The Trail





"Frank, what'll we do about horses?" asked Jones. "Jim'll want the bay,

and of course you'll want to ride Spot. The rest of our nags will only

do to pack the outfit."



"I've been thinkin'," replied the foreman. "You sure will need good

mounts. Now it happens that a friend of mine is just at this time at

House Rock Valley, an outlyin' post of one of the big Utah ranches. He

is gettin' in the horses off the range, an' he has some crackin' good

ones. Let's ooze over there--it's only thirty miles--an' get some

horses from him."



We were all eager to act upon Frank's suggestion. So plans were made

for three of us to ride over and select our mounts. Frank and Jim would

follow with the pack train, and if all went well, on the following

evening we would camp under the shadow of Buckskin.



Early next morning we were on our way. I tried to find a soft place on

Old Baldy, one of Frank's pack horses. He was a horse that would not

have raised up at the trumpet of doom. Nothing under the sun, Frank

said, bothered Old Baldy but the operation of shoeing. We made the

distance to the outpost by noon, and found Frank's friend a genial and

obliging cowboy, who said we could have all the horses we wanted.



While Jones and Wallace strutted round the big corral, which was full

of vicious, dusty, shaggy horses and mustangs, I sat high on the fence.

I heard them talking about points and girth and stride, and a lot of

terms that I could not understand. Wallace selected a heavy sorrel, and

Jones a big bay; very like Jim's. I had observed, way over in the

corner of the corral, a bunch of cayuses, and among them a clean-limbed

black horse. Edging round on the fence I got a closer view, and then

cried out that I had found my horse. I jumped down and caught him, much

to my surprise, for the other horses were wild, and had kicked

viciously. The black was beautifully built, wide-chested and powerful,

but not heavy. His coat glistened like sheeny black satin, and he had a

white face and white feet and a long mane.



"I don't know about giving you Satan--that's his name," said the

cowboy. "The foreman rides him often. He's the fastest, the best

climber, and the best dispositioned horse on the range.



"But I guess I can let you have him," he continued, when he saw my

disappointed face.



"By George!" exclaimed Jones. "You've got it on us this time."



"Would you like to trade?" asked Wallace, as his sorrel tried to bite

him. "That black looks sort of fierce."



I led my prize out of the corral, up to the little cabin nearby, where

I tied him, and proceeded to get acquainted after a fashion of my own.

Though not versed in horse-lore, I knew that half the battle was to win

his confidence. I smoothed his silky coat, and patted him, and then

surreptitiously slipped a lump of sugar from my pocket. This sugar,

which I had purloined in Flagstaff, and carried all the way across the

desert, was somewhat disreputably soiled, and Satan sniffed at it

disdainfully. Evidently he had never smelled or tasted sugar. I pressed

it into his mouth. He munched it, and then looked me over with some

interest. I handed him another lump. He took it and rubbed his nose

against me. Satan was mine!



Frank and Jim came along early in the afternoon. What with packing,

changing saddles and shoeing the horses, we were all busy. Old Baldy

would not be shod, so we let him off till a more opportune time. By

four o'clock we were riding toward the slopes of Buckskin, now only a

few miles away, standing up higher and darker.



"What's that for?" inquired Wallace, pointing to a long, rusty,

wire-wrapped, double-barreled blunderbuss of a shotgun, stuck in the

holster of Jones's saddle.



The Colonel, who had been having a fine time with the impatient and

curious hounds, did not vouchsafe any information on that score. But

very shortly we were destined to learn the use of this incongruous

firearm. I was riding in advance of Wallace, and a little behind Jones.

The dogs--excepting Jude, who had been kicked and lamed--were ranging

along before their master. Suddenly, right before me, I saw an immense

jack-rabbit; and just then Moze and Don caught sight of it. In fact,

Moze bumped his blunt nose into the rabbit. When it leaped into scared

action, Moze yelped, and Don followed suit. Then they were after it in

wild, clamoring pursuit. Jones let out the stentorian blast, now

becoming familiar, and spurred after them. He reached over, pulled the

shotgun out of the holster and fired both barrels at the jumping dogs.



I expressed my amazement in strong language, and Wallace whistled.



Don came sneaking back with his tail between his legs, and Moze, who

had cowered as if stung, circled round ahead of us. Jones finally

succeeded in gettin him back.



"Come in hyah! You measly rabbit dogs! What do you mean chasing off

that way? We're after lions. Lions! understand?"



Don looked thoroughly convinced of his error, but Moze, being more

thick-headed, appeared mystified rather than hurt or frightened.



