At the Earth's Core

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 43

flesh or fish within Pellucidar that they will not eat with
relish in the constant efforts which they make to furnish their huge
carcasses with sufficient sustenance to maintain their mighty thews.

Upon one side of the doomed pair the thag bellowed and advanced, and
upon the other tarag, the frightful, crept toward them with gaping
mouth and dripping fangs.

The man seized the spears, handing one of them to the woman. At the
sound of the roaring of the tiger the bull's bellowing became a
veritable frenzy of rageful noise. Never in my life had I heard such
an infernal din as the two brutes made, and to think it was all lost
upon the hideous reptiles for whom the show was staged!

The thag was charging now from one side, and the tarag from the other.
The two puny things standing between them seemed already lost, but at
the very moment that the beasts were upon them the man grasped his
companion by the arm and together they leaped to one side, while the
frenzied creatures came together like locomotives in collision.

There ensued a battle royal which for sustained and frightful ferocity
transcends the power of imagination or description. Time and again the
colossal bull tossed the enormous tiger high into the air, but each
time that the huge cat touched the ground he returned to the encounter
with apparently undiminished strength, and seemingly increased ire.

For a while the man and woman busied themselves only with keeping out
of the way of the two creatures, but finally I saw them separate and
each creep stealthily toward one of the combatants. The tiger was now
upon the bull's broad back, clinging to the huge neck with powerful
fangs while its long, strong talons ripped the heavy hide into shreds
and ribbons.

For a moment the bull stood bellowing and quivering with pain and rage,
its cloven hoofs widespread, its tail lashing viciously from side to
side, and then, in a mad orgy of bucking it went careening about the
arena in frenzied attempt to unseat its rending rider. It was with
difficulty that the girl avoided the first mad rush of the wounded
animal.

All its efforts to rid itself of the tiger seemed futile, until in
desperation it threw itself upon the ground, rolling over and over. A
little of this so disconcerted the tiger, knocking its breath from it I
imagine, that it lost its hold and then, quick as a cat, the great thag
was up again and had buried those mighty horns deep in

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