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A Journey in Other Worlds

some distance in the woods they saw a dark mass moving rapidly and approaching the
river obliquely. Palms and pine-trees went down before it like straws, while its head was
continually among the upper branches. As the monster neared the lake, the water at the
edges quivered, showing how its weight shook the banks at each stride, while stumps and
tree-trunks on which it stepped were pressed out of sight in the ground. A general exodus
of the other inhabitants from his line of march began; the moccasins slid into the water
with a low splash, while the boa-constrictors and the tree-snakes moved off along the
ground when they felt it tremble, and a number of night birds retreated into the denser
woods with loud cries at being so rudely disturbed. The huge beast did not stop till he
reached the bank, where lie switched his tail, raised his proboscis, and sniffed the air
uneasily, his height being fully thirty feet and his length about fifty. On seeing the raft
and its occupants, he looked at them stupidly and threw back his head.
"He seems to be turning up his nose at us," said Bearwarden. "All the same, he will do
well for breakfast."
As the creature moved, his chest struck a huge overhanging palm, tearing it off as though
it had been a reed. Brushing it aside with his trunk, he was about to continue his march,
when two rifle reports rang out together, rousing the echoes and a number of birds that
screeched loudly.
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