Sharing the Spoils

The mountaineers have an odd way of sharing the spoils of the chase. They call it “stoking the meat,” a use of the word stoke that I have never heard elsewhere. The hide is sold, and the proceeds divided equally among the hunters, but the meat is cut up into as many pieces as there are partners in the chase; then one man goes indoors or behind a tree, and somebody at the carcass, laying his hand on a portion, calls out: “Whose piece is this?”

“Granville Calhoun’s,” cries the hidden man, who cannot see it.

“Whose is this?”

“Bill Cope’s.”

And so on down the line. Everybody gets what chance determines for him, and there can be no charges of unfairness.