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Apollo of the camp took his place on the "deacon's seat". It might be well to give a brief description of this man. He had an air about him, out of keeping with a lumber camp, his pleasing manners speaking of better days. He was six feet in height and had clear, blue eyes. He appeared to be about thirty-five years of age. He wore a deerskin hunting shirt, dyed black, and his head was covered with a coonskin cap, from which a tail dangled. He had given his name as Pat Schneider, when he had arrived in camp, although most of the boys who had known him longest, doubted that the name given was his proper one.

          Having been ordered to the "deacon's seat", he proceeded to tell the following story :

THE   FISH   HOUND

          "In Siberia, Wisconsin, away from the beaten paths, on the edge of one of the most wonderful lakes, was a beautiful little cabin with a ginseng garden adjoining it. The lake was filled with fish of every description and the woods were filled with a variety of game; moose, elk, deer, fox and bear. There was a profusion of flowers and                                                                             .
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shrubbery, and the monarch of the forest, the great pine, sang with a soughing sound, all through the year. If the angels ever saw this scene of beauty, they might be tempted to leave their present place of habitation.

          Not wishing to boast, nature endowed me with a secret, which I shall carry to my grave. My slightest thought is powerful and hypnotic. (I can't explain it, nor can anyone else). I can take a bird, beast or fish of any species and bring about a different breed. I have proven this, as I have a wonderful pair of fish hounds at my cabin, under the care of a faithful Indian. These were bred from a water fowl, known as the hell diver, and crossed with a mink, producing this new breed known as the fish hound. In the first litter, there were five pups. One was killed by a wolf and two were drowned. The two which I now have, can, at the age of eight months, divine my thoughts.

          If I want a fish, all I have to do is to say, "Nero, get me a four pound bass." He at once dives into the water and swims among the muskalonge, pickerel and pike until he spies a four pound bass. As my lake is full of fish, Nero is usually back within five minutes with the bass.                                                                             .
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The Hodag and Other Tales of the Logging Camps, Written by Lake Shore Kearney
(Madison, WI: Democrat Printing Press, 1928) Original Text and Illustrations Public Domain License.
Copyright © 2006-2014 Thrill Land.