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´╗┐Title: Jungle Tales of Tarzan
Author: Burroughs, Edgar Rice, 1875-1950
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Jungle Tales of Tarzan" ***

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Jungle Tales of Tarzan


by

Edgar Rice Burroughs



Contents

CHAPTER

  1  Tarzan's First Love
  2  The Capture of Tarzan
  3  The Fight for the Balu
  4  The God of Tarzan
  5  Tarzan and the Black Boy
  6  The Witch-Doctor Seeks Vengeance
  7  The End of Bukawai
  8  The Lion
  9  The Nightmare
 10  The Battle for Teeka
 11  A Jungle Joke
 12  Tarzan Rescues the Moon



                           1

                  Tarzan's First Love

TEEKA, STRETCHED AT luxurious ease in the shade of the tropical forest,
presented, unquestionably, a most alluring picture of young, feminine
loveliness.  Or at least so thought Tarzan of the Apes, who squatted
upon a low-swinging branch in a near-by tree and looked down upon her.

Just to have seen him there, lolling upon the swaying bough of the
jungle-forest giant, his brown skin mottled by the brilliant equatorial
sunlight which percolated through the leafy canopy of green above him,
his clean-limbed body relaxed in graceful ease, his shapely head partly
turned in contemplative absorption and his intelligent, gray eyes
dreamily devouring the object of their devotion, you would have thought
him the reincarnation of some demigod of old.

You would not have guessed that in infancy he had suckled at the breast
of a hideous, hairy she-ape, nor that in all his conscious past since
his parents had passed away in the little cabin by the landlocked
harbor at the jungle's verge, he had known no other associates than the
sullen bulls and the snarling cows of the tribe of Kerchak, the great
ape.

Nor, could you have read the thoughts which passed through that active,
healthy brain, the longings and desires and aspirations which the sight
of Teeka inspired, would you have been any more inclined to give
credence to the reality of the origin of the ape-man. For, from his
thoughts alone, you could never have gleaned the truth--that he had
been born to a gentle English lady or that his sire had been an English
nobleman of time-honored lineage.

Lost to Tarzan of the Apes was the truth of his origin.  That he was
John Clayton, Lord Greystoke, with a seat in the House of Lords, he did
not know, nor, knowing, would have understood.

Yes, Teeka was indeed beautiful!

Of course Kala had been beautiful--one's mother is always that--but
Teeka was beautiful in a way all her own, an indescribable sort of way
which Tarzan was just beginning to sense in a rather vague and hazy
manner.

For years had Tarzan and Teeka been play-fellows, and Teeka still
continued to be playful while the young bulls of her own age were
rapidly becoming surly and morose.  Tarzan, if he gave the matter much
thought at all, probably reasoned that his growing attachment for the
young female could be easily accounted for by the fact that of the
former playmates she and he alone retained any desire to frolic as of
old.

But today, as he sat gazing upon her, he found himself noting the
beauties of Teeka's form and features--something he never had done
before, since none of them had aught to do with Teeka's ability to race
nimbly through the lower terraces of the forest in the primitive games
of tag and hide-and-go-seek which Tarzan's fertile brain evolved.
Tarzan scratched his head, running his fingers deep into the shock of
black hair which framed his shapely, boyish face--he scratched his head
and sighed.  Teeka's new-found beauty became as suddenly his despair.
He envied her the handsome coat of hair which covered her body.  His
own smooth, brown hide he hated with a hatred born of disgust and
contempt.  Years back he had harbored a hope that some day he, too,
would be clothed in hair as were all his brothers and sisters; but of
late he had been forced to abandon the delectable dream.

Then there were Teeka's great teeth, not so large as the males, of
course, but still mighty, handsome things by comparison with Tarzan's
feeble white ones.  And her beetling brows, and broad, flat nose, and
her mouth! Tarzan had often practiced making his mouth into a little
round circle and then puffing out his cheeks while he winked his eyes
rapidly; but he felt that he could never do it in the same cute and
irresistible way in which Teeka did it.

And as he watched her that afternoon, and wondered, a young bull ape
who had been lazily foraging for food beneath the damp, matted carpet
of decaying vegetation at the roots of a near-by tree lumbered
awkwardly in Teeka's direction.  The other apes of the tribe of Kerchak
moved listlessly about or lolled restfully in the midday heat of the
equatorial jungle.  From time to time one or another of them had passed
close to Teeka, and Tarzan had been uninterested.  Why was it then that
his brows contracted and his muscles tensed as he saw Taug pause beside
the young she and then squat down close to her?

Tarzan always had liked Taug.  Since childhood they had romped
together.  Side by side they had squatted near the water, their quick,
strong fingers ready to leap forth and seize Pisah, the fish, should
that wary denizen of the cool depths dart surfaceward to the lure of
the insects Tarzan tossed upon the face of the pool.

Together they had baited Tublat and teased Numa, the lion.  Why, then,
should Tarzan feel the rise of the short hairs at the nape of his neck
merely because Taug sat close to Teeka?

It is true that Taug was no longer the frolicsome ape of yesterday.
When his snarling-muscles bared his giant fangs no one could longer
imagine that Taug was in as playful a mood as when he and Tarzan had
rolled upon the turf in mimic battle.  The Taug of today was a huge,
sullen bull ape, somber and forbidding.  Yet he and Tarzan never had
quarreled.

For a few minutes the young ape-man watched Taug press closer to Teeka.
He saw the rough caress of the huge paw as it stroked the sleek
shoulder of the she, and then Tarzan of the Apes slipped catlike to the
ground and approached the two.

As he came his upper lip curled into a snarl, exposing his fighting
fangs, and a deep growl rumbled from his cavernous chest.  Taug looked
up, batting his blood-shot eyes.  Teeka half raised herself and looked
at Tarzan.  Did she guess the cause of his perturbation? Who may say?
At any rate, she was feminine, and so she reached up and scratched Taug
behind one of his small, flat ears.

Tarzan saw, and in the instant that he saw, Teeka was no longer the
little playmate of an hour ago; instead she was a wondrous thing--the
most wondrous in the world--and a possession for which Tarzan would
fight to the death against Taug or any other who dared question his
right of proprietorship.

Stooped, his muscles rigid and one great shoulder turned toward the
young bull, Tarzan of the Apes sidled nearer and nearer.  His face was
partly averted, but his keen gray eyes never left those of Taug, and as
he came, his growls increased in depth and volume.

Taug rose upon his short legs, bristling.  His fighting fangs were
bared.  He, too, sidled, stiff-legged, and growled.

"Teeka is Tarzan's," said the ape-man, in the low gutturals of the
great anthropoids.

"Teeka is Taug's," replied the bull ape.

Thaka and Numgo and Gunto, disturbed by the growlings of the two young
bulls, looked up half apathetic, half interested.  They were sleepy,
but they sensed a fight.  It would break the monotony of the humdrum
jungle life they led.

Coiled about his shoulders was Tarzan's long grass rope, in his hand
was the hunting knife of the long-dead father he had never known.  In
Taug's little brain lay a great respect for the shiny bit of sharp
metal which the ape-boy knew so well how to use.  With it had he slain
Tublat, his fierce foster father, and Bolgani, the gorilla.  Taug knew
these things, and so he came warily, circling about Tarzan in search of
an opening.  The latter, made cautious because of his lesser bulk and
the inferiority of his natural armament, followed similar tactics.

For a time it seemed that the altercation would follow the way of the
majority of such differences between members of the tribe and that one
of them would finally lose interest and wander off to prosecute some
other line of endeavor.  Such might have been the end of it had the
CASUS BELLI been other than it was; but Teeka was flattered at the
attention that was being drawn to her and by the fact that these two
young bulls were contemplating battle on her account.  Such a thing
never before had occurred in Teeka's brief life.  She had seen other
bulls battling for other and older shes, and in the depth of her wild
little heart she had longed for the day when the jungle grasses would
be reddened with the blood of mortal combat for her fair sake.

So now she squatted upon her haunches and insulted both her admirers
impartially.  She hurled taunts at them for their cowardice, and called
them vile names, such as Histah, the snake, and Dango, the hyena.  She
threatened to call Mumga to chastise them with a stick--Mumga, who was
so old that she could no longer climb and so toothless that she was
forced to confine her diet almost exclusively to bananas and grub-worms.

The apes who were watching heard and laughed.  Taug was infuriated.  He
made a sudden lunge for Tarzan, but the ape-boy leaped nimbly to one
side, eluding him, and with the quickness of a cat wheeled and leaped
back again to close quarters.  His hunting knife was raised above his
head as he came in, and he aimed a vicious blow at Taug's neck.  The
ape wheeled to dodge the weapon so that the keen blade struck him but a
glancing blow upon the shoulder.

The spurt of red blood brought a shrill cry of delight from Teeka.  Ah,
but this was something worth while!  She glanced about to see if others
had witnessed this evidence of her popularity.  Helen of Troy was never
one whit more proud than was Teeka at that moment.

If Teeka had not been so absorbed in her own vaingloriousness she might
have noted the rustling of leaves in the tree above her--a rustling
which was not caused by any movement of the wind, since there was no
wind.  And had she looked up she might have seen a sleek body crouching
almost directly over her and wicked yellow eyes glaring hungrily down
upon her, but Teeka did not look up.

With his wound Taug had backed off growling horribly.  Tarzan had
followed him, screaming insults at him, and menacing him with his
brandishing blade.  Teeka moved from beneath the tree in an effort to
keep close to the duelists.

The branch above Teeka bent and swayed a trifle with the movement of
the body of the watcher stretched along it.  Taug had halted now and
was preparing to make a new stand.  His lips were flecked with foam,
and saliva drooled from his jowls.  He stood with head lowered and arms
outstretched, preparing for a sudden charge to close quarters.  Could
he but lay his mighty hands upon that soft, brown skin the battle would
be his.  Taug considered Tarzan's manner of fighting unfair.  He would
not close.  Instead, he leaped nimbly just beyond the reach of Taug's
muscular fingers.

The ape-boy had as yet never come to a real trial of strength with a
bull ape, other than in play, and so he was not at all sure that it
would be safe to put his muscles to the test in a life and death
struggle.  Not that he was afraid, for Tarzan knew nothing of fear.
The instinct of self-preservation gave him caution--that was all.  He
took risks only when it seemed necessary, and then he would hesitate at
nothing.

His own method of fighting seemed best fitted to his build and to his
armament.  His teeth, while strong and sharp, were, as weapons of
offense, pitifully inadequate by comparison with the mighty fighting
fangs of the anthropoids.  By dancing about, just out of reach of an
antagonist, Tarzan could do infinite injury with his long, sharp
hunting knife, and at the same time escape many of the painful and
dangerous wounds which would be sure to follow his falling into the
clutches of a bull ape.

And so Taug charged and bellowed like a bull, and Tarzan of the Apes
danced lightly to this side and that, hurling jungle billingsgate at
his foe, the while he nicked him now and again with his knife.

There were lulls in the fighting when the two would stand panting for
breath, facing each other, mustering their wits and their forces for a
new onslaught.  It was during a pause such as this that Taug chanced to
let his eyes rove beyond his foeman.  Instantly the entire aspect of
the ape altered.  Rage left his countenance to be supplanted by an
expression of fear.

With a cry that every ape there recognized, Taug turned and fled.  No
need to question him--his warning proclaimed the near presence of their
ancient enemy.

Tarzan started to seek safety, as did the other members of the tribe,
and as he did so he heard a panther's scream mingled with the
frightened cry of a she-ape.  Taug heard, too; but he did not pause in
his flight.

With the ape-boy, however, it was different.  He looked back to see if
any member of the tribe was close pressed by the beast of prey, and the
sight that met his eyes filled them with an expression of horror.

Teeka it was who cried out in terror as she fled across a little
clearing toward the trees upon the opposite side, for after her leaped
Sheeta, the panther, in easy, graceful bounds.  Sheeta appeared to be
in no hurry.  His meat was assured, since even though the ape reached
the trees ahead of him she could not climb beyond his clutches before
he could be upon her.

Tarzan saw that Teeka must die.  He cried to Taug and the other bulls
to hasten to Teeka's assistance, and at the same time he ran toward the
pursuing beast, taking down his rope as he came.  Tarzan knew that once
the great bulls were aroused none of the jungle, not even Numa, the
lion, was anxious to measure fangs with them, and that if all those of
the tribe who chanced to be present today would charge, Sheeta, the
great cat, would doubtless turn tail and run for his life.

Taug heard, as did the others, but no one came to Tarzan's assistance
or Teeka's rescue, and Sheeta was rapidly closing up the distance
between himself and his prey.

The ape-boy, leaping after the panther, cried aloud to the beast in an
effort to turn it from Teeka or otherwise distract its attention until
the she-ape could gain the safety of the higher branches where Sheeta
dared not go.  He called the panther every opprobrious name that fell
to his tongue.  He dared him to stop and do battle with him; but Sheeta
only loped on after the luscious titbit now almost within his reach.

Tarzan was not far behind and he was gaining, but the distance was so
short that he scarce hoped to overhaul the carnivore before it had
felled Teeka.  In his right hand the boy swung his grass rope above his
head as he ran.  He hated to chance a miss, for the distance was much
greater than he ever had cast before except in practice.  It was the
full length of his grass rope which separated him from Sheeta, and yet
there was no other thing to do.  He could not reach the brute's side
before it overhauled Teeka.  He must chance a throw.

And just as Teeka sprang for the lower limb of a great tree, and Sheeta
rose behind her in a long, sinuous leap, the coils of the ape-boy's
grass rope shot swiftly through the air, straightening into a long thin
line as the open noose hovered for an instant above the savage head and
the snarling jaws.  Then it settled--clean and true about the tawny
neck it settled, and Tarzan, with a quick twist of his rope-hand, drew
the noose taut, bracing himself for the shock when Sheeta should have
taken up the slack.

Just short of Teeka's glossy rump the cruel talons raked the air as the
rope tightened and Sheeta was brought to a sudden stop--a stop that
snapped the big beast over upon his back.  Instantly Sheeta was
up--with glaring eyes, and lashing tail, and gaping jaws, from which
issued hideous cries of rage and disappointment.

He saw the ape-boy, the cause of his discomfiture, scarce forty feet
before him, and Sheeta charged.

Teeka was safe now; Tarzan saw to that by a quick glance into the tree
whose safety she had gained not an instant too soon, and Sheeta was
charging.  It was useless to risk his life in idle and unequal combat
from which no good could come; but could he escape a battle with the
enraged cat? And if he was forced to fight, what chance had he to
survive? Tarzan was constrained to admit that his position was aught
but a desirable one.  The trees were too far to hope to reach in time
to elude the cat.  Tarzan could but stand facing that hideous charge.
In his right hand he grasped his hunting knife--a puny, futile thing
indeed by comparison with the great rows of mighty teeth which lined
Sheeta's powerful jaws, and the sharp talons encased within his padded
paws; yet the young Lord Greystoke faced it with the same courageous
resignation with which some fearless ancestor went down to defeat and
death on Senlac Hill by Hastings.

From safety points in the trees the great apes watched, screaming
hatred at Sheeta and advice at Tarzan, for the progenitors of man have,
naturally, many human traits.  Teeka was frightened.  She screamed at
the bulls to hasten to Tarzan's assistance; but the bulls were
otherwise engaged--principally in giving advice and making faces.
Anyway, Tarzan was not a real Mangani, so why should they risk their
lives in an effort to protect him?

And now Sheeta was almost upon the lithe, naked body, and--the body was
not there.  Quick as was the great cat, the ape-boy was quicker.  He
leaped to one side almost as the panther's talons were closing upon
him, and as Sheeta went hurtling to the ground beyond, Tarzan was
racing for the safety of the nearest tree.

The panther recovered himself almost immediately and, wheeling, tore
after his prey, the ape-boy's rope dragging along the ground behind
him.  In doubling back after Tarzan, Sheeta had passed around a low
bush.  It was a mere nothing in the path of any jungle creature of the
size and weight of Sheeta--provided it had no trailing rope dangling
behind.  But Sheeta was handicapped by such a rope, and as he leaped
once again after Tarzan of the Apes the rope encircled the small bush,
became tangled in it and brought the panther to a sudden stop.  An
instant later Tarzan was safe among the higher branches of a small tree
into which Sheeta could not follow him.

Here he perched, hurling twigs and epithets at the raging feline
beneath him.  The other members of the tribe now took up the
bombardment, using such hard-shelled fruits and dead branches as came
within their reach, until Sheeta, goaded to frenzy and snapping at the
grass rope, finally succeeded in severing its strands.  For a moment
the panther stood glaring first at one of his tormentors and then at
another, until, with a final scream of rage, he turned and slunk off
into the tangled mazes of the jungle.

A half hour later the tribe was again upon the ground, feeding as
though naught had occurred to interrupt the somber dullness of their
lives.  Tarzan had recovered the greater part of his rope and was busy
fashioning a new noose, while Teeka squatted close behind him, in
evident token that her choice was made.

Taug eyed them sullenly.  Once when he came close, Teeka bared her
fangs and growled at him, and Tarzan showed his canines in an ugly
snarl; but Taug did not provoke a quarrel.  He seemed to accept after
the manner of his kind the decision of the she as an indication that he
had been vanquished in his battle for her favors.

Later in the day, his rope repaired, Tarzan took to the trees in search
of game.  More than his fellows he required meat, and so, while they
were satisfied with fruits and herbs and beetles, which could be
discovered without much effort upon their part, Tarzan spent
considerable time hunting the game animals whose flesh alone satisfied
the cravings of his stomach and furnished sustenance and strength to
the mighty thews which, day by day, were building beneath the soft,
smooth texture of his brown hide.

Taug saw him depart, and then, quite casually, the big beast hunted
closer and closer to Teeka in his search for food.  At last he was
within a few feet of her, and when he shot a covert glance at her he
saw that she was appraising him and that there was no evidence of anger
upon her face.

Taug expanded his great chest and rolled about on his short legs,
making strange growlings in his throat.  He raised his lips, baring his
fangs.  My, but what great, beautiful fangs he had! Teeka could not but
notice them.  She also let her eyes rest in admiration upon Taug's
beetling brows and his short, powerful neck.  What a beautiful creature
he was indeed!

Taug, flattered by the unconcealed admiration in her eyes, strutted
about, as proud and as vain as a peacock.  Presently he began to
inventory his assets, mentally, and shortly he found himself comparing
them with those of his rival.

Taug grunted, for there was no comparison.  How could one compare his
beautiful coat with the smooth and naked hideousness of Tarzan's bare
hide? Who could see beauty in the stingy nose of the Tarmangani after
looking at Taug's broad nostrils? And Tarzan's eyes! Hideous things,
showing white about them, and entirely unrimmed with red.  Taug knew
that his own blood-shot eyes were beautiful, for he had seen them
reflected in the glassy surface of many a drinking pool.

The bull drew nearer to Teeka, finally squatting close against her.
When Tarzan returned from his hunting a short time later it was to see
Teeka contentedly scratching the back of his rival.

Tarzan was disgusted.  Neither Taug nor Teeka saw him as he swung
through the trees into the glade.  He paused a moment, looking at them;
then, with a sorrowful grimace, he turned and faded away into the
labyrinth of leafy boughs and festooned moss out of which he had come.

Tarzan wished to be as far away from the cause of his heartache as he
could.  He was suffering the first pangs of blighted love, and he
didn't quite know what was the matter with him.  He thought that he was
angry with Taug, and so he couldn't understand why it was that he had
run away instead of rushing into mortal combat with the destroyer of
his happiness.

He also thought that he was angry with Teeka, yet a vision of her many
beauties persisted in haunting him, so that he could only see her in
the light of love as the most desirable thing in the world.

The ape-boy craved affection.  From babyhood until the time of her
death, when the poisoned arrow of Kulonga had pierced her savage heart,
Kala had represented to the English boy the sole object of love which
he had known.

In her wild, fierce way Kala had loved her adopted son, and Tarzan had
returned that love, though the outward demonstrations of it were no
greater than might have been expected from any other beast of the
jungle.  It was not until he was bereft of her that the boy realized
how deep had been his attachment for his mother, for as such he looked
upon her.

In Teeka he had seen within the past few hours a substitute for
Kala--someone to fight for and to hunt for--someone to caress; but now
his dream was shattered.  Something hurt within his breast.  He placed
his hand over his heart and wondered what had happened to him.  Vaguely
he attributed his pain to Teeka.  The more he thought of Teeka as he
had last seen her, caressing Taug, the more the thing within his breast
hurt him.

Tarzan shook his head and growled; then on and on through the jungle he
swung, and the farther he traveled and the more he thought upon his
wrongs, the nearer he approached becoming an irreclaimable misogynist.

Two days later he was still hunting alone--very morose and very
unhappy; but he was determined never to return to the tribe.  He could
not bear the thought of seeing Taug and Teeka always together.  As he
swung upon a great limb Numa, the lion, and Sabor, the lioness, passed
beneath him, side by side, and Sabor leaned against the lion and bit
playfully at his cheek.  It was a half-caress. Tarzan sighed and hurled
a nut at them.

Later he came upon several of Mbonga's black warriors.  He was upon the
point of dropping his noose about the neck of one of them, who was a
little distance from his companions, when he became interested in the
thing which occupied the savages.  They were building a cage in the
trail and covering it with leafy branches.  When they had completed
their work the structure was scarcely visible.

Tarzan wondered what the purpose of the thing might be, and why, when
they had built it, they turned away and started back along the trail in
the direction of their village.

It had been some time since Tarzan had visited the blacks and looked
down from the shelter of the great trees which overhung their palisade
upon the activities of his enemies, from among whom had come the slayer
of Kala.

Although he hated them, Tarzan derived considerable entertainment in
watching them at their daily life within the village, and especially at
their dances, when the fires glared against their naked bodies as they
leaped and turned and twisted in mimic warfare.  It was rather in the
hope of witnessing something of the kind that he now followed the
warriors back toward their village, but in this he was disappointed,
for there was no dance that night.

Instead, from the safe concealment of his tree, Tarzan saw little
groups seated about tiny fires discussing the events of the day, and in
the darker corners of the village he descried isolated couples talking
and laughing together, and always one of each couple was a young man
and the other a young woman.

Tarzan cocked his head upon one side and thought, and before he went to
sleep that night, curled in the crotch of the great tree above the
village, Teeka filled his mind, and afterward she filled his
dreams--she and the young black men laughing and talking with the young
black women.

Taug, hunting alone, had wandered some distance from the balance of the
tribe.  He was making his way slowly along an elephant path when he
discovered that it was blocked with undergrowth.  Now Taug, come into
maturity, was an evil-natured brute of an exceeding short temper.  When
something thwarted him, his sole idea was to overcome it by brute
strength and ferocity, and so now when he found his way blocked, he
tore angrily into the leafy screen and an instant later found himself
within a strange lair, his progress effectually blocked,
notwithstanding his most violent efforts to forge ahead.

Biting and striking at the barrier, Taug finally worked himself into a
frightful rage, but all to no avail; and at last he became convinced
that he must turn back.  But when he would have done so, what was his
chagrin to discover that another barrier had dropped behind him while
he fought to break down the one before him! Taug was trapped.  Until
exhaustion overcame him he fought frantically for his freedom; but all
for naught.

In the morning a party of blacks set out from the village of Mbonga in
the direction of the trap they had constructed the previous day, while
among the branches of the trees above them hovered a naked young giant
filled with the curiosity of the wild things.  Manu, the monkey,
chattered and scolded as Tarzan passed, and though he was not afraid of
the familiar figure of the ape-boy, he hugged closer to him the little
brown body of his life's companion.  Tarzan laughed as he saw it; but
the laugh was followed by a sudden clouding of his face and a deep sigh.

A little farther on, a gaily feathered bird strutted about before the
admiring eyes of his somber-hued mate.  It seemed to Tarzan that
everything in the jungle was combining to remind him that he had lost
Teeka; yet every day of his life he had seen these same things and
thought nothing of them.

When the blacks reached the trap, Taug set up a great commotion.
Seizing the bars of his prison, he shook them frantically, and all the
while he roared and growled terrifically.  The blacks were elated, for
while they had not built their trap for this hairy tree man, they were
delighted with their catch.

Tarzan pricked up his ears when he heard the voice of a great ape and,
circling quickly until he was down wind from the trap, he sniffed at
the air in search of the scent spoor of the prisoner.  Nor was it long
before there came to those delicate nostrils the familiar odor that
told Tarzan the identity of the captive as unerringly as though he had
looked upon Taug with his eyes.  Yes, it was Taug, and he was alone.

Tarzan grinned as he approached to discover what the blacks would do to
their prisoner.  Doubtless they would slay him at once.  Again Tarzan
grinned.  Now he could have Teeka for his own, with none to dispute his
right to her.  As he watched, he saw the black warriors strip the
screen from about the cage, fasten ropes to it and drag it away along
the trail in the direction of their village.

Tarzan watched until his rival passed out of sight, still beating upon
the bars of his prison and growling out his anger and his threats.
Then the ape-boy turned and swung rapidly off in search of the tribe,
and Teeka.

