Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Nine: Catstrophe—Conclusion >> Page 243

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription CATASTROPHE-CONCLUSION 243
harbored a numerous herd of deer. They were not very wild, and were
rarely hunted. Indeed, Binkley claimed that with one exception the dis-
covery of these habitues was one of his own.
"But," he added, "that old keen-nosed hunter, Mike Baynam, had
been `prospecting' down in that quarter, and he will soon root 'em out,
if he once happens to find their tracks.""D —n him," cried Fairleigh, "somehow that fellow and his gang
are always crossing my path; but he shall pay for old scores yet. We must
get the start of him, Binkley. What say you, men, for an early hunt to-
morrow? Stay to-night. I can find beds for you all, and we'll take the trail
at peep of day in the morning. You've all got your guns, and there's noth-
ing to prevent."
The suggestion was readily adopted; and, with more regard than
usual, to his own possible fitness for the proposed sport of the ensuing
day, Fairleigh retired early; some of the more eager hunters setting him
the example, but none of them retiring except with skins tolerably well
lined with liquor.
The horns sounded at daylight; the hounds echoed the music; the
hunters were soon afoot, and even Fairleigh exhibited a greater degree of
alertness than usual, not having kept his guests more than half an hour
in waiting upon his toilet. An early breakfast was dispatched, and the
party in motion for "Bear Nook Wallow," just as the sun was peeping
above the lower ranges of the long mountain chain, having first swal-
lowed each his morning noggin of peach and honey.
It so happened that Mike Baynam and Sam Fuller had also arranged
for a hunt that very day, with two other hunters, and had decided upon
that very scene of action, "Bear Nook Wallow," which Binkley had sug-
gested to Fairleigh's party.
Mike had been prospecting, and not without profit, in that obscure
quarter of the great range, and had been at some pains to get up a hunt,
with the hunters sufficiently numerous to cover all its points of egress,
as he had calculated them.
There were obviously two directions, and two only, which the deer
could take up the heights, when driven by the dogs from the Wallow.
These were up the sides of what we may describe as a double-crested
mountain; two small semi-circular eminences, growing up together, side
by side, like twins, separated only, or rather Siamesed together, by a little
valley between, which divided them very equally.
Mike's party was on the route to this region a full hour before that
of Fairleigh. The two parties had about the same distance to travel, but