The Bear Monarch


Much having been said about bears of late, a young Californian of

great fortune and enterprise resolved to set some questions at rest,

and, quite regardless of cost or consequences, sent into the mountains

for a live grizzly. The details of his capture, the plain story of the

long, wild quest, the courage, the cunning, the final submission of

the monster, and then the la
t bulletin about his health, habits and

all that, make so instructive and pleasing a narrative that I have

asked for permission to add it to my own stories. The bear described

is at present in our San Francisco Zoo, a fine and greatly admired


* * * * *

"Are there any true grizzly bears in California?"

"Undoubtedly there are."

"I don't know about it. I have a great deal of doubt. Where are they?"

"In the Sierra Madre, in Touloumne Canyon, in Siskiyou County and

probably in many other mountain districts."

"That may be so, but nobody can find them. Now, do you think you could

find them?"

"I think I could if I should try."

"Would you undertake to get a genuine grizzly in this State?"

"Yes, if you want one. How will you have him--dead or alive?"


This conversation was held last May between the proprietor of the

Examiner and special reporter Allen Kelly.

A week ago Kelly brought home an enormous grizzly bear, lodged the

animal temporarily in one of the cages in Woodward's Gardens and

reported to the editor that he had finished that assignment.

The following is his account of the hunt and capture.

The Examiner expedition began the search for a grizzly early in June,

starting from Santa Paula and striking into the mountains at Tar

Creek, where the Sespe oil wells are bored. The Examiner correspondent

detailed to catch a bear was accompanied by De Moss Bowers of Ventura,

who was moved by love of adventure to offer his assistance.

During the first part of the trip the party numbered five persons,

including Dad Coffman, a spry old gentleman of seventy-two years, who

was out for the benefit of his health, a packer and guide, and a

person from Santa Paula called "Doc," who was loaded to the muzzle

with misinformation and inspired with the notion that it was

legitimate to plunder the expedition because the Examiner had plenty

of money. The packer was "Doc's" son, a good man to work, but

unfortunately afflicted with similar hallucinations. The expedition

was plundered because these persons were trusted on the

recommendation of a gentleman who ought to have known better.

At Tar Creek the correspondent was told that the Stone Corral bear, a

somewhat noted grizzly that had killed his man, had been recently on

Squaw Flat, and had prowled about an old cabin at night, sorting over

the garbage heap and pile of tin cans at the door, but when the

expedition passed the cabin no fresh sign was found, and the tracks on

Squaw Flat were at least a week old.

The first camp was in a clump of chincapin brush at Stone Corral.

There were bear tracks in the soft ground at the edge of the creek,

which induced the hunters to spend two days in prospecting that part

of the country. One of the proposed plans for capturing the bear was

to run him out of the rocks and brush to some reasonably open bit of

country like Squaw Flat or one of the small level patches near camp

and lasso him, but the impracticable nature of that scheme was soon

demonstrated. On the next day after making camp the Examiner's own

bear catcher went out on a nervous black horse called "Nig" to find

out where the Stone Corral bear was spending the summer and

incidentally to get some venison. The Stone Corral bear was there or

thereabouts beyond any doubt. He ran the correspondent out of the

brush and showed a perverse disposition to do all the hunting himself.

"Nig" would not stand to let his rider take a shot, but when the bear

gave notice of his presence by growling and smashing down the brush

twenty yards away, he wheeled and bolted towards camp. Near the camp

Dad was found rounding up the other horses, who had just been scared

from their pasturage by another wandering bear. It was clear that not

a horse in the outfit could be ridden to within roping distance of a

bear, and it is doubtful if three horses fit for such a job could be

found in the country. Some years ago the ranchmen and vaqueros

frequently caught bears with a rope, but even then it was difficult to

train horses to the work, and only one horse out of a hundred could be

cured of his instinctive dread of a grizzly.

It was clear also that there were some defects in the plan of driving

the Stone Corral bear out of the brush, chief of which was the bear's

inconsiderate desire to do the driving himself. As the hunting would

have to be done afoot, the prospects incident to an attempt to round

up a big grizzly among the rocks and chaparral were not peculiarly

alluring. Trapping was the only other method that could be suggested,

but the absence of any heavy timber would make that difficult.

The Stone Corral is a singular arrangement of huge sandstone ledges on

the slope of a mountain, forming a rough inclosure about a quarter of

a mile wide and three or four times as long. The country is very

rugged and broken for miles around, and except along the creek and on

the trail a horse cannot be ridden through it. The problem of how to

catch a bear in such a place was not solved, because the bear cut

short its consideration by marching past the camp and lumbering down

the creek bed toward the Alder Creek Canyon and the Sespe country. The

correspondent stood upon the sandstone ledge as he went by, and yelled

at him, but he did not quicken his pace.

When it became evident that the bear was bound for the Sespe, the

horses were saddled. Balaam the Burro was concealed under a

mountainous pack, and the march was resumed over the Alder Creek trail

to the deep gorge through which the Sespe River runs. The man who made

the Alder Creek trail was not born to build roads. He laid it out

right over the top of a high and steep mountain, when by making a

slight detour, he could have avoided a difficult and unnecessary

climb. In the broiling hot sun of a breezeless day in June, the march

over the mountains was hard on men and horses, and the pace was

necessarily slow.

The heat coaxed the rattlesnakes out of their holes, and the angry hum

of their rattles was an almost incessant accompaniment to the hoof

beats of the horses. Where the trail wound along a steep slope,

affording but slight foothold for an animal, a more than unusually

strenuous and insistent singing of a snake, disturbed from his sunny

siesta, caused Balaam to jump aside. Balaam avoided the snake, but he

lost his balance and rolled down the slope, heels in the air and pack

underneath. The acrobatic feats achieved by Balaam in his struggles to

regain his footing were watched by an admiring and solicitous

audience, and when he cleverly took advantage of the slight

obstruction offered by a manzanita bush, and got safely upon his feet,

he was loudly applauded. The deep solicitude of the party for the

safety of Balaam and his pack was accounted for when he scrambled

back to the trail and gravely walked up to the packer to have his pack

straightened. Every man anxiously felt of the pack, and heaved a sigh

of relief. The bottles containing O. P. S., antidote for snake bite,

were not broken, but it was a narrow escape.

