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Now, this was what really happened. Farmer Green had come up the brook to catch trout. On the end of his fish-line he had tied a make-believe fly, with a hook hidden under its red and yellow wings. He had stolen along the brook very quietly, so that he wouldn't frighten the fish. And he had made so little noise that Fatty Coon never heard him at all.

But what a modicum of wit, of originality the little beast had, that, because he was born a washer, wash he must, though he washed in mud, nay, though he washed upon the upturned bottom of his empty tub! for this is what Mux did sometimes. I never blamed Aunt Milly for insisting upon this rather ill-sounding name of "Mux" for the little coon.

"No; but I caught a little one, and here he is," answered the man, giving Tommy a roll in the leaves, much pleased because he did not whine or make a fuss. "Got lost, didn't we? Oh, I say, where's Billy? I left him up a tree like a coon, and he wouldn't come down," laughed Tommy, kicking off his brown bed-clothes, and quite ready to get up now.

"All I want is a fresh horse, sir," said I. "I am sorry we haven't a decent horse," he replied, "but we have a reliable and honest Government mule, if that will do you." "Trot out the mule," I told him. "It is good enough for me. I am ready at any time." The mule was forthcoming. At dark I pulled out for Fort Larned, and proceeded without interruption to Coon Creek, thirty miles from Fort Dodge.

Next morning Lieutenant Wingate went to the Thompson cabin to get milk, hoping to see Jed Thompson and have a talk with him, but Julie said "Paw" was not at home and might not be for "a right smart time." While at the cabin, Lieutenant Wingate inquired how to reach the schoolhouse in Coon Hollow where the dance was to be held that night.

Other animals should be cut open, such as the beaver, wolf, coyote, 'coon, badger, bear and wild cat. They cut off the tails only of such chaps as have a rat-like appearance 'possum and muskrat. In all other cases the tail is a part of the fur, and a valuable one, too, as I have found out to my cost. The bone is of course taken out, which can be done with only a small split."

"Well, I guess you can keep your coon," the farmer chuckled, as the Hermit stepped out to greet him. "The thief came again last night and we treed him much nearer home than this." He patted a bulky bag at his back. "The trails of the two must have crossed the other time. Anyway, we'll give your Ringtail the benefit of the doubt. Sorry to have troubled you."

One of the other men struck up one of those unmeaning songs, common among the slaves. "Mas'r see'd me cotch a coon, High boys, high! He laughed to split, d'ye see the moon, Ho! ho! ho! boys, ho! Ho! yo! hi e! oh!" The singer appeared to make up the song to his own pleasure, generally hitting on rhyme, without much attempt at reason; and the party took up the chorus, at intervals,

All the hibernating animals that keep up respiration, must have sustenance of some sort either a store of food at hand or a store of fat in their own bodies. The woodchuck, the bear, the coon, the skunk, the 'possum, lay up a store of fuel in their own bodies, and they come out in the spring lean and hungry.

People got to know that Manderson would never do the obvious thing, but they got no further; the thing he did do was almost always a surprise, and much of his success flowed from that. The Street got rattled, as they used to put it, when known that the old man was out with his gun, and often his opponents seemed to surrender as easily as Colonel Crockett's coon in the story.

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