Page:1880. A Tramp Abroad.djvu/254

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
242
CHAMOIS HUNTING.

only the experienced chamois hunter can do either. Another common piece of exaggeration is that about the "scarcity" of the chamois. It is the reverse of scarce. Droves of 100,000,000 chamois are not unusual in the Swiss hotels. Indeed they are so numerous as to be a great pest. The romancers always dress up the chamois hunter, in a fanciful and picturesque costume, whereas the best way to hunt this game is to do it without any costume at all. The article of commerce

A Tramp Abroad 0254h.jpg

HUNTING CHAMOIS—THE TRUE WAY.

called chamois-skin is another fraud; nobody could skin a chamois, it is too small. The creature is a humbug in every way, and everything which has been written about it is sentimental exaggeration. It was no pleasure to me to find the chamois out, for he had been one of my pet illusions; all my life it had been my dream to see him in his native wilds some day, and engage in the adventurous sport of chasing him from cliff to cliff. It is no pleasure to me to expose him, now, and destroy the reader's delight in him and respect for him, but still it must be done, for when an honest writer discovers an imposition it is his simple duty to strip it bare and hurl it down from its place of honor, no matter who suffers by it; any other course would render him unworthy of the public confidence.