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Title: Camping and cruising in Florida
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Title: Camping and cruising in Florida
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Full Text










DBERT MANNIN STYOZIE


MUNK ROPEF1ORPD










































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CRUISE

LU OF TH

BLUE WtNG


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CAMPING

AND


CRUISING

IN


FLORIDA


BY
JAMES A. HENSHALL, M1.D
AUTHOR OF BOOK OF THE BLACK BASS



Illustrated



CINCINNATI
ROBERT CLARKE & CO
1884


II ------~- .;. .,


C
































COPYRIGHT, 1884,
BY J. A. HENSHALL








F. &
f'-oO^LDN






















TO THE

Cincinnati Canoe Club,

In token of my sincere regard and friendship for its members, and in
remembrance of many happy hours, afloat and ashore,
this book is

AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED,

by their comrade,

THE AUTHOR.


im


__
















PREFACE.


In the following pages of personal adventure I have
endeavored to give a faithful account of two winters
spent in Southern Florida, as viewed from the stand-
point of an angler, a sportsman, a yachtsman, a natural-
ist, and a physician.
While every incident described, and every scene de-
picted, is strictly true, they are in some instances toned
down, and in certain others a few dashes of color are
added, in order to make them more acceptable to the
general reader. Indeed, there is a greater necessity for
condensation, and selection, of actual occurrences and
observations afforded by a cruising and camping tour in
that land of wonders, than for the employment of the in-
ventive or imaginative faculties, in writing up the log. I
mention this, particularly, as the book is intended, in one
sense, to serve as a guide to future tourists in the re-
gion described.
The sketches were originally published in the columns
of the Forest and Stream and the American Field; and,
by the courtesy of the proprietors of those popular and
valuable journals, they are now presented in a more elabo-
rate, convenient, and enduring form, and with many
emendations and additions.
The chapter initials, and most of the other illustra-
tions, are original pei-drawings by Mr. George W. Pot-
ter, of Lake Worth, Florida, formerly of Cincinnati, O.
JAMES A. HENSHALL.
CYNTHIANA, KY.,
June, 1884. (v)








[82 ~ PENINSU~i
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CONTENTS.



CHAPTER I.

Avant propos.-Blue Grass gastronomy.-The omnipotent frying-pan.-
My patients.-Nature's remedies.-Seeking information.-The plan.
-Preparations for the cruise.-The outfit.-The crew.-Off for
Florida.-Discouraging accounts.-The mosquito as a sanitarian.-
Along shore.-The saurian witness.-Indian River oranges.-The
south-east coast at all hazards.-Jacksonville.-Its beauties and bus-
iness.-Oranges and lumber.-Steam and sail.-Impedimenta.-Pe-
culiarities and idiosyncrasies of the crew.-The Volusia.-The St.
Johns.-Its remarkable features.-Its appearance.-Guide to tie
river.-The Ocklawaha.-Birds and alligators.-Snake Creek.-Salt
Lake.-The mules.-Wooden tramway...............................1-11

CHAPTER II.

Titusville.-Sand Point.-Products of the country.-Hotels and Stores.
-La Grange.-Game and fish.-Merritt's Island.-Florida staple.-
Indian River.-Boats and boatmen.-Wanted, a sharpie.-Balmy
weather.-The Blue Wing."-No skipper need apply.-Advice
gratis.-An interesting colloquy.-An oracle vanquished.-Rough-
ing it.-" He knows the ropes."-Christmas night.-Mirth and music.
-The doctor, sailor, and fiddler.-The Nine Little Pigs.-The power
of music.-Off with the old love; on with the new.-"All aboard I"
-Now we're off.-Beginning of the cruise..........................12-20

CHAPTER III.

Down the river.-Getting used to it.--" The boys."-Rockledge.-Tlie
first camp.-Under the palms.-Fur, fin, and feather.-The cast net.
-Mullets.-Oranges and sweet potatoes.-The settlers-Oleander
Point.-Romantic and picturesque.-A Sunday reverie.-Fishing ex-
traordinary.-" Oh, Moses, I'in snake-bitl"-Thu Spanish bayonet.
(vii)


II


I I











* VIII CONTENTS.

-"A snolligoster."-Red-fish.-Delightful weather.-Out of "pa-
tients."-Farewell to Rockledge.-The saw-mill.-Very like a whale.
Pines and palmettos.-Eau Gallic.-The "College."-A "busted
bubble."--Banana River.-The pot kept boiling.-The nameless
pond................................... ........................................21-31


CIIAPTER IV.

Off again.-Elbow Creek.-One more unfortunate.-Ed's revenge.-Tur-
key Creek.-A snug harbor.-Oranges and bananas.-Fine fishing.
-A twilight reverie.-Phosphorescent display.-" My old Kentucky
home."-The blonde mulo.-Pegasus on a fox chase.-The boys and
their vagaries.-A pleasant camp.-- Poor Joe."-'Possum a la Ken-
tucky.-Onward.- Grant's Farm.-A yellow pine breeze.-St.Sebas-
tian River.-Navigation under difficulties.-Insulted by an owl.-
Kane's.-Cabbage Camp.-Featheied fishers.-In the "piney
woods."-A logging camp.-Gophers.-More patients.-Deer dogs.
The biggest snore on record.- An earthquake.- A lively
shake ......................................... .. .... ............................32-42


CHAPTER V.

A "cracker cowboy."-Sound on the moon.-Deer-hunting in the flat-
woods.-" Bays" and '. burns."-How to "jump" a deer.-A lost op-
portunity.-The first deer.-" Who-whoop "--Marion initiated.-A
herd of deer.-A long shot.-Venison galore.-A scientific discus-
sion.-Gall and wormwood.-On the South Prong.-By land and
water.-Turkev and moccasins.-A demoralized deer slayer.-Frank
receives the first degree.-Indian on the brain.-A Rowland for an
Oliver.-Return to camp.-A triumphal procession.--An ovation.
-"No gall in mine, if you please."--The hero's recital.-How to
stalk a deer.-A fight with a buck.-He forgot it was loaded...43-53

CHAPTER VI.

Journey in an ox-cart.-Cypress and saw-grass.-A buzzard roost.-St.
Johns Prairie.-Silent sentinels.-New fishes.-Bob-tail saurian.-
More venison.-Rough traveling.-Back to camp.-"All aboard!"
-Pelican Island.-Slaughter of the innocents.-The Narrows.-A
labyrinth.-A queer snake- -The water-tum key.-A preposterous










CONTENTS. ix

bird.-Life-saving Station No.1.-Oyster reefs.-Turtle nets.-Fort
Capron.-The fat of the land.-Under the orange trees.-Fruit and
flowers.-Oysters, fish, crabs, and turtle.-Sport with rod and gun.
-Turtle catching.-Indian River Inlet.-On the beach.-Under the
nmangroves.-The Blue Wing in a gale.-Knocked down by a conmber.
-"A bully boat and a bully crew.".........................................54-65

CHAPTER VII.

Slight frost:-Beach-combing.-Feeding a loggerhead.-Fly-fishing.-
Sand-flies.-Adieu to Fort Capron.-Fort Pierce.-St. Lucie Sound.
-"Old Cuba."-A glimpse of the tropics.-Pet snakes and chame-
Ioons.-Manatees, and a man not at ease.-St. Lucie River.-In the
wilds of Florida.-Game plentiful.-Black bass fishing.-A fire-hunt.
-Scared by a panther.-A wild cat.-Down the river.-Life-Sav-
ing Station No. 2.-The breakers by moonlight.-The "Hero."-
A moonlight sail.-Jupiter Narrows.-Peck's Landing.-A man-
irove maze.-Arboreal beauties.-Indian Camp.-India rubber
trees.-Hobe Sound.-Trolling for crevalle.-Conch Bar.-Difficult
navigation.-Locohatchee River.-Jupiter Light-house.-A pict
uresque panorama............................... ............................. 6-80

CHAPTER VIII.

Jupiter.-The cocoanut well.-By saw-grass or sea.-Over Jupiter Bar.-
The tramps.-"Blue Wing" and 'Hero."-Ocean spray.-Lake
Worth Inlet.-Breakers ahead.-A strong ebb.-A new style of nav-
igation.-Sharks and "gulls."-A rough passage.-Lake W\orth.-A
semi-tropical paradise.-The haulover."-A rich hamak.-Tropical
foliage.-" Wait-a-while."--A. mammoth fish preserve.-An enter-
prising settlement.-Cocoanut culture.-Pine-apples and baanans.-
Sugar-cane.-The profits.-Green peas and tomatoes in February.-
A perpetual Indian summer.-The settlers.-An astonished deer.-
Rattlesnakes, alligators, and crocodiles.-The pompano.-Wreck of
the "Hero."..... ......... ...................................................81-96

CHAPTER IX.

Off again.-A long tramp.-A romantic young man.-A pirate's cave.-
Life-Saving Station No. 8.-Steve Andrews.-The Florida bog as
tfsh and game.-Wild oranges and flowers.--A Spanish wreck.-


I_


I











x CONTENTS.

Bully buoy."-Boca Ratone.-A palmetto camp.-Subsisting on
the country.-Camp cookery.-Scrambled cocoanut.-Lost tim-
ber.-Hilsboro' Inlet.-Treasurcs of the sea.-Life-Saving Station
No. 4.-Wash Jenkins.-New River.-Large fish.-Lo, the poor In-
dian.--A sail up New River.-A pedestrian match.-Life-Saving
Station No. 5.-Biscayne Bay.-Fish, turtle, and sponge.-The
Southern peninsula.-Peculiar formation.-Semi-tropical fruits.-
Komptie.-A perfect climate.-The Everglades.-Indian hunting
grounds.- The settlers.- Seminoles.- Florida Keys.- Homeward
bound.-A safe voyage.-Back in "Old Kaintuck."--L'envoi...97-108


CHAPTER X.

Off for Florida.-Jacksonville.-Up the St. Johns.-Salt Lake.- Vale,
the railroad; voila, the mules.-Sellers redivivus.-Oh, Ichabod.-
Tribulations of an English naturalist.-Rockledge.-A Christmas
feu de jofe.-Land sharks.-Eau Gallie.-Christmas and green corn.
-St. Sebastian River.-Again, Cabbage Camp."-How to dress a
coot.-Black bears and feminine strategy.-A heavy fish on a light
rod.-The Iambler."-Personnel of the crew.-The voyage around
the peninsula.-Begnning of the cruise.-Jack drops into poetry.-
Up the St. Sebastian.-The "cut-off."--Hw they played it on Squire.
-The Indian ambush.-Scared out of his wits.-Jack's revenge.-
A blue atmosphere.........................................................111-125

CHAPTER XI.

Pelican Island.-Old pelicans and yomng 'utns.-The pelican at home.
-Too full for utterance.-The Narrows.-A hunter's cabin.-Leap
in the dark.-Gannets.-Indian River Inlet.-The sea-beach.-Tar-
pum.-Hogg's store.-Sour oranges and flapjacks.-Poor Old Cuba."
-Up the St. Lucie.-Mt. Pisgah.-A disappointed panther.-The
stolen egg.-The wreckers and the fish crows.-Santa Anna.-A
feathered deceiver.-Misplaced confidence.-Black bass.-Sharks and
turtles.-Race with a manatee.-Down the river.-Jupiter.-Hair-
breadth escapes.-Sharks and saw-fish.-A mammoth fish.-Buck's
departure.-At sea.-Lake Worth.-Hearts are trumps.......126-144


IIr











CONTENTS.


CHAPTER XII.

The deep blue sea.-The south-east coast.-Hillsboro' Inlet -The canvas
canoe.-Tho "Rambler" in the breakers.-Man's inhumanity to
man.-A rattlesnake.-A royal feast.-An i:mbrosial deliency.-A
dusty sail in a lumpy sea.-New River Inlet.-Sharks again and
more of them.-Afloat on a raft.-The perils of an hour.-Crevalli
and alligators.-Fort Lauderdale.-Wash Jenkins.-A deer drive.
-Unsophisticated quuil.-Off for the Everglades.-Up the South
Branch.-Tropical scenery.-Through the cypress belt.-In the
sloughs.-The Everglades.-Enchanting view.-Discovered by the
Indians.-" Big Tiger."-"lMe glad see 'uum."-Jack talks "in-
gin." .................... ................................................... 145-157


CHAPTER XIII.

An Indian village.-Old Tiger-tail.-Indian curiosity.-Life in the
Eve:glades.-The Seminole at home.-His dress and manners.-The
Equaws and children.-Palmetto huts.-Night in the Indian vil-
lage.-The mysteries of the Everglades.-Voices of the night.-An
evening call.--Prestidigitation.-An Indian meal."-Gar-fish and
tobacco sauce.-Customs of the Indians--" Me Englis' talk, good.-
Wy-ho-mee.-Mosquitoes.-The miseries of a night.-Target shoot-
ing.-The white man's supremacy must be maintained.-'"Cuff"
lost.-"White man's dog, me bring 'um."-The Rambler again nt
sea.-Bay Biscayne.-Miami.-Tho "Punch Bowl."-Arch Creek.-
The invalid's camp.-The shining pathway.....................168-170


CHAPTER XIV.

Down the bay.-The Keys.-The Reefs.-Canoe possibilities.--Cesar's
Creek.-Key Largo.-Incompatibility of poetry and a heavy swell.
-Through the Florida Strait.-Isolated light-houses.-Thel cocoa-
nut boom."-Bahia Honda.-A heavy sea--Key West.-" Key to.
the Gulf."-Tlhe harbor and city.-Confusion and harmony.-The
new and the old.-Cosmopolitans.-Mixed colors.-A liqii-linguistic
feat.-The dance house.-A lively scene,-The rink.--kating in the


ElII


-I











xii CONTENTS.

tropics.-Beauty and bicycles.-Music and flowers.-Jack in the
toils.-Cigar factories.-" Conchs."--Sponging.-Fishing smacks.-
Fish market.- Daily auction........................ ................171-183


CHAPTER XV.

Bocnd for Cape Sable.-Formation of the reefs and keys.-" Flowers of
the sea."-Beautiful fishes.-The wonders of the deep.-Key Vaccas.
-Cape Sablc.-Tropical birds.-The flamingo.-A snug berth.-
Fish galore.-Myriads of water-fowl.-Ten Thousand Islands.-
Bahia Ponce de Leon.-l-angroves.-W-hitewater Bay.-Pavilion
Key.-Panther Key.-"Old Man Gomez."-" Oh, such a snake ''-A
dry season.-Cape lRomano.-Rambling on the beach.-Marco.-
Caximbas Pass.-Graining the tarpum.--Diving for green turtle.-
Bay snipe and shore birds.-Voices of the deep.-Prehistoric oyster
suppers.-Estero Pass.-A crew of "one hand."-Alligator Fcrguson.
-The life history of the 'gator.--" Jist like humans." ........184-196


CHAPTER XVI.

