After unbroken silence, which lasted full ten minutes, when every person seemed to be gasping for breath to speak, and struggling with some terrible inward commotion of the spirit, the supper-hunting Touaricks made a simultaneous move towards the supper-bowl. About nine big brawny fellows attacked the savoury cuscusou, for Haj Ibrahim had the best kind of provisions brought from Tripoli.
MacShaughnassy puffed a mouthful of smoke over a spider which was just about to kill a fly. This caused the spider to fall into the river, from where a supper-hunting swallow quickly rescued him. "You remind me," he said, "of a scene I once witnessed in the office of The Daily well, in the office of a certain daily newspaper. It was the dead season, and things were somewhat slow.
Beyond the possibility of there being some reptile about that had crawled up from the river, hungry and supper-hunting, there had never seemed to be anything about home that was alarming, and night after night I had stolen out to listen to the forest sounds, and scent the cool, damp, perfumed air; but now there was a feeling of danger at hand, lurking perhaps so close that it would not have been safe to open the door; and as I watched beside Morgan from between the window-bars, we were constantly touching each other, and pointing to some tree-stump, tuft, or hillock, asking whether that was an Indian creeping cautiously toward the house.