The buck, however, showed no intention of passing by; in his abject terror he saw in the
man and the dog foes less terrible than those which were yelping on his trail. He came
on in a lame uneven trot, making straight for the tree. When he reached the tree he
crouched, or rather fell, on the ground within a yard of Jonathan and his dog. He
quivered and twitched; his nostrils flared; at every pant drops of blood flecked the snow;
his great dark eyes had a strained and awful look, almost human in its agony.
Another yelp from the thicket and Jonathan looked up in time to see five timber wolves,
gaunt, hungry looking beasts, burst from the bushes. With their noses close to the snow
they followed the trail. When they came to the spot where the deer had fallen a chorus
of angry, thirsty howls filled the air.
"Well, if this doesn't beat me! I thought I knew a little about deer," said Jonathan. "Tige,
we will save this buck from those gray devils if it costs a leg. Steady now, old fellow,
When the wolves were within fifty yards of the tree and coming swiftly Jonathan threw
his rifle forward and yelled with all the power of his strong lungs:
"Hi! Hi! Hi! Take 'em, Tige!"
In trying to stop quickly on the slippery snowcrust the wolves fell all over themselves.
One dropped dead and another fell wounded at the report of Jonathan's rifle. The others
turned tail and loped swiftly off into the thicket. Tige made short work of the wounded
"Old White Tail, if you were the last buck in the valley, I would not harm you," said
Jonathan, looking at the panting deer. "You need have no farther fear of that pack of
So saying Jonathan called to Tige and wended his way down the hill toward the
An hour afterward he was sitting in Col. Zane's comfort able cabin, where all was
warmth and cheerfulness. Blazing hickory logs roared and crackled in the stone
"Hello, Jack, where did you come from?" said Col. Zane, who had just come in. "Haven't
seen you since we were snowed up. Come over to see about the horses? If I were you I
would not undertake that trip to Fort Pitt until the weather breaks. You could go in the
sled, of course, but if you care anything for my advice you will stay home. This weather
will hold on for some time. Let Lord Dunmore wait."
"I guess we are in for some stiff weather."