The cero and bonito.-A long leap.-Devil-fish.-Punta Rassa.-The
cattle trade.-Sanibel Island.-A piscatorial paradise.-Caloosa-
hatchee River.-Fort Myers.-Jack at church.-Up the river.-Deer
and turkeys.-The "Spitfire."-More snakes.-Jack lost in the
woods.-A singulara" record.-A wonderful appetite.-Lake
Okechobee-Charlotte Harbor.-A rookery.-Spanish fiSh ranch.-
The Gasparillas.-Again, the rattlesnake.--Te Skipper's ingrati-
tude.-Another giant jew. fish.-The eagle and frigate bird.-Senti-
mental frauds.-Feathered Pharisees.-Turtle eggs for the million.-
Fish and game.-Oysters and clams.-Casey's Pass.-Little Sar-
atosa-Big Sarasota.-Tampa Bay...................................197-211


CHAPTER XVII.

Tampa.-Papys Bayou.-Squally weather.-Point Pinellas.-Burial and
domiciliary mounds.-Boca Coiga Bay.-Duplication of names.-
John's Pass.-Becalmed on the Gulf.-A golden sunset.-Jack's illu-
mination.-A midnight gale.-Longing for daylight.-Safe at last.-
Clearwater Harbor.-Dunedin.-Anclote River.-Railroad "boom."


'4











CONTENTS. xiii

-'Cootie River.-Bayport.-Up the Weckawachoe.-White Moun-
tain Spring.-Chossowiskee River.-"Nigger heads."-Homosassa.-
A pleasant resort.-My last deer.-Music on the water.-Jolly rafts-
men.-Proteus and Triton...... ............... ......... ......212-223


CHAPTER XVIII.

Song of the raftsmen.-Crystal River.-Withlacoochee River.-Canoeist's
happy land.-Wonderful springs.-Subterranean rivers.-The Gulf
Hamak.-Jack's bouquet.-He comes to grief.-Cedar Key.-Saw-
mills.-Commerce and manufactories.-Cedar pencil mills.-Fish
trade.-Cruising on the Gulf coast.-Route for canoeists.-The
wonders of Florida.-The ubiquitous and indispensable palmetto.-
Southern Florida for invalids.-Advice to cruisers.-Farewell to '
Florida......... ... ...... .................... .......... ........ ........224-233


APPENDIX.

A LIST OF FISHES OBSERVED BY THE AUTHOR IN FLORIDA...235-241

A LIST OF BIRDS OBSERVED BY THE AUTHOR IN FLORIDA......242-243


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ILLUSTRATIONS.




THE WONDERLAND.................... ....................Frontispiece.
THE BLU WiNG.............................................................. 1
SNAKE CREEK (UPPER ST. JonsS)................. ................. ..... 7
INDIAN RIVER............. ..................................................... 12
"On, MOSESI I'M SAKE BIT."............................................. 21
THE MULLET.................................................................... 25
THE RED-FISH............................................................ 28
A PALMETTO SHANTY........................................................... 30
A TRIUMPHAL PROCESSION................................................ 43
"A CRACKER. ...................... ... ................................ 44
CYPRESS SWAMP.................................................................. 54
.THE WATER TURKEY................................................ ......... 59
THE GREEN TURTLE.................. ......... ........................ 61
OLD CUBA ON His WAR IHORSE........................................... 66
THE MANATEE........ .......... .................................... 72
THE CREVALTLE.............................................................. 79
LAKE WORTH...................................................................... 81
PAw-PAw.............................. .................................... 87
THE POMPANO................................................... ................. 91
"OPEN FOR B"USINESS."....................................................... 92
"A PAIR OF 'GATORS."....................................................... 93
"GRANDFATHER ................................................................. 95
A SEMINOLE ...................................................................... 103
,THE RAMBLER....;........... .................................................. 111
THE PELICAN................................................................... 127
(xv)











xvi ILLUSTRATIONS.

A SURPRISE PARTY. .......................................................... 132
THE SAW-FISH.................... .......................................... 138
THE JEW-FISH.......................................... ..................... 143
A ROUGH PASSAGE.................................. ............ 149
A FAIR WIND........................ .... .................................. 156
FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY.......................................................... 15S
OLD TIGER-TAIL... ............................................................... 159
LITTLE TIGER............................................................ 160
ONE LITTLE INDIAN BOY ......................................-... 161
LITTLE CUBAN BEAUTY......................................................... 180
CONCH SPONGING......................... .................................... 181
TARPUM.......................................................................... 192
OFF THE KEYS...................................................... 196
THE PRODIGAL'S RETURN.. .................................................. 197
THE DEVIL-FISH.................... .......................... ............ 199
TIHE FRIGAIE-BIRD.............................. ................................. 207
THE LOGGERHEAD TURTLE ................ ................... ............. 208
THE MOON-FISH ........................................................ .... .... 211
THE W HITING......................... ......................................... 223
No ROSE WITHOUT A THORN.............................................. 224


P ---- -



































'I.


v-A


THE BLUE WING OFF JUPITER LIGHT.


.-
L



















CRUISE OF THE BLUE WING.



CHAPTER I.
Avant propos.-Blue Grass gnstronomy.-The omnipotent frying-pan.-
My patients.-Nature's remedies.-Seeking information.-The plan.
-Preparations for the cruise.-The outfit.-Tho crew.-Off for
Florida.-Discouraging accounts.-Tho mosquito as a sanitarian.-
Along shore.-Tho snurian witness.-Indian' River orangos.-The
south-east coast at nil hazards.-Jacksonville.-Its beauties and bus-
iness.-Oranges and lumber.-Steam and sail.-Impedimenta.-Pe-
culiarities and idio-yncrasies of the crew.-The Volusia.-The St.
Johns.-Its remarkable features.-Its appearance.-Guide t, the
river.-The Ocklawalia.-Birds and alligators.-Snako Creek.-Salt
Lakc.-The mules.-Wooden tramway.

HE "Blue Grass" region of Kentucky, fa-
mous for its beautiful women, fast horses,
fine cattle, and Bourbon whisky, is pro-
verbial for "good living" and accomplished
housekeepers. Its matrons, old and young,
vie with each other in producing the
most inviting and appetizing gastronomic
"spreads." Piping-hot soda biscuits, steam-
ing corn fritters, fried bacon, fried chicken (and nowhere else is'
the art of frying chicken so well understood), coffee, jams, jellies,
pickles, and marmalades are the regular and standard features
of the morning, noon, and evening meals. To these are added
such other delicacies and substantial as the ingenuity and re-
(1)


II


-I~___ ___









2 CRUISE OF THE BLUE WING.

sources of the housekeeper can suggest or command; and as it
is especially in cakes, pies, puddings, and pastry generally that
the Kentucky matron exhibits her great culinary skill and
matchless epicurean genius, these additional products of the
cuisine are forthcoming on the slightest provocation, and regard-
less of expense, on every convenient occasion.
But what has all this to do with Florida?
My dear reader, it has every thing to do with Florida as por-
trayed in these pages, for I might truly say that the conception,
inception, realization, and fulfillment of the events chronicled in
the log of the Cruise of the Blue Wing" are due, solely and
alone to the fryingApan!
During the fall of 1878 I had, among other chronic patients,
several young men who were improving but slowly, owing to the
fickle climate and the too generous and imprudent mode of living
common to Central Kentucky. Their graves were being dug,
slowly but surely, by the frying-pan. It became my duty, then,
both as a physician and a friend, to take them into voluntary
exile for a brief season.
Knowing that a plain diet, pure air, bright sunshine, and va-
ried exercise would work wonders toward their restoration to
health, I advised them to accompany me on my trip to Florida
during the ensuing winter. To this they readily agreed, as I
assured them that by hunting, fishing, and living in the open
air, they would not only enjoy themselves to the top of their
bent, but that in no other way could they secure so fully and
agreeably the benefits of nature's great restoratives-air, sun-
shine, exercise, and sound sleep. I was certain that in no other
climate could an open-air life be indulged in with such perfect
impunity as in South-east Florida, whose balmy atmosphere and










PREPARATIONS FOR THE CRUISE.


genial climate can not be surpassed, if, indeed, it can be equaled,
even by the vine-clad hills of Southern France, or the sunny
slopes of Italy; and certainly, better opportunities for enjoying
the sp:>rts of flood and field exist nowhere else.
As I had never been farther south in Florida than Palatka
and St. Augustine, I recalled to my mind all that had been re-
lated to me by friends who had visited South-east Florida, and
studied the maps and read up every thing I could procure in
relation to Indian River and the south-east coast, but the in-
formation I obtained from these various sources was so mneger
that I determined to write up our experiences on my return,
for the benefit and guidance of future tourists to Southern
Florida.
Having been accustomed to camping out" and sailing from
boyhood, my plans were soon formed. I decided to proceed at
once by rail and steamboat to Titusville, at the head of Indian
River, there to obtain a suitable boat, and sail down the east
coast to Bay Biscayne and the Florida Keys, and returning over
the same route to sail down the St. Johns River to Jacksonville,
if time would permit.
About the beginning of December I began my preparations
for the journey. As our boat would be used only as a means of
transportation, and most of our time would be spent ashore, I
procured two A or wedge tents, made of the best ten-ounce
duck. Each tent being nine and a half feet square on the
ground, would comfortably accommodate three persons-there
being six of us in the party. As my companions had not had
my experience in "roughing it," I advised each of them to take,
in addition to shot gun or rifle, and hunting-knife, two old suits
of woolen clothing, two flannel shirts, a change of undercloth-


-I









4 CRUISE OF THE BLUE WING.

ing, three pairs of woolen socks, two old felt hats, a pair of
boots, a pair of brogans, two pairs of woolen blankets, a rubber
blanket, a rubber poncho, and a huswife-containing needles,
thread, pins, buttons, wax, etc.
My own immediate outfit was similar to the others, with the
addition of a box of assorted fishing tackle, a bundle of rods,
my twelve-gauge "Parker," and a hammock, with the further
addition of a ten-gallon can of alcohol, for preserving specimens
of Florida fish fauna. My armamentarium medicamentum con-
sisted of a few leading remedies, a pocket surgical case, some
adhesive and isinglass plasters, a couple of pairs of tooth-forceps,
together with a dissecting-case, and several pounds of arsenic
for taxidermic purposes.
Our party, comprising two dyspeptics, one incipient consump-
tive, one bad liver, one nasal catarrh, myself and my setter
puppy Gipsy Queen (Royal Duke-Queen), left Cynthiana,
Ky., on the morning of December 16th, amidst a flurry of
snow, and arrived at Cincinnati at noon, where we embarked
on the mailboat for Louisville in the afternoon. We left Louis-
ville on the morning of December 17th, and arrived in Jackson-
ville, Fla., on the bright, warm, and balmy morning of the 19th.
I at once called on Dr. C. J. Kenworthy, better known to
readers of horticultural and sportsman's journals as "Al Fresco."
I found him in his garden superintending the planting of some
sub-tropical fruit trees. Repairing to his library, we discussed
my projected cruise over a bottle of Florida orange wine, which,
by the way, equaled olh Madeira in body, bouquet, and flavor.
To my regret, the Doctor informed me that lie had never been
in the Indian River country, though lie had visited nearly every
other portion of Florida. He endeavored to dissuade me from


hi


----c~----










TIE MOSQUITO AS A SANITARIAN. 5

my contemplated trip to that region-said we would be devoured
by fleas, sand-flies, and mosquitoes; that the Indians had killed
off all the game, and that the fishing was not so good as on the
south-west coast. He advised me, by all means, to go to Cedar
Keys, and cruise down the gulf coast to Charlotte Harbor, Gal-
livan's Bay, Whitew'ater Bay, etc., to Cape Sable.
But I was dead-set for Indian River and beyond; my tiller
was lashed, and, like Barney O'Reirdon, the Irish navigator, I
would be turned from my "sou-aist coorse" by no man. I sim-
ply argued that for obvious reasons I invariably found game and
fish more abundant where black-flies, sand flies, or mosquitoes
were thickest. Besides, it would do my patients no harm to re-
lieve them of a little of their bad blood-thus could I vicariously
practice phlebotomy, which of late years las grown to be as un-
popular as it is said to be unnecessary. Then, again, the mos-
quito might be a blessing in disguise to those who frequent ma-
larious districts, for, according to the late theory of some savant,
the poison that he injects with his delicate hypodermic syringe is
analogous to quinine, and acts as an efficient prophylactic to
malarial fevers!
The Doctor, seeing that I was rash and determined, started
down to the river with me to look at the sail-boats. I found
quite a number of yacht-built boats of light draught, center-
boarders, sloop and cat-rigged, and of the flat-iron model. I
found one that suited me, which the Doctor was to ship to Titus-
ville, provided I could find none at the latter place. While on
our tour of inspection, the Doctor showed me his little yacht, the
Doni, only sixteen feet long, in which he made a cruise from
Key West to Cedar Keys. She was hauled out and being fixed
up" for another cruise. He showed me where a shark struck


III


El










CRUISE OF THE BLUE WING.


her while anchored in Shark River, starting one of the butts of
her planking, and startling the Doctor out of his nap. She was
as trim and taut a little craft as one would desire to see.
Observing a crowd on one of the docks, we went over and saw
a huge alligator lashed to a plank being taken from one of the
steamers. They said he was twelve feet long and was from In-
dian River. This was encouraging. I merely glanced at the
Doctor and said nothing, thinking that the saurian had mouth
enough to speak for himself, and was certainly of age. Turning
the corner on to Bay street, I noticed that all of the fruit stores
displayed conspicuous signs bearing the legend, "Indian River
Oranges." Here was more encouragement, and food for thought
and stomach too. The Doctor merely smacked his lips and said
nothing. After introducing me to some old salts," steamboat
captains, and merchants with whom I would have some subsequent
business transactions, he left me, cordially wishing me bon voyage,
hoping I would change my mind as to my destination. But I
knew it was useless to hope against fate and bade him good-by."
Jacksonville is a quiet, lovely city, with wide sandy streets and
plank sidewalks, shaded by magnificent water-oaks, whose wide-
spreading evergreen branches are draped with festoons and
streamers of long gray Spanish moss. The residences are quite
tasteful and pleasing in design, and are surrounded by well-kept
grounds and gardens, in which are numerous varieties of semi-
tropical trees, shrubs, and flowering plants, prominent and con-
spicuous among which are the orange, lemon, and banana. A
number of commodious a;pd well-appointed hotels were being put
in order for the reception of winter guests-the St. James, the
Windsor, the Duval, the Carleton, the National, the Metropoli-
tan, and others.


U!


~I




I


L









































SNAKE CREEK (UPPER ST. JOHNS).


PL~~ ~- I ~ -L


r~~P*IIP~P-"--PsPIPLSPlc~il[Liiri~ -~ '~-ms~cu~-LPIIII~ ~'~~~''-










IDIOSYNCRASIES OF TIE CREW.


