Shere Khan slunk away, not daring to growl, for he knew--what every one else knows--that when the last comes to the last, Hathi is the Master of the Jungle.
"What is this right Shere Khan speaks of?" Mowgli whispered in Bagheera's ear.
Mowgli waited for a minute to pick up his courage, because no one cared to address Hathi directly, and then he cried: "What is Shere Khan's right, O Hathi?" Both banks echoed his words, for all the People of the Jungle are intensely curious, and they had just seen something that none except Baloo, who looked very thoughtful, seemed to understand.
"But I--but we--but all the Jungle knows that Shere Khan kills Man twice and thrice in a moon."
"NOW I see why it was Shere Khan bade me look at him!
To move down so cunningly that never a leaf stirred; to wade knee-deep in the roaring shallows that drown all noise from behind; to drink, looking backward over one shoulder, every muscle ready for the first desperate bound of keen terror; to roll on the sandy margin, and return, wet-muzzled and well plumped out, to the admiring herd, was a thing that all tall-antlered young bucks took a delight in, precisely because they knew that at any moment Bagheera or Shere Khan might leap upon them and bear them down.
"Shere Khan, the Big One, has shifted his hunting grounds.
Shere Khan was the tiger who lived near the Waingunga River, twenty miles away.
Then there was a howl--an untigerish howl--from Shere Khan. "He has missed," said Mother Wolf.
Father Wolf ran out a few paces and heard Shere Khan muttering and mumbling savagely as he tumbled about in the scrub.
The moonlight was blocked out of the mouth of the cave, for Shere Khan's great square head and shoulders were thrust into the entrance.
"Shere Khan does us great honor," said Father Wolf, but his eyes were very angry.