The Son of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 147

creature which
commanded no respect unless accompanied by the acrid odor which spelled
to the monarch's sensitive nostrils the great noise and the blinding
flash of an express rifle.

He caught the dangerous scent tonight; but he was ravenous to madness.
He would face a dozen rifles, if necessary, to fill his empty belly.
He circled about into the forest that he might again be down wind from
his victims, for should they get his scent he could not hope to
overtake them. Numa was famished; but he was old and crafty.

Deep in the jungle another caught faintly the scent of man and of Numa
both. He raised his head and sniffed. He cocked it upon one side and
listened.

"Come on," said Meriem, "let's ride in a way--the forest is wonderful
at night. It is open enough to permit us to ride."

The Hon. Morison hesitated. He shrank from revealing his fear in the
presence of the girl. A braver man, sure of his own position, would
have had the courage to have refused uselessly to expose the girl to
danger. He would not have thought of himself at all; but the egotism
of the Hon. Morison required that he think always of self first. He
had planned the ride to get Meriem away from the bungalow. He wanted
to talk to her alone and far enough away so should she take offense at
his purposed suggestion he would have time in which to attempt to right
himself in her eyes before they reached home. He had little doubt, of
course, but that he should succeed; but it is to his credit that he did
have some slight doubts.

"You needn't be afraid of the lion," said Meriem, noting his slight
hesitancy. "There hasn't been a man eater around here for two years,
Bwana says, and the game is so plentiful that there is no necessity to
drive Numa to human flesh. Then, he has been so often hunted that he
rather keeps out of man's way."

"Oh, I'm not afraid of lions," replied the Hon. Morison. "I was just
thinking what a beastly uncomfortable place a forest is to ride in.
What with the underbrush and the low branches and all that, you know,
it's not exactly cut out for pleasure riding."

"Let's go a-foot then," suggested Meriem, and started to dismount.

"Oh, no," cried the Hon. Morison, aghast at this suggestion. "Let's
ride," and he reined his pony into the dark shadows of the wood.
Behind him came Meriem

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