Every de facto game preserve, maintained for the preservation of wild life rather than for its slaughter, is an institution beneficial to the public at large, and therefore entitled to legal rights and privileges above and beyond all which may rightly be accorded to the so-called "preserves" that are maintained as killing-grounds.
The distance to the killing-grounds was only half a mile, but it took an hour to cover, because if the seals went too fast Kerick knew that they would get heated and then their fur would come off in patches when they were skinned. So they went on very slowly, past Sea Lion's Neck, past Webster House, till they came to the Salt House just beyond the sight of the seals on the beach.
Won't be long. But you'll have to stalk them to the leeward if you want to get close," he added, "they're shy. I'll meet you there and we'll go back to dinner. You ought to be hungry by then." "I will be, then," Colin responded cheerfully, adding under his breath, as he glanced back over his shoulder at the killing-grounds, "but I'm not now!"
Let's go to the hauling-grounds." "Is that where the killing goes on?" the boy asked. "Not quite," was the reply. "The road to the killing-grounds begins there, though. Naturally! We don't take any seals from a rookery." "Why not?" "No use! They are all either old bulls, females, or pups," was the answer. "The fur of the old sea-catches is coarse. Couldn't sell it.
The book The Saledero, or killing-grounds, and their smell Walls built of bullocks' skulls A pestilential city River water and Aljibe water Days of lassitude Novel scenes Home again Typhus My first day out Birthday reflections What I asked of life A boy's mind A brother's resolution End of our thousand and one nights A reading spell My boyhood ends in disaster.
It was, or seemed, a curiously substantial and stationary smell; travellers approaching or leaving the capital by the great south road, which skirted the killing-grounds, would hold their noses and ride a mile or so at a furious gallop until they got out of the abominable stench.
By the time the agent had completed his earnest defense of the sea bear, lest it should be confused with the more common seal, the two had reached the killing-grounds, where the natives were awaiting the agent's word to begin their work.
In those days, and indeed down to the seventies of last century, the south side of the capital was the site of the famous Saladero, or killing-grounds, where the fat cattle, horses and sheep brought in from all over the country were slaughtered every day, some to supply the town with beef and mutton and to make charque, or sun-dried beef, for exportation to Brazil, where it was used to feed the slaves, but the greater number of the animals, including all the horses, were killed solely for their hides and tallow.
"What is that group over there?" asked Colin, pointing to a small cluster a short distance ahead of them, near some rough frame buildings. "That's the drive," the agent answered. "The killing-grounds are always near the salt-houses. What's that? The smell? Worst smell in the world, I thought, when I first came here.
"That's the first time a seal has ever come to the killing-grounds alone." "Hsh! Don't look behind you," said Kerick. "It is Zaharrof's ghost! I must speak to the priest about this."