The stores were being tastefully arranged and their wares at-
tractively displayed. The curiosity stores were already thronged
by visitors, admiring the beautiful display of sea-shells, corals,
ornaments of orange-wood, crab-wood, satin-wood, and mangrove,
and the charming and curiously constructed jewelry of sea-beans,
alligator teeth, boar's tusks, and fish scales. The chief commer-
cial products seemed to be pine lumber and oranges.
Newly-painted steamers were moored to the wharves or plying
on the broad river amidst numerous sailing craft. The large
schooner yacht, Ambassadress, owned by Win. B. Astor, of New
York, was anchored in mid-stream, as trim and ship-shape, and
as thoroughly disciplined as a inan-o'-war.
I now busied myself laying in our supplies of groceries, pro-
visions, ammunition, fishing tackle, lantern, ax, spade, hatchet,
etc., which were ordered to be well boxed and shipped to Titus-
ville via Salt Lake. Saturday, December 21st, was the day set
for our departure from Jacksonville on the good steamer Volusia,
Isaac Hall, master.
I proceeded to look up my companions, and found Ben in a
canemaker's shop, intently watching the man carving alligators
on the tops of orange-wood canes-Ben has a penchant for canes.
He then had in his hand a young hickory with a huge knotted
head, which he had cut before leaving Old Kentuck." He
would have had this knot carved into some grotesque figure, but
I dragged him away.
From my knowledge of their proclivities, I found Frank and
Ed where I expected-at the gun store. Frank was looking
lovingly upon the guns and rifles ranged along the wall, while
El was gazing abstractedly at a fine display of salt-water fish-
ing tackle. Frank can never see a gun but he must handle it,










CRUISE OF THE BLUE WING.


try the locks, bring it up to his shoulder, and bore some imag-
inary object through and through. I've no doubt he had handled
every gun in the store. Ed seemed particularly taken with a
shark hook and its chain and swivel. He is a monument of
patience-will sit all day long under a shady tree in fond antici-
pation of the bite he may never get.
I discovered Marion, who has an eye for mechanics, watching
a machine hulling rice, while his brother Henry was trying to
devour the contents of a fruit store near by. Henry, of course,
was one of my dyspeptics. I told them to get their baggage
down to the boat at once. An hour later and I was waiting for
them aboard the steamer. They came at last, one at a time-
they are never in a hurry. I observed that Ben came up smiling
and swinging his cane, the top of which he had had carved into
* some sort of a head, either of a pointer dog or a pantomime
clown, I could not tell which. Ed had the shark hook sticking
out of his pocket, while Marion was examining his latest pur-
chase, a hollow handle, containing all manner of awl blades,
chisels, gimlets, etc.; he was vainly trying to get them all back
into the handle again. The last to arrive was Henry, in great
haste too, his pockets full of oranges and bananas, and his mouth
moving faster than his legs.
The little Volusia steamed out shortly afterward, and went
puffing up the St. Johns against a strong head-wind.
In some respects the St. Johns is the most remarkable river
in the United States. One peculiar feature is its course, flow-
ing nearly due north, so that while one is sailing up the river lie
is going down into Florida. From its mouth to near the head of
tide-water, Palatka-some seventy-five miles-it varies from a
mile to five miles in width, and in its whole course, from its










THE ST. JOHNS.


source in the Cypress Belt to its mouth, some three hundred
miles, it has a fall of but twelve feet. Above Palatka it is
really a succession of lakes with a narrow connecting stream,
though this is somewhat characteristic of the entire river, hence
its Indian namee-W la-ka-" a chain of lakes."
It is extremely probable that at one time the St. Johns was
an arm of the sea, or sound, similar to Halifax and Indian riv-
ers, and that the lowland lying eastward of its course was formed
by accretion. This view seems more plausible in connection
with the fact that the land between the river and the Atlantic
coast nowhere exceeds an elevation greater than the fall of the
river, say twelve or fifteen feet, while west of its entire course
there exists quite a ridge, extending north and south, which
varies in different localities from fifty t: one hundred and fifty
feet above the sea level. Then again its largest tributaries are
from the west, while those from the cast are small streams, usually
the outflow of small lakes or large springs. No doubt but the
Halifax and Indian rivers would in time become true rivers, in
like manner, but for the opposing influence now brought to hear
upon the coast by the Gulf Stream.
The banks of the St. Johns are green to the water's edge, and
clothed with successive groups of palmetto or cabbage" trees,
live-oaks, pines, water-oaks and swamp-maples, with here and
there an orange grove. While the banks are low, they seem
much lower than they really are, owing to the wide expanse of
water and the absence of a background of hills or highlands.
Many charming villas and cosy cottages adorn the lower St. Johns,
with an occasional hotel or winter resort. As this river has been
so often described I will not dwell upon it here, but will merely
give the following table of distances of the various landings


II


U













10 CRUISE OF TIE BLUE WING.


from Jacksonville. Those marked by an asterisk (*) are upon

the west bank of the river:


MILES.
Arlington.. ............... ......... 2
St. Nicholas. ......................... 2
Riverside* ............... .......... 3
Black Point*. ......................... 10
Mulberry Grove*.................... 12
Mandarin. ... ........... ....... 15
Orange Park*.... .................. 15
Fruit Cove ................ ........... 19
Hibernia* ................ ........ 23
New Switzerland .................. 23
Remington Park.................... 25
Magnolia*.. .................... 28
Green Cove Spring* ............... 30
Orange Dale .................. 31
Hogarth's Landing ................ SS
Picolata ........ ................. 44
Tocoi. ........................... 49
Federal Point ..................... 58
Orange Mills. ...................... 63
Cook's Landing.............. ...... 6
Dancy's Wharf. ..................... 66
Russell's Point. .................... 67
Whetstone*...................... 68
Russell's Landing.................. 69
Palatka*........................ ..... 73
Hart's Orange Grove ............. 75
Rawleston. .. ............ ....... 78
San Mateo......... ................. 79
Edgewater.......................... 80
BuffI lo Bluff* ............. ......... 87
Iorse Landing* ..................... 94
Smith's Landing .................... 96
Nashua............................. 95
Welaka ........................... 100
Beecher....................... ......101
Norwalk ........ ...... ........... 103
Mt. Royal ............................105
Fruitlands ........................103


MILES.
Fort Gates* ..........................106
Georgetown ........................113
Pelham Park ............... ...... 112
Raccno .......................... 112
Leke George........ ................ 11
Orange; Point ....................113
Drayton Island*.................... 116
Salt Springs*. ......................119
Bcnclla* ...........................120
Seville. .............. ........... 120
Yellow Bluff* ................ .... 121
Spring Garden* ....................122
Spring Grove...................... 126
Lake View.................... .. ..132
Volusia. .. ....... .................134
Astor, St. J. & L. E. Railway ......134
Fort Butler* .........................38
M inhattan*.......... ..............136
Orange Bluff.................... .... 140
Bluffton ......... ...............140
St. Francis* ......... .. ..........155
Old Town*.......................... 15
Crow's Landing* ................. 159
IIawkinsville*. ... .... ..... ..... 160
Cabbage Bluff ....................162
De Land's Landing ...............162
Lake Beresford ................ 163
Cabbage Bluff....... ............... 165
Blue Spring ....................... 168
Wekiva. .............................184
Manuel Landing. .............. .. 185
Shell Bank. .. ..................... 193
Sanford* ......... .... ........ .. 193
M ellonville*................... ...... 195
Enterprise........................... 200
Lake Jessup.. ...................... 210
Lake Harney........................225
Salt Lake. ............ ............ 275


A mile above Welaka is the mouth of the Ocklawaba River, a

narrow and tortuous stream, which is navigated by small stern-

wheel steamboats to Okahumkee, two hundred and fifty miles

above its mouth. Above Lake Monroe, on which are situated

S* Sanford, Mellonville, and Enterprise, the St. Johns is quite










1 THE MULES-WOODEN TRAMWAY.


narrow, more tropical in appearance than the lower river, and
more picturesque. Alligators begin to appear, and the small boy
with his pistol, and the boy of larger growth with his rifle, are
correspondingly happy. White herons, egrets, blue herons,
water turkeys, ducks, and coots also put in a frequent appear-
ance, to the delight of the aforesaid small and large boys, and to
the waste of a large amount of ammunition.
On Tuesday morning, the third day after leaving Jackson-
ville, we left the St. Johns a few miles above Lake Harney, and
entered Snake Creek, whose tortuous windings we followed for
a few hours, and arrived at Salt Lake about eleven o'clock. This
is the present head of navigation, and is two hundred and sev-
enty-five miles above Jacksonville. We were transferred to the
shore in a lighter, or I should say to a car, which stood some
hundred yards from the shore in the shallow water, which but
barely covered the track. There is a wooden tramway seven
miles in length, extending from Salt Lake to Titusville. The
car is drawn by two mules who travel outside of the track, one
on each side, and entirely independent of each other-each hav-
ing a pair of lines to himself-like a Mississippi steamboat with
two engines, which can be forged ahead with one wheel while
being backed by the other. We arrived at Titusville in time for
dinner.


II-l


ElI










CRUISE OF THE BLUE WING.


CHAPTER II.

Titusville -Sand Point.-Products of the country.-Hotels and Stores.
-La Grange.-Gaime and fih.--Merritt's Island.-Florida staple.-
Indian River.-Boats and boatmen.-Wanted, a sharpie.-Balmy
weather.-The Bllue Wing."-No skipper need apply.-Advice
gratis.-An interesting colloquy.-An oracle vanquished.-Rough-
ing it.-" He knows the I'opes."-Christmas night.-Mirth and music.
-The doctor, sailor, and fiddler.-The Nine Little Pigs.-The power
of music.-Off with the old love; en with the new.-"All aboard I"
-Now we're off.-Beginning of the cruise.

V,.'- ITUSVILLE, though a small village, is a
place of considerable importance in East
Florida, being the emporium for the entire
country south for a distance of two hun-
---Adred miles. Its former name was Sand
.--Point, which it is still called by the boat-
men and lower country people. A long,
sandy point, projecting into the river a
quarter of a mile above, gave it this name. It is now known
as Titusville in honor of Colonel H. T. Titus, one of its pioneer
residents, and whose enterprise gave it its initiative impulse of
activity and importance. It has now two hotels and a half-
dozen stores, and is the distributing and shipping point for
South-east Florida.
The products of the country, such as oranges, limes, pine-
apples, bananas, cane syrup, early vegetables, green turtle, oys-
ters, venison, skins, hides, etc., are shipped to Jacksonville
via Salt Lake, while the return cargoes consist of groceries,





























































INDIAN RIVER.


9~ r

I
crrl~













TITUSVILLE-LA GRANGE. 13

provisions, clothing, household goods, etc. Its wooden tramway
will probably be extended to Lake Harney-somc twenty miles
-before long, which will add greater facilities for trade and
travel. Mr. S. J. Fox is the principal owner and manager of
this road, and sportsmen and tourists will find him genial, jolly,
and fully alive to their interests.
The hotels are the Titus Hotel" and the "Lund House,"
the former owned by Colonel Titus, and the latter by Captain
Lund, of the Jacksonville and Salt Lake Line of steamers.
Both are good houses. The Titus was kept last winter by
Messrs. Bodine and McCarty, and the "Lund" by S. A. Mer-
rill, Esq., of Lynn, Mass. Mr. Merrill expects to run it"
again another year, and I can cheerfully recommend it to the
notice of tourists. It is charmingly located near the river beach,
and is a most comfortable hostelry. Mr. M. knows how to
keep a hotel," as he has had an experience of twelve years in
conducting a summer house on the Massachusetts beach. He
intends introducing a novel and desirable feature next winter.
He will have several yachts, in charge of competent skippers,
who will take parties of guests on camping and fishing excursions
down the river, at no additional expense to the regular per diem
rate of the hotel.
There are a number of places of interest in the immediate vi-
cinity of the village. About a mile north-west from Titusville
is quite a large and thrifty settlement, called La Grange. The
settlers are engaged in the culture of oranges and early vegeta-
bles. About eight miles above, on the same side of the river,
is the settlement called Aurantia. From Titusville to the head
of Indian River is fourteen miles; to the Haulover Canal, con-


II


II




* U___________


CRUISE OF THIE BLUE WING.


necting Indian River with Mosquito Lagoon, is ten miles, and
the celebrated Dummit's orange grove is in that vicinity.
Opposite Titusville is the head of Merritt's Island, which is a
wedge-shaped island about thirty miles long, bounded on the
north by Banana Creek, on the east by Banana River, and on
the west by Indian River. It is ten miles wide on the northern
end, and runs to a point at its southern extremity, opposite Eau
Gallie. At the head of the island there are plenty of deer, and
on Banana Creek, the mouth of which is five and a half miles
east from Titusville, the gunner will find good wild fowl and
snipe shooting. The fishing is all that can be desired, and the
angler will need no guide to find the best places, for fish will be
found wherever there is water. Quail are plentiful, and one
can hear them cheerfully piping bob-white" in the palmetto
scrub among the pines, not two hundred yards from the hotel.
At the several stores every thing in the way of grub" can
be obtained at reasonable rates. Self-raising flour, bacon, coffee,
sugar, canned goods of every description, and the great Florida
staple, hominy, or "grits," can be purchased at about Jackson-
ville prices; but the sportsman must take his ammunition and
fishing tackle with him, or at least procure them in Jacksonville.
Indian River is an extensive but shallow sheet of water, one
hundred and fifty miles in length, and above the Narrows varies
from a mile to five miles in width. It is not a river, properly
speaking, but a shallow salt water lagoon, or sound, with two
inlets from the sea-one opposite Fort Capron and the other at
its extreme southern end, at Jupiter River. From Jupiter Nar-
rows to the head of the river tdere is no current, and the mean
rise and fall of the tides is but three inches. From Jupiter In-
Slet to the Narrows there is a strong derivative tide-wave of


III









BOATS AND BOATMEN.


greater mean. The general course of the river is N. N. TW. and
S. S. E. The variation of the compass at Titusville is 2 deg.,
54 sec., E. It is a magnificent body of water, separated from
the Atlantic by a narrow strip of land, generally from a fourth
to a half mile in width, though in places the intervening strip is
not more than from seventy-five to two hundred yards wide.
Being so near the sea, there is a good sailing breeze almost
every day, and with an easterly or westerly wind one can lay his
course either up or down the river. While the breezes are al-
most always fresh, gales are very infrequent during the winter
season. "Northers" are dreaded most, chiefly on account of
their coolness, but a son-wester" is the most treacherous, baf-
fling, and squally wind that blows on Indian River.
The entire carrying or freighting business is done by small
yachts and sail-boats; consequently there are plenty of boats and
experienced boatmen that can be chartered to convey parties or
individuals to any portion of East Florida. These boatmen are,
as a rule, intelligent and accommodating. An Indian River
boatman is sui generis; a peculiar and unique combination of
sailor, fisherman, hunter, guide, cook, woodman, and philosopher;
an animated Salmagundi, full of all kinds of expedients for all
kinds of emergencies.
The boats are necessarily of light draught, and center-boarders.
There are the skimming-dish," the pumpkin-seed," and the
flat-iron" models, all half-round yacht-built boats, broad and
beamy, cat-rigged or sloop-rigged; they all pound and spank in
a sea-way, and are very wet. Then there is the skip-jack," a
much superior model for sailing ; will go to windward much bet-
ter, but, as they are built very flat, with little or no sheer, and
with chubby bows, they are also wet. There are a few ships'










