Page:The Passenger Pigeon - Mershon.djvu/200

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167
What Became of the Wild Pigeon?

and a roar, and the very atmosphere seemed to be alive with flying, chattering birds. The old tin lantern was lighted. The horse pistol was hunted for, as it had recoiled with such force I had lost hold of it. The gun being found, we then approached as nearly as we could the place where I had shot at the stack. From this discharge we picked up eighteen pigeons and saw some hobbling away into thick brush, from which we could not recover them. After an hour of this kind of hunting our bag was full of pigeons, and our tallow candle in the lantern nearly consumed. We retraced our steps out of the swamp, and about 11 o'clock at night arrived home well satisfied with the night's hunt in the pigeon roost. We had had acres of enjoyment and had brought home bushels of pigeons.

This is only to give an idea of what pigeons were in northern Ohio in the days of my boyhood. This was in the years of 1844 to 1846. In 1854, having grown to man's estate, I moved to Michigan and settled in Cass County, where I built a log house and began clearing up a farm. After having cleared three or four fields around my house, one morning one of my girls came running in from out of doors and said: "Pa, come out and see the pigeons."

I went to the door and saw scooting across my fields, as it seemed skimming the surface of the earth, flock after flock of the birds, one coming close upon the heels of another. I hastened into the house and grasped my