R deer. But there appeared to be none at hand. He came across many lion
tracks, and saw, with apprehension, where one had taken Wildfire's
trail. Wildfire had grazed up the canyon, keeping on and on, and he was
likely to go miles in a night. Slone reflected that as small as were his
own chances of getting Wildfire, they were still better than those of a
mountain lion. Wildfire was the most cunning of all animals--a wild
stallion; his speed and endurance were incomparable; his scent as keen
as those animals that relied wholly upon scent to warn them of danger;
and as for sight, it was Slone's belief that no hoofed creature, except
the mountain sheep used to high altitudes, could see as far as a wild
horse. It bothered Slone a little that he was getting into a lion
country. Nagger showed nervousness, something unusual for him. Slone
tied both horses with long halters and stationed them on patches of
thick grass. Then he put a cedar stump on the fire and went to sleep.
Upon awakening and going to the spring he was somewhat chagrined to see
that deer had come down to drink early. Evidently they were numerous. A
lion country was always a deer country, for the lions followed the deer.
Slone was packed and saddled and on his way before the sun reddened the
canyon wall. He walked the horses. From time to time he saw signs of
Wildfire's consistent progress. The canyon narrowed and the walls grew
lower and the grass increased. There was a decided ascent all the time.
Slone could find no evidence that the canyon had ever been traveled by
hunters or Indians. The day was pleasant and warm and still. Every