Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Four: The ''Cub'' Saves his Father's Life, But Administers a Sharp Admonition >> Page 217

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription THE CUB SAVES HIS FATHER'S LIFE 217
He was fearfully but not dangerously scratched, his clothes torn into
shreds, and the blood gushing out from sundry gores, which the claws of
the bear had made in his thighs, chiefly, and his side; and there was the
stab in the left thigh from the knife of the "Cub."
By this time Mike Baynam had come up, Bulkley, and indeed most of
the hunters, amateurs and professional. They assisted Fairleigh to rise,
and Sam Fuller, and Wood, having had experience in such affairs, pro-
ceeded to examine his hurts.
"Some ugly scratches these," said Fuller, "but it's well it's no worse.
There's nothing serious. It's lucky for you, sir, howsomdever, that the boy
put in when he did. A few more rips of that bear's spurs, and he'd ha' been
into your witals.""The boy!" exclaimed Fairleigh, "why, d -n the fellow, he stuck me
with his knife.
"'Taint much; and that warn't the fault of the boy. The best hunter
in the world might graze his knife upon a rib when the bar's in his death-
wallow. The boy saved your life, sir, I kin tell you.""Saved h 1, man; what are you talking about? I had the bear in my
power, and in another moment my own knife would have cut him down
from throat to navel."
The hunters all looked on with amazement.
"Pshaw!" exclaimed Bulkley, "what nonsense, Fairleigh! Why, your
knife did nothing but cut the air. It's lucky the boy put in when he did.
His knife did the business.""No, sir, if you please," said Wood and Dolby in the same breath. They
had been turning over the body of the bear. "Twarn't the knife at all that
did the business. 'Twas the rifle bullet that did it.""What rifle bullet?" exclaimed Fairleigh. "I shot no rifle.""No; but the boy did.""I tell you, fellows, if the beast has got lead in him at all it is my bul-
lets. Look and you'll find them. I shot twice, and I'll answer for my
Manton against any rifle in the country.""Is it possible, Fairleigh," said Bulkley, "that you were so far scared
or insensible as not to know that the boy blew his bullet through the
bear's brains, when his snout was mumbling at your own? By G ! I
trembled for you as I saw him do it.""He shoot!""Ay, did he, and through the brains of the beast, when he lay squat
upon your breast, and squeezin all the breath out of your body."
For a moment Fairleigh was silenced, but, gradually, as he began to