306 ON THE TRAIL OF A MAN-EATER
on a slope, close to a small rocky ravine, and beyond the ravine was a jungle in which lay the tiger.
The two men had not waited long before they saw a black and yellow body moving at a brisk trot, on the further side of the ravine, having been roused from his lair by the natives. Gordon Cumming fired, but the shot only wounded the tiger slightly, and he turned and plunged into the jungle. The hunter, having fired the other three balls after him, without touching him at all, gave him up for lost, and did not even reload his gun. Suddenly there was a cry that the tiger was coming back, and, sure enough, there he was crossing the ravine, and making for the slope. When he reached the tree he stood still. There was no time to load; all they could do was to sit quiet, hardly daring to breathe, hoping that the tiger would pass them by. And most likely he would have done so had not the native whispered in a low voice that the tiger was below. The beast looked up, and with a flying leap landed on the trunk of the tree, close to the man's legs. Digging his long claws firmly into the bark, he seized the poor fellow's waist-cloth in his teeth, and dragged him to the ground, biting him severely in the thigh as they rolled over together. The Scotchman did all he could to scare the tiger, by shouting and by flinging his cap straight in his face ; this startled the animal, and, letting go his prey, he ran down the hill. Gordon Cumming then came hastily to see if Foorsut was badly hurt, and found that there were twelve severe wounds at the back of the thigh. He was put on a litter of twisted boughs, and carried back to the camp to have his wounds dressed by a native doctor, and then the officers both mounted an elephant and went in chase of the tiger. He had not gone very far, and one shot soon disposed of him. He was a good, large specimen, about ten or eleven feet long, and made a fine skin.
As to the unlucky Foorsut, who had nothing but his own folly to thank for his injuries, he seemed doing well,