Once, upon the journey, he surprised Sheeta and his family in a little
overgrown clearing.  The great cat lay stretched upon the ground, while
his mate, one paw across her lord's savage face, licked at the soft
white fur at his throat.

Tarzan increased his speed then until he fairly flew through the
forest, nor was it long before he came upon the tribe.  He saw them
before they saw him, for of all the jungle creatures, none passed more
quietly than Tarzan of the Apes.  He saw Kamma and her mate feeding
side by side, their hairy bodies rubbing against each other.  And he
saw Teeka feeding by herself.  Not for long would she feed thus in
loneliness, thought Tarzan, as with a bound he landed amongst them.

There was a startled rush and a chorus of angry and frightened snarls,
for Tarzan had surprised them; but there was more, too, than mere
nervous shock to account for the bristling neck hair which remained
standing long after the apes had discovered the identity of the
newcomer.

Tarzan noticed this as he had noticed it many times in the past--that
always his sudden coming among them left them nervous and unstrung for
a considerable time, and that they one and all found it necessary to
satisfy themselves that he was indeed Tarzan by smelling about him a
half dozen or more times before they calmed down.

Pushing through them, he made his way toward Teeka; but as he
approached her the ape drew away.

"Teeka," he said, "it is Tarzan.  You belong to Tarzan.  I have come
for you."

The ape drew closer, looking him over carefully.  Finally she sniffed
at him, as though to make assurance doubly sure.

"Where is Taug?" she asked.

"The Gomangani have him," replied Tarzan.  "They will kill him."

In the eyes of the she, Tarzan saw a wistful expression and a troubled
look of sorrow as he told her of Taug's fate; but she came quite close
and snuggled against him, and Tarzan, Lord Greystoke, put his arm about
her.

As he did so he noticed, with a start, the strange incongruity of that
smooth, brown arm against the black and hairy coat of his lady-love. He
recalled the paw of Sheeta's mate across Sheeta's face--no incongruity
there.  He thought of little Manu hugging his she, and how the one
seemed to belong to the other.  Even the proud male bird, with his gay
plumage, bore a close resemblance to his quieter spouse, while Numa,
but for his shaggy mane, was almost a counterpart of Sabor, the
lioness.  The males and the females differed, it was true; but not with
such differences as existed between Tarzan and Teeka.

Tarzan was puzzled.  There was something wrong.  His arm dropped from
the shoulder of Teeka.  Very slowly he drew away from her.  She looked
at him with her head cocked upon one side.  Tarzan rose to his full
height and beat upon his breast with his fists.  He raised his head
toward the heavens and opened his mouth.  From the depths of his lungs
rose the fierce, weird challenge of the victorious bull ape.  The tribe
turned curiously to eye him.  He had killed nothing, nor was there any
antagonist to be goaded to madness by the savage scream.  No, there was
no excuse for it, and they turned back to their feeding, but with an
eye upon the ape-man lest he be preparing to suddenly run amuck.

As they watched him they saw him swing into a near-by tree and
disappear from sight.  Then they forgot him, even Teeka.

Mbonga's black warriors, sweating beneath their strenuous task, and
resting often, made slow progress toward their village.  Always the
savage beast in the primitive cage growled and roared when they moved
him.  He beat upon the bars and slavered at the mouth.  His noise was
hideous.

They had almost completed their journey and were making their final
rest before forging ahead to gain the clearing in which lay their
village.  A few more minutes would have taken them out of the forest,
and then, doubtless, the thing would not have happened which did happen.

A silent figure moved through the trees above them.  Keen eyes
inspected the cage and counted the number of warriors.  An alert and
daring brain figured upon the chances of success when a certain plan
should be put to the test.

Tarzan watched the blacks lolling in the shade.  They were exhausted.
Already several of them slept.  He crept closer, pausing just above
them.  Not a leaf rustled before his stealthy advance.  He waited in
the infinite patience of the beast of prey.  Presently but two of the
warriors remained awake, and one of these was dozing.

Tarzan of the Apes gathered himself, and as he did so the black who did
not sleep arose and passed around to the rear of the cage.  The ape-boy
followed just above his head.  Taug was eyeing the warrior and emitting
low growls.  Tarzan feared that the anthropoid would awaken the
sleepers.

In a whisper which was inaudible to the ears of the Negro, Tarzan
whispered Taug's name, cautioning the ape to silence, and Taug's
growling ceased.

The black approached the rear of the cage and examined the fastenings
of the door, and as he stood there the beast above him launched itself
from the tree full upon his back.  Steel fingers circled his throat,
choking the cry which sprang to the lips of the terrified man.  Strong
teeth fastened themselves in his shoulder, and powerful legs wound
themselves about his torso.

The black in a frenzy of terror tried to dislodge the silent thing
which clung to him.  He threw himself to the ground and rolled about;
but still those mighty fingers closed more and more tightly their
deadly grip.

The man's mouth gaped wide, his swollen tongue protruded, his eyes
started from their sockets; but the relentless fingers only increased
their pressure.

Taug was a silent witness of the struggle.  In his fierce little brain
he doubtless wondered what purpose prompted Tarzan to attack the black.
Taug had not forgotten his recent battle with the ape-boy, nor the
cause of it.  Now he saw the form of the Gomangani suddenly go limp.
There was a convulsive shiver and the man lay still.

Tarzan sprang from his prey and ran to the door of the cage.  With
nimble fingers he worked rapidly at the thongs which held the door in
place.  Taug could only watch--he could not help.  Presently Tarzan
pushed the thing up a couple of feet and Taug crawled out.  The ape
would have turned upon the sleeping blacks that he might wreak his pent
vengeance; but Tarzan would not permit it.

Instead, the ape-boy dragged the body of the black within the cage and
propped it against the side bars.  Then he lowered the door and made
fast the thongs as they had been before.

A happy smile lighted his features as he worked, for one of his
principal diversions was the baiting of the blacks of Mbonga's village.
He could imagine their terror when they awoke and found the dead body
of their comrade fast in the cage where they had left the great ape
safely secured but a few minutes before.

Tarzan and Taug took to the trees together, the shaggy coat of the
fierce ape brushing the sleek skin of the English lordling as they
passed through the primeval jungle side by side.

"Go back to Teeka," said Tarzan.  "She is yours.  Tarzan does not want
her."

"Tarzan has found another she?" asked Taug.

The ape-boy shrugged.

"For the Gomangani there is another Gomangani," he said; "for Numa, the
lion, there is Sabor, the lioness; for Sheeta there is a she of his own
kind; for Bara, the deer; for Manu, the monkey; for all the beasts and
the birds of the jungle is there a mate.  Only for Tarzan of the Apes
is there none.  Taug is an ape.  Teeka is an ape.  Go back to Teeka.
Tarzan is a man.  He will go alone."



                           2

                 The Capture of Tarzan

THE BLACK WARRIORS labored in the humid heat of the jungle's stifling
shade.  With war spears they loosened the thick, black loam and the
deep layers of rotting vegetation.  With heavy-nailed fingers they
scooped away the disintegrated earth from the center of the age-old
game trail.  Often they ceased their labors to squat, resting and
gossiping, with much laughter, at the edge of the pit they were digging.

Against the boles of near-by trees leaned their long, oval shields of
thick buffalo hide, and the spears of those who were doing the
scooping.  Sweat glistened upon their smooth, ebon skins, beneath which
rolled rounded muscles, supple in the perfection of nature's
uncontaminated health.

A reed buck, stepping warily along the trail toward water, halted as a
burst of laughter broke upon his startled ears.  For a moment he stood
statuesque but for his sensitively dilating nostrils; then he wheeled
and fled noiselessly from the terrifying presence of man.

A hundred yards away, deep in the tangle of impenetrable jungle, Numa,
the lion, raised his massive head.  Numa had dined well until almost
daybreak and it had required much noise to awaken him.  Now he lifted
his muzzle and sniffed the air, caught the acrid scent spoor of the
reed buck and the heavy scent of man.  But Numa was well filled.  With
a low, disgusted grunt he rose and slunk away.

Brilliantly plumaged birds with raucous voices darted from tree to
tree.  Little monkeys, chattering and scolding, swung through the
swaying limbs above the black warriors.  Yet they were alone, for the
teeming jungle with all its myriad life, like the swarming streets of a
great metropolis, is one of the loneliest spots in God's great universe.

But were they alone?

Above them, lightly balanced upon a leafy tree limb, a gray-eyed youth
watched with eager intentness their every move.  The fire of hate,
restrained, smoldered beneath the lad's evident desire to know the
purpose of the black men's labors.  Such a one as these it was who had
slain his beloved Kala.  For them there could be naught but enmity, yet
he liked well to watch them, avid as he was for greater knowledge of
the ways of man.

He saw the pit grow in depth until a great hole yawned the width of the
trail--a hole which was amply large enough to hold at one time all of
the six excavators.  Tarzan could not guess the purpose of so great a
labor.  And when they cut long stakes, sharpened at their upper ends,
and set them at intervals upright in the bottom of the pit, his
wonderment but increased, nor was it satisfied with the placing of the
light cross-poles over the pit, or the careful arrangement of leaves
and earth which completely hid from view the work the black men had
performed.

When they were done they surveyed their handiwork with evident
satisfaction, and Tarzan surveyed it, too.  Even to his practiced eye
there remained scarce a vestige of evidence that the ancient game trail
had been tampered with in any way.

So absorbed was the ape-man in speculation as to the purpose of the
covered pit that he permitted the blacks to depart in the direction of
their village without the usual baiting which had rendered him the
terror of Mbonga's people and had afforded Tarzan both a vehicle of
revenge and a source of inexhaustible delight.

Puzzle as he would, however, he could not solve the mystery of the
concealed pit, for the ways of the blacks were still strange ways to
Tarzan.  They had entered his jungle but a short time before--the first
of their kind to encroach upon the age-old supremacy of the beasts
which laired there.  To Numa, the lion, to Tantor, the elephant, to the
great apes and the lesser apes, to each and all of the myriad creatures
of this savage wild, the ways of man were new.  They had much to learn
of these black, hairless creatures that walked erect upon their hind
paws--and they were learning it slowly, and always to their sorrow.

Shortly after the blacks had departed, Tarzan swung easily to the
trail.  Sniffing suspiciously, he circled the edge of the pit.
Squatting upon his haunches, he scraped away a little earth to expose
one of the cross-bars. He sniffed at this, touched it, cocked his head
upon one side, and contemplated it gravely for several minutes.  Then
he carefully re-covered it, arranging the earth as neatly as had the
blacks.  This done, he swung himself back among the branches of the
trees and moved off in search of his hairy fellows, the great apes of
the tribe of Kerchak.

Once he crossed the trail of Numa, the lion, pausing for a moment to
hurl a soft fruit at the snarling face of his enemy, and to taunt and
insult him, calling him eater of carrion and brother of Dango, the
hyena.  Numa, his yellow-green eyes round and burning with concentrated
hate, glared up at the dancing figure above him.  Low growls vibrated
his heavy jowls and his great rage transmitted to his sinuous tail a
sharp, whiplike motion; but realizing from past experience the futility
of long distance argument with the ape-man, he turned presently and
struck off into the tangled vegetation which hid him from the view of
his tormentor.  With a final scream of jungle invective and an apelike
grimace at his departing foe, Tarzan continued along his way.

Another mile and a shifting wind brought to his keen nostrils a
familiar, pungent odor close at hand, and a moment later there loomed
beneath him a huge, gray-black bulk forging steadily along the jungle
trail.  Tarzan seized and broke a small tree limb, and at the sudden
cracking sound the ponderous figure halted.  Great ears were thrown
forward, and a long, supple trunk rose quickly to wave to and fro in
search of the scent of an enemy, while two weak, little eyes peered
suspiciously and futilely about in quest of the author of the noise
which had disturbed his peaceful way.

Tarzan laughed aloud and came closer above the head of the pachyderm.

"Tantor! Tantor!" he cried.  "Bara, the deer, is less fearful than
you--you, Tantor, the elephant, greatest of the jungle folk with the
strength of as many Numas as I have toes upon my feet and fingers upon
my hands.  Tantor, who can uproot great trees, trembles with fear at
the sound of a broken twig."

A rumbling noise, which might have been either a sign of contempt or a
sigh of relief, was Tantor's only reply as the uplifted trunk and ears
came down and the beast's tail dropped to normal; but his eyes still
roved about in search of Tarzan.  He was not long kept in suspense,
however, as to the whereabouts of the ape-man, for a second later the
youth dropped lightly to the broad head of his old friend.  Then
stretching himself at full length, he drummed with his bare toes upon
the thick hide, and as his fingers scratched the more tender surfaces
beneath the great ears, he talked to Tantor of the gossip of the jungle
as though the great beast understood every word that he said.

Much there was which Tarzan could make Tantor understand, and though
the small talk of the wild was beyond the great, gray dreadnaught of
the jungle, he stood with blinking eyes and gently swaying trunk as
though drinking in every word of it with keenest appreciation.  As a
matter of fact it was the pleasant, friendly voice and caressing hands
behind his ears which he enjoyed, and the close proximity of him whom
he had often borne upon his back since Tarzan, as a little child, had
once fearlessly approached the great bull, assuming upon the part of
the pachyderm the same friendliness which filled his own heart.

In the years of their association Tarzan had discovered that he
possessed an inexplicable power to govern and direct his mighty friend.
At his bidding, Tantor would come from a great distance--as far as his
keen ears could detect the shrill and piercing summons of the
ape-man--and when Tarzan was squatted upon his head, Tantor would
lumber through the jungle in any direction which his rider bade him go.
It was the power of the man-mind over that of the brute and it was just
as effective as though both fully understood its origin, though neither
did.

For half an hour Tarzan sprawled there upon Tantor's back.  Time had no
meaning for either of them.  Life, as they saw it, consisted
principally in keeping their stomachs filled.  To Tarzan this was a
less arduous labor than to Tantor, for Tarzan's stomach was smaller,
and being omnivorous, food was less difficult to obtain.  If one sort
did not come readily to hand, there were always many others to satisfy
his hunger.  He was less particular as to his diet than Tantor, who
would eat only the bark of certain trees, and the wood of others, while
a third appealed to him only through its leaves, and these, perhaps,
just at certain seasons of the year.

Tantor must needs spend the better part of his life in filling his
immense stomach against the needs of his mighty thews.  It is thus with
all the lower orders--their lives are so occupied either with searching
for food or with the processes of digestion that they have little time
for other considerations.  Doubtless it is this handicap which has kept
them from advancing as rapidly as man, who has more time to give to
thought upon other matters.

However, these questions troubled Tarzan but little, and Tantor not at
all.  What the former knew was that he was happy in the companionship
of the elephant.  He did not know why.  He did not know that because he
was a human being--a normal, healthy human being--he craved some living
thing upon which to lavish his affection.  His childhood playmates
among the apes of Kerchak were now great, sullen brutes.  They felt nor
inspired but little affection.  The younger apes Tarzan still played
with occasionally.  In his savage way he loved them; but they were far
from satisfying or restful companions.  Tantor was a great mountain of
calm, of poise, of stability.  It was restful and satisfying to sprawl
upon his rough pate and pour one's vague hopes and aspirations into the
great ears which flapped ponderously to and fro in apparent
understanding.  Of all the jungle folk, Tantor commanded Tarzan's
greatest love since Kala had been taken from him.  Sometimes Tarzan
wondered if Tantor reciprocated his affection.  It was difficult to
know.

It was the call of the stomach--the most compelling and insistent call
which the jungle knows--that took Tarzan finally back to the trees and
off in search of food, while Tantor continued his interrupted journey
in the opposite direction.

For an hour the ape-man foraged.  A lofty nest yielded its fresh, warm
harvest.  Fruits, berries, and tender plantain found a place upon his
menu in the order that he happened upon them, for he did not seek such
foods.  Meat, meat, meat! It was always meat that Tarzan of the Apes
hunted; but sometimes meat eluded him, as today.

And as he roamed the jungle his active mind busied itself not alone
with his hunting, but with many other subjects.  He had a habit of
recalling often the events of the preceding days and hours.  He lived
over his visit with Tantor; he cogitated upon the digging blacks and
the strange, covered pit they had left behind them.  He wondered again
and again what its purpose might be.  He compared perceptions and
arrived at judgments.  He compared judgments, reaching conclusions--not
always correct ones, it is true, but at least he used his brain for the
purpose God intended it, which was the less difficult because he was
not handicapped by the second-hand, and usually erroneous, judgment of
others.

And as he puzzled over the covered pit, there loomed suddenly before
his mental vision a huge, gray-black bulk which lumbered ponderously
along a jungle trail.  Instantly Tarzan tensed to the shock of a sudden
fear.  Decision and action usually occurred simultaneously in the life
of the ape-man, and now he was away through the leafy branches ere the
realization of the pit's purpose had scarce formed in his mind.

Swinging from swaying limb to swaying limb, he raced through the middle
terraces where the trees grew close together.  Again he dropped to the
ground and sped, silently and light of foot, over the carpet of
decaying vegetation, only to leap again into the trees where the
tangled undergrowth precluded rapid advance upon the surface.

In his anxiety he cast discretion to the winds.  The caution of the
beast was lost in the loyalty of the man, and so it came that he
entered a large clearing, denuded of trees, without a thought of what
might lie there or upon the farther edge to dispute the way with him.

He was half way across when directly in his path and but a few yards
away there rose from a clump of tall grasses a half dozen chattering
birds.  Instantly Tarzan turned aside, for he knew well enough what
manner of creature the presence of these little sentinels proclaimed.
Simultaneously Buto, the rhinoceros, scrambled to his short legs and
charged furiously.  Haphazard charges Buto, the rhinoceros.  With his
weak eyes he sees but poorly even at short distances, and whether his
erratic rushes are due to the panic of fear as he attempts to escape,
or to the irascible temper with which he is generally credited, it is
difficult to determine.  Nor is the matter of little moment to one whom
Buto charges, for if he be caught and tossed, the chances are that
naught will interest him thereafter.

And today it chanced that Buto bore down straight upon Tarzan, across
the few yards of knee-deep grass which separated them.  Accident
started him in the direction of the ape-man, and then his weak eyes
discerned the enemy, and with a series of snorts he charged straight
for him.  The little rhino birds fluttered and circled about their
giant ward.  Among the branches of the trees at the edge of the
clearing, a score or more monkeys chattered and scolded as the loud
snorts of the angry beast sent them scurrying affrightedly to the upper
terraces.  Tarzan alone appeared indifferent and serene.

Directly in the path of the charge he stood.  There had been no time to
seek safety in the trees beyond the clearing, nor had Tarzan any mind
to delay his journey because of Buto.  He had met the stupid beast
before and held him in fine contempt.

And now Buto was upon him, the massive head lowered and the long, heavy
horn inclined for the frightful work for which nature had designed it;
but as he struck upward, his weapon raked only thin air, for the
ape-man had sprung lightly aloft with a catlike leap that carried him
above the threatening horn to the broad back of the rhinoceros.
Another spring and he was on the ground behind the brute and racing
like a deer for the trees.

Buto, angered and mystified by the strange disappearance of his prey,
wheeled and charged frantically in another direction, which chanced to
be not the direction of Tarzan's flight, and so the ape-man came in
safety to the trees and continued on his swift way through the forest.

Some distance ahead of him Tantor moved steadily along the well-worn
elephant trail, and ahead of Tantor a crouching, black warrior listened
intently in the middle of the path.  Presently he heard the sound for
which he had been hoping--the cracking, snapping sound which heralded
the approach of an elephant.

To his right and left in other parts of the jungle other warriors were
watching.  A low signal, passed from one to another, apprised the most
distant that the quarry was afoot.  Rapidly they converged toward the
trail, taking positions in trees down wind from the point at which
Tantor must pass them.  Silently they waited and presently were
rewarded by the sight of a mighty tusker carrying an amount of ivory in
his long tusks that set their greedy hearts to palpitating.

No sooner had he passed their positions than the warriors clambered
from their perches.  No longer were they silent, but instead clapped
their hands and shouted as they reached the ground.  For an instant
Tantor, the elephant, paused with upraised trunk and tail, with great
ears up-pricked, and then he swung on along the trail at a rapid,
shuffling pace--straight toward the covered pit with its sharpened
stakes upstanding in the ground.

Behind him came the yelling warriors, urging him on in the rapid flight
which would not permit a careful examination of the ground before him.
Tantor, the elephant, who could have turned and scattered his
adversaries with a single charge, fled like a frightened deer--fled
toward a hideous, torturing death.

And behind them all came Tarzan of the Apes, racing through the jungle
forest with the speed and agility of a squirrel, for he had heard the
shouts of the warriors and had interpreted them correctly.  Once he
uttered a piercing call that reverberated through the jungle; but
Tantor, in the panic of terror, either failed to hear, or hearing,
dared not pause to heed.

Now the giant pachyderm was but a few yards from the hidden death
lurking in his path, and the blacks, certain of success, were screaming
and dancing in his wake, waving their war spears and celebrating in
advance the acquisition of the splendid ivory carried by their prey and
the surfeit of elephant meat which would be theirs this night.

So intent were they upon their gratulations that they entirely failed
to note the silent passage of the man-beast above their heads, nor did
Tantor, either, see or hear him, even though Tarzan called to him to
stop.

A few more steps would precipitate Tantor upon the sharpened stakes;
Tarzan fairly flew through the trees until he had come abreast of the
fleeing animal and then had passed him.  At the pit's verge the ape-man
dropped to the ground in the center of the trail.  Tantor was almost
upon him before his weak eyes permitted him to recognize his old friend.

"Stop!" cried Tarzan, and the great beast halted to the upraised hand.

Tarzan turned and kicked aside some of the brush which hid the pit.
Instantly Tantor saw and understood.

"Fight!" growled Tarzan.  "They are coming behind you." But Tantor, the
elephant, is a huge bunch of nerves, and now he was half panic-stricken
by terror.

Before him yawned the pit, how far he did not know, but to right and
left lay the primeval jungle untouched by man.  With a squeal the great
beast turned suddenly at right angles and burst his noisy way through
the solid wall of matted vegetation that would have stopped any but him.

Tarzan, standing upon the edge of the pit, smiled as he watched
Tantor's undignified flight.  Soon the blacks would come.  It was best
that Tarzan of the Apes faded from the scene.  He essayed a step from
the pit's edge, and as he threw the weight of his body upon his left
foot, the earth crumbled away.  Tarzan made a single Herculean effort
to throw himself forward, but it was too late.  Backward and downward
he went toward the sharpened stakes in the bottom of the pit.

When, a moment later, the blacks came they saw even from a distance
that Tantor had eluded them, for the size of the hole in the pit
covering was too small to have accommodated the huge bulk of an
elephant.  At first they thought that their prey had put one great foot
through the top and then, warned, drawn back; but when they had come to
the pit's verge and peered over, their eyes went wide in astonishment,
for, quiet and still, at the bottom lay the naked figure of a white
giant.

Some of them there had glimpsed this forest god before and they drew
back in terror, awed by the presence which they had for some time
believed to possess the miraculous powers of a demon; but others there
were who pushed forward, thinking only of the capture of an enemy, and
these leaped into the pit and lifted Tarzan out.

There was no scar upon his body.  None of the sharpened stakes had
pierced him--only a swollen spot at the base of the brain indicated the
nature of his injury.  In the falling backward his head had struck upon
the side of one of the stakes, rendering him unconscious.  The blacks
were quick to discover this, and equally quick to bind their prisoner's
arms and legs before he should regain consciousness, for they had
learned to harbor a wholesome respect for this strange man-beast that
consorted with the hairy tree folk.

They had carried him but a short distance toward their village when the
ape-man's eyelids quivered and raised.  He looked about him wonderingly
for a moment, and then full consciousness returned and he realized the
seriousness of his predicament.  Accustomed almost from birth to
relying solely upon his own resources, he did not cast about for
outside aid now, but devoted his mind to a consideration of the
possibilities for escape which lay within himself and his own powers.

He did not dare test the strength of his bonds while the blacks were
carrying him, for fear they would become apprehensive and add to them.
Presently his captors discovered that he was conscious, and as they had
little stomach for carrying a heavy man through the jungle heat, they
set him upon his feet and forced him forward among them, pricking him
now and then with their spears, yet with every manifestation of the
superstitious awe in which they held him.

When they discovered that their prodding brought no outward evidence of
suffering, their awe increased, so that they soon desisted, half
believing that this strange white giant was a supernatural being and so
was immune from pain.

As they approached their village, they shouted aloud the victorious
cries of successful warriors, so that by the time they reached the
gate, dancing and waving their spears, a great crowd of men, women, and
children were gathered there to greet them and hear the story of their
adventure.

As the eyes of the villagers fell upon the prisoner, they went wild,
and heavy jaws fell open in astonishment and incredulity.  For months
they had lived in perpetual terror of a weird, white demon whom but few
had ever glimpsed and lived to describe.  Warriors had disappeared from
the paths almost within sight of the village and from the midst of
their companions as mysteriously and completely as though they had been
swallowed by the earth, and later, at night, their dead bodies had
fallen, as from the heavens, into the village street.

