Monarch, the big bear of tallac part 2

XI

Grizzly Jack, raging, but still careful, climbed up the long mountain-side when he left the ruined camp, and on the southern side found a quiet bed in a thicket. There he lay for a day and a night, in pain from his wounds. On the second day he was so hungry that he went out to look for food. He went on, passing the scents of berries, roots, grouse, deer, till a new and pleasant smell came to his nose. He followed the smell to a little meadow, and there he saw five red – or red and white – great things as big as himself. But he was not afraid of them.

He crept toward them till he reached the edge of the wood. There was a spring close by and he drank silently. Then he lay down in a thicket where he could watch. An hour passed; the sun went down and the cattle rose to graze.

One of them, a little one, walked to the spring. As she bent down, the bear struck with all his force. The blow hit her head, but Grizzly Jack knew nothing of horns. The sharp horn

of the young cow hit his front foot and wounded his paw. The other cattle fled. The grizzly took the young cow in his jaws, climbed the hill to his den, and with this store of food he again lay down to rest. Though painful, his wounds were not serious, and in a week he was as well as ever.

Lan Kellyan found the bear’s tracks in the woods and followed them. He knew it was the grizzly, because he studied the tracks which told him of the wound in the front foot. No two animals are alike, and Lan knew that. For example, almost all bears rub their backs against trees. Grizzly Jack did that too, but he rubbed first, then turned and tore the trunk with his teeth. One day Lan came to a tree which had marks on it made by a bear’s teeth. One of the marks showed clearly that the bear had a broken tooth. Now Lan was sure that it was the same grizzly bear.

Then the hunters discovered something else about their grizzly bear, – the food he liked best. They knew that some bears ate only roots and berries; there were bears that loved the great black salmon which they found in the pools; and there were a few that were fond of meat. Jack was one of these, and he grew bigger, stronger and fiercer than other bears that ate roots and berries. But they also discovered that this grizzly loved honey. The hunter on his trail learned that he always took the honey from any bee’s nest he could find.

“Say, Bonamy,” said Lan to his friend, “we’ve got to find some honey.” So they looked for and found a bee-hive and then, covering their hands and faces, took out the honey-comb and put it into one of the traps which they set up.

That night, as Grizzly Jack walked along, his nose reported the delicious smell ~of honey. He followed fast and far, until be reached a strange cave. He stopped and sniffed. There were hunters’ smells, too, but there was that other smell that he loved. He walked around and knew that the smell came from inside. Then carefully he entered. He licked the bait, liked it, enjoyed it, and pulled it to increase the flow. Then Bang! and the great door closed behind him. Jack was a prisoner. He had a feeling of danger and, turning, attacked the door, but it was strong. He tore at the roof, the floor, but all were heavy, hard logs and he could do nothing.

The sun rose as he raged, and shone through the little cracks of the door, and so he turned all his strength on the door. He struck with his paws and tore with his teeth till one log after another gave way. Then he dashed through the opening and was free again.



Monarch, the big bear of tallac part 2