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man now in the "deacon's chair", was one of these.
          Mr. Allen had a serious face, square and strong, with firm chin and lips well set. The blue gray eyes, a little weary at the corners, were honest and fearless. He wore a blue shirt, open at the throat, corduroy trousers and high, laced boots. With a smile and a sweep of his hands, he began :

          "Boys, I am not going to speak on the beauties of nature, tonight, but will relate an experience that may be of some value to my fellowmen. Tradition is said to be the mother of history. During my career as a cruiser, I have seen many strange things that are not to be found in books. I have learned of the prehistoric animals that inhabited this world back at the beginning, but the monstrosity I am about to mention, must be the missing nondescript. I will call it the hide-behind, because of its habit of hiding behind trees.

          This animal stands five feet and ten inches high and walks on its hind feet. It is of slender build and can easily hide behind a tree of medium size. Its body is completely                                                                             .

covered with long hair so thick, that it is impossible to tell where the face is, if it has one, and it is a hopeless task to determine whether the animal is going or coming. It has a short forearm of great strength, with sharp, pointed talons able to pierce through heavy garments.
          Strange to relate, the meals of the hide-behind are composed of the bowels of human beings and the intestines of hell divers. After this vicious animal has partaken of a meal to his liking, he utters a demoniacal laugh. It disembowels its victim, bringing out the entrails, raising them to its head for the purpose of smelling them before eating. Should there be any scent of liquor in the entrails, the animal will throw them back into the face of the victim and with a horrible laugh, vanish into the forest.
          Crossing Lost River today, I found a disembowelled hell diver and the tracks of the peculiarly clawed feet of an animal, which is indisputable proof that a hide-behind had dined. Knowing that the animal had partaken of his meal, I lessened my watchfulness, because I have actual proof that he can go without eating for a period of seven or eight years." Then Kelly, the silent one, spoke up, "If                                                                             .

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The Hodag and Other Tales of the Logging Camps, Written by Lake Shore Kearney
(Madison, WI: Democrat Printing Press, 1928) Original Text and Illustrations Public Domain License.
Copyright © 2006-2014 Thrill Land.