The Adventures of Kathlyn (Chapter 7, page 1 of 11)


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Chapter 7

When Kathlyn came to the river she swerved toward the broadest part of
it. Twice she stumbled over boulders, but rose pluckily and, bruised
and breathless, plunged into the water. It was swift running and
shoulder deep, and she was forced to swim strongly to gain the opposite
shore. She dragged herself up to the bank and, once there, looked
back. What she saw rather astonished her. She could not solve the
riddle at first. The lion seemed to be struggling with some invisible
opponent. He stood knee deep in the sands, tugging and pulling. He
began to roar. Even as Kathlyn gazed she saw his chest touch the sand
and his swelling flanks sink lower. Fascinated, she could not withdraw
her gaze. How his mighty shoulders heaved and pulled! But down, down,
lower and lower, till nothing but the great maned head remained in
view. Then that was drawn down; the sand filled the animal's mouth and
stopped his roaring; lower, lower . . .

Quicksands! The spot where he had disappeared stirred and glistened
and shuddered, and then the eternal blankness of sand.

She was not, then, to die? Should she return to the temple? Would
they not demand of her the restoration of the lion? She must go on,
whither she knew not. She regretted the peace of the temple in the
daytime. She could see the dome from where she stood. Like Ishmael,
she must go on, forever and forever on. Was God watching over her?
Was it His hand which stayed the onslaught of the beast and defeated
the baser schemes of men? Was there to be a haven at the end? She
smiled wanly. What more was to beset her path she knew not, nor cared
just then, since there was to be a haven at the end.

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