This fearsome creature had appeared by night in the huts of the
village, killed, and disappeared, leaving behind him in the huts with
his dead, strange and terrifying evidences of an uncanny sense of humor.

But now he was in their power! No longer could he terrorize them.
Slowly the realization of this dawned upon them.  A woman, screaming,
ran forward and struck the ape-man across the face.  Another and
another followed her example, until Tarzan of the Apes was surrounded
by a fighting, clawing, yelling mob of natives.

And then Mbonga, the chief, came, and laying his spear heavily across
the shoulders of his people, drove them from their prey.

"We will save him until night," he said.

Far out in the jungle Tantor, the elephant, his first panic of fear
allayed, stood with up-pricked ears and undulating trunk.  What was
passing through the convolutions of his savage brain? Could he be
searching for Tarzan?  Could he recall and measure the service the
ape-man had performed for him? Of that there can be no doubt.  But did
he feel gratitude? Would he have risked his own life to have saved
Tarzan could he have known of the danger which confronted his friend?
You will doubt it.  Anyone at all familiar with elephants will doubt
it.  Englishmen who have hunted much with elephants in India will tell
you that they never have heard of an instance in which one of these
animals has gone to the aid of a man in danger, even though the man had
often befriended it.  And so it is to be doubted that Tantor would have
attempted to overcome his instinctive fear of the black men in an
effort to succor Tarzan.

The screams of the infuriated villagers came faintly to his sensitive
ears, and he wheeled, as though in terror, contemplating flight; but
something stayed him, and again he turned about, raised his trunk, and
gave voice to a shrill cry.

Then he stood listening.

In the distant village where Mbonga had restored quiet and order, the
voice of Tantor was scarcely audible to the blacks, but to the keen
ears of Tarzan of the Apes it bore its message.

His captors were leading him to a hut where he might be confined and
guarded against the coming of the nocturnal orgy that would mark his
torture-laden death.  He halted as he heard the notes of Tantor's call,
and raising his head, gave vent to a terrifying scream that sent cold
chills through the superstitious blacks and caused the warriors who
guarded him to leap back even though their prisoner's arms were
securely bound behind him.

With raised spears they encircled him as for a moment longer he stood
listening.  Faintly from the distance came another, an answering cry,
and Tarzan of the Apes, satisfied, turned and quietly pursued his way
toward the hut where he was to be imprisoned.

The afternoon wore on.  From the surrounding village the ape-man heard
the bustle of preparation for the feast.  Through the doorway of the
hut he saw the women laying the cooking fires and filling their earthen
caldrons with water; but above it all his ears were bent across the
jungle in eager listening for the coming of Tantor.

Even Tarzan but half believed that he would come.  He knew Tantor even
better than Tantor knew himself.  He knew the timid heart which lay in
the giant body.  He knew the panic of terror which the scent of the
Gomangani inspired within that savage breast, and as night drew on,
hope died within his heart and in the stoic calm of the wild beast
which he was, he resigned himself to meet the fate which awaited him.

All afternoon he had been working, working, working with the bonds that
held his wrists.  Very slowly they were giving.  He might free his
hands before they came to lead him out to be butchered, and if he
did--Tarzan licked his lips in anticipation, and smiled a cold, grim
smile.  He could imagine the feel of soft flesh beneath his fingers and
the sinking of his white teeth into the throats of his foemen.  He
would let them taste his wrath before they overpowered him!

At last they came--painted, befeathered warriors--even more hideous
than nature had intended them.  They came and pushed him into the open,
where his appearance was greeted by wild shouts from the assembled
villagers.

To the stake they led him, and as they pushed him roughly against it
preparatory to binding him there securely for the dance of death that
would presently encircle him, Tarzan tensed his mighty thews and with a
single, powerful wrench parted the loosened thongs which had secured
his hands.  Like thought, for quickness, he leaped forward among the
warriors nearest him.  A blow sent one to earth, as, growling and
snarling, the beast-man leaped upon the breast of another.  His fangs
were buried instantly in the jugular of his adversary and then a half
hundred black men had leaped upon him and borne him to earth.

Striking, clawing, and snapping, the ape-man fought--fought as his
foster people had taught him to fight--fought like a wild beast
cornered.  His strength, his agility, his courage, and his intelligence
rendered him easily a match for half a dozen black men in a
hand-to-hand struggle, but not even Tarzan of the Apes could hope to
successfully cope with half a hundred.

Slowly they were overpowering him, though a score of them bled from
ugly wounds, and two lay very still beneath the trampling feet, and the
rolling bodies of the contestants.

Overpower him they might, but could they keep him overpowered while
they bound him? A half hour of desperate endeavor convinced them that
they could not, and so Mbonga, who, like all good rulers, had circled
in the safety of the background, called to one to work his way in and
spear the victim.  Gradually, through the milling, battling men, the
warrior approached the object of his quest.

He stood with poised spear above his head waiting for the instant that
would expose a vulnerable part of the ape-man's body and still not
endanger one of the blacks.  Closer and closer he edged about,
following the movements of the twisting, scuffling combatants.  The
growls of the ape-man sent cold chills up the warrior's spine, causing
him to go carefully lest he miss at the first cast and lay himself open
to an attack from those merciless teeth and mighty hands.

At last he found an opening.  Higher he raised his spear, tensing his
muscles, rolling beneath his glistening, ebon hide, and then from the
jungle just beyond the palisade came a thunderous crashing.  The
spear-hand paused, the black cast a quick glance in the direction of
the disturbance, as did the others of the blacks who were not occupied
with the subjugation of the ape-man.

In the glare of the fires they saw a huge bulk topping the barrier.
They saw the palisade belly and sway inward.  They saw it burst as
though built of straws, and an instant later Tantor, the elephant,
thundered down upon them.

To right and left the blacks fled, screaming in terror.  Some who
hovered upon the verge of the strife with Tarzan heard and made good
their escape, but a half dozen there were so wrapt in the blood-madness
of battle that they failed to note the approach of the giant tusker.

Upon these Tantor charged, trumpeting furiously.  Above them he
stopped, his sensitive trunk weaving among them, and there, at the
bottom, he found Tarzan, bloody, but still battling.

A warrior turned his eyes upward from the melee.  Above him towered the
gigantic bulk of the pachyderm, the little eyes flashing with the
reflected light of the fires--wicked, frightful, terrifying.  The
warrior screamed, and as he screamed, the sinuous trunk encircled him,
lifted him high above the ground, and hurled him far after the fleeing
crowd.

Another and another Tantor wrenched from the body of the ape-man,
throwing them to right and to left, where they lay either moaning or
very quiet, as death came slowly or at once.

At a distance Mbonga rallied his warriors.  His greedy eyes had noted
the great ivory tusks of the bull.  The first panic of terror relieved,
he urged his men forward to attack with their heavy elephant spears;
but as they came, Tantor swung Tarzan to his broad head, and, wheeling,
lumbered off into the jungle through the great rent he had made in the
palisade.

Elephant hunters may be right when they aver that this animal would not
have rendered such service to a man, but to Tantor, Tarzan was not a
man--he was but a fellow jungle beast.

And so it was that Tantor, the elephant, discharged an obligation to
Tarzan of the Apes, cementing even more closely the friendship that had
existed between them since Tarzan as a little, brown boy rode upon
Tantor's huge back through the moonlit jungle beneath the equatorial
stars.



                           3

                The Fight for the Balu

TEEKA HAD BECOME a mother.  Tarzan of the Apes was intensely
interested, much more so, in fact, than Taug, the father.  Tarzan was
very fond of Teeka.  Even the cares of prospective motherhood had not
entirely quenched the fires of carefree youth, and Teeka had remained a
good-natured playmate even at an age when other shes of the tribe of
Kerchak had assumed the sullen dignity of maturity.  She yet retained
her childish delight in the primitive games of tag and hide-and-go-seek
which Tarzan's fertile man-mind had evolved.

To play tag through the tree tops is an exciting and inspiring pastime.
Tarzan delighted in it, but the bulls of his childhood had long since
abandoned such childish practices.  Teeka, though, had been keen for it
always until shortly before the baby came; but with the advent of her
first-born, even Teeka changed.

The evidence of the change surprised and hurt Tarzan immeasurably.  One
morning he saw Teeka squatted upon a low branch hugging something very
close to her hairy breast--a wee something which squirmed and wriggled.
Tarzan approached filled with the curiosity which is common to all
creatures endowed with brains which have progressed beyond the
microscopic stage.

Teeka rolled her eyes in his direction and strained the squirming mite
still closer to her.  Tarzan came nearer.  Teeka drew away and bared
her fangs.  Tarzan was nonplussed.  In all his experiences with Teeka,
never before had she bared fangs at him other than in play; but today
she did not look playful.  Tarzan ran his brown fingers through his
thick, black hair, cocked his head upon one side, and stared.  Then he
edged a bit nearer, craning his neck to have a better look at the thing
which Teeka cuddled.

Again Teeka drew back her upper lip in a warning snarl.  Tarzan reached
forth a hand, cautiously, to touch the thing which Teeka held, and
Teeka, with a hideous growl, turned suddenly upon him.  Her teeth sank
into the flesh of his forearm before the ape-man could snatch it away,
and she pursued him for a short distance as he retreated incontinently
through the trees; but Teeka, carrying her baby, could not overtake
him.  At a safe distance Tarzan stopped and turned to regard his
erstwhile play-fellow in unconcealed astonishment.  What had happened
to so alter the gentle Teeka? She had so covered the thing in her arms
that Tarzan had not yet been able to recognize it for what it was; but
now, as she turned from the pursuit of him, he saw it.  Through his
pain and chagrin he smiled, for Tarzan had seen young ape mothers
before.  In a few days she would be less suspicious.  Still Tarzan was
hurt; it was not right that Teeka, of all others, should fear him.
Why, not for the world would he harm her, or her balu, which is the ape
word for baby.

And now, above the pain of his injured arm and the hurt to his pride,
rose a still stronger desire to come close and inspect the new-born son
of Taug.  Possibly you will wonder that Tarzan of the Apes, mighty
fighter that he was, should have fled before the irritable attack of a
she, or that he should hesitate to return for the satisfaction of his
curiosity when with ease he might have vanquished the weakened mother
of the new-born cub; but you need not wonder.  Were you an ape, you
would know that only a bull in the throes of madness will turn upon a
female other than to gently chastise her, with the occasional exception
of the individual whom we find exemplified among our own kind, and who
delights in beating up his better half because she happens to be
smaller and weaker than he.

Tarzan again came toward the young mother--warily and with his line of
retreat safely open.  Again Teeka growled ferociously.  Tarzan
expostulated.

"Tarzan of the Apes will not harm Teeka's balu," he said.  "Let me see
it."

"Go away!" commanded Teeka.  "Go away, or I will kill you."

"Let me see it," urged Tarzan.

"Go away," reiterated the she-ape. "Here comes Taug.  He will make you
go away.  Taug will kill you.  This is Taug's balu."

A savage growl close behind him apprised Tarzan of the nearness of
Taug, and the fact that the bull had heard the warnings and threats of
his mate and was coming to her succor.

Now Taug, as well as Teeka, had been Tarzan's play-fellow while the
bull was still young enough to wish to play.  Once Tarzan had saved
Taug's life; but the memory of an ape is not overlong, nor would
gratitude rise above the parental instinct.  Tarzan and Taug had once
measured strength, and Tarzan had been victorious.  That fact Taug
could be depended upon still to remember; but even so, he might readily
face another defeat for his first-born--if he chanced to be in the
proper mood.

From his hideous growls, which now rose in strength and volume, he
seemed to be in quite the mood.  Now Tarzan felt no fear of Taug, nor
did the unwritten law of the jungle demand that he should flee from
battle with any male, unless he cared to from purely personal reasons.
But Tarzan liked Taug.  He had no grudge against him, and his man-mind
told him what the mind of an ape would never have deduced--that Taug's
attitude in no sense indicated hatred.  It was but the instinctive urge
of the male to protect its offspring and its mate.

Tarzan had no desire to battle with Taug, nor did the blood of his
English ancestors relish the thought of flight, yet when the bull
charged, Tarzan leaped nimbly to one side, and thus encouraged, Taug
wheeled and rushed again madly to the attack.  Perhaps the memory of a
past defeat at Tarzan's hands goaded him.  Perhaps the fact that Teeka
sat there watching him aroused a desire to vanquish the ape-man before
her eyes, for in the breast of every jungle male lurks a vast egotism
which finds expression in the performance of deeds of derring-do before
an audience of the opposite sex.

At the ape-man's side swung his long grass rope--the play-thing of
yesterday, the weapon of today--and as Taug charged the second time,
Tarzan slipped the coils over his head and deftly shook out the sliding
noose as he again nimbly eluded the ungainly beast.  Before the ape
could turn again, Tarzan had fled far aloft among the branches of the
upper terrace.

Taug, now wrought to a frenzy of real rage, followed him.  Teeka peered
upward at them.  It was difficult to say whether she was interested.
Taug could not climb as rapidly as Tarzan, so the latter reached the
high levels to which the heavy ape dared not follow before the former
overtook him.  There he halted and looked down upon his pursuer, making
faces at him and calling him such choice names as occurred to the
fertile man-brain. Then, when he had worked Taug to such a pitch of
foaming rage that the great bull fairly danced upon the bending limb
beneath him, Tarzan's hand shot suddenly outward, a widening noose
dropped swiftly through the air, there was a quick jerk as it settled
about Taug, falling to his knees, a jerk that tightened it securely
about the hairy legs of the anthropoid.

Taug, slow of wit, realized too late the intention of his tormentor.
He scrambled to escape, but the ape-man gave the rope a tremendous jerk
that pulled Taug from his perch, and a moment later, growling
hideously, the ape hung head downward thirty feet above the ground.

Tarzan secured the rope to a stout limb and descended to a point close
to Taug.

"Taug," he said, "you are as stupid as Buto, the rhinoceros.  Now you
may hang here until you get a little sense in your thick head.  You may
hang here and watch while I go and talk with Teeka."

Taug blustered and threatened, but Tarzan only grinned at him as he
dropped lightly to the lower levels.  Here he again approached Teeka
only to be again greeted with bared fangs and menacing growls.  He
sought to placate her; he urged his friendly intentions, and craned his
neck to have a look at Teeka's balu; but the she-ape was not to be
persuaded that he meant other than harm to her little one.  Her
motherhood was still so new that reason was yet subservient to instinct.

Realizing the futility of attempting to catch and chastise Tarzan,
Teeka sought to escape him.  She dropped to the ground and lumbered
across the little clearing about which the apes of the tribe were
disposed in rest or in the search of food, and presently Tarzan
abandoned his attempts to persuade her to permit a close examination of
the balu.  The ape-man would have liked to handle the tiny thing.  The
very sight of it awakened in his breast a strange yearning.  He wished
to cuddle and fondle the grotesque little ape-thing. It was Teeka's
balu and Tarzan had once lavished his young affections upon Teeka.

But now his attention was diverted by the voice of Taug.  The threats
that had filled the ape's mouth had turned to pleas.  The tightening
noose was stopping the circulation of the blood in his legs--he was
beginning to suffer.  Several apes sat near him highly interested in
his predicament.  They made uncomplimentary remarks about him, for each
of them had felt the weight of Taug's mighty hands and the strength of
his great jaws.  They were enjoying revenge.

Teeka, seeing that Tarzan had turned back toward the trees, had halted
in the center of the clearing, and there she sat hugging her balu and
casting suspicious glances here and there.  With the coming of the
balu, Teeka's care-free world had suddenly become peopled with
innumerable enemies.  She saw an implacable foe in Tarzan, always
heretofore her best friend.  Even poor old Mumga, half blind and almost
entirely toothless, searching patiently for grubworms beneath a fallen
log, represented to her a malignant spirit thirsting for the blood of
little balus.

And while Teeka guarded suspiciously against harm, where there was no
harm, she failed to note two baleful, yellow-green eyes staring fixedly
at her from behind a clump of bushes at the opposite side of the
clearing.

Hollow from hunger, Sheeta, the panther, glared greedily at the
tempting meat so close at hand, but the sight of the great bulls beyond
gave him pause.

Ah, if the she-ape with her balu would but come just a trifle nearer! A
quick spring and he would be upon them and away again with his meat
before the bulls could prevent.

The tip of his tawny tail moved in spasmodic little jerks; his lower
jaw hung low, exposing a red tongue and yellow fangs.  But all this
Teeka did not see, nor did any other of the apes who were feeding or
resting about her.  Nor did Tarzan or the apes in the trees.

Hearing the abuse which the bulls were pouring upon the helpless Taug,
Tarzan clambered quickly among them.  One was edging closer and leaning
far out in an effort to reach the dangling ape.  He had worked himself
into quite a fury through recollection of the last occasion upon which
Taug had mauled him, and now he was bent upon revenge.  Once he had
grasped the swinging ape, he would quickly have drawn him within reach
of his jaws.  Tarzan saw and was wroth.  He loved a fair fight, but the
thing which this ape contemplated revolted him.  Already a hairy hand
had clutched the helpless Taug when, with an angry growl of protest,
Tarzan leaped to the branch at the attacking ape's side, and with a
single mighty cuff, swept him from his perch.

Surprised and enraged, the bull clutched madly for support as he
toppled sidewise, and then with an agile movement succeeded in
projecting himself toward another limb a few feet below.  Here he found
a hand-hold, quickly righted himself, and as quickly clambered upward
to be revenged upon Tarzan, but the ape-man was otherwise engaged and
did not wish to be interrupted.  He was explaining again to Taug the
depths of the latter's abysmal ignorance, and pointing out how much
greater and mightier was Tarzan of the Apes than Taug or any other ape.

In the end he would release Taug, but not until Taug was fully
acquainted with his own inferiority.  And then the maddened bull came
from beneath, and instantly Tarzan was transformed from a good-natured,
teasing youth into a snarling, savage beast.  Along his scalp the hair
bristled: his upper lip drew back that his fighting fangs might be
uncovered and ready.  He did not wait for the bull to reach him, for
something in the appearance or the voice of the attacker aroused within
the ape-man a feeling of belligerent antagonism that would not be
denied.  With a scream that carried no human note, Tarzan leaped
straight at the throat of the attacker.

The impetuosity of this act and the weight and momentum of his body
carried the bull backward, clutching and clawing for support, down
through the leafy branches of the tree.  For fifteen feet the two fell,
Tarzan's teeth buried in the jugular of his opponent, when a stout
branch stopped their descent.  The bull struck full upon the small of
his back across the limb, hung there for a moment with the ape-man
still upon his breast, and then toppled over toward the ground.

Tarzan had felt the instantaneous relaxation of the body beneath him
after the heavy impact with the tree limb, and as the other turned
completely over and started again upon its fall toward the ground, he
reached forth a hand and caught the branch in time to stay his own
descent, while the ape dropped like a plummet to the foot of the tree.

Tarzan looked downward for a moment upon the still form of his late
antagonist, then he rose to his full height, swelled his deep chest,
smote upon it with his clenched fist and roared out the uncanny
challenge of the victorious bull ape.

Even Sheeta, the panther, crouched for a spring at the edge of the
little clearing, moved uneasily as the mighty voice sent its weird cry
reverberating through the jungle.  To right and left, nervously,
glanced Sheeta, as though assuring himself that the way of escape lay
ready at hand.

"I am Tarzan of the Apes," boasted the ape-man; "mighty hunter, mighty
fighter! None in all the jungle so great as Tarzan."

Then he made his way back in the direction of Taug.  Teeka had watched
the happenings in the tree.  She had even placed her precious balu upon
the soft grasses and come a little nearer that she might better witness
all that was passing in the branches above her.  In her heart of hearts
did she still esteem the smooth-skinned Tarzan?  Did her savage breast
swell with pride as she witnessed his victory over the ape? You will
have to ask Teeka.

And Sheeta, the panther, saw that the she-ape had left her cub alone
among the grasses.  He moved his tail again, as though this closest
approximation of lashing in which he dared indulge might stimulate his
momentarily waned courage.  The cry of the victorious ape-man still
held his nerves beneath its spell.  It would be several minutes before
he again could bring himself to the point of charging into view of the
giant anthropoids.

And as he regathered his forces, Tarzan reached Taug's side, and then
clambering higher up to the point where the end of the grass rope was
made fast, he unloosed it and lowered the ape slowly downward, swinging
him in until the clutching hands fastened upon a limb.

Quickly Taug drew himself to a position of safety and shook off the
noose.  In his rage-maddened heart was no room for gratitude to the
ape-man. He recalled only the fact that Tarzan had laid this painful
indignity upon him.  He would be revenged, but just at present his legs
were so numb and his head so dizzy that he must postpone the
gratification of his vengeance.

Tarzan was coiling his rope the while he lectured Taug on the futility
of pitting his poor powers, physical and intellectual, against those of
his betters.  Teeka had come close beneath the tree and was peering
upward.  Sheeta was worming his way stealthily forward, his belly close
to the ground.  In another moment he would be clear of the underbrush
and ready for the rapid charge and the quick retreat that would end the
brief existence of Teeka's balu.

Then Tarzan chanced to look up and across the clearing.  Instantly his
attitude of good-natured bantering and pompous boastfulness dropped
from him.  Silently and swiftly he shot downward toward the ground.
Teeka, seeing him coming, and thinking that he was after her or her
balu, bristled and prepared to fight.  But Tarzan sped by her, and as
he went, her eyes followed him and she saw the cause of his sudden
descent and his rapid charge across the clearing.  There in full sight
now was Sheeta, the panther, stalking slowly toward the tiny, wriggling
balu which lay among the grasses many yards away.

Teeka gave voice to a shrill scream of terror and of warning as she
dashed after the ape-man. Sheeta saw Tarzan coming.  He saw the
she-ape's cub before him, and he thought that this other was bent upon
robbing him of his prey.  With an angry growl, he charged.

Taug, warned by Teeka's cry, came lumbering down to her assistance.
Several other bulls, growling and barking, closed in toward the
clearing, but they were all much farther from the balu and the panther
than was Tarzan of the Apes, so it was that Sheeta and the ape-man
reached Teeka's little one almost simultaneously; and there they stood,
one upon either side of it, baring their fangs and snarling at each
other over the little creature.

Sheeta was afraid to seize the balu, for thus he would give the ape-man
an opening for attack; and for the same reason Tarzan hesitated to
snatch the panther's prey out of harm's way, for had he stooped to
accomplish this, the great beast would have been upon him in an
instant.  Thus they stood while Teeka came across the clearing, going
more slowly as she neared the panther, for even her mother love could
scarce overcome her instinctive terror of this natural enemy of her
kind.

Behind her came Taug, warily and with many pauses and much bluster, and
still behind him came other bulls, snarling ferociously and uttering
their uncanny challenges.  Sheeta's yellow-green eyes glared terribly
at Tarzan, and past Tarzan they shot brief glances at the apes of
Kerchak advancing upon him.  Discretion prompted him to turn and flee,
but hunger and the close proximity of the tempting morsel in the grass
before him urged him to remain.  He reached forth a paw toward Teeka's
balu, and as he did so, with a savage guttural, Tarzan of the Apes was
upon him.

The panther reared to meet the ape-man's attack.  He swung a frightful
raking blow for Tarzan that would have wiped his face away had it
landed, but it did not land, for Tarzan ducked beneath it and closed,
his long knife ready in one strong hand--the knife of his dead father,
of the father he never had known.

Instantly the balu was forgotten by Sheeta, the panther.  He now
thought only of tearing to ribbons with his powerful talons the flesh
of his antagonist, of burying his long, yellow fangs in the soft,
smooth hide of the ape-man, but Tarzan had fought before with clawed
creatures of the jungle.  Before now he had battled with fanged
monsters, nor always had he come away unscathed.  He knew the risk that
he ran, but Tarzan of the Apes, inured to the sight of suffering and
death, shrank from neither, for he feared neither.

The instant that he dodged beneath Sheeta's blow, he leaped to the
beast's rear and then full upon the tawny back, burying his teeth in
Sheeta's neck and the fingers of one hand in the fur at the throat, and
with the other hand he drove his blade into Sheeta's side.

Over and over upon the grass rolled Sheeta, growling and screaming,
clawing and biting, in a mad effort to dislodge his antagonist or get
some portion of his body within range of teeth or talons.

As Tarzan leaped to close quarters with the panther, Teeka had run
quickly in and snatched up her balu.  Now she sat upon a high branch,
safe out of harm's way, cuddling the little thing close to her hairy
breast, the while her savage little eyes bored down upon the
contestants in the clearing, and her ferocious voice urged Taug and the
other bulls to leap into the melee.

Thus goaded the bulls came closer, redoubling their hideous clamor; but
Sheeta was already sufficiently engaged--he did not even hear them.
Once he succeeded in partially dislodging the ape-man from his back, so
that Tarzan swung for an instant in front of those awful talons, and in
the brief instant before he could regain his former hold, a raking blow
from a hind paw laid open one leg from hip to knee.


