UNTITLED FRAGMENT (. . . throat under his lower jaw, and I had . . .)

This fragment features the rough-and-tumble adventures of Breckenridge Elkins, a larger-than-life character known for his strength, resilience, and straightforward approach to problem-solving. The narrative plunges the reader into a high-stakes encounter with a bear and follows Elkins’ subsequent misadventures in the wilderness.


The story begins in medias res with Breckenridge Elkins embroiled in a fierce struggle against a bear. Elkins has managed to get his arm around the bear’s throat, giving him a leverage that temporarily holds the bear at bay. The bear, using its considerable strength, tries to crush Elkins and bite his head off. Despite the bear’s claws ripping his shirt and skin, Elkins hangs on, attempting to bite back, but only gets a mouthful of fur.

As the struggle intensifies, both Elkins and the bear tumble off a cliff. The bear lands first, cushioning Elkins’ fall. Disoriented but alive, Elkins finds himself in a valley without his horse or weapon. He decides to move quickly before sunset to climb back to the cliffs and retrieve his gun.

While traversing the valley, Elkins spots a cabin with a man sitting on the stoop whittling. The man is not one of Elkins’ usual adversaries, but he looks equally tough. As Elkins approaches, the man spots him, screams in terror, and retreats into the cabin, firing a .45 through the door. Elkins, enraged by the man’s reaction, begins throwing rocks at the cabin, but his ammunition is too light to cause any real damage.

Elkins devises a plan and sneaks around to the west side of the cabin, finding a large stone about the size of a pumpkin. He throws it over the cabin, causing a loud crash in the trees on the other side. The man inside, thinking Elkins is making the noise, fires blindly in that direction. Taking advantage of the confusion, Elkins charges the cabin with a log as a battering ram.

The log smashes the door off its hinges, sending Elkins and the log crashing into the cabin. Expecting a bullet at any moment, Elkins is surprised to find the cabin empty. After a moment of confusion, he discovers the man pinned under the door. Elkins lifts the log and door off the man, leaving the situation unresolved as the fragment ends.


  • Breckenridge Elkins: The protagonist, a formidable and resilient figure known for his brute strength and direct approach to conflicts. He fights a bear and later engages in a confrontation with a man in a cabin.
  • Unnamed Man: The man in the cabin who reacts with extreme fear upon seeing Elkins, ultimately getting pinned under the door during Elkins’ assault on the cabin.

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