t heard a leopard or a panther for an hour. As for those wretched jackals and foxes, the approach of the larger animals has petrified them into silence. But what is wrong with the large beasts, Charlie?" and he dropped his voice to a whisper. "I believe there is something worse than leopards or panthers down in the ravine."
"Impossible," I replied, though Melton's words had given me a cold chill. "Do you suppose those savages are in the habit of prowling about at night?"
"No," said Melton, "I don't believe it is habitual with them; but, "to speak plainly, I do believe that unfortunate discharge of my gun has put them on our track, and at this moment Jack is either dead, or a prisoner in their hands."
Melton ceased speaking, and at that very instant, as though in direct confirmation of his words, away down in the depths of the ravine, we heard an awful clatter, a ringing melody of sound like the beating of a gong. It echoed from cliff to cliff, rousing the birds from their nests, and then