Front Matter At Boonesborough Beginning of the Story Boone on the Yadkin Boone Moves his Family Ready for the Journey What we Wore Driving Cattle and Sheep Camping at Nightfall The Long Halt Jimmy Boone Goes to Clinch Murder of Jimmy Boone A Time of Mourning The Faint-hearted Return A New Home Making Moccasins Tanning Leather Governor Dunmore Our Home on the Clinch Household Duties Attacked by a Wildcat Fighting the Wildcat Boone and Father Return The Wilderness Road Building the Forts Boonesborough Gathering Salt Boonesborough Precautions Our Home in the Fort Ready for Cooking Furnishing the House The Hominy Block The Supply of Water Sports Inside the Fort Wrestling and Running Religion of the Indians Indian Babies Colonel Callaway Arives News from Eastern Colonies Venturing Outside the Fort Dividing the Land Who Owned Kentucky? Ready to Build a Home Billy's Hard Lot Preparing Flax Spinning and Soap Making Broom Making More Indian Murders Indian "Signs" Woodcraft and Hunting Pelts Used as Money Petition of the Settlers Making Sugar Building Fences Capture of the Girls My Willful Thoughts Finding the Trail The Pursuit The Story Told by Jemima Elizabeth's Heroism Rescuing the Girls Alarm Among the Settlers Indians on the Warpath The First Wedding The Wedding Festivities The Brides Home The Housewarming Attacks by the Indians Besieged by the Savages In the Midst of the Fight The Assault by the Indians Failure of the Assault Watchfulness of the Indians The Sortie My Father Wounded Our Wounded

Hannah of Kentucky - James Otis

Fighting with the Wildcat

He could not reach his rifle, which had been left leaning against the log, nor would it have been possible to use such a weapon even if it had been in his hands. He could only clutch her by the throat; unable to get a firm hold, he threw himself against a tree, with the cat between him and the trunk, hoping to crush her, and crying at the same time for us to come to his aid.

When he began to shout, the cat screamed. This was the noise that had attracted my attention.

[Illustration] from Hannah of Kentucky by James Otis

As Billy and I came up we could not understand what the matter was. It seemed to me an age before we fully made out what was going on, and even then it was not a simple matter to end the battle. Israel did not dare move back far enough for Billy to strike a blow at the cat, and he could not release his hold of her throat to unsheath his knife, therefore he was forced to remain in the same position until Billy cried: —

"Can't you leap back when I strike?"

"No; but never mind what you do to me. Thrust at her! I'd rather be killed by a knife than torn to death by this animal!"

Again and again did Billy thrust, his face showing deathly white because of the fear that he might kill Israel, and each time he drew back I could see that the knife was crimsoned with blood, yet the cat continued to scream, bite, and tear.

It seemed to me that Billy must have struck at least twenty blows before the animal opened her jaws and fell backward as Israel staggered against a tree, the blood running in streams from his side and leg.

I really believed the poor boy would die before we could get him home, for we could not carry him in our arms without causing him pain, so we made a drag of branches, on which he was hauled as on a sled.

Mrs. Boone and mother washed and bound up his wounds quite as well as father could have done; but Israel was not able to move about for many a long day.