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Exhibit item: GEORGE GRAHAM SPURR, The Land of Gold, 1883

Exhibit item:
The Land of Gold, 1883

The Land of Gold, 1883

"...It was not long before he was discovered, and his pursuers were gratified to find that the hook had become buried deeply in the crotch of a scrub-oak. This tree branched off close to the ground, and the bear in his flight had passed through the space between the branches, and thus had helped to bring about his own capture. Half of the chain was wound tightly around the butt of the tree; and the bear, when first seen, lay exhausted from his efforts to release himself.

The scene about the tree was remarkable for the effects of the animalís fury. He had wound himself up by the chain and again reversed his action, forming a ring to its utmost limits. Young saplings were uprooted and stripped of their foliage, the brush and bramble thicket was flattened to the ground, and the earth was torn up.

...The boys sallied out from under the thicket into the open space, and were standing in full view of the bear. All at once he raised himself upon his hind legs, lifting the huge trap with but little effort, and bellowing with maddened fury, sprang toward them.

But the chain interfered with his progress, and he came tumbling head over heels and floundering about in a most comical manner. This diversion caused a panic among the party, who had up to this time shown much bravery, but who now bounded off like deer.

...The prize so anxiously sought, so successfully captured, was but partly won. He must be secured and moved to a place of safe-keeping before the enterprise could be considered complete. It was not the thousand dollars reward offered by Colonel Hinks that stimulated them, so much as the reputation and prestige they would acquire. It was a big job for five men to undertake, but fewer the number, greater would be their renown."

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