THE AXE-HANDLE HOUND
An autumn chill had crept into the air, and the brushwood bonfire, sending its little fingers of light into the unfriendly darkness, was the gathering place for the hunting party.
“Guess I'll cut some wood and pile it up for the night,” suggested the lank guide, unfolding himself from his comfortable position in the fire-glow. He disappeared in the cavern of darkness.
In a few minutes he was back, “Doggone if I can find my axe,” he remarked. “Near's I can remember I had it last night, down by that big oak—” He made another dash into the night, only to return empty-handed. “My own fault,” he muttered. “I reckon the axe-handle hound's got it all right.”
“Axe-handle hound! Go on!” grinned one of the party.
“Mean to say you never heard of an axe-handle hound!" The guide cocked a solemn eye at him. “One of the worst nuisances in these here woods! It's about one and a half times as big as an axe-handle and looks like its name, having a long body covered with rope-colored hair, and a hatchet face with saw teeth and cross eyes. The darn thing prowls around at night, looking for axe-handles, which is the only kind of food it's been known to touch. Nicest axe I ever had,” bemoaned the guide, as he made another sally off into the night in search of the axe—or the hound.