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"No. Certainly not."
"Pop knows. And he explained to me. He told me, too, about that terrible woman and when everyone shot her lion forty-two times. I better not talk about it because no one can ever understand."
"We understand and those people that don't we can only be sorry for."
That night when we had gone to our own beds but were not yet asleep we heard the lion roar. He was north of the camp and the roar came low and mounting in heaviness and then ended in a sigh.
"I'm coming in with you," Mary said.
We lay close together in the dark under the mosquito bar, my arm around her, and listened to him roar again.
"There's no mistaking when it's him," Mary said. "I'm glad we're in bed together when we hear him."
He was moving to the north and west, grunting deeply and then roaring. You cannot describe a wild lion's roar. You can only say that you listened and the lion roared. It is not at all like the noise the lion makes at the start of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer pictures. When you hear it you first feel it in your scrotum and it runs all the way up through your body.
"He makes me feel hollow inside," Mary said. "He really is the king of the night."
We listened and he roared again still moving to the northwest. This time the roar ended with a cough.