"A Proud Achievement"
In Ernest Hemingway's story, "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber", Francis Macomber, according to Hemingway, was a very unhappy man because of his cowardly display after facing a wounded lion and because of his inability to stand up to his wife. However, Francis Macomber regained his happiness and bravery while out hunting buffalo; unfortunately, it was short lived.
Francis Macomber was a man in his mid-thirties, "very tall, very well built and considered handsome." He excelled at court games and had quite a number of big-game fishing records, yet, he was not experienced in game hunting and he "has just shown himself to be a coward," when he ran, screaming from a lion.
The ordeal started the night before they went hunting when Francis was awoken by the sound of a lion roaring, which frightened him for the rest of the night. In the early morning Francis, Margot (his wife), and their guide, Robert Wilson went out to hunt for the lion. After coming upon the lion, Francis shot three times, hitting it twice and only wounding it. The wounded lion went trotting off into the tall grass, hiding and waiting for the hunters to come after him. Before the men went in after the lion, Macomber sat, "sweating under his arms, his mouth dry, his stomach hollow feeling, wanting to find the courage to tell Wilson to go on and finish off the lion without him." As the men entered the tall grass, the lion came charging at them. The next thing he knew, Macomber was "running wildly, in panic in the open, running towards the stream." Wilson finished the lion off with two shots from his rifle. Unfortunately for Francis, his wife had seen the whole ordeal. Later that night, as Macomber lay on his cot, he knew "it was neither all over nor was it the beginning. It was exactly as it happened and he was miserably ashamed of it."
About three o' clock in the morning, Francis was awoken suddenly, frightened in a dream of the bloody-headed lion standing over him." As Francis looked over at his wife's cot, he noticed that it was empty and he stayed awake until she returned. A couple of hours later, Margot returned to the tent and Francis began to question her of her whereabouts. Margot's only reply was that "she went out for a breath of fresh air." Francis, however, knew that Margot went over to Wilson's tent and slept with him. Even with this knowledge, "Margot was too beautiful for Macomber to divorce her and Macomber had too much money for Margot to leave him."
Later that morning,...