rat of six knots an hour. From this cause, and from the man great angular fragments, tracking the boats became bot dangerous and laborious

This day I shot a condor. It measured from tip to ti of the wings, eight and a half feet, and from beak to tail four feet. This bird is known to have a wide geographica range, being found on the west coast of South America from the Strait of Magellan along the Cordillera as far a eight degrees north of the equator. The steep cliff near th mouth of the Rio Negro is its northern limit on the Patagonian coast; and they have there wandered about fou hundred miles from the great central line of their habitation in the Andes. Further south, among the bold precipices at the head of Port Desire, the condor is not uncommon; yet only a few stragglers occasionally visit the seacoast. A line of cliff near the mouth of the Santa Cruz i frequented by these birds, and about eighty miles up th river, where the sides of the valley are formed by stee basaltic precipices, the condor reappears. From these facts it seems that the condors require perpendicular cliffs. I Chile, they haunt, during the greater part of the year, th lower country near the shores of the Pacific, and at nigh several roost together in one tree; but in the early part o summer, they retire to the most inaccessible parts of th inner Cordillera, there to breed in peace.

With respect to their propagation, I was told by th country people in Chile, that the condor makes no sort o nest, but in the months of November and December lay two large white eggs on a shelf of bare rock. It is said tha the young condors cannot fly for an entire year; and lon after they are able, they continue to roost by night, an hunt by day with their parents. The old birds generally liv in pairs; but among the inland basaltic cliffs of the Sant Cruz, I found a spot, where scores must usually haunt. O coming suddenly to the brow of the precipice, it was a gran spectacle to see between twenty and thirty of these grea birds start heavily from their resting-place, and wheel awa in majestic circles. From the quantity of dung on the rocks they must long have frequented this cliff for roosting an breeding. Having gorged themselves with carrion on th plains below, they retire to these favourite ledges to diges their food. From these facts, the condor, like the gallinazo must to a certain degree be considered as a gregarious bird In this part of the country they live altogether on the guanacos which have died a natural death, or as more commonl happens, have been killed by the pumas. I believe, fro what I saw in Patagonia, that they do not on ordinary occasions extend their daily excursions to any great distanc from their regular sleeping-places.

The condors may oftentimes be seen at a great height soaring over a certain spot in the most graceful circles On some occasions I am sure that they do this only fo pleasure, but on others, the Chileno countryman tells yo that they are watching a dying animal, or the puma devouring its prey. If the condors glide down, and then suddenl all rise together, the Chileno knows that it is the pum which, watching the carcass, has sprung out to drive awa the robbers. Besides feeding on carrion, the condors frequently attack young goats and lambs; and the shepherd-dogs are trained, whenever they pass over, to run out, an looking upwards to bark violently. The Chilenos destro and catch numbers. Two methods are used; one is to plac a carcass on a level piece of ground within an enclosure o sticks with an opening, and when the condors are gorged to gallop up on horseback to the entrance, and thus enclos them: for when this bird has not space to run, it canno give its body sufficient momentum to rise from the ground The second method is to mark the trees in which, frequentl to the number of five or six together, they roost, and the at night to climb up and noose them. They are such heav sleepers, as I have myself witnessed, that this is not a difficult task. At Valparaiso, I have seen a living condor sol for sixpence, but the common price is eight or ten shillings One which I saw brought in, had been tied with rope, an was much injured; yet, the moment the line was cut b which its bill was secured, although surrounded by people it began ravenously to tear a piece of carrion. In a garde at the same place, between twenty and thirty were kept alive They were fed only once a week, but they appeared in prett good health. [2] The Chileno countrymen assert that the condor will live, and retain its vigour, between five and six week without eating: I cannot answer for the truth of this, bu it is a cruel experiment, which very likely has been tried.

