326 A BOAR HUNT BY MOONLIGHT
' Wasil!' he cried to the driver of the sledge, ' drive quickly forward! and let loose the dogs.' And immediately eight large dogs sprang to earth.
Meanwhile Vomhammel had approached to within sixty feet of the boar, then he stopped, took aim, and fired three times in rapid succession, without any shot, however, taking effect. Slowly the monster raised his great broad head at the noise, then at sight of the disturber of his peace he gave vent to a series of grunts, and struck his mighty tusks on the ground. Vomhammel's courage instantly vanished, and, letting fall his revolver, he quickly ran back. ' Here! here!' called Ivan, and with such strides as never were seen, Vomhammel made for the rapidly approaching sledge. But the boar was as quick as he, and apparently meant to avenge himself for the insult done him. Lowering his head, he rushed after the flying enemy, ploughing up the snow with his tusks. Soon he was close upon him, and Vomhammel seemed lost, as there was still a considerable distance to cover before he could reach the sledge. Just then a shot rang out, and the boar fell forward. Wultkiewicz had fired a shot at him from a distance of about thirty feet. Immediately the boar was on its feet again, though limping on a fore leg; the short delay, however, had been enough to save poor Vomhammel. As the boar, blinded with rage, hurled itself against the sledge its victim's long body was already safe, only his legs hanging down on the wrong side. A blow from the boar's tusks hitting one of those long lank limbs, ripped up the boot from top to bottom. Ivan, with his powerful left hand, firmly grasped Vom-hammel's body, and thus rescued him from further attack, while with the right he dealt the boar a spear thrust. The dogs also flung themselves on the monster, which was attacking the sledge so furiously that it certainly would have been overturned but for good driving. When at last the remainder of the party appeared on the field of battle, the boar, after a hot struggle, had been com-