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The Black Phantom   By: (1887-)

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THE BLACK PHANTOM

BY LEO E. MILLER

The Black Phantom The Hidden People In the Tiger's Lair

CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS

THE BLACK PHANTOM

by

LEO E. MILLER

Illustrated

[Illustration: Here, where he had rested before, he would sleep again Page 217]

Charles Scribner's Sons New York 1922

Copyright, 1922, By Charles Scribner's Sons Copyright, 1922, By The Open Road

Printed in the United States of America

TO MY SON SPENCER KELSEY MILLER

INTRODUCTION

The dried or mounted skins of animals from out of the way places are familiar to every one who has visited museums and other similar institutions. But, no matter how cleverly arranged, they suggest comparatively little of the creatures' real appearance in their native environment.

The comedies, the tragedies, and the life stories of the untrammelled wild creatures are infinitely more fascinating than a survey of their lifeless and often faded forms, only too frequently collected by the hundreds with little other thought than that of classification or the possession first of rare or undescribed species.

It was with the view of bringing to light the home life of some of the jungle's inhabitants that "The Black Phantom" was written.

Leo E. Miller. Floral Park, Stratford, Conn. August 1, 1922.

CONTENTS PAGE When the Deluge Came 1 Oomah, the Story teller 30 The Terror of Claws and Fangs 44 As It Was in the Beginning 82 The Struggle for Existence 114 The Cruelty of Tumwah 150 The White Feather 189

ILLUSTRATIONS

Here where he had rested before, he would sleep again Frontispiece

FACING PAGE Suma waited with bated breath and blazing eyes 96

There was the twang of the bow and the deadly missile whined through the air 208

"Tumwah, send the rain clouds here" 222

THE BLACK PHANTOM

CHAPTER I

WHEN THE DELUGE CAME

With the coming of night, Siluk , the Storm God, laid a heavy hand upon the cowering jungle. Now, the coming of night in the Upper Amazon is in itself an awe inspiring event; but coupled with the furious onslaught of Siluk , the Storm God, it is terrible.

In the tropics there is not the lengthy twilight of a temperate clime; nor the fearsome splendor of the Aurora Borealis with its million streamers of ghastly light shooting into the heavens in a fan shaped flare of quivering color to lend mystery and enchantment to the long months of the frigid, scintillating polar night.

One moment, the sun like a brassy ball of fire hangs low upon the threatening horizon; the next, it has dropped into the belt of grayish mist that marks the earth's end and darkness has spread its silent, ominous mantle over the forest. Almost, as a room is plunged into blackness upon the snuffing out of a candle at midnight, so the jungle is flooded with gloom at the snap of the solar switch.

Uru , the great howling monkey, eyed with suspicion the bank of angry clouds descending from the slopes of the dark mountain masses to the west. Then he turned to his party, five in number, and from his throat there emanated a few gruff barks followed by a long drawn, rumbling roar. The females hugged close the branches, gave one furtive look at the threatening sky, and joined their voices in the deafening chorus that shook the wide spreading canopy of the tall ceiba tree and penetrated into the innermost recesses of the jungle a distance measured in miles... Continue reading book >>




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