By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 102

with its

Dian had seen and recognized me, and was trying to extricate herself
from the grasp of her captor, who, handicapped by his strong and agile
prisoner, was unable to wield his lance effectively upon the two
jaloks. At the same time I was running swiftly toward them.

When the man discovered me he released his hold upon Dian and sprang to
the ground, ready with his lance to meet me. My javelin was no match
for his longer weapon, which was used more for stabbing than as a
missile. Should I miss him at my first cast, as was quite probable,
since he was prepared for me, I would have to face his formidable lance
with nothing more than a stone knife. The outlook was scarcely
entrancing. Evidently I was soon to be absolutely at his mercy.

Seeing my predicament, he ran toward me to get rid of one antagonist
before he had to deal with the other two. He could not guess, of
course, that the two jaloks were hunting with me; but he doubtless
thought that after they had finished the lidi they would make after the
human prey--the beasts are notorious killers, often slaying wantonly.

But as the Thurian came Raja loosened his hold upon the lidi and dashed
for him, with the female close after. When the man saw them he yelled
to me to help him, protesting that we should both be killed if we did
not fight together. But I only laughed at him and ran toward Dian.

Both the fierce beasts were upon the Thurian simu-taneously--he must
have died almost before his body tumbled to the ground. Then the
female wheeled toward Dian. I was standing by her side as the thing
charged her, my javelin ready to receive her.

But again Raja was too quick for me. I imagined he thought she was
making for me, for he couldn't have known anything of my relations
toward Dian. At any rate he leaped full upon her back and dragged her
down. There ensued forthwith as terrible a battle as one would wish to
see if battles were gaged by volume of noise and riotousness of action.
I thought that both the beasts would be torn to shreds.

When finally the female ceased to struggle and rolled over on her back,
her forepaws limply folded, I was sure that she was dead. Raja stood
over her, growling, his jaws close to her throat. Then I saw that
neither of them bore

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