"Great Beeswax!" said the Doctor, "suppose those bottles had been

smashed and then some one of us should go to work and bite himself

with a snake! Wouldn't that be a fix?"

"Dogdurn if it don't make my blood run cold to think of it," said Dad.

Everybody's blood seemed to be congealing, and as the pack was loose

and the antidote accessible, an ounce of prevention was administered

to each man, and Balaam was rewarded for his timely agility with a

handful of sugar.

No more accidents occurred, and late in the afternoon the cavalcade

slid, coasted and scrambled down the last steep hill into the Sespe

Canyon, where a camp was made under an immense oak beside a deep,

rocky pool. That evening, around the camp-fire, some strange bear

stories were evolved from either the memories or imagination of the


In the morning the search for bear signs was resumed and prosecuted

until noon without success. Dad was lured by the swarms of trout in

the stream, and went fishing. Dad is not a scientific fly fisherman.

His favorite method is to select a shady nook on the bank, sit down

with his back against a rock, tie a sinker to a large and gaudy fly,

and angle on the bottom for the biggest trout he can see. He generally

carries a book in his pocket, and when the trout remains unresponsive

to the allurements of the gaudy fly, he fastens his rod to a bush and

reads until he falls asleep.

In the afternoon one of the party went out over a long, brushy ridge,

and the correspondent pushed on down the gorge in search of bear

signs. All the bear tracks led up toward the Hot Springs Canyon,

indicating that the grizzlies had begun their annual migration to the

Alamo, Frazier and Pine mountains, where large bands of sheep are

herded through the summer. Some of the tracks were large and fresh,

and a person might come upon a bear at any time in the bottom of the

canyon. Preparations were made for following the bears and directions

given for an early start in the morning. The Doctor recollected that

he had important business in Santa Paula that required his immediate

attention, and he wouldn't have time to follow the grizzlies through

the rugged passes of the mountains. Accordingly, he and Dad decided to

remain in the Sespe camp a day or two, enjoy the fishing, and then

return to Santa Paula, and the bear hunting party that saddled up and

struck out on the trail of the grizzly in the morning was reduced to


The trail led through the Hot Springs Canyon, where boiling hot

sulphur water flows out of the ground in a stream large enough to

sensibly affect the temperature of the Sespe River, into which it

runs. This canyon was formerly a beautiful camping spot, and was

resorted to by many persons who believed that bathing in sulphur water

would restore their health, but about three years ago a cloudburst

uprooted all the trees and converted the green cienaga into a rocky

desolate flat, as barren and unattractive as the sharp, treeless peaks

surrounding the canyon. A few mountain sheep inhabit the mountains

about the Hot Springs, and occasionally one is seen standing upon some

high and inaccessible cliff, but it is very seldom that a hunter

succeeds in getting a pair of big horns.

The next camp was on the Piru Creek, where it runs through the Mutaw

ranch. One of the most promising mining districts in this part of the

State takes its name from the Piru, and in years gone by a great deal

of gold was taken from the diggings along the stream. One of the most

successful miners was Mike Brannan, whose cabins and mining appliances

lie unused and decaying about six miles from the place where the

expedition camped.

From the camp on the Mutaw the expedition followed Piru Creek down to

Lockwood, and the latter up to the divide between Lockwood Valley and

the Cuddy ranch at the foot of Mount Pinos, called Sawmill Mountain by

the settlers. The mountain is about 10,000 feet high, and is covered

with heavy pine timber. Ever since Haggin & Carr's sheep have been on

the mountain, the bears from forty miles around have made annual

marauding expeditions, and kept the herders on the jump all the

summer. The first band of sheep and the Examiner expedition arrived at

the old Sawmill simultaneously this year, and the Basque who was

herding the band, having a very lively sense of the danger of his

situation, pitched his tent close to the camp, where he would be under

the protection of three rifles. The Basque had never been on the

mountain before, but he had heard about the bears and their audacious

raids, and he was not at all enamored of his job. When the campfires

were started, and the forest became an enclosing wall of gloom, behind

which lurked all the mysteries and menaces of the mountains, the

Basque came shyly into camp, bringing a shoulder of mutton with which

to establish friendly relations, and under the mellowing influence of

a glass of something hot he became confidential and as communicative

as his broken jargon of French and California Spanish would permit.

He had come to the mountain reluctantly, and having been told about

the herder whose hand was torn off by a grizzly last year, he was

still more unwilling to remain. He would stay as long as the Examiner

party remained near him, but when the hunters went away he proposed to

quit and hasten back to the plains, where he would have nothing worse

than the coyotes to encounter. Every night after that, so long as the

hunters were in that camp, the Basque came and sat at the fire until

bedtime, talking about los osos, and when the grass and water gave

out and the expedition was obliged to move camp about two miles, the

gentle shepherd packed his blankets over the trail to Bakersfield,

leaving his flock in the care of a leathery skinned bear-hardened


The bears were later this year than usual in coming to the mountain,

probably because the warm weather was longer delayed, and for many

days the hunters scanned the trails in the canyons in vain for the

footprints of grizzlies. The first indication of their arrival was

given in a somewhat startling way to the correspondent one evening as

he was slowly toiling through a deep, rocky ravine back to camp, after

a weary tramp over the foothills of the big mountain.

