Exploration of the Red River of Louisiana, in the year 1852 / by Randolph B. Marcy ; assisted by George B. McClellan. Page: 27 of 368
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In the evening, shortly after we had turned out our animals to graze,
and had made everything snug and comfortable about us, ourselves
reclining very quietly after the fatigue of the day's march, one of the
hunters came into camp and informed us that a panther had crossed the
creek but a short distance above, and was coming towards us. This
piece of intelligence, as may be supposed, created no little excitement
in our quiet circle. Everybody was up in an instant, seizing muskets,
rifles, or any other weapon that came to hand, and, followed by all
the dogs in camp, a very general rush was made towards the spot
indicated by the Delaware. On reaching the place, we found where
the animal, in stepping from the creek, had left water upon his track,
which was not yet dry, showing that he had passed within a short
time. We pointed out the track to several of the dogs, and endeavored,
by every means which our ingenuity could suggest, to inspire
them with some small degree of that enthusiasm which had animated
us. We coaxed, cheered, and scolded, put their noses into the track,
clapped our hands, pointed in the direction of the trail, hissed, and
made use of divers other canine arguments to convince them that there
was something of importance on hand; but it was all to no purpose.
They did not seem to enter into the spirit of the chase, or to regard
the occasion as one in which there was much glory to be derived from
following in the footsteps of their illustrious predecessor. On the contrary,
the zeal which they manifested in starting out from camp, suddenly
abated as soon as their olfactories came in contact with the track,
and it was with very great difficulty that we could prevent them from
running away. At this moment, however, our old bear-dog came up,
and no sooner had he caught a snuff of the atmosphere than, suddenly
coming to a stop and raising his head into the air, he sent forth one
prolonged note, and started off in full cry upon the trail. He led off
boldly into the timber, followed by the other dogs, who had now recovered
confidence, with the men at their heels, cheering them on and
shouting most vociferously, each one anxious to get the first glimpse of
the panther. They soon roused him from his lair, and after making a
few circuits around the grove, he took to a tree.
I was so fortunate as to reach the spot a little in advance of the
party, and gave him a shot which brought him to the ground. The
dogs then closed in with him, and others of the party coming up directly
afterwards, fired several shots, which took effect, and soon placed him
"hors du combat." He was a fine specimen of the North American
cougalr (Felis concolor,) measuring eight and a half feet fiom his nose
to the extremity of his tail.
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Marcy, Randolph Barnes. Exploration of the Red River of Louisiana, in the year 1852 / by Randolph B. Marcy ; assisted by George B. McClellan., book, 1854; Washington, DC. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6105/m1/27/: accessed May 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .