The Son of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 149

Englishman for a fool, and spurred rapidly
after them.

Meriem and Baynes had drawn up in a small, natural clearing. A hundred
yards beyond them Numa lay crouching in the underbrush, his
yellow-green eyes fixed upon his prey, the tip of his sinuous tail
jerking spasmodically. He was measuring the distance between him and
them. He was wondering if he dared venture a charge, or should he wait
yet a little longer in the hope that they might ride straight into his
jaws. He was very hungry; but also was he very crafty. He could not
chance losing his meat by a hasty and ill-considered rush. Had he
waited the night before until the blacks slept he would not have been
forced to go hungry for another twenty-four hours.

Behind him the other that had caught his scent and that of man together
came to a sitting posture upon the branch of a tree in which he had
reposed himself for slumber. Beneath him a lumbering gray hulk swayed
to and fro in the darkness. The beast in the tree uttered a low
guttural and dropped to the back of the gray mass. He whispered a word
in one of the great ears and Tantor, the elephant, raised his trunk
aloft, swinging it high and low to catch the scent that the word had
warned him of. There was another whispered word--was it a
command?--and the lumbering beast wheeled into an awkward, yet silent
shuffle, in the direction of Numa, the lion, and the stranger
Tarmangani his rider had scented.

Onward they went, the scent of the lion and his prey becoming stronger
and stronger. Numa was becoming impatient. How much longer must he
wait for his meat to come his way? He lashed his tail viciously now.
He almost growled. All unconscious of their danger the man and the
girl sat talking in the little clearing.

Their horses were pressed side by side. Baynes had found Meriem's hand
and was pressing it as he poured words of love into her ear, and Meriem
was listening.

"Come to London with me," urged the Hon. Morison. "I can gather a
safari and we can be a whole day upon the way to the coast before they
guess that we have gone."

"Why must we go that way?" asked the girl. "Bwana and My Dear would
not object to our marriage."

"I cannot marry you just yet," explained the Hon. Morison, "there are
some formalities to be attended to first--you do not

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