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"The Tech Rep" by James Michener Continued

"So at dusk Holt climbed back into his perch twelve feet above the ground-tired, sweaty, bitten by insects and ashen-mouthed from thirst. It was a long six hours to midnight and twice he dozed, but the belt-lashing kept him steady

At midnight the now familiar sounds assailed him, but his ear was attuned for that one signal which escaped him. There was no tiger. At two in the morning a new sound developed, but it was some lesser animal preoccupied with its own problems.At four there was still no tiger and Holt grew heavy with sleep, but at five-thirty, just before dawn, he heard a savage rumbling, as if a satisfied tiger was talking to himself, and as the sound grew closer Holt began to sweat anew.

It was the beast, the most terrifying of all kittens, and he was going to pass close to the tree, as Holt had predicted. The jungle night was so dense that not even the shadow cast by a star was visible, so the trick was to wait until the tiger approached the clearing, then, with the gun barrel and the flashlight in the left hand, to blind the beast with a sudden burst of light. For a moment the tiger would halt, confused by the unexpected confrontation, and in that moment you had to fire directly into the animal's heart, destroying his power. If you missed, a a wounded tiger was on your trail and would never surrender until he died from loss of blood or tracked you down and killed you."

To be continued:

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