"Then, suddenly looking up, I saw the sun on Dru's peak. It was only 100 meters higher than me. I said to myself 'I have won;' and I loved Dru and I loved all mountains in that moment."
At the top he met friends who had traveled the "easy" way: "I hardly saw them. I threw myself on a water flask they had brought. Then I ate two chickens."
Bonatti will rest at his home in the Piedmontese Alps until the skin heals on his hands. He says:
"They call me a conqueror of mountains. I am no conqueror...I must confess that the sentiment which mountains inspire in me might well be called fear. It is a sentiment of preoccupation, of uncertainty, or—let us be honest and use the right word—of fear of the unknown.
"I am not happy till I have conquered this fear. I manage to overcome it but it is still there."
THE GLORIOUS GROUSE
Half the grouse moors of Scotland are peopled with Americans. A party of Chicago insurance men is at Blairfindy Lodge in Glenlivet, the most expensive and exclusive shoot in Scotland. The National Cash Register Company has its own grouse moor near Dunkeld. There are Americans at Invercauld, with its 300,000 acres; more Americans at Ewan Ormiston's moors in the west; at Beaufort Castle near Inverness. Crouching in the butts while a horseshoe of beaters drives the birds forward, these rather self-conscious sportsmen are learning that grouse shooting is "the finest form of sport with the gun obtainable in the British Isles."
The self-consciousness comes from the chronic uneasiness of the paying guest, coupled with the likelihood of breaking some august tradition of the sport: remembering to fix one's eyes on a spot about 40 yards straight ahead and never to glance at another man's bird, which is very bad form; braving the contemptuous silence of the gamekeeper worrying about the liquor problem, since everything is included in the weekly bill except whisky, and getting a drink involves accounting for it in a ledger. But at rates that run from $300 to $700 a week, American visitors are coming in greater numbers each year.
The magnet is the red grouse, or moorfowl (Lagopus scoticus), a fast, quick-thinking, dipping, swerving, jinking fowl, entirely unlike the steady-flying grouse of the New World. On August 12, when the season opens—"the Glorious Twelfth"—grouse can be driven without trouble over the butts where the shooters are waiting. Later in the season, especially in high winds, they will fly back over the beaters' heads rather than face the guns.
The Twelfth began to assume an almost mystic significance in English social and sporting life in Victorian days. The royal family moved to Balmoral; the stately homes were evacuated for shooting boxes and Parliament rose. "It was unthinkable that Parliament should rise before there was something to shoot at," says an authority, "or remain seated a day after August 12, when the grouse were ready for the pellets."