Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/142

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some beast of prey had seized upon one of them, I leaped, undressed, out of my bed, and, gun in hand, hurried to the spot whence the cries proceeded. The night was pitchy dark, however, and I could distinguish nothing; yet, in the hope of frightening the intruder away, I shouted at the top of my voice. In a few moments a torch was lighted, and we then discerned the tracks of a leopard, and also large patches of blood. On counting the dogs, I found that "Summer," the best and fleetest of our kennel, was missing. As it was in vain that I called and searched for him, I concluded that the tiger had carried him away, and as nothing further could be done that night, I again retired to rest; but the fate of the poor animal continued to haunt me, and drove sleep away. I had seated myself on the front chest of the wagon, when suddenly the melancholy cries were repeated, and, on reaching the spot, I found "Summer" stretched at full length in the middle of a bush. Though the poor creature had several deep wounds about his throat and chest, he at once recognized me, and, wagging his tail, looked wistfully in my face. The sight sickened me as I carried him into the house, where, in time, however, he recovered.

The very next day "Summer" was revenged in a very unexpected manner. Some of the servants had gone into the bed of the river to chase away a jackal, when they suddenly encountered a leopard in the act of springing at our goats, which were grazing, unconscious of danger, on the river's bank. On finding himself discovered, he immediately took refuge in a tree, where he was at once attacked by the men. It was, however, not until he had received upward of sixteen wounds—some of which were inflicted by poisoned arrows—that life became extinct. I arrived at the scene of conflict only to see him die.

During the whole affair the men had stationed themselves at the foot of the tree, to the branches of which the leopard was pertinaciously clinging; and, having expended all their