Page:Boys of the Fort.djvu/109

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doesn't go off and hit somebody else instead of the deer."

Rifles in hand, they crept through the underbrush and down toward the glade in which the deer were feeding.

The animals did not become suspicious until they were less than a hundred yards away. Then, of a sudden, the leader threw up his head and began to sniff the air.

"Now fire," said Benson in a low tone.

At once the four rifles came up, and each hunter took steady aim. Darry and Joe fired at the same instant, and the young captain and Benson discharged their pieces immediately after.

The aim of the two older hunters was true, and two deer fell dead after going less than six steps. But the other game was only wounded, Joe's deer in the side and Darry's in the flank, and they bounded away up the hillside.

"Missed!" groaned Joe, and slipped another cartridge into his firearm. Darry did the same, and both fired a second time. Then, seeing how badly the deer were wounded, they ran after the animals.

The course of the deer was straight for the timber down the mountain-side, and through the brush crashed quarry and boys until another hundred yards were covered. Then, coming to a