It is with something like a confession that I offer this second of my nature books to the public—a confession, and a hope; the confession of one who for years hunted and killed before he learned that the wild offered a more thrilling sport than slaughter—and the hope that what I have written may make others feel and understand that the greatest thrill of the hunt is not in killing, but in letting live. It is true that in the great open spaces one must kill to live; one must have meat, and meat is life. But killing for food is not the lust of slaughter; it is not the lust which always recalls to me that day in the British Columbia mountains when, in less than two hours, I killed four grizzlies on a mountain slide—a destruction of possibly a hundred and twenty years of life in a hundred and twenty minutes. And that is only one instance of many in which I now regard myself as having been almost a criminal—for killing for the excitement of killing can be little less than murder. In their small way my animal books are the reparation I am now striving to make, and it has been my earnest desire to make them not only of romantic interest, but reliable in their fact. As in human life, there are tragedy, and humour, and pathos in the life of the wild; there are facts of tremendous interest, real happenings and real lives to be written about, and very small necessity for one to draw on imagination.