The fascination of the light for the grey cub increased from day to day.
In fact, the grey cub was not given to thinking--at least, to the kind of thinking customary of men.
When the grey cub came back to life and again took interest in the far white wall, he found that the population of his world had been reduced.
Then there came a time when the grey cub no longer saw his father appearing and disappearing in the wall nor lying down asleep in the entrance.
"O Akela, and ye the Free People," he purred, "I have no right in your assembly, but the Law of the Jungle says that if there is a doubt which is not a killing matter in regard to a new cub, the life of that cub may be bought at a price.
Then Shere Khan would flatter them and wonder that such fine young hunters were content to be led by a dying wolf and a man's cub. "They tell me," Shere Khan would say, "that at Council ye dare not look him between the eyes." And the young wolves would growl and bristle.
"Tabaqui came to me not long ago with some rude talk that I was a naked man's cub and not fit to dig pig-nuts.
It was because of this that I paid the price for thee at the Council when thou wast a little naked cub. Yes, I too was born among men.
"Fool!" I cried at last, "let the cub go before the lions come to rend us!"
"You are mad," I said; "let the cub go!" And I ran towards Umslopogaas to take it from him.
"I will never let that go of which I have got hold," he said, "at least not living!" And suddenly he seized the head of the cub and twisted its neck; then threw it on to the ground, and added, "See, now I have done your bidding, my father!"
The lions had returned and found one cub dead and the other gone.
He shall make the ground to open under thy feet, and the creeper to twist about thy neck, and the tree-trunks to grow together about thee higher than thou canst leap, and at the last he shall take thy hide to wrap his cubs
when they are cold.
The eyes of the monster and the kneeling maiden met for an instant, when the former stooped to examine her fallen foe; next, to scent her luckless cub. From the latter examination it turned, however, with its eyes apparently emitting flashes of fire, its tail lashing its sides furiously, and its claws projecting inches from her broad feet.
“It might frighten an older woman, to see a she-painter so near her, with a dead cub by its side.