It was the sight and smell of this blood, possibly, which wrought upon
the encircling apes; but it was Taug who really was responsible for the
thing they did.

Taug, but a moment before filled with rage toward Tarzan of the Apes,
stood close to the battling pair, his red-rimmed, wicked little eyes
glaring at them.  What was passing in his savage brain? Did he gloat
over the unenviable position of his recent tormentor? Did he long to
see Sheeta's great fangs sink into the soft throat of the ape-man? Or
did he realize the courageous unselfishness that had prompted Tarzan to
rush to the rescue and imperil his life for Teeka's balu--for Taug's
little balu? Is gratitude a possession of man only, or do the lower
orders know it also?

With the spilling of Tarzan's blood, Taug answered these questions.
With all the weight of his great body he leaped, hideously growling,
upon Sheeta.  His long fighting fangs buried themselves in the white
throat.  His powerful arms beat and clawed at the soft fur until it
flew upward in the jungle breeze.

And with Taug's example before them the other bulls charged, burying
Sheeta beneath rending fangs and filling all the forest with the wild
din of their battle cries.

Ah! but it was a wondrous and inspiring sight--this battle of the
primordial apes and the great, white ape-man with their ancestral foe,
Sheeta, the panther.

In frenzied excitement, Teeka fairly danced upon the limb which swayed
beneath her great weight as she urged on the males of her people, and
Thaka, and Mumga, and Kamma, with the other shes of the tribe of
Kerchak, added their shrill cries or fierce barkings to the pandemonium
which now reigned within the jungle.

Bitten and biting, tearing and torn, Sheeta battled for his life; but
the odds were against him.  Even Numa, the lion, would have hesitated
to have attacked an equal number of the great bulls of the tribe of
Kerchak, and now, a half mile away, hearing the sounds of the terrific
battle, the king of beasts rose uneasily from his midday slumber and
slunk off farther into the jungle.

Presently Sheeta's torn and bloody body ceased its titanic struggles.
It stiffened spasmodically, twitched and was still, yet the bulls
continued to lacerate it until the beautiful coat was torn to shreds.
At last they desisted from sheer physical weariness, and then from the
tangle of bloody bodies rose a crimson giant, straight as an arrow.

He placed a foot upon the dead body of the panther, and lifting his
blood-stained face to the blue of the equatorial heavens, gave voice to
the horrid victory cry of the bull ape.

One by one his hairy fellows of the tribe of Kerchak followed his
example.  The shes came down from their perches of safety and struck
and reviled the dead body of Sheeta.  The young apes refought the
battle in mimicry of their mighty elders.

Teeka was quite close to Tarzan.  He turned and saw her with the balu
hugged close to her hairy breast, and put out his hands to take the
little one, expecting that Teeka would bare her fangs and spring upon
him; but instead she placed the balu in his arms, and coming nearer,
licked his frightful wounds.

And presently Taug, who had escaped with only a few scratches, came and
squatted beside Tarzan and watched him as he played with the little
balu, and at last he too leaned over and helped Teeka with the
cleansing and the healing of the ape-man's hurts.



                           4

                   The God of Tarzan

AMONG THE BOOKS of his dead father in the little cabin by the
land-locked harbor, Tarzan of the Apes found many things to puzzle his
young head.  By much labor and through the medium of infinite patience
as well, he had, without assistance, discovered the purpose of the
little bugs which ran riot upon the printed pages.  He had learned that
in the many combinations in which he found them they spoke in a silent
language, spoke in a strange tongue, spoke of wonderful things which a
little ape-boy could not by any chance fully understand, arousing his
curiosity, stimulating his imagination and filling his soul with a
mighty longing for further knowledge.

A dictionary had proven itself a wonderful storehouse of information,
when, after several years of tireless endeavor, he had solved the
mystery of its purpose and the manner of its use.  He had learned to
make a species of game out of it, following up the spoor of a new
thought through the mazes of the many definitions which each new word
required him to consult.  It was like following a quarry through the
jungle--it was hunting, and Tarzan of the Apes was an indefatigable
huntsman.

There were, of course, certain words which aroused his curiosity to a
greater extent than others, words which, for one reason or another,
excited his imagination.  There was one, for example, the meaning of
which was rather difficult to grasp.  It was the word GOD.  Tarzan
first had been attracted to it by the fact that it was very short and
that it commenced with a larger g-bug than those about it--a male g-bug
it was to Tarzan, the lower-case letters being females.  Another fact
which attracted him to this word was the number of he-bugs which
figured in its definition--Supreme Deity, Creator or Upholder of the
Universe.  This must be a very important word indeed, he would have to
look into it, and he did, though it still baffled him after many months
of thought and study.

However, Tarzan counted no time wasted which he devoted to these
strange hunting expeditions into the game preserves of knowledge, for
each word and each definition led on and on into strange places, into
new worlds where, with increasing frequency, he met old, familiar
faces.  And always he added to his store of knowledge.

But of the meaning of GOD he was yet in doubt.  Once he thought he had
grasped it--that God was a mighty chieftain, king of all the Mangani.
He was not quite sure, however, since that would mean that God was
mightier than Tarzan--a point which Tarzan of the Apes, who
acknowledged no equal in the jungle, was loath to concede.

But in all the books he had there was no picture of God, though he
found much to confirm his belief that God was a great, an all-powerful
individual.  He saw pictures of places where God was worshiped; but
never any sign of God.  Finally he began to wonder if God were not of a
different form than he, and at last he determined to set out in search
of Him.

He commenced by questioning Mumga, who was very old and had seen many
strange things in her long life; but Mumga, being an ape, had a faculty
for recalling the trivial.  That time when Gunto mistook a sting-bug
for an edible beetle had made more impression upon Mumga than all the
innumerable manifestations of the greatness of God which she had
witnessed, and which, of course, she had not understood.

Numgo, overhearing Tarzan's questions, managed to wrest his attention
long enough from the diversion of flea hunting to advance the theory
that the power which made the lightning and the rain and the thunder
came from Goro, the moon.  He knew this, he said, because the Dum-Dum
always was danced in the light of Goro.  This reasoning, though
entirely satisfactory to Numgo and Mumga, failed fully to convince
Tarzan.  However, it gave him a basis for further investigation along a
new line.  He would investigate the moon.

That night he clambered to the loftiest pinnacle of the tallest jungle
giant.  The moon was full, a great, glorious, equatorial moon.  The
ape-man, upright upon a slender, swaying limb, raised his bronzed face
to the silver orb.  Now that he had clambered to the highest point
within his reach, he discovered, to his surprise, that Goro was as far
away as when he viewed him from the ground.  He thought that Goro was
attempting to elude him.

"Come, Goro!" he cried, "Tarzan of the Apes will not harm you!" But
still the moon held aloof.

"Tell me," he continued, "if you be the great king who sends Ara, the
lightning; who makes the great noise and the mighty winds, and sends
the waters down upon the jungle people when the days are dark and it is
cold.  Tell me, Goro, are you God?"

Of course he did not pronounce God as you or I would pronounce His
name, for Tarzan knew naught of the spoken language of his English
forbears; but he had a name of his own invention for each of the little
bugs which constituted the alphabet.  Unlike the apes he was not
satisfied merely to have a mental picture of the things he knew, he
must have a word descriptive of each.  In reading he grasped a word in
its entirety; but when he spoke the words he had learned from the books
of his father, he pronounced each according to the names he had given
the various little bugs which occurred in it, usually giving the gender
prefix for each.

Thus it was an imposing word which Tarzan made of GOD.  The masculine
prefix of the apes is BU, the feminine MU; g Tarzan had named LA, o he
pronounced TU, and d was MO. So the word God evolved itself into
BULAMUTUMUMO, or, in English, he-g-she-o-she-d.

Similarly he had arrived at a strange and wonderful spelling of his own
name.  Tarzan is derived from the two ape words TAR and ZAN, meaning
white skin.  It was given him by his foster mother, Kala, the great
she-ape. When Tarzan first put it into the written language of his own
people he had not yet chanced upon either WHITE or SKIN in the
dictionary; but in a primer he had seen the picture of a little white
boy and so he wrote his name BUMUDE-MUTOMURO, or he-boy.

To follow Tarzan's strange system of spelling would be laborious as
well as futile, and so we shall in the future, as we have in the past,
adhere to the more familiar forms of our grammar school copybooks.  It
would tire you to remember that DO meant b, TU o, and RO y, and that to
say he-boy you must prefix the ape masculine gender sound BU before the
entire word and the feminine gender sound MU before each of the
lower-case letters which go to make up boy--it would tire you and it
would bring me to the nineteenth hole several strokes under par.

And so Tarzan harangued the moon, and when Goro did not reply, Tarzan
of the Apes waxed wroth.  He swelled his giant chest and bared his
fighting fangs, and hurled into the teeth of the dead satellite the
challenge of the bull ape.

"You are not Bulamutumumo," he cried.  "You are not king of the jungle
folk.  You are not so great as Tarzan, mighty fighter, mighty hunter.
None there is so great as Tarzan.  If there be a Bulamutumumo, Tarzan
can kill him.  Come down, Goro, great coward, and fight with Tarzan.
Tarzan will kill you.  I am Tarzan, the killer."

But the moon made no answer to the boasting of the ape-man, and when a
cloud came and obscured her face, Tarzan thought that Goro was indeed
afraid, and was hiding from him, so he came down out of the trees and
awoke Numgo and told him how great was Tarzan--how he had frightened
Goro out of the sky and made him tremble.  Tarzan spoke of the moon as
HE, for all things large or awe inspiring are male to the ape folk.

Numgo was not much impressed; but he was very sleepy, so he told Tarzan
to go away and leave his betters alone.

"But where shall I find God?" insisted Tarzan.  "You are very old; if
there is a God you must have seen Him.  What does He look like? Where
does He live?"

"I am God," replied Numgo.  "Now sleep and disturb me no more."

Tarzan looked at Numgo steadily for several minutes, his shapely head
sank just a trifle between his great shoulders, his square chin shot
forward and his short upper lip drew back, exposing his white teeth.
Then, with a low growl he leaped upon the ape and buried his fangs in
the other's hairy shoulder, clutching the great neck in his mighty
fingers.  Twice he shook the old ape, then he released his tooth-hold.

"Are you God?" he demanded.

"No," wailed Numgo.  "I am only a poor, old ape.  Leave me alone.  Go
ask the Gomangani where God is.  They are hairless like yourself and
very wise, too.  They should know."

Tarzan released Numgo and turned away.  The suggestion that he consult
the blacks appealed to him, and though his relations with the people of
Mbonga, the chief, were the antithesis of friendly, he could at least
spy upon his hated enemies and discover if they had intercourse with
God.

So it was that Tarzan set forth through the trees toward the village of
the blacks, all excitement at the prospect of discovering the Supreme
Being, the Creator of all things.  As he traveled he reviewed,
mentally, his armament--the condition of his hunting knife, the number
of his arrows, the newness of the gut which strung his bow--he hefted
the war spear which had once been the pride of some black warrior of
Mbonga's tribe.

If he met God, Tarzan would be prepared.  One could never tell whether
a grass rope, a war spear, or a poisoned arrow would be most
efficacious against an unfamiliar foe.  Tarzan of the Apes was quite
content--if God wished to fight, the ape-man had no doubt as to the
outcome of the struggle.  There were many questions Tarzan wished to
put to the Creator of the Universe and so he hoped that God would not
prove a belligerent God; but his experience of life and the ways of
living things had taught him that any creature with the means for
offense and defense was quite likely to provoke attack if in the proper
mood.

It was dark when Tarzan came to the village of Mbonga.  As silently as
the silent shadows of the night he sought his accustomed place among
the branches of the great tree which overhung the palisade.  Below him,
in the village street, he saw men and women.  The men were hideously
painted--more hideously than usual.  Among them moved a weird and
grotesque figure, a tall figure that went upon the two legs of a man
and yet had the head of a buffalo.  A tail dangled to his ankles behind
him, and in one hand he carried a zebra's tail while the other clutched
a bunch of small arrows.

Tarzan was electrified.  Could it be that chance had given him thus
early an opportunity to look upon God? Surely this thing was neither
man nor beast, so what could it be then other than the Creator of the
Universe! The ape-man watched the every move of the strange creature.
He saw the black men and women fall back at its approach as though they
stood in terror of its mysterious powers.

Presently he discovered that the deity was speaking and that all
listened in silence to his words.  Tarzan was sure that none other than
God could inspire such awe in the hearts of the Gomangani, or stop
their mouths so effectually without recourse to arrows or spears.
Tarzan had come to look with contempt upon the blacks, principally
because of their garrulity.  The small apes talked a great deal and ran
away from an enemy.  The big, old bulls of Kerchak talked but little
and fought upon the slightest provocation.  Numa, the lion, was not
given to loquacity, yet of all the jungle folk there were few who
fought more often than he.

Tarzan witnessed strange things that night, none of which he
understood, and, perhaps because they were strange, he thought that
they must have to do with the God he could not understand.  He saw
three youths receive their first war spears in a weird ceremony which
the grotesque witch-doctor strove successfully to render uncanny and
awesome.

Hugely interested, he watched the slashing of the three brown arms and
the exchange of blood with Mbonga, the chief, in the rites of the
ceremony of blood brotherhood.  He saw the zebra's tail dipped into a
caldron of water above which the witch-doctor had made magical passes
the while he danced and leaped about it, and he saw the breasts and
foreheads of each of the three novitiates sprinkled with the charmed
liquid.  Could the ape-man have known the purpose of this act, that it
was intended to render the recipient invulnerable to the attacks of his
enemies and fearless in the face of any danger, he would doubtless have
leaped into the village street and appropriated the zebra's tail and a
portion of the contents of the caldron.

But he did not know, and so he only wondered, not alone at what he saw
but at the strange sensations which played up and down his naked spine,
sensations induced, doubtless, by the same hypnotic influence which
held the black spectators in tense awe upon the verge of a hysteric
upheaval.

The longer Tarzan watched, the more convinced he became that his eyes
were upon God, and with the conviction came determination to have word
with the deity.  With Tarzan of the Apes, to think was to act.

The people of Mbonga were keyed to the highest pitch of hysterical
excitement.  They needed little to release the accumulated pressure of
static nerve force which the terrorizing mummery of the witch-doctor
had induced.

A lion roared, suddenly and loud, close without the palisade.  The
blacks started nervously, dropping into utter silence as they listened
for a repetition of that all-too-familiar and always terrorizing voice.
Even the witch-doctor paused in the midst of an intricate step,
remaining momentarily rigid and statuesque as he plumbed his cunning
mind for a suggestion as how best he might take advantage of the
condition of his audience and the timely interruption.

Already the evening had been vastly profitable to him.  There would be
three goats for the initiation of the three youths into full-fledged
warriorship, and besides these he had received several gifts of grain
and beads, together with a piece of copper wire from admiring and
terrified members of his audience.

Numa's roar still reverberated along taut nerves when a woman's laugh,
shrill and piercing, shattered the silence of the village.  It was this
moment that Tarzan chose to drop lightly from his tree into the village
street.  Fearless among his blood enemies he stood, taller by a full
head than many of Mbonga's warriors, straight as their straightest
arrow, muscled like Numa, the lion.

For a moment Tarzan stood looking straight at the witch-doctor. Every
eye was upon him, yet no one had moved--a paralysis of terror held
them, to be broken a moment later as the ape-man, with a toss of head,
stepped straight toward the hideous figure beneath the buffalo head.

Then the nerves of the blacks could stand no more.  For months the
terror of the strange, white, jungle god had been upon them.  Their
arrows had been stolen from the very center of the village; their
warriors had been silently slain upon the jungle trails and their dead
bodies dropped mysteriously and by night into the village street as
from the heavens above.

One or two there were who had glimpsed the strange figure of the new
demon and it was from their oft-repeated descriptions that the entire
village now recognized Tarzan as the author of many of their ills.
Upon another occasion and by daylight, the warriors would doubtless
have leaped to attack him, but at night, and this night of all others,
when they were wrought to such a pitch of nervous dread by the uncanny
artistry of their witch-doctor, they were helpless with terror.  As one
man they turned and fled, scattering for their huts, as Tarzan
advanced.  For a moment one and one only held his ground.  It was the
witch-doctor. More than half self-hypnotized into a belief in his own
charlatanry he faced this new demon who threatened to undermine his
ancient and lucrative profession.


"Are you God?" asked Tarzan.

The witch-doctor, having no idea of the meaning of the other's words,
danced a few strange steps, leaped high in the air, turning completely
around and alighting in a stooping posture with feet far outspread and
head thrust out toward the ape-man. Thus he remained for an instant
before he uttered a loud "Boo!" which was evidently intended to
frighten Tarzan away; but in reality had no such effect.

Tarzan did not pause.  He had set out to approach and examine God and
nothing upon earth might now stay his feet.  Seeing that his antics had
no potency with the visitor, the witch-doctor tried some new medicine.
Spitting upon the zebra's tail, which he still clutched in one hand, he
made circles above it with the arrows in the other hand, meanwhile
backing cautiously away from Tarzan and speaking confidentially to the
bushy end of the tail.

This medicine must be short medicine, however, for the creature, god or
demon, was steadily closing up the distance which had separated them.
The circles therefore were few and rapid, and when they were completed,
the witch-doctor struck an attitude which was intended to be awe
inspiring and waving the zebra's tail before him, drew an imaginary
line between himself and Tarzan.

"Beyond this line you cannot pass, for my medicine is strong medicine,"
he cried.  "Stop, or you will fall dead as your foot touches this spot.
My mother was a voodoo, my father was a snake; I live upon lions'
hearts and the entrails of the panther; I eat young babies for
breakfast and the demons of the jungle are my slaves.  I am the most
powerful witch-doctor in the world; I fear nothing, for I cannot die.
I--" But he got no further; instead he turned and fled as Tarzan of the
Apes crossed the magical dead line and still lived.

As the witch-doctor ran, Tarzan almost lost his temper.  This was no
way for God to act, at least not in accordance with the conception
Tarzan had come to have of God.

"Come back!" he cried.  "Come back, God, I will not harm you." But the
witch-doctor was in full retreat by this time, stepping high as he
leaped over cooking pots and the smoldering embers of small fires that
had burned before the huts of villagers.  Straight for his own hut ran
the witch-doctor, terror-spurred to unwonted speed; but futile was his
effort--the ape-man bore down upon him with the speed of Bara, the deer.

Just at the entrance to his hut the witch-doctor was overhauled.  A
heavy hand fell upon his shoulder to drag him back.  It seized upon a
portion of the buffalo hide, dragging the disguise from him.  It was a
naked black man that Tarzan saw dodge into the darkness of the hut's
interior.

So this was what he had thought was God! Tarzan's lip curled in an
angry snarl as he leaped into the hut after the terror-stricken
witch-doctor. In the blackness within he found the man huddled at the
far side and dragged him forth into the comparative lightness of the
moonlit night.

The witch-doctor bit and scratched in an attempt to escape; but a few
cuffs across the head brought him to a better realization of the
futility of resistance.  Beneath the moon Tarzan held the cringing
figure upon its shaking feet.

"So you are God!" he cried.  "If you be God, then Tarzan is greater
than God," and so the ape-man thought.  "I am Tarzan," he shouted into
the ear of the black.  "In all the jungle, or above it, or upon the
running waters, or the sleeping waters, or upon the big water, or the
little water, there is none so great as Tarzan.  Tarzan is greater than
the Mangani; he is greater than the Gomangani.  With his own hands he
has slain Numa, the lion, and Sheeta, the panther; there is none so
great as Tarzan.  Tarzan is greater than God.  See!" and with a sudden
wrench he twisted the black's neck until the fellow shrieked in pain
and then slumped to the earth in a swoon.

Placing his foot upon the neck of the fallen witch-doctor, the ape-man
raised his face to the moon and uttered the long, shrill scream of the
victorious bull ape.  Then he stooped and snatched the zebra's tail
from the nerveless fingers of the unconscious man and without a
backward glance retraced his footsteps across the village.

From several hut doorways frightened eyes watched him.  Mbonga, the
chief, was one of those who had seen what passed before the hut of the
witch-doctor. Mbonga was greatly concerned.  Wise old patriarch that he
was, he never had more than half believed in witch-doctors, at least
not since greater wisdom had come with age; but as a chief he was well
convinced of the power of the witch-doctor as an arm of government, and
often it was that Mbonga used the superstitious fears of his people to
his own ends through the medium of the medicine-man.

Mbonga and the witch-doctor had worked together and divided the spoils,
and now the "face" of the witch-doctor would be lost forever if any saw
what Mbonga had seen; nor would this generation again have as much
faith in any future witch-doctor.

Mbonga must do something to counteract the evil influence of the forest
demon's victory over the witch-doctor. He raised his heavy spear and
crept silently from his hut in the wake of the retreating ape-man. Down
the village street walked Tarzan, as unconcerned and as deliberate as
though only the friendly apes of Kerchak surrounded him instead of a
village full of armed enemies.

Seeming only was the indifference of Tarzan, for alert and watchful was
every well-trained sense.  Mbonga, wily stalker of keen-eared jungle
creatures, moved now in utter silence.  Not even Bara, the deer, with
his great ears could have guessed from any sound that Mbonga was near;
but the black was not stalking Bara; he was stalking man, and so he
sought only to avoid noise.

Closer and closer to the slowly moving ape-man he came.  Now he raised
his war spear, throwing his spear-hand far back above his right
shoulder.  Once and for all would Mbonga, the chief, rid himself and
his people of the menace of this terrifying enemy.  He would make no
poor cast; he would take pains, and he would hurl his weapon with such
great force as would finish the demon forever.

But Mbonga, sure as he thought himself, erred in his calculations.  He
might believe that he was stalking a man--he did not know, however,
that it was a man with the delicate sense perception of the lower
orders.  Tarzan, when he had turned his back upon his enemies, had
noted what Mbonga never would have thought of considering in the
hunting of man--the wind.  It was blowing in the same direction that
Tarzan was proceeding, carrying to his delicate nostrils the odors
which arose behind him.  Thus it was that Tarzan knew that he was being
followed, for even among the many stenches of an African village, the
ape-man's uncanny faculty was equal to the task of differentiating one
stench from another and locating with remarkable precision the source
from whence it came.

He knew that a man was following him and coming closer, and his
judgment warned him of the purpose of the stalker.  When Mbonga,
therefore, came within spear range of the ape-man, the latter suddenly
wheeled upon him, so suddenly that the poised spear was shot a fraction
of a second before Mbonga had intended.  It went a trifle high and
Tarzan stooped to let it pass over his head; then he sprang toward the
chief.  But Mbonga did not wait to receive him.  Instead, he turned and
fled for the dark doorway of the nearest hut, calling as he went for
his warriors to fall upon the stranger and slay him.

Well indeed might Mbonga scream for help, for Tarzan, young and
fleet-footed, covered the distance between them in great leaps, at the
speed of a charging lion.  He was growling, too, not at all unlike Numa
himself.  Mbonga heard and his blood ran cold.  He could feel the wool
stiffen upon his pate and a prickly chill run up his spine, as though
Death had come and run his cold finger along Mbonga's back.

Others heard, too, and saw, from the darkness of their huts--bold
warriors, hideously painted, grasping heavy war spears in nerveless
fingers.  Against Numa, the lion, they would have charged fearlessly.
Against many times their own number of black warriors would they have
raced to the protection of their chief; but this weird jungle demon
filled them with terror.  There was nothing human in the bestial growls
that rumbled up from his deep chest; there was nothing human in the
bared fangs, or the catlike leaps.

Mbonga's warriors were terrified--too terrified to leave the seeming
security of their huts while they watched the beast-man spring full
upon the back of their old chieftain.

Mbonga went down with a scream of terror.  He was too frightened even
to attempt to defend himself.  He just lay beneath his antagonist in a
paralysis of fear, screaming at the top of his lungs.  Tarzan half rose
and kneeled above the black.  He turned Mbonga over and looked him in
the face, exposing the man's throat, then he drew his long, keen knife,
the knife that John Clayton, Lord Greystoke, had brought from England
many years before.  He raised it close above Mbonga's neck.  The old
black whimpered with terror.  He pleaded for his life in a tongue which
Tarzan could not understand.

For the first time the ape-man had a close view of the chief.  He saw
an old man, a very old man with scrawny neck and wrinkled face--a
dried, parchment-like face which resembled some of the little monkeys
Tarzan knew so well.  He saw the terror in the man's eyes--never before
had Tarzan seen such terror in the eyes of any animal, or such a
piteous appeal for mercy upon the face of any creature.

Something stayed the ape-man's hand for an instant.  He wondered why it
was that he hesitated to make the kill; never before had he thus
delayed.  The old man seemed to wither and shrink to a bag of puny
bones beneath his eyes.  So weak and helpless and terror-stricken he
appeared that the ape-man was filled with a great contempt; but another
sensation also claimed him--something new to Tarzan of the Apes in
relation to an enemy.  It was pity--pity for a poor, frightened, old
man.

Tarzan rose and turned away, leaving Mbonga, the chief, unharmed.