When an animal is killed in the country, it is well know that the condors, like other carrion-vultures, soon gain intelligence of it, and congregate in an inexplicable manner In most cases it must not be overlooked, that the bird have discovered their prey, and have picked the skeleto clean, before the flesh is in the least degree tainted. Remembering the experiments of M. Audubon, on the littl smelling powers of carrion-hawks, I tried in the above mentioned garden the following experiment: the condor were tied, each by a rope, in a long row at the bottom of wall; and having folded up a piece of meat in white paper, walked backwards and forwards, carrying it in my hand a the distance of about three yards from them, but no notic whatever was taken. I then threw it on the ground, withi one yard of an old male bird; he looked at it for a momen with attention, but then regarded it no more. With a stic I pushed it closer and closer, until at last he touched it wit his beak; the paper was then instantly torn off with fury and at the same moment, every bird in the long row bega struggling and flapping its wings. Under the same circumstances, it would have been quite impossible to have deceive a dog. The evidence in favour of and against the acut smelling powers of carrion-vultures is singularly balanced Professor Owen has demonstrated that the olfactory nerve of the turkey-buzzard (Cathartes aura) are highly developed, and on the evening when Mr. Owen's paper was rea at the Zoological Society, it was mentioned by a gentlema that he had seen the carrion-hawks in the West Indies o two occasions collect on the roof of a house, when a corps had become offensive from not having been buried, in thi case, the intelligence could hardly have been acquired b sight. On the other hand, besides the experiments of Audubon and that one by myself, Mr. Bachman has tried in th United States many varied plans, showing that neither th turkey-buzzard (the species dissected by Professor Owen nor the gallinazo find their food by smell. He covered portions of highly-offensive offal with a thin canvas cloth, an strewed pieces of meat on it: these the carrion-vultures at up, and then remained quietly standing, with their beak within the eighth of an inch of the putrid mass, withou discovering it. A small rent was made in the canvas, an the offal was immediately discovered; the canvas was replaced by a fresh piece, and meat again put on it, and wa again devoured by the vultures without their discoverin the hidden mass on which they were trampling. These fact are attested by the signatures of six gentlemen, besides tha of Mr. Bachman. [3

Often when lying down to rest on the open plains, o looking upwards, I have seen carrion-hawks sailing throug the air at a great height. Where the country is level I d not believe a space of the heavens, of more than fifteen degrees above the horizon, is commonly viewed with any attention by a person either walking or on horseback. If suc be the case, and the vulture is on the wing at a height o between three and four thousand feet, before it could com within the range of vision, its distance in a straight lin from the beholder's eye, would be rather more than tw British miles. Might it not thus readily be overlooked When an animal is killed by the sportsman in a lonely valley may he not all the while be watched from above by th sharp-sighted bird? And will not the manner of its descen proclaim throughout the district to the whole family o carrion-feeders, that their prey is at hand?

When the condors are wheeling in a flock round an round any spot, their flight is beautiful. Except when risin from the ground, I do not recollect ever having seen on of these birds flap its wings. Near Lima, I watched severa for nearly half an hour, without once taking off my eyes they moved in large curves, sweeping in circles, descendin and ascending without giving a single flap. As they glide close over my head, I intently watched from an oblique position, the outlines of the separate and great terminal feather of each wing; and these separate feathers, if there had bee the least vibratory movement, would have appeared as i blended together; but they were seen distinct against th blue sky. The head and neck were moved frequently, an apparently with force; and the extended wings seemed t form the fulcrum on which the movements of the neck, body and tail acted. If the bird wished to descend, the wing were for a moment collapsed; and when again expande with an altered inclination, the momentum gained by th rapid descent seemed to urge the bird upwards with th even and steady movement of a paper kite. In the case o any bird soaring, its motion must be sufficiently rapid s that the action of the inclined surface of its body on th atmosphere may counterbalance its gravity. The force t keep up the momentum of a body moving in a horizonta plane in the air (in which there is so little friction) canno be great, and this force is all that is wanted. The movement of the neck and body of the condor, we must suppose is sufficient for this. However this may be, it is truly wonderful and beautiful to see so great a bird, hour after hour without any apparent exertion, wheeling and gliding ove mountain and river

