W. H. Allen and Co., Limited,
Text on page 153
interest in the excursion having vanished, and my every thought centred on how to get clear of the forest.
Having performed the operation of a right-about-face,a I must surely be making progress; and it is astonishing how, under such circumstances, a straw seems sufficient to clutch at. I was still fresh, which was something; a trifle warm perhaps, and well disposed towards a pint of the dimidium ditnidiumque of the ancients had such been available, but, in default of nectar, I sought another comforter, that had often helped me to pull myself together and look an unpleasant situation in the face. My companion looked as if he would liked to have followed my example, but I had not even a cheroot to offer him.
Barely ten minutes after this the jungle terminated abruptly, and we came upon a green sward of considerable extent, and fringed with trees and undergrowth. It almost resembled an artificial clearing, inasmuch as not even a shrub intercepted its continuity; and I was on the point of crossing it when a terrific roar on my right sent all the blood back to my heart, and a magnificent tiger trotted into the enclosure. I was too taken aback to move; my pipe dropped from my mouth on to a stump, scattering its lighted contents over my feet. The tiger was a grand specimenagraceful, sleek, and beautifully marked, but for the moment his beauty concerned me far less than my own slight chances of escape. My thoughts involuntarily wandered for an instant to that farce in which the pariah-dog enacted a leading r6leawhat a contrast to this awful reality! and I was just resolving to pour the contents of both barrels into his face, in the hope of blinding him, when he snarled at me and disappeared, lashing his tail.
This was a great relief, for the perspiration wasThis was a great relief, for the perspiration was