The sun had set and the bottom of the ravine was dark as night. The

belated searcher for bear signs skirted a dense willow thicket, and

brushed against the bushes with his elbow. "Woof! Woof!" snorted a

bear within ten feet of him, invisible in the thicket. His heart

thumped and his rifle lock clicked, together, and which sound was the

louder he could not tell. For a few seconds he stood at the edge of

the thicket with his rifle ready, expecting the rush of the bear, but

the animal was not in a warlike mood and did not rush, and the hunter

cautiously backed away about twenty yards up the steep side of the

ravine. The cracking of brush indicated that bruin was moving in the

thicket, but nothing could be seen in the gathering gloom. Two or

three large rocks rolled down into the willows started the bear out on

a run and he could be heard crashing his way down the ravine and

splashing into the pools as he went. The remainder of the journey back

to camp was made through the open pine forest on the top of the


Superintendent McCullough, who has charge of Haggin & Carr's sheep

camps on Pinos Mountain, stopped at the Examiner camp when he made his

inspecting tours, and consultations were held with him about the

bears. From the reports given him by the herders he judged that only

the bears that lived on the mountain were prowling about, and that the

invading army had not arrived from the Alamo and the Sespe region. A

large cinnamon bear had walked into one camp about ten miles distant

and killed two sheep in daylight, but the grizzlies had not begun to

eat mutton. In July or August there would be bears enough to keep a

man busy shinning up trees. Last year, he said, there were at least

forty bears on the mountain, and they visited some of the sheep camps

every night. Sometimes two or three bears would raid a camp, tree the

herder and kill several sheep. The herders were not expected to fight

bears or attempt to drive them away, and the owners reckoned upon the

loss of several hundred sheep every summer.

Shortly before the first of July the camp was moved to Seymore Spring,

about two miles from the mill, where good water and feed were plenty,

and search for bear sign was continued. Every day some deep gorge or

rocky ravine was visited and thoroughly hunted, and a deer was killed

occasionally, but no sign of bears was found until the 3d of July,

when the tracks of a very large grizzly were discovered crossing a

ridge between the Lockwood Valley and the Seymour. The tracks were

followed across the Seymour Valley to a spur of the mountain between

the mill ravine and a deep canyon to the westward.

Camp was moved to a green cienaga at the head of the latter, which was

christened Bear Canyon, and the building of a trap was begun near the

mouth--about half a mile from camp. Three large pine trees served as

corner posts for a pen built of twenty-inch logs, "gained" at the

corners and fastened together with stout oak pins. The pen was about

twelve feet long, four feet high and five feet wide inside, and the

door was made of pine logs sunk into the ground and wedged and pinned

securely. A door of four-inch planks, so heavy that it required three

men to raise it, was set in front, between oak guides pinned

vertically to the trees and suspended by a rope running over a pulley

and back to a trigger that engaged with a pivoted stick of oak, to

which the bait was to be fastened. Five days were consumed in the

construction of the trap, and while the work was going on a bear

visited the camp at night and stampeded all the saddle and pack

animals out of the canyon.

A German prospector named Sparkuhle, who was staying temporarily in

the camp, was cured of a severe case of skepticism that night.

Sparkuhle believed nothing that he could not see, and he declared,

with exasperating iteration, "I believe there don't vas any bears in

der gountry. I look for 'em every day, thinking perhaps might I could

see one, but I don't could see any." And every night before he turned

in, Sparkuhle said: "Vell, might did a bear come tonight. I wish I

could see one, but I think there don't vas any bears at all."

Sparkuhle scorned the shelter of the bough shed, under which the

Examiner outfit slept, and spread his blankets on top of a bank about

six feet above a rocky shelf that was used as a pantry and kitchen.

His only weapon was his pick, and he was not afraid of being disturbed

by any prowling animal.

It was about midnight when the camp was alarmed by the snorting of the

horses and the clatter of hoofs galloping down the canyon, but before

the cause of the disturbance could be learned a yell of surprise came

from Sparkuhle, followed by a crash and a terrible clatter among the

pots and pans below the bank. In another moment Sparkuhle ran into

the camp and began to tell excitedly what had happened to him. He was

so intensely interested in his story that he paid no attention to a

three-tined fork that was sticking in him just below the end of his

back. He said he was awakened by the noise in camp, and looking up

thought he saw the burro standing over him. Seizing his pillow he made

a swipe at the animal, and said, "Get away, Balaam!" and then the

supposed burro hit him a clip and knocked him spinning over the edge

of the bank, but the blow did no further damage because Sparkuhle was

rolled up in half a dozen blankets. The noise of his arrival among the

tinware alarmed the bear and when the party got out with lights and

guns he was out of sight. Sparkuhle slept in the cabin after that.

Two days later the big bear went into a sheep camp near the mill,

while the herder was cooking supper, stampeded the sheep right over

the fire, caught one and killed it, and sat down within thirty yards

of the herder and leisurely gorged himself with mutton. The Mexican

herder described him as "grande" and "muy blanco" and said he was as

tall as a mule. On the following day at noon the same bear went into

another sheep camp about three miles from the mill, and stole a

freshly killed sheep, which the herder had hung up for his own use.

Then he suddenly ceased his raids and disappeared and for the next

three weeks the mountain seemed to be deserted by the bears.

The herders had put strychnine into the carcasses of several sheep

that had died of eating poisonous weeds, and McCullough thought the

bears must have eaten the poisoned mutton and become sick. It requires

a strong dose of strychnine to kill a grizzly, and frequently the

bears get only enough to make them ill and send them into temporary

retirement in some dark gorge.

But while the bears were away the mountain lions and panthers managed

to keep things from becoming dull. They came into camp several times

and made the canyon ring with their yowling, but they always kept

brush between themselves and the fire-light, and it was impossible to

get a shot at them. Their raids became so annoying that two hounds

were procured and brought into camp; after that the nightprowling

beasts kept at a respectful distance. Being unable to steal any more

provisions from the Examiner outfit, the lions turned their attention

to the sheep camps. One night a lion sneaked up through a willow

thicket to the nearest sheep camp and killed three sheep. He was a

dainty lion, evidently, as he only cut the throats of the sheep and

drank their blood and did not eat any mutton. The same lion followed

the scent of a carcass that had been dragged to the bear trap for

bait, but he stopped twenty yards from the trap, and went away, not

caring to risk his neck by going into any such contrivance.

Wherever bait was dragged over the mountain, and it was dragged many

miles for the purpose of enticing bear to the trap, the lions followed

the trail, but they would not go into the trap. Still it is not safe

to generalize from this fact and assume that the cougar or mountain

lion never will go into a trap, for he is a most erratic and uncertain

beast. Sometimes he is an arrant coward, and again he is as bold as a

genuine lion. Generally a dog will keep cougars away from a camp or

house, but once in a while the cougar hunts the dog and kills him.