CRUISE OF THE BLUE WING.


boats, picked up on the beach, mostly, built over and usually
schooner-rigged; they do very well sailing free, but on the wind
are logy. Last and best is the batteau," of good length, little
beam, and flat bottom, with pirogue," or periauger," rig-that
is, two leg-o'mutton sails like the sharpie."
I will say here, that if the "sharpie is ever introduced into
East Florida, it will rapidly take the place of all other boats, for
it is undoubtedly the boat for Florida waters, being fast, safe,
weatherly, easily handled, of extremely light draught, great car-
rying capacity, and cheap.
The day after we arrived at Titusville was Christmas day; but
it was hard to realize it with the thermometer at 75 degrees, with
the birds singing merrily, and tuberoses and hyacinths blooming
in the open ground ; while all around were trees and shrubs lux-
uriant in their green and graceful foliage. Eager to begin our
cruising and camping, I hastened to the river in search of a suit-
able boat for our party; and, by a stroke of extreme good for-
tune, I hit upon a skip-jack" yacht, cat-rigged, eighteen feet
long, seven feet beam, and drawing fifteen inches when loaded;
she was decked over forward and aft, witl a very roomy cock-pit.
I examined her thoroughly and found her tight, in good order,
and sound condition. She was called Blue Wing, and proved to
be one of the fastest and safest boats on the river. I purchased
her for quite a moderate sum-about one-half her real worth.
Of course, my purchase was soon noised abroad" among the
1leatmen, and at night there were all hands and the cook"
mustered in the office of the hotel. With an eye to the main
chance, many were quite anxious to go with me in the capacity
of skipper and guide. They were quite solicitous in regard to
our welfare; and I was entertained graphically with the diffi-


II


EU










AN INTERESTING COLLOQUY.


culties of navigating Indian River with its intricate channels,
rocky reefs, treacherous shoals, oyster bars, variable winds, and
sudden squalls. I was regaled, mysteriously, with highly-colored
descriptions of the best fishing grounds and hunting localities,
known only to a chosen few."
But as I deemed my past experience in sailing-ten years of
my youthful life on Chesapeake Bay, and later on Long Island
Sound, and still later on the Great Lakes-sufficient for Indian
River, I declined their kind offices with the best grace possible,
and put a bold face on the matter as the following colloquy
may witness. After I had been interviewed by a number, one
who appeared to be a kind of "oracle" amongst them, ap-
proached me and cast off his "jaw-tackle" in this wise:
Oracle (patronizingly)-" Doc, I'd like to sail the Blue Wing
for you fellows, and learn you the ropes. How long will you be
on the river?"
"About four months."
0. (surprised)--" Why, most parties only go down for two or
three weeks; but I 'spose you'll run down to Jupiter and make
long camps all the way down ?"
"I shall stop but a day or two at Horse Creek and Elbow
Creek; a few days on Banana River; then Crane Creek and
Turkey Creek; a week on Sebastian River; through the Nar-
rows and Capron for another week; then St. Lucie River and
through Jupiter Narrows, and Hobe Sound to Jupiter River.
After a few days at Jupiter I will go to Lake Worth."
O. (emphatically)-" But you can't get the Blue Wing through
the saw-grass to Lake Worth! "
"No; I shall go over Jupiter bar, and sail outside to Lake
Worth Inlet."
2









CRUISE OF THE BLUE WING.


O. (amazed)-" But she has never been outside; and, if you'll
take my advice, you won't try it."
"And from Lake Worth I will sail to Biscayne Bay."
O. (astonished)-" Jerusalem! Why, that's a hundred and
fifty miles outside sailing! "
"No, only about seventy-five miles, with two good harbors be-
tween; New River and Hillsboro' River."
O. (vanquished)-" Well, Doc, you'll excuse me-I do n't want
any of that outside bizuess in mine-not in an eighteen-foot boat,
no how !"
Then I may cruise along the Keys to Key West, and if the
the boys stand the racket pretty well I will sail up the west coast
to Charlotte Harbor and Pease Creek, where I will sell the boat,
hire an ox-cart and team, and go across the country to Lake
Okechobee and come out at Fort Capron, where I will charter
your boat to bring us up to Titusville, provided you are on
hand."
O. (admiringly)-" Why, Doc, you must be a regular old
salt!"
Yes, I can discount Lot's wife for saltness; I am the saltiest
of the salt-saltpetre and Epsom salts-a double dose."
O. (reflectively)-" Are the rest of your party good sailors?"
I don't think any of them ever saw a sail-boat before they
reached Jacksonville, and I am certain that none of them were
ever in one."
O. (decidedly)-" Well, they'll have a rough time of it if
they follow you."
That's what I brought them to Florida for, to rough it."
The oracle moved away and mingled with the crowd. Frank
Told me afterward that he heard him tell the others that that


III~ -------m-----










THE POWER OF MUSIC.


doctor from Kentucky had been to Indian River before, and
knew the ropes like a book."
It being Christmas night, every one was now in a thoroughly
good humor, and we were swapping yarns" and retailing old
jokes. Some one then suggested to Mr. Long, the shipping-
clerk of the railroad, to get his violin. He readily complied,
and after he and several boatmen had taken a turn at it, the
"oracle" sidled up and requested me to "play a tune," observ-
ing that he knew from the cut of my jib" that I could do so.
Nothing loth, I scratched off "Devil's Dream," "Gray Eagle,"
"Arkansas Traveler," and other lively tunes, to the great ad-
miration of the crowd, and especially of the "oracle" himself,
whose delight seemed unbounded, and who seemed to take a
patriarchal or proprietary interest in me, exclaiming:
First you're a doctor, then you're a sailor, and now you're
a fiddler!"
"Yes," said I, "I sometimes fiddle for my patients; it does
them more good than medicine."
At Mr. Long's suggestion we then repaired to the parlor,
when I surrendered the violin to him and accompanied him on
the -piano. It was not long until the oracle again approached
me, confidentially, and asked me to "sing something," naming
several of my favorite songs. I wondered a little at this, but
when he called for "The Nine Little Pigs," then I knew that
my party had been "giving me away." However, I accepted
the situation, and with a few forecastle songs" 1 u.ng myself
right into the hearts of those rough but honest boatmen, and dur-
ing my stay in Florida I had no better friends. They were
always ready, and more than willing, to do me any favor in their
power.










CRUISE OF THE BLUE WING.


On the morning of December 27th, we doffed our "store
clothes," packed them in our trunks, which were left at the hotel
until our return, and arrayed ourselves in flannel shirts, old
do'" and brogans. The rest of our camping wardrobe was made
into compact bundles, with rubber blankets strapped outside to
protect them from the spray. The Blue Wing was already loaded
with our supplies, which were covered with a large tarpaulin.
The guns, ammunition, flour, and sugar were enugly stowed
under the forward deck. Every thing being trim and ship-
shape, I sung out, "All aboard," made sail, hove anchor, and
the Blue Wing was soon dancing merrily over the waves with a
fair wind, and bound down the river." It was a perfect day,
the thermometer about 70 degrees, and the sun, shining brightly,
kissed the-glad waves as they reared aloft their foaming crests.
We waved our hats to the boatmen on the pier, who wished us
"good luck," and Titusville was soon left astern.


i IL ~-




F -------~: --- .- ---


"OH, MOSES I 'M SNAKE BIT."


11111 1 I 1 311 11











DOWN THE RIVER.


CHAPTER III.


D..n trlh,.. river.-Getting used to it.--" The boys."-Rockledge.-TIe
i .-l ..tmp.-Under the palms.-Fur, fin, and feather.-The cast net.
-MI.llets.-Oranges and sweet potatoes.-The settlers-Oleander
..,rat -Romantic and piituresque.--\ Sunday reverie.-Fishing ex-
tr..-i.'.linary.-" Oh, Moses, I'in snake-bit!"-The Spanish bayonet.
--A. snolligoster."--Red-fish.-Delightful weather.-Out of "pa-
it.-Fw."-Farewell to Rockledge.-Tho saw-mill.-Very like a whale.
PI'.. and palmettos.-Eau (allie.-The "College."-A "busted
.l.,lhle."--Banana River.-The pot kept boiling.-The nameless
p.:.nJ.
OON after leaving Titusville we entered the
.'~ broadest portion of the river, called by the
Sboatmen "Bay of Biscay," a fine stretch
Sof water five miles in width and of about
S- J the same length; its southern extremity
marked by a group of tall pines, apparently
Separated from Merritt's Island, is known
as Pine Island. The wind being abaft the
beamu ur kept the main channel, which varies from a half mile to
a rnile from the western shore. The water of the channel, for
a di-t:iurc of fifty miles or more is from six to ten feet in depth.
I ....n discovered that the Blue Wing was a most admirable
wirkiu: boat, and the boys"-as I had unconsciously begun to
desi-nii te my party-were becoming more accustomed to their new
expre:-r: uce. Their distrust of the boat, which at first seemed but a
c',-_kle-hlell in thu wide waste of waters, began to give way as
they saw her dash through the waves "like a thing of life." The
spli.lhing of the spray over her bows had ceased to cause them




LI1


CRUISE OF THE BLUE WING.


any uneasiness, and her occasional listing to leeward in the fresh-
ening breeze was no longer a source of alarm. They really
began to enjoy the situation, and were watching the gulls and
gannets skimming to and fro, and the flocks of scaup-ducks, or
"blue-bills,"' that made way for us (invariably paddling off to
windward), as we went bounding along.
Frank soon had out his gun and was popping away at every
thing within two hundred yards of the boat. He occasionally
knocked down a blue-bill, which necessitated my picking it up,
and gave me an opportunity to explain to the boys some of the
principles of sailing. I endeavored at the same time to instruct
them in the meaning of a few nautical terms.
We had passed Pine Island and were soon abreast of Jones'
Point, on the mainland, ten miles below Titusville. In the bight
just beyond are the residences of Dr. Holmes and several others,
and five miles farther on is City Point, where there is a store and
post-office. Colonel Spratt's orange grove, the best on the river,
is just below City Point, and a mile or two farther oi is Mrs.
Dixon's grove. Opposite, on Merritt's Island, is the clearing of
Mr. Martin and R. D. Hoke. We next passed Oleander Point
and a half mile below it we ran in and cast anchor. It was just
noon. In three hours we had made the run of twenty miles
from Titusville to Rockledge.
We anchored close to the shore and cast out a stern line, by
which the stern could be hauled in near enough to the rocks to
enable us to jump ashore. We were not long in getting out all
necessary articles, and soon had both tents pitched in the shade
of some magnificent live-oaks and cabbage-trees, while the smoke
from a cheerful light-wood fire was soon curling upward through
Sthe broad fronds of the palmettos.


I










THE FIRST CAMP.


On the way down I had divided the party into three teams of
cooks and camp-keepers, and it now devolved upon team num-
bcr one," composed of Marion and Ed, to prepare our dinner;
but as this was our first camp we all lent a hand, stimulated by
that peculiar sensation indigenous to this region, which we had
heard of but until now had not experienced, an "Indian River
appetite." Frank's ducks, which had been picked and dressed
on board, were now cut up, and, with the addition of some white
bacon, and an onion, were soon simmering away and exhaling
the savory odor of a hunter's stew." Dinner was ready in an
hour, and the boys being sharp set, pronounced it good.
After dinner we gathered the long Spanish moss that hung in
graceful festoons from the water-oaks, and made our beds.
Team "number two," Ben and Henry, started down through
the settlement, while number one" washed the dishes, and put
things to rights.
After a smoke, team "number three," Frank and myself,
shouldered our guns, and struck out to provide "meat for the
pot." We went through an orange grove, and, in the hedge on the
further side, "Queen" soon discovered a bevy of quail, out of
which we got two. We marked them down in the scrub, when we
found another bevy, and soon had five more. In the same length
of time, in Kentucky, we would have bagged at least a dozen
out of the two bevies. But I noticed then, what subsequent ex-
perience confirmed, that the quail of Florida make very short
flights when flushed; that they at first rise up very quickly a few
feet above the scrub, and then, by a somewhat less rapid flight,
they fly in a direct line to a point on the ground from twenty to
a hundred yards, according to the nature of the cover; that their




LI ____________


CRUISE OF THE BLUE WING.


line of flight, consequently, is steadily downward, and the
gunner is very apt to overshoot until he remarks this pecu-
liarity.
Going through the pines, we came to a small pond, screened by
a thick fringe of bushes. Approaching cautiously, we observed
a small flock of mallards quietly feeding. We knocked down
three as they rose, which Queen found for us in the thick scrub.
We then started back to camp, bagging four gray squirrels on
the way.
We found Marion practicing with a cast-net, under the tuition
of a settler. The cast-net is a sine qua non in Florida. It is a
circular net, from eight to twelve feet in diameter, with the lead-
line running around the circumference, and loaded with ten or
twelve pounds of lead, equally distributed. In the center is
fastened a ring, generally the section of a cow's horn. Tucking
lines are attached, at regular intervals, to the lead-line, and are
united to the hand-line which passes through this ring. It is
cast by means of both hands and the teeth, in a manner that
must be seen to be understood. It should be spread evenly on
the water, when the lead-line is carried rapidly to the bottom,
and, by pulling on the hand-line, the net is drawn into a purse,
which incloses the fish.
It is used for catching mullet (Mugil albula), a fine, fat
fish, which literally swarms in countless millions in the shallow,
brackish waters of Florida. It is the common food alike of
man, beast, bird, reptile, and fish. It is used as a bait for all,
other fish; the size of the fish to be caught will determine the
size of the bait, for it can be taken from an inch in length up to
four or five pounds in weight. It is of good flavor when broiled;
1 and fried mullet roe is a dish fit for an epicure.


cr











MULLET-ORANGES AND SWEET POTATOES. 25









-i.


THE MUL1ErT-(Mugil albula.)

Ed was scaling and cleaning mullet for supper. Ben and
Henry came in shortly, the former with several walking canes
in the rough,-and Henry with a sack of oranges, each still true
to his bent. Frank and myself cleaned our guns, anointed
them with "vaseline," and put them away. I will state here
that we found vaseline and "elbow grease" effective preventive
to rust during our winter's sojourn on the Florida coast; but it
required constant care and extreme watchfulness to keep the
guns bright. A number of settlers came into camp that night,
and spent a few hours with us around the cheerful fire of pine
logs. They brought us a generous supply of oranges, lemons,
and sweet potatoes.
Rockledge hamak' is the best settlement for orange culture in
East Florida. Its soil (which seems peculiarly adapted, and ex-
ceedingly rich in all the elements conducive to the growth of
the Citrus family) is a dark-grayish compound of sand, humus,

1 The orthography of this word varies greatly. I prefer this form
of it, as it is, no doubt, of Indian derivation. It is variously spelled
hammock, hommock, and hummock. In Florida it denotes land covered
with hard-wood timber, in contradistinction to pine land.


















