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"The jaguar is the king," he said. "When he is much hungry, señor, he is not afraid to take you or me."

"They have not come near our camp yet," replied Waite, "but the large amount of fresh meat we serve ought to draw them in if they're hungry."

"They will come," answered the Mexican, "when they know we are fighting them. They will come when you least expect it - they are not afraid except of guns, Adiós, señor!”

But two days passed, and nothing more was heard of the jaguar raids. The animal is one of the fiercest known, a cat of extraordinary size and quickness, a better general and a harder fighter than the famed lion.

The morning of the third day after the planter's visit opened blazing hot. The sun made the Del Norte's waters look like molten glass, and on the bridge the heat was so deadly that Waite called off his men, and with Tom and Hannibal went down to the water pool for a swim. All three were in the water, and Hannibal having a riot with his spoutings, when suddenly a light breeze came rippling in from the mountains. They were but two miles from the bridge, the level between the river and the foothills being covered with canebrake.

Hannibal caught the first whiffs of the wind, and suddenly his playing stopped. The call had come again! He recognized it. It was in that wind, it was threat and defiance, a challenge which his ancestors had met through all the ages of elephant life. He was out of the water on the instant, Tom clinging to his tail.

Once on the bank, the elephant wheeled about so that he faced the canebrake. His eyes were blazing. Little hairs on parts of his body stood upright like spear points. He was braced in every muscle of his body, and he screamed, not

once, but thrice, prodigious trumpetings that shivered the 'hot atmosphere. Literally, to whatever was beyond in the brake, he cried:

"Come on! I'm waiting! I'm not afraid! Come on and meet your master!"

Mahama rushed in crying:

"Me lettle one, me pet, me precious one, eet eez nutting!" It was the language of the East Indian to his comrade and friend, but he might just as well have talked to the mountains. Twice had the wind brought Hannibal the call. No longer could it be ignored.

He made for the bridge, Tom chasing after him, his goad in hand.

"He scents the jaguar!" Waite shouted. "Don't let him get away, or he'll run all over the country after that smell!" Mahama hung back. Like all his kind, he had great respect and fear for "the leon," as he would call it. When Tom gained the bridge shortly after Hannibal, he found the resting peons scattered in every direction. The screams of the elephant and his charge up the bank had nearly driven them out of their wits.

But this was not all Tom saw. As his eye ran along the bridge, it rested at the farther end on a thing of yellow-black, a long, lithe thing, with switching tail, blazing eyes, and snarling lips that curled back over ivory-white fangs. Hungry, desperate, the jaguar had come down from the range. through the brake, in all the riotous heat, and now for life or death faced that which it had never seen before, but by savage instinct hated.

It was Hannibal that started the combat. He was mad; he had been mad for days, brooding over that scent from the mountains. Now it was in front of him, and he proposed to

get it out of his nostrils once for all. He trumpeted again, and went straight for the cat, which, lightly leaping to a brace beam, crouched, drew up and suddenly shot straight through the air for the right shoulder-point of the elephant.

But Hannibal was wary. He had fought relatives of the jaguar in his free youth, and he had measured their cunning. He slipped from under the leap as a wrestler might evade an opponent, getting a slight scratch, but tumbling the jaguar in a sprawling heap on the bridge.

Without thinking that the cat might turn on him, Tom shouted:

"Go it, Hannibal! Get him!"

In running from the pool to the camp to get a weapon, Waite had fallen and wrenched his ankle, and his native servants having fled, he lay helpless on the hillside while the combat went on. Every time he tried to rise a wave of faintness swept over him. Mahama was down in the waterpool, silently praying that the cat, after it finished Hannibal and Tom, might not reach him.

As the jaguar gathered itself for another spring, this time having no elevation to work from, Hannibal charged. His eyes were bloodshot now and a thin line of foam swept his under lip. The elephant knew that he must get the brasspointed tusk tips into the cat and hurl his weight upon them or he was lost.

All the Mexican landscape was purple and gold, flowers of every hue here, the towering cane there. The cat leaped straight this time for the blazing eyes of the elephant, ready to cling to anything in which its claws could work while the fangs did the rest. Hannibal's trunk moved with almost incredible swiftness, and his head came very low. The cat got a smashing blow on the ribs and slid over his back, ripping

here and cutting there, but getting no grip. Again, much short of wind, it went to the bridge floor.

Before it could fully recover and crouch for a new leap, Hannibal whirled, and came on it furiously.

Tom's voice rang out, "Bully boy, get him!"

The tusks did their work, the weight of Hannibal did the rest. A whirlwind of dust arose, screams and growls filled the air, then one great trumpet from Hannibal, a lifting of his head, a high spiral of his trunk. The fierce thing that had troubled his peaceful life of work on the bridge was dead under his feet.

He was bleeding from half a dozen ugly wounds, but alive and triumphant. Tom ran in on him and gave the order to leave the bridge.

Mahama came out of the pool and tenderly nursed Hannibal's wounds. None were extremely serious. He would be fit for work in the morning, although a little sore. Tom found Waite where he lay helpless on the hillside and had him taken into camp. Then boy and man and Hannibal went down to the finished bridge, where the flood-waters of the Rio del Norte were beginning to rush about piers that held. Far to the west the oxen-hauled, jolting cane carts had started for their first journey over the new right of way.

Hannibal sniffed at the winds sweeping the turbulent waters. They were sweet and kindly. He turned toward the water pool, first placing Waite on the ground.

"He has earned it," said Waite, and he let the peons carry him back to camp.


Showing how he went farther than he intended
and came safe home again


John Gilpin was a citizen

Of credit and renown;

A trainband captain eke was he,
Of famous London town.

John Gilpin's spouse said to her dear-
"Though wedded we have been
These twice ten tedious years, yet we
No holiday have seen.

"To-morrow is our wedding day,
And we will then repair
Unto the Bell at Edmonton
All in a chaise and pair.

"My sister, and my sister's child,
Myself, and children three,
Will fill the chaise; so you must ride
On horseback after we."

He soon replied, "I do admire
Of womankind but one,

And you are she, my dearest dear;
Therefore it shall be done.

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