Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Li Du said, “Ah Ow, come back, where are you going?”
Ah Ow ran into the forest and wriggled her nose. She did not care about anything else, only running forward.
Brother Wolf said, “Could it be that she found something?”
“Let’s follow behind,” Li Du frowned. Ah Ow was one of the more obedient animals amongst them. That could be related to the fact that she was female.
However, Li Du had called for her twice and Ah Ow still continued to run deeper into the forest. This suggested that it was not a simple matter of her discovering something. She must have found something very important.
Ah Ow ran speedily and it was tough for Li Du and the rest to keep up behind her. After more than ten minutes, Ah Ow stopped and started to pull at something at a weedy area.
Li Du walked over for a look and saw that there was a cigarette on the ground.
Brother Wolf squatted down and inspected the cigarette. He said, “It has been here for no longer than half a day!”
“Who could have thrown it? Ah Ow came here for the cigarette?” Lu Guan was confused. “Does she want to have a smoke?”
Li Du glared at him. “Nobody but you could have said something so stupid.”
Ah Ow sniffed the cigarette and kept running.
Brother Wolf said softly, “Everyone, be careful. Walk slowly this time around, don’t make too much commotion. I’m not sure what Ah Ow found. Let’s go over for a look as quietly as we can.”
Ah Ow continued to climb up the hill. It was a tough affair, not for the faint of heart. Even though Li Du and the rest were physically fit, they would still need a rest after this climb.
Ah Ow was not tired and continued to climb upwards.
Seeing that the rest had paused, she started to run again. Li Du did not dare to shout out loud for Ah Ow and hence, could only try to keep up with her.
When Li Du and the rest had caught their breath, Ah Ow ran back. This time, she held something in her mouth. It was a piece of cloth with thorns.
Obviously, Ah Ow must have spotted someone and had been chasing after that man.
Later, Ah Ow continued to lead the way and all of them kept climbing upwards. Without realizing it, they had arrived at the peak of the mountain.
The sky was dark and the weather was gloomy. The forest was foggy and when the breeze blew, the fog flowed like milk, passing through the green forest. At some point, the swirls of thick fog looked like a white dragon.
Ah Ow tore through the bushes, then stopped and looked at a spruce tree in front.
Following what she was looking at, Li Du saw that there was a big bird on the tree.
Brother Wolf glanced over and said, “Red-tailed hawk, I just saw – no, this is not a real bird!”
The Red-Tailed Hawk, one of the largest species of birds in North America, was seen in most parts of the US and Canada. It was also a symbol in the native culture. Its feathers were often used in various religious rituals.
The hawk stood on the tree, its wings swinging slightly as the wind blew. However, Brother Wolf was right. It was a fake bird, a dummy.
Li Du peered through the binoculars and saw that the eyes of the bird were lifeless. It just perched on the tree, unnaturally still.
Besides, on the left and right to the bird model, the trees were holding up some net. It looked like a fishing net and was made of transparent material. Without the binoculars, Li Du would not have noticed it.
Brother Wolf pointed somewhere else. The binoculars shifted and they saw that there was a golden eagle at one of the trees beside the bird.
Similarly, the golden eagle was also only a model. There was a bird net beside it too.
Some big birds hovered in the sky above their heads, and a golden eagle was staring at the model of its kind on the tree. From time to time, it would swoop up and then down. The model of the golden eagle had attracted its attention.
Li Du said softly, “What’s this? Someone’s catching birds?”
Brother Wolf said, “There’s now a popular method of catching birds whereby they use a realistic model of a bird to lure raptors. It would then trigger the net to close-up, capturing the raptor.”
After explaining, he paused and said, “This is an act of poaching.”
Regardless of whether it was the red-tailed eagle or the golden eagle, they were all endangered species in America, and no one was allowed to capture them.
However, there were many rich people who enjoyed rearing those birds of prey. The black market had fixed the price of the raptors high. Hence, many people were willing to break the law and risk it.
Hearing that, Li Du realized that Ah Ow must have caught a whiff of the scent and gave chase. It suddenly struck him that the people that Ah Ow was chasing after were those b*stards who had hurt Ah Bai! At that time, Brother Wolf was right. They were poachers!
Brother Wolf, too, thought of that and then asked, “Seems like it’s not a coincidence. We have bumped into them again. How should we deal with this?”
Li Du said, “First, camouflage and hide. We have not found them. We’ll talk about it after we check out the situation.”
He brought Ah Ow and Ah Meow to be by his side. They hid in a white pine forest and observed the surroundings.
Brother Wolf wandered through the forest. He was going to look for the poachers and readied himself.
Although they had made their way to the peak carefully, they could still have been followed or discovered by others.
If the poachers had already discovered them, they might attack first after discovering Li Du’s group. Then, they would be in deep trouble.
After waiting for thirty to forty minutes, Brother Wolf returned and showed Li Du his mobile screen.
“There are over ten of them. There’s a cave here. They should be staying in there tonight. Currently, they are resting at the mouth of the cave,” Brother Wolf said.
Brother Wolf had snapped many pictures on his mobile. Most of the men in the photos had bandages on their faces. That was the earlier work of Ah Meow.
Ah Meow joined in for a look at the screen. After seeing those men, it swatted the screen with its paws, face full of dissatisfaction.
Previously, Ah Meow had exchanged blows with them and knocked the men to be knocked over.
Li Du asked, “You can confirm that they are spending the night in the cave?”
Brother Wolf said, “Yes. Didn’t see their tents or camping equipment out in the open. There are some backpacks in the cave. Hence, I can deduce that they are resting in the cave.”
Li Du said, “That’d make it easier. How about trapping them in the cave tonight?”
Brother Wolf nodded. “That’d possible. Then, I’ll need to continue my investigation. The cave that they have chosen might have more than one exit. I will go check if there are other exits.”
It was not the season for the golden eagle or red-tailed hawk to mate. Typically, they would mate in February or March. During the summer, they would be caring for their young.
However, the golden eagle had a strong sense of territory, especially when rearing its offspring. It would not allow other similar species to enter their own territory. That is because the golden eagle had a greater appetite. The food supply of one area would only be sufficient to feed one or two golden eagles. The presence of their own species would affect their survival.
The golden eagle on the tree was a male bird with a dark brown head of hair. The feathers were long, from its head stretching to its neck. The base of the feather was dark auburn, and the tip of the feather was golden yellow. It was very beautiful.
The golden eagle in the air was also a male bird. As the saying goes, ‘There cannot be two suns in the sky’. The golden eagle stared at its fellow on the tree for a while. Then, it finally made up its mind to kill it!
In the afternoon, after hours of observation, the golden eagle started to take action.
It swiftly circled the trees twice, then swooped towards the model of the bird on the tree, spread its wings to stabilize itself, and pecked the model bird with its beak forcefully.
After the model bird was attacked, it fell. The golden eagle that was ready to get into a battle was stunned. What a weak chick! This bird is not too small. How can its combat skills be so poor?
Its small brain had yet to understand what exactly happened when the trap was activated!