“Black spirits and white,
Red spirits and gray”.
At which adjuration, Caesar, doubtless knowing who were called upon, pricked up his ears and started on a full run, probably not wishing to find himself in such company just at that time.
An establishment similar to the one that had sheltered him the night previous, proffered its entertainment at the close of our adventurer’s second day. The third day in the wilderness was signalized by an incident, which excited such triumphant emotions as to cause it to be long remembered. About an hour subsequent to his noon halt, as he and Caesar were proceeding along at a moderate pace, he heard a rustling, crackling noise on the right side of the path and suddenly a deer, frightened and panting, flew across the road, turned for a moment an almost human, despairing look toward him, plunged into the tangled under-growth on the left and was gone from sight. John drew his reins instantly, bringing his horse to a dead stand, loosened his rifle from his shoulder and after examining it closely, remained quiet. His patience was not taxed by long waiting. Within the space of two minutes, there was another sharp crunching and crackling of dry boughs, when a wolf, large, gray, and fierce, sprang into the path from the same opening, following on the trail of the deer. He had nearly crossed the narrow road in hot pursuit and was about springing into the thicket beyond, when an accidental turn of his head brought our hero suddenly to his attention. He stopped, as if struck by a spell of enchantment.
Whiz! the ball flew. The very instant it struck, the bloodthirsty monster fell dead. When John reached the spot, there was scarcely the quiver of a limb, so well had the work of death been accomplished. Yet the wolfish face grinned still a savage, horrible defiance.
“Here, Caesar”, he exclaimed, in a boastful tone, “do you know that this old fellow lying here, won’t get the drink out of the veins of that dainty creature he was so thirsty for? No! nor ever cheat any sweet little Red Riding Hood into thinking him her grandmother? This is the last of him. Didn’t I do the neat thing, Caesar?”
Caesar threw his head on one side, with an air of admiration and gave a low whinny, that betokened a state of intense satisfaction at the whole transaction.
It may appear frivolous to those who have read with unwavering credulity the olden tales of the prowess and achievements of knights errant in the days of chivalry, that one should stop to relate such a commonplace incident as the shooting of a wolf, and above all, that the hero of this narrative, should betray, even to his horse, such a decided emotion of self admiration for having performed the feat. Such a trifle would not indeed be worth mentioning in company with the marvellous deeds and mysterious sorceries of the old romaunt, but this being a true story, the hero young, and this the first game of the kind he has yet brought down, it must be excused.