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 201

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription HOW THE CUB PROVES TOO MUCH FOR THE BEAR 201
It was, as he phrased it afterwards, "a most oncomfortable sitivation."
It was death in a very few moments to poor Sam, unless the relations
of the two parties could be changed.
The bear seemed to pause only for the recovery of the necessary
breath and strength, to strangle, suffocate, or tear her victim to pieces.
Either of which processes would have been easy, but from the previous
loss of blood from her wounds.
And time was not allowed her.
Quick as firm our "Cub" had reloaded his rifle, and rushed up to
where the two athletes, closely grappled, and both nearly breathless, con-
fronted each other in such an embrace as can only be sundered by the
death of one or both the parties. Sam Fuller had only breath to murmur,
rather than to speak:
"The knife, boy! the knife under me."
But the "Cub," not seeming to hear, clapped the muzzle of his rifle
to the very ears of the bear, not giving heed to the near neighborhood
of the bear's nozzle to that of his uncle, and, steady as if all his nerves were
made of steel, he blew the bullet through the head of the beast, then,
quick as lightning, never stopping to witness the effects of the shot, he
threw down the gun, and dropping on his knees, crawled between the
legs of the two combatants, grasped the knife which had fallen from
Sam's hands, and instead of giving it to the latter, as he desired, drove it
himself into the belly of the bear, just in the region of the chest, and drew
the sharp edge downwards, slashing into the very body of the beast, so
deeply, so thoroughly, that her bowels rolled out upon him. A great grunt
from the animal followed, and all her muscles relaxed. Her limbs fell,
and, without a struggle, she tumbled over, perfectly dead.
A very long breath of relief did Sam Fuller draw, as, covered with
sweat, in spite of the coldness of the weather, he laid himself down upon
the mountain side in momentary collapse.
"You've saved my life, young Mike. You're a chip of the old block. But
see after `Bayn: I'm afeard he's hurt by that wipe of the bar."
But "Bayn" was not seriously hurt. He came stumbling up the
moment after, having been stunned, not by the stroke of the bear directly,
but by the awkward contact of his head with a rock, when that "wipe"
of the beast hurled him over. A pretty sharp scratch, however, chronicled
the event for all his life upon his left cheek, which was deeply furrowed
by the claws of the animal.
When Mike Baynam reached the spot and Sam had given him full
particulars of the fight, he simply gave the boys a look, not exactly a