First published in The Bacchus Marsh Express, 28 July 1866.


The Huntsman

This game is one of the liveliest winter evening’s pastimes that can be imagined. It may be played by any number of persons above four. One of the players is styled the “Huntsman,” and the others must be called after the different parts of the dress or accoutrements of a sportsman: thus, one is the coat, another the hat, whilst the shot, shot-belt, powder, powder-flask, dog, and gun, and every other appurtenance belonging to a huntsman, has its representative.

As many chairs as there are players, excluding the Huntsman, should next be ranged in two rows, back to back, and all the players must then seat themselves; and being thus prepared, the Huntsman walks round the sitters, and calls out the assumed name of one of them: for instance, “Gun!” when that player immediately gets up, and takes hold of the coat-skirts of the Huntsman who continues his walk, and calls out all the others one by one; each must take hold of the skirts of the player before him, and when they are all summoned, the Huntsman sets off running round the chairs as fast as he can, the other players holding on and running after him.

When he has run round two or three times, he shouts out “Bang!” and immediately sits down on one of the chairs, leaving his followers to scramble to the other seats as the, best can. Of course, one must be left standing, there being one chair less than the number of players, and the player so left must pay a forfeit.

The game is continued until all have paid three forfeits, when they are cried, and the punishments or penances declared. The Huntsman is not changed throughout the game, unless he gets tired of his post.

Source: Miscellaneous. (1866, July 28). The Bacchus Marsh Express (Vic. : 1866 – 1918), p. 4.