Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Two: How the ''Cub of the Panther'' Proves too Much for the Bear >> Page 199

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription HOW THE CUB PROVES TOO MUCH FOR THE BEAR 199
Nor had they long to wait. Soon, the hunters at their stands were set
on the qui vive by hearing the dogs, one after the other, giving tongue
from below. The sounds came up faintly at first, but gradually quickened
and grew keener, and at length a full burst from all, in deep, prolonged
chorus, told of a hot scent, and possibly some beast brought to bay.
But, as Mike's rifle still kept silent, Sam Fuller concluded that the
chase was continued. It was too slow for the impatient boys, who, at their
several stations, had been warned duly by Sam to keep cool, and waste
no lead in the air; but take their time, and risk the loss of no meat by a
too hurried fire.
There was a warning note from Mike Baynam's horn, however, which
soon brightened the eyes of Sam, as it told him that the game was emerg-
ing from the thickets, and about to take up the side of the mountain. The
same bugle note, quick, sharp, and prolonged, taught him also that the
chase was a formidable one, whether bear, or panther, or buck of ten
tynes, the bugle could not say. The signal was understood between them
that the time had come for the exercise of the utmost vigilance. The boys
understood it as well as the man, and little Mike Baynam, or young Sam
Fuller, and our "Cub of the Panther," both cocked their rifles, and pre-
pared to cock their eyes at the first chance they had to draw trigger after
a good aim.
The chance first happened to young Fuller.
Soon the dark outlines of an enormous she-bear were seen rushing
out of the thickets, and with the awkward waddling movement pecu-
liar to the beast, making rapid headway up the slope in a right line
towards Fuller the younger.
The boy fired when the bear was about forty yards distant, and evi-
dently struck the beast, who recoiled for a moment, but for a moment
only; then, with increased rapidity of rush, she dashed towards the young
hunter, not suffering him to reload, and though he strove to get out of
her way, he was unable to do so, and with a stroke of the forepaw she
literally wiped him out of her path, and the boy rolled over and down the
slope.
She was not suffered to continue her attack. A second bullet from the
rifle of the "Cub" now struck her. He had advanced some forty paces, see-
ing the course which the bear had taken, hearing the shot of "Bayn," as
he called him, and with as much deliberation as was possible to his age
and temperament, had aimed and fired, full at the side of the animal. His
fire directed her from "Bayn" to himself, and as she dashed towards him,
he darted around a great boulder, upon which, as the beast rounded it,