Then the Doctor was very happy; for all the lions and the leopards and the antelopes and the giraffes and the zebras--all the animals of the forests and the mountains and the plains --came to help him in his work.
Although the lion looked very terrible, the Doctor tried hard not to seem afraid of him.
Moving slowly outward upon the two branches Tarzan swung Numa out so that he could not reach the bole of the tree with his raking talons, then he made the rope fast after drawing the lion clear of the ground, dropped his five pigskin sacks to earth and leaped down himself.
By this time the lion's efforts had almost ceased--it was evident that he was being rapidly strangled and as that did not at all suit the purpose of the Tarmangani the latter swung again into the tree, unfastened the rope from above and lowered the lion to the ground where he immediately followed it and loosed the noose about Numa's neck.
During the delay that occurred while the keeper was opening the first cage, Don Quixote was considering whether it would not be well to do battle on foot, instead of on horseback, and finally resolved to fight on foot, fearing that Rocinante might take fright at the sight of the lions; he therefore sprang off his horse, flung his lance aside, braced his buckler on his arm, and drawing his sword, advanced slowly with marvellous intrepidity and resolute courage, to plant himself in front of the cart, commending himself with all his heart to God and to his lady Dulcinea.
On foot, alone, undaunted, high-souled, with but a simple sword, and that no trenchant blade of the Perrillo brand, a shield, but no bright polished steel one, there stoodst thou, biding and awaiting the two fiercest lions that Africa's forests ever bred!
The feel of the long spear shaft in his hand and the sight of the tree beyond the lion
gave the lad an idea--a preposterous idea--a ridiculous, forlorn hope of an idea; but there was no time now to weigh chances--there was but a single chance, and that was the thorn tree.
And Hannibal, the largest lion
in captivity, with all his teeth, captured out of the jungle after he was full-grown, a veritable king of beasts, before the menacing broomstick in the hand of a sliver of a man, backed deeper and more crumpled together into the corner.
"That's why he went over so easily," remarked the Lion
. "It astonished me to see him whirl around so.
As its holiest, it once loved "Thou-shalt": now is it forced to find illusion and arbitrariness even in the holiest things, that it may capture freedom from its love: the lion
is needed for this capture.
Then he turned to see a huge, black-maned lion
racing toward him and even as he turned, Numa seized him.
moaned and coughed as it strode through the jungle toward water.