Fear was everywhere. Above him... around him... inside him. He smelled his sweat, and the dirtiness of his skin. The sand was hot, the air stood still. Everything seemed to be covered with a veil of silk. Ralph closed his eyes. The voices came nearer and nearer, as he heard their singing, "Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!" Ralph shivered as if he had been touched by a cold hand, a dead hand. He wasn't able to do anything but wait... wait for the things which will come.
They came, arrived with a giant cry. "There he is! Catch him! Kill him!" They were going to throw their spears but Jack lifted his hand. "Cease!" he shouted. "This boy is mine and it's me to show him where he belongs!"
Ralph realized that there was no hope to be saved from them. He stood up, looked proud and upright at the enemy, who had been his friend; he didn't say a word. Roger gave the order to make a circle, and the boys followed. Ralph and Jack stood in the middle, looking at each other, waiting for the movement which would open the fight.
Suddenly Jack took his spear, and this was the moment when Samneric gave Ralph theirs, so that he was able to defend himself. The two opponents behaved like tigers fighting for their territories. Still, the only sound made, was the rustling of the sand beneath their feet.
Jack lunged forward. He attacked with the spear, trying to stab Ralph, who blocked the hit, but he wasn't able to prevent the spear grazing his shoulder. Blood flew and the boys started to scream. "Jack! Jack! Jack! Kill him! Kill the beast!" Then things started happening at a rapid pace and the exchange became more fluid and tense. Ralph had to step back, but he whipped out his kung-foo fighting skills with expert execution. Jack was surprised and tried to block, but he became winded and fell down.
The tribe took a deep breath. Ralph, with a seething, burning hate in his eyes, stood over Jack, the blood of his shoulder dripped onto the beach, soaking and...
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