With head held high the ape-man walked through the village, swung
himself into the branches of the tree which overhung the palisade and
disappeared from the sight of the villagers.

All the way back to the stamping ground of the apes, Tarzan sought for
an explanation of the strange power which had stayed his hand and
prevented him from slaying Mbonga.  It was as though someone greater
than he had commanded him to spare the life of the old man.  Tarzan
could not understand, for he could conceive of nothing, or no one, with
the authority to dictate to him what he should do, or what he should
refrain from doing.

It was late when Tarzan sought a swaying couch among the trees beneath
which slept the apes of Kerchak, and he was still absorbed in the
solution of his strange problem when he fell asleep.

The sun was well up in the heavens when he awoke.  The apes were astir
in search of food.  Tarzan watched them lazily from above as they
scratched in the rotting loam for bugs and beetles and grubworms, or
sought among the branches of the trees for eggs and young birds, or
luscious caterpillars.

An orchid, dangling close beside his head, opened slowly, unfolding its
delicate petals to the warmth and light of the sun which but recently
had penetrated to its shady retreat.  A thousand times had Tarzan of
the Apes witnessed the beauteous miracle; but now it aroused a keener
interest, for the ape-man was just commencing to ask himself questions
about all the myriad wonders which heretofore he had but taken for
granted.

What made the flower open? What made it grow from a tiny bud to a
full-blown bloom? Why was it at all? Why was he?  Where did Numa, the
lion, come from? Who planted the first tree? How did Goro get way up
into the darkness of the night sky to cast his welcome light upon the
fearsome nocturnal jungle? And the sun! Did the sun merely happen there?

Why were all the peoples of the jungle not trees? Why were the trees
not something else? Why was Tarzan different from Taug, and Taug
different from Bara, the deer, and Bara different from Sheeta, the
panther, and why was not Sheeta like Buto, the rhinoceros? Where and
how, anyway, did they all come from--the trees, the flowers, the
insects, the countless creatures of the jungle?

Quite unexpectedly an idea popped into Tarzan's head.  In following out
the many ramifications of the dictionary definition of GOD he had come
upon the word CREATE--"to cause to come into existence; to form out of
nothing."

Tarzan almost had arrived at something tangible when a distant wail
startled him from his preoccupation into sensibility of the present and
the real.  The wail came from the jungle at some little distance from
Tarzan's swaying couch.  It was the wail of a tiny balu.  Tarzan
recognized it at once as the voice of Gazan, Teeka's baby.  They had
called it Gazan because its soft, baby hair had been unusually red, and
GAZAN in the language of the great apes, means red skin.

The wail was immediately followed by a real scream of terror from the
small lungs.  Tarzan was electrified into instant action.  Like an
arrow from a bow he shot through the trees in the direction of the
sound.  Ahead of him he heard the savage snarling of an adult she-ape.
It was Teeka to the rescue.  The danger must be very real.  Tarzan
could tell that by the note of rage mingled with fear in the voice of
the she.

Running along bending limbs, swinging from one tree to another, the
ape-man raced through the middle terraces toward the sounds which now
had risen in volume to deafening proportions.  From all directions the
apes of Kerchak were hurrying in response to the appeal in the tones of
the balu and its mother, and as they came, their roars reverberated
through the forest.

But Tarzan, swifter than his heavy fellows, distanced them all.  It was
he who was first upon the scene.  What he saw sent a cold chill through
his giant frame, for the enemy was the most hated and loathed of all
the jungle creatures.

Twined in a great tree was Histah, the snake--huge, ponderous,
slimy--and in the folds of its deadly embrace was Teeka's little balu,
Gazan.  Nothing in the jungle inspired within the breast of Tarzan so
near a semblance to fear as did the hideous Histah.  The apes, too,
loathed the terrifying reptile and feared him even more than they did
Sheeta, the panther, or Numa, the lion.  Of all their enemies there was
none they gave a wider berth than they gave Histah, the snake.

Tarzan knew that Teeka was peculiarly fearful of this silent, repulsive
foe, and as the scene broke upon his vision, it was the action of Teeka
which filled him with the greatest wonder, for at the moment that he
saw her, the she-ape leaped upon the glistening body of the snake, and
as the mighty folds encircled her as well as her offspring, she made no
effort to escape, but instead grasped the writhing body in a futile
effort to tear it from her screaming balu.

Tarzan knew all too well how deep-rooted was Teeka's terror of Histah.
He scarce could believe the testimony of his own eyes then, when they
told him that she had voluntarily rushed into that deadly embrace.  Nor
was Teeka's innate dread of the monster much greater than Tarzan's own.
Never, willingly, had he touched a snake.  Why, he could not say, for
he would admit fear of nothing; nor was it fear, but rather an inherent
repulsion bequeathed to him by many generations of civilized ancestors,
and back of them, perhaps, by countless myriads of such as Teeka, in
the breasts of each of which had lurked the same nameless terror of the
slimy reptile.

Yet Tarzan did not hesitate more than had Teeka, but leaped upon Histah
with all the speed and impetuosity that he would have shown had he been
springing upon Bara, the deer, to make a kill for food.  Thus beset the
snake writhed and twisted horribly; but not for an instant did it loose
its hold upon any of its intended victims, for it had included the
ape-man in its cold embrace the minute that he had fallen upon it.

Still clinging to the tree, the mighty reptile held the three as though
they had been without weight, the while it sought to crush the life
from them.  Tarzan had drawn his knife and this he now plunged rapidly
into the body of the enemy; but the encircling folds promised to sap
his life before he had inflicted a death wound upon the snake.  Yet on
he fought, nor once did he seek to escape the horrid death that
confronted him--his sole aim was to slay Histah and thus free Teeka and
her balu.

The great, wide-gaping jaws of the snake turned and hovered above him.
The elastic maw, which could accommodate a rabbit or a horned buck with
equal facility, yawned for him; but Histah, in turning his attention
upon the ape-man, brought his head within reach of Tarzan's blade.
Instantly a brown hand leaped forth and seized the mottled neck, and
another drove the heavy hunting knife to the hilt into the little brain.

Convulsively Histah shuddered and relaxed, tensed and relaxed again,
whipping and striking with his great body; but no longer sentient or
sensible.  Histah was dead, but in his death throes he might easily
dispatch a dozen apes or men.

Quickly Tarzan seized Teeka and dragged her from the loosened embrace,
dropping her to the ground beneath, then he extricated the balu and
tossed it to its mother.  Still Histah whipped about, clinging to the
ape-man; but after a dozen efforts Tarzan succeeded in wriggling free
and leaping to the ground out of range of the mighty battering of the
dying snake.

A circle of apes surrounded the scene of the battle; but the moment
that Tarzan broke safely from the enemy they turned silently away to
resume their interrupted feeding, and Teeka turned with them,
apparently forgetful of all but her balu and the fact that when the
interruption had occurred she just had discovered an ingeniously hidden
nest containing three perfectly good eggs.

Tarzan, equally indifferent to a battle that was over, merely cast a
parting glance at the still writhing body of Histah and wandered off
toward the little pool which served to water the tribe at this point.
Strangely, he did not give the victory cry over the vanquished Histah.
Why, he could not have told you, other than that to him Histah was not
an animal.  He differed in some peculiar way from the other denizens of
the jungle.  Tarzan only knew that he hated him.

At the pool Tarzan drank his fill and lay stretched upon the soft grass
beneath the shade of a tree.  His mind reverted to the battle with
Histah, the snake.  It seemed strange to him that Teeka should have
placed herself within the folds of the horrid monster.  Why had she
done it? Why, indeed, had he? Teeka did not belong to him, nor did
Teeka's balu.  They were both Taug's. Why then had he done this thing?
Histah was not food for him when he was dead.  There seemed to Tarzan,
now that he gave the matter thought, no reason in the world why he
should have done the thing he did, and presently it occurred to him
that he had acted almost involuntarily, just as he had acted when he
had released the old Gomangani the previous evening.

What made him do such things? Somebody more powerful than he must force
him to act at times.  "All-powerful," thought Tarzan.  "The little bugs
say that God is all-powerful. It must be that God made me do these
things, for I never did them by myself.  It was God who made Teeka rush
upon Histah.  Teeka would never go near Histah of her own volition.  It
was God who held my knife from the throat of the old Gomangani.  God
accomplishes strange things for he is 'all-powerful.' I cannot see Him;
but I know that it must be God who does these things.  No Mangani, no
Gomangani, no Tarmangani could do them."

And the flowers--who made them grow? Ah, now it was all explained--the
flowers, the trees, the moon, the sun, himself, every living creature
in the jungle--they were all made by God out of nothing.

And what was God? What did God look like? Of that he had no conception;
but he was sure that everything that was good came from God.  His good
act in refraining from slaying the poor, defenseless old Gomangani;
Teeka's love that had hurled her into the embrace of death; his own
loyalty to Teeka which had jeopardized his life that she might live.
The flowers and the trees were good and beautiful.  God had made them.
He made the other creatures, too, that each might have food upon which
to live.  He had made Sheeta, the panther, with his beautiful coat; and
Numa, the lion, with his noble head and his shaggy mane.  He had made
Bara, the deer, lovely and graceful.

Yes, Tarzan had found God, and he spent the whole day in attributing to
Him all of the good and beautiful things of nature; but there was one
thing which troubled him.  He could not quite reconcile it to his
conception of his new-found God.

Who made Histah, the snake?



                           5

               Tarzan and the Black Boy

TARZAN OF THE Apes sat at the foot of a great tree braiding a new grass
rope.  Beside him lay the frayed remnants of the old one, torn and
severed by the fangs and talons of Sheeta, the panther.  Only half the
original rope was there, the balance having been carried off by the
angry cat as he bounded away through the jungle with the noose still
about his savage neck and the loose end dragging among the underbrush.

Tarzan smiled as he recalled Sheeta's great rage, his frantic efforts
to free himself from the entangling strands, his uncanny screams that
were part hate, part anger, part terror.  He smiled in retrospection at
the discomfiture of his enemy, and in anticipation of another day as he
added an extra strand to his new rope.

This would be the strongest, the heaviest rope that Tarzan of the Apes
ever had fashioned.  Visions of Numa, the lion, straining futilely in
its embrace thrilled the ape-man. He was quite content, for his hands
and his brain were busy.  Content, too, were his fellows of the tribe
of Kerchak, searching for food in the clearing and the surrounding
trees about him.  No perplexing thoughts of the future burdened their
minds, and only occasionally, dimly arose recollections of the near
past.  They were stimulated to a species of brutal content by the
delectable business of filling their bellies.  Afterward they would
sleep--it was their life, and they enjoyed it as we enjoy ours, you and
I--as Tarzan enjoyed his.  Possibly they enjoyed theirs more than we
enjoy ours, for who shall say that the beasts of the jungle do not
better fulfill the purposes for which they are created than does man
with his many excursions into strange fields and his contraventions of
the laws of nature? And what gives greater content and greater
happiness than the fulfilling of a destiny?

As Tarzan worked, Gazan, Teeka's little balu, played about him while
Teeka sought food upon the opposite side of the clearing.  No more did
Teeka, the mother, or Taug, the sullen sire, harbor suspicions of
Tarzan's intentions toward their first-born. Had he not courted death
to save their Gazan from the fangs and talons of Sheeta? Did he not
fondle and cuddle the little one with even as great a show of affection
as Teeka herself displayed? Their fears were allayed and Tarzan now
found himself often in the role of nursemaid to a tiny anthropoid--an
avocation which he found by no means irksome, since Gazan was a
never-failing fount of surprises and entertainment.

Just now the apeling was developing those arboreal tendencies which
were to stand him in such good stead during the years of his youth,
when rapid flight into the upper terraces was of far more importance
and value than his undeveloped muscles and untried fighting fangs.
Backing off fifteen or twenty feet from the bole of the tree beneath
the branches of which Tarzan worked upon his rope, Gazan scampered
quickly forward, scrambling nimbly upward to the lower limbs.  Here he
would squat for a moment or two, quite proud of his achievement, then
clamber to the ground again and repeat.  Sometimes, quite often in
fact, for he was an ape, his attention was distracted by other things,
a beetle, a caterpillar, a tiny field mouse, and off he would go in
pursuit; the caterpillars he always caught, and sometimes the beetles;
but the field mice, never.

Now he discovered the tail of the rope upon which Tarzan was working.
Grasping it in one small hand he bounced away, for all the world like
an animated rubber ball, snatching it from the ape-man's hand and
running off across the clearing.  Tarzan leaped to his feet and was in
pursuit in an instant, no trace of anger on his face or in his voice as
he called to the roguish little balu to drop his rope.

Straight toward his mother raced Gazan, and after him came Tarzan.
Teeka looked up from her feeding, and in the first instant that she
realized that Gazan was fleeing and that another was in pursuit, she
bared her fangs and bristled; but when she saw that the pursuer was
Tarzan she turned back to the business that had been occupying her
attention.  At her very feet the ape-man overhauled the balu and,
though the youngster squealed and fought when Tarzan seized him, Teeka
only glanced casually in their direction.  No longer did she fear harm
to her first-born at the hands of the ape-man. Had he not saved Gazan
on two occasions?

Rescuing his rope, Tarzan returned to his tree and resumed his labor;
but thereafter it was necessary to watch carefully the playful balu,
who was now possessed to steal it whenever he thought his great,
smooth-skinned cousin was momentarily off his guard.

But even under this handicap Tarzan finally completed the rope, a long,
pliant weapon, stronger than any he ever had made before.  The
discarded piece of his former one he gave to Gazan for a plaything, for
Tarzan had it in his mind to instruct Teeka's balu after ideas of his
own when the youngster should be old and strong enough to profit by his
precepts.  At present the little ape's innate aptitude for mimicry
would be sufficient to familiarize him with Tarzan's ways and weapons,
and so the ape-man swung off into the jungle, his new rope coiled over
one shoulder, while little Gazan hopped about the clearing dragging the
old one after him in childish glee.

As Tarzan traveled, dividing his quest for food with one for a
sufficiently noble quarry whereupon to test his new weapon, his mind
often was upon Gazan.  The ape-man had realized a deep affection for
Teeka's balu almost from the first, partly because the child belonged
to Teeka, his first love, and partly for the little ape's own sake, and
Tarzan's human longing for some sentient creature upon which to expend
those natural affections of the soul which are inherent to all normal
members of the GENUS HOMO. Tarzan envied Teeka.  It was true that Gazan
evidenced a considerable reciprocation of Tarzan's fondness for him,
even preferring him to his own surly sire; but to Teeka the little one
turned when in pain or terror, when tired or hungry.  Then it was that
Tarzan felt quite alone in the world and longed desperately for one who
should turn first to him for succor and protection.

Taug had Teeka; Teeka had Gazan; and nearly every other bull and cow of
the tribe of Kerchak had one or more to love and by whom to be loved.
Of course Tarzan could scarcely formulate the thought in precisely this
way--he only knew that he craved something which was denied him;
something which seemed to be represented by those relations which
existed between Teeka and her balu, and so he envied Teeka and longed
for a balu of his own.

He saw Sheeta and his mate with their little family of three; and
deeper inland toward the rocky hills, where one might lie up during the
heat of the day, in the dense shade of a tangled thicket close under
the cool face of an overhanging rock, Tarzan had found the lair of
Numa, the lion, and of Sabor, the lioness.  Here he had watched them
with their little balus--playful creatures, spotted leopard-like. And
he had seen the young fawn with Bara, the deer, and with Buto, the
rhinoceros, its ungainly little one.  Each of the creatures of the
jungle had its own--except Tarzan.  It made the ape-man sad to think
upon this thing, sad and lonely; but presently the scent of game
cleared his young mind of all other considerations, as catlike he
crawled far out upon a bending limb above the game trail which led down
to the ancient watering place of the wild things of this wild world.

How many thousands of times had this great, old limb bent to the savage
form of some blood-thirsty hunter in the long years that it had spread
its leafy branches above the deep-worn jungle path! Tarzan, the
ape-man, Sheeta, the panther, and Histah, the snake, it knew well.
They had worn smooth the bark upon its upper surface.

Today it was Horta, the boar, which came down toward the watcher in the
old tree--Horta, the boar, whose formidable tusks and diabolical temper
preserved him from all but the most ferocious or most famished of the
largest carnivora.

But to Tarzan, meat was meat; naught that was edible or tasty might
pass a hungry Tarzan unchallenged and unattacked.  In hunger, as in
battle, the ape-man out-savaged the dreariest denizens of the jungle.
He knew neither fear nor mercy, except upon rare occasions when some
strange, inexplicable force stayed his hand--a force inexplicable to
him, perhaps, because of his ignorance of his own origin and of all the
forces of humanitarianism and civilization that were his rightful
heritage because of that origin.

So today, instead of staying his hand until a less formidable feast
found its way toward him, Tarzan dropped his new noose about the neck
of Horta, the boar.  It was an excellent test for the untried strands.
The angered boar bolted this way and that; but each time the new rope
held him where Tarzan had made it fast about the stem of the tree above
the branch from which he had cast it.

As Horta grunted and charged, slashing the sturdy jungle patriarch with
his mighty tusks until the bark flew in every direction, Tarzan dropped
to the ground behind him.  In the ape-man's hand was the long, keen
blade that had been his constant companion since that distant day upon
which chance had directed its point into the body of Bolgani, the
gorilla, and saved the torn and bleeding man-child from what else had
been certain death.

Tarzan walked in toward Horta, who swung now to face his enemy.  Mighty
and muscled as was the young giant, it yet would have appeared but the
maddest folly for him to face so formidable a creature as Horta, the
boar, armed only with a slender hunting knife.  So it would have seemed
to one who knew Horta even slightly and Tarzan not at all.

For a moment Horta stood motionless facing the ape-man.  His wicked,
deep-set eyes flashed angrily.  He shook his lowered head.

"Mud-eater!" jeered the ape-man. "Wallower in filth.  Even your meat
stinks, but it is juicy and makes Tarzan strong.  Today I shall eat
your heart, O Lord of the Great Tusks, that it shall keep savage that
which pounds against my own ribs."

Horta, understanding nothing of what Tarzan said, was none the less
enraged because of that.  He saw only a naked man-thing, hairless and
futile, pitting his puny fangs and soft muscles against his own
indomitable savagery, and he charged.

Tarzan of the Apes waited until the upcut of a wicked tusk would have
laid open his thigh, then he moved--just the least bit to one side; but
so quickly that lightning was a sluggard by comparison, and as he
moved, he stooped low and with all the great power of his right arm
drove the long blade of his father's hunting knife straight into the
heart of Horta, the boar.  A quick leap carried him from the zone of
the creature's death throes, and a moment later the hot and dripping
heart of Horta was in his grasp.

His hunger satisfied, Tarzan did not seek a lying-up place for sleep,
as was sometimes his way, but continued on through the jungle more in
search of adventure than of food, for today he was restless.  And so it
came that he turned his footsteps toward the village of Mbonga, the
black chief, whose people Tarzan had baited remorselessly since that
day upon which Kulonga, the chief's son, had slain Kala.

A river winds close beside the village of the black men.  Tarzan
reached its side a little below the clearing where squat the thatched
huts of the Negroes.  The river life was ever fascinating to the
ape-man. He found pleasure in watching the ungainly antics of Duro, the
hippopotamus, and keen sport in tormenting the sluggish crocodile,
Gimla, as he basked in the sun.  Then, too, there were the shes and the
balus of the black men of the Gomangani to frighten as they squatted by
the river, the shes with their meager washing, the balus with their
primitive toys.

This day he came upon a woman and her child farther down stream than
usual.  The former was searching for a species of shellfish which was
to be found in the mud close to the river bank.  She was a young black
woman of about thirty.  Her teeth were filed to sharp points, for her
people ate the flesh of man.  Her under lip was slit that it might
support a rude pendant of copper which she had worn for so many years
that the lip had been dragged downward to prodigious lengths, exposing
the teeth and gums of her lower jaw.  Her nose, too, was slit, and
through the slit was a wooden skewer.  Metal ornaments dangled from her
ears, and upon her forehead and cheeks; upon her chin and the bridge of
her nose were tattooings in colors that were mellowed now by age.  She
was naked except for a girdle of grasses about her waist.  Altogether
she was very beautiful in her own estimation and even in the estimation
of the men of Mbonga's tribe, though she was of another people--a
trophy of war seized in her maidenhood by one of Mbonga's fighting men.

Her child was a boy of ten, lithe, straight and, for a black, handsome.
Tarzan looked upon the two from the concealing foliage of a near-by
bush.  He was about to leap forth before them with a terrifying scream,
that he might enjoy the spectacle of their terror and their incontinent
flight; but of a sudden a new whim seized him.  Here was a balu
fashioned as he himself was fashioned.  Of course this one's skin was
black; but what of it?  Tarzan had never seen a white man.  In so far
as he knew, he was the sole representative of that strange form of life
upon the earth.  The black boy should make an excellent balu for
Tarzan, since he had none of his own.  He would tend him carefully,
feed him well, protect him as only Tarzan of the Apes could protect his
own, and teach him out of his half human, half bestial lore the secrets
of the jungle from its rotting surface vegetation to the high tossed
pinnacles of the forest's upper terraces.

* * *

Tarzan uncoiled his rope, and shook out the noose.  The two before him,
all ignorant of the near presence of that terrifying form, continued
preoccupied in the search for shellfish, poking about in the mud with
short sticks.

Tarzan stepped from the jungle behind them; his noose lay open upon the
ground beside him.  There was a quick movement of the right arm and the
noose rose gracefully into the air, hovered an instant above the head
of the unsuspecting youth, then settled.  As it encompassed his body
below the shoulders, Tarzan gave a quick jerk that tightened it about
the boy's arms, pinioning them to his sides.  A scream of terror broke
from the lad's lips, and as his mother turned, affrighted at his cry,
she saw him being dragged quickly toward a great white giant who stood
just beneath the shade of a near-by tree, scarcely a dozen long paces
from her.

With a savage cry of terror and rage, the woman leaped fearlessly
toward the ape-man. In her mien Tarzan saw determination and courage
which would shrink not even from death itself.  She was very hideous
and frightful even when her face was in repose; but convulsed by
passion, her expression became terrifyingly fiendish.  Even the ape-man
drew back, but more in revulsion than fear--fear he knew not.

Biting and kicking was the black she's balu as Tarzan tucked him
beneath his arm and vanished into the branches hanging low above him,
just as the infuriated mother dashed forward to seize and do battle
with him.  And as he melted away into the depth of the jungle with his
still struggling prize, he meditated upon the possibilities which might
lie in the prowess of the Gomangani were the hes as formidable as the
shes.

Once at a safe distance from the despoiled mother and out of earshot of
her screams and menaces, Tarzan paused to inspect his prize, now so
thoroughly terrorized that he had ceased his struggles and his outcries.

The frightened child rolled his eyes fearfully toward his captor, until
the whites showed gleaming all about the irises.

"I am Tarzan," said the ape-man, in the vernacular of the anthropoids.
"I will not harm you.  You are to be Tarzan's balu.  Tarzan will
protect you.  He will feed you.  The best in the jungle shall be for
Tarzan's balu, for Tarzan is a mighty hunter.  None need you fear, not
even Numa, the lion, for Tarzan is a mighty fighter.  None so great as
Tarzan, son of Kala.  Do not fear."

But the child only whimpered and trembled, for he did not understand
the tongue of the great apes, and the voice of Tarzan sounded to him
like the barking and growling of a beast.  Then, too, he had heard
stories of this bad, white forest god.  It was he who had slain Kulonga
and others of the warriors of Mbonga, the chief.  It was he who entered
the village stealthily, by magic, in the darkness of the night, to
steal arrows and poison, and frighten the women and the children and
even the great warriors.  Doubtless this wicked god fed upon little
boys.  Had his mother not said as much when he was naughty and she
threatened to give him to the white god of the jungle if he were not
good? Little black Tibo shook as with ague.

"Are you cold, Go-bu-balu?" asked Tarzan, using the simian equivalent
of black he-baby in lieu of a better name.  "The sun is hot; why do you
shiver?"

Tibo could not understand; but he cried for his mamma and begged the
great, white god to let him go, promising always to be a good boy
thereafter if his plea were granted.  Tarzan shook his head.  Not a
word could he understand.  This would never do! He must teach
Go-bu-balu a language which sounded like talk.  It was quite certain to
Tarzan that Go-bu-balu's speech was not talk at all.  It sounded quite
as senseless as the chattering of the silly birds.  It would be best,
thought the ape-man, quickly to get him among the tribe of Kerchak
where he would hear the Mangani talking among themselves.  Thus he
would soon learn an intelligible form of speech.

Tarzan rose to his feet upon the swaying branch where he had halted far
above the ground, and motioned to the child to follow him; but Tibo
only clung tightly to the bole of the tree and wept.  Being a boy, and
a native African, he had, of course, climbed into trees many times
before this; but the idea of racing off through the forest, leaping
from one branch to another, as his captor, to his horror, had done when
he had carried Tibo away from his mother, filled his childish heart
with terror.

