Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
In The Carquinez Woods Bret Harte

Chapter I

Page 10 of 11

Table Of Contents: In The Carquinez Woods

Previous Page

Next Page

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

Her scream was answered, after a pause, by a sudden volley of firebrands and sparks into the midst of the panting, crowding pack; a few smothered howls and snaps, and a sudden dispersion of the concourse. In another moment the young man, with a blazing brand in either hand, leaped upon the body of the bear.

Teresa raised her head, uttered a hysterical cry, slid down the tree, flew wildly to his side, caught convulsively at his sleeve, and fell on her knees beside him.

"Save me! save me!" she gasped, in a voice broken by terror. "Save me from those hideous creatures. No, no!" she implored, as he endeavored to lift her to her feet. "No--let me stay here close beside you. So," clutching the fringe of his leather hunting-shirt, and dragging herself on her knees nearer him-- "so--don't leave me, for God's sake!"

"They are gone," he replied, gazing down curiously at her, as she wound the fringe around her hand to strengthen her hold; "they're only a lot of cowardly coyotes and wolves, that dare not attack anything that lives and can move."

The young woman responded with a nervous shudder. "Yes, that's it," she whispered, in a broken voice; "it's only the dead they want. Promise me--swear to me, if I'm caught, or hung, or shot, you won't let me be left here to be torn and--ah! my God! what's that?"

She had thrown her arms around his knees, completely pinioning him to her frantic breast. Something like a smile of disdain passed across his face as he answered, "It's nothing. They will not return. Get up!"

Tired of reading? Add this page to your Bookmarks or Favorites and finish it later.

Even in her terror she saw the change in his face. "I know, I know!" she cried. "I'm frightened--but I cannot bear it any longer. Hear me! Listen! Listen--but don't move! I didn't mean to kill Curson--no! I swear to God, no! I didn't mean to kill the sheriff--and I didn't. I was only bragging--do you hear? I lied! I lied--don't move, I swear to God I lied. I've made myself out worse than I was. I have. Only don't leave me now--and if I die--and it's not far off, may be--get me away from here--and from THEM. Swear it!"

"All right," said the young man, with a scarcely concealed movement of irritation. "But get up now, and go back to the cabin."

"No; not THERE alone." Nevertheless, he quietly but firmly released himself.

"I will stay here," he replied. "I would have been nearer to you, but I thought it better for your safety that my camp-fire should be further off. But I can build it here, and that will keep the coyotes off."

"Let me stay with you--beside you," she said imploringly.

She looked so broken, crushed, and spiritless, so unlike the woman of the morning that, albeit with an ill grace, he tacitly consented, and turned away to bring his blankets. But in the next moment she was at his side, following him like a dog, silent and wistful, and even offering to carry his burden. When he had built the fire, for which she had collected the pine-cones and broken branches near them, he sat down, folded his arms, and leaned back against the tree in reserved and deliberate silence.

Page 10 of 11 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
In The Carquinez Woods
Bret Harte

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004