One afternoon a cougar jumped into Joe Dye's dooryard at his ranch on

the Sespe, picked up Joe's baby and sprang over the fence with it. Joe

seized his rifle and shot the animal as it ran, and when the cougar

felt the sting of the bullet he dropped the baby and ran up the

mountain. He had seized the baby's clothes only, and the little one

was not hurt. The next night the cougar returned, captured Joe's

hound, carried it into the mountains and killed it.

On the 1st of August, the report reached camp that the bears were

having a picnic on the Mutaw ranch and were killing hogs by the score.

John F. Cuddy's sons, the best vaqueros and bronco-riders in this part

of the country, offered to go over to the Mutaw with the correspondent

and lasso a bear if one could be found on open ground; accordingly,

the party saddled up and took the trail up the Piru, arriving at the

Mutaw meadows late in the night, after a rough ride of twenty miles.

In the morning Mr. Taylor, one of the owners of the ranch, was found

skinning a grizzly that had eaten strychnine in pork during the night.

Mr. Taylor had put poison out all over the ranch and the prospect of

catching a live bear seemed dubious, but all the poisoned meat that

could be found was buried at once, and Bowers and the correspondent

began building a trap to catch a bear that had been making twelve-inch

tracks around the cabins. The Cuddy boys rode about looking for bear,

and one of them lassoed an eagle that had waterlogged himself and was

sitting stupidly on a rock by the creek. The bird measured nine feet

across the wings. Messrs. Louis and Taylor, owners of the Mutaw,

received the party hospitably and assisted in the work of preparing

the trap. But Mr. Taylor forgot where he had put some of his poison,

and in forty-eight hours all the dogs in the place, including the

Examiner's two hounds, were stiffened out and turned up their toes.

Chopping off their tails and pouring sweet oil down their throats did

not restore them.

No chance to lasso a bear presented itself, and as soon as the trap

was completed and baited with two live pigs the party returned to Pine


At last it became evident that the bears on Mount Pinos could not be

enticed into a trap while they had their pick and choice of the

thousands of sheep that grazed on the mountain. They preferred to do

their own butchering and would not touch mutton that was killed for

them by anybody else. A cougar raided a camp one night, sprang upon

the sheep from a willow thicket and killed three within twenty yards

of the sleeping herder. The fastidious cougar cut their throats,

sucked their blood and left their carcasses at the edge of the thicket

without eating the meat. But the bears would not touch what the cougar


Shortly after this the herders reported that the bears were avoiding

the sheep and passing around the bands without making an attack.

Apparently bruin had made a miscalculation in his calendar and was

keeping Lent in the wrong season, but his erratic conduct was

explained when some of the herders admitted that they had put

strychnine into several carcasses. Some of the bears had got doses of

poison large enough to make them mortally unwell, but had survived and

sworn off eating mutton. They disappeared from the vicinity of the

camps and grazing ground, and went into solitary confinement in remote

and deep gorges, where nobody but a lunatic would follow them.

The result of many weeks' hard work on Mount Pinos was the acquirement

of some knowledge of the nature and eccentricities of Ursus ferox,

which was glibly imparted by Tom, Dick and Harry, who assumed that the

mere fact of their having lived near the mountains qualified them to

speak as authorities on the habits of bears.

One inspired idiot declared that the best way to catch a grizzly was

to give him atropia, which would make him blind for a day or two, and

lead him along like a tame calf. This genius was so enamored of his

great discovery that he went about the country telling everybody that

the Examiner man was going to catch a grizzly with atropia, and that

he (the aforesaid lunatic) was the inventor of the scheme and general

boss of the outfit.

"A bear will do this," said one. "He will do so and so," said another,

and "you just do that and he'll go right into the trap," said a dozen

more. Everybody seemed to be loaded to the guards with an assorted

cargo of general ignorance about bears, which they were anxious to

discharge upon the Examiner expedition, but not one man in the whole

lot ever caught a grizzly, and very few ever saw one.

As a matter of fact, determined by experience and observation, a

grizzly will do none of the things laid down as rules of conduct for

him by the wise men of the mountains, but will do pretty much as he

pleases, and act as his individual whim or desire moves him. It is a

mistake to generalize about bears from the actions of one of the

species. One bear will be bold and inquisitive, and will walk right

into a camp to gratify his curiosity, while another will carefully

avoid man and all his works.

The predictions of an ursine invasion of Mount Pinos were not

fulfilled and when it became clear that the few grizzlies in the

neighborhood were too timid and wary to be caught, the expedition

struck camp and moved on, leaving the traps set for luck.

Considerable annoyance was caused by a discharged mule-packer, who

carried away tools required in trap building, and embezzled quite a

sum of money. The fellow had attempted to impose upon the

correspondent by whittling out pine-bark models of bear's feet, with

which to make tracks around the trap; and had proposed various

swindling jobs to others of the party, explaining that the "Examiner

was rich and they might as well get a hack at the money." He had

opened and read letters intrusted to him for mailing, and had proved

himself generally a faithless scamp and an unconscionable liar. A

written demand upon him, for restitution of his plunder, elicited

only a coarse and abusive letter, but there was no time to waste in

prosecuting the fellow and he was left in the enjoyment of his booty

and in such satisfaction as the rascal mind of him could derive from

the fact that he had succeeded in robbing his employer.

The big bear on the Mutaw never came near the trap built for his

special accommodation, notwithstanding the confident assurances of the

bear experts on the ranch that he was sure to show up within

forty-eight hours. For two months after the poisoning of his campanero

no signs of the large grizzly were seen anywhere near the Mutaw, and

the hogs roamed about the hills unmolested.

After leaving Mount Pinos the expedition built several traps in the

mountains near trails frequented by bears. An old grizzly that lived

among the unsurveyed and unnamed peaks between Castac Lake and the

Liebra Mountain absorbed the attention of the hunters for some time.

He was an audacious marauder and killed his beef almost within sight

of the camp-fire. Often at night a cow or steer could be heard

bellowing in terror, and in the morning a freshly killed animal would

be found in some hollow not far away, bearing marks of bear's claws.

Whitened bones scattered all over the hills showed that the bear had

been the boss butcher of General Beal's ranch for a long time. His

average allowance of beef appeared to be about two steers a week, but

he usually ate only half a carcass, leaving the rest to the coyotes

and vultures.

