Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/163

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.


ceived to his cover. This task was sometimes accomplished by actual sight of the stag, sometimes by observation of his tracks alone, and sometimes by the use of a hound. A thorough knowledge of woodcraft was necessary to the forester, as well as of the habits of the hart and of the topography of the surrounding country, which might not only determine the position of the chosen cover, but also the course taken by the stag when roused upon the morrow. The hound used in this delicate process of harbouring was variously called the liam-hound, the slot-hound, the limer, or the lym. His peculiar quality was that he followed the trail in silence. As soon as the first glow of dawn appeared, the forester and the huntsman would set out for the wood where the stag they had been tracking through the night had sought refuge. Before long the hound would discover the trail, and, though he would strain with might and main to free himself from the liam with which his master held him back, he would remain perfectly silent as they drew near the cover. The sharp eyes of the huntsman next discovered the "entry," or broken branches that indicated where the stag had entered the wood. A few additional branches were broken so that the place could be more easily found again. Being a beast of the forest the stag remained in cover,