"What size shot do you use?" I asked.



"Number ten. They don't hurt much at seventy five yards," replied our

leader. "I use them as sort of a long arm. You see, the dogs must be

made to know what we're after. Ordinary means would never do in a case

like this. My idea is to break them of coyotes, wolves and deer, and

when we cross a lion trail, let them go. I'll teach them sooner than

you'd think. Only we must get where we can see what they're trailing.

Then I can tell whether to call then back or not."



The sun was gilding the rim of the desert rampart when we began the

ascent of the foothills of Buckskin. A steep trail wound zigzag up the

mountain We led our horses, as it was a long, hard climb. From time to

time, as I stopped to catch my breath I gazed away across the growing

void to the gorgeous Pink Cliffs, far above and beyond the red wall

which had seemed so high, and then out toward the desert. The irregular

ragged crack in the plain, apparently only a thread of broken ground,

was the Grand Canyon. How unutterably remote, wild, grand was that

world of red and brown, of purple pall, of vague outline!



Two thousand feet, probably, we mounted to what Frank called Little

Buckskin. In the west a copper glow, ridged with lead-colored clouds,

marked where the sun had set. The air was very thin and icy cold. At

the first clump of pinyon pines, we made dry camp. When I sat down it

was as if I had been anchored. Frank solicitously remarked that I

looked "sort of beat." Jim built a roaring fire and began getting

supper. A snow squall came on the rushing wind. The air grew colder,

and though I hugged the fire, I could not get warm. When I had

satisfied my hunger, I rolled out my sleeping-bag and crept into it. I

stretched my aching limbs and did not move again. Once I awoke,

drowsily feeling the warmth of the fire, and I heard Frank say: "He's

asleep, dead to the world!"



"He's all in," said Jones. "Riding's what did it You know how a horse

tears a man to pieces."



"Will he be able to stand it?" asked Frank, with as much solicitude as

if he were my brother. "When you get out after anythin'--well, you're

hell. An' think of the country we're goin' into. I know you've never

seen the breaks of the Siwash, but I have, an' it's the worst an'

roughest country I ever saw. Breaks after breaks, like the ridges on a

washboard, headin' on the south slope of Buckskin, an' runnin' down,

side by side, miles an' miles, deeper an' deeper, till they run into

that awful hole. It will be a killin' trip on men, horses an' dogs.

Now, Mr. Wallace, he's been campin' an' roughin' with the Navajos for

months; he's in some kind of shape, but--"



Frank concluded his remark with a doubtful pause.



"I'm some worried, too," replied Jones. "But he would come. He stood

the desert well enough; even the Mormons said that."



In the ensuing silence the fire sputtered, the glare fitfully merged

into dark shadows under the weird pinyons, and the wind moaned through

the short branches.



"Wal," drawled a slow, soft voice, "shore I reckon you're hollerin' too

soon. Frank's measly trick puttin' him on Spot showed me. He rode out

on Spot, an' he rode in on Spot. Shore he'll stay."



It was not all the warmth of the blankets that glowed over me then. The

voices died away dreamily, and my eyelids dropped sleepily tight. Late

in the night I sat up suddenly, roused by some unusual disturbance. The

fire was dead; the wind swept with a rush through the pinyons. From the

black darkness came the staccato chorus of coyotes. Don barked his

displeasure; Sounder made the welkin ring, and old Moze growled low and

deep, grumbling like muttered thunder. Then all was quiet, and I slept.



Dawn, rosy red, confronted me when I opened my eyes. Breakfast was

ready; Frank was packing Old Baldy; Jones talked to his horse as he

saddled him; Wallace came stooping his giant figure under the pinyons;

the dogs, eager and soft-eyed, sat around Jim and begged. The sun

peeped over the Pink Cliffs; the desert still lay asleep, tranced in a

purple and golden-streaked mist.



"Come, come!" said Jones, in his big voice. "We're slow; here's the

sun."



"Easy, easy," replied Frank, "we've all the time there is."



When Frank threw the saddle over Satan I interrupted him and said I

would care for my horse henceforward. Soon we were under way, the

horses fresh, the dogs scenting the keen, cold air.



The trail rolled over the ridges of pinyon and scrubby pine.

Occasionally we could see the black, ragged crest of Buckskin above us.

