It was a case of its being only the first step that costs. Here, let's lead him gently across, and I'll see what I can do. ""No, father; he must have come in the night," cried Chris. Why, he has three arrows in him," continued the doctor, as he examined the poor beast while it limped along patiently by their side."But he'll get better, father?
Chris had begun to try, and forcing himself backward along the ledge inch by inch, he soon had the satisfaction of feeling that he was more hidden from the danger of being shot at than he expected, while the cliff-wall at whose foot he lay completely screened him from above. "We only just found that he was here.""We didn't look at them before we went off this morning," said Wilton."No, and I remember I reproached myself once for not doing so. "Seeing this poor fellow has made me forget my bruises.""But you are the better for your long sleep? " cried Chris excitedly."I hope so, my boy; but I am not a veterinary surgeon.
But in his state of painful agitation he could make no reply, only lie motionless and ready to ask himself whether he had not conjured up the call himself. It was his father's voice, sounding as if sent forth with a great effort between hands held on either side of the speaker's lips."Chris! " And perfectly clearly now a repetition of the words in a husky whisper from somewhere close at hand. But there was another and more ominous sound, or rather burst of sounds, at this, for a chorus of savage yells arose from the top of the cliff above him, and he knew that the Indians must have exposed themselves once more, for a couple of shots rang out from far below, raising strange echoes from the end of the valley, and once more there was the terrible silence in which Chris crouched hopelessly, for more than ever now he felt the crux in which he was placed—to attempt to move was to fall or expose himself to the arrows waiting for him on the top of the cliff. " came now."Yes.""Then—listen," came with very slow emphasis.
But the silence continued, and there was no sign of a renewed attack.
There is just as much room, and it only wants pluck. It seemed very simple, but at the first trial his rifle caught tightly, and he was attacked by a sensation as of something thrusting at him hard, so that he closed his eyes and remained for some seconds with his head projecting over the edge of the shelf before he shuffled himself back into his former position, and then lay panting till the breathlessness that had attacked him passed away, leaving a sensation of anger against himself for his want of firmness."Oh, it's cowardly," he muttered fiercely. " came faintly from below, and at the same moment there was a sharp crack, and the ledge upon which he was sitting gave way, dropping down with its burden, many feet on either side of him parting clean from the wall of rock, just as if it had been riven off by some mighty wedge. He was conscious of dropping rapidly down without the slightest change in his position, and then there was a dull heavy shock, when the apparently solid piece of ledge, after being exposed to the atmosphere for ages, crumbled into dust and went on downward with a curious whispering rush along a steep slope instead of over a perpendicular wall. Be on your guard, Chris, for bites and kicks.""He won't bite or kick me, father," cried the boy resentfully."Not now, my boy, but I'm thinking about when I'm taking out those arrows.