Hotenfa’s bullet broke the animal’s foreleg at the knee but without the slightest sign of injury she dashed down the cliff. I fired as she ran, striking her squarely in the heart, and she pitched headlong into the bushes a hundred feet below.
How Hotenfa managed to pack that animal to the summit of the ridge I never can understand, for with a light sack upon my back and a rifle it was all I could do to pull myself up the rocks. He was completely done when we finally threw ourselves on the grass at the edge of the meadow which we had left in the morning. Hotenfa chanted his prayer when we opened the goral, but the God of the Hunt missed his offering for my bullet had smashed the heart to a pulp.
On our way back to camp the red dog, although dead tired, disappeared alone into the heavy forest below us. Suddenly we heard his deep bay coming up the hill in our direction. Hotenfa and I dropped our burdens and ran to an opening in the forest where we thought the animal must pass.
Instead of coming out where we expected, the dog appeared higher up at the heels of a crested muntjac (Elaphodus), which was bounding along at full speed, its white flag standing straight up over its dark bluish back. I had one chance for a shot at about one hundred and fifty yards as the pair crossed a little opening in the trees, but it was too dangerous to shoot for, had I missed the deer, the dog certainly would have been killed.
I was heart-broken over losing this animal, for it is an exceedingly rare species, but a few days later a shepherd brought in another which had been wounded by one of our Lolo hunters and had run down into the plains to die.
When we reached the hill above camp Yvette ran out to meet us, falling over logs and bushes in her eagerness to see what we were carrying. No dinner which I have ever eaten tasted like the one we had of goral steak that night and after a smoke I crawled into my sleeping bag, dead tired in body but with a happy heart.
THE SNOW MOUNTAIN TEMPLE
On October 22, we moved to the foot of the mountain and camped in the temple which we had formerly occupied. This was directly below the forests inhabited by serow, and we expected to devote our efforts exclusively toward obtaining a representative series of these animals.
Unfortunately I developed a severe infection in the palm of my right hand almost immediately, and had it not been for the devoted care of my wife I should not have left China alive. Through terrible nights of delirium when the poison was threatening to spread over my entire body, she nursed me with an utter disregard of her own health and slept only during a few restless hours of complete exhaustion. For three weeks I could do no work but at last was able to bend my “trigger finger” and resume hunting although I did not entirely recover the use of my hand for several months.