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Swamp Cat   By: (1910-1959)

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SWAMP CAT

Books by Jim Kjelgaard

BIG RED REBEL SIEGE FOREST PATROL BUCKSKIN BRIGADE CHIP, THE DAM BUILDER FIRE HUNTER IRISH RED KALAK OF THE ICE A NOSE FOR TROUBLE SNOW DOG TRAILING TROUBLE WILD TREK THE EXPLORATIONS OF PERE MARQUETTE THE SPELL OF THE WHITE STURGEON OUTLAW RED THE COMING OF THE MORMONS CRACKER BARREL TROUBLE SHOOTER THE LOST WAGON LION HOUND TRADING JEFF AND HIS DOG DESERT DOG HAUNT FOX THE OKLAHOMA LAND RUN DOUBLE CHALLENGE SWAMP CAT

SWAMP CAT

By Jim Kjelgaard

Illustrated by Edward Shenton

DODD, MEAD & COMPANY

NEW YORK

© 1957 by Jim Kjelgaard All rights reserved

No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher

Thirteenth Printing

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 57 10167

Printed in the United States of America by The Cornwall Press, Inc., Cornwall, N. Y.

To Polly Goodwin

CONTENTS

1. EXILED 1

2. ANDY 15

3. THE FIRST PLANTING 29

4. FEATHERED DEATH 45

5. PARTNERS 59

6. FROSTY PROWLS 73

7. THE SECOND PLANTING 87

8. MAROONED 103

9. INTRUDER 119

10. ANDY HUNTS 133

11. THE WAR OF THE OWLS 149

12. DEEP SAND 163

The characters and situations in this book are wholly fictional and imaginative: they do not portray and are not intended to portray any actual persons or parties.

SWAMP CAT

1

EXILED

The sound came to Frosty as a mere vibration that hummed about the fine hairs in his inner ears and set his whiskers to tingling. About to leap from the shelf on which he crouched and resume the boisterous play with his two brothers, he remained where he was and strained for a repetition of the noise. He knew only that it was. Before he could continue playing, he must know what it was.

On the chaff littered floor of the shed in which they lived, Frosty's brothers engaged in a mock war. They slapped and bit each other, but their claws were sheathed and needle sharp baby teeth did not penetrate the skin. Breaking, they raced pell mell across the shed. So nearly alike that no casual observer could have seen any difference between the pair, one gray kitten stretched full length behind a little heap of chaff and waited in this cunning ambush for the other to venture near.

They too would have stopped playing if they had been aware of the noise, but only Frosty knew it because only his senses were keen enough to detect it. However, more than just superior powers of perception set him apart from the kittens on the floor.

The mother of the three, beloved pet of the household, was a medium sized gray cat that had never done much of anything except doze in the sunshine in summer, lie beside the stove in winter, rub against the legs of the various members of the family when she was pleased, sulk when she was not, and somewhat indifferently carry on various affairs which no cat ever considers the business of any human. Their father was a huge black and white old tom. A confirmed wanderer and unregenerate adventurer, he bore as many battle scars as any soldier ever carried. Smart and crafty, he had never offered allegiance to anything save his own wanderlust and he feared nothing.

From point of lineage or breeding, neither the gray mother nor the black and white old tom were distinguished by anything special. Products of generations of cats that had been allowed to wander where they would and breed as they pleased, in local parlance, they were just common cats.

It was a misnomer, though, because there is no such thing as a common cat. Perhaps because they were a little nearer the source of things, the ancient peoples who brought cats from the wilderness to their firesides understood this perfectly... Continue reading book >>




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