“And be shot like dogs?” queried Jerry. “No, sir; it won’t do ter fire from this pint, ’cause ther flash from our guns will give ’em light enuff ter find out our position; but we kin git round in behind ’em, and a few shots will settle the matter. It’s mighty lucky for us, that they hain’t got nothin’ but arrers; for if they hed firearms, ’twould hurt.”
Jerry and one of the Mexicans started for the purpose of getting in the rear of the enemy, if possible, while I remained in charge of the camp. Suddenly, Ned, whose eyes were keen, declared that he saw something crawling in the tall grass behind the wagons. He was so positive of this, that after vainly endeavoring to get sight at the object myself, I told him to take good aim and fire. This he did, bringing out a lusty yell from his mark, and a fresh shower of arrows from our assailants.
In a short time we heard the sound of Jerry’s revolvers from some distance down the ravine, and then all was quiet. It was fast becoming light; but we did not dare to move from our position until assured beyond doubt that the Indians had left. We soon heard old Jerry’s cheery voice announcing that everything was right; and then we ventured out upon an exploring tour.
The first thing we discovered was a dead Indian, within thirty feet of the wagons. Ned’s first Indian! The boy looked frightened as he realized the fact that he had really killed a Comanche; and, for some time thereafter, hardly appeared like himself; but the congratulations he received upon all sides, soon served to reassure him again, and in a little while he felt as proud of his exploit as old Jerry did for him.
We lost one mule, and I was slightly wounded by an arrow, during the fight; while the enemy lost one killed, and, we had good reason to believe, had several wounded.
The wagons bore the marks of many arrows; and, had it not been for the protection afforded by them, our entire party would have been massacred without doubt.
Old Jerry attributed the failure of the attack in a great measure, to the fact that they were deprived of the use of their horses; for they rarely go into a fight, except when on horseback. We were glad enough to see daylight, as well as rejoiced to be able to once more resume our trip.
We had been on the road several hours, when Hal came riding up, very much excited, declaring that he had found a bear’s track.
Jerry, Ned, and myself at once went to the spot, and saw what I immediately admitted to be the clear, well-defined track of a grizzly in the sand.
Turning to Jerry, I said, “Why, Jerry! I didn’t know that grizzlies were found on these plains.”
“No more they ain’t,” was the reply.
“But how could that track be there, if there was no bear to make it?” inquired Ned.
“But it ain’t a bear’s track,” said Jerry, attentively regarding it without dismounting from his horse.