One morning Bowers returned from a hunt for the horses, two of which

had been struck and slightly wounded by the bear a few nights before,

and had run away, and reported the discovery of a dead steer within

150 yards of an unfinished trap, about a quarter of a mile from camp.

The animal appeared to have been killed two nights before, and the

bear had made but one meal off the carcass. As he might be expected

to return that night, all haste was made to finish the trap. Bowers

rode out to Gorman's Station to get some nails and honey, while the

correspondent paid a visit to one of General Beal's old corrals and

stole some planks to make a door. He packed the planks up the

mountain, and was using the hammer and saw with great diligence and a

tremendous amount of noise, when bruin sauntered down the ridge,

looked curiously at him and calmly began eating an early supper,

wholly indifferent to the noise of the hammer and the presence of the


It was nearly dark when Bowers rode up to the trap, his horse in a

lather composed of equal parts of perspiration and honey, the latter

having leaked profusely from the cans tied to the saddle. Tossing the

nails to the correspondent, Bowers hastily dismounted and went afoot

up the ridge toward the dead steer, intending to place a can of honey

near it. In about a minute Bowers was seen running from the ridge in

fifteen-foot jumps, and as he approached the trap he shouted: "The

bear is there now!"

"Is that so?" said the correspondent. "I thought he had finished his

supper and had gone away by this time."

Bowers had approached to within forty yards of the bear before seeing

him, and the bear had merely raised his head, taken a look at the

intruder and resumed his eating. As it had become too dark to drive

nails, and there was no longer any reason for finishing the door that

night, Bowers fetched the rifles from camp and the two men went up the

ridge to take a better look at the bear. Had there been light enough

to make the rifle sights visible, it would have been hard to resist

the temptation of turning loose at the old fellow from behind a

convenient log; but it was impossible to draw a bead on him, and it

would have been sheer foolhardiness to shoot and take the chances of a

fight in the dark with a wounded grizzly. Besides, if shot at and

missed, the bear would probably not return, and all the chances of

getting him into the trap would be lost. So the two sat on a log and

watched the grizzly till the night came on thick and dark, when they

returned to camp.

The trap was finished the next day, but a somewhat ludicrous accident

destroyed its possibilities of usefulness, and made it quite certain

that bruin would never be caught in it. Not expecting a visit from the

bear, for at least two days, the correspondent went up to the ridge

just before dark, made a rope fast to the remains of a steer, and

dragged him down to the trap. Bowers had gone back to Ventura on

business, and the correspondent was alone on the mountain; when he

went into the trap to fix a can of honey upon the trigger, he placed a

stick under the door, in such a way that if the door should fall he

could use the stick as a lever to pry it up, and so avoid an

experience like Dad Coffman's.

The precaution was well taken. While he was arranging the bait he

heard snuffling and the movement of some animal outside. Supposing

that some cow or perhaps the burro was wandering about, he paid no

particular attention to the noise, but when the bait was arranged and

he turned to go out he saw the muzzle of old bruin poked into the door

and his eyes blinking curiously at the dark interior of the trap.

Bruin had come down for a feast and had followed the trail of the

steer's remains with unexpected promptness. He had scented the honey,

which was more alluring than stale beef, and evidently was considering

the propriety of entering the trap to get his supper, which might

consist of honeycomb au naturel, with Examiner man on the side.

The man in the trap deemed it highly improper for the bear to intrude

at that time, and quickly decided the etiquette of the case by

kicking the trigger and letting the door fall with a dull thud plump

upon the old grizzly's nose. A hundred and sixty pounds falling four

feet is no laughing affair when it hits one on the nose, and bruin did

not make light of it. He was pained and surprised, and he went away

more in sorrow than in anger, judging from the tone of his

expostulating grunts and snorts.

When the snorts of the bear died away in the distance, the

correspondent pried up the door, crawled out and cautiously made his

way through the dark woods to his lonely camp.

At this time there were six traps scattered through the mountains

within a radius of sixty miles, all of them set and baited, and the

more distant ones watched by men employed for that purpose. One of the

traps was on a mountain that was not pastured by cattle, or sheep, and

as there were no acorns in that part of the country, the bears had to

rustle for a living and were unable to withstand the temptation

offered by quarters of beef judiciously exposed to their raids.

The bait scattered around this trap was discovered by four bears, but

for some time they regarded it with suspicion, and were afraid to

touch it, possibly because they detected the scent of man near it.

Gradually they became accustomed to it and the signs of man's

presence, and then they began to quarrel over the meat, as was plainly

indicated by the disturbance of the ground where their tracks met. Two

of the tracks were of medium size, one was quite large and evidently

made by a grizzly, and the fourth was enormous, being fourteen inches

long and nine inches wide.

The last-named track was not made by a grizzly however. There were six

toes on the forefoot, and this peculiar deformity was the

distinguishing mark of a gigantic cinnamon bear known to hunters as

"Six-Toed Pete."

It was almost invariably found, during the long campaign in the

wilderness, that tracks over eleven inches in length were made by

cinnamon bears, and not by genuine grizzlies, although some hunters

declare that the cinnamon is only a variety of grizzly, and that the

color is not the mark of a different species. However that may be, the

difference between the two varieties is very distinct, and as the

object of the expedition was the capture of an indubitable California

grizzly, no special effort was made to trap any of the big cinnamons.

The smaller bears soon gave up the contest for the beef and left the

field to Pete and the grizzly, who quarreled and fought around it for

several nights. At last the grizzly gave Pete a thorough licking and

established his own right to the title of monarch of the mountain. The

decisive battle occurred one moonlight night and was witnessed from a

safe perch in a fork of a tree near the trap.

It was nearly 9 o'clock when the snapping of dry sticks indicated the

approach of a heavy animal through the brush, and in a few moments the

big grizzly came into sight, walking slowly and sniffing suspiciously.

A smart breeze was drawing down the canyon, and the bear, being to the

windward, could not smell the man up the tree, but he approached the

meat cautiously and seemed in no hurry for his supper. While he was

reconnoitering another animal was heard smashing through the thicket,

and presently the huge bulk of Six-Toed Pete loomed up in the

moonlight at the edge of the opening.

