From Time Doesn’t Matter
More than once Vic was found high in the giant trees around the compound, running along the huge limbs, jumping from one to another laughing as she went. On more than one such occasion, Lord and Lady Greystoke disappeared into the house and came out in loincloths and mounted the trees and the three frolicked like children at a playground. Often they gathered fruit and enjoyed an exclusive picnic 80 feet above the ground. Later Lord Greystoke told Barney, “No need to worry about your sister. She has a natural facility for climbing and seems to have no native fear.“
Beside himself with worry, Barney went after Victoria and Lord Greystoke and other
hunters and Waziri warriors went, too. Three miles from the compound they heard
a sound that froze the blood in Barney’s veins. “What was that?” Barney asked. Greystoke
answered solemnly, “The sound of a lion attacking, going for a kill.”
They heard no more as they moved quickly in the direction of that deep fearful roar. A few hundred yards away they came into a small clearing and to a man the party froze. Even Lord Greystoke seemed mesmerized. Victoria squatted beside the body of a large male lion. The rear half of her spear ended below the great furry mane of the lion, the fore half was buried in the breast of the brute!
Then her carbine was empty and she used it once to club a man then dropped it and
pulled her revolver with her left hand the ax ready in her right. Just steps later
another man came through young pines and slashed at Vic with his fixed bayonet. Vic
thought she felt the air of the bayonet close to her face as she turned sideways
and rammed the barrel of her revolver against the man’s forehead and pulled the trigger
and without slowing kept moving down the hill. Even though the temperature was only
ten, Vic was soaked with perspiration and every few steps she shook her head forcibly
to clear the sweat from her eyes.
Just seconds later she felt a hot punch against her left shoulder and then someone slammed her in the back with a rifle butt, Vic jumped forward and spun around and shot the man through the heart. His last act was to pull the trigger again and it felt to Vic like a hot claw raked her waist, but she continued the spin a full 360 degrees and kept going.
Don’t stop, she told herself. Don’t stop! Every inch of her body was in pain, stiff or burning or throbbing or cramping from the strain. She could scarcely catch her breath but she remembered the fight with the jaguar and how she managed to hold on and she remembered what Nat-