gnashed its teeth, rose again, and bounded forward, followed at a couple of yards’ distance by all the dogs: they did not try to get closer.

“He’ll get away! No, it’s impossible!” thought Nikolay, still shouting in a husky voice.

“Karay! Loo! loo!…” he kept shouting, looking for the old hound, who was his one hope now.

Karay, straining his old muscles to the utmost, and watching the wolf intently, was bounding clumsily away from the beast, to cut across his path in front of him. But it was plain from the swiftness of the wolf’s course and the slowness of the hounds that Karay was out in his reckoning. Nikolay saw the copse not far now ahead of him. If once the wolf reached it, he would escape to a certainty. But in front dogs and men came into sight, dashing almost straight towards the wolf. There was still hope. A long, young hound, not one of the Rostovs’—Nikolay did not recognise him—flew from in front straight at the wolf, and almost knocked him over. The wolf got up again with a surprising rapidity and flew at the young hound; his teeth clacked, and the hound, covered with blood from a gash in his side, thrust its head in the earth, squealing shrilly.

“Karay! old man!” Nikolay wailed.

The old dog, with the tufts of matted hair, quivering on his haunches, had succeeded, thanks to the delay, in cutting across the wolf’s line of advance, and was now five paces in front of him. The wolf stole a glance at Karay, as though aware of his danger, and tucking his tail further between his legs, he quickened his pace. But then—Nikolay could only see that something was happening with Karay—the hound had dashed instantly at the wolf and had rolled in a struggling heap with him into the watercourse before them.

The moment when Nikolay saw the dogs struggling with the wolf in the watercourse, saw the wolf’s grey coat under them, his outstretched hind-leg, his head gasping in terror, and his ears turned back (Karay had him by the throat)—the moment when Nikolay saw all this was the happiest moment of his life. He had already grasped the pommel of his saddle to dismount and stab the wolf, when suddenly the beast’s head was thrust up above the mass of dogs, then his fore-legs were on the bank of the watercourse. The wolf clacked his teeth (Karay had not hold of his throat now), leaped with his hind-legs out of the hollow, and with his tail between his legs, pushed forward, getting away from the dogs again. Karay, his hair starting up, had difficulty in getting out of the water-course; he seemed to be bruised or wounded. “My God, why is this!” Nikolay shouted in despair. The uncle’s huntsman galloped across the line of the wolf’s advance from the other side, and again his hounds stopped the wolf, again he was hemmed in.

Nikolay, his groom, the uncle, and his huntsman pranced about the beast with shouts and cries of “loo,” every minute on the point of dismounting when the wolf crouched back, and dashing forward again every time the wolf shook himself free and moved towards the copse, where his safety lay.

At the beginning of this onset Danilo, hearing the hunters’ cries, had darted out of the copse. He saw that Karay had hold of the wolf and checked his horse, supposing the deed was done. But seeing that the hunters did not dismount from their horses, and that the wolf was shaking himself free, and again making his escape, Danilo galloped his own horse, not towards the wolf, but in a straight line towards the copse, to cut him off, as Karay had done. Thanks to this manœuvre, he bore straight down on the wolf when the uncle’s dogs had a second time fallen behind him.

Danilo galloped up in silence, holding a drawn dagger in his left hand, and thrashing the heaving sides of his chestnut horse with his riding whip, as though it were a flail.

Nikolay neither saw nor heard Danilo till his panting chestnut darted close by him, and he heard the sound of a falling body and saw Danilo lying in the midst of the dogs on the wolf’s back, trying to get him by the ears. It was obvious to the dogs, to the hunters, and to the wolf that all was over now. The beast, its ears drawn back in terror, tried to get up, but the dogs clung to him. Danilo, as he got up,

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