MEETING AN ANGRY PANTHER IN A CAVE
By S. C. Turnbo
Luke Marlor who was a pioneer settler on Crooked Creek over the line
in Marion County, Ark., was a famed hunter. His thrilling experiences, if
written out and printed in book form, would fill a good sized volume. Mr.
Marlor belonged to the same regiment in the confederate army the writer
did and was a member of Capt. Aaron Burlesons company. One day we
belonged to the army Mr. Marlor told me the following story.
"Many years ago," said he, "I and a man of the name of Hill, whose given name I have forgotten, were hunting together one day on the north side of Crooked Creek where we discovered a cave near 8 miles from where the first crossing of Crooked Creek is following the road from Yellville to Bellfonte. This cave had marked indications of being inhabited by a wild beast which we presumed to be a bear. After we consulted a while it was arranged between us for Mr. Hill to go into the cave and either kill the bear or scare him out and I was to await at the entrance of the cavern and keep the dogs back and shoot Bruin if he emerged from the cave. In a few moments after Hill had entered the cave with torch in one hand and his gun in the other he came in contact with a panther which attacked Hill instantly, which extinguished the light immediately. The panther was furious and it tore the mans clothes and lacerated his flesh until the blood ran from the wounds. Fortunately the beast did not stay with him long or it might have been much worse for the hunter. The panther after leaving Mr. Hill made its exit from the cave only to meet a well directed shot from my trusty gun. When Hill came out of the cave he presented a pitiful sight. The blood was dripping from his wounds, his clothes were dangling from his limbs and body, but he was more than pleased to find the panther lying dead at the mouth of the cave. It measured nearly nine feet in length. I had some difficulty in getting Mr. Hill home and he suffered some time with the wounds made by the panther before he was able to accompany me on another days hunt."
Springfield-Greene County Library