Might retain his right of chamois hunting in these parts.
No sooner is the object of alarm scented or seen than each one seeks safety in the most inaccessible situations, which are often reached by a series of astounding leaps over crevasses, up the faces of seemingly perpendicular rocks, or down the sides of equally precipitous chasms. The chamois will not hesitate, it is said, thus to leap down 20 or even 30 ft., and this it effects with apparent ease by throwing itself forward diagonally and striking its feet several times in its descent against the face of the rock.
Pieta, inhabits the Apennines; the Carpathian chamois is very dark-coloured, and the one from the Caucasus is the representative of yet another race.
About equal in height to a roebuck, and with a short black tail, the chamois is readily distinguishable from all other ruminants by its vertical, backwardly-hooked, black horns, which are common to males and females, although smaller in the latter.
The crude phosphorus is purified by melting under water and then filtering through animal black and afterwards through chamois leather, or by treating it, when molten, with chromic acid or a mixture of potassium bichromate and sulphuric acid; this causes the impurities to rise to the surface as a scum which can be skimmed off.
Roe-deer, foxes and wolves find shelter in the forests, where bears are not uncommon; and chamois frequent the loftiest and most inaccessible peaks.
The skin of the chamois is very soft; made into leather it was the original shammy, which is now made, however, from the skins of many other animals.
Next come the Rupicaprinae, which include several genera of mountain-dwelling ruminants, typified by the European chamois (Rupicapra); the other genera being the Asiatic serow, goral and takin, and the North American Rocky Mountain goat.
Apart from black and white face-markings, and the black tail and dorsal stripe, the prevailing colour of the Alpine chamois is chestnut brown in summer, but lighter and greyer in winter.
Of existing species the bear, wild-boar, badger, roe-deer and chamois may occasionally be seen in the remotest wilds of mountain and forest.