Asher looked up to see a tawny blur hurtling toward him. The rifle was at his shoulder in a moment, his finger instantly squeezing the trigger as soon as the bead fell on the great cat's head. But instead of a thunderous roar, Asher heard only the sickening click of the firing pin falling as the weapon failed to fire. His shaking hand reached back and grabbed a shotgun from the scout, but this too jammed, leaving him armed with little more than a club. As the lion launched herself at him, Asher swung the shotgun with all his might, shattering the buttstock across the animal's head. With the lion momentarily stunned, Asher turned and ran for the nearest tree, but the sandy earth bogged him down.