The Lost Continent

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 29

brief moments as I
stood there in rapt fascination! I had come to find a wondrous
civilization, and instead I found a wild-beast monarch of the realm
where English kings had ruled. A lion reigned, undisturbed, within a
few miles of the seat of one of the greatest governments the world has
ever known, his domain a howling wilderness, where yesterday fell the
shadows of the largest city in the world.

It was appalling; but my reflections upon this depressing subject were
doomed to sudden extinction. The lion had discovered me.

For an instant he stood silent and motionless as one of the mangy
effigies at home, but only for an instant. Then, with a most ferocious
roar, and without the slightest hesitancy or warning, he charged upon

He forsook the prey already dead beneath him for the pleasures of the
delectable tidbit, man. From the remorselessness with which the great
Carnivora of modern England hunted man, I am constrained to believe
that, whatever their appetites in times past, they have cultivated a
gruesome taste for human flesh.

As I threw my rifle to my shoulder, I thanked God, the ancient God of
my ancestors, that I had replaced the hard-jacketed bullets in my
weapon with soft-nosed projectiles, for though this was my first
experience with Felis leo, I knew the moment that I faced that charge
that even my wonderfully perfected firearm would be as futile as a
peashooter unless I chanced to place my first bullet in a vital spot.

Unless you had seen it you could not believe credible the speed of a
charging lion. Apparently the animal is not built for speed, nor can
he maintain it for long. But for a matter of forty or fifty yards
there is, I believe, no animal on earth that can overtake him.

Like a bolt he bore down upon me, but, fortunately for me, I did not
lose my head. I guessed that no bullet would kill him instantly. I
doubted that I could pierce his skull. There was hope, though, in
finding his heart through his exposed chest, or, better yet, of
breaking his shoulder or foreleg, and bringing him up long enough to
pump more bullets into him and finish him.

I covered his left shoulder and pulled the trigger as he was almost
upon me. It stopped him. With a terrific howl of pain and rage, the
brute rolled over and over upon the ground almost to my feet. As he
came I pumped two more bullets into

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