His range, over which he had ruled for years, was a dark, thick-wooded slope overlooking the brown pools and loud chutes of the Guimic stream. Here he had prospered hunting with continual success, and enjoying life as only the few overlords among the wild kindreds can hope to enjoy it. He had nothing to fear, as long as he avoided quarrel with a bear or a bull moose.
Nevertheless, for all his swelling indignation, he had as yet no thought of forsaking his range. He kept expecting that the men would go away. When spring came, and the Guimic roared white between its tortuous shores, some of the loud-mouthed men did go away. Nevertheless, the big cat's rage waxed hotter than ever.
Savage from the struggle, and elated from his vengeance, the wildcat with no further hesitation turned his back upon his old haunts, crossed the Guimic by great leaps from rock to rock, and set southward toward the wooded slopes and valleys overlooked by the ragged crest of Ringwaak.
His jaws dripping, he lifted his round, fierce face, and gazed out and away across the moonlit slopes below him toward his ancient range beyond the Guimic. While he gazed, triumphing, something made him turn his head quickly and eye the spruce thicket behind him.
The sport was one which gave the big wildcat never-failing delight; and, moreover, there was no other food in all the wilderness quite so exquisite to his palate as a plump trout from the ice-cool waters of the Guimic.
When, therefore, he found his pools covered, all day long, with the whitey-yellow grains of sawdust, which prevented the trout feeding at the surface or drove them in disgust from their wonted haunts, he realized that his range was ruined. The men and the mills were the conquerors, and he must let himself be driven from his well-beloved Guimic slopes. But first he would have revenge.