The Son of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 148

and in front, prowling ahead waiting a favorable
opportunity, skulked Numa, the lion.

Out upon the plain a lone horseman muttered a low curse as he saw the
two disappear from sight. It was Hanson. He had followed them from
the bungalow. Their way led in the direction of his camp, so he had a
ready and plausible excuse should they discover him; but they had not
seen him for they had not turned their eyes behind.

Now he turned directly toward the spot at which they had entered the
jungle. He no longer cared whether he was observed or not. There were
two reasons for his indifference. The first was that he saw in Baynes'
act a counterpart of his own planned abduction of the girl. In some
way he might turn the thing to his own purposes. At least he would
keep in touch with them and make sure that Baynes did not get her. His
other reason was based on his knowledge of an event that had transpired
at his camp the previous night--an event which he had not mentioned at
the bungalow for fear of drawing undesired attention to his movements
and bringing the blacks of the big Bwana into dangerous intercourse
with his own boys. He had told at the bungalow that half his men had
deserted. That story might be quickly disproved should his boys and
Bwana's grow confidential.

The event that he had failed to mention and which now urged him
hurriedly after the girl and her escort had occurred during his absence
early the preceding evening. His men had been sitting around their
camp fire, entirely encircled by a high, thorn boma, when, without the
slightest warning, a huge lion had leaped amongst them and seized one
of their number. It had been solely due to the loyalty and courage of
his comrades that his life had been saved, and then only after a battle
royal with the hunger-enraged beast had they been able to drive him off
with burning brands, spears, and rifles.

From this Hanson knew that a man eater had wandered into the district
or been developed by the aging of one of the many lions who ranged the
plains and hills by night, or lay up in the cool wood by day. He had
heard the roaring of a hungry lion not half an hour before, and there
was little doubt in his mind but that the man eater was stalking Meriem
and Baynes. He cursed the

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