But dog stories, like the yarns of fishermen and shooters, are apt to become rather monotonous than otherwise, to say nothing of the exaggerations that creep into them occasionally. However, the authenticity of the above interesting accounts are beyond reproach, hence deemed worthy of reproduction here.

Captain Powell, writing in 1892 on the convicts of Florida (London: Gay and Bird), gives some useful information as to the dogs used there in tracking such criminals as may attempt to escape. He says that, although bloodhounds were first used, they were found quite unfitted for the purpose, and at the present time foxhounds are utilised for man-hunting in all the southern convict camps. These hounds are trained when young to follow the track of a man who is sent to run a few miles through the woods; and there is no difficulty whatever in so training them. Indeed, the author tells us that he has had hounds that were "natural man-hunters," and gives an instance where some puppies he was rearing at the time a convict tried to escape were put on his trail, and followed it until the man was captured. Captain Powell corroborates what I have already written, that it is a popular error to suppose that hounds attack a prisoner when they, as it were, run into him. When once the man is brought to bay, hounds are a great deal too wary to venture close enough to their chase to run the risk of a blow; in fact, they merely act as guides to the men who follow closely on horseback. The convicts and others have little or no fear of these hounds, and for a few cents any stranger in the locality can obtain one of the idle fellows, who are to be found everywhere, willing to be hunted by the pack. The human quarry usually divests himself of a greater part of his already ragged clothes, and, with a start of a mile or so, makes his way over a rough and wooded country until he finds a convenient place in which he can keep the hounds at bay.

At Warwick, in 1886, an attempt was made to hold trials of bloodhounds in connection with the dog show held there. These were, however, a failure, excepting so far as they afforded an inducement to owners of the variety to give a little time and trouble to working their favourites, which hitherto had only been kept for fancy purposes. A little later, similar meetings were held at Dublin, in the grounds of the Alexandra Palace, London, and elsewhere, but in no case could they be called very successful.

I had the good fortune to be present at two particularly interesting gatherings, that took place during the wintry weather of January, 1889, and maybe the following particulars, written at the time, give a better idea of the modern capabilities of bloodhounds than could be written now. It must be noted that the hounds mentioned were of the so-called prize strains, were "show dogs" in the modern acceptation of the term, and, excepting perhaps in ferocity, they would no doubt compare favourably with any hounds of the kind that lived fifty, a hundred, or more years ago.

Readers will no doubt be aware that, about 1889 and a little earlier, considerable commotion had been caused in the metropolis by the perpetration of some terrible crimes. The police arrangements were entirely futile, and the murderers still remain at large. The attention of the authorities was drawn to the fact that bloodhounds might be of use to them in such a case. Mr. Hood Wright offered the loan of his hound Hector, but, owing to the fact that he required some indemnity in case his dog was killed or injured, Hector remained at home.

Mr. E. Brough was then communicated with, and he brought from Scarborough to London a couple of his hounds. They had several "rehearsals" in St. James's Park, where they acquitted themselves to the satisfaction of the Chief Commissioner of Police; but it may be said that, though the line of scent was repeatedly crossed by a strange foot, without throwing off the hound, when the same was done in the streets and on the pavement hounds were quite at fault. Indeed, to be useful in tracking criminals in a town very special training would be needed, and, personally, I believe that bloodhounds, even with that training, would be useless in our large centres for police purposes.

Under fair conditions any bloodhound will, in a few lessons, run the trail of a man a mile or two, or more, whose start may vary from ten minutes or a quarter of an hour, or longer. Some of the more practised hounds can hunt the scent even though it be an hour old, and we know that a couple of Mr. Brough's bloodhounds, early one summer's morning, hunted for a considerable distance the footsteps of a man who had gone along the road thirteen hours before.

This is, of course, exceptional, but, with a proper course of training during three or four generations, there is no reason to doubt that bloodhounds would be able to reliably make out the trail of a man who had gone three or four hours previously.

That hounds will ever be got to track a criminal, or anyone else, on the cold, damp flags continually passed over by pedestrians, as in the streets of London and other large towns, no one who understands them will believe. Such work they never have done, and never will do; nor do the owners themselves aspire to such excellence for their favourites. In country districts they may be of aid, but in towns, so far as appearances are at present, the apprehension of criminals must be left to the mental sagacity of the official biped.

Bloodhounds might be of use in smelling out any secreted article or a man in hiding.

In May, 1893, the dead body of a murdered child was discovered by means of Mr. Markland's well-known bloodhound Dainty. The inhabitants of the locality round about, had been horror stricken by what was known as the Wilmslow tragedy, and one of the missing victims could not for a long time be discovered. The hound we mention being brought to the place by the police, hunted about, went into the kitchen of the house where the tragedy had taken place, and ultimately made its way to the cellar. Here it marked under a coal heap, and, the coals being removed, a flag was found, and buried two feet below it was discovered the body of the child in question. Other hounds had previously been tried, but not one of them had shown such excellent olfactory organs as the old bitch Dainty. It was thought the body had been under the flag for eight to ten days. Similar cases could be given, but such discoveries might as easily be made by any terrier or other variety of the dog with ordinary scenting powers.