The Lost Continent

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 54

male raised his head, and, with cocked ears and
glaring eyes, gazed straight at the bush behind which we lay. I could
have sworn that he had discovered us, and when he took a few short and
stately steps in our direction I raised my rifle and covered him. But,
after a long, tense moment he looked away, and turned to glare in
another direction.

I breathed a sigh of relief, and so did Victory. I could feel her body
quiver as she lay pressed close to me, our cheeks almost touching as we
both peered through the same small opening in the foliage.

I turned to give her a reassuring smile as the lion indicated that he
had not seen us, and as I did so she, too, turned her face toward mine,
for the same purpose, doubtless. Anyway, as our heads turned
simultaneously, our lips brushed together. A startled expression came
into Victory's eyes as she drew back in evident confusion.

As for me, the strangest sensation that I have ever experienced claimed
me for an instant. A peculiar, tingling thrill ran through my veins,
and my head swam. I could not account for it.

Naturally, being a naval officer and consequently in the best society
of the federation, I have seen much of women. With others, I have
laughed at the assertions of the savants that modern man is a cold and
passionless creation in comparison with the males of former ages--in a
word, that love, as the one grand passion, had ceased to exist.

I do not know, now, but that they were more nearly right than we have
guessed, at least in so far as modern civilized woman is concerned. I
have kissed many women--young and beautiful and middle aged and old,
and many that I had no business kissing--but never before had I
experienced that remarkable and altogether delightful thrill that
followed the accidental brushing of my lips against the lips of Victory.

The occurrence interested me, and I was tempted to experiment further.
But when I would have essayed it another new and entirely unaccountable
force restrained me. For the first time in my life I felt
embarrassment in the presence of a woman.

What further might have developed I cannot say, for at that moment a
perfect she-devil of a lioness, with keener eyes than her lord and
master, discovered us. She came trotting toward our place of
concealment, growling and baring her yellow fangs.

I waited for an instant, hoping that I might be mistaken, and

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