162 THE ADVENTURES OF A JACKAL
which they poured over the shoes. This they did till the hard leather grew soft, and the panther was able to slip his feet out of them.
'Oh, thank you, thank you,' he cried, skipping round with joy. 'I feel a different creature. Now I will go after the jackal and pay him my debts.' And he bounded away into the forest.
But the jackal had been very cunning, and had trotted backwards and forwards and in and out, so that it was very difficult to know which track he had really followed. At length, however, he caught sight of his enemy, at the same moment that the jackal had caught sight of him. The panther gave a loud roar, and sprung forward, but the jackal was too quick for him and plunged into a dense thicket, where the panther could not follow.
Disgusted with his failure, but more angry than ever, the panther lay down for a while to consider what he should do next, and as he was thinking, an old man came by.
'Oh! father, tell me how I can repay the jackal for the way he has served me!' And without more ado he told his story.
'If you take my advice,' answered the old man, 'you will kill a cow, and invite all the jackals in the forest tc the feast. Watch them carefully while they are eating, and you will see that most of them keep their eyes on their food. But if one of them glances at you, you will know that is the traitor.'
The panther, whose manners were always good, thanked the old man, and followed his counsel. The cow was killed, and the partridges flew about with invitations to the jackals, who gathered in large numbers to the feast. The wicked jackal came amongst them; but as the panther had only seen him once he could not distinguish him from the rest. However, they all took their places on wooden seats placed round the dead cow,