Tarzan sighed.  His newly acquired balu had much indeed to learn.  It
was pitiful that a balu of his size and strength should be so backward.
He tried to coax Tibo to follow him; but the child dared not, so Tarzan
picked him up and carried him upon his back.  Tibo no longer scratched
or bit.  Escape seemed impossible.  Even now, were he set upon the
ground, the chance was remote, he knew, that he could find his way back
to the village of Mbonga, the chief.  Even if he could, there were the
lions and the leopards and the hyenas, any one of which, as Tibo was
well aware, was particularly fond of the meat of little black boys.

So far the terrible white god of the jungle had offered him no harm.
He could not expect even this much consideration from the frightful,
green-eyed man-eaters.  It would be the lesser of two evils, then, to
let the white god carry him away without scratching and biting, as he
had done at first.

As Tarzan swung rapidly through the trees, little Tibo closed his eyes
in terror rather than look longer down into the frightful abysses
beneath.  Never before in all his life had Tibo been so frightened, yet
as the white giant sped on with him through the forest there stole over
the child an inexplicable sensation of security as he saw how true were
the leaps of the ape-man, how unerring his grasp upon the swaying limbs
which gave him hand-hold, and then, too, there was safety in the middle
terraces of the forest, far above the reach of the dreaded lions.

And so Tarzan came to the clearing where the tribe fed, dropping among
them with his new balu clinging tightly to his shoulders.  He was
fairly in the midst of them before Tibo spied a single one of the great
hairy forms, or before the apes realized that Tarzan was not alone.
When they saw the little Gomangani perched upon his back some of them
came forward in curiosity with upcurled lips and snarling mien.

An hour before little Tibo would have said that he knew the uttermost
depths of fear; but now, as he saw these fearsome beasts surrounding
him, he realized that all that had gone before was as nothing by
comparison.  Why did the great white giant stand there so
unconcernedly?  Why did he not flee before these horrid, hairy, tree
men fell upon them both and tore them to pieces? And then there came to
Tibo a numbing recollection.  It was none other than the story he had
heard passed from mouth to mouth, fearfully, by the people of Mbonga,
the chief, that this great white demon of the jungle was naught other
than a hairless ape, for had not he been seen in company with these?

Tibo could only stare in wide-eyed horror at the approaching apes.  He
saw their beetling brows, their great fangs, their wicked eyes.  He
noted their mighty muscles rolling beneath their shaggy hides.  Their
every attitude and expression was a menace.  Tarzan saw this, too.  He
drew Tibo around in front of him.

"This is Tarzan's Go-bu-balu," he said.  "Do not harm him, or Tarzan
will kill you," and he bared his own fangs in the teeth of the nearest
ape.

"It is a Gomangani," replied the ape.  "Let me kill it.  It is a
Gomangani.  The Gomangani are our enemies.  Let me kill it."

"Go away," snarled Tarzan.  "I tell you, Gunto, it is Tarzan's balu.
Go away or Tarzan will kill you," and the ape-man took a step toward
the advancing ape.

The latter sidled off, quite stiff and haughty, after the manner of a
dog which meets another and is too proud to fight and too fearful to
turn his back and run.

Next came Teeka, prompted by curiosity.  At her side skipped little
Gazan.  They were filled with wonder like the others; but Teeka did not
bare her fangs.  Tarzan saw this and motioned that she approach.

"Tarzan has a balu now," he said.  "He and Teeka's balu can play
together."

"It is a Gomangani," replied Teeka.  "It will kill my balu.  Take it
away, Tarzan."

Tarzan laughed.  "It could not harm Pamba, the rat," he said.  "It is
but a little balu and very frightened.  Let Gazan play with it."

Teeka still was fearful, for with all their mighty ferocity the great
anthropoids are timid; but at last, assured by her great confidence in
Tarzan, she pushed Gazan forward toward the little black boy.  The
small ape, guided by instinct, drew back toward its mother, baring its
small fangs and screaming in mingled fear and rage.

Tibo, too, showed no signs of desiring a closer acquaintance with
Gazan, so Tarzan gave up his efforts for the time.

During the week which followed, Tarzan found his time much occupied.
His balu was a greater responsibility than he had counted upon.  Not
for a moment did he dare leave it, since of all the tribe, Teeka alone
could have been depended upon to refrain from slaying the hapless black
had it not been for Tarzan's constant watchfulness.  When the ape-man
hunted, he must carry Go-bu-balu about with him.  It was irksome, and
then the little black seemed so stupid and fearful to Tarzan.  It was
quite helpless against even the lesser of the jungle creatures.  Tarzan
wondered how it had survived at all.  He tried to teach it, and found a
ray of hope in the fact that Go-bu-balu had mastered a few words of the
language of the anthropoids, and that he could now cling to a
high-tossed branch without screaming in fear; but there was something
about the child which worried Tarzan.  He often had watched the blacks
within their village.  He had seen the children playing, and always
there had been much laughter; but little Go-bu-balu never laughed.  It
was true that Tarzan himself never laughed.  Upon occasion he smiled,
grimly, but to laughter he was a stranger.  The black, however, should
have laughed, reasoned the ape-man.  It was the way of the Gomangani.

Also, he saw that the little fellow often refused food and was growing
thinner day by day.  At times he surprised the boy sobbing softly to
himself.  Tarzan tried to comfort him, even as fierce Kala had
comforted Tarzan when the ape-man was a balu, but all to no avail.
Go-bu-balu merely no longer feared Tarzan--that was all.  He feared
every other living thing within the jungle.  He feared the jungle days
with their long excursions through the dizzy tree tops.  He feared the
jungle nights with their swaying, perilous couches far above the
ground, and the grunting and coughing of the great carnivora prowling
beneath him.

Tarzan did not know what to do.  His heritage of English blood rendered
it a difficult thing even to consider a surrender of his project,
though he was forced to admit to himself that his balu was not all that
he had hoped.  Though he was faithful to his self-imposed task, and
even found that he had grown to like Go-bu-balu, he could not deceive
himself into believing that he felt for it that fierce heat of
passionate affection which Teeka revealed for Gazan, and which the
black mother had shown for Go-bu-balu.

The little black boy from cringing terror at the sight of Tarzan passed
by degrees into trustfulness and admiration.  Only kindness had he ever
received at the hands of the great white devil-god, yet he had seen
with what ferocity his kindly captor could deal with others.  He had
seen him leap upon a certain he-ape which persisted in attempting to
seize and slay Go-bu-balu. He had seen the strong, white teeth of the
ape-man fastened in the neck of his adversary, and the mighty muscles
tensed in battle.  He had heard the savage, bestial snarls and roars of
combat, and he had realized with a shudder that he could not
differentiate between those of his guardian and those of the hairy ape.

He had seen Tarzan bring down a buck, just as Numa, the lion, might
have done, leaping upon its back and fastening his fangs in the
creature's neck.  Tibo had shuddered at the sight, but he had thrilled,
too, and for the first time there entered his dull, Negroid mind a
vague desire to emulate his savage foster parent.  But Tibo, the little
black boy, lacked the divine spark which had permitted Tarzan, the
white boy, to benefit by his training in the ways of the fierce jungle.
In imagination he was wanting, and imagination is but another name for
super-intelligence.

Imagination it is which builds bridges, and cities, and empires.  The
beasts know it not, the blacks only a little, while to one in a hundred
thousand of earth's dominant race it is given as a gift from heaven
that man may not perish from the earth.

While Tarzan pondered his problem concerning the future of his balu,
Fate was arranging to take the matter out of his hands.  Momaya, Tibo's
mother, grief-stricken at the loss of her boy, had consulted the tribal
witch-doctor, but to no avail.  The medicine he made was not good
medicine, for though Momaya paid him two goats for it, it did not bring
back Tibo, nor even indicate where she might search for him with
reasonable assurance of finding him.  Momaya, being of a short temper
and of another people, had little respect for the witch-doctor of her
husband's tribe, and so, when he suggested that a further payment of
two more fat goats would doubtless enable him to make stronger
medicine, she promptly loosed her shrewish tongue upon him, and with
such good effect that he was glad to take himself off with his zebra's
tail and his pot of magic.

When he had gone and Momaya had succeeded in partially subduing her
anger, she gave herself over to thought, as she so often had done since
the abduction of her Tibo, in the hope that she finally might discover
some feasible means of locating him, or at least assuring herself as to
whether he were alive or dead.

It was known to the blacks that Tarzan did not eat the flesh of man,
for he had slain more than one of their number, yet never tasted the
flesh of any.  Too, the bodies always had been found, sometimes
dropping as though from the clouds to alight in the center of the
village.  As Tibo's body had not been found, Momaya argued that he
still lived, but where?

Then it was that there came to her mind a recollection of Bukawai, the
unclean, who dwelt in a cave in the hillside to the north, and who it
was well known entertained devils in his evil lair.  Few, if any, had
the temerity to visit old Bukawai, firstly because of fear of his black
magic and the two hyenas who dwelt with him and were commonly known to
be devils masquerading, and secondly because of the loathsome disease
which had caused Bukawai to be an outcast--a disease which was slowly
eating away his face.

Now it was that Momaya reasoned shrewdly that if any might know the
whereabouts of her Tibo, it would be Bukawai, who was in friendly
intercourse with gods and demons, since a demon or a god it was who had
stolen her baby; but even her great mother love was sorely taxed to
find the courage to send her forth into the black jungle toward the
distant hills and the uncanny abode of Bukawai, the unclean, and his
devils.

Mother love, however, is one of the human passions which closely
approximates to the dignity of an irresistible force.  It drives the
frail flesh of weak women to deeds of heroic measure.  Momaya was
neither frail nor weak, physically, but she was a woman, an ignorant,
superstitious, African savage.  She believed in devils, in black magic,
and in witchcraft.  To Momaya, the jungle was inhabited by far more
terrifying things than lions and leopards--horrifying, nameless things
which possessed the power of wreaking frightful harm under various
innocent guises.

From one of the warriors of the village, whom she knew to have once
stumbled upon the lair of Bukawai, the mother of Tibo learned how she
might find it--near a spring of water which rose in a small rocky canon
between two hills, the easternmost of which was easily recognizable
because of a huge granite boulder which rested upon its summit.  The
westerly hill was lower than its companion, and was quite bare of
vegetation except for a single mimosa tree which grew just a little
below its summit.

These two hills, the man assured her, could be seen for some distance
before she reached them, and together formed an excellent guide to her
destination.  He warned her, however, to abandon so foolish and
dangerous an adventure, emphasizing what she already quite well knew,
that if she escaped harm at the hands of Bukawai and his demons, the
chances were that she would not be so fortunate with the great
carnivora of the jungle through which she must pass going and returning.

The warrior even went to Momaya's husband, who, in turn, having little
authority over the vixenish lady of his choice, went to Mbonga, the
chief.  The latter summoned Momaya, threatening her with the direst
punishment should she venture forth upon so unholy an excursion.  The
old chief's interest in the matter was due solely to that age-old
alliance which exists between church and state.  The local
witch-doctor, knowing his own medicine better than any other knew it,
was jealous of all other pretenders to accomplishments in the black
art.  He long had heard of the power of Bukawai, and feared lest,
should he succeed in recovering Momaya's lost child, much of the tribal
patronage and consequent fees would be diverted to the unclean one.  As
Mbonga received, as chief, a certain proportion of the witch-doctor's
fees and could expect nothing from Bukawai, his heart and soul were,
quite naturally, wrapped up in the orthodox church.

But if Momaya could view with intrepid heart an excursion into the
jungle and a visit to the fear-haunted abode of Bukawai, she was not
likely to be deterred by threats of future punishment at the hands of
old Mbonga, whom she secretly despised.  Yet she appeared to accede to
his injunctions, returning to her hut in silence.

She would have preferred starting upon her quest by day-light, but this
was now out of the question, since she must carry food and a weapon of
some sort--things which she never could pass out of the village with by
day without being subjected to curious questioning that surely would
come immediately to the ears of Mbonga.

So Momaya bided her time until night, and just before the gates of the
village were closed, she slipped through into the darkness and the
jungle.  She was much frightened, but she set her face resolutely
toward the north, and though she paused often to listen, breathlessly,
for the huge cats which, here, were her greatest terror, she
nevertheless continued her way staunchly for several hours, until a low
moan a little to her right and behind her brought her to a sudden stop.

With palpitating heart the woman stood, scarce daring to breathe, and
then, very faintly but unmistakable to her keen ears, came the stealthy
crunching of twigs and grasses beneath padded feet.

All about Momaya grew the giant trees of the tropical jungle, festooned
with hanging vines and mosses.  She seized upon the nearest and started
to clamber, apelike, to the branches above.  As she did so, there was a
sudden rush of a great body behind her, a menacing roar that caused the
earth to tremble, and something crashed into the very creepers to which
she was clinging--but below her.

Momaya drew herself to safety among the leafy branches and thanked the
foresight which had prompted her to bring along the dried human ear
which hung from a cord about her neck.  She always had known that that
ear was good medicine.  It had been given her, when a girl, by the
witch-doctor of her town tribe, and was nothing like the poor, weak
medicine of Mbonga's witch-doctor.

All night Momaya clung to her perch, for although the lion sought other
prey after a short time, she dared not descend into the darkness again,
for fear she might encounter him or another of his kind; but at
daylight she clambered down and resumed her way.

Tarzan of the Apes, finding that his balu never ceased to give evidence
of terror in the presence of the apes of the tribe, and also that most
of the adult apes were a constant menace to Go-bu-balu's life, so that
Tarzan dared not leave him alone with them, took to hunting with the
little black boy farther and farther from the stamping grounds of the
anthropoids.


Little by little his absences from the tribe grew in length as he
wandered farther away from them, until finally he found himself a
greater distance to the north than he ever before had hunted, and with
water and ample game and fruit, he felt not at all inclined to return
to the tribe.

Little Go-bu-balu gave evidences of a greater interest in life, an
interest which varied in direct proportion to the distance he was from
the apes of Kerchak.  He now trotted along behind Tarzan when the
ape-man went upon the ground, and in the trees he even did his best to
follow his mighty foster parent.  The boy was still sad and lonely.
His thin, little body had grown steadily thinner since he had come
among the apes, for while, as a young cannibal, he was not overnice in
the matter of diet, he found it not always to his taste to stomach the
weird things which tickled the palates of epicures among the apes.

His large eyes were very large indeed now, his cheeks sunken, and every
rib of his emaciated body plainly discernible to whomsoever should care
to count them.  Constant terror, perhaps, had had as much to do with
his physical condition as had improper food.  Tarzan noticed the change
and was worried.  He had hoped to see his balu wax sturdy and strong.
His disappointment was great.  In only one respect did Go-bu-balu seem
to progress--he readily was mastering the language of the apes.  Even
now he and Tarzan could converse in a fairly satisfactory manner by
supplementing the meager ape speech with signs; but for the most part,
Go-bu-balu was silent other than to answer questions put to him.  His
great sorrow was yet too new and too poignant to be laid aside even
momentarily.  Always he pined for Momaya--shrewish, hideous, repulsive,
perhaps, she would have been to you or me, but to Tibo she was mamma,
the personification of that one great love which knows no selfishness
and which does not consume itself in its own fires.

As the two hunted, or rather as Tarzan hunted and Go-bu-balu tagged
along in his wake, the ape-man noticed many things and thought much.
Once they came upon Sabor moaning in the tall grasses.  About her
romped and played two little balls of fur, but her eyes were for one
which lay between her great forepaws and did not romp, one who never
would romp again.

Tarzan read aright the anguish and the suffering of the huge mother
cat.  He had been minded to bait her.  It was to do this that he had
sneaked silently through the trees until he had come almost above her,
but something held the ape-man as he saw the lioness grieving over her
dead cub.  With the acquisition of Go-bu-balu, Tarzan had come to
realize the responsibilities and sorrows of parentage, without its
joys.  His heart went out to Sabor as it might not have done a few
weeks before.  As he watched her, there rose quite unbidden before him
a vision of Momaya, the skewer through the septum of her nose, her
pendulous under lip sagging beneath the weight which dragged it down.
Tarzan saw not her unloveliness; he saw only the same anguish that was
Sabor's, and he winced.  That strange functioning of the mind which
sometimes is called association of ideas snapped Teeka and Gazan before
the ape-man's mental vision.  What if one should come and take Gazan
from Teeka.  Tarzan uttered a low and ominous growl as though Gazan
were his own.  Go-bu-balu glanced here and there apprehensively,
thinking that Tarzan had espied an enemy.  Sabor sprang suddenly to her
feet, her yellow-green eyes blazing, her tail lashing as she cocked her
ears, and raising her muzzle, sniffed the air for possible danger.  The
two little cubs, which had been playing, scampered quickly to her, and
standing beneath her, peered out from between her forelegs, their big
ears upstanding, their little heads cocked first upon one side and then
upon the other.

With a shake of his black shock, Tarzan turned away and resumed his
hunting in another direction; but all day there rose one after another,
above the threshold of his objective mind, memory portraits of Sabor,
of Momaya, and of Teeka--a lioness, a cannibal, and a she-ape, yet to
the ape-man they were identical through motherhood.

It was noon of the third day when Momaya came within sight of the cave
of Bukawai, the unclean.  The old witch-doctor had rigged a framework
of interlaced boughs to close the mouth of the cave from predatory
beasts.  This was now set to one side, and the black cavern beyond
yawned mysterious and repellent.  Momaya shivered as from a cold wind
of the rainy season.  No sign of life appeared about the cave, yet
Momaya experienced that uncanny sensation as of unseen eyes regarding
her malevolently.  Again she shuddered.  She tried to force her
unwilling feet onward toward the cave, when from its depths issued an
uncanny sound that was neither brute nor human, a weird sound that was
akin to mirthless laughter.

With a stifled scream, Momaya turned and fled into the jungle.  For a
hundred yards she ran before she could control her terror, and then she
paused, listening.  Was all her labor, were all the terrors and dangers
through which she had passed to go for naught? She tried to steel
herself to return to the cave, but again fright overcame her.

Saddened, disheartened, she turned slowly upon the back trail toward
the village of Mbonga.  Her young shoulders now were drooped like those
of an old woman who bears a great burden of many years with their
accumulated pains and sorrows, and she walked with tired feet and a
halting step.  The spring of youth was gone from Momaya.

For another hundred yards she dragged her weary way, her brain half
paralyzed from dumb terror and suffering, and then there came to her
the memory of a little babe that suckled at her breast, and of a slim
boy who romped, laughing, about her, and they were both Tibo--her Tibo!

Her shoulders straightened.  She shook her savage head, and she turned
about and walked boldly back to the mouth of the cave of Bukawai, the
unclean--of Bukawai, the witch-doctor.

Again, from the interior of the cave came the hideous laughter that was
not laughter.  This time Momaya recognized it for what it was, the
strange cry of a hyena.  No more did she shudder, but she held her
spear ready and called aloud to Bukawai to come out.

Instead of Bukawai came the repulsive head of a hyena.  Momaya poked at
it with her spear, and the ugly, sullen brute drew back with an angry
growl.  Again Momaya called Bukawai by name, and this time there came
an answer in mumbling tones that were scarce more human than those of
the beast.

"Who comes to Bukawai?" queried the voice.

"It is Momaya," replied the woman; "Momaya from the village of Mbonga,
the chief.

"What do you want?"

"I want good medicine, better medicine than Mbonga's witch-doctor can
make," replied Momaya.  "The great, white, jungle god has stolen my
Tibo, and I want medicine to bring him back, or to find where he is
hidden that I may go and get him."

"Who is Tibo?" asked Bukawai.

Momaya told him.

"Bukawai's medicine is very strong," said the voice.  "Five goats and a
new sleeping mat are scarce enough in exchange for Bukawai's medicine."

"Two goats are enough," said Momaya, for the spirit of barter is strong
in the breasts of the blacks.

The pleasure of haggling over the price was a sufficiently potent lure
to draw Bukawai to the mouth of the cave.  Momaya was sorry when she
saw him that he had not remained within.  There are some things too
horrible, too hideous, too repulsive for description--Bukawai's face
was of these.  When Momaya saw him she understood why it was that he
was almost inarticulate.

Beside him were two hyenas, which rumor had said were his only and
constant companions.  They made an excellent trio--the most repulsive
of beasts with the most repulsive of humans.

"Five goats and a new sleeping mat," mumbled Bukawai.

"Two fat goats and a sleeping mat." Momaya raised her bid; but Bukawai
was obdurate.  He stuck for the five goats and the sleeping mat for a
matter of half an hour, while the hyenas sniffed and growled and
laughed hideously.  Momaya was determined to give all that Bukawai
asked if she could do no better, but haggling is second nature to black
barterers, and in the end it partly repaid her, for a compromise
finally was reached which included three fat goats, a new sleeping mat,
and a piece of copper wire.

"Come back tonight," said Bukawai, "when the moon is two hours in the
sky.  Then will I make the strong medicine which shall bring Tibo back
to you.  Bring with you the three fat goats, the new sleeping mat, and
the piece of copper wire the length of a large man's forearm."

"I cannot bring them," said Momaya.  "You will have to come after them.
When you have restored Tibo to me, you shall have them all at the
village of Mbonga."

Bukawai shook his head.

"I will make no medicine," he said, "until I have the goats and the mat
and the copper wire."

Momaya pleaded and threatened, but all to no avail.  Finally, she
turned away and started off through the jungle toward the village of
Mbonga.  How she could get three goats and a sleeping mat out of the
village and through the jungle to the cave of Bukawai, she did not
know, but that she would do it somehow she was quite positive--she
would do it or die.  Tibo must be restored to her.

Tarzan coming lazily through the jungle with little Go-bu-balu, caught
the scent of Bara, the deer.  Tarzan hungered for the flesh of Bara.
Naught tickled his palate so greatly; but to stalk Bara with Go-bu-balu
at his heels, was out of the question, so he hid the child in the
crotch of a tree where the thick foliage screened him from view, and
set off swiftly and silently upon the spoor of Bara.

Tibo alone was more terrified than Tibo even among the apes.  Real and
apparent dangers are less disconcerting than those which we imagine,
and only the gods of his people knew how much Tibo imagined.

He had been but a short time in his hiding place when he heard
something approaching through the jungle.  He crouched closer to the
limb upon which he lay and prayed that Tarzan would return quickly.
His wide eyes searched the jungle in the direction of the moving
creature.

What if it was a leopard that had caught his scent! It would be upon
him in a minute.  Hot tears flowed from the large eyes of little Tibo.
The curtain of jungle foliage rustled close at hand.  The thing was but
a few paces from his tree!  His eyes fairly popped from his black face
as he watched for the appearance of the dread creature which presently
would thrust a snarling countenance from between the vines and creepers.

And then the curtain parted and a woman stepped into full view.  With a
gasping cry, Tibo tumbled from his perch and raced toward her.  Momaya
suddenly started back and raised her spear, but a second later she cast
it aside and caught the thin body in her strong arms.

Crushing it to her, she cried and laughed all at one and the same time,
and hot tears of joy, mingled with the tears of Tibo, trickled down the
crease between her naked breasts.

Disturbed by the noise so close at hand, there arose from his sleep in
a near-by thicket Numa, the lion.  He looked through the tangled
underbrush and saw the black woman and her young.  He licked his chops
and measured the distance between them and himself.  A short charge and
a long leap would carry him upon them.  He flicked the end of his tail
and sighed.

A vagrant breeze, swirling suddenly in the wrong direction, carried the
scent of Tarzan to the sensitive nostrils of Bara, the deer.  There was
a startled tensing of muscles and cocking of ears, a sudden dash, and
Tarzan's meat was gone.  The ape-man angrily shook his head and turned
back toward the spot where he had left Go-bu-balu. He came softly, as
was his way.  Before he reached the spot he heard strange sounds--the
sound of a woman laughing and of a woman weeping, and the two which
seemed to come from one throat were mingled with the convulsive sobbing
of a child.  Tarzan hastened, and when Tarzan hastened, only the birds
and the wind went faster.

And as Tarzan approached the sounds, he heard another, a deep sigh.
Momaya did not hear it, nor did Tibo; but the ears of Tarzan were as
the ears of Bara, the deer.  He heard the sigh, and he knew, so he
unloosed the heavy spear which dangled at his back.  Even as he sped
through the branches of the trees, with the same ease that you or I
might take out a pocket handkerchief as we strolled nonchalantly down a
lazy country lane, Tarzan of the Apes took the spear from its thong
that it might be ready against any emergency.

Numa, the lion, did not rush madly to attack.  He reasoned again, and
reason told him that already the prey was his, so he pushed his great
bulk through the foliage and stood eyeing his meat with baleful,
glaring eyes.

Momaya saw him and shrieked, drawing Tibo closer to her breast.  To
have found her child and to lose him, all in a moment!  She raised her
spear, throwing her hand far back of her shoulder.  Numa roared and
stepped slowly forward.  Momaya cast her weapon.  It grazed the tawny
shoulder, inflicting a flesh wound which aroused all the terrific
bestiality of the carnivore, and the lion charged.

