For a space during which Durant's heart beat like a hammer Taao turned, as if on a pivot, following Miki's movement, and the crest on his spine stood up like bristles. Then Miki stopped, and in that moment Durant saw the end of all his hopes. Without a sound the wolf-dog was at his opponent. A bellow rose from Grouse Piet's lips.

Then he began making a circle of the cage, his sharp eyes on the silent ring of faces. Taao stood in the centre of the cage, and not once did his reddish eyes leave Miki. What was outside of the cage held small interest for him. He understood his business, and murder was bred in his heart.

But in the last fractional bit of the second in which the wolf-dog's jaws closed, Miki was transformed into a thing of living lightning. No man had ever seen a movement swifter than that with which he turned on Taao. Their jaws clashed. There was a sickening grinding of bone, and in another moment they were rolling and twisting together on the earth floor.

To the wolf-dog Grouse Piet had given the name of Taao, because of the extraordinary length of his fangs; and of Taao, to Durant's growing horror, Miki was utterly oblivious after that first head-on glance. He trotted to the edge of the cage and thrust his nose between the bars, and a taunting laugh rose out of Grouse Piet's throat.