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neck at any time; but when we readied the place where he had last growled, there he lay in all his regal beauty, stone dead, his heart torn to shreds by my bullet. The slug had entered the left ribs and driven out under the right foreleg.
John got out his steel tape and measured. The cat stretched seven feet from tip of nose to tip of tail, and he was the most beautiful leopard I had ever seen. Lorraine now had her leopard rug.
I was to see three more good leopards in broad daylight that I could have killed with half the effort, before the trip was over. One morning down near Mkalama Mission, while running a lion bait, we found a big torn leopard, even bigger than the one I had killed, busily eating our zebra bait 100 yards away. Another day. cruising along at low speed through scattered acacias bordering a big flat plain, I saw a beautiful leopard come down a tree bole 30 yards away. Believe it or not, she came down head first. We watched her run into some dense thorn under a big thorn tree, and John remarked, "I will know where to look for that one another trip."
Another morning, ive were running lion baits just at daylight. We approached to within 100 yards of a bait tree which had leafed out from the short rains so that we could not see up into it. Lawrence said, "Let's go up and see if any lion tracks were made during the night."
We approached the tree, I, as always, with my .476 Westly-Richards loaded with 520 grain soft nose and held at the ready. Just as we came under the limbs of the tree, our eyes scanning the ground carefully for tracks, a big torn leopard came out of the branches over our heads and landed five yards away with a grating growl.
Instantly, 1 snapped the safety forward and swung the big double rifle on his shoulders. I would surely have busted him then, if John had not yelled. ''Don't shoot!" 1 was thinking lion and looking for lion, and when that big Chui came out right over my head, growling as he did, I simply reacted as any old hunter would have done. It was a close call for that leopard !
John said. "If either of us had been alone, the cat would probably have jumped on him."
From what I could learn, leopards are now on the increase and, with the protection and licensed shooting now accorded him, old Chui will he with us in Africa for a long, long time. He is a beautiful beast and, although he is the smallest of the "big five" of Africa, he is by no means the least dangerous.
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