“‘I can hit him now,’ muttered Blonay. ’It’s not two hundred yards, and I’ve hit a smaller mark than that at a greater distance, before now.’
“He raised the rifle and brought the sight to his eye, and would have fired, but the next minute Humphries was covered by a tree. The dog came on, and Blonay heard the voices of his pursuers behind; and just then the dog reached him.
“The faithful animal, little knowing the danger into which he had brought his master, leaped fondly upon him, testifying his joy by yelping with his greatest vocal powers.
“With a hearty curse, Blonay grasped the dog by the back of the neck, and, drawing the skin tightly across the throat, quickly passed the keen edge of his knife but once over it, and then thrust the body from him. Sheathing the knife and seizing his rifle, he again set forward, and did not stop till he gained a small but thick under-brush. His pursuers now came up to the dead body of the dog; seeing which, they considered further pursuit hopeless.
“At this moment, sounds of a trumpet came from the camp, as the signal to return. Humphries told the others to obey its summons, but avowed his determination of pursuing Blonay until he or the other had fallen. After they had left him, he again set forward, and walked very fast in the direction he supposed his enemy had taken, and had not proceeded far ere he saw his track in the mud, which he followed until it was lost among the leaves. Darkness coming on, he gave up the chase until the next morning. That night both slept in the swamp, not more than two hundred yards apart, but unconscious of each other’s locality. In the morning, Humphries was the first to awake. Descending from the tree where he had slept, he carefully looked around, thinking what he should do next. While he thus stood, a slight noise reached his ears, sounding like the friction of bark; a repetition of it showed where it came from. He glanced at an old cypress which stood in the water near him, and saw that its trunk was hollow, but did not look as if it would hold a man. On a sudden, something prompted him to look upward, and, in the quick glance he gave, the glare of a wild and well-known eye, peeping out upon him from its woody retreat, met his gaze. With a howl of delight, he raised his rifle, and the drop of the deadly instrument fell upon the aperture; but before he could draw the trigger the object was gone. It was Blonay, who, the moment he perceived the aim of Humphries’ piece, sank into the body of the tree.