From one of these ridges I took my last long look back at the desert,

and engraved on my mind a picture of the red wall, and the many-hued

ocean of sand. The trail, narrow and indistinct, mounted the last

slow-rising slope; the pinyons failed, and the scrubby pines became

abundant. At length we reached the top, and entered the great arched

aisles of Buckskin Forest. The ground was flat as a table. Magnificent

pine trees, far apart, with branches high and spreading, gave the eye

glad welcome. Some of these monarchs were eight feet thick at the base

and two hundred feet high. Here and there one lay, gaunt and prostrate,

a victim of the wind. The smell of pitch pine was sweetly overpowering.



"When I went through here two weeks ago, the snow was a foot deep, an'

I bogged in places," said Frank. "The sun has been oozin' round here

some. I'm afraid Jones won't find any snow on this end of Buckskin."



Thirty miles of winding trail, brown and springy from its thick mat of

pine needles, shaded always by the massive, seamy-barked trees, took us

over the extremity of Buckskin. Then we faced down into the head of a

ravine that ever grew deeper, stonier and rougher. I shifted from side

to side, from leg to leg in my saddle, dismounted and hobbled before

Satan, mounted again, and rode on. Jones called the dogs and complained

to them of the lack of snow. Wallace sat his horse comfortably, taking

long pulls at his pipe and long gazes at the shaggy sides of the

ravine. Frank, energetic and tireless, kept the pack-horses in the

trail. Jim jogged on silently. And so we rode down to Oak Spring.



The spring was pleasantly situated in a grove of oaks and Pinyons,

under the shadow of three cliffs. Three ravines opened here into an

oval valley. A rude cabin of rough-hewn logs stood near the spring.



"Get down, get down," sang out Frank. "We'll hang up here. Beyond Oak

is No-Man's-Land. We take our chances on water after we leave here."



When we had unsaddled, unpacked, and got a fire roaring on the wide

stone hearth of the cabin, it was once again night.



"Boys," said Jones after supper, "we're now on the edge of the lion

country. Frank saw lion sign in here only two weeks ago; and though the

snow is gone, we stand a show of finding tracks in the sand and dust.

To-morrow morning, before the sun gets a chance at the bottom of these

ravines, we'll be up and doing. We'll each take a dog and search in

different directions. Keep the dog in leash, and when he opens up,

examine the ground carefully for tracks. If a dog opens on any track

that you are sure isn't lion's, punish him. And when a lion-track is

found, hold the dog in, wait and signal. We'll use a signal I have

tried and found far-reaching and easy to yell. Waa-hoo! That's it. Once

yelled it means come. Twice means comes quickly. Three times means

come--danger!"



In one corner of the cabin was a platform of poles, covered with straw.

I threw the sleeping-bag on this, and was soon stretched out.

Misgivings as to my strength worried me before I closed my eyes. Once

on my back, I felt I could not rise; my chest was sore; my cough deep

and rasping. It seemed I had scarcely closed my eyes when Jones's

impatient voice recalled me from sweet oblivion.



"Frank, Frank, it's daylight. Jim--boys!" he called.



I tumbled out in a gray, wan twilight. It was cold enough to make the

fire acceptable, but nothing like the morning before on Buckskin.



"Come to the festal board," drawled Jim, almost before I had my boots

laced.



"Jones," said Frank, "Jim an' I'll ooze round here to-day. There's lots

to do, an' we want to have things hitched right before we strike for

the Siwash. We've got to shoe Old Baldy, an' if we can't get him

locoed, it'll take all of us to do it."



The light was still gray when Jones led off with Don, Wallace with

Sounder and I with Moze. Jones directed us to separate, follow the dry

stream beds in the ravines, and remember his instructions given the

night before.



The ravine to the right, which I entered, was choked with huge stones

fallen from the cliff above, and pinyons growing thick; and I wondered

apprehensively how a man could evade a wild animal in such a place,

much less chase it. Old Moze pulled on his chain and sniffed at coyote

and deer tracks. And every time he evinced interest in such, I cut him

with a switch, which, to tell the truth, he did not notice. I thought I

heard a shout, and holding Moze tight, I waited and listened.



"Waa-hoo--waa-hoo!" floated on the air, rather deadened as if it had

come from round the triangular cliff that faced into the valley. Urging

and dragging Moze, I ran down the ravine as fast as I could, and soon

encountered Wallace coming from the middle ravine. "Jones," he said

excitedly, "this way--there's the signal again." We dashed in haste

for the mouth of the third ravine, and came suddenly upon Jones,

kneeling under a pinyon tree. "Boys, look!" he exclaimed, as he pointed

to the ground. There, clearly defined in the dust, was a cat track as

big as my spread hand, and the mere sight of it sent a chill up my

spine. "There's a lion track for you; made by a female, a two-year-old;

but can't say if she passed here last night. Don won't take the trail.