I


and disintegrated shells. The hamak extends some four miles
along the river front, and is underlaid by a bold ledge of coquina
rock, with a good depth of water close up to its rocky shore.
The river bank is skirted by a border of cabbage-palmettos,
live-oaks, oleanders, and Spanish bayonets, through which can
be obtained glimpses of the whitewashed cottages of the settlers,
giving to the whole a picturesque and tropical appearance.
The northern extremity of the ledge terminates in a small snow-
white beach, crescentic in shape, which, running well out into
the river, forms Oleander Point.
The settlers are mostly from Georgia and Alabama, and are
exceptionally intelligent and enterprising. The names of some
that I remember are Mrs. Delano, Gardner Hardee, Captain
Bob Hardee, Allan Hardee, H. S. Williams, E. T. Hatch, C.
Magruder, Captain Bob May, and Quincy Stewart. All of them
have fine groves, some bearing abundantly, particularly that of
Gardner Hardee, which is the oldest.
There is a good store, a post-office, a nursery of sub-tropical
fruit trees, and a good school. They were soon to erect a church
edifice near Oleander Point, in a grove of gigantic live-oaks that
have withstood the shock of countless storms for centuries, and
whose crooked and scarred arms stretch out over the glistening
white beach beneath ; it is truly a most romantic spot.
On some quiet, dreamy Sunday morn, when the white sails
drift lazily by, and the air is heavy with the incense of orange
blossoms, and quivering with the mocking-bird's song, the Gloria
in Excelsis will be borne aloft through those grand old trees:
"Glory to God on high; and on earth peace, good-will toward
men ;" while the whisper of the rustling leaves, the purl of the
rippling waves, and the murmur of the distant sea will catch up


CRUISE OF THE BLUE WING.


d





I-


THE SPANISH BAYONET-RED-FISH. 27

the strain of the Benedicite: 0 ye winds of God-O ye seas and
floods-praise Him, and magnify Him forever!"
While Ben and Henry were preparing breakfast, the next
morning, Ed and Marion were getting their fishing tackle ready.
Ed was quite anxious to try his shark hook, but I persuaded him
to use cod-fish hooks instead. They rigged up several hand-
lines with heavy sinkers, about the same as used for cod-fishing.
After baiting with mullet I showed them where to cast, and ad-
vised them to tic the ends to the projecting limbs of trees near
the shore. While eating breakfast Ed's eye was attracted by
the swaying of the limb to which his line was tied. He dropped
his coffee and rushed to the fray. He ran against a Spanish
bayonet in his hurry, which caused a howl of anguish:
Oh, Moses! I'm snake-bit!"
The sword-like leaves of this plant terminate in strong and
sharp needle-points, which pierce through the clothing and into
the flesh upon the slightest provocation; and one who has been
" horned" by the spiny fin of a cat-fish will appreciate the sensa-
tion exactly. When Ed discovered the source of his suffering
li did some cussing," and began to step high and walk
Spanish." But another tug on the branch and he forgot his
misery, seized his line, and began hauling in. Then it stopped
s-hort:
It's caught on a ro-ock!"
What caused Ed to split the rock into two syllables just then
was a violent jerk on the line, which nearly threw him down.
Put your line over your shoulder, and walk away with him,"
-aid I; which Ed proceeded to do, and hauled out an immense
red-fish or channel bass, weighing upward of forty pounds.
Ge-whillikens! What a snolligoster!" shouted Ed.










CRUISE OF THE BLUE WING.


And so it was-the largest we caught in Florida.
In a half hour Ed and Marion had landed six red-fish, the
smallest weighing twenty pounds. The surplusage was dis-
tributed among the settlers, who seemed quite surprised to know
that such fish could be caught there-but then they did their
fishing with a cast net, and seldom used a hook.













THE RED-FISH-(SCitena ocellata.)

The red-fish or channel bass (Scicena ocellata) is exceedingly
common on the coast of Florida. It belongs to the same family
as the barb and whiting. It is a pretty fair table fish, though
much inferior to some others in the same waters. It is of a
beautiful golden red color on the back and sides, while the belly
is silvery; it is very brilliant and iridescent when first out of
the water. It has a large black spot, sometimes several,, on each
side near the tail, which gives it its specific name. The scales
are.quite large and firm, and are much used in Florida for
making jewelry and artificial leaves and flowers.
Two or three miles back of Rockledge is a fine fresh-water
lake, called Lake Poinsett, where excellent black bass fishing
can be enjoyed with bait or the artificial fly. Its waters connect


I -










FAREWELL TO ROCKLEDGE. 29

with the upper St. Johns. A few miles south of this lake is an-
other, Lake Winder, which also abounds in black bass and other
fresh-water fishes. Deer are also plentiful in the vicinity of
these lakes.
Our stay at Rockledge was prolonged several days, in order
that the boys might become somewhat accustomed to camp-life
before proceeding farther. The weather was delightful, the
days warm, balmy, and hazy, and the nights cool enough to allow
a thorough enjoyment of the camp fire. The boys began to im-
prove rapidly in health, and, to use their own expression, felt
bully." Their appetites were becoming ravenous, and in con-
sequence they began to pick up in flesh, and, as Sam Weller
said of the fat boy, "began to swell wisibly before my wery
heycs."
At length, one fair day, with a fair wind, we bid farewell to
Rockledge. Five miles below, behind a long point and in a
rocky cove, we passed the saw-mill which furnishes most of the
lumber for Indian River. Opposite, on Merritt's Island, on
quite an eminence, is the quaint cottage of Dr. Whitfeldt, the
pioneer settler of this section. Just ahead of us I described a
school of porpoises, rolling, tumbling, and basking in the sun-
shine. I headed directly for them, to give the boys a better
view of them.
"Great Cesar!" shouted Ed, what's that?"
"Porpoises," I replied.
"What's poor-pusses? Doc, you can't fool me, they're
whales! There, see'em spout, hear 'em blow! Doc, don't go
any nearer, or I'll get out! "
I saw that Ed was really frightened, so I bore away to leeward.









CRUISE OF THE BLUE WING.


while Frank gave them a parting salute with his shot gun. Thd
boys had. it on Ed, then, "bad."
Passing Otter Creek, we were soon abreast of Horse Creek.
The west shore, or mainland, is now a high sandy bluff, clothed
with forests of pine. The water is quite shallow for a long dis-
tance from shore, so we kept the middle of the river. Op-
posite here, on Merritt's Island, is the hamak of Bethel Stewart,
and on the mainland the shanties of the settlers are scattered
along. We soon arrived at Eau Gallie.
This place is twenty miles from Oleander Point and forty from
Titusville. There is a store and post-office, and a fine building
composed of coquina rock, built for the State Agricultural Col-
lege, but never used as such, I believe. It was the job of a
"ring," who laid out and built a fine city here, with broad av-
enues, parks, schools, churches, and hotels-on paper. There
was to have been a canal, eight miles in length, connecting In-
dian River with the St. Johns, via Elbow Creek and Lake
Washington. But the ring lost its influence with the state
officers, its hold on the state money bags slipped, it dropped the
bubble, and it "busted." Nothing remains but the nucleus of
the scheme-the College," as it is called.
The site is a beautiful one, and the location advantageous. It
is opposite the foot of Merritt's Island and the confluence of the
Banana and Indian rivers. There is a good depth of water close
up to the rocky shore at all times. Should the contemplated
railroad from Jacksonville via St. Augustine to Indian River be
built, a charter for which had been already obtained, Eau Gallie
will become an important point, and in my opinion will super-
sede Titusville, should the railroad extend to it.
S We spent a few days in the vicinity of Eau Gallie very pleas-


II


I











THE NAMELESS POND.


antly. There was plenty of ducks, snipe, and plover up Banana
River, and excellent black bass fishing in Horse Creek, Elbow
Creek, and Crane Creek, all within three miles of Eau Gallie;
while red-fish, sheepshead and mullet were abundant in Indian
River. In the scrub about the head of Elbow Creek, also
within three miles, the sportsman will find deer and turkeys,
though the latter are becoming scarce. Witli a good dog, quail
can be found anywhere in the settlement. In short, there was
no difficulty in keeping the pot boiling," for we always had
enough and to spare.
There is a certain little fresh-water pond near the foot of the
island, where the ducks come in from the large waters to drink,
and where I went several times with my gun and twenty-five
cartridges, my pipe and tobacco, and rubber wading boots.
After making myself comfortable in a snug blind, I would light
my pipe and await further developments. Pretty soon they
came, two or three at a time--sometimes half a dozen-mallards
and blue-bills. After shooting both barrels I would wade out
and retrieve them, one or two, as the case might be, or the alli-
gators would have saved me the trouble. Then I would resume
my pipe, and my waiting and watching, and so on ad infinitum.
As soon as I had bagged a dozen I would return to camp, but it
would be no extraordinary thing for one to bag a hundred in a
day, for they are coming and going all day long. This pond is
not known to many, and the sportsman must find it as I did, by
his own judgment and observation, and his knowledge of the
habits of the game.










CRUISE OF TIIE BLUE WING.


CHAPTER IV.

Off again.-Elbow Creek.-One more unfortunate.-Ed's revenge.-Tur-
key Creek.-A snug harbor.-Oranges and bananas.-Fine fishing.
-A twilight reverie.-Phosphorescent display.-" My old Kentncky
home."-The blonde mule.-Pegasus on a fox chase.-The boys and
their vagaries.-A pleasant camp.-" Poor Joe."-'Possum a la Ken-
tucky.-Onward.-Grant's Farm.-A yellow pine breeze.-St. Sebas-
tian River.-Navigation under difficulties.-Insulted by an owl.-
Kane's.-Cabbage Camp.-Feathered fishers.-In the "piney
woods."-A loSing camp.-Gophers.-More patients.-Deer dogs.
-The biggest snore on record.-An earthquake.-A lively shake.

EAVING Eau Gallie we soon passed El-
o'r'y, bow Creek, at the mouth of which lives
S Mr. Houston, one of the oldest settlers.
Three miles below is Crane Creek, where
I- N reside Mr. Fish and several negro families,

.among whom is Peter Wright, who is
-._.' -. known to northern tourists as a good boat-
Sman and a sharp trader. Observing some
porpoises ahead, Ed, with murderous intent and malice afore-
thought, got out the "alligator gun," a Spencer carbine. As
the school went rolling and tumbling by, one more unfortunate
than the rest ventured too near the boat in his gambols, when
Ed let drive, and the huge ball struck with an ominous thud.
As it disappeared beneath the waves, leaving a crimson stain
to'mark the spot, Ed grinned a ghastly smile of triumph, min-
gled with remorse. Thus the whirligig of time brings in his
revenges."


C_ _IN


li"




II Err


TURKEY CREEK-A SNUG HARBOR. 33

We were now abreast of Turkey Creek, ten miles from Eau
Gallie, and entering the beautiful little harbor at its mouth, we
camped on a narrow spit of land at the entrance of the creek,
on the farther side. The water here was quite deep, allowing
our boat to lie close up to the sandy shore. Thelittle land-locked
bay is circular in form and about an eighth of a mile in extent.
Its shores are well wooded, and in the north-west bight is a swift-
running brook of clear, cold water. Its northern shore termi-
nates in a bluff twenty feet or more in height, crowned with
palmettos, and running out into Indian River forms quite a
prominent headland.
On this bluff is the log cabin .of Charles Creech, in the edge
of a once famous orange grove, but now unfortunately it is af-
fected with the disease called die-back," produced, as I was
told, by plowing too deeply and cutting off the surface roots.
There is, however, a thrifty young grove adjoining; and between
our camp and the little brook, behind the skirt of cabbage-trees
and water-oaks, is a fine banana plantation. The view from our
camp across the bay, toward the bluff, and out through its narrow
mouth, and across Indian River to the distant strip of verdure
hiding old ocean from our gaze, is one of extreme loveliness and
entrancing beauty.
While Ben and Henry were gathering moss and chopping
wood, Ed and Marion had knocked down several ducks, while
Frank and I had bagged several brace of quail in the old field
near by. Marion also soon secured a mess of mullet" with
a cast net, while Ed, appropriating some for bait, caught several
sea-trout and a large sergeant-fish.
The ~on-trout (Cynoscion maculatum) is one of the Scienidce,
auld bI-l..u- to the same genus as the squeteaguc, or weak-fish,




LI1 II


CRUISE OF THE BLUE WING.


which it very much resembles. Its jaws are armed with very
sharp and pointed teeth, and it has numerous dark spots on its
back and sides. It is a very gamy fish, and when quite fresh is
very palatable. The sergeant-fish (Elacate canada), called
"snooks" in East Florida, belongs to the Elacatidce, or crab-
eaters. It is a handsome, silvery fish, with a jet-black stripe
running along the lateral line from its head to its tail; hence,
sergeant-fish. It has an elongated head, with the lower jaw pro-
jecting and armed with long, sharp teeth, similar to the pike,
which it much resembles in habits. As a table fish it is rather
insipid. The one Ed caught weighed not less than twenty-five
pounds.
After supper I lay upon the deck of the Blue Wing, smoking
my pipe, and idly contemplating the wreaths of blue smoke as
they gracefully drifted away in the deepening twilight, and
listening to the sullen roar of the breakers beyond the distant
line of trees. The silent stars began to peep out, one by one,
through the hazy atmosphere above the sea, sparkling and scin-
tillating like diamonds, with ever-varying tints of red, blue, and
green, like spangles from some dissolving rainbow.
A dream-like quiet pervaded the scene, disturbed only by the
leap of the mullet, the plaintive twitter of the coot, and the
solemn hoot of the owl. Then, as the twilight faded out of the
sky, the surface of the little bay began to gleam and glimmer
with a pale and lambent light, while the water-oaks on shore,
draped in funereal moss, assumed a weird and ghostly aspect in
the gloom of the lurking shadows. As the night grew darker the
phosphorescent sheen became more luminous. The leap of the
mullet produced coruscations of blazing jets and flashing drops,
while the track of the red-fish and the wake of the sea-trout, in









TIE BLONDE MULE.


their eager rushes for their prey, formed dazzling lines and glit-
tering furrows, radiating in every direction upon the lustrous
water.
The scene, which had begun with the film and haze of'the
dim, uncertain twilight, now burst forth into a refulgence of
gorgeous splendor. But soon the full moon "unveiled her peer-
less light" above the fringe of palms across the river, and, chas-
ing the shadows from the shore, took up the wondrous tale."
And now the piping of the frogs, and the hum of insects, and
the complainings of the water-fowl began to "fill the night with
music," while the fire-flies, flitting across the bay, seemed to
have borrowed their light from the water beneath. I was roused
from my reverie by hearing the refrain,

