ADVENTURES IN WIZARD-LAND
lazily lashed their tails. The lion was just dozing when he was roused by something heavy and strong winding itself in great coils around his limbs and body. He gave forth a roar half of anger, half of fear. Struggle as he would he could not free himself; it was a huge boa-constrictor that was closing about him like bands of iron, and was just about to crush him to death when the lion disappeared and a little boy in a blue serge suit wriggled away, sobbing out: " Oh, Mother! Dulcie!"
Just then Cyril's eye caught sight of a rifle pointed from a neighbouring tree. To his horror it was aimed straight at the recumbent, lazily-blinking lioness. His heart stood still with terror. He could neither scream nor stir. Quite forgotten was the huge reptile, which had jerked back its head in astonishment at the remarkable disappearance of its quarry, with an undulating movement of surprise in that part of its anatomy which might be termed its neck. Rut now the creature was quite close to the lad and rearing itself up to strike at him when—crack ! crack ! crack ! Rullets were whizzing all around. Cyril, bewildered, stumbled over the dead body of the reptile and fell to the ground. The next moment he felt Dulcie's hair over his face as she pulled him on to his feet.