I watched the dim figure slink through the trees, and lined my sights on it. The fox trotted forward a little, suddenly his nose went into the air. I increased the pressure on the trigger, felt it move, and the fox leaped into the air as the explosion sounded. He ran, jumped, crashed to the ground, got up again, and sprang up a bank.
Near the top his paws touched loose gravel and he slipped a little, but jumped again. By now I had another bullet in the firing chamber, and in one action raised the rifle to my shoulder, aimed and fired. The fox yelped and jumped again at the top of the bank, but again landed in loose sand which gave under his weight. With one more frantic leap he tried again and was over the top.
I cursed as the spent shell jammed in my rifle. I tried again and again and at last with a click the shell was ejected. I fumbled with a fresh bullet, and in my haste put it in backwards. Then at last I was able to snap the bolt shut and climb the embankment in pursuit of the fox. On top of the bank I found a trail of fresh blood, which I followed till the spots disappeared under some bushes.
Suddenly I felt something snap at my leg, and though I jumped backward, the fox had a good grip on the leg of my trousers. I felt myself falling and struck out to hit the fox with the rifle barrel. The rifle went off and the bullet passed through the brain of the fox, which dropped down dead.