' What champion ?' she rejoined. ' I have seen no one.'
I Then how came the monster to grief ? '
' I pounded her foot with a stone—as hard as I could strike. Did you not hear her cry ? '
' Well, you are a brave woman !' I answered. ' I thought it was you gave the cry ! '
' It was the leopardess.'
'I never heard such a sound from the throat of an animal! it was like the scream of a woman in torture!'
' My voice was gone; I could not have shrieked to save my baby! When I saw the horrid mouth at my darling's little white neck, I caught up a stone and mashed her lame foot.'
' Tell me about the creature,' I said; ' I am a stranger in these parts.'
' You will soon know about her if you are going to Bulika !' she answered. ' Now, I must never go back there!'
Yes, I am going to Bulika,' I said, '— to see the princess.'
' Have a care; you had better not go !—But perhaps you are—! The princess is a very good, kind woman !'
I heard a little movement. Clouds had by this time gathered so thick over the moon that I could scarcely see my companion : I feared she was rising to run from me.
I You are in no danger of any sort from me,' I said. ' What oath would you like me to take ? '
'I know by your speech that you are not of the people of Bulika,' she replied; I will trust you !—I am not of them, either, else I should not be able: they never trust any one.—If only I could see you! But I like your voice !—There, my darling is asleep ! The foul