We will sing one song for my old Kentucky home,
For my old Kentucky home far away,"

which was heartily sung by the boys around the camp fire.
My pipe had gone out, so I joined the group, and finished my
smoke while listening to Frank relating an experience in fox
hunting: How he had been sent upon an errand on a blonde
mule, and how he met a pack of hounds in full cry after a red
fox, followed by a score of hard-riding huntsmen; and how he
and the mule pooled their issues," and joined the chase, and
how he threw the rider off a ten-rail fence, which the mule then
took at standing leap; and how, in taking a water-gap on the
fly, the saddle-girth broke, and the mule threw his rider, and kept
on after the hounds, while Frank took a flying leap into the icy
water; and how he toAo up his saddle, and struck a cold trail for
home, where, instead of the "brush," he got a brushing. We
then turned in, and I dreamed of riding a pale mule-a Pegasus









CRUISE OF THE BLUE WING.


with wings on his head, who took flying leaps over cabbage-trees,
and who finally threw me into a thicket of Spanish bayonets and
cactus plants.
We laid at Turkey Creek a day or two longer, waiting for a
wind. Henry consumed, during that time, a hundred and fifty
oranges by actual count, while Ben added several walking-canes
to his stock, the last one being made from the green stalk of a
palmetto leaf. Marion had constructed a rude model of a sugar-
cane mill for a settler up the creek, while Ed had fishing enough
to satisfy his piscatorial greed, and Frank found steady employ-
ment in poking his gun at the pelicans, cormorants, ospreys, and
eagles that frequented the little bay. A half mile up the creek
I enjoyed some fine fly-fishing for black bass.
Frank brought me one day a bird for identification, which he
called a fly-up-the-creek."
"No," said I; "it is a small, green heron, called by the
crackers a 'poor-Joe,' though why poor and why Joe, I can't tell
you."
Frank mused a while, and then said:
"A fat poor-Joe sat on a dead live-oak," and then suddenly
disappeared into the hamak.
While fishing up the creek one day, I shot a large yellow-
bellied terrapin, weighing upward of twenty pounds. He was
in shallow water, near the shore, and poked up his head, which
I cut in two with a ball from my pistol. He made a capital
stew. Frank brought in a fine, fat 'possum one day, which he
baked with sweet potatoes a la Kentucky. To dress and cook a
'possum in this mode, proceed as follows .
Put a pot of water on the fire, and just before it boils stir in a
few handfuls of ashes; dip in your 'possum a few seconds, when










GRANT'S FARM.


the hair can then be scraped off slick and clean. The 'possum
now looks like a suckling-pig, which it also resembles in taste.
After cleaning and washing, stuff with a dressing of bread-
crumbs, a small onion cut fine, some sage, and a little salt'and
cayenne pepper. Heat a Dutch oven, and place it on some live
coals, put the 'possum in, cover with the lid, on which place more
live coals, or, as they do in Florida, build a fire of light-wood splint-
ers on top of the oven lid. When the 'possum begins to brown,
pack sweet potatoes, previously scraped, all around it, and con-
tinue the baking until all are nicely browned and crisp. Place
a lemon in the 'possum's mouth and serve. A 'possum thus
prepared is good, especially if one has an "Indian River appe-
tite." Non possum quin.
We left Turkey Creek on the afternoon of a warm day, with
a moderate breeze, which soon veered round to the south-cast, so
that we had to sail close-hauled down the river. The settlers
were now few and far between. There was one on the mainland,
five miles below, and opposite, near the eastern shore, was
moored the United States Coast Survey boat, the Steadfast, en-
gaged in surveying Indian River.
We now approached Grant's Farm," a narrow island half a
a mile in length, and covered with mangroves and a few water-
oaks. A settler named Grant at one time moved on to this isl-
and with his family, but it became submerged after the heavy
rains of summer, and he left it for a drier and more stable lo-
cation. It is called Gran's Farm to this day, and is seven
miles below Turkey Creek. Here the wind left us, and the set-
ting poles came into requisition.
From Turkey Creek the channel is well out from the west
-hore (a half mile), and then winding between the west shore


__










CRUISE OF THE BLUE WING.


and Grant's Farm. Just below is the hamak of Frank Smith
and Mr. Parramore, from whence the channel runs close to the
west shore for some three miles. There is a shoal running from
the southern extremity of Grant's Farm down-river for a mile
or two. The boys whistled for a breeze in vain, and we took
spells at "poling," which is a style of navigation quite common
on Indian River in the absence of a wind, when one is in a
hurry. At length we reached the mouth of the St. Sebastian
River, twelve long miles below Turkey Creek, and some sixty-
five miles from Titusville. This river must not be confounded
with the small stream of the same name near St. Augustine;
this duplication of names is not infrequent in Florida.
It was quite dark when we entered the mouth of the river,
but we proceeded a half mile up stream by poling, being warned
away from shoal places by the rushing and leaping of mullet,
which are more numerous in very shallow water. I then deemed
it advisable to anchor until the moon rose. Frank and I waded
ashore, built a fire and made some coffee. We could find no
spot suitable for camping, the scrub being quite thick and the
shores lined with mangroves. We carried the coffee back to
the boat, when we eat our supper of cold duck, dried beef, hard
tack and coffee. Just then a large owl on shore vociferated:
"Who cooks? Who cooks? Who cooks for yo-o-u?"
About ten o'clock the moon rose, and we poled around a point
just ahead of us, when we heard some dogs barking. We soon
discovered a house on the bluff on the north bank, which proved
to be the cabin of Mr. Kane. We camped there for the night,
and next morning proceeded up-stream a half mile farther, and
camped just above the mouth of the north fork of the river, in
the edge of a magnificent pine wood. The water was of good


~I-










THE ST. SEBASTIAN RIVER.


depth, and the boat was moored close up to the shore, near to a
spring of good water which issued from the bank.
The St. Sebastian from its mouth to this point is from a fourth
to a half mile in width, and a mile long. Here it separates into
the North, West, and South Prongs. The main river abounds
in fish of numerous varieties, and occasionally the manatee and
the tarpum are seen, while immense alligators frequent this
portion of the stream. It is likewise- a favorite fishing ground

w__, _. _.: .






7,,'






A PALMETTO SHANTY.

for pelicans, cranes and herons. Frank said that 'the pelicans
carried their fishing-poles in front, while the cranes carried theirs
S behind, alluding to the positions of the bills of the former, and
the long legs of the latter when flying.
In the piney-woods" around our camp were numerous holes
of land tortoises-Testuda carolina-which burrow in the ground
like woodchucks, and are called "gophers" by the crackers, who
esteem them as a great delicacy. They grow from fifteen to
twenty inches long, and of an oblong form. The surface of the


_ ~~__ I___ ~










CRUISE OF THE BLUE WING.


ground was also perforated in many places with the holes of
" salamanders."
Black bass fishing was excellent in either of the prongs of the
river, and quail were quite plentiful in the palmetto scrub, while
the hamaks abounded with hares, squirrels, coons, and opossums.
A few hours with rod and gun furnished us with a good supply
of fur, fin, and feather.
Near by was the camp of Frank Strobhar and Habersham
King, who were cutting a raft of pine logs for the saw-mill up
Indian River. They were formerly of Savannah, Ga., but are
now living at Eau Gallie. Both are good sailors and hunters,
and we enjoyed their company exceedingly.
The next day, being Sunday, we devoted to rest, as usual,
though Frank disturbed the proprieties of the day by dancing an
impromptu hornpipe, occasioned by a scorpion climbing up un-
der the leg of his trousers, and stinging him. He was more
scared than hurt, for the sting of the Florida scorpion is not
more serious than the sting of a bee.
A cracker settler, Tom Sellers, living at the head of the North
Prong, came into camp and requested me to prescribe for a sick
child. As it was but two miles through the woods to his cabin,
I went with him, saw the child, and left some medicine. I also
borrowed his dogs, Troop and Trailer, for a deer hunt the next
day. These dogs, like most other deer dogs in Florida, were
mongrels, a mixture of cur and hound, and trained to follow a
warm trail very slowly. The style of hunting is similar to still
hunting, except that the dog does the tracking," while the
hunter follows the dog. It would be impossible to track a deer
in any other way through the thick palmetto scrub. Returning
to camp, I found that I had another call" to see a patient down




ElM I_


TIE BIGGEST SNORE ON RECORD.


the stream, at Kane's. I went, and found a lad who was be-
yond the aid of human skill, dying with marasmus.
Sitting around the blazing pine logs that night, the time
passed quickly while talking of hunting, fishing, and sailing, and
it was eleven o'clock when we turned in. Ben, as was his usual
custom, was asleep and snoring in five minutes-and such a
snore! Ben was my case of nasal catarrh, but it was no "light
catarrh" that he struck in his beautiful snore," but a compound
of bassoon, trombone, and bass-drum. Shakespeare says that-

"Weariness
Can snore upon the flint, when rusty sloth
Finds the downy pillow hard."

But Ben's snore was not produced by weariness; nor were
his slumbers flint-locked; but his proboscian music, proceeding
from a stub-and-twist, full-choked, bouble-barreled organ, was
Wagnerian in pattern, and wonderful in effect and penetration.
I heard Strobhar, who is hard of hearing, say to King, in their
tent a few yards away:
"Hab! just listen to that bull alligator bellowing up the
creek!"
"It's one of the boys snoring," replied King.
Well, by the Great Horn Spoon no need of a fog-horn in
their boat!"
A few minutes later I heard a peculiar rumbling and roaring
sound proceeding from the eastward, which I at first thought
to be the sea; but as it rapidly came nearer it became louder,
and the ground began to tremble and roll, jarring the guns on
the rack, and producing a rattling among the pans outside. The
4









CRUISE OF THE BLUE WING.


heavy rumbling seemed to pass right under me with an oscillating
and wavy motion, and disappeared in a westerly direction. I
found myself rolling out of my mossy bed, and became conscious
that it was the shock of an earthquake or some internal convul-
sion; and was a prolonged shock, or rather a quick succession of
two shocks, lasting nearly a minute altogether.
The boys were all now wide awake and discussing the matter.
Strobhar said he heard it distinctly, but he thought it was
" Ben snoring."
This event occurred on the night of January 12th, at half-past
eleven o'clock. I learned afterward that it was quite severe in
some portions of the State. At Cape Canaveral light-house it
threw oil out of the lamp on the reflectors, and shook the solid
brick tower of Jupiter light from base to dome, while the keep-
ers of both lights made the best time on record for a hundred
feet downward.


-~SII-PIIIISSIIIII


L




I _________________________






I,






























ItI



A --I-M --- 'PROC-SSO






A\ TIIIUMPIIAI. PnoczwssboN-.


~i ------~=~-.r_zl-gl- ILI-.i. IWPPLI*Q~F. .-1 CCIII .I-.i--.-iii. i-- -;---III- LII -7


Impow










A CRACKER COWBOY.


CHAPTER V.

A "cracker cowboy."-Sound on the moon.-Deer-hunting in the flat-
woods.-" Bays" and '- burns."-IIow to "jump" a deer.-A lost op-
portunity.-The first deer.-" Who-whoop! "-Marion initiated.-A
herd of deer.-A long shot.-Venison galore.-A scientific discus-
sion.-Gall and wormwood.-On the South Prong.-By land and
water.-Turkey and moccasins.-A demoralized deer-slayer.-Frank
receives the first degree.-Indian on the brain.-A Rowland for an
Oliver.-Return to camp.-A triumphal procession.-An ovation.
-" No gall in mine, if you please."--The hero's recital.--How to
stalk a deer.-A fight with a buck.-He forgot it was loaded.

N the morning succeeding the earthquake
we breakfasted at day-break, and leaving
the camp in charge of Ed and Henry, the
.rest of us started on a deer-hunt. We
were accompanied by Strobhar and his ox-
cart to bring in the game. Reaching Tom
Sellers' cabin at sunrise, we found that
worthy smoking his pipe beneath his pal-
metto-thatched veranda.
Good morning gentlemen," was his greeting; glad to see
you--all. Hit's a right fine day for a hunt-ah. The moon sets
about nine o'clock, and south below along about four this
evenin'-aah."
Sellers-a "cracker cowboy," born and raised in the flat-
woods, a good hunter and a thorough woodsman-has, in com-
mon with most Florida hunters, implicit faith in the theory that
deer feed at moon-rise, moon-set, and moon-south, above and


-I









CcRUISE OF TIIE BLUE WING.


below. I remarked that I did ni
theory.


)t take kindly to the moon

Why," said he, "aint
it low tide at moon-rise
and moon-set, and high
tide at moon-south-ah?"
"Yes," I answered,
"that is nearly correct,
for the moon is supposed
to influence the tides; but
every one does not believe
even that theory."


.' t ,' "And do n't fish feed at
. .. / : high and low water-ah?"
'i ...' "Fish bite better on
"A CRACKER." the young flood, and at
the last of the ebb," I replied.
In course," said he, triumphantly; and so deer, fish, and
every thing else feeds at rise, set, and south of moon-ah !"
As it was worse than useless to argue the point, I merely
said :
Well, Tom, perhaps you r'e right; and I believe myself that
deer feed at those times, if they are hungry."
Hit's a fact," said lie ; and I think you'll find ven'zin to-
day, for I was out looking' up some stray cattle yesterday evcnin',
and I saw lots o' sign-ah."
Taking his dogs Troop and Trailer, we left him muttering to
his wife:
These fellers will try to make me believe next 'at the moon
is made o' green cheese-ah, and no manner of account-ah."


M


- 'p









DEER HUNTING IN THE FLAT WOODS.


Just beyond his cabin we crossed the North Prong of the St.
Sebastian, which is here but a dozen feet in width, and we were
soon traversing a large "burn" in the pine woods. The view
was unobstructed for a half mile in any direction, save by an
occasional clump of saw-palmettos and a few small "bays" or
thickets. The cowboys burn off the old grass and scrub in the
flatwoods at certain seasons, which is succeeded in a few weeks
by a new crop of succulent and tender grass, upon which the
cattle range and feed. It is on these "burns," as they are
called, that the deer are found at feeding-time, whenever that
may be.
The hunter, by standing on a log, can see a deer at a long dis-
tance in these level, flat pine woods; but his observations will be
much enhanced by the aid of a field-glass or a good opera-glass.
Having discovered the object of his search quietly feeding, the
experienced hunter can, by careful stalking, approach his quarry
and obtain a shot at short range. In hunting with dogs, the
method is to track the deer to his hiding-place, where he may be
resting or sleeping, and, by "jumping" him, bring him down
with a charge of buckshot. As the dogs are trained to follow a
trail very slowly, and as the game generally lies very close in
the bays and brush, it is no difficult matter to jump a deer
within easy gun-shot.
The dogs soon struck a fresh trail, whereupon we deployed our
force in a skirmish line, and moved on a parallel with the creek
on our right, and with the wind in our faces. I was on the ex-
treme left of the line, then Frank, Ben, and Marion, in the order
named, each being a hundred yards apart. Ben, carrying the
only rifle in the party, and which was rather a heavy one, soon










CRUISE OF THE BLUE WING.


began to lag behind, until finally he and Marion were close to-
gether at some distance in the rear.
Ben, seeing a promising sapling in a little bay near the creek,
whipped out his hunting-knife, and, in accordance with his rul-
ing passion, proceeded to cut it for a cane. As he was hacking
off the small branches, a deer bounded out of the coppice, not
ten yards from him. As Ben stood staring, startled and stupe-
fied with amazement, Marion coolly brought it down at thirty
yards-his first deer-dead in its tracks. Ben, recovering from
his surprise, made the woods ring with a Kentucky who-whoop !"
as he rushed in with his knife and cut its throat.
It proved to be a fine fat doe. Marion's shot had made sure
work of it: her neck and both legs on one side were broken.
Strobhar soon coming up with the oxen, the doe was eviscerated
and placed upon the cart, and Marion's face was duly blooded"
by Strobhar and Ben, as is customary in the event of killing one's
first deer. They also hinted at the propriety of turning the
paunch over his head, as a necessary procedure in affairs of that
kind; but Marion, flushed with victory and gore, looked quite
wicked at the suggestion, so that additional feature of the cervine
rite was omitted.
Frank and I were now a mile or more in advance of the others.
The dogs had followed the trail to the brush bordering the creek,
and I had swung around in the same direction, and was thus in
advance of Frank. Suddenly a herd of five deer, three does and
two fawns, bounded out of the brush into the open woods, about
a-hundred and fifty yards ahead of me, and stopped by the side
of an immense pine, where they huddled together, with necks
stretched, listening to the dogs, which were making music on the
hot trail.


