Davy Crokett's Other Cat

from: from the Stash-X

The conflict which ensued cannot be more graphically described than in Crocket's own words:

"One glance satisfied me that there was no time to be lost. There was no retreat either for me or the cougar. So I levelled my Betsey and blazed away. The report was followed by a furious growl, and the next moment, when I expected to find the tarnal critter struggling with death, I beheld him shaking his head, as if nothing more than a bee had stung him. The ball had struck him on the forehead and glanced off, doing no other injury than stunning him for an instant, and tearing off the skin, which tended to infuriate him the more. The cougar wasn't long in making up his mind what to do, nor was I neither; but he would have it all his own way, and vetoed my motion to back out. I had not retreated three steps before he sprang at me like a steamboat; I stepped aside and as he lit upon the ground, I struck him violently with the barrel of my rifle, but he didn't mind that, but wheeled around and made at me again. The gun was now of no use, so I threw it away, and drew my hunting-knife, for I knew we should come to close quarters before the fight would be over. This time he succeeded in fastening on my left arm, and was just beginning to amuse himself by tearing the flesh off with his fangs, when I ripped my knife into his side, and he let go his hold, much to my satisfaction.

"He wheeled about and came at me with increased fury, occasioned by the smarting of his wounds. I now tried to blind him, knowing that if I succeeded he would become an easy prey; so as he approached me I watched my opportunity, and aimed a blow at his eyes with my knife; but unfortunately it struck him on the nose, and he paid no other attention to it than by a shake of the head and a low growl. He pressed me close, and as I was stepping backward my foot tripped in a vine, and I fell to the ground. He was down upon me like a night-hawk upon a June-bug. He seized hold of the outer part of my right thigh, which afforded him considerable amusement; the hinder part of his body was towards my face; I grasped his tail with my left hand, and tickled his ribs with my haunting-knife, which I held in my right. Still the critter wouldn't let go his hold; and as I found that he would lacerate my leg dreadfully unless he was speedily shaken off, I tried to hurl him down the bank into the river, for our scuffle had already brought us to the edge of the bank. I stuck my knife into his side, and summoned all my strength to throw him over. He resisted, was desperate heavy; but at last I got him so far down the declivity that he lost his balance, and he rolled over and over till he landed on the margin of the river; but in his fall he dragged me along with him. Fortunately, I fell uppermost, and his neck presented a fair mark for my hunting-knife. Without allowing myself time even to draw breath, I aimed one desperate blow at his neck, and the knife entered his gullet up to the handle, and reached his heart. He struggled for a few moments and died. I have had many fights with bears, but that was mere child's play. This was the first fight ever I had with a cougar, and I hope it may be the last."

Crockett, breathless and bleeding, but signally a victor, took quiet possession of the treetop, the conquest of which he had so valiantly achieved. He parted some of the branches, cut away others, and intertwining the softer twigs, something like a bird's nest, made for himself a very comfortable bed. There was an abundance of moss, dry, pliant, and crispy, hanging in festoons from the trees. This, spread in thick folds over his litter, made as luxuriant a mattress as one could desire. His horse-blanket being laid down upon this, the weary traveller, with serene skies above him and a gentle breeze breathing through his bower, had no cause to envy the occupant of the most luxurious chamber wealth can furnish.



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