Kilpatric jumped onto the table rock, running at the lion to kick it off Sam. "Bill," he yelled, "you'd better get here and help me. We're about to lose some dogs." Just in time Kilpatric realized that a running kick would leave him sliding on one foot down the slick, slanted rock-right into the jaws of the cat. He stopped short as the cougar opened its mouth to bite again at Sam's spine. With no weapon and no time to think, Kilpatric dropped to the lion's level, braced himself against sliding with his left hand and threw a hard right cross straight into the cougar's nose, snapping its head back. The lion's eyes lit up like copper burning green in hot fire. Its muscles bunched, and Kilpatric knew the cat was about to leap right over the dogs to get to him. Just then Sam recaptured the lion's attention by trying to wriggle free.