El


r









A LONG SHOT.


I stood perfectly motionless, and longed for a Winchester re-
peating rifle; then I felt that I would have been happy with one
of Shelton's auxiliary rifle barrels. As it was I had twelve buck-
shot, weighing just an ounce, in each barrel, and could not move
a single step nearer without alarming the herd. As the dogs
were drawing nearer, I could not resist the temptation to hazard
a shot even at that distance. So, cautiously and slowly putting
up the gun, I took deliberate aim high up on the shoulder of a
doe that was standing broadside to me, and fired.
They sprang away for a distance of ten rods and stopped again
for a few moments, when, the dogs bursting out of the cover at
this juncture, they bounded away with the speed of the wind.
I noticed that one of the does left the herd, and made for a bay
several hundred yards to the left, with the dogs following on her
trail. Frank now came running up, and said excitedly:
You hit that one which the dogs are after, because it went
off with its tail down, and Tom Sellers said a wounded deer al-
ways holds its tail down! "
We followed the dogs, and sure enough we came upon the doe
struggling in the throes of death. Frank had the mournful sat-
isfaction of cutting her throat, and shouted who-oop! in defi-
ance of Ben's previous effort and my admonition to keep quiet.
Upon dressing the doe I found that a shot had cut the aorta or
large artery near the heart, while a second shot had struck her
in the flank. I naturally felt quite elated at the result of this
long shot, and while awaiting the arrival of the ox-cart I stepped
off the distance, which I had accurately marked by the aid of the
large pine, and found it to be fully one hundred and twenty-three
yards; certainly an extraordinary as well as a lucky shot.
Perhaps I would not have risked a shot at so long a distance









48 CRUISE OF THE BLUE WING.

had I not the day before, while targeting my gun, put seven
buck shot out of twelve into a pine stump at eighty yards.
Loading up the venison we started back to camp, leaving a
saddle with Sellers on the way, who would scarcely credit the
long shot with the scatter gun." Arriving at camp, the other
doe was skinned and quartered by Strobhar, who then rubbed all
of the meat with pepper and hung it in the shade, remarking
that it would now keep perfectly sweet until it could be con-
sumed. This fact was borne out by our subsequent experience,
for the pure, salt air of South-east Florida is an admirable pre-
servative of fish, flesh, or fowl, when well dressed, dried, and
hung in the shade.
Ed and Henry soon set about making a venison stew, over-
looked by Frank and Ben, who were meanwhile discussing the
most scientific way of cutting a deer's throat. Ben, having stuck
his doe pig-fashion, was, of course maintaining that view of the
subject, while Frank ar' ..1 fI ti ...... v-.uIrtL t..:,l ( i ..- i..- !I- th..l
as being the only professional mode. Frank had evidently been
coached by Tom Sellers.
Ed, while preparing some liver for the frying-pan, observed
that lie could not find the gall. I informed him that a deer had
no gall-bladder. Frank remarked that it was "gall darned"
queer that Sellers had told him nothing about it, and seemed in-
clined to believe but half of the fact by intimating:
"Perhaps the bucks have galls if the does do not," and further
added: I will kill one just to find out."
Ed dryly observed.:
"You had better swallow it, Frank, for if you wait till you
kill a buck to be convinced you will die in ignorance."
"I can't swallow it if there is none,"retorted Frank.


~_ _~









TURKEY AND MOCCASINS. 49

King and Strobhar had some logs at the head of the South
Prong, and were going up the next day to haul them to the
water. Having decided to go with them, our preparations were
soon made. Early on the following morning Strobhar, Frank
and myself started with the ox-cart, while the others of the
party went up in King's boat, which was of very light draught.
We of the overland party crossed the North Prong at Sellers',
and passed around the head waters of the West Prong, where we
discovered an abandoned Indian camp. We arrived at noon at
the point of destination, and found the boys in camp, with
dinner ready.
Dinner over, King and Strobhar went to work on the logs,
while our party struck out over the burns in different directions.
Frank and I were t.. ,11. r for a time, but separated to pass on
-opposite sides around a large pond. Having passed some dis-
tance beyond the pond, where I saw plenty of sign," but no
deer, I discovered a turkey running like a quarter-horse which
soon disappeared in the brush on the margin of a small stream.
I ascertained that the stream was dry, with the exception of an
occasional hole of water, and proceeded cautiously along the bed
of it, well screened by the foliage on each side, which here and
there met over my head, forming virescent arches, from which
tlhe vines and creepers hung in luxuriant festoons.
Keeping a sharp lookout for W- m......:a-i,-," which slid into the
Ih..les of water as I crept along, my patience was at length re-,
:ardded by a glimpse of the turkey, which I soon succeeded in
ku..eking over with a charge of buck shot. He was a fine gob-
Ihb-r, in splendid condition. While stalking the gobbler I had
h a:.-rd a shot behind me on the opposite side of the pond. I


--U*_









50 TIE CRUISE OF THE BLUE WING.

crossed over in that direction on my way back to camp, and soon
described Frank a half mile away carrying a deer. As he was
not proceeding in the direction of the camp I shouted and hal-
looed to him, but he only kept oni the faster. Finally I fired
both barrels of my gun, when he looked around, and I signaled
him to ?top. Coming up with him, I observed that his face was
quite bloody, and he was smiling like a prize-fighter after going
to grass.
Frank, I congratulate you, old fellow, upon your first deer.
But what's the matter with your face?" I sung out.
Well, I thought I would save the boys the trouble of bloody-
ing me; but perhaps you had better give me a daub."
"There," said I, as I put my "red right hand" against his
forehead, "I brand you with the mark of Cain."
I am glad to be able to bear it," said he, with a sanguinary
grin.
But, Frank, why didn't you stop when I called to you?"
He looked quite serious for a moment, and then said:
Do n't tell the boys; I thought you were an Indian till you
fired your gun. I knew the sound of it then, for Tom Sellers
told me that the Indians always carried rifles.
Well, but where are you going?"
"To camp," he replied.
Frank, my boy, do you know you're lost? The camp is back
there," said I, pointing in the direction.
"No, he replied, I'm not lost; I'm like the Indian; I'm
here-camp lost."
It seems to me that you have Indian on the brain. That's
a fine yearling buck, Frank; but why did n't you cut off his
head, and take out his entrails, and not pack him on your


L-~ --- -


ML-









A TRIUMPHAL PROCESSION.


shoulder like a sack of meal, with twenty-five pounds of offal,
Lhich had better been left behind?"
"I was thinking of it," said he, but just then I heard you
?hoot, and then I began to think of Indians. By the way,
that's a nice turkey; why didn't you get more? "
"More !" I.replied. "Because there were no more. What
an Oliver Twist you are! "
Well, you'd be all of a twist, too, carrying that buck on
the double-quick, as I did."
"Frank, a true-spirited hunter would not complain of carry-
ing the buck he had killed; besides these Florida deer are quite
small-not more than two-thirds the size of Northern deer."
"They're big enough for me," said he, "and I shan't kill
another out of sight of camp, unless we have an ox-cart along."
'We trussed up the little buck, cut off his head, took out the
entrails, skinned up the legs to the knees and hocks, where we
cut them off and tied the loose skins of the legs together
in pairs. We then slung him and the gobbler over a pole,
shouldered it, and started for camp, where we arrived at sun,
down.
Our entrance into camp was in the nature of a triumphal pro-
cession. When within a hundred yards Frank insisted on carry-
ing the buck in alone, and swung it over his shoulders in ortho-
dox style, with his arms til.ii.LI the leg loops, and the palm of
victory, a palmetto leaf, in his hand. He strode in with his
face beaming and bloody, while I followed as arm-bearer to the
hero, carrying both guns, and-what Benjamin Franklin said
should have been the emblematic bird of America-the turkey!
The boys received the pageant with an ovation of shouts and









5 CRUISE OF THE BLUE WING.

cheers, and relieved Frank of the victory perched upon his
shoulders.
He was bound to go to the bottom of that gall business, you
see !" said I, as I hung the gobbler by the side of two sand-hill
cranes that the boys had brought in.
"Well, how was it, Frank ?" asked Ed.
Not any gall in mine, if you please," replied Frank.
While smoking our pipes after supper, in the ruddy glare of
blazing pine knots, Frank related his experience as follows:
After I left Doc and got to the end of a large pond, I
climbed a small tree to look for him on the burn beyond, but
seeing nothing of him I looked over the pond and saw a deer
feeding on tile lily-pads near the edge of the water. I slid down
and crept along until I came in sight of him. Then I straightened
up, kept my eye on his tail, and walked toward him without
moving my arms or head. When he shook his tail-as he did
every few minutes-I stopped perfectly still, for then you know
he would lift up his head and look around. I was to the lee-
ward of him, so he could not wind me. As soon as he went to
feeding again, I started and kept moving up to him until lie
winked his tail again, when I would stop, for you know a deer
always shakes his tail before lie raises his head."
How did you know that, Frank?" asked Ed.
"0, Tom Sellers told me. Well, I got up to within thirty-
five yards of him, when he shook his tail, raised his head, turned
around, and saw me. I kept perfectly still, hardly breathing.
After staring awhile, he started on a trot right toward me, and
came up sniffing, until he was but twenty yards from me. I
thought that was close enough, and raised my gun-then you
ought to have seen him jump! I blazed away, and down he came.


a -


YL~;- --= -- --= --









A FIGHT WITH A BUCK. 53

He tried to get up again, but I rushed in, caught him by the
head, and had hard work to hold him. He threw me once on
my head and made my nose bleed, and that's how my face
happened to be so bloody when Doc met me."
At this the boys made a movement as if to get up, but I
stopped them by saying:-
"It's all right, boys: I 'blooded' him when I found him. Go
on, Frank."
Well," continued he, I got his head to the ground and held
him down like a horse by sitting on it till I got out my knife
and cut his throat. I found that I had bored him through the
neck with three buckshot, though I aimed at his head."
Why didn't you give him the other barrel?" asked Strobhar.
I never thought of that," said Frank, and added: "And
then I didn't want to shoot him all to pieces."
On the next day we all returned to our camp at the mouth of
the North Prong.










CRUISE OF THE BLUE WING.


CHAPTER VI.

Journey in an ox-cart.-Cypress and saw-grass.-A buzzard roost.-St.
Johns Prairie.-Silent sentinels.-New fishes.-Bob-tail saurian.-
More venison.-Rough traveling.-Back to camp.-"All aboard!"
-Pelican Island.-Slaughter of the innocents.-The Narrows.-A
labyrinth.-A queer snake.--The water-turkey.-A preposterous
bird.-Life-saving Station No. 1.-Oyster reefs.-Turtle nets.-Fort
Capron.-The fat of the land.-Under the orange trees.-Fruit and
flowers.-Oysters, fish, crabs, and turtle.-Sport with rod and gun.
-Turtle catching.-Indian River Inlet.-On the beach.-Under the
mangroves.-The Blue Wing in a gale.-Knocked down by a comber.
--"A bully boat and a bully crew."

i ING and Strobhar having finished hauling
their logs to the tributary waters of the St.
j.' Sebastian, it was the intention of Strobhar
S|i to drive his oxen home to Eau Gallie-some
i thirty miles by land-on the day following
Sour return from the head waters of the
I.: South Prong. Frank and I resolved to ac-
-- -_- company him, in order to see something of *
the back country. Accordingly, we built a rack for the cart, took
a tent and a few supplies, and started soon after breakfast on a
lovely morning in January. There being no roads, our rate of
travel was necessarily very slow, and we were two days in mak-
ing the journey, though we had a team of four good oxen.
'i After leaving camp, our course was .-t i..cl r' '. -r some six
miles :li..-'lh the pine woods, and along the borders of some
S long ponds, which were then nearly dry. We crossed the big














IF--__ ?
4C- '
xL


1I ~
ir7
'V -


CYPRESS SWAMP.


__












ST. JOHNS PRAIRIE. 55

cypress belt, which is parallel with, and about midway between,
the Upper St. Johns and Indian rivers. Along this belt we saw
large numbers of cranes, herons, egrets, and ibises, a few flocks
of paroquets, and an extensive buzzard roost, where there ap-
peared to be thousands of buzzardshiovering and circling around
upon our approach. The cypresses were covered with epiphytes,
or air plants, whose spikes of scarlet bloom appeared in pleasing
contrast with the light green and feathery foliage.
Floundering through the saw-grass that skirted the cypress
timber, we at length came out upon the St. Johns Prairie.
These savannas stretched away for miles, as far as the eye could
reach-a sea of vivid living green meeting on the horizon the
boundless blue sky above. The monotony of the scene was some-
what relieved by clumps of palms, long distances apart, like oases
in a desert. Here and there could be described an ibis or a white
heron standing solitary and motionless, like silent sentinels
guarding the emerald wastes. A mysterious silence akin to awe
oppressed the sense painfully, and impressed one with a conscious-
ness of immeasurable distances and eternal solitude.
r.I'.-. *lii; .-.1 th. prairie a few miles in a northern direction,
we made for a narrow pine ridge, and camped for the night.
Here we found a few mosquitos, but they were not very trouble-
some. During 't1 ,1.I, I had procured a number of specimens of
fresh-water fishes from the small ponds about the head waters of the
St. S.Si..r.ii Some of them were new, among which were two
species of Zygonectes or top-minnows, that have since been named
Z. ..,,.in;i,, and Z. henshalli, by Prof. D. S. Jordan. There
was also a new genus, but it had been anticipated a short time pre-
viously by Prof. G. Brown Goode in his "Fishes of the St.
Johns," and which lie had called Jordanellafloride.


