Again he heard the sound, and again. Somewhere, off in the blackness, someone had fired a gun three times. Rainsford sprang up and moved quickly to the rail, mystified. He strainedhis eyes in the direction from which the reports had come, but it was like tryingto see through a blanket.
He leaped upon the rail and balanced himself there, to get greater elevation; his pipe, striking a rope, was knocked from his mouth. He lunged for it....he realized he had reached too far and had lost his balance.
It is a very great pleasure and honor to welcome Mr. Sanger Rainsford, the celebrated hunter, to my home.
Don’t be alarmed,I’m no robber. I fell off a yacht. My name is Sanger Rainsford of NewYork City.
And you shoot down men?
That would be barbarous. I treat these visitors with every consideration. They get into splendid physical condition. You shall see for yourself tomorrow.
I’ll give him a trail to follow
Rainsford held his breath. The general’s eyes had left the ground and were traveling inch by inch up the tree. Rainsford froze there, every muscle tensed for a spring. But the sharp eyes of the hunter stopped before they reached the limb where Rainsford lay; a smile spread over his brown face. Very deliberately, he blew a smoke ring into the air; then he turned his back on the tree and walked carelessly away, back along the trail he had come. The swish of the underbrush against his hunting boots grew fainter and fainter.
Rainsford, if you are within sound of my voice, as I suppose you are, let me congratulate you. Not many men know how to make a Malay mancatcher. Luckily for me I, too, have hunted in Malacca. You are proving interesting, Mr. Rainsford. I am going now to have my wound dressed; it’s only a slight one. But I shall be back. I shall be back.