SKETCHES IN THE FAR WEST.
THE vast plains west of the Missouri River are literally strewn with the carcasses and whit-ening skeletons of the buffaloes that fall a prey, in untold numbers, to the rifle of the profession-al hunter and amateur sportsman. Every man who goes across the prairies pops away at every living creature that comes within gun-shot, but the buffaloes suffer most from the universal rage for slaughter. Thousands upon thousands of them are slain every year, chiefly for the sake of the hides, many for sport only, and a very small percentage for real need. Our illustra-tion at the head of this page shows a couple of travelers who have alighted from a mail-coach to have a shot at a herd they have just passed. It is for sport only, for they are not hunters. They will not even stop to strip the hide from the ani-mals they bring down, and when they have in-dulged their passion for slaughter they will ride on, leaving the dead and wounded to be de-voured by wolves and foxes.
But it is the professional hunter who makes the greatest ravages among the buffaloes. Some of those who make a business of it will kill from fifteen hundred to two thousand every season. At this rate the buffaloes will at no distant day be extinct. The waste is enormous. Of the carcasses left to decay, one-tenth, it is said, would feed all the poor of the country. This indis-criminate slaughter has also brought the price of hides so low that they only fetch, at the front-ier trading stations, from fifty cents to a dollar each, and the choicest pieces of meat, such as the saddle and tongue, are almost given away. It hardly pays to take them to market. And yet the work of slaughter goes on increasing from year to year. The Kansas Pacific Rail-way sends out "sporting trains" for amateur hunters, who shoot from the car windows, and in this tame travesty of sport kill hundreds and thousands of buffaloes every season. All along the track of this road the traveler sees thousands of bleaching carcasses. Of late the Legislatures of the Western States and Territories have waked up to the importance of putting a stop to this wholesale slaughter, and it is to be hoped that it may cease before it comes to an end because there is nothing more to kill. Another evil arising from the destruction of the buffalo is the frequent Indian raids occasioned by the scarcity of game. Many tribes subsist almost entirely on buffalo meat, and when the destruction of the herds has driven them to the verge of starvation it is not surprising that they should make reprisals.
Our second illustration shows a Mormon fam-ily driving to a conference meeting. The man is perhaps an elder in the Church. He certainly appears to be quite numerously married.
A MORMON FAMILY DRIVING TO CONFERENCE MEETING.
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