Through Apache Land by Edward Sylvester Ellis

Through Apache Land by Edward Sylvester Ellis

Author:Edward Sylvester Ellis [Ellis, Edward Sylvester]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Published: 2016-08-15T00:00:00+00:00


"THIS 'ERE IS A LITTLE ROW YOU KIN SETTLE WITH ME, INSTEAD OF THAT BOY THAR."

It was Tom Hardynge, the scout, who spoke thus opportunely.

CHAPTER XX.

WHITE VS. RED.

The hunter seemed to step forth from some crevice in the rocks, wherein he had been concealed, and strode forward in such a manner that Lone Wolf saw him at the very instant the first word was uttered.

The latter withdrew his gaze from the boy and turned with lightning-like swiftness upon his adversary, while the latter, as cool and self-possessed as if he were about to slice up an antelope or buffalo, continued approaching with his hunting knife firmly clasped in his right hand. The Indian, perceiving the character of the fight, flung his rifle several yards from him, where it was beyond the reach of both, and recoiling a single step, put himself in form to receive the charge of his assailant.

"Ned, my boy," said the latter, without looking at him, "get back. There's no telling what may happen."

This was no more than a prudent caution. The fight was over the boy, and if Lone Wolf should find the battle going against him, he would resort to any treacherous trick by which to destroy the prize,—such, for instance, as a sudden dart upon the unsuspecting spectator and the plunging of his knife to his heart before the active hunter could thwart him. Ned obeyed his rescuer, whom he had never seen before, and stepped back full a dozen yards from the combatants, but with his eyes intently fixed upon them.

Tom was not the man to advance blindly to the assault, for none knew better than he did the character of the foe he was about to assail. When, therefore, he was just within striking distance, he paused, and, with his grey eyes centered upon the black, snake-like orbs of the chief, began circling around him in a stealthy cat-like movement, on the lookout for some opening of which he might take advantage.

"Lone Wolf is a coward and a dog," he growled between his set teeth. "He fights with pappooses, but he is afraid of men."

This was said with the sole purpose of exasperating the warrior, who would thus have been placed at a slight disadvantage; but he was already like a concentrated volcano—calm outwardly, but surcharged with fire and death within. The taunt did not move his nerves an iota, and he replied in words which were scarcely less irritating.

"It is the boasting dog which never hurts. If Lone Wolf is a dog, why are you so afraid to come within his reach?"

The words were yet in his mouth when the scout dashed forward like a catapult and struck a tremendous blow, driven with such directness and swiftness that it could not have been parried. At the very instant Hardynge made the charge, Lone Wolf did the same, and the two similar blows, aimed at the same moment, encountered half way with such terrible violence that both knives were hurled twenty feet beyond over the cliff at their side, and irrevocably beyond their reach.



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