Now commenced a scene of wild tumult and of fierce delight. The warriors on the prairie retired before their enemies until all of their associates were clear of the forest, when the circle swiftly closed again, until it had brought the bears to something like close quarters. Bear’s Meat, as became his appellation, led off the dance, letting fly an arrow at the nearest animal. Astounded by the great number of their enemies, and not a little appalled by their yells, the poor quadrupeds did not know which way to turn. Occasionally, attempts were made to break through the circle, but the flight of arrows, aimed directly at their faces, invariably drove the creatures back. Fire-arms were not resorted to at all in this hunt, spears and arrows being the weapons depended on. Several ludicrous incidents occurred, but none that were tragical. One or two of the more reckless of the hunters, ambitious of shining before the representatives of so many tribes, ran rather greater risks than were required, but they escaped with a few smart scratches. In one instance, however, a young Indian had a still narrower squeeze for his life. Literally a squeeze it was, for, suffering himself to get within the grasp of a bear, he came near being pressed to death, ere his companions could dispatch the creature. As for the prisoner, the only means he had to prevent his being bitten, was to thrust the head of his spear into the bear’s mouth, where he succeeded in holding it, spite of the animal’s efforts to squeeze him into submission. By the time this combat was terminated, the field was strewn with the slain; every one of the bears having been killed by hunters so much practised in the art of destroying game.
She was an only child—her name Ginevra,
The joy, the pride of an indulgent father;
And in her fifteenth year became a bride,
Marrying an only son, Francesco Dona,
Her playmate from her birth, and her first love.
During the hunt there was little leisure for reflection on the seemingly extraordinary manner in which the bee-hunter had pointed out the spot where the bears were to be found. No one of the Indians had seen him apply the glass to his eye, for, leading the party, he had been able to do this unobserved; but, had they witnessed such a procedure, it would have been as inexplicable as all the rest. It is true, Crowsfeather and one or two of his companions had taken a look through that medicine-glass, but it rather contributed to increase the conjuror’s renown, than served to explain any of the marvels he performed.