THE LOVEES AND THE BAGS
Bitteely cold grew the night. The body froze under me. The cry of the wolves came nearer; I heard their feet soft-padding on the rocky ground; their quick panting filled the air. Through the darkness I saw the many glowing eyes ; their half-circle contracted around me. My time was come ! I sprang to my feet. —Alas, I had not even a stick !
They came in a rush, their eyes flashing with fury of greed, their black throats agape to devour me. I stood hopelessly waiting therm One moment they halted over the horse—then came at me.
With a sound of swiftness all but silence, a cloud of green eyes came down on their flank. The heads that bore them flew at the wolves with a cry feebler yet fiercer than their howling snarl, and by the cry I knew them: they were cats, led by a huge gray one. I could see nothing of him but his eyes, yet I knew him— and so knew his colour and bigness. A terrific battle followed, whose tale alone came to me through the night. I would have fled, for surely it was but a fight which should have me !—only where was the use ? my first step would be a fall! and my foes of either kind could both see and scent me in the dark !
All at once I missed the howling, and the caterwaul-