Momaya tried to close her eyes, but could not.  She saw the flashing
swiftness of the huge, oncoming death, and then she saw something else.
She saw a mighty, naked white man drop as from the heavens into the
path of the charging lion.  She saw the muscles of a great arm flash in
the light of the equatorial sun as it filtered, dappling, through the
foliage above.  She saw a heavy hunting spear hurtle through the air to
meet the lion in midleap.

Numa brought up upon his haunches, roaring terribly and striking at the
spear which protruded from his breast.  His great blows bent and
twisted the weapon.  Tarzan, crouching and with hunting knife in hand,
circled warily about the frenzied cat.  Momaya, wide-eyed, stood rooted
to the spot, watching, fascinated.

In sudden fury Numa hurled himself toward the ape-man, but the wiry
creature eluded the blundering charge, side-stepping quickly only to
rush in upon his foe.  Twice the hunting blade flashed in the air.
Twice it fell upon the back of Numa, already weakening from the spear
point so near his heart.  The second stroke of the blade pierced far
into the beast's spine, and with a last convulsive sweep of the
fore-paws, in a vain attempt to reach his tormentor, Numa sprawled upon
the ground, paralyzed and dying.

Bukawai, fearful lest he should lose any recompense, followed Momaya
with the intention of persuading her to part with her ornaments of
copper and iron against her return with the price of the medicine--to
pay, as it were, for an option on his services as one pays a retaining
fee to an attorney, for, like an attorney, Bukawai knew the value of
his medicine and that it was well to collect as much as possible in
advance.

The witch-doctor came upon the scene as Tarzan leaped to meet the
lion's charge.  He saw it all and marveled, guessing immediately that
this must be the strange white demon concerning whom he had heard vague
rumors before Momaya came to him.

Momaya, now that the lion was past harming her or hers, gazed with new
terror upon Tarzan.  It was he who had stolen her Tibo.  Doubtless he
would attempt to steal him again.  Momaya hugged the boy close to her.
She was determined to die this time rather than suffer Tibo to be taken
from her again.

Tarzan eyed them in silence.  The sight of the boy clinging, sobbing,
to his mother aroused within his savage breast a melancholy loneliness.
There was none thus to cling to Tarzan, who yearned so for the love of
someone, of something.

At last Tibo looked up, because of the quiet that had fallen upon the
jungle, and saw Tarzan.  He did not shrink.

"Tarzan," he said, in the speech of the great apes of the tribe of
Kerchak, "do not take me from Momaya, my mother.  Do not take me again
to the lair of the hairy, tree men, for I fear Taug and Gunto and the
others.  Let me stay with Momaya, O Tarzan, God of the Jungle! Let me
stay with Momaya, my mother, and to the end of our days we will bless
you and put food before the gates of the village of Mbonga that you may
never hunger."

Tarzan sighed.

"Go," he said, "back to the village of Mbonga, and Tarzan will follow
to see that no harm befalls you."

Tibo translated the words to his mother, and the two turned their backs
upon the ape-man and started off toward home.  In the heart of Momaya
was a great fear and a great exultation, for never before had she
walked with God, and never had she been so happy.  She strained little
Tibo to her, stroking his thin cheek.  Tarzan saw and sighed again.

"For Teeka there is Teeka's balu," he soliloquized; "for Sabor there
are balus, and for the she-Gomangani, and for Bara, and for Manu, and
even for Pamba, the rat; but for Tarzan there can be none--neither a
she nor a balu.  Tarzan of the Apes is a man, and it must be that man
walks alone."

Bukawai saw them go, and he mumbled through his rotting face, swearing
a great oath that he would yet have the three fat goats, the new
sleeping mat, and the bit of copper wire.



                           6

           The Witch-Doctor Seeks Vengeance

LORD GREYSTOKE was hunting, or, to be more accurate, he was shooting
pheasants at Chamston-Hedding. Lord Greystoke was immaculately and
appropriately garbed--to the minutest detail he was vogue.  To be sure,
he was among the forward guns, not being considered a sporting shot,
but what he lacked in skill he more than made up in appearance.  At the
end of the day he would, doubtless, have many birds to his credit,
since he had two guns and a smart loader--many more birds than he could
eat in a year, even had he been hungry, which he was not, having but
just arisen from the breakfast table.

The beaters--there were twenty-three of them, in white smocks--had but
just driven the birds into a patch of gorse, and were now circling to
the opposite side that they might drive down toward the guns.  Lord
Greystoke was quite as excited as he ever permitted himself to become.
There was an exhilaration in the sport that would not be denied.  He
felt his blood tingling through his veins as the beaters approached
closer and closer to the birds.  In a vague and stupid sort of way Lord
Greystoke felt, as he always felt upon such occasions, that he was
experiencing a sensation somewhat akin to a reversion to a prehistoric
type--that the blood of an ancient forbear was coursing hot through
him, a hairy, half-naked forbear who had lived by the hunt.

And far away in a matted equatorial jungle another Lord Greystoke, the
real Lord Greystoke, hunted.  By the standards which he knew, he, too,
was vogue--utterly vogue, as was the primal ancestor before the first
eviction.  The day being sultry, the leopard skin had been left behind.
The real Lord Greystoke had not two guns, to be sure, nor even one,
neither did he have a smart loader; but he possessed something
infinitely more efficacious than guns, or loaders, or even twenty-three
beaters in white smocks--he possessed an appetite, an uncanny
woodcraft, and muscles that were as steel springs.

Later that day, in England, a Lord Greystoke ate bountifully of things
he had not killed, and he drank other things which were uncorked to the
accompaniment of much noise.  He patted his lips with snowy linen to
remove the faint traces of his repast, quite ignorant of the fact that
he was an impostor and that the rightful owner of his noble title was
even then finishing his own dinner in far-off Africa.  He was not using
snowy linen, though.  Instead he drew the back of a brown forearm and
hand across his mouth and wiped his bloody fingers upon his thighs.
Then he moved slowly through the jungle to the drinking place, where,
upon all fours, he drank as drank his fellows, the other beasts of the
jungle.

As he quenched his thirst, another denizen of the gloomy forest
approached the stream along the path behind him.  It was Numa, the
lion, tawny of body and black of mane, scowling and sinister, rumbling
out low, coughing roars.  Tarzan of the Apes heard him long before he
came within sight, but the ape-man went on with his drinking until he
had had his fill; then he arose, slowly, with the easy grace of a
creature of the wilds and all the quiet dignity that was his birthright.

Numa halted as he saw the man standing at the very spot where the king
would drink.  His jaws were parted, and his cruel eyes gleamed.  He
growled and advanced slowly.  The man growled, too, backing slowly to
one side, and watching, not the lion's face, but its tail.  Should that
commence to move from side to side in quick, nervous jerks, it would be
well to be upon the alert, and should it rise suddenly erect, straight
and stiff, then one might prepare to fight or flee; but it did neither,
so Tarzan merely backed away and the lion came down and drank scarce
fifty feet from where the man stood.

Tomorrow they might be at one another's throats, but today there
existed one of those strange and inexplicable truces which so often are
seen among the savage ones of the jungle.  Before Numa had finished
drinking, Tarzan had returned into the forest, and was swinging away in
the direction of the village of Mbonga, the black chief.

It had been at least a moon since the ape-man had called upon the
Gomangani.  Not since he had restored little Tibo to his grief-stricken
mother had the whim seized him to do so.  The incident of the adopted
balu was a closed one to Tarzan.  He had sought to find something upon
which to lavish such an affection as Teeka lavished upon her balu, but
a short experience of the little black boy had made it quite plain to
the ape-man that no such sentiment could exist between them.

The fact that he had for a time treated the little black as he might
have treated a real balu of his own had in no way altered the vengeful
sentiments with which he considered the murderers of Kala.  The
Gomangani were his deadly enemies, nor could they ever be aught else.
Today he looked forward to some slight relief from the monotony of his
existence in such excitement as he might derive from baiting the blacks.

It was not yet dark when he reached the village and took his place in
the great tree overhanging the palisade.  From beneath came a great
wailing out of the depths of a near-by hut.  The noise fell
disagreeably upon Tarzan's ears--it jarred and grated.  He did not like
it, so he decided to go away for a while in the hopes that it might
cease; but though he was gone for a couple of hours the wailing still
continued when he returned.

With the intention of putting a violent termination to the annoying
sound, Tarzan slipped silently from the tree into the shadows beneath.
Creeping stealthily and keeping well in the cover of other huts, he
approached that from which rose the sounds of lamentation.  A fire
burned brightly before the doorway as it did before other doorways in
the village.  A few females squatted about, occasionally adding their
own mournful howlings to those of the master artist within.

The ape-man smiled a slow smile as he thought of the consternation
which would follow the quick leap that would carry him among the
females and into the full light of the fire.  Then he would dart into
the hut during the excitement, throttle the chief screamer, and be gone
into the jungle before the blacks could gather their scattered nerves
for an assault.

Many times had Tarzan behaved similarly in the village of Mbonga, the
chief.  His mysterious and unexpected appearances always filled the
breasts of the poor, superstitious blacks with the panic of terror;
never, it seemed, could they accustom themselves to the sight of him.
It was this terror which lent to the adventures the spice of interest
and amusement which the human mind of the ape-man craved.  Merely to
kill was not in itself sufficient.  Accustomed to the sight of death,
Tarzan found no great pleasure in it.  Long since had he avenged the
death of Kala, but in the accomplishment of it, he had learned the
excitement and the pleasure to be derived from the baiting of the
blacks.  Of this he never tired.

It was just as he was about to spring forward with a savage roar that a
figure appeared in the doorway of the hut.  It was the figure of the
wailer whom he had come to still, the figure of a young woman with a
wooden skewer through the split septum of her nose, with a heavy metal
ornament depending from her lower lip, which it had dragged down to
hideous and repulsive deformity, with strange tattooing upon forehead,
cheeks, and breasts, and a wonderful coiffure built up with mud and
wire.

A sudden flare of the fire threw the grotesque figure into high relief,
and Tarzan recognized her as Momaya, the mother of Tibo.  The fire also
threw out a fitful flame which carried to the shadows where Tarzan
lurked, picking out his light brown body from the surrounding darkness.
Momaya saw him and knew him.  With a cry, she leaped forward and Tarzan
came to meet her.  The other women, turning, saw him, too; but they did
not come toward him.  Instead they rose as one, shrieked as one, fled
as one.

Momaya threw herself at Tarzan's feet, raising supplicating hands
toward him and pouring forth from her mutilated lips a perfect cataract
of words, not one of which the ape-man comprehended.  For a moment he
looked down upon the upturned, frightful face of the woman.  He had
come to slay, but that overwhelming torrent of speech filled him with
consternation and with awe.  He glanced about him apprehensively, then
back at the woman.  A revulsion of feeling seized him.  He could not
kill little Tibo's mother, nor could he stand and face this verbal
geyser.  With a quick gesture of impatience at the spoiling of his
evening's entertainment, he wheeled and leaped away into the darkness.
A moment later he was swinging through the black jungle night, the
cries and lamentations of Momaya growing fainter in the distance.

It was with a sigh of relief that he finally reached a point from which
he could no longer hear them, and finding a comfortable crotch high
among the trees, composed himself for a night of dreamless slumber,
while a prowling lion moaned and coughed beneath him, and in far-off
England the other Lord Greystoke, with the assistance of a valet,
disrobed and crawled between spotless sheets, swearing irritably as a
cat meowed beneath his window.

As Tarzan followed the fresh spoor of Horta, the boar, the following
morning, he came upon the tracks of two Gomangani, a large one and a
small one.  The ape-man, accustomed as he was to questioning closely
all that fell to his perceptions, paused to read the story written in
the soft mud of the game trail.  You or I would have seen little of
interest there, even if, by chance, we could have seen aught.  Perhaps
had one been there to point them out to us, we might have noted
indentations in the mud, but there were countless indentations, one
overlapping another into a confusion that would have been entirely
meaningless to us.  To Tarzan each told its own story.  Tantor, the
elephant, had passed that way as recently as three suns since.  Numa
had hunted here the night just gone, and Horta, the boar, had walked
slowly along the trail within an hour; but what held Tarzan's attention
was the spoor tale of the Gomangani.  It told him that the day before
an old man had gone toward the north in company with a little boy, and
that with them had been two hyenas.

Tarzan scratched his head in puzzled incredulity.  He could see by the
overlapping of the footprints that the beasts had not been following
the two, for sometimes one was ahead of them and one behind, and again
both were in advance, or both were in the rear.  It was very strange
and quite inexplicable, especially where the spoor showed where the
hyenas in the wider portions of the path had walked one on either side
of the human pair, quite close to them.  Then Tarzan read in the spoor
of the smaller Gomangani a shrinking terror of the beast that brushed
his side, but in that of the old man was no sign of fear.

At first Tarzan had been solely occupied by the remarkable
juxtaposition of the spoor of Dango and Gomangani, but now his keen
eyes caught something in the spoor of the little Gomangani which
brought him to a sudden stop.  It was as though, finding a letter in
the road, you suddenly had discovered in it the familiar handwriting of
a friend.

"Go-bu-balu!" exclaimed the ape-man, and at once memory flashed upon
the screen of recollection the supplicating attitude of Momaya as she
had hurled herself before him in the village of Mbonga the night
before.  Instantly all was explained--the wailing and lamentation, the
pleading of the black mother, the sympathetic howling of the shes about
the fire.  Little Go-bu-balu had been stolen again, and this time by
another than Tarzan.  Doubtless the mother had thought that he was
again in the power of Tarzan of the Apes, and she had been beseeching
him to return her balu to her.

Yes, it was all quite plain now; but who could have stolen Go-bu-balu
this time? Tarzan wondered, and he wondered, too, about the presence of
Dango.  He would investigate.  The spoor was a day old and it ran
toward the north.  Tarzan set out to follow it.  In places it was
totally obliterated by the passage of many beasts, and where the way
was rocky, even Tarzan of the Apes was almost baffled; but there was
still the faint effluvium which clung to the human spoor, appreciable
only to such highly trained perceptive powers as were Tarzan's.


It had all happened to little Tibo very suddenly and unexpectedly
within the brief span of two suns.  First had come Bukawai, the
witch-doctor--Bukawai, the unclean--with the ragged bit of flesh which
still clung to his rotting face.  He had come alone and by day to the
place at the river where Momaya went daily to wash her body and that of
Tibo, her little boy.  He had stepped out from behind a great bush
quite close to Momaya, frightening little Tibo so that he ran screaming
to his mother's protecting arms.

But Momaya, though startled, had wheeled to face the fearsome thing
with all the savage ferocity of a she-tiger at bay.  When she saw who
it was, she breathed a sigh of partial relief, though she still clung
tightly to Tibo.

"I have come," said Bukawai without preliminary, "for the three fat
goats, the new sleeping mat, and the bit of copper wire as long as a
tall man's arm."

"I have no goats for you," snapped Momaya, "nor a sleeping mat, nor any
wire.  Your medicine was never made.  The white jungle god gave me back
my Tibo.  You had nothing to do with it."

"But I did," mumbled Bukawai through his fleshless jaws.  "It was I who
commanded the white jungle god to give back your Tibo."

Momaya laughed in his face.  "Speaker of lies," she cried, "go back to
your foul den and your hyenas.  Go back and hide your stinking face in
the belly of the mountain, lest the sun, seeing it, cover his face with
a black cloud."

"I have come," reiterated Bukawai, "for the three fat goats, the new
sleeping mat, and the bit of copper wire the length of a tall man's
arm, which you were to pay me for the return of your Tibo."

"It was to be the length of a man's forearm," corrected Momaya, "but
you shall have nothing, old thief.  You would not make medicine until I
had brought the payment in advance, and when I was returning to my
village the great, white jungle god gave me back my Tibo--gave him to
me out of the jaws of Numa.  His medicine is true medicine--yours is
the weak medicine of an old man with a hole in his face."

"I have come," repeated Bukawai patiently, "for the three fat--" But
Momaya had not waited to hear more of what she already knew by heart.
Clasping Tibo close to her side, she was hurrying away toward the
palisaded village of Mbonga, the chief.

And the next day, when Momaya was working in the plantain field with
others of the women of the tribe, and little Tibo had been playing at
the edge of the jungle, casting a small spear in anticipation of the
distant day when he should be a full-fledged warrior, Bukawai had come
again.

Tibo had seen a squirrel scampering up the bole of a great tree.  His
childish mind had transformed it into the menacing figure of a hostile
warrior.  Little Tibo had raised his tiny spear, his heart filled with
the savage blood lust of his race, as he pictured the night's orgy when
he should dance about the corpse of his human kill as the women of his
tribe prepared the meat for the feast to follow.

But when he cast the spear, he missed both squirrel and tree, losing
his missile far among the tangled undergrowth of the jungle.  However,
it could be but a few steps within the forbidden labyrinth.  The women
were all about in the field.  There were warriors on guard within easy
hail, and so little Tibo boldly ventured into the dark place.

Just behind the screen of creepers and matted foliage lurked three
horrid figures--an old, old man, black as the pit, with a face half
eaten away by leprosy, his sharp-filed teeth, the teeth of a cannibal,
showing yellow and repulsive through the great gaping hole where his
mouth and nose had been.  And beside him, equally hideous, stood two
powerful hyenas--carrion-eaters consorting with carrion.

Tibo did not see them until, head down, he had forced his way through
the thickly growing vines in search of his little spear, and then it
was too late.  As he looked up into the face of Bukawai, the old
witch-doctor seized him, muffling his screams with a palm across his
mouth.  Tibo struggled futilely.

A moment later he was being hustled away through the dark and terrible
jungle, the frightful old man still muffling his screams, and the two
hideous hyenas pacing now on either side, now before, now behind,
always prowling, always growling, snapping, snarling, or, worst of all,
laughing hideously.

To little Tibo, who within his brief existence had passed through such
experiences as are given to few to pass through in a lifetime, the
northward journey was a nightmare of terror.  He thought now of the
time that he had been with the great, white jungle god, and he prayed
with all his little soul that he might be back again with the
white-skinned giant who consorted with the hairy tree men.
Terror-stricken he had been then, but his surroundings had been nothing
by comparison with those which he now endured.

The old man seldom addressed Tibo, though he kept up an almost
continuous mumbling throughout the long day.  Tibo caught repeated
references to fat goats, sleeping mats, and pieces of copper wire.
"Ten fat goats, ten fat goats," the old Negro would croon over and over
again.  By this little Tibo guessed that the price of his ransom had
risen.  Ten fat goats? Where would his mother get ten fat goats, or
thin ones, either, for that matter, to buy back just a poor little boy?
Mbonga would never let her have them, and Tibo knew that his father
never had owned more than three goats at the same time in all his life.
Ten fat goats! Tibo sniffled.  The putrid old man would kill him and
eat him, for the goats would never be forthcoming.  Bukawai would throw
his bones to the hyenas.  The little black boy shuddered and became so
weak that he almost fell in his tracks.  Bukawai cuffed him on an ear
and jerked him along.

After what seemed an eternity to Tibo, they arrived at the mouth of a
cave between two rocky hills.  The opening was low and narrow.  A few
saplings bound together with strips of rawhide closed it against stray
beasts.  Bukawai removed the primitive door and pushed Tibo within.
The hyenas, snarling, rushed past him and were lost to view in the
blackness of the interior.  Bukawai replaced the saplings and seizing
Tibo roughly by the arm, dragged him along a narrow, rocky passage.
The floor was comparatively smooth, for the dirt which lay thick upon
it had been trodden and tramped by many feet until few inequalities
remained.

The passage was tortuous, and as it was very dark and the walls rough
and rocky, Tibo was scratched and bruised from the many bumps he
received.  Bukawai walked as rapidly through the winding gallery as one
would traverse a familiar lane by daylight.  He knew every twist and
turn as a mother knows the face of her child, and he seemed to be in a
hurry.  He jerked poor little Tibo possibly a trifle more ruthlessly
than necessary even at the pace Bukawai set; but the old witch-doctor,
an outcast from the society of man, diseased, shunned, hated, feared,
was far from possessing an angelic temper.  Nature had given him few of
the kindlier characteristics of man, and these few Fate had eradicated
entirely.  Shrewd, cunning, cruel, vindictive, was Bukawai, the
witch-doctor.

Frightful tales were whispered of the cruel tortures he inflicted upon
his victims.  Children were frightened into obedience by the threat of
his name.  Often had Tibo been thus frightened, and now he was reaping
a grisly harvest of terror from the seeds his mother had innocently
sown.  The darkness, the presence of the dreaded witch-doctor, the pain
of the contusions, with a haunting premonition of the future, and the
fear of the hyenas combined to almost paralyze the child.  He stumbled
and reeled until Bukawai was dragging rather than leading him.

Presently Tibo saw a faint lightness ahead of them, and a moment later
they emerged into a roughly circular chamber to which a little daylight
filtered through a rift in the rocky ceiling.  The hyenas were there
ahead of them, waiting.  As Bukawai entered with Tibo, the beasts slunk
toward them, baring yellow fangs.  They were hungry.  Toward Tibo they
came, and one snapped at his naked legs.  Bukawai seized a stick from
the floor of the chamber and struck a vicious blow at the beast, at the
same time mumbling forth a volley of execrations.  The hyena dodged and
ran to the side of the chamber, where he stood growling.  Bukawai took
a step toward the creature, which bristled with rage at his approach.
Fear and hatred shot from its evil eyes, but, fortunately for Bukawai,
fear predominated.

Seeing that he was unnoticed, the second beast made a short, quick rush
for Tibo.  The child screamed and darted after the witch-doctor, who
now turned his attention to the second hyena.  This one he reached with
his heavy stick, striking it repeatedly and driving it to the wall.
There the two carrion-eaters commenced to circle the chamber while the
human carrion, their master, now in a perfect frenzy of demoniacal
rage, ran to and fro in an effort to intercept them, striking out with
his cudgel and lashing them with his tongue, calling down upon them the
curses of whatever gods and demons he could summon to memory, and
describing in lurid figures the ignominy of their ancestors.

Several times one or the other of the beasts would turn to make a stand
against the witch-doctor, and then Tibo would hold his breath in
agonized terror, for never in his brief life had he seen such frightful
hatred depicted upon the countenance of man or beast; but always fear
overcame the rage of the savage creatures, so that they resumed their
flight, snarling and bare-fanged, just at the moment that Tibo was
certain they would spring at Bukawai's throat.

At last the witch-doctor tired of the futile chase.  With a snarl quite
as bestial as those of the beast, he turned toward Tibo.  "I go to
collect the ten fat goats, the new sleeping mat, and the two pieces of
copper wire that your mother will pay for the medicine I shall make to
bring you back to her," he said.  "You will stay here.  There," and he
pointed toward the passage which they had followed to the chamber, "I
will leave the hyenas.  If you try to escape, they will eat you."

He cast aside the stick and called to the beasts.  They came, snarling
and slinking, their tails between their legs.  Bukawai led them to the
passage and drove them into it.  Then he dragged a rude lattice into
place before the opening after he, himself, had left the chamber.
"This will keep them from you," he said.  "If I do not get the ten fat
goats and the other things, they shall at least have a few bones after
I am through." And he left the boy to think over the meaning of his
all-too-suggestive words.

When he was gone, Tibo threw himself upon the earth floor and broke
into childish sobs of terror and loneliness.  He knew that his mother
had no ten fat goats to give and that when Bukawai returned, little
Tibo would be killed and eaten.  How long he lay there he did not know,
but presently he was aroused by the growling of the hyenas.  They had
returned through the passage and were glaring at him from beyond the
lattice.  He could see their yellow eyes blazing through the darkness.
They reared up and clawed at the barrier.  Tibo shivered and withdrew
to the opposite side of the chamber.  He saw the lattice sag and sway
to the attacks of the beasts.  Momentarily he expected that it would
fall inward, letting the creatures upon him.

Wearily the horror-ridden hours dragged their slow way.  Night came,
and for a time Tibo slept, but it seemed that the hungry beasts never
slept.  Always they stood just beyond the lattice growling their
hideous growls or laughing their hideous laughs.  Through the narrow
rift in the rocky roof above him, Tibo could see a few stars, and once
the moon crossed.  At last daylight came again.  Tibo was very hungry
and thirsty, for he had not eaten since the morning before, and only
once upon the long march had he been permitted to drink, but even
hunger and thirst were almost forgotten in the terror of his position.

It was after daylight that the child discovered a second opening in the
walls of the subterranean chamber, almost opposite that at which the
hyenas still stood glaring hungrily at him.  It was only a narrow slit
in the rocky wall.  It might lead in but a few feet, or it might lead
to freedom! Tibo approached it and looked within.  He could see
nothing.  He extended his arm into the blackness, but he dared not
venture farther.  Bukawai never would have left open a way of escape,
Tibo reasoned, so this passage must lead either nowhere or to some
still more hideous danger.

To the boy's fear of the actual dangers which menaced him--Bukawai and
the two hyenas--his superstition added countless others quite too
horrible even to name, for in the lives of the blacks, through the
shadows of the jungle day and the black horrors of the jungle night,
flit strange, fantastic shapes peopling the already hideously peopled
forests with menacing figures, as though the lion and the leopard, the
snake and the hyena, and the countless poisonous insects were not quite
sufficient to strike terror to the hearts of the poor, simple creatures
whose lot is cast in earth's most fearsome spot.


