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 200

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription 200 THE CUB OF THE PANTHER
he sprang with a wonderful spring, which did not prevent her, now that
he was clearly in sight, from clambering up after him, which one of the
sloping sides of the boulder enabled her easily to do. She had reached the
top of the boulder, when the "Cub" leapt off; and at the moment of her
wheeling about to descend the slope, a third shot from the rifle of Sam
Fuller sent her tumbling over more rapidly than was her natural impulse.
Sam, hearing the firing, and anxious about the boys, as, indeed, he
could, from his height, behold some of the scene, had advanced from his
stand before the "Cub" had shot, and was pressing forward with all speed,
when the conspicuous chance afforded him by the bear, on the summit
of the boulder, moved him to shoot at about sixty yards distance.
"Too fur," he said to himself afterwards, "for a small bullet, when it's
a beast that'll carry so much lead."
His shot, however, appeared to be effectual. The bear had tumbled
evidently, and rolled over the sloping side of the boulder, where she lay
wallowing and struggling, but not, seemingly, able to rise.
Meanwhile, our "Cub," who had been reloading his piece, cried out
to Sam, seeing that he was pushing forward with his hunting knife in
hand
"Wait a bit, uncle Sam, till I give him another bullet."
But Sam had become anxious about his son, whom he now saw sit-
ting up, but not stirring, on the hill-slope, not twenty feet from where
the bear had fallen.
From the feeble motions of the beast, he too rashly concluded that
her vital strength was exhausted; but, when he rushed upon her with
his couteau de chasse, she suddenly rose up, upon her hind legs, making
herself as tall as her assailant, and caught him in an embrace more warm
than loving.
So quickly was this done, so agile had the beast suddenly shown her-
self, that Sam Fuller, old hunter as he was, was completely taken by sur-
prise. His right arm, carried close by his side, the hand grasping the knife,
which he bore with the point downwards, thus designating an upward
bearing stoke, was bound to his body, as in a vice, by the close hug of
the bear.
And, to his great horror, the knife fell from his hand, and lay between
his own and the legs of the animal.
And thus they stood, in a wrestle, in which the man was weaponless,
and almost powerless, in the embrace of the bear, the bloody snout of the
beast being absolutely thrust into his face, with all its grinning teeth
opening upon him.