Edward Soutter, the capitalist who holds the championship in catch-as-catch-can wrestling with Royal Chinooks has returned from a hunting trip covered with new laurels as a camp defender against a monstrous mountain lion quite the largest on record.
In camping with Charles Gay and other sportsmen, Mr. Soutter was in the mountains hunting deer. A big campfire was kept burning to scare away cougars, bobcats and other varmints said to be plentiful in the vicinity. Shortly after midnight Mr. Soutter awoke with the undeniable feeling that some calamity was impending and that his every action was being watched by unseen enemies. He piled more brush upon the fire and grabbed his rifle.
Looking through the darkness or the outer circle of the fire, he saw two luminous eyes glaring at him from the inky blackness of the forest. From the size and distance apart, the eyes might have been those of an ichtoyosaur, but never having heard of that animal, Mr. Soutter was certain that an immense mountain lion was preparing to spring upon him for its midnight feast. The eyes did not seem to move, but glistened steadily with a demonaic, sullen and metallic glare. A twig snapped. The brush cracked. The swishing of the huge cat's tail was plainly heard and the sensitive ears of the now thoroughly excited deer-slayer caught the rhythm of the beast's purr as it watched its victim crouching in the firelight. The huge eyes seemed to creep nearer and near. Another dead branch cracked. The animal was evidently crouching for its spring.
Unable to longer stand the terrific tension, Mr. Soutter brought his trusty Winchester to his shoulder, took careful aim between the glaring eyeballs and fired. There was a deafening roar followed by the metallic impact of lead upon a heavy body — and Mr. Soutter knew that he had hit his mark. Although the eyes still glared, the glare was fitful and uncertain. The other hunters, awakened by the shot, came running, guns in hand to assist the camp's defender. In the bush that followed, the dripping of the animal's blod upon the dead leaves, as its life slowly ebbed away, could be plainly heard.
The party had been driven to the camp by Mr. Soutter in his Hupmobile. Fearing explosion from the flames he had driven the care some distance in the brush. The luminous eyes of the midnight prowler proved to be the glare thrown from the camp fire on the headlight reflectors. Mr. Soutter proved himelf a remarkable midnight marksman by puncturing the radiator plumb in the center. The cat, after all, was a four-cylinder one.