April 29th. -- From some high land we hailed with jo the white summits of the Cordillera, as they were seen occasionally peeping through their dusky envelope of clouds During the few succeeding days we continued to get o slowly, for we found the river-course very tortuous, an strewed with immense fragments of various ancient slat rocks, and of granite. The plain bordering the valley ha here attained an elevation of about 1100 feet above the river and its character was much altered. The well-rounded pebbles of porphyry were mingled with many immense angula fragments of basalt and of primary rocks. The first of thes erratic boulders which I noticed, was sixty-seven miles distant from the nearest mountain; another which I measure was five yards square, and projected five feet above th gravel. Its edges were so angular, and its size so great, tha I at first mistook it for a rock in situ, and took out my compass to observe the direction of its cleavage. The plain her was not quite so level as that nearer the coast, but yet i betrayed no signs of any great violence. Under these circumstances it is, I believe, quite impossible to explain th transportal of these gigantic masses of rock so many mile from their parent-source, on any theory except by that o floating icebergs.

During the two last days we met with signs of horses, an with several small articles which had belonged to the Indian -- such as parts of a mantle and a bunch of ostrich feathers -- but they appeared to have been lying long on the ground Between the place where the Indians had so lately crosse the river and this neighbourhood, though so many mile apart, the country appears to be quite unfrequented. At first considering the abundance of the guanacos, I was surprise at this; but it is explained by the stony nature of the plains which would soon disable an unshod horse from taking par in the chase. Nevertheless, in two places in this very centra region, I found small heaps of stones, which I do not thin could have been accidentally thrown together. They wer placed on points, projecting over the edge of the highest lav cliff, and they resembled, but on a small scale, those nea Port Desire.

May 4th. -- Captain Fitz Roy determined to take the boat no higher. The river had a winding course, and was ver rapid; and the appearance of the country offered no temptation to proceed any further. Everywhere we met with th same productions, and the same dreary landscape. We wer now one hundred and forty miles distant from the Atlantic and about sixty from the nearest arm of the Pacific. Th valley in this upper part expanded into a wide basin, bounde on the north and south by the basaltic platforms, and fronte by the long range of the snow-clad Cordillera. But w viewed these grand mountains with regret, for we wer obliged to imagine their nature and productions, instead o standing, as we had hoped, on their summits. Besides th useless loss of time which an attempt to ascend the river an higher would have cost us, we had already been for som days on half allowance of bread. This, although reall enough for reasonable men, was, after a hard day's march rather scanty food: a light stomach and an easy digestio are good things to talk about, but very unpleasant in practice

5th. -- Before sunrise we commenced our descent. W shot down the stream with great rapidity, generally at th rate of ten knots an hour. In this one day we effected wha had cost us five-and-a-half hard days' labour in ascending On the 8th, we reached the Beagle after our twenty-one days expedition. Every one, excepting myself, had cause to b dissatisfied; but to me the ascent afforded a most interestin section of the great tertiary formation of Patagonia

On March 1st, 1833, and again on March 16th, 1834, th Beagle anchored in Berkeley Sound, in East Falkland Island This archipelago is situated in nearly the same latitude wit the mouth of the Strait of Magellan; it covers a space o one hundred and twenty by sixty geographical miles, and is little more than half the size of Ireland. After the possession of these miserable islands had been contested by France Spain, and England, they were left uninhabited. The government of Buenos Ayres then sold them to a private individual, but likewise used them, as old Spain had done before for a penal settlement. England claimed her right an seized them. The Englishman who was left in charge o the flag was consequently murdered. A British officer wa next sent, unsupported by any power: and when we arrived we found him in charge of a population, of which rathe more than half were runaway rebels and murderers.

