The Animal Story Book - online children's book

Edited By Andrew Lang And With Numerous Illustrations By H. J. Ford

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upon with the sheik, Monsieur Gerard immediately lit a bonfire in token of his victory, in answer to which shots were fired to communicate the good news to all the surround­ing district. At break of day two hundred Arabs arrived to insult their fallen enemy, the sheik being the first to appear, with his congratulations, but also with the informa­tion that at the same hour that the young lion had been shot, the Lord of the Mighty Head had come down and taken away an ox. These devastations went on unchecked for more than a year, one man alone, Lakdar by name, being robbed of forty-five sheep, a mare, and twenty-nine oxen. Finally he lost heart, and sent to beg Monsieur Gerard to come back and deliver him if possible of his tormentor. For some nights the lion made no sign, but on the thirteenth evening Lakdar arrived at the lion-hunter's camp, saying: ' The black bull is missing from the herd; to-morrow morning I shall find his remains and thou wilt slay the lion for me.'
Accordingly next morning at dawn Lakdar returned to announce that he had found the dead bull. Gerard rose and, taking his gun, followed the Arab. Through the densest of the forest they went, till at the foot of a narrow rocky ravine, close to some large olive trees, they found the partially devoured carcase. Monsieur Gerard cut some branches the better to conceal himself, and took up his position under one of the olive trees, there to await the approach of night, and with it the return of the lion to the spoil. Towards eight o'clock, when the feeble light of the new moon barely penetrated into the little glade, a branch was heard to crack at some distance. The lion-hunter rose and, shouldering his weapon, prepared to do battle. From about thirty paces distant came a low growl, and then a guttural sound, a sign of hunger with the lion, then silence, and presently an enormous lion stalked from the thicket straight towards the bull, and began licking it. At this moment Monsieur Gerard fired, and struck the lion within about an inch of his left eye. Roaring
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