"Or for a pledge?" said Bagheera, his white teeth bared under his lip. "Well are you called the Free People!"
"No man's cub can run with the people of the jungle," howled Shere Khan. "Give him to me!"
"He is our brother in all but blood," Akela went on, "and you would kill him here! In truth, I have lived too long. Some of you are eaters of cattle, and of others I have heard that, under Shere Khan's teaching, you go by dark night and snatch children from the villager's doorstep. Therefore I know you to be cowards, and it is to cowards I speak. It is certain that I must die, and my life is of no worth, or I would offer that in the man-cub's place.