The theatre is worthy of the scenes acted on it. An undulating land, with a desolate and wretched aspect, is everywhere covered by a peaty soil and wiry grass, of one monotonous brown colour. Here and there a peak or ridg of grey quartz rock breaks through the smooth surface Every one has heard of the climate of these regions; i may be compared to that which is experienced at the heigh of between one and two thousand feet, on the mountains o North Wales; having however less sunshine and less frost but more wind and rain. [4]

16th. -- I will now describe a short excursion which made round a part of this island. In the morning I starte with six horses and two Gauchos: the latter were capita men for the purpose, and well accustomed to living on thei own resources. The weather was very boisterous and cold with heavy hail-storms. We got on, however, pretty well but, except the geology, nothing could be less interestin than our day's ride. The country is uniformly the sam undulating moorland; the surface being covered by ligh brown withered grass and a few very small shrubs, al springing out of an elastic peaty soil. In the valleys her and there might be seen a small flock of wild geese, an everywhere the ground was so soft that the snipe were abl to feed. Besides these two birds there were few others There is one main range of hills, nearly two thousand fee in height, and composed of quartz rock, the rugged and barren crests of which gave us some trouble to cross. On th south side we came to the best country for wild cattle; w met, however, no great number, for they had been latel much harassed.

In the evening we came across a small herd. One of m companions, St. Jago by name, soon separated a fat cow he threw the bolas, and it struck her legs, but failed in becoming entangled. Then dropping his hat to mark the spo where the balls were left, while at full gallop, he uncoile his lazo, and after a most severe chase, again came up t the cow, and caught her round the horns. The other Gauch had gone on ahead with the spare horses, so that St. Jag had some difficulty in killing the furious beast. He managed to get her on a level piece of ground, by taking advantage of her as often as she rushed at him; and when sh would not move, my horse, from having been trained, woul canter up, and with his chest give her a violent push. Bu when on level ground it does not appear an easy job fo one man to kill a beast mad with terror. Nor would it b so, if the horse, when left to itself without its rider, di not soon learn, for its own safety, to keep the lazo tight so that, if the cow or ox moves forward, the horse move just as quickly forward; otherwise, it stands motionles leaning on one side. This horse, however, was a youn one, and would not stand still, but gave in to the cow as sh struggled. It was admirable to see with what dexterity St Jago dodged behind the beast, till at last he contrived t give the fatal touch to the main tendon of the hind le after which, without much difficulty, he drove his knif into the head of the spinal marrow, and the cow droppe as if struck by lightning. He cut off pieces of flesh wit the skin to it, but without any bones, sufficient for ou expedition. We then rode on to our sleeping-place, an had for supper "carne con cuero," or meat roasted with th skin on it. This is as superior to common beef as veniso is to mutton. A large circular piece taken from the bac is roasted on the embers with the hide downwards and i the form of a saucer, so that none of the gravy is lost If any worthy alderman had supped with us that evening "carne con cuero," without doubt, would soon have bee celebrated in London

During the night it rained, and the next day (17th) wa very stormy, with much hail and snow. We rode across th island to the neck of land which joins the Rincon del Tor

(the great peninsula at the S. W. extremity) to the rest o the island. From the great number of cows which hav been killed, there is a large proportion of bulls. These wander about single, or two and three together, and are ver savage. I never saw such magnificent beasts; they equalle in the size of their huge heads and necks the Grecian marbl sculptures. Capt. Sulivan informs me that the hide of a average-sized bull weighs forty-seven pounds, whereas hide of this weight, less thoroughly dried, is considered a a very heavy one at Monte Video. The young bulls generally run away, for a short distance; but the old ones do no stir a step, except to rush at man and horse; and man horses have been thus killed. An old bull crossed a bogg stream, and took his stand on the opposite side to us; w in vain tried to drive him away, and failing, were oblige to make a large circuit. The Gauchos in revenge determined to emasculate him and render him for the futur harmless. It was very interesting to see how art completel mastered force. One lazo was thrown over his horns as h rushed at the horse, and another round his hind legs: in minute the monster was stretched powerless on the ground After the lazo has once been drawn tightly round the horn of a furious animal, it does not at first appear an easy thin to disengage it again without killing the beast: nor, I apprehend, would it be so if the man was by himself. By th aid, however, of a second person throwing his lazo so as t catch both hind legs, it is quickly managed: for the animal as long as its hind legs are kept outstretched, is quite helpless, and the first man can with his hands loosen his laz from the horns, and then quietly mount his horse; but th moment the second man, by backing ever so little, relaxe the strain, the lazo slips off the legs of the struggling beast which then rises free, shakes himself, and vainly rushes a his antagonist

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