From far up the black finger of timber where it bellied over the horizon of the plain there floated down to them a chorus of sound. It was a human sound the yapping, wolfish cry of an Eskimo horde closing in on man or beast. They had heard that same cry close on the heels of the fight in the clearing. Now it was made by many voices instead of two or three.
As the hunters sneaked, the old bear stopped and sniffed suspiciously; the wind changed, she got an unmistakable whiff; then gave a loud warning "Koff! Koff! Koff! Koff!" and ran as fast as she could. The hunters knowing they were discovered rushed out, yelling as loudly as possible, in hopes of making the bears tree. The old bear ran like a horse with Skookum yapping bravely in her rear.
May the Saints guard you; at the least, you'll keep high company at your death. Farewell; whate'er befalls, blame me not who warned you," and she departed at a run, the empty vessels rattling on her back and the dog yapping behind her. When she had gone the silence grew deep. Here we waited for a long while; it may have been two hours, or three, or four.
Along the nearer peaks and hollows of the Moab Mountains, the knots of prowling jackals kept up a running chorus of yapping a discordant chant punctuated now and then by the far-away howl of a hunting wolf; or, by the choking "laugh" of a hyena in the valley below, who thus gave forth the news of some especially delicious bit of carrion discovered among the rocks.
There it is that in these coverts spaniels, half-English, half country-bred dogs, do frequently the work of beaters, and it is a strange fact that while piggy starts at once from his lair at the approach of the boarhounds, he will not budge an inch for the little yapping spaniel, whom he treats with contempt.
But they were less representative than were short, sharp bursts of laughter, harsh and staccato, like a dog's bark, and, it may be, half-hysterical. And, piercing these snaps of laughter, one heard the curious, contradictory yapping of such sentences as: "I sye; 'ow about them 'ot sossiges?" "'Taint true, Bill, is it?" "Disgraceful business; perfectly disgraceful!" "Wot price the Kaiser? Not arf!"
The noble beasts, both of which were apparently young animals, and but barely full-grown, evidently intended to make for fresh cover in the ravine, but, finding Grosvenor blocking the way, came to a sudden halt, upon which the dogs instantly gathered round them, yapping and snarling furiously, while individual members made sudden feints of dashing in, only to retreat precipitately with their tails between their legs as the infuriated beasts turned this way and that to meet the rush.
"Follow the chief!" he shouted in passing; and at the word the Catawba stopped short, sent his hatchet whistling into the yapping pack behind me, and swerved to run aside and point the way for me. Left to myself, I hope I should have had the grace to stand with Jennifer.
Thanks awfully and all that sort of rot. Yes, it's rather funny, considering what I came to tell you. Jolly old Caffyn has given me a small part in that musical comedy of his, 'Ask Dad. Only a bit, you know, but quite tolerably ripe. I'm feeling frightfully braced, don't you know!" He drank his drink, and went on. He didn't seem to notice that I wasn't jumping about the room, yapping with joy.
There was an offensive tone in it, perhaps, and yet in the main it struck me as mere riotous outcry, the noisy reception of one who amused and interested them, rather than of one they disliked or despised. Challenger smiled with weary and tolerant contempt, as a kindly man would meet the yapping of a litter of puppies.