Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/230

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ardly animals, and will rarely stand at bay, even when wounded; but there are exceptional cases, and sometimes they will become the attacking parties. While Nah-tanh was endeavoring to penetrate the secrets of the thicket, he was summoned by Nah-kah-yen to look out for himself, and gazing in the direction pointed out, we saw a large panther crouching on another limb, not more than fifteen feet from Nah-tanh, and evidently bent on trying titles with my friend. In an instant Nah-kah-yen raised his rifle and took a rapid shot at the beast, but the ball only inflicted a slight flesh wound and made him hasten his motions, for in another moment he made his spring toward Nah-tanh. That wary Apache was not to be so easily caught, for the instant that the panther left the limb on which he had been crouching Nah-tanh dropped from his into the water some thirty feet, and disappeared under the surface, nor did he rise again until he had reached the friendly shelter of the bank, out of his enemy's sight. The panther landed on the spot so suddenly vacated, and gazed anxiously down into the depths below, cracking his tail against his sides and clawing great pieces of the bark from the limb. By this time Nah-kah-yen had reloaded, and I had come up with my breech-loading carbine and two heavy Colt's revolvers. We both took good aim and brought the beast from his high perch. We soon hauled his carcass to land and stripped him of his hide. It was an enormous specimen, measuring nearly seven feet from the tip of his tail to the end of his nose. I brought his skin to California with me as a souvenir of the occurrence, and subsequently made it a present to Philip Martinetti. When Nah-tanh surveyed the lifeless body of his late antagonist, he smiled grimly and said: "Tagoon-ya-dah; shis Inday to-dah ishan;" which means—"Fool; an Apache is no food for you."