with Horse and Hound

The Daughter of Bugle Ann: An Excerpt

daughter of bugle annThis foxhound classic by a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, reprinted in 2003 by The Derrydale Press, is cloth bound, 153 pages, $18.95, in the Foxhunting Life Shop.Our dogs rustled out a fox, south and east beyond all hearing, running like they were tied to him. It was eleven o’clock at night, middling damp and black-dark, for the young moon had already gone to hide.

We squatted on the west slope of the Divide above Heaven Creek—the usual four of us, armed with boiled eggs and onion sandwiches, and we carried along a water jug, and my father had a half-a-pint of whiskey. Our trucks were under the oaks, just far enough back for firelight to pretend that radiator caps were precious gems. The spooky places among big trees were full of betty-millers and numerous other moths, and beetles were a-buzzing.

But it seemed as if the timberland considered itself incomplete, without voices of hounds splitting themselves upon the shagbarks; and so all life was waiting and summoning—acorn and peeking coon and noxious flytrap weeds beside the creek—urging that the pack return and make dutiful music in the background.

Benjy Davis pulled his thin brown face away from the fire: the blaze was good to watch but hard to sit by. He said to all and sundry, “She’s just about coming in.”

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