Tales of lonely trails eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 386 pages of information about Tales of lonely trails.
agree with Edd.  So I was for watchin’ him some more.  He looked like a sick bar—­raisin’ his head so slow an’ droppin’ it so slow an’ sort of twistin’ his body.  He looked like his back had been broke an’ he was tryin’ to get up, but somehow I couldn’t believe thet.  Then he lay still an’ Edd swore he was dead.  Shore I got almost to believin’ thet myself, when he waked up.  An’ then the old scoundrel slid around lazy like a torn cat by the fire, and sort of rolled on his back an’ stretched.  Next he slapped at himself with his paws.  If he wasn’t sick he was shore actin’ queer with thet canyon full of crackin’ guns an’ bayin’ hounds an’ yellin’ men.  I begun to get suspicious.  Shore he must be a dyin’ bear.  So I said to Edd:  ’Let’s bast him a couple just fer luck.’  Wal, when we shot up jumped thet sick bar quicker’n you could wink.  An’ he piled into the thicket while I was goin’ down after another shell....  It shore was funny.  Thet old Jasper never heard the racket, an’ if he heard it he didn’t care.  He had a bed in thet sunny spot an’ he was foolin’ around, playin’ with himself like a kitten.  Playin’!  An’ Edd reckoned he was dyin’ an’ I come shore near bein’ fooled.  The old Jasper!  We’ll assassinate him fer thet!”

VIII

Five more long arduous days we put in chasing bears under the rim from Pyle’s Canyon to Verde Canyon.  In all we started over a dozen bears.  But I was inclined to think that we chased the same bears over and over from one canyon to another.  The boys got a good many long-range shots, which, however, apparently did no damage.  But as for me, the harder and farther I tramped and the longer I watched and waited the less opportunity had I to shoot a bear.

This circumstance weighed heavily upon the spirits of my comrades.  They wore their boots out, as well as the feet of the hounds, trying to chase a bear somewhere near me.  And wherever I stayed or went there was the place the bears avoided.  Edd and Neilsen lost flesh in this daily toil.  Haught had gloomy moments.  But as for me the daily ten-or fifteen-mile grind up and down the steep craggy slopes had at last trained me back to my former vigorous condition, and I was happy.  No one knew it, not even R.C., but the fact was I really did not care in the least whether I shot a bear or not.  Bears were incidental to my hunting trip.  I had not a little secret glee over the praise accorded me by Copple and Haught and Nielsen, who all thought that the way I persevered was remarkable.  They would have broken their necks to get me a bear.  At times R.C. when he was tired fell victim to discouragement and he would make some caustic remark:  “I don’t know about you.  I’ve a hunch you like to pack a rifle because it’s heavy.  And you go dreaming along!  Sometime a bear will rise up and swipe you one!”

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Tales of lonely trails from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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