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|Tarzan of the Apes||Edgar Rice Burroughs|
|Page 2 of 6||
"Quite right, Professor," agreed Mr. Philander, "and the sooner it is done the better. Let us start now."
Seizing the professor by the arm, Mr. Philander set off in the direction that would put the greatest distance between themselves and the lion.
They had proceeded but a short distance when a backward glance revealed to the horrified gaze of Mr. Philander that the lion was following them. He tightened his grip upon the protesting professor and increased his speed.
"As I was saying, Mr. Philander," repeated Professor Porter.
Mr. Philander took another hasty glance rearward. The lion also had quickened his gait, and was doggedly maintaining an unvarying distance behind them.
"He is following us!" gasped Mr. Philander, breaking into a run.
"Tut, tut, Mr. Philander," remonstrated the professor, "this unseemly haste is most unbecoming to men of letters. What will our friends think of us, who may chance to be upon the street and witness our frivolous antics? Pray let us proceed with more decorum."
Mr. Philander stole another observation astern.
The lion was bounding along in easy leaps scarce five paces behind.
Mr. Philander dropped the professor's arm, and broke into a mad orgy of speed that would have done credit to any varsity track team.
"As I was saying, Mr. Philander--" screamed Professor Porter, as, metaphorically speaking, he himself "threw her into high." He, too, had caught a fleeting backward glimpse of cruel yellow eyes and half open mouth within startling proximity of his person.
With streaming coat tails and shiny silk hat Professor Archimedes Q. Porter fled through the moonlight close upon the heels of Mr. Samuel T. Philander.
Before them a point of the jungle ran out toward a narrow promontory, and it was for the heaven of the trees he saw there that Mr. Samuel T. Philander directed his prodigious leaps and bounds; while from the shadows of this same spot peered two keen eyes in interested appreciation of the race.
It was Tarzan of the Apes who watched, with face a-grin, this odd game of follow-the-leader.
He knew the two men were safe enough from attack in so far as the lion was concerned. The very fact that Numa had foregone such easy prey at all convinced the wise forest craft of Tarzan that Numa's belly already was full.
The lion might stalk them until hungry again; but the chances were that if not angered he would soon tire of the sport, and slink away to his jungle lair.
Really, the one great danger was that one of the men might stumble and fall, and then the yellow devil would be upon him in a moment and the joy of the kill would be too great a temptation to withstand.
So Tarzan swung quickly to a lower limb in line with the approaching fugitives; and as Mr. Samuel T. Philander came panting and blowing beneath him, already too spent to struggle up to the safety of the limb, Tarzan reached down and, grasping him by the collar of his coat, yanked him to the limb by his side.
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|Tarzan of the Apes
Edgar Rice Burroughs
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