At the approach of the cinnamon the grizzly rose upon his haunches and

uttered low, hoarse growls, and when the big fellow appeared within

twenty feet of him, he launched himself forward with surprising

swiftness and struck Pete a blow on the neck that staggered him. It

was like one of Sullivan's rushes in the ring, and the blow of that

ponderous paw would have knocked out an ox; but Pete was no slouch of

a slugger himself, and he quickly recovered and returned the blow with

such good will that had the grizzly's head been in the way it would

have ached for a week afterward.

Then the fur began to fly.

It was impossible to follow the movements of the combatants in detail,

as they sparred, clinched and rolled about, but in a general way

Six-Toed Pete seemed to be trying to make his superior weight tell by

rushing at the grizzly and knocking him over, while the latter avoided

the direct impact of the cinnamon's great bulk by quick turns and a

display of agility that was scarcely credible in so unwieldy looking

an animal. Once the cinnamon seized the grizzly by the throat and for

a moment hushed the latter's fierce growls by choking off his wind,

but the grizzly sat down, threw his arm over Pete's neck, placed his

other forepaw upon Pete's nose, sunk his claws in deep, and instantly

broke the hold. As they parted, the grizzly made a vicious sweep with

his right paw and caught Pete on the side of the head. The blow either

destroyed the cinnamon's left eye or tore the flesh around it, so that

the blood blinded him on that side, for during the rest of the fight

he tried to keep his right side toward the grizzly and seemed unable

to avoid blows delivered on his left.

For at least a quarter of an hour the combat raged, without an

instant's cessation, both belligerents keeping up a terrific growling,

punctuated with occasional howls of pain. Neither could get a fair

blow at the other's head. Had the grizzly struck the cinnamon with the

full force of his tremendous arm, Pete's skull would have surely been

smashed. Pete finally got enough, broke away from the Monarch and fled

into the brush, a badly used up bear; and he never came back.

Having won his supper by force of arms, the grizzly was no longer

suspicious of the bait, and he ate up the best part of a quarter of

beef before he left the battle ground. He soon became accustomed to

the trap, and regularly came there for his meals, which were gradually

placed nearer the door and finally inside the structure. A piece of

meat was tied to the trigger, and one morning the door was found

closed, and a great ripping and tearing was heard going on inside. The

Monarch was caught at last.

Upon the approach of the men, the grizzly became furious and made the

heavy logs tremble and shake in his efforts to get out and resent the

indignity that had been placed upon him. Had he concentrated his

attack on any one spot and been left to wreak his rage without

interruption he would have been out in a few hours, but he was not

permitted to work long at any place. Wherever he began work he

encountered the end of a heavy stake which was jabbed against his nose

and head with all the power of a man's arms.

Day and night from the moment he was found in the trap, the Monarch

was watched and guarded, and he kept two men busy all the time.

Although his attention was distracted from the trap as much as

possible, he found time to gnaw and rip a ten-inch log almost in two,

and sometimes he made the bark and splinters fly in a way that was

calculated to make a nervous man loathe the job of standing guard over

him. For six days the Monarch was so busy trying to break jail that he

had no time to fool away in eating. Solitary confinement developed in

him a most malicious temper and he flew into a rage whenever food was

thrown to him.

But his applications for a writ of habeas corpus were persistently

denied by a man with a club, and the Monarch at last cooled down a

little and condescended to take a light lunch of raw venison. He was

given two days for reflection and meditation, and when he seemed to be

in a more reasonable mood, the work of preparing him for a visit to

the city was begun.

A running noose was made in a stout chain and put into the trap

between two of the logs, and when the bear stepped his forepaw into

the noose it was drawn taut and held by four men outside. Despite the

strain upon the chain the bear easily threw the noose off with his

other paw, letting the men fall backwards in a heap on the ground.

Again and again the trick was tried but the noose would not hold.

Then the method of working the chain was changed and the noose let

down through the top of the trap, and after many failures it was drawn

sharply up round his arm near the shoulder, where it held. Ten hours

were consumed in the effort to secure one leg and the Monarch fought

furiously every minute of the time, biting the chain, seizing it with

his paws and charging about in his prison as though he were crazy. He

was utterly reckless of consequences to himself, and he bit the iron

so savagely that he splintered his teeth and wholly destroyed his

longer tushes.

Having secured one leg, it was comparatively easy to get another

chain around his other paw and two ropes around his hind legs, and

then he was stretched out, spread-eagle fashion, on the floor of the


The next move was to fasten a heavy chain around his neck in such a

way that it could not choke him, and to accomplish this it was

necessary to muzzle the Monarch. A stick about eighteen inches long

and two inches thick was held under his nose, and he promptly seized

it in his jaws. Before he dropped it a stout cord was made fast to one

end of the stick, passed over his nose, around the other end of the

stick, under his jaw, and then wound around his muzzle and the stick

in such a way as to bind his jaws together, a turn back of his head

holding the gag firmly in place.

The Monarch was now bound, gagged and utterly helpless, but he never

ceased roaring with rage at his captors and struggling to get just one

blow at them with his paw. It was an easy matter for a man to get

upon his back, put a chain collar around his neck, and fasten the

heavy chain with a swivel to the collar. The collar was kept in place

by a chain rigged like a martingale and passed under his arms and over

his back. A stout rope made fast about his body completed the

Monarch's fetters and the gag was then removed from the royal mouth.

The King of the mountains was a hopeless prisoner--Gulliver, tied hand

and foot by the Lilliputians.

The next morning Monarch was lashed upon a rough sled--a contrivance

known to lumbermen as a "go-devil"--to make the journey down the

mountain. The first team of horses procured to haul him could not be

driven anywhere near the bear. They plunged and snorted and became

utterly unmanageable, and finally they broke away and ran home. The

next team was but little better, and small progress was made the first


At night the Monarch was released from the "go-devil" and secured

only by his chains to a large tree. The ropes were removed from his

legs, and he was allowed considerable freedom to move about, but a

close watch was kept upon him. After several futile efforts to break

away, he accepted the situation, stretched himself at the foot of the

tree and watched the camp-fire all night.

