Treasure of Kings

Treasure of Kings

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Excerpt: ...the forelegs having been converted into wings. All the constrictors kill their prey by crushing, and none have poison-fangs; and though these species are, with one or two exceptions, the largest snakes in the world, they move, whether in the water or among the tree-tops, in absolute silence. That which I myself attacked was undoubtedly an anaconda; and I know this for sure, because, though the light was bad, I distinctly saw two rows of great, dark spots upon his back, and not a black chain, which is the distinguishing mark of the boa-constrictor. Besides, the anaconda is essentially a water-snake, whereas the boa, though he will take readily to water, lives as a rule among the trees. Well, though I shudder when I think of the brute, I had no real cause at the time to abuse him, for I might not have slain the deer with my blow-pipe, and I was now supplied with food so long as the meat would keep in that steaming hothouse of a jungle. I did not sleep so well that night, weary though I was. I think I was not so much afraid as oppressed by an almost overwhelming sense of loneliness. Quite suddenly I realised, as I sat by my camp-fire, chewing the venison steaks--which were inordinately tough--that I was utterly alone. For weeks I had enjoyed the company of Atupo, and before that of the wild men; and even Amos and his companions, my sworn enemies, had human voices to which I had been wont to listen of an evening by the fire when the day's march was ended. But here was I indeed, alone in the dark wilderness, and I could not but recognise that the woods around me were alive, that life in a thousand shapes and forms was all about me, unseen, but not unheard. For I listened to strange and little noises everywhere--upon the ground, in the thick undergrowth, among the great trees that towered above me. My strained ears heard, perhaps, sounds that never were; but I know that great moths came fluttering to my fire, and leaves moved where insects crept more

Product details

  • Paperback
  • 189 x 246 x 3mm | 127g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236735943
  • 9781236735942