A Cold Plunge
Hector had all but reached the pine. In fact, one more stride would have brought him to its trunk, when his right foot slipped upon one of the outspreading roots, hidden under a carpet of smooth brown needles, and he pitched forward, narrowly escaping striking his head against the massive trunk.
He was little hurt by the fall, but he was very much dazed, and the bear might have had him in its deadly hug ere he could have recovered himself, had not a new actor appeared upon the scene. The boats had come to a halt to rest the men just about the time that Hector ran off after the dogs, and Andrew Macrae, noting the boy's disappearance, snatched up a gun and climbed the river-bank to see what had become of him.
'He's na here,' he exclaimed in surprise, as he stood looking all about him. 'Where can the feckless bairn ha' gone to?'