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Miss Mary's Lion
Ernest Hemingway
December 20, 1971
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December 20, 1971

Miss Mary's Lion

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"You see him?" I asked Mary softly.

"I see him."

He was into the grass now and only his head and shoulders showed; then only his head, the grass swaying and closing behind him. He had evidently heard the car or else he had started for the forest early and seen us coming up the road.

"There's no sense you going in there," I said to Mary.

"I know all that," she said. "If we'd have been out earlier we would have found him."

"It wasn't light enough to shoot. If you had wounded him I'd have had to follow him in there."

"We'd have had to follow him."

"The hell with the we stuff."

"How do you propose to get him then?" She was angry, but only angry with the prospect of action and a termination gone and not stupid in her anger so that she could expect to demand to be allowed to go into grass taller than her head after a wounded lion.

"I expect him to get confident when he sees us drive on now without even going over to his kill." Then I interrupted to say, "Get in, Ngui. Go ahead, pole pole Muthoka." Then feeling Ngui beside me and the car proceeding slowly along the track with my two friends and brothers watching the vultures perched in the trees, I said, "What do you think Pop would have done? Chased him into the grass and the down timber and taken you in where you're not tall enough to see? What are we supposed to do? Get you killed or kill the lion?"

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