A few months previous to our arrival, Mr. Abertsen had discovered a splendid hunting ground near the village of Hui-yao, about eighty li from Teng-yueh. He had been shooting rabbits and pheasants and, while passing through the village, the natives told him that a large herd of gnai-yang or "wild goats" lived on the side of a hill through which a branch of the Shweli River had cut a deep gorge.

Although Abertsen was decidedly skeptical as to the accuracy of the report he spent two days hunting and with his shotgun killed two gorals; moreover, he saw twenty-five others. We examined the two skins and realized at once that they represented a different species from those of the Snow Mountain. Therefore, when we left Teng-yueh our first camp was at Hui-yao.

Heller and I started with four natives shortly after daylight. We crossed a tumbledown wooden bridge over the river at a narrow canon where the sides were straight walls of rock, and followed down the gorge for about two miles. On the way Heller, who was in front, saw two muntjac standing in the grass on an open hillside, and shot the leader. The deer pitched headlong but got to its feet in a few moments and struggled off into the thick cover at the edge of the meadow. It had disappeared before Heller reached the clearing but he saw the second deer, a fine doe, standing on a rock. Although his bullet passed through both lungs the animal ran a quarter of a mile, and he finally discovered her several hours later in the bushes beside the river.

In a short time we reached an open hillside which rose six or seven hundred feet above the river in a steep slope; the opposite side was a sheer wall of rock bordered on the rim by an open pine forest. We separated at this point. Heller, with two natives, keeping near the river, while I climbed up the hill to work along the cliffs half way to the summit.

In less than ten minutes Heller heard a loud snort and, looking up, saw three gorals standing on a ledge seventy-five yards above him. He fired twice but missed and the animals disappeared around a corner of the hill. A few hundred yards farther on he saw a single old ram but his two shots apparently had no effect.

Meanwhile I had continued along the hillside not far from the summit for a mile or more without seeing an animal. Fresh tracks were everywhere and well-cut trails crossed and recrossed among the rocks and grass. I had reached an impassable precipice and was returning across a steep slope when seven gorals jumped out of the grass where they had been lying asleep. I was in a thick grove of pine trees and fired twice in quick succession as the animals appeared through the branches, but missed both times.

I ran out from the trees but the gorals were then nearly two hundred yards away. One big ram had left the herd and was trotting along broadside on. I aimed just in front of him and pulled the trigger as his head appeared in the peep sight. He turned a beautiful somersault and rolled over and over down the hill, finally disappearing in the bushes at the edge of the water.

The other gorals had disappeared, but a few seconds later I saw a small one slowly skirting the rocks on the very summit of the hill. The first shot kicked the dirt beside him, but the second broke his leg and he ran behind a huge boulder. I rested the little Mannlicher on the trunk of a tree, covering the edge of the rock with the ivory head of the front sight and waited. I was perfectly sure that the goral would try to steal out, and in two or three minutes his head appeared. I fired instantly, boring him through both shoulders, and he rolled over and over stone dead lodging against a rock not fifty yards from where we stood.

The two natives were wild with excitement and, yelling at the top of their lungs, ran up the hill like goats to bring the animal down to me. It was a young male in full summer coat, and with horns about two inches long. Our pleasure was somewhat dampened, however, when we went to recover the first goral for we found that when it had landed in the grass at the edge of the river it had either rolled or crawled into the water. We searched along the bank for half a mile but without success and returned to Hui-yao just in time for tiffin.

In the afternoon we shifted camp to a beautiful little grove on the opposite side of the river behind the hunting grounds. Heller, instead of going over with the caravan, went back along the rim of the gorge in the pine forest where he could look across the river to the hill on which we had hunted in the morning. With his field glasses he discovered five gorals in an open meadow, and opened fire. It was long shooting but the animals did not know which way to run, and he killed three of the herd before they disappeared. Our first day had, therefore, netted us one deer and four gorals which was better than at any other camp we had had in China.

We realized from the first day's work that Hui-yao would prove to be a wonderful hunting ground, and the two weeks we spent there justified all our hopes. At other places the cover was so dense or the country so rough that it was necessary to depend entirely upon dogs and untrained natives, but here the animals were on open hillsides where they could be still hunted with success. Moreover, we had an opportunity to learn something about the habits of the animals for we could watch them with glasses from the opposite side of the river when they were quite unconscious of our presence.

