Pellucidar

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 100

the jaloks would not harm Dian I
might have turned them loose upon the lidi and its master; but I could
not know, and so dared take no chances.

However, the matter was taken out of my hands presently when Raja
raised his head and caught sight of his quarry. With a lunge that
hurled me flat and jerked the leash from my hand, he was gone with the
speed of the wind after the giant lidi and its riders. At his side
raced his shaggy mate, only a trifle smaller than he and no whit less
savage.

They did not give tongue until the lidi itself discovered them and
broke into a lumbering, awkward, but none the less rapid gallop. Then
the two hound-beasts commenced to bay, starting with a low, plaintive
note that rose, weird and hideous, to terminate in a series of short,
sharp yelps. I feared that it might be the hunting-call of the pack;
and if this were true, there would be slight chance for either Dian or
her abductor--or myself, either, as far as that was concerned. So I
redoubled my efforts to keep pace with the hunt; but I might as well
have attempted to distance the bird upon the wing; as I have often
reminded you, I am no runner. In that instance it was just as well
that I am not, for my very slowness of foot played into my hands; while
had I been fleeter, I might have lost Dian that time forever.

The lidi, with the hounds running close on either side, had almost
disappeared in the darkness that enveloped the surrounding landscape,
when I noted that it was bearing toward the right. This was accounted
for by the fact that Raja ran upon his left side, and unlike his mate,
kept leaping for the great beast's shoulder. The man on the lidi's
back was prodding at the hyaenodon with his long spear, but still Raja
kept springing up and snapping.

The effect of this was to turn the lidi toward the right, and the
longer I watched the procedure the more convinced I became that Raja
and his mate were working together with some end in view, for the
she-dog merely galloped steadily at the lidi's right about op-posite
his rump.

I had seen jaloks hunting in packs, and I recalled now what for the
time I had not thought of--the several that ran ahead and turned the
quarry back toward the main body. This was precisely what Raja and his
mate were doing--they were

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