In the morning the ropes were replaced, after a lively combat, and the

bear was again lashed to the sled. Four horses were harnessed to it

and the journey was resumed. Men with axes and bars went ahead to make

a road, and it was with no small amount of labor that they made it

passable. The poor old bear was slammed along over the rocks and

through the brush, but he never whimpered at the hardest jolts. With

all the care that could be observed, it was impossible to make his

ride anything but a series of bumps, slides and capsizes, and the

progress was slow. At the steep places men held the sled back with

ropes and tried to keep it right side up.

Four days on a "go-devil" is no pleasure excursion, even for a tough

grizzly, and when the Monarch was released from his uncomfortable

vehicle, at the foot of the mountain, he seemed glad to get a chance

to stretch himself and rest. For nearly a week he was left free of all

fetters except the chain on his neck and the rope around his body, and

he spent his days in slumber and his nights eating and digging a great

hole in the ground. Having convinced himself that he could neither

break his chain nor bite it in two, he accepted the situation with

surly resignation and asked only to be let alone and fed decently.

While the bear was recuperating and becoming reconciled to what

couldn't be helped, a cage was being built of Oregon pine lumber with

an iron-barred door, and when it was finished he was dragged into it

by the heels. As soon as he saw the ropes, Monarch knew that mischief

was afoot, and when a man began throwing back into the hole the dirt

that he had dug out, he mounted the heap and silently but strenuously

began to dig for himself a new hole. He worked twice as fast as two

men with shovels, and in his efforts to escape he only assisted in

filling up the old hole.

For some time he baffled all attempts to get ropes on his forepaws,

having learned the trick of throwing them off and seizing the loops

with his teeth, but he was soon secured and stretched out on his back.

The Monarch roared his remonstrances and did his best to get even for

the outrages that had been done to his rights and his feelings, but

the ropes were tough and he could not get a chance to use his enormous

strength. He was dragged on his back into the cage, the door was

dropped and the ropes were removed, but the chain remained around his

neck and that was made fast to the bars. As soon as he found himself

shut up in a box the angry and insulted bear ceased roaring and in a

short time he philosophically stretched himself on the floor and

wondered what would happen next.

The next thing that happened to him was the standing of his cage on

end, but that did not appear to disturb him. A wagon was backed up,

and the cage was tilted down again and placed upon the wagon, which

was then hauled down the canyon and along the river bed to a little

water station on the Southern Pacific Railroad, where the cage was put

upon a stock car. The car was provisioned with a quarter of beef, and

a lot of watermelons, and attached to a freight train, then men who

had helped to bring the bear out of the mountains waved their hats,

and the Monarch caught a last glimpse of his native hills as the train

whirled him and the correspondent northward.

It must have been a very strange, perhaps terrifying, thing to the

wild grizzly to be jolted along for two days on a rattling, bumping,

lurching freight train, with the shrieking of steam whistles and the

ringing of bells, but he endured it all heroically and gave no sign of

fear. He ate well when food was given him, taking meat from his

captor's hands through the bars, and slept soundly when he was tired.

He seemed to know and yield a sort of obedience to the correspondent,

but resented with menacing growls the impertinent curiosity of

strangers who came to look at him through the bars.

In every crowd that, came to see him there was at least one fool

afflicted with a desire to poke the bear with a stick, and constant

vigilance was necessary to prevent such witless persons from enraging

him. At Mojave, when the correspondent went to the car, he found a

dozen idlers inside, and one inspired lunatic was stirring up the

Monarch, who was rapidly losing his temper. The cage would not have

held him five minutes had he once tackled the bars in a rage, and it

was only the moral influence of the chain around his neck that kept

him quiet. When the correspondent sprang into the car, the grizzly's

eyes were green with anger, and in a moment more there would have been

the liveliest kind of a circus on that freight train. Hustling the

crowd out with unceremonious haste--incidentally throwing a few

maledictions at the man with the stick--the correspondent drove the

Monarch back from the bars, and ordered him to lie down, and for the

next half hour rode in the car with him and talked him into a

peaceable frame of mind.

From the freight depot on Townsend Street the cage was hauled on a

truck to Woodward's Gardens, and under the directions of Louis

Ohnimus, superintendent of the gardens, the Monarch was transferred to

more comfortable quarters. His cage was backed up to one of the

permanent cages, both doors were opened, and he was invited to move,

but he refused to budge until his chain was passed around the bars

and hauled by four stout men. The grizzly resisted for a few minutes,

but suddenly decided to change his quarters and went with a rush and a

roar, wheeling about and striking savagely through the bars at the

men. But Mr. Ohnimus had expected just such a performance and taken

such precautions that nobody was hurt and no damage done.

The Monarch had shown himself a brave fighter and an animal of unusual

courage in every way. He had endured the roughest kind of a journey

without weakening, and compelled respect and admiration from the

moment of his capture. But when the strain and excitement were over,

and he was left to himself, the effects became apparent, and for two

or three days he was a sick bear. He had a fever and would not eat for

a time, but Mr. Ohnimus took charge of him, doctored him with

medicines good for the ills of bear flesh, and soon tempted back his

appetite with rabbits and pigeons.

Soon the Monarch was sufficiently convalescent to rip the sheet iron

from the side of his cage and break a hole through into the hyena's

quarters. By night he was on his muscle in great shape, and

Superintendent Ohnimus sent for the correspondent to sit up with him

all night and help keep the half-ton grizzly from tearing things to

pieces. By watching the old fellow and talking to him now and then

they managed to distract his attention from mischief most of the time,

but he got in considerable work and rolled up several sheets of iron

as though they were paper.

It was evident that no ordinary cage would hold him, and men were at

once employed to line one of the compartments with heavy iron of the

toughest quality and to strengthen it with bars and angle iron. This

made a perfectly secure place of confinement. A watch was kept on the

Monarch by the garden keepers during the day, and by the

superintendent and the correspondent every night, until the work was

finished and the Monarch transferred.

The grizzly is now safely housed in the first apartment of the line of

cages, and under the watchful care of Mr. Ohnimus will soon recover

his lost flesh and energy and again be the magnificent animal that he

was when he was the undisputed monarch of the Sierra Madre.


