Chapter 12. Kidnaped!
I searched about the spot carefully. At last I was re- warded by the discovery of her
javelin, a few yards from the bush that had concealed us from the charging thag--her
javelin and the indications of a struggle revealed by the trampled vegetation and the
overlap- ping footprints of a woman and a man. Filled with consternation and dismay, I
followed these latter to where they suddenly disappeared a hundred yards from where the
struggle had occurred. There I saw the huge imprints of a lidi's feet.
The story of the tragedy was all too plain. A Thurian had either been following us, or had
accidentally espied Dian and taken a fancy to her. While Juag and I had been engaged
with the thag, he had abducted her. I ran swiftly back to where Juag was working over the
kill. As I approached him I saw that some- thing was wrong in this quarter as well, for the
islander was standing upon the carcass of the thag, his javelin poised for a throw.
When I had come nearer I saw the cause of his belligerent attitude. Just beyond him stood
two large jaloks, or wolf-dogs, regarding him intently--a male and a female. Their
behavior was rather peculiar, for they did not seem preparing to charge him. Rather, they
were contemplating him in an attitude of question- ing.
Juag heard me coming and turned toward me with a grin. These fellows love excitement.
I could see by his expression that he was enjoying in anticipation the battle that seemed
imminent. But he never hurled his javelin. A shout of warning from me stopped him, for I
had seen the remnants of a rope dangling from the neck of the male jalok.
Juag again turned toward me, but this time in sur- prise. I was abreast him in a moment
and, passing him, walked straight toward the two beasts. As I did so the female crouched
with bared fangs. The male, however, leaped forward to meet me, not in deadly charge,
but with every expression of delight and joy which the poor animal could exhibit.
It was Raja--the jalok whose life I had saved, and whom I then had tamed! There was no
doubt that he was glad to see me. I now think that his seeming desertion of me had been
but due to a desire to search out his ferocious mate and bring her, too, to live with me.
When Juag saw me fondling the great beast he was filled with consternation, but I did not
have much time to spare to Raja while my mind was filled with the grief of my new loss.
I was glad to see the brute, and I lost no time in taking him to Juag and making him
understand that Juag, too, was to be Raja's friend. With the female the matter was more
difficult, but Raja helped us out by growling savagely at her whenever she bared her
fangs against us.
I told Juag of the disappearance of Dian, and of my suspicions as to the explanation of the
catastrophe. He wanted to start right out after her, but I suggested that with Raja to help
me it might be as well were he to remain and skin the thag, remove its bladder, and then
return to where we had hidden the canoe on the beach. And so it was arranged that he