Try Moze."



I led Moze to the big, round imprint, and put his nose down into it.

The old hound sniffed and sniffed, then lost interest.



"Cold!" ejaculated Jones. "No go. Try Sounder. Come, old boy, you've

the nose for it."



He urged the reluctant hound forward. Sounder needed not to be shown

the trail; he stuck his nose in it, and stood very quiet for a long

moment; then he quivered slightly, raised his nose and sought the next

track. Step by step he went slowly, doubtfully. All at once his tail

wagged stiffly.



"Look at that!" cried Jones in delight. "He's caught a scent when the

others couldn't. Hyah, Moze, get back. Keep Moze and Don back; give him

room."



Slowly Sounder paced up the ravine, as carefully as if he were

traveling on thin ice. He passed the dusty, open trail to a scaly

ground with little bits of grass, and he kept on.



We were electrified to hear him give vent to a deep bugle-blast note of

eagerness.



"By George, he's got it, boys!" exclaimed Jones, as he lifted the

stubborn, struggling hound off the trail. "I know that bay. It means a

lion passed here this morning. And we'll get him up as sure as you're

alive. Come, Sounder. Now for the horses."



As we ran pell-mell into the little glade, where Jim sat mending some

saddle trapping, Frank rode up the trail with the horses.



"Well, I heard Sounder," he said with his genial smile. "Somethin's

comin' off, eh? You'll have to ooze round some to keep up with that

hound."



I saddled Satan with fingers that trembled in excitement, and pushed my

little Remington automatic into the rifle holster.



"Boys, listen," said our leader. "We're off now in the beginning of a

hunt new to you. Remember no shooting, no blood-letting, except in

self-defense. Keep as close to me as you can. Listen for the dogs, and

when you fall behind or separate, yell out the signal cry. Don't forget

this. We're bound to lose each other. Look out for the spikes and

branches on the trees. If the dogs split, whoever follows the one that

trees the lion must wait there till the rest come up. Off now! Come,

Sounder; Moze, you rascal, hyah! Come, Don, come, Puppy, and take your

medicine."



Except Moze, the hounds were all trembling and running eagerly to and

fro. When Sounder was loosed, he led them in a bee-line to the trail,

with us cantering after. Sounder worked exactly as before, only he

followed the lion tracks a little farther up the ravine before he

bayed. He kept going faster and faster, occasionally letting out one

deep, short yelp. The other hounds did not give tongue, but eager,

excited, baffled, kept at his heels. The ravine was long, and the wash

at the bottom, up which the lion had proceeded, turned and twisted

round boulders large as houses, and led through dense growths of some

short, rough shrub. Now and then the lion tracks showed plainly in the

sand. For five miles or more Sounder led us up the ravine, which began

to contract and grow steep. The dry stream bed got to be full of

thickets of branchless saplings, about the poplar--tall, straight, size

of a man's arm, and growing so close we had to press them aside to let

our horses through.



Presently Sounder slowed up and appeared at fault. We found him

puzzling over an open, grassy patch, and after nosing it for a little

while, he began skirting the edge.



"Cute dog!" declared Jones. "That Sounder will make a lion chaser. Our

game has gone up here somewhere."



Sure enough, Sounder directly gave tongue from the side of the ravine.

It was climb for us now. Broken shale, rocks of all dimensions, pinyons

down and pinyons up made ascending no easy problem. We had to dismount

and lead the horses, thus losing ground. Jones forged ahead and reached

the top of the ravine first. When Wallace and I got up, breathing

heavily, Jones and the hounds were out of sight. But Sounder kept

voicing his clear call, giving us our direction. Off we flew, over

ground that was still rough, but enjoyable going compared to the ravine

slopes. The ridge was sparsely covered with cedar and pinyon, through

which, far ahead, we pretty soon spied Jones. Wallace signaled, and our

leader answered twice. We caught up with him on the brink of another

ravine deeper and craggier than the first, full of dead, gnarled pinyon

and splintered rocks.



"This gulch is the largest of the three that head in at Oak Spring,"

said Jones. "Boys, don't forget your direction. Always keep a feeling

where camp is, always sense it every time you turn. The dogs have gone

down. That lion is in here somewhere. Maybe he lives down in the high

cliffs near the spring and came up here last night for a kill he's

buried somewhere. Lions never travel far. Hark! Hark! There's Sounder

and the rest of them! They've got the scent; they've all got it! Down,

boys, down, and ride!"



