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Hunting a Panther

Audubon as an Older Man

AUDUBON was traveling in the woods inMissis­sippi. He found the little cabin of a settler. He stayed there for the night. The settler told him that there was a panther in the swamp near his house. A panther is a very large and fierce ani­mal. It is large enough to kill a man. This was a very bad panther. It had killed some of the settler’s dogs.

Audubon said, “Let us hunt this panther, and kill it.”

So the settler sent out for his neighbors to come and help kill the panther. Five men came. Au­dubon and the settler made seven. They were all on horseback. When they came to the edge of the swamp, each man went a different way. They each took their dogs with them to find the track of the wild beast All of the hunters carried horns. Whoever should find the track first was to blow his horn to let the others know.

In about two hours after they had started, they heard the sound of a horn. It told them that the track had been found. Every man now went toward the sound of the horn. Soon all the yelping dogs were following the track of the fierce panther. The panther was running into the swamp farther and farther.

I suppose that the panther thought that there were too many dogs and men for him to fight. All the hunters came after the dogs. They held their guns ready to shoot if the panther should make up his mind to fight them.After a while the sound of the dogs’ voices changed. The hunters knew from this that the panther had stopped running, and gone up into a tree. At last the men came to the place where the dogs were. They were all barking round a tree. Far up in the tree was the dangerous beast. The hunters came up carefully. One of them fired. The bullet hit the panther, but did not kill him. The panther sprang to the ground, and ran off again. The dogs ran after. The men got on their horses, and rode after. But the horses were tired, and the men had to get down, and follow the dogs on foot.

The hunters now had to wade through little ponds of water. Sometimes they had to climb over fallen trees. Their clothes were badly torn by the bushes. After two hours more, they came to a place where the panther had again gone up into a tree. This time three of the hunters shot at him. The fierce panther came tumbling to the ground. But he was still able to fight. The men fought the savage beast on all sides. At last they killed him. Then they gave his skin to the settler. They wanted him to know that his enemy was dead.

SOURCE:  Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans                                                      By Samuel Eggleston                                                                                                           American Book Co  1893                                                                                                       Digitized by Google                                                                                                                 Available for free download from Google Books

Tomorrow, Captain Clark’s Burning Glass        Rita Bay

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Washington’s Last Battle

General George Washington had been fighting for seven years to drive the British soldiers out of this country. But there were still two strong British armies in America. One of these armies was in New York. It had been there for years. The other army was far away at Yorktown in Virginia. The British general at Yorktown was Cornwallis. You have read how Washington got away from him at Trenton.

The King of France had sent ships and soldiers to help the Americans. But still Washington had not enough men to take New York from the British. Yet he went on getting ready to attack the British in New York. He had ovens built to bake bread for his men. He bought hay for his horses. He had roads built to draw his cannons on. He knew that the British in New York would hear about what he was doing. He wanted them to think that he meant to come to New York and fight them. When the British heard what the Americans were doing, they got ready for the coming of Washington and the French.

All at once they found that Washington had gone. He and his men had marched away. The French soldiers that had come to help him had gone with him. Nobody knew what it meant. Washington’s own men did not know where they were going. They went from New Jersey into Pennsylvania. Then they marched across Pennsylvania. Then they went into Maryland. They marched across that State, and then they went into Virginia.

By this time everybody could tell where Wash­ington was going. People could see that he was going straight to Yorktown. They knew that Washington was going to fight his old enemy at Yorktown. But he had kept his secret long enough. The British in New York could not send help to Corn­wallis. It was too late. The French ships sailed to Virginia, and shut up Yorktown on the side of the sea.Washington’s men shut it up on the side of the land. They built great banks of earth round it. On these banks of earth they put cannons.

The British could not get away. They fought bravely. But the Americans and French came closer and closer. Then the British tried to fight their way out. But they were driven back. Then Cornwallis tried to get his men across the river. He wanted to get out by the back door, as Washington had done. But the Americans on the other side of the river drove them back again.Washington had now caught Cornwallis in a trap. The Americans fired red-hot cannon balls into Yorktown. These set the houses on fire. At last Cornwallis had to give up. The British marched out and laid down their guns and swords.

The British army in New York could not fight the Americans by itself. So the British gave it up. Then there was peace after the long war. The British pulled down the British flag and sailed away. The country was free at last.

The painting “Surrender at Yorktown” is by John Trumbull.

SOURCE:  Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans                                                      By Samuel Eggleston                                                                                                           American Book Co  1893                                                                                                       Digitized by Google                                                                                                                 Available for free download from Google Books

Tomorrow, The Swamp Fox     Rita Bay

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