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most explicit and intelligible character, so that there can be no mistake as to its terms or meaning; and on no account whatever to be induced to pay the whole amount of rent down at the commencement of the season, as such an indiscretion would place him entirely at the mercy of an unscrupulous and rapacious landlord. I would preferably suggest that half the rent be paid down on the 12th of August, and the other half to be deposited on the same day, in the hands of some responsible person, selected by mutual consent as trustee, to be held by him till the 11th of December, and then to be paid over to the landlord, in the event of no dispute having arisen; but on the other hand, in the case of any disagreement having occurred, the half of the rent to be withheld, till such disagreement be settled. In making the above suggestions, I am not drawing upon my imagination and merely anticipating difficulties which might possibly arise, but am influenced by disagreeable realities of the past, which unfortunately came within my own personal experience.
The facts are as follows, which I relate for the future guidance of the inexperienced. Two friends had taken several moors in the same part of Scotland, contiguous to each other, from three different proprietors. On the largest of the three there was a comfortably furnished lodge, of which the two sportsmen took possession on the 12th of August, and unwisely, as the sequel will prove, paid the whole amount of rent down; although by their agreement they were only bound to pay half down on the commencement of the season. It was estimated that the moor could safely afford a certain number of grouse, which number it was agreed should be killed, but no more—there was no restriction as to number of guns or as to friends. On the 13th of August one of the sportsmen was taken seriously ill, so much so that he was confined to the lodge till the day of his departure for England—consequently he had had only one day's shooting. He was accompanied to England by the other sportsman about the beginning of September; up to which time not half the amount of grouse agreed to be killed had been bagged. A keeper was left to take care of the moor and dogs. The two tenants, shortly after their return to London, decided on not revisiting the moor, and very kindly made an offer of the shooting and the use of the lodge to myself and a friend. We gladly accepted so agreeable and friendly an offer, with the full intention of availing ourselves of all the privileges which it extended to us. The keeper was written to, in order to be prepared for our arrival, and we took our departure about the end of September, travelling two nights and a day and a half, thus reaching our destination on the middle of the third day; the distance was about 750 miles. On arriving we found that we 'had counted without our host,' as the landlord, the recipient of the entire rent for the lodge and shootings for the whole season, had ordered the lodge to be closed against us, except we signed an agreement not to shoot over his moors; this suicidal act we of course declined to commit, and as the lodge was not accessible to us, took refuge in an inn, at the inconvenient distance of seven miles from the moors. On consulting with the Procurator Fiscal we found that the laird had no right either to close the lodge, or to prevent our shooting over his moors; we therefore determined to avail ourselves of the permission we had received, on the third day after our arrival, having decided to shoot over the two other moors, which our friends had rented, on the two first days, which happened to be nearer the inn. The proprietors of these moors showed us the utmost courtesy, admitting our rights, and affording us every facility to obtain sport; and as the weather was very fine, we had two days' excellent shooting.
On arriving at the beat, which we intended to take on the third day, on the moor of the refractory and hostile laird, we encountered the keeper, who objected to our proceeding to business, retiring, however, to the rear of us, on receiving a caution from us to that effect.
After beating some of the best ground on which our friend's keeper informed us there ought to have been abundancs of grouse, we scarcely found any, only a few broken lots; it was, therefore, not difficult to perceive that the ground had already been beaten and the birds driven off; and this, the keeper, on being questioned by us, did not deny had been done, and by his master's orders.
And when we subsequently reached ground which had not been beaten, the keeper and another fellow of similar calibre went a long way ahead of us, beating the ground before us with their sheep-dogs, thus preventing us from having any considerable amount of shooting. On each occasion of our visiting this ground we found that the same mean and contemptible practice had been resorted to, so that we had but little sport.
Sometimes the best beats were covered with sheep, which on our arriving were set in motion by dogs, so that it was difficult to obtain many shots. One of the countrymen of this cormorant laird, with a very just and correct appreciation of his character, observed—'I ken he has got the siller, and wishes to have the birds tae.' I do not hold this laird up to the notice and to the wellmerited censure of all honest men, as a type of Scotch lairds, as I know he is merely a discreditable exception. I have experienced too much courtesy and liberality from very many lairds with whom I have had communication and various transactions at different times, during the many years I resided in Scotland, not to have arrived at a very different conclusion.
I merely exhibit this unenviable specimen of avarice and meanness, as one of those exceptions which do exist, and which might be again encountered, in order that the inexperienced in these matters may be warned and be on their guard, and on no account be induced to pay their money beforehand, or take any moor, except on clear, precise, and intelligible conditions, drawn up in a legal form and properly subscribed to; and having also in the first instance ascertained that the moor they are about to take corresponds with the description given of it. This is the first step.
FISHING IN SEA-WATER LOCHS.
Sea-water Lochs in Scotland, particularly those in the western part of it, abound in a great variety of excellent fish, thus offering a fine opportunity to those who are fond of indulging in the sport, should they visit or locate themselves in that wild and picturesque part of the United Kingdom. The sea-water lochs are open to everyone for all sorts of fishing, either by rods, lines,