With that he crashed into the cedar in a way that showed me how

impervious he was to slashing branches, sharp as thorns, and steep

descent and peril.



Wallace's big sorrel plunged after him and the rolling stones cracked.

Suffering as I was by this time, with cramp in my legs, and torturing

pain, I had to choose between holding my horse in or falling off; so I

chose the former and accordingly got behind.



Dead cedar and pinyon trees lay everywhere, with their contorted limbs

reaching out like the arms of a devil-fish. Stones blocked every

opening. Making the bottom of the ravine after what seemed an

interminable time, I found the tracks of Jones and Wallace. A long

"Waa-hoo!" drew me on; then the mellow bay of a hound floated up the

ravine. Satan made up time in the sandy stream bed, but kept me busily

dodging overhanging branches. I became aware, after a succession of

efforts to keep from being strung on pinyons, that the sand before me

was clean and trackless. Hauling Satan up sharply, I waited

irresolutely and listened. Then from high up the ravine side wafted

down a medley of yelps and barks.



"Waa-hoo, waa-hoo!" ringing down the slope, pealed against the cliff

behind me, and sent the wild echoes flying. Satan, of his own accord,

headed up the incline. Surprised at this, I gave him free rein. How he

did climb! Not long did it take me to discover that he picked out

easier going than I had. Once I saw Jones crossing a ledge far above

me, and I yelled our signal cry. The answer returned clear and sharp;

then its echo cracked under the hollow cliff, and crossing and

recrossing the ravine, it died at last far away, like the muffled peal

of a bell-buoy. Again I heard the blended yelping of the hounds, and

closer at hand. I saw a long, low cliff above, and decided that the

hounds were running at the base of it. Another chorus of yelps,

quicker, wilder than the others, drew a yell from me. Instinctively I

knew the dogs had jumped game of some kind. Satan knew it as well as I,

for he quickened his pace and sent the stones clattering behind him.



I gained the base of the yellow cliff, but found no tracks in the dust

of ages that had crumbled in its shadow, nor did I hear the dogs.

Considering how close they had seemed, this was strange. I halted and

listened. Silence reigned supreme. The ragged cracks in the cliff walls

could have harbored many a watching lion, and I cast an apprehensive

glance into their dark confines. Then I turned my horse to get round

the cliff and over the ridge. When I again stopped, all I could hear

was the thumping of my heart and the labored panting of Satan. I came

to a break in the cliff, a steep place of weathered rock, and I put

Satan to it. He went up with a will. From the narrow saddle of the

ridge-crest I tried to take my bearings. Below me slanted the green of

pinyon, with the bleached treetops standing like spears, and uprising

yellow stones. Fancying I heard a gunshot, I leaned a straining ear

against the soft breeze. The proof came presently in the unmistakable

report of Jones's blunderbuss. It was repeated almost instantly, giving

reality to the direction, which was down the slope of what I concluded

must be the third ravine. Wondering what was the meaning of the shots,

and chagrined because I was out of the race, but calmer in mind, I let

Satan stand.



Hardly a moment elapsed before a sharp bark tingled in my ears. It

belonged to old Moze. Soon I distinguished a rattling of stones and the

sharp, metallic clicks of hoofs striking rocks. Then into a space below

me loped a beautiful deer, so large that at first I took it for an elk.

Another sharp bark, nearer this time, told the tale of Moze's

dereliction. In a few moments he came in sight, running with his tongue

out and his head high.



"Hyah, you old gladiator! hyah! hyah!" I yelled and yelled again. Moze

passed over the saddle on the trail of the deer, and his short bark

floated back to remind me how far he was from a lion dog.



Then I divined the meaning of the shotgun reports. The hounds had

crossed a fresher trail than that of the lion, and our leader had

discovered it. Despite a keen appreciation of Jones's task, I gave way

to amusement, and repeated Wallace's paradoxical formula: "Pet the

lions and shoot the hounds."



So I headed down the ravine, looking for a blunt, bold crag, which I

had descried from camp. I found it before long, and profiting by past

failures to judge of distance, gave my first impression a great

stretch, and then decided that I was more than two miles from Oak.



Long after two miles had been covered, and I had begun to associate

Jim's biscuits with a certain soft seat near a ruddy fire, I was

apparently still the same distance from my landmark crag. Suddenly a

slight noise brought me to a halt. I listened intently. Only an

indistinct rattling of small rocks disturbed the impressive stillness.

