13 FEBRUARY 1904, Page 16



Sza,—I was lately the witness of an incident that may be of interest to such of your readers as care for the lives of the hunted. A fox, bard pressed by hounds, galloped across a field only to find his exit on the north side blocked by a high wire-petted fence. Three ineffectual attempts to jump what he quickly realised he could not slip through left him between the deep sea of an unscaleable obstacle and the devil of a pack now within a hundred yards. Would he be caught like a rat in a trap, or would he break away to east or west ? A per- ceptible pause for decision, and then the shrewd beast, taking his courage in his four swift feet, charged straight through the very middle of the enemy ! The foremost hounds, their noses glued to the scent of his first track, may not have seen him ; but those behind, with their heads up, can have scarcely failed to be aware of his presence in their midst, the more so as he was coming down the wind. Not a hound turned, no attempt was made to hem him in, and, untouched, he cleared the whole pack, who lolloped on up to the fence before the state of the case dawned upon them. Were the pursuers mesmerised by the colossal audacity of their victim, do fox- hounds belong to that class to whom there is no pain like a pain of a new idea, or are they unable to recognise a scent when they meet it in proprii persona ?—I am, Sir, &c., E. M. ALLEN..

[Was there not an occasion when De Wet doubled back through the British force that was chasing him somewhat after this fashion P—ED. Spectator.]