There was only one day of our stay at Hui-yao that we did not bring in one or more gorals and even after we had obtained an unrivaled series, dozens were left. Shooting the animals from across the river was rather an unsportsmanlike way of hunting but it was a very effective method of collecting the particular specimens we needed for the Museum series. The distance was so great that the gorals were unable to tell from where the bullets were coming and almost any number of shots might be had before the animals made for cover. It became simply a case of long range target shooting at seldom less than three hundred yards.

Still hunting on the cliffs was quite a different matter, however, and was as good sport as I have ever had. The rocks and open meadow slopes were so precipitous that there was very real danger every moment, for one misstep would send a man rolling hundreds of feet to the bottom where he would inevitably be killed.

The gorals soon learned to lie motionless along the sheerest cliffs or to hide in the rank grass, and it took close work to find them. I used most frequently to ride from camp to the river, send back the horse by a mafu, and work along the face of the rock wall with my two native boys. Their eyesight was wonderful and they often discovered gorals lying among the rocks when I had missed them entirely with my powerful prism binoculars. Their eyes had never been dimmed by study and I suppose were as keen as those of primitive man who possibly hunted gorals or their relatives thousands of years ago over these same hills.

There were many glorious hunts and it would be wearisome were I to describe them all, but one afternoon stands out in my memory above the others. It was a brilliant day, and about four o'clock I rode away from camp, across the rice fields and up the grassy valley to the long sweep of open meadow on the rim of the river gorge.

Sending back the horse, "Achi," my native hunter, and I crawled carefully to a jutting point of rocks and lay face down to inspect the cliffs above and to the left. With my glasses I scanned every inch of the gray wall, but could not discover a sign of life. Glancing at Achi I saw him gazing intently at the rock which I had just examined, and in a moment he whispered excitedly "gnai-yang." By putting both hands to the side of his head he indicated that the animal was lying down, and although he pointed with my rifle, it was full five minutes before I could discover the goral flat upon his belly against the cliff, with head stretched out, and fore legs doubled beneath his body. He was sound asleep in the sun and looked as though he might remain forever.

By signs Achi indicated that we were to climb up above and circle around the cliff to a ragged promontory which jutted into space within a hundred yards of the animal. It was a good three quarters of an hour before we peered cautiously between two rocks opposite the ledge where the goral had been asleep. The animal was gone. We looked at each other in blank amazement and then began a survey of the ground below.

Halfway down the mountain-side Achi discovered the ram feeding in an open meadow and we began at once to make our way down the face of the cliff. It was dangerous going, but we gained the meadow in safety and worked cautiously up to a grassy ridge where the goral had been standing. Again we crawled like snakes among the rocks and again an empty slope of waving grass met our eyes. The goral had disappeared, and even Achi could not discover a sign of life upon the meadow.

With an exclamation of disgust I got to my feet and looked around. Instantly there was a rattle of stones and a huge goral leaped out of the grass thirty yards away and dashed up the hill. I threw up my rifle and shot hurriedly, chipping a bit of rock a foot behind the animal. Swearing softly at my carelessness, I threw in another shell, selected a spot in front of the ram, and fired. The splendid animal sank in its tracks without a quiver, shot through the base of the neck.

I had just ejected the empty shell when Achi seized me by the arm, whispering "gnai-yang, gnai-yang, gnai-yang, na, na, na, na," and pointing to the cliffs two hundred yards above us. I looked up just in time to see another goral flash behind a rock on the very summit of the ridge. An instant later he appeared again and stopped broadside on with his noble head thrown up, silhouetted against the sky. It was a perfect target and, resting my rifle on a flat rock, I covered the animal with the white bead and centered it in the rear sight. As I touched the hair trigger and the roar of the high-power shell crashed back from the face of the cliff, the animal leaped with legs straight out, whirling over and over down the meadow and bringing up against a boulder not twenty yards from the first goral.

That night as I walked over the hills in the cool dusk I would not have changed my lot with any man on earth. The breathless excitement of the stalk and the wild thrill of exultation at the clean kill of two splendid rams were still rioting in my veins. I came out of the valley and across the rice fields to the blazing camp fire. Yvette ran to the edge of the grove, her hands filled with wet photographic negatives. "How many?" she called. "Two," I answered, "and both big ones. How many for you?" "Fourteen color plates," she sung back happily, "and all good."