Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Nine: Catstrophe—Conclusion >> Page 246

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Page 246

Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription 246 THE CUB OF THE PANTHER
With a like imprecation, Fairleigh replied:
"I'll be the death of some of that d —d gang yet. D —n 'em, they're
always in some way crossing my path. I'll make 'em feel me the first fair
chance I get. But do you really hear the dogs? I hear none."
Two of the older hunters confirmed the assertion of Binkley, who
"The more reason for putting in, and on this side, at once. Ten to one
he drives the deer over to us. Here, Bronson, bring on the dogs; they all
know you. And now, men, git to your stands; the sooner the better. The
old buck is apt to sneak out, and git off from the herd, making tracks with
the first yelp of the beagles."
So it was arranged.
The two parties are now fairly on foot. Sam Fuller, who drives, buried
out of sight among the laurels of the "Wallow," and his hunters are all
under cover, at their several stations.
Binkley has gone from sight also; and Fairleigh is posted, with his
double-barreled English gun in hand, within two hundred yards of our
"Cub of the Panther," whose near neighborhood he does not suspect.
He has made provision against any undue tax upon his patience in his
waiting, by detaching from the valise a pocket flask containing "the ardent,"
and has scarcely taken his stand ere he has taken another swallow.
It is not our purpose to give the details of this hunt, save where they
may affect the interests of our legend. It is a tedious hour before anything
is heard from below. The trail seems to be a cold one. For a time it is;
but anon, the report of a gun is heard, faintly swelling out and upward
from the massed laurels of "The Wallow," where Sam Fuller is urging the
dogs. He has evidently got a shot. But for another hour nothing more
is heard, and Fairleigh's impatience makes sundry appeals, during that
time, to his brandy flask.
But, even while the flask is at his mouth, there is a full burst of music
from the whole pack of hounds, it would seem, of both parties, emerg-
ing from "The Wallow" below.
Fairleigh drops his flask, lifts and cocks his gun, both barrels, and
stands on the qui vive, his nerves however, being somewhat disordered
by his potations.
He is conscious, after a little while, of a rush among the bushes. He
has a glimpse of a white form, going at the long lope, and parallel with
him, and he pours out, first the contents of one, and, in another moment,
of the other barrel, when the buck is seen ascending the hill above him,
having safely gotten to his rear. But the buck speeds on, seemingly