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Most of them seemed in favour of my death and some advanced towards me.

I was perfectly powerless against so many, in fact one could have managed me in my weak state.

So, knowing resistance was hopeless, I remained perfectly quiet, consoling myself with the reflection that if I was to die I could not help it.

Just as they were going to seize me one of the smaller ones ran between.

This gave me a respite for a moment.

Immediately others joined her, and by their noise and gesticulations evidently begged the males to spare me.

This they seemed in no mood to do.

Every moment I expected them to push aside my protectors and put an end to me.

The leader, who all this time had remained inactive, seeing they were divided in opinion concerning whether I was to live or die, now approached the disputants and signalled for the larger ones to move back.

This they did, uttering the while savage cries at being disappointed of their prey.

Turning to them he jabbered for some time, and at last they were apparently satisfied.

He next directed his attention to me, and in the bastard Latin he had used before said, "surge,"