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"The Tech Rep" by James Michener Continued

"It was dusk, tigers prefer hunting as darkness falls. So on the spur of the moment Holt decided what must be done. He gathered the workers into camp and told them to keep a fire burning. He would go after the tiger. They warned him that no man could track a tiger at night, and he said, I'M NOT GOING TO TRACK HIM.

He lit off by himself, picked up the trail of blood in the fading light, and followed the rough path along which the tiger had dragged the dead workman. When the Bloody trail disappeared into the thick jungle, Holt ignored it and kept to the path he had been on. Finally, he came to a small clearing where jungle grass had replaced the heavy trees. Here, in the last remaining moments of light, he surveyed the area and chose a tree whose branches formed twin forks about twelve feet above the ground.

Sweating like a pig, his hands cut by the rough bark of the tree, he climbed into this crude platform, braced himself, and took the precautions of using his belt to lash his knees to one of the limbs, so that even if he fell asleep he could not topple. Then he waited.

He had kept his gun in his right hand, a strong flashlight in his left, and in the hours before midnight he listened to the wild night sounds that welled up from the Sumatran jungle. He heard pigs and night birds and insects. He judged that one almost silent movement in a tree close to his must have been a snake, but there were no poisonous ones in this region, so he paid no attention."

To be continued:

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