ing. As they drew near, the ferocious animal, with its mouth wide open, its teeth broken in its attempts to gnaw the iron trap, and its head covered with blood, sprang forward to reach them, but the trap held it fast.
"Keep behind me, Laurence," said Michael. "If the creature gets loose, it will need a steady aim to bring it to the ground." Not for a moment did the wolf turn round to fly, but again and again it sprang forward as far as the chain would allow it.
Although old Michael knew nothing of the humanity which would avoid allowing any of God's creatures to suffer unnecessary pain, he was preparing to put an end to its agonies, when the creature, by a frantic effort, freeing itself, sprang towards him. Laurence uttered a cry of terror; for he expected the next moment to see its savage jaws fixed in his father's throat; but the old man, standing calm and unmoved, fired, and the animal fell dead at his feet.
"Did ye think, Laurence, that I could not manage a single wolf," he said, half