F -O


I.I










56 CRUISE OF THE B WLUE WING.

In scooping out the specimens with a dip net, I found the
moccasin snakes a little troublesome, and on one occasion I
stirred up a huge alligator that had at some period in his early
life lost his caudal appendage. He was an odd-looking cus-
tomer, with an immense head and body and a bobtail, and was
unusually ferocious and remarkably active with his legs and
jaws. On another occasion, while cutting away the brush from
around a small spring stream to allow the oxen to drink, a very
bold alligator seemed bent on having a taste of fresh beef, and
came within an ace of seizing one of the oxen by the leg, but
Strobhar gave him his quietus by burying the hatchet in his
brain.
Leaving the prairie, we again struck into the flat woods on
our right, and for a few miles followed the old military trail
running from St. Augustine to Fort Capron. All that now re-
mains of the trail are the old blazes on the trees. We killed a
buck at the head of Turkey Creek, and a fawn near the head of
Crane Creek. The remainder of the journey was through the
dense palmetto scrub, whose immense roots, lying above ground
like railway ties, made our progress exceedingly slow, and was
the roughest bit of travel I ever experienced. We were not
sorry when we at length reached the mouth of Elbow Creek,
which we crossed, and soon arrived at Eau Gallie, where we
found King waiting for us with his boat. The next day we
returned to camp, well pleased, upon the whole, with our labo-
rious trip.
On the following morning we broke camp and proceeded
on our way down Indian River with a head wind. At the
mouth of the St. Sebastian we passed the fine hamak of Mr.
Gibson, and a few miles below we arrived at Barker's Bluff;


f~- ---- I


YLb




II


SLAUGHTER OF THE INNOCENTS. 57

quite an eminence, on which is the cabin of Arthur Park.
Opposite here is Pelican Island, a few acres in extent, and the
first of a series of islands forming the Narrows. The man-
.ioves and water-oaks of this island have been all killed by the
-xcrement of the pelicans which breed there. This guano,
o. laich lies several inches deep on the ground, is utilized by the
- ttlers as an efficient fertilizer.
At a distance the dead trees and bushes and ground seemed
ci..vered with frost or snow, and thousands of brown pelicans
Seare seen flying and swimming around or perched upon the
.1. ad branches. As we passed, we saw a party of northern
tourists at the island, shooting down the harmless birds by
-,)res through mere wantonness. As volley after volley came
i,.oming over the water, we felt quite disgusted at the useless
-laughter, and bore away as soon as possible and entered the
Narrows.
Indian River Narrows is some ten miles in length, and from
eai; eighth to a half mile in width; the channel is about a hun-
lred yards from the western shore or mainland. There are
numerous oyster-beds and reefs lying but a few inches below the
-'irface of the water, and one must keep his eyes open even
\ith a fair wind. As we were beating through, the difficulties
. were correspondingly increased; but we were extremely fortu-
iai.te, and merely touched the center-board a few times in our
passage through.
The scenery in the Narrows is quite pleasing. On the right,
tie mainland is a level bank, clothed with mangroves and
eater-oaks, with occasional patches of rushes and saw-grass,
% while in the background can be seen alternations of pine woods
and hamaks, which once in a while run down to the river bank.


U-









CRUISE OF THE BLUE WING.


On the left are islands innumerable, with tortuous channels be-
tween them, and woe betide the unlucky boatman who gets lost
in the labyrinth of their intricate windings. The islands are
green to the water's edge with mangrove bushes, and the scene
is enlivened by the numerous i.i, I-l-.i, egrets, herons, peli-
cans, gallinules, water-turkeys cormorants, and fish-crows, feed-
ing near the islands, and the gulls, terns, vultures, ospreys. and
man-o'-war hawks, swooping, skimming, and i;l,. in the air
above.
"Look, what a queer snake!" suddenly exclaimed Frank, as
he seized his gun.
We saw a snake :il,-'.r iil wriggling out of the water,
several feet into the air, near one of the islands. As Frank
fired, part of the snake dropped on the water, while the other
part took wing and flew away.
"Did the snake drop the bird, or the bird drop the snake?"
asked Frank.
Yes, that was about the way of it," observed Ed. The ex-
planation was quite simple. A snake-bird or water-turkey
('17,.,,o anhinga), swimming with his long neck only out of the
water, had the snake in his bill, which he dropped, and flew
away when Frank fired his gun. Sidney Lanier's description
of this bird is quite characteristic:
The water-turkey is the most preposterous bird within the
range of ornithology. He is not a bird, he is a neck, with such
subordinate rights, members, appurtenances, and hereditaments
thereunto appertaining as seem necessary to that end. He has
just enough stomach to arrange nourishment for his neck, just
enough wings to fly painfully along with his neck, and just
big enough legs to keep his neck from .1,.i. ; on the ground;










A PREPOSTEROUS BIRD.


and his neck is light colored, while the rest of him is black.
When he saw us, he jumped on a limb and stared. Then sud-
denly he dropped into the water, sank like a leaden ball out of
sight, and made us think he was drowned, when presently the

0'"














THE WATER TURKEY-(Plotus anhinga.)

tip of his beak appeared, then the length of his neck appeared,
then the length of his neck lay along the surface of the water,
and in this position, with his body submerged, he shot out his
neck, drew it back, wriggled it, twisted it, twiddled it, and
spirally poked it into the east, the west, the north, the south,
with a violence of involution and contortionary oi i y lli.,t made
one think in the same breath of corkscrews and lightning. But
what nonsense! All that labor and perilous asphyxiation for a
beggarly sprat or a couple of inches of water-snake "
At the lower end of the Narrows is a staked channel leading
off -1.r.,.1, the islands on the left, to the United "rt t., Life-
Saving Station, No. 1, on the sea-beach, in charge of Mr. John
Houston. Just as we were emerging from the Narrows, we ob-







CRUISE OF THE BLUE WING.


served two deer feeding on the mainland near the water's edge,
but they scampered away before we could obtain a shot. We
had now got into the broad river again, with more sea-room for
tacking, making long legs and short ones; but the greater num-
ber of oyster bars required extreme watchfulness and careful
sailing to avoid them. We could now see the stakes of the
turtle nets with palmetto leaves fastened to their tops, all along
the river below us; but, with our usual good luck, we steered
clear of all difficulties, and arrived at the site of old Fort Capron
late in the afternoon, where we camped in a grove of bitter-sweet
orange trees, near the mouth of a small brook of good, cool
water.
Fort Capron, quite a noted place on Indian River, is thirty-
eight miles below St. Sebastian River and about a hundred from
Titusville. Directly opposite is an inlet to the sea, through
which can be seen the white crests of the breakers as they spar-
kle in the sunlight. The only vestiges of the old military post
are a fallen chimney and the debris of a brick bake-oven ; but
the parade-ground and a moat or ditch can still be distinctly
traced. There are evidences of a good state of cultivation at
some remote period in the furrowed ground, the groves of sour
and bitter-sweet oranges, limes, lemons, and guavas; in the
hedges of oleander, Spanish bayonet, and Cherokee rose, and in
the ornamental groups of date palms, century plants, cacti, and
sisal hemp.
There are but two or three houses in the vicinity, the principal
oue belonging to Judge Paine, at whose house is the post-office,
the last on the river, and called St. Lucie. Judge Paine is an
old resident, and is United States revenue officer for this locality;
he has a comfortable home, and keeps a few boarders during the


~







TURTLE CATCHIIIG. 61

winter. There are also the houses of Mr. Jones and Mr. Cas-
sidy. Four miles below is the site of Fort Pierce, where lives
Mr. Bell.















THE GREEN TURTLE-(Chelonia myydas).

There were several turtling camps scattered along between the
foot of the Narrows and Fort Pierce, the principal ones belong-
ing to Judge Paine, Martin and Hoke, Jim Russell and Jim
Bassett, and August Park. The green turtle is here taken in
gill nets with a mesh of eighteen inches. The business is quite
profitable, there having been taken last winter several thousand
turtles, varying in weight from twenty to a hundred pounds.
They are kept in circular inclosures of stakes and hurdles, called
crawls, and shipped north, via Titusville and Jacksonville. The
turtlers have many difficulties to contend with, however, not the
least among them being the numerous saw-fish, sharks, and rays
which play sad havoc with the nets, occasionally.
The channels and cuts between the small islands near the inlet
abound in oysters of a delicious flavor, and the fishing is the
best on the river. Red-fish, sea-trout, sheepshead, crevall6,







CRUISE OF THE BLUE WING.


grouper, black-fish, drum, snapper, cat-fish, and other varieties
of the finny tribe can be taken by the boat-load, if necessary.
The tide rushes through the narrow cuts like a mill-tail, and
fishing, even with a hand-line, is exciting sport, enhanced once
in a while by fastening to a shark.
Wild fowl are plentiful enough to afford good sport, and in old
fields near Capron will be found numerous bevies of quail. A
mile or two back of the old fort there is superb snipe shooting
on the savannas or wet prairies. In Taylor Creek and several
smaller streams there is fine black bass and bream fishing. One
can here live on the fat of the land; green turtle, oysters, crabs,
fish, venison, duck, quail, snipe, etc., can be had for the taking,
without price.
The day following our arrival at Fort Capron was Sunday,
and as the boys could neither fish nor hunt, they were quite
eager to go over to the inlet and get on the sea-beach, for as yet
they had not seen the sea, though they had heard the roar and
dash of the breakers almost daily. As the wind was north-west
and rising, and the swift-flying scud portended stormy weather,
I endeavored to dissuade them from the attempt, and pointed
out the danger should a norther" set in. But they were im-
portunate, and I at last gave in, though against my judgment
and inclination.
After taking every thing out of the boat, we started, leaving
Marion in charge of the camp, who remarked that he did not
want to be drowned on a Sunday. We made a quick sail across
and anchored under the mangroves, where the water was quite
deep. Lowering the sail, the boys struck out for the beach, but
I deemed it advisable to stay in the boat, as the tide was run-
ning out strongly; and it was well that I did so. I had cau-


~--~-~------- I I







THE BLUE WING IN A GALE. 63

tioned the boys to be back in an hour, and sat smoking my pipe
awaiting their return.
S I soon discovered that the anchor was dragging and that the
rush of the tide was tremendous, in consequence of the water
being blown to that side of the river. If the cable had parted
I should soon have been drifting out to sea, with a norther"
coming on. As the bottom seemed to be solid rock, and the
anchor continued to drag, I carried a line ashore and made it
fast to a big mangrove. The wind had now increased to a gale;
'black, ominous clouds were piling up in the north-west, and an
angry sea was lashing the river into a boiling caldrnn, while I
was completely drenched with spray. The boys now returned
from the beach loaded with shells, corals, sea-beans, etc., and, as
the ocean was comparatively smooth, as it is always with a
breeze off shore, they looked with amazement at the wild scene
on the river, and with evident misgivings of trouble ahead.
Well, boys," said I, make up your minds quickly; we
must get back at once, or stay here without food or water.
Which horn of the dilemma will you take?
How long will this storm last? anxiously inquired Ed.
I can't tell," said I; certainly all night, and probably two
or three days, as these northers often do. It's getting worse
every minute."
"Do you think we can get back?" asked Frank, and added:
"It looks worse than the sea."
Yes," I answered, If you do as I tell you, and the rigging
and rudder hold. But we will have some trouble in getting
away from this lee shore."
Well, let's try it," said Frank; we may as well drown as
starve to death! "








CRUISE OF TIE BLUE WING.


Accordingly we double-reefed the sail, run a life-line around
the boat, and pumped her out. We then cast off the shore-line,
made sail, hove the anchor, and by the help of the setting poles
we got her away from the shore close-hauled on the starboard
tack, and headed for camp, directly across the river.
Now, Ed," said I, you and Henry hold on to the main-
sheet, and don't let go unless I give the word. Ben, you stand
by the peak halyards, and Frank, you bail out with the bucket-
never mind the pump-when I tell you. All hands sit well to
windward, outside the combing. If she goes over, hold on to
the life-line, and keep cool. She can't sink, and we will drift
ashore somewhere!"
The wind was now howling, the halyards shrieking, and the
sea pounding with terrific force against the little Blue Wing, but
she stood it bravely and eat her way to windward slowly but
surely. Suddenly a tremendous sea washed Frank and Ben
from their windward perch into the cockpit, and jammed them
against the center-board trunk; but they were up again in an
instant, and Frank was bailing out for dear life. It was not
long before I found myself sprawling in the cockpit, knocked
down by a heavy comber, but without loosing my hold on the
tiller.
We finally got across without any further mishaps, but it was
the longest two miles I ever sailed. None of the boys could
swim a stroke save Frank and myself, but they stood it manfully
and well; it was a good lesson for them, and one that they did
not forget. We cast anchor, made every thing snug, and waded
ashore, where we found Marion, who was the most frightened
one in the party.
T thought you were all gone, sure," said he; half of the







"A BULLY BOAT AND A BULLY CREW." 65

time I could only see the top of the sail, and I thought you were
swamped."
Oh, no," said Frank, we just kept down behind the waves
to keep out of the wind !"
A number of the turtlers were there watching our maneuvers
with much interest, and ready to put out to our assistance in a
Whitehall boat should it have been necessary. Among them
was "Jim" Russell, the well known Indian River guide, who
said :
"Boys, that's a bully boat and well sailed; you need n't fear
to go anywhere in her! "
As this was "praise from Sir Hubert," we were well satisfied.
6







CRUISE OF THE BLUE WING.


CHAPTER VII.

Slight rrost.-Beach-combing.-Feeding a loggerhead.-Fly-fishing.-
Sand-flies.-Adieu to Fort Capron.-Fort Pierce.-St. Lucio Sound.
-"Old Cuba."-A glimpse of tho tropics.-Pet snakes and chame-
leons.-Manatees, and a miin not at ease.-St. Lucie River.-In the
wilds of Florida.-Game plentiful.-Black bass fishing.-A fire-hunt.
-Scared by a panther.-A wild cat.-Down the river -Life-Sav-
ing Station No. 2.-The breakers by moonlight.-The "Hero."-
A moonlight sail.-Jupiter Narrows.-Peck's Landing-A man-
grove nmze.-Arboreal beauties.-Indian Camp.-India rubber
trees.-Hobe Sound.-Trolling for crevall~.-Conch Bar.-Difmflult
navigation.-Locohatchee River.-Jupiter Light-house.-A pict-
uresque panorama.

HE norther" mentioned in the preceding
T f Chapter lasted two days, and was followed
I A / by a slight frost, the only one we experienc-
_- 1-f ed in Florida. Our sojourn at Fort Capron
1" was passed very agreeably in hunting, fish-
Sing, and rambling on the beach. At the inlet
I procured some rare and interesting speci-
Smens of marine fishes, among them a Mexi-
can star-gazer (Astroscopus y-grecum), which possessed decided
electric powers. We obtained some lumber and built a dingey, or
tender for the Blue Wing, which was in constant requisition by
the boys in rowing to the various camps of the turtlers and oyster-
men, and to the fishing grounds and sea-beach. They had an
object of special interest in a huge loggerhead turtle, which was
moored to a stake in shallow water at the camp of Jim Russell.
They went up daily to feed him oysters in the shell, and took




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