By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 98




I searched about the spot carefully. At last I was rewarded by the
discovery of her javelin, a few yards from the bush that had concealed
us from the charging thag--her javelin and the indications of a
struggle revealed by the trampled vegetation and the overlapping
footprints of a woman and a man. Filled with consternation and dismay,
I followed these latter to where they suddenly disappeared a hundred
yards from where the struggle had occurred. There I saw the huge
imprints of a lidi's feet.

The story of the tragedy was all too plain. A Thurian had either been
following us, or had accidentally espied Dian and taken a fancy to her.
While Juag and I had been engaged with the thag, he had abducted her.
I ran swiftly back to where Juag was working over the kill. As I
approached him I saw that something was wrong in this quarter as well,
for the islander was standing upon the carcass of the thag, his javelin
poised for a throw.

When I had come nearer I saw the cause of his belligerent attitude.
Just beyond him stood two large jaloks, or wolf-dogs, regarding him
intently--a male and a female. Their behavior was rather peculiar, for
they did not seem preparing to charge him. Rather, they were
contemplating him in an attitude of questioning.

Juag heard me coming and turned toward me with a grin. These fellows
love excitement. I could see by his expression that he was enjoying in
anticipation the battle that seemed imminent. But he never hurled his
javelin. A shout of warning from me stopped him, for I had seen the
remnants of a rope dangling from the neck of the male jalok.

Juag again turned toward me, but this time in surprise. I was abreast
him in a moment and, passing him, walked straight toward the two
beasts. As I did so the female crouched with bared fangs. The male,
however, leaped forward to meet me, not in deadly charge, but with
every expression of delight and joy which the poor animal could exhibit.

It was Raja--the jalok whose life I had saved, and whom I then had
tamed! There was no doubt that he was glad to see me. I now think that
his seeming desertion of me had been but due to a desire to search out
his ferocious mate and bring her, too, to live with me.

When Juag saw me fondling the great beast he was filled with
consternation, but

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