|02-24-2010, 05:50 PM||#1|
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Mundy, Talbot: The Lion of Petra. V1. 24 Feb 2010
Talbot Mundy (born William Lancaster Gribbon) (April 23, 1879 – August 5, 1940) was an English writer. He also wrote under the pseudonym Walter Galt. Born in London, at age 16 he ran away from home and began an odyssey in India, Africa, and other parts of the Near and Far East. By age 29, he had begun using the name Talbot Mundy, and a year later arrived in the United States, starting his writing career in 1911. His first published work was the short story "Pig-Sticking in India", which describes a popular, though now outlawed, sport practiced by British forces.
This isn’t an animal story. No lions live at Petra nowadays, at any rate, no four-legged ones; none could have survived competition with the biped. Unquestionably there were tamer, gentler, less assertive lions there once, real yellow cats with no worse inconveniences for the casual stranger than teeth, claws, and appetites.
The Assyrian kings used to come and hunt near Petra, and brag about it afterward; after you have well discounted the lies they made their sculptors tell on huge stone monoliths when they got back home, they remain a pretty peppery line of potentates. But for imagination, self-esteem, ambition, gall, and picturesque depravity they were children—mere chickens—compared to the modern gentleman whom Grim and I met up with A.D. 1920.
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