The Lost Continent

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 19

go up the river and fill our casks with
fresh water, search for food and fuel, and then tomorrow be in
readiness to push on toward the east. I am going to London."



3


The report of a gun blasted the silence of a dead Devonport with
startling abruptness.

It came from the direction of the launch, and in an instant we three
were running for the boat as fast as our legs would carry us. As we
came in sight of it we saw Delcarte a hundred yards inland from the
launch, leaning over something which lay upon the ground. As we called
to him he waved his cap, and stooping, lifted a small deer for our
inspection.

I was about to congratulate him on his trophy when we were startled by
a horrid, half-human, half-bestial scream a little ahead and to the
right of us. It seemed to come from a clump of rank and tangled bush
not far from where Delcarte stood. It was a horrid, fearsome sound,
the like of which never had fallen upon my ears before.

We looked in the direction from which it came. The smile had died from
Delcarte's lips. Even at the distance we were from him I saw his face
go suddenly white, and he quickly threw his rifle to his shoulder. At
the same moment the thing that had given tongue to the cry moved from
the concealing brushwood far enough for us, too, to see it.

Both Taylor and Snider gave little gasps of astonishment and dismay.

"What is it, sir?" asked the latter.

The creature stood about the height of a tall man's waist, and was long
and gaunt and sinuous, with a tawny coat striped with black, and with
white throat and belly. In conformation it was similar to a cat--a
huge cat, exaggerated colossal cat, with fiendish eyes and the most
devilish cast of countenance, as it wrinkled its bristling snout and
bared its great yellow fangs.

It was pacing, or rather, slinking, straight for Delcarte, who had now
leveled his rifle upon it.

"What is it, sir?" mumbled Snider again, and then a half-forgotten
picture from an old natural history sprang to my mind, and I recognized
in the frightful beast the Felis tigris of ancient Asia, specimens of
which had, in former centuries, been exhibited in the Western
Hemisphere.

Snider and Taylor were armed with rifles and revolvers, while I carried
only a revolver. Seizing Snider's rifle from his trembling hands, I
called to Taylor to follow me, and together we ran

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