Brad Stetson ran for his life through the dense undergrowth
of the jungle, leaves and branches slapping painfully at his
face and arms. Close at his heels, the screaming natives were
quickly gaining and he knew that if they caught him, it would
not just be his 'head' that they cut off and shrunk. After
all, how was he supposed to know that the old chieftain's
daughter was a 'sacred' virgin--it's not like she wore a sign
Stetson plowed on through the vegetation, each breath now a
searing pain in his lungs. Without turning to look around, he
could tell his pursuers were getting closer, as an occasional
spear would hiss past his head and be swallowed by the
surrounding foliage. Brad was nearly done in and he knew it
would take a miracle to get him out of this scrape alive.
Exhausted, he stumbled on through the brush and suddenly
burst into a narrow clearing. His forward momentum carried him
another twenty feet, nearly to the lip of a sheer cliff. Brad
grabbed onto a hanging vine and jerked himself to a stop, just
before he would have toppled headlong over the edge. He looked
out over the wide chasm and saw, several hundred feet below,
the raging waters of the swift-moving Ugumbi River, now
swollen with spring run-off.
Still holding onto the vine that had--at least
momentarily--saved his life, Brad turned back toward the
jungle just as the natives crashed into the clearing. The
painted and feathered tribesmen stopped at the edge of the
clearing, sure now that they had their prey trapped. One of
them gave Brad a wide, toothy grin, hefted his spear and threw
it at him.
Stetson ducked and the spear whistled by his left ear. The
natives charged him and he realized that he only had a split
second to make a decision. So much for miracles, he thought,
then turned and threw himself over the cliff edge.