Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Eleven: Buried in the Snow >> Page 168

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription 168 THE CUB OF THE PANTHER
But he was unheeded, and, in a few moments, he beheld Mike bound-
ing on the prostrate but writhing form of the monster; he saw the flash
of his bright blade, as it descended on the beast, and then he saw that the
two had rolled over together in the snow.
Without waiting to see more, he, too, dashed in, the dogs following
fast, well accustomed to such scenes, and sagacious enough to know that
the beast was partially disarmed, and prepared to put in, after their fash-
ion, when they might profitably work.
Sam found Mike again on top of the panther, and striking at his throat.
"Strike under me, at his belly, Sam. He dies hard.""Air you hurt, Mike?""Never you mind! Strike! strike!"
The panther, meanwhile, worked with his claws, with ruthless feroc-
ity, and Sam somewhat cautiously felt his way.
At length he cried out, putting his rifle to the head of the monster,
and firing:
"He's got the lead! Shake off, Mike, of you kin, and let him tumble
about as he pleases."
It was not easy to get free, but Mike did so; and in the death agonies
of the beast, the dogs proceeded to the attack.
For a few moments he was still formidable. Two of the dogs were
thrown off with a slit in their jackets, and then the panther rolled over in
the last spasm, no longer capable; while the dogs tore him at pleasure,
with a vindictive fury that seemed like the gratification of a long cher-
ished revenge.
Mike Baynam, meanwhile, had hastened to the pile of snow, where
lay the object most precious to his heart. Still her hand and arm kept
waving above the snow.
She had kept her head free, for breathing, one skirt of her red shawl
seemingly wrapt about it with some care. But she was now insensible.
"It is she!" cried the hunter. "It is she! It is Rose! And she lives! Oh,
God! she lives!"
Fuller now came up, and wondered, as well he might. But the impa-
tience of Mike suffered no time for idle wondering.
"Hurry back," he cried to Sam. "Hurry back, Sam, as quick as you can.
Put the horses to the wagon, and throw a mattress in and some warm
blankets; and Sam, bring a bottle of the apple-brandy. She is fainting,
feeble to exhaustion. Make haste, or she will die! My God! my God! that
she should ever come to this. Oh! those d d people! And I have come
too late!"