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datatime: 2022-09-25 16:21:57 Author:YtQOtovU

Then the bull squealed again, and he ran.

The two great bull elephants bristled with arrow-shafts, and the blood streamed down their bodies, leaving wet streaks on their dusty grey hide. However, the wounds had not weakened them, but seemed only to have aggravated their fury. They rampaged through the grove, smashing up the capsized chariots, stamping the carcasses of the horses under those massive padded feet, throwing the bodies of screaming men high in the air and trampling them as they fell back to earth.

Behind us the rest of our column was strung out in single file. Our plan was to come in and split on each side of the bull, firing our arrows into him as we passed, then wheeling around and coming back in classic chariot tactics.

Behind us the rest of our column was strung out in single file. Our plan was to come in and split on each side of the bull, firing our arrows into him as we passed, then wheeling around and coming back in classic chariot tactics.

Then the bull squealed again, and he ran.

"By Horus, look at him come" Tanus roared with astonishment, for the beast was not running from us, but directly at us, in a furious charge. He was swifter than any horse, and nimble as an angry leopard set upon by the hounds. He kicked up bursts of dust with each long flying stride, and was on us before I could get the horses under control again.

Tanus got off a single arrow. It struck the bull in the centre of his forehead, and I expected to see him collapse as the bronze point pierced the brain. We did not know then that the brain of the elephant is not situated where you would expect it to be, but is far back in the mountainous skull and protected by a mass of spongy bone that no arrow can penetrate.

"Go hard at him" Tanus shouted. "Take him before he turns to run."

We were right on the bull now, but still he stood his ground. Perhaps these animals were every bit as dull-witted as they looked. This would be an easy kill, and I sensed Tanus" disappointment at the prospect of such poor sport.

Then the bull squealed again, and he ran.

We were right on the bull now, but still he stood his ground. Perhaps these animals were every bit as dull-witted as they looked. This would be an easy kill, and I sensed Tanus" disappointment at the prospect of such poor sport.

It was as though the bull heard and understood the challenge. . He threw up his trunk and loosed a blast of sound that stunned and deafened us. The horses shied wildly, so that I was thrown against the dashboard with a force that bruised my ribs. For a moment I lost control of the team, and we swerved away.

The bull did not even check or swerve. He merely reached up with his trunk and - gripped the shaft of the arrow with the tip, as a man might do with his hand. He pulled the shaft from his own flesh and threw it aside and came on after us, reaching out towards us with the blood-smeared trunk.

"Hi up" I called to Patience and Blade, and they opened up into a gallop. We both expected the huge animal to run from us as soon as he realized that we menaced him. No other game we had ever hunted had stood to receive our first charge. Even the lion runs from the hunter until he is wounded or cornered. How could these obese animals behave differently?

I looked up at him, for he towered directly over us, reaching out with his trunk to pluck us from the cockpit of the chariot, and I could not believe the size of him, nor the fury in those eyes. They were not the eyes of an animal, but those of an intelligent and alert human being. This was no porcine sloth, but a courageous and terrible adversary that we had challenged in our arrogance and ignorance.

"You heard the royal command," Tanus laughed. "We will take the one on the right. Let Kratas have the other, it's good enough for him."

"Come on, you old fool"

The elephant wheeled to chase after Hui, but he was at full gallop and raced clean away. The next chariot in line was not so fortunate. The driver lacked Hui's skill, and his turn away was inept. The bull lifted his trunk high and then swung it down like an executioner's axe.

"Come on, you old fool"

"That one on the right is the biggest," squeaked Memnon.

"His head is so big, it will make a fine target," Tanus exulted, as he nocked an arrow. "I will kill him with a single shaft, before he can escape. Run in close under that long, ridiculous nose of his."

"You heard the royal command," Tanus laughed. "We will take the one on the right. Let Kratas have the other, it's good enough for him."

"You heard the royal command," Tanus laughed. "We will take the one on the right. Let Kratas have the other, it's good enough for him."

"Come on, you old fool"

I pulled up my horses at the edge of the grove, and we stared back aghast at the carnage of our shattered squadron. There were broken chariots scattered across the field, for Kratas out on the left had fared no better than we had.

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