an enemy behind every bush, in every
tree and amongst every clump of jungle grass. While you are avoiding
Numa do not run into the jaws of Sabor, his mate. Follow me," and Akut
set off in a wide circle about the water hole and the crouching lion.
The boy followed close upon his heels, his every sense upon the alert,
his nerves keyed to the highest pitch of excitement. This was life!
For the instant he forgot his resolutions of a few minutes past to
hasten to the coast at some other point than that at which he had
landed and make his way immediately back to London. He thought now
only of the savage joy of living, and of pitting one's wits and prowess
against the wiles and might of the savage jungle brood which haunted
the broad plains and the gloomy forest aisles of the great, untamed
continent. He knew no fear. His father had had none to transmit to
him; but honor and conscience he did have and these were to trouble him
many times as they battled with his inherent love of freedom for
possession of his soul.
They had passed but a short distance to the rear of Numa when the boy
caught the unpleasant odor of the carnivore. His face lighted with a
smile. Something told him that he would have known that scent among a
myriad of others even if Akut had not told him that a lion lay near.
There was a strange familiarity--a weird familiarity in it that made
the short hairs rise at the nape of his neck, and brought his upper lip
into an involuntary snarl that bared his fighting fangs. There was a
sense of stretching of the skin about his ears, for all the world as
though those members were flattening back against his skull in
preparation for deadly combat. His skin tingled. He was aglow with a
pleasurable sensation that he never before had known. He was, upon the
instant, another creature--wary, alert, ready. Thus did the scent of
Numa, the lion, transform the boy into a beast.
He had never seen a lion--his mother had gone to great pains to prevent
it. But he had devoured countless pictures of them, and now he was
ravenous to feast his eyes upon the king of beasts in the flesh. As he
trailed Akut he kept an eye cocked over one shoulder, rearward, in the
hope that Numa might rise from his kill and reveal
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