One might expect daring of Jack London, an author who has been gold-miner, sailor, frontiersman, adventurer; whose writing can no more be trite or commonplace than can the narrative of his own life history. But no fictionist ever dreamed of daring to attempt what Jack London has done here--to plunge into the gray mist that shrouds the beginnings of our race; to paint in vivid colors a picture of that alleged and disputed ancestor of ours; to outline his brutal life, his loves, his hates, his first efforts toward human reasoning poiver; to do all this with such wonderful vividness that the skeptic is convinced by the plain truth of it.
me tell you. As we entered the animal tent, a hoarse roaring shook the air. I tore my hand loose from my father's and dashed wildly back through the entrance. I collided with people, fell down; and all the time I was screaming with terror. My father caught me and soothed me. He pointed to the crowd of people, all careless of the roaring, and cheered me with assurances of safety.
Nevertheless, it was in fear and trembling, and with much encouragement on his part, that I at last approached the lion's cage. Ah, I knew him on the instant. The beast! The terrible one! And on my inner vision flashed the memories of my dreams,--the midday sun shining on tall grass, the wild bull grazing quietly, the sudden parting of the grass before the swift rush of the tawny one, his leap to the bull's back, the crashing and the bellowing, and the crunch crunch of bones; or again, the cool quiet of the water-hole, the wild horse up to his knees and drinking softly, and then the tawny one--always the tawny one!-- the lea