It might have been the weathering that goes on constantly, and it might

have been an animal. I inclined to the former idea till I saw Satan's

ears go up. Jones had told me to watch the ears of my horse, and short

as had been my acquaintance with Satan, I had learned that he always

discovered things more quickly than I. So I waited patiently.



From time to time a rattling roll of pebbles, almost musical, caught my

ear. It came from the base of the wall of yellow cliff that barred the

summit of all those ridges. Satan threw up his head and nosed the

breeze. The delicate, almost stealthy sounds, the action of my horse,

the waiting drove my heart to extra work. The breeze quickened and

fanned my cheek, and borne upon it came the faint and far-away bay of a

hound. It came again and again, each time nearer. Then on a stronger

puff of wind rang the clear, deep, mellow call that had given Sounder

his beautiful name. Never it seemed had I heard music so

blood-stirring. Sounder was on the trail of something, and he had it

headed my way. Satan heard, shot up his long ears, and tried to go

ahead; but I restrained and soothed him into quiet.



Long moments I sat there, with the poignant consciousness of the

wildness of the scene, of the significant rattling of the stones and of

the bell-tongued hound baying incessantly, sending warm joy through my

veins, the absorption in sensations new, yielding only to the hunting

instinct when Satan snorted and quivered. Again the deep-toned bay rang

into the silence with its stirring thrill of life. And a sharp rattling

of stones just above brought another snort from Satan.



Across an open space in the pinyons a gray form flashed. I leaped off

Satan and knelt to get a better view under the trees. I soon made out

another deer passing along the base of the cliff. Mounting again, I

rode up to the cliff to wait for Sounder.



A long time I had to wait for the hound. It proved that the atmosphere

was as deceiving in regard to sound as to sight. Finally Sounder came

running along the wall. I got off to intercept him. The crazy

fellow--he had never responded to my overtures of friendship--uttered

short, sharp yelps of delight, and actually leaped into my arms. But I

could not hold him. He darted upon the trail again and paid no heed to

my angry shouts. With a resolve to overhaul him, I jumped on Satan and

whirled after the hound.



The black stretched out with such a stride that I was at pains to keep

my seat. I dodged the jutting rocks and projecting snags; felt stinging

branches in my face and the rush of sweet, dry wind. Under the

crumbling walls, over slopes of weathered stone and droppings of

shelving rock, round protruding noses of cliff, over and under pinyons

Satan thundered. He came out on the top of the ridge, at the narrow

back I had called a saddle. Here I caught a glimpse of Sounder far

below, going down into the ravine from which I had ascended some time

before. I called to him, but I might as well have called to the wind.



Weary to the point of exhaustion, I once more turned Satan toward camp.

I lay forward on his neck and let him have his will. Far down the

ravine I awoke to strange sounds, and soon recognized the cracking of

iron-shod hoofs against stone; then voices. Turning an abrupt bend in

the sandy wash, I ran into Jones and Wallace.



"Fall in! Line up in the sad procession!" said Jones. "Tige and the pup

are faithful. The rest of the dogs are somewhere between the Grand

Canyon and the Utah desert."



I related my adventures, and tried to spare Moze and Sounder as much as

conscience would permit.



"Hard luck!" commented Jones. "Just as the hounds jumped the

cougar--Oh! they bounced him out of the rocks all right--don't you

remember, just under that cliff wall where you and Wallace came up to

me? Well, just as they jumped him, they ran right into fresh deer

tracks. I saw one of the deer. Now that's too much for any hounds,

except those trained for lions. I shot at Moze twice, but couldn't turn

him. He has to be hurt, they've all got to be hurt to make them

understand."



Wallace told of a wild ride somewhere in Jones's wake, and of sundry

knocks and bruises he had sustained, of pieces of corduroy he had left

decorating the cedars and of a most humiliating event, where a gaunt

and bare pinyon snag had penetrated under his belt and lifted him, mad

and kicking, off his horse.



"These Western nags will hang you on a line every chance they get,"

declared Jones, "and don't you overlook that. Well, there's the cabin.

We'd better stay here a few days or a week and break in the dogs and

horses, for this day's work was apple pie to what we'll get in the

Siwash."



I groaned inwardly, and was remorselessly glad to see Wallace fall off

his horse and walk on one leg to the cabin. When I got my saddle off

Satan, had given him a drink and hobbled him, I crept into the cabin

and dropped like a log. I felt as if every bone in my body was broken

and my flesh was raw. I got gleeful gratification from Wallace's

complaints, and Jones's remark that he had a stitch in his back. So

ended the first chase after cougars.





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