New use for a skillet leg

Billings Hill Meadow Brook

“When John Billings lived in a log house, […] and had but a small clearing, one morning his dog began to run and bark through the neighboring woods, and soon be coming stationary, Mr. Billings knew that he had treed his game, whatever it might be. So taking down his old “queen’s arm,” he loaded it heavily with powder and buck shot, and to make it doubly sure, he dropped a skillet leg into the barrel. 

“Shouldering it, he went over to Joseph Whitman’s, his nearest neighbor, and engaged him to go with him to see what the dog had treed. The direction was on the hill east of Mr. Whitman’s house, and when they came near where the dog was, they looked up and saw a large cat-like animal leaping from tree to tree. Mr. Whitman was greatly excited, and axe in hand, jumped over windfalls and tore through the underbrush, exclaiming, “By golly, that’s a catamount.” Mr. Billings followed close behind, and soon the monster stopped, turned toward them and prepared to spring. 
“But when he had drawn himself up to make his leap from the tree, Billings coolly took aim and fired. The animal fell dead at their feet, his heart pierced by the skillet leg, while the recoil of the gun from the overcharge knocked Mr. Billings nearly senseless. The skin of the catamount was shown as a trophy many years afterwards.“
Typical of this part of Maine, a bit of Billings Hill history written in the 1800’s:

“Rowse Bisbee, about the year 1820, built a saw mill on the right hand side of the Rumford road, at Pinhook, and afterwards built a grist mill at the foot of the Billings Hill. […] About the year 1840, a clover mill was built on the brook north of Pinhook, and was operated by Horatio G. Russ. It should also be mentioned, that Jonathan A. Rowe had a grist mill for grinding corn and rye at Pinhook, and also a shingle mill.”