The Animal Story Book - online children's book

Edited By Andrew Lang And With Numerous Illustrations By H. J. Ford

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STORIES ABOUT WOLVES
173
had just sufficient strength to make one last effort in self-defence. Drawing his hunting-knife, he plunged it to the hilt in the shaggy mass above him. From a distance he seemed to hear shouts of ' Courage, Monsieur ! Courage, Castor! We are coming! ' then conscious only of an overwhelming weight above him, and of iron claws tear­ing at his chest, he fainted away. When he came to himself he was lying on the ground, surrounded by his men. Starting up, he exclaimed, 'The beast! where is the beast?'
' Dead, Monsieur! stone dead!' answered the head-keeper, showing him the horrid creature, all torn and bloody, stretched out on the snow beside the dead blood­hound. Castor, a little way off, lay panting and bruised, licking his wound. The Count's knife was firmly em­bedded in the beast's ribs; it had gone straight to the heart and death had been instantaneous. A procession was formed to carry the carcase of the wolf in triumph to the castle of the Countess. The news had flown in advance, and she was waiting on the steps to welcome the con­quering hero. It was not long before the Countess and the gallant champion were married; and, as the wolf left no family, the country was at peace. Are you not rather sorry for the poor wolf?
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