Dare quest the tiger, p.3
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       Dare Quest - The Tiger, p.3

           Brian Smith
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alone that two boys could make magic happen simply by giving each other a dare.

  “And it wasn’t even us this time,” Anthony whispered to Edward on the way. “It was mummy. How did she know, Edward? Tell me how?”

  “I don’t know,” Edward replied. “Let’s just tell those men the truth. We got lost in the jungle and we don’t know how we got here.”

  It was already after midnight when they got back to the camp. The men quickly accepted the boys explanation of being lost and as everyone was tired and wanted to go back to sleep they didn’t ask too many questions. The two boys were given a spare tent to sleep in.

  At first light the whole camp was awoken by the sound of a bugle. The bugle sounded the start of a new day and the whole camp followed the call. Less than a minute after reveille had sounded the camp was abuzz with activity. The two brothers weren’t happy at being woken so early and suddenly but there was no more sleep to be had. The front flap of their tent was flung open and an Indian poked his head in.

  “Wake up, sahibs!” he called in with a cheerful smile. “Rise and shine young sahibs. The sun is up and so must we be!”

  When the boys came out of their tent the camp was already filled with the smell of breakfast being prepared over freshly lit fires. Everybody was in good cheer and the nightmarish experience of the previous hours was all but forgotten. Sir Percy, the raja, the colonel and the others were already looking forward to another day of hunting. They were sitting in front of Sir Percy’s tent enjoying their breakfast when the boys came.

  “So the two of you are finally up,” Colonel Thompson said jovially. “Splendid. You’ll be joining us on the hunt today. Nothing like a jolly hunt to make men out of you. Just take a look what Sir Percy bagged yesterday.” He pointed to the magnificent tiger skin.

  Edward and Anthony admired the huge skin while Sir Percy proudly told them how he had ‘bagged’ the tiger.

  Anthony was almost jumping with excitement, a fact Sir Percy noticed with pleasure, but Edward remembered that dead tigers were no use to them if they wanted to fulfil their mother’s dare.

  “Can we catch a tiger alive?” he asked.

  The men looked at each other in surprise for a moment and then burst out laughing.

  “The young sahib is joking,” the raja smiled.

  Edward was about to reply when Sir Percy, who was still laughing, said “Just be happy no tiger catches you, my lad.”

  Not long after the whole camp was ready to depart. Edward and Anthony were allowed to join Sir Percy in his howdah. They were about to leave the camp and most of the men were ready. Colonel Thompson was walking towards his elephant when an enormous tiger charged at him out of the bushes. He knew his own elephant was too far away and nobody was ready to shoot. Some members of the party reached for their rifles, but it was too late. The tiger ran and jumped at Colonel Thompson. At the last moment the colonel noticed a spear one of the servants had left on the ground. He picked it up and pointed the tip at the tiger. The large cat was already flying through the air. Colonel Thompson thrust the spear at the animal with all his force. The tiger impaled itself on the spear and died instantly, but the weight of its body crashed into the colonel. They both fell to the ground with the tiger lying on top. Men quickly came to pull the huge cat off the colonel.

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