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"The Tech Rep" By James Michener Continued

"And then, toward mid-afternoon when the savage heat had abated a bit, Holt came to a second stream, and his loss of liquids had been so great that he could no longer restrain himself from falling on his stomach for a long drink. As he did so, the tiger, who had been counting on just this moment, knowing in his animal cunning that a man who moved so much and sweated so much would have to drink, sped from the cover near the stream, took three giant leaps, and came down with his great claws extended and his teeth ready, only to look into the barrel of a heavy rifle that had been swung at the last moment into position.

There was a shattering sound, then another. Without panic Holt fired directly into the chest of the flying tiger, and his hands were so steady that the second bullet struck almost precisely where the first one had gone, shattering the great animal's bone structure and exploding in the heart.

The claws, as if animated by a will of their own, slashed wildly at Holt, but missed. The massive face, rimmed with whiskers and striped fury, lunged so close to Holt that he could feel the teeth brush the shoulder. The body, already quivering in death, fell across his, so that the gushing blood stained his clothes. And from the trees above, numerous birds and monkeys chattered of the amazing thing they had witnessed."

To be continued:

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