The muffled screaming of the small demon died away as Preble's
strong left hand crushed out his life, but as long as there was a
spark of it remaining, those desperate jaws were grinding deeper
into his thumb. It seemed a remarkably long affair to us, and from
time to time, as Preble let off some fierce ejaculation, one of us
would ask, "Hello! Are you two still at it," or, "How are you and
your friend these times, Preble?"
In a few minutes it was over, but that creature in his fury seemed
to have inspired himself with lock-jaw, for his teeth were so driven
in and double-locked, that I had to pry the jaws apart before the
hand was free.
The Weasel may now be seen in the American Museum, and Preble in the
Agricultural Department at Washington, the latter none the worse.
So wore away the month, the last night came, a night of fireside
joy at home (for was it not Hallowe'en?), and our celebration took
the form of washing, shaving, mending clothes, in preparation for
our landing in the morning.
All that night of Hallowe'en, a Partridge drummed near my untented
couch on the balsam boughs. What a glorious sound of woods and life
triumphant it seemed; and why did he drum at night? Simply because
he had more joy than the short fall day gave him time to express.
He seemed to be beating our march of victory, for were we not in
triumph coming home?