Monarch a True Grizzly.

"Monarch," the Examiner's big grizzly, received many visitors

yesterday, but, having been up all night trying the strength of his

new house, he declined to stand up, and paid but little attention to

the crowd. His chain had been fastened to the bars of his cage with

three half hitches and a knot, and the knot was held in place by a

piece of wire. During the night he removed the wire, untied all the

knots and half hitches and hauled the chain inside, where nobody

could meddle with it. Having the chain all to himself, Monarch was

indifferent to his visitors and lazily stretched himself on his back,

with one arm thrown back over his head.

He had a good appetite yesterday and got away with a leg of lamb and a

lot of bread and apples. He ate a little too heartily and had the

symptoms of fever. Today he will not get so much food. The best time

to see him is when he eats, because he lies down all other times of

the day. He has breakfast at 10 a. m., lunch at 1 p. m. and dinner at

3 p. m.

Monarch still looks travelworn and thin, but he is brightening up, and

when the abrasions of the skin, made by ropes and chains, are healed

up and his hair grown again on the bare spots he will be more

presentable. His broken teeth trouble him some and it will be some

time before he will feel as well as he did before he was caught.

Several artists went to Woodward's Gardens today to sketch and

photograph the bear, but he refused to pose, so they did not get the

best results. It would be unwise to stir him up and excite him at

present, and unless the artists can catch him at his meals they will

have to wait a little while for a chance to study the grizzly under

favorable conditions.

Sculptor Rupert Schmidt has made an excellent model in clay of

Monarch, which will be a valuable assistance in designs requiring the

introduction of the California emblem.

Mr. Schmidt said:

"I am very glad to have the opportunity to study the real grizzly, and

I find him very different from the models generally accepted. I have

modeled many bears, but never one like this. You see in this design

some figures of bears (showing a wax model of decorative capitals).

These were intended to be grizzlies, but you see they have the Roman

nose, which is characteristic of the black bear. No other bear that I

ever saw had the broad forehead and strong, straight nose of the

grizzly. He has a magnificent head, and I think all artists will be

glad of a chance to study him. I have inquired for grizzlies in

zoological gardens all over the world, but never found one before."

Monarch has a big, intelligent-looking head and a kindly eye, and is

not disposed to quarrel with visitors, but he objects to any meddling

with his chain, and will not submit to any insults. It was necessary

yesterday to keep a watchman between the cage and the crowd to prevent

people from throwing things at the bear and stirring him up. Monarch

is getting along very well and taking his troubles quite

philosophically; but he has had a rough experience, is worn out with

fighting and worry, is sore in body and spirit and needs rest. It is a

difficult thing to keep alive in captivity a wild bear of his age, and

undue excitement might throw him into a fatal fever. If

Superintendent Ohnimus succeeds in his efforts to cure the Monarch of

his bruises and put him into good condition, he will deserve great

credit, and the visitors are requested not to make the task more

difficult by worrying the captive. No other zoological garden in the

world has a California grizzly, and it would be a great loss to the

menagerie to be established in the Park if the Monarch should die.

It is not surprising that many people cannot tell a grizzly bear, even

when they see one, as many zoologists even differ widely in regard to

the characteristics of the king of bears. It is astonishing how little

is really known in regard to the grizzly bear. Many text-books contain

only a general notice of the great animal, while those naturalists who

have written descriptions of him do by no means agree. This is due to

their lack of specimens. The grizzly is so powerful and unyielding a

beast that but few have been captured alive. There have not been

individuals enough of the species studied to admit of their being

fully generalized. Different naturalists described the grizzly from

the single specimen that came within their notice, and hence their

various descriptions are far apart. It is a fact that hardly two of

the animals taken are exactly alike in color or habits.

In order to definitely settle the question, Prof. Walter E. Bryant, of

the Academy of Sciences, was yesterday induced to visit the bear. He

has made the mammals of the Pacific Coast his study for years, and

probably knows more than anyone else about California bears.

He examined Monarch very carefully, noted his every point, and then

examined just as carefully the other bears at the gardens.

When he had completed his investigation and stood once more before

Monarch's cage, he was asked:

"Well, what is he?"

"He is a true grizzly bear," answered Professor Bryant, and he added,

"a mighty big one, too.

"I never before saw one of the animals with as dark a coat as his," he

continued; "but that is nothing. The bear is a true grizzly, and has

all the characteristics of one. As far as his color is concerned,

grizzlies are of all colors; there is almost as much variety in that

regard among bears as among dogs."

"How do you know it is a grizzly?" was asked.

"Well, in the first place, the claws on his forefeet are longer and

stronger than those of any other species. Then his head is larger than

that of other bears, and his muzzle is longer and heavier. Another and

more distinguishing feature is the height of his shoulders. Just back

of his neck is the tallest point. From there his back slopes down

towards his haunches. The black bear, on the other hand, has low

shoulders, and is tallest at a point rather back of the middle of the

body. There are numerous other means of distinguishing this bear. His

teeth are very much larger and stronger than those of the others, and

the entire structure of the skull is peculiar to the grizzly. He has

neither the short muzzle of the European bear such as you see in the

pit, nor the rounded muzzle of the black bear. There are, of course,

many minor points that only a naturalist would observe, but it is

sufficient to say that he lacks none of the essential qualities of the

grizzly bear, and has none of those of the other varieties.

"His coat is almost black, to be sure, but it is very different from

the glossy black of his neighbor. If you observe the grizzly's hair,

you will see that a great deal of it is a rusty brown and in certain

lights seems to be very far from black. This variation in the color of

the hair is a peculiar characteristic of the grizzly. That lanky mane

is another. His legs, you observe, are darker than his body. This is

another characteristic of the California grizzly.

"This animal is thin now, doubtless from the hard time he had while he

was being brought here. When he gets fat his hair will have a very

different appearance. It will be interesting to watch him when he

sheds his hair. The coat that comes after may be altogether of another

color. That grizzly, I should say, is comparatively a young bear, and

when he gets older the gray that originally gave him his name will

very likely be pronounced."