Thursday, April 10, 2008

Dark Timber part 3

Two weeks after the incident along the upper Wind River, Hawk was sitting in the lodge of his uncle, Dancing Bear. The Arapaho people were worried about the killer bear and the deaths the old warrior bear had caused to the whites as well as the native people. Since the white family’s deaths, two Indians had come up missing while out hunting in the Wind River Range. One was found along a trail near an elk he had been butchering, the elk was left untouched, the other man was still missing and presumed dead since, like the Lucas family, his horses were later found unharmed. After the customary smoking of the pipe, Hawk was given the honor of hunting down the killer, although the bear was believed to be an evil spirit by the people. Hawk himself believed that the bear was just that, a bear, which had learned to hunt people. He began to prepare for the hunt and the battle that he was sure would follow when he encountered the giant man eating bruin.

For the last week, Hawk has been hunting these high mountain ridges in search of the killer bear. Each day he has traversed mountains and deep canyons often on foot. Scar faithfully at his side, he is hoping to encounter the killer bear or at least to find some fresh sign of the bears passing. Finally, after fourteen days of patient scouting he has found fresh sign of the giant, along the crest of a high ridge just inside the timberline are the remains of another grizzly bear. The huge tracks around the carcass leave little doubt as to what killed the big boar laying in the pine duff at his feet. The bear’s front leg is broken at the knee and the entire throat area is missing from the carcass. The wounds were obviously inflicted during a heated battle between the two old warriors. For fifty yards along the ridge, the earth is torn from the claws of the two bears as they battled. Scar is once again hackled to his full height as he circles the dead bear growling a warning to the carcass should it decide to come back to life. Considering the stench of the downed bear, the pinto is behaving rather well and stands in a relaxed state on the crest of the ridge. After saying a prayer over the downed warrior and removing the claws to give as a gift to his uncle, Hawk remounts and begins searching the area for a safe place to make camp.

1 comment:

fishing guy said...

Hawk: Interesting installment with this bear seeming to have its way on the mountain. I sure hope Hawk is careful with his approach to the great Grizzly.