And so it was that little Tibo cringed not only from real menaces but
from imaginary ones.  He was afraid even to venture upon a road that
might lead to escape, lest Bukawai had set to watch it some frightful
demon of the jungle.

But the real menaces suddenly drove the imaginary ones from the boy's
mind, for with the coming of daylight the half-famished hyenas renewed
their efforts to break down the frail barrier which kept them from
their prey.  Rearing upon their hind feet they clawed and struck at the
lattice.  With wide eyes Tibo saw it sag and rock.  Not for long, he
knew, could it withstand the assaults of these two powerful and
determined brutes.  Already one corner had been forced past the rocky
protuberance of the entrance way which had held it in place.  A shaggy
forearm protruded into the chamber.  Tibo trembled as with ague, for he
knew that the end was near.

Backing against the farther wall he stood flattened out as far from the
beasts as he could get.  He saw the lattice give still more.  He saw a
savage, snarling head forced past it, and grinning jaws snapping and
gaping toward him.  In another instant the pitiful fabric would fall
inward, and the two would be upon him, rending his flesh from his
bones, gnawing the bones themselves, fighting for possession of his
entrails.

* * *

Bukawai came upon Momaya outside the palisade of Mbonga, the chief.  At
sight of him the woman drew back in revulsion, then she flew at him,
tooth and nail; but Bukawai threatening her with a spear held her at a
safe distance.

"Where is my baby?" she cried.  "Where is my little Tibo?"

Bukawai opened his eyes in well-simulated amazement.  "Your baby!" he
exclaimed.  "What should I know of him, other than that I rescued him
from the white god of the jungle and have not yet received my pay.  I
come for the goats and the sleeping mat and the piece of copper wire
the length of a tall man's arm from the shoulder to the tips of his
fingers." "Offal of a hyena!" shrieked Momaya.  "My child has been
stolen, and you, rotting fragment of a man, have taken him.  Return him
to me or I shall tear your eyes from your head and feed your heart to
the wild hogs."

Bukawai shrugged his shoulders.  "What do I know about your child?" he
asked.  "I have not taken him.  If he is stolen again, what should
Bukawai know of the matter? Did Bukawai steal him before? No, the white
jungle god stole him, and if he stole him once he would steal him
again.  It is nothing to me.  I returned him to you before and I have
come for my pay.  If he is gone and you would have him returned,
Bukawai will return him--for ten fat goats, a new sleeping mat and two
pieces of copper wire the length of a tall man's arm from the shoulder
to the tips of his fingers, and Bukawai will say nothing more about the
goats and the sleeping mat and the copper wire which you were to pay
for the first medicine."

"Ten fat goats!" screamed Momaya.  "I could not pay you ten fat goats
in as many years.  Ten fat goats, indeed!"

"Ten fat goats," repeated Bukawai.  "Ten fat goats, the new sleeping
mat and two pieces of copper wire the length of--"

Momaya stopped him with an impatient gesture.  "Wait!" she cried.  "I
have no goats.  You waste your breath.  Stay here while I go to my man.
He has but three goats, yet something may be done.  Wait!"

Bukawai sat down beneath a tree.  He felt quite content, for he knew
that he should have either payment or revenge.  He did not fear harm at
the hands of these people of another tribe, although he well knew that
they must fear and hate him.  His leprosy alone would prevent their
laying hands upon him, while his reputation as a witch-doctor rendered
him doubly immune from attack.  He was planning upon compelling them to
drive the ten goats to the mouth of his cave when Momaya returned.
With her were three warriors--Mbonga, the chief, Rabba Kega, the
village witch-doctor, and Ibeto, Tibo's father.  They were not pretty
men even under ordinary circumstances, and now, with their faces marked
by anger, they well might have inspired terror in the heart of anyone;
but if Bukawai felt any fear, he did not betray it.  Instead he greeted
them with an insolent stare, intended to awe them, as they came and
squatted in a semi-circle before him.

"Where is Ibeto's son?" asked Mbonga.

"How should I know?" returned Bukawai.  "Doubtless the white devil-god
has him.  If I am paid I will make strong medicine and then we shall
know where is Ibeto's son, and shall get him back again.  It was my
medicine which got him back the last time, for which I got no pay."

"I have my own witch-doctor to make medicine," replied Mbonga with
dignity.

Bukawai sneered and rose to his feet.  "Very well," he said, "let him
make his medicine and see if he can bring Ibeto's son back." He took a
few steps away from them, and then he turned angrily back.  "His
medicine will not bring the child back--that I know, and I also know
that when you find him it will be too late for any medicine to bring
him back, for he will be dead.  This have I just found out, the ghost
of my father's sister but now came to me and told me."

Now Mbonga and Rabba Kega might not take much stock in their own magic,
and they might even be skeptical as to the magic of another; but there
was always a chance of SOMETHING being in it, especially if it were not
their own.  Was it not well known that old Bukawai had speech with the
demons themselves and that two even lived with him in the forms of
hyenas! Still they must not accede too hastily.  There was the price to
be considered, and Mbonga had no intention of parting lightly with ten
goats to obtain the return of a single little boy who might die of
smallpox long before he reached a warrior's estate.

"Wait," said Mbonga.  "Let us see some of your magic, that we may know
if it be good magic.  Then we can talk about payment.  Rabba Kega will
make some magic, too.  We will see who makes the best magic.  Sit down,
Bukawai."

"The payment will be ten goats--fat goats--a new sleeping mat and two
pieces of copper wire the length of a tall man's arm from the shoulder
to the ends of his fingers, and it will be made in advance, the goats
being driven to my cave.  Then will I make the medicine, and on the
second day the boy will be returned to his mother.  It cannot be done
more quickly than that because it takes time to make such strong
medicine."

"Make us some medicine now," said Mbonga.  "Let us see what sort of
medicine you make."

"Bring me fire," replied Bukawai, "and I will make you a little magic."

Momaya was dispatched for the fire, and while she was away Mbonga
dickered with Bukawai about the price.  Ten goats, he said, was a high
price for an able-bodied warrior.  He also called Bukawai's attention
to the fact that he, Mbonga, was very poor, that his people were very
poor, and that ten goats were at least eight too many, to say nothing
of a new sleeping mat and the copper wire; but Bukawai was adamant.
His medicine was very expensive and he would have to give at least five
goats to the gods who helped him make it.  They were still arguing when
Momaya returned with the fire.

Bukawai placed a little on the ground before him, took a pinch of
powder from a pouch at his side and sprinkled it on the embers.  A
cloud of smoke rose with a puff.  Bukawai closed his eyes and rocked
back and forth.  Then he made a few passes in the air and pretended to
swoon.  Mbonga and the others were much impressed.  Rabba Kega grew
nervous.  He saw his reputation waning.  There was some fire left in
the vessel which Momaya had brought.  He seized the vessel, dropped a
handful of dry leaves into it while no one was watching and then
uttered a frightful scream which drew the attention of Bukawai's
audience to him.  It also brought Bukawai quite miraculously out of his
swoon, but when the old witch-doctor saw the reason for the disturbance
he quickly relapsed into unconsciousness before anyone discovered his
FAUX PAS.

Rabba Kega, seeing that he had the attention of Mbonga, Ibeto, and
Momaya, blew suddenly into the vessel, with the result that the leaves
commenced to smolder, and smoke issued from the mouth of the
receptacle.  Rabba Kega was careful to hold it so that none might see
the dry leaves.  Their eyes opened wide at this remarkable
demonstration of the village witch-doctor's powers.  The latter,
greatly elated, let himself out.  He shouted, jumped up and down, and
made frightful grimaces; then he put his face close over the mouth of
the vessel and appeared to be communing with the spirits within.

It was while he was thus engaged that Bukawai came out of his trance,
his curiosity finally having gotten the better of him.  No one was
paying him the slightest attention.  He blinked his one eye angrily,
then he, too, let out a loud roar, and when he was sure that Mbonga had
turned toward him, he stiffened rigidly and made spasmodic movements
with his arms and legs.

"I see him!" he cried.  "He is far away.  The white devil-god did not
get him.  He is alone and in great danger; but," he added, "if the ten
fat goats and the other things are paid to me quickly there is yet time
to save him."

Rabba Kega had paused to listen.  Mbonga looked toward him.  The chief
was in a quandary.  He did not know which medicine was the better.
"What does your magic tell you?" he asked of Rabba Kega.

"I, too, see him," screamed Rabba Kega; "but he is not where Bukawai
says he is.  He is dead at the bottom of the river."

At this Momaya commenced to howl loudly.


Tarzan had followed the spoor of the old man, the two hyenas, and the
little black boy to the mouth of the cave in the rocky canon between
the two hills.  Here he paused a moment before the sapling barrier
which Bukawai had set up, listening to the snarls and growls which came
faintly from the far recesses of the cavern.

Presently, mingled with the beastly cries, there came faintly to the
keen ears of the ape-man, the agonized moan of a child.  No longer did
Tarzan hesitate.  Hurling the door aside, he sprang into the dark
opening.  Narrow and black was the corridor; but long use of his eyes
in the Stygian blackness of the jungle nights had given to the ape-man
something of the nocturnal visionary powers of the wild things with
which he had consorted since babyhood.

He moved rapidly and yet with caution, for the place was dark,
unfamiliar and winding.  As he advanced, he heard more and more loudly
the savage snarls of the two hyenas, mingled with the scraping and
scratching of their paws upon wood.  The moans of a child grew in
volume, and Tarzan recognized in them the voice of the little black boy
he once had sought to adopt as his balu.

There was no hysteria in the ape-man's advance.  Too accustomed was he
to the passing of life in the jungle to be greatly wrought even by the
death of one whom he knew; but the lust for battle spurred him on.  He
was only a wild beast at heart and his wild beast's heart beat high in
anticipation of conflict.

In the rocky chamber of the hill's center, little Tibo crouched low
against the wall as far from the hunger-crazed beasts as he could drag
himself.  He saw the lattice giving to the frantic clawing of the
hyenas.  He knew that in a few minutes his little life would flicker
out horribly beneath the rending, yellow fangs of these loathsome
creatures.

Beneath the buffetings of the powerful bodies, the lattice sagged
inward, until, with a crash it gave way, letting the carnivora in upon
the boy.  Tibo cast one affrighted glance toward them, then closed his
eyes and buried his face in his arms, sobbing piteously.

For a moment the hyenas paused, caution and cowardice holding them from
their prey.  They stood thus glaring at the lad, then slowly,
stealthily, crouching, they crept toward him.  It was thus that Tarzan
came upon them, bursting into the chamber swiftly and silently; but not
so silently that the keen-eared beasts did not note his coming.  With
angry growls they turned from Tibo upon the ape-man, as, with a smile
upon his lips, he ran toward them.  For an instant one of the animals
stood its ground; but the ape-man did not deign even to draw his
hunting knife against despised Dango.  Rushing in upon the brute he
grasped it by the scruff of the neck, just as it attempted to dodge
past him, and hurled it across the cavern after its fellow which
already was slinking into the corridor, bent upon escape.

Then Tarzan picked Tibo from the floor, and when the child felt human
hands upon him instead of the paws and fangs of the hyenas, he rolled
his eyes upward in surprise and incredulity, and as they fell upon
Tarzan, sobs of relief broke from the childish lips and his hands
clutched at his deliverer as though the white devil-god was not the
most feared of jungle creatures.

When Tarzan came to the cave mouth the hyenas were nowhere in sight,
and after permitting Tibo to quench his thirst in the spring which rose
near by, he lifted the boy to his shoulders and set off toward the
jungle at a rapid trot, determined to still the annoying howlings of
Momaya as quickly as possible, for he shrewdly had guessed that the
absence of her balu was the cause of her lamentation.


"He is not dead at the bottom of the river," cried Bukawai.  "What does
this fellow know about making magic? Who is he, anyway, that he dare
say Bukawai's magic is not good magic? Bukawai sees Momaya's son.  He
is far away and alone and in great danger.  Hasten then with the ten
fat goats, the--"

But he got no further.  There was a sudden interruption from above,
from the branches of the very tree beneath which they squatted, and as
the five blacks looked up they almost swooned in fright as they saw the
great, white devil-god looking down upon them; but before they could
flee they saw another face, that of the lost little Tibo, and his face
was laughing and very happy.

And then Tarzan dropped fearlessly among them, the boy still upon his
back, and deposited him before his mother.  Momaya, Ibeto, Rabba Kega,
and Mbonga were all crowding around the lad trying to question him at
the same time.  Suddenly Momaya turned ferociously to fall upon
Bukawai, for the boy had told her all that he had suffered at the hands
of the cruel old man; but Bukawai was no longer there--he had required
no recourse to black art to assure him that the vicinity of Momaya
would be no healthful place for him after Tibo had told his story, and
now he was running through the jungle as fast as his old legs would
carry him toward the distant lair where he knew no black would dare
pursue him.

Tarzan, too, had vanished, as he had a way of doing, to the
mystification of the blacks.  Then Momaya's eyes lighted upon Rabba
Kega.  The village witch-doctor saw something in those eyes of hers
which boded no good to him, and backed away.

"So my Tibo is dead at the bottom of the river, is he?" the woman
shrieked.  "And he's far away and alone and in great danger, is he?
Magic!" The scorn which Momaya crowded into that single word would have
done credit to a Thespian of the first magnitude.  "Magic, indeed!" she
screamed.  "Momaya will show you some magic of her own," and with that
she seized upon a broken limb and struck Rabba Kega across the head.
With a howl of pain, the man turned and fled, Momaya pursuing him and
beating him across the shoulders, through the gateway and up the length
of the village street, to the intense amusement of the warriors, the
women, and the children who were so fortunate as to witness the
spectacle, for one and all feared Rabba Kega, and to fear is to hate.

Thus it was that to his host of passive enemies, Tarzan of the Apes
added that day two active foes, both of whom remained awake long into
the night planning means of revenge upon the white devil-god who had
brought them into ridicule and disrepute, but with their most
malevolent schemings was mingled a vein of real fear and awe that would
not down.

Young Lord Greystoke did not know that they planned against him, nor,
knowing, would have cared.  He slept as well that night as he did on
any other night, and though there was no roof above him, and no doors
to lock against intruders, he slept much better than his noble relative
in England, who had eaten altogether too much lobster and drank too
much wine at dinner that night.



                           7

                  The End of Bukawai

WHEN TARZAN OF the Apes was still but a boy he had learned, among other
things, to fashion pliant ropes of fibrous jungle grass.  Strong and
tough were the ropes of Tarzan, the little Tarmangani.  Tublat, his
foster father, would have told you this much and more.  Had you tempted
him with a handful of fat caterpillars he even might have sufficiently
unbended to narrate to you a few stories of the many indignities which
Tarzan had heaped upon him by means of his hated rope; but then Tublat
always worked himself into such a frightful rage when he devoted any
considerable thought either to the rope or to Tarzan, that it might not
have proved comfortable for you to have remained close enough to him to
hear what he had to say.

So often had that snakelike noose settled unexpectedly over Tublat's
head, so often had he been jerked ridiculously and painfully from his
feet when he was least looking for such an occurrence, that there is
little wonder he found scant space in his savage heart for love of his
white-skinned foster child, or the inventions thereof.  There had been
other times, too, when Tublat had swung helplessly in midair, the noose
tightening about his neck, death staring him in the face, and little
Tarzan dancing upon a near-by limb, taunting him and making unseemly
grimaces.

Then there had been another occasion in which the rope had figured
prominently--an occasion, and the only one connected with the rope,
which Tublat recalled with pleasure.  Tarzan, as active in brain as he
was in body, was always inventing new ways in which to play.  It was
through the medium of play that he learned much during his childhood.
This day he learned something, and that he did not lose his life in the
learning of it, was a matter of great surprise to Tarzan, and the fly
in the ointment, to Tublat.

The man-child had, in throwing his noose at a playmate in a tree above
him, caught a projecting branch instead.  When he tried to shake it
loose it but drew the tighter.  Then Tarzan started to climb the rope
to remove it from the branch.  When he was part way up a frolicsome
playmate seized that part of the rope which lay upon the ground and ran
off with it as far as he could go.  When Tarzan screamed at him to
desist, the young ape released the rope a little and then drew it tight
again.  The result was to impart a swinging motion to Tarzan's body
which the ape-boy suddenly realized was a new and pleasurable form of
play.  He urged the ape to continue until Tarzan was swinging to and
fro as far as the short length of rope would permit, but the distance
was not great enough, and, too, he was not far enough above the ground
to give the necessary thrills which add so greatly to the pastimes of
the young.

So he clambered to the branch where the noose was caught and after
removing it carried the rope far aloft and out upon a long and powerful
branch.  Here he again made it fast, and taking the loose end in his
hand, clambered quickly down among the branches as far as the rope
would permit him to go; then he swung out upon the end of it, his
lithe, young body turning and twisting--a human bob upon a pendulum of
grass--thirty feet above the ground.

Ah, how delectable! This was indeed a new play of the first magnitude.
Tarzan was entranced.  Soon he discovered that by wriggling his body in
just the right way at the proper time he could diminish or accelerate
his oscillation, and, being a boy, he chose, naturally, to accelerate.
Presently he was swinging far and wide, while below him, the apes of
the tribe of Kerchak looked on in mild amaze.

Had it been you or I swinging there at the end of that grass rope, the
thing which presently happened would not have happened, for we could
not have hung on so long as to have made it possible; but Tarzan was
quite as much at home swinging by his hands as he was standing upon his
feet, or, at least, almost.  At any rate he felt no fatigue long after
the time that an ordinary mortal would have been numb with the strain
of the physical exertion.  And this was his undoing.

Tublat was watching him as were others of the tribe.  Of all the
creatures of the wild, there was none Tublat so cordially hated as he
did this hideous, hairless, white-skinned, caricature of an ape.  But
for Tarzan's nimbleness, and the zealous watchfulness of savage Kala's
mother love, Tublat would long since have rid himself of this stain
upon his family escutcheon.  So long had it been since Tarzan became a
member of the tribe, that Tublat had forgotten the circumstances
surrounding the entrance of the jungle waif into his family, with the
result that he now imagined that Tarzan was his own offspring, adding
greatly to his chagrin.


Wide and far swung Tarzan of the Apes, until at last, as he reached the
highest point of the arc the rope, which rapidly had frayed on the
rough bark of the tree limb, parted suddenly.  The watching apes saw
the smooth, brown body shoot outward, and down, plummet-like. Tublat
leaped high in the air, emitting what in a human being would have been
an exclamation of delight.  This would be the end of Tarzan and most of
Tublat's troubles.  From now on he could lead his life in peace and
security.

Tarzan fell quite forty feet, alighting on his back in a thick bush.
Kala was the first to reach his side--ferocious, hideous, loving Kala.
She had seen the life crushed from her own balu in just such a fall
years before.  Was she to lose this one too in the same way? Tarzan was
lying quite still when she found him, embedded deeply in the bush.  It
took Kala several minutes to disentangle him and drag him forth; but he
was not killed.  He was not even badly injured.  The bush had broken
the force of the fall.  A cut upon the back of his head showed where he
had struck the tough stem of the shrub and explained his
unconsciousness.

In a few minutes he was as active as ever.  Tublat was furious.  In his
rage he snapped at a fellow-ape without first discovering the identity
of his victim, and was badly mauled for his ill temper, having chosen
to vent his spite upon a husky and belligerent young bull in the full
prime of his vigor.

But Tarzan had learned something new.  He had learned that continued
friction would wear through the strands of his rope, though it was many
years before this knowledge did more for him than merely to keep him
from swinging too long at a time, or too far above the ground at the
end of his rope.

The day came, however, when the very thing that had once all but killed
him proved the means of saving his life.

He was no longer a child, but a mighty jungle male.  There was none now
to watch over him, solicitously, nor did he need such.  Kala was dead.
Dead, too, was Tublat, and though with Kala passed the one creature
that ever really had loved him, there were still many who hated him
after Tublat departed unto the arms of his fathers.  It was not that he
was more cruel or more savage than they that they hated him, for though
he was both cruel and savage as were the beasts, his fellows, yet too
was he often tender, which they never were.  No, the thing which
brought Tarzan most into disrepute with those who did not like him, was
the possession and practice of a characteristic which they had not and
could not understand--the human sense of humor.  In Tarzan it was a
trifle broad, perhaps, manifesting itself in rough and painful
practical jokes upon his friends and cruel baiting of his enemies.

But to neither of these did he owe the enmity of Bukawai, the
witch-doctor, who dwelt in the cave between the two hills far to the
north of the village of Mbonga, the chief.  Bukawai was jealous of
Tarzan, and Bukawai it was who came near proving the undoing of the
ape-man. For months Bukawai had nursed his hatred while revenge seemed
remote indeed, since Tarzan of the Apes frequented another part of the
jungle, miles away from the lair of Bukawai.  Only once had the black
witch-doctor seen the devil-god, as he was most often called among the
blacks, and upon that occasion Tarzan had robbed him of a fat fee, at
the same time putting the lie in the mouth of Bukawai, and making his
medicine seem poor medicine.  All this Bukawai never could forgive,
though it seemed unlikely that the opportunity would come to be
revenged.

Yet it did come, and quite unexpectedly.  Tarzan was hunting far to the
north.  He had wandered away from the tribe, as he did more and more
often as he approached maturity, to hunt alone for a few days.  As a
child he had enjoyed romping and playing with the young apes, his
companions; but now these play-fellows of his had grown to surly,
lowering bulls, or to touchy, suspicious mothers, jealously guarding
helpless balus.  So Tarzan found in his own man-mind a greater and a
truer companionship than any or all of the apes of Kerchak could afford
him.

This day, as Tarzan hunted, the sky slowly became overcast.  Torn
clouds, whipped to ragged streamers, fled low above the tree tops.
They reminded Tarzan of frightened antelope fleeing the charge of a
hungry lion.  But though the light clouds raced so swiftly, the jungle
was motionless.  Not a leaf quivered and the silence was a great, dead
weight--insupportable.  Even the insects seemed stilled by apprehension
of some frightful thing impending, and the larger things were
soundless.  Such a forest, such a jungle might have stood there in the
beginning of that unthinkably far-gone age before God peopled the world
with life, when there were no sounds because there were no ears to hear.

And over all lay a sickly, pallid ocher light through which the
scourged clouds raced.  Tarzan had seen all these conditions many times
before, yet he never could escape a strange feeling at each recurrence
of them.  He knew no fear, but in the face of Nature's manifestations
of her cruel, immeasurable powers, he felt very small--very small and
very lonely.

Now he heard a low moaning, far away.  "The lions seek their prey," he
murmured to himself, looking up once again at the swift-flying clouds.
The moaning rose to a great volume of sound.  "They come!" said Tarzan
of the Apes, and sought the shelter of a thickly foliaged tree.  Quite
suddenly the trees bent their tops simultaneously as though God had
stretched a hand from the heavens and pressed His flat palm down upon
the world.  "They pass!" whispered Tarzan.  "The lions pass." Then came
a vivid flash of lightning, followed by deafening thunder.  "The lions
have sprung," cried Tarzan, "and now they roar above the bodies of
their kills."

The trees were waving wildly in all directions now, a perfectly
demoniacal wind threshed the jungle pitilessly.  In the midst of it the
rain came--not as it comes upon us of the northlands, but in a sudden,
choking, blinding deluge.  "The blood of the kill," thought Tarzan,
huddling himself closer to the bole of the great tree beneath which he
stood.

He was close to the edge of the jungle, and at a little distance he had
seen two hills before the storm broke; but now he could see nothing.
It amused him to look out into the beating rain, searching for the two
hills and imagining that the torrents from above had washed them away,
yet he knew that presently the rain would cease, the sun come out again
and all be as it was before, except where a few branches had fallen and
here and there some old and rotted patriarch had crashed back to enrich
the soil upon which he had fatted for, maybe, centuries.  All about him
branches and leaves filled the air or fell to earth, torn away by the
strength of the tornado and the weight of the water upon them.  A gaunt
corpse toppled and fell a few yards away; but Tarzan was protected from
all these dangers by the wide-spreading branches of the sturdy young
giant beneath which his jungle craft had guided him.  Here there was
but a single danger, and that a remote one.  Yet it came.  Without
warning the tree above him was riven by lightning, and when the rain
ceased and the sun came out Tarzan lay stretched as he had fallen, upon
his face amidst the wreckage of the jungle giant that should have
shielded him.

Bukawai came to the entrance of his cave after the rain and the storm
had passed and looked out upon the scene.  From his one eye Bukawai
could see; but had he had a dozen eyes he could have found no beauty in
the fresh sweetness of the revivified jungle, for to such things, in
the chemistry of temperament, his brain failed to react; nor, even had
he had a nose, which he had not for years, could he have found
enjoyment or sweetness in the clean-washed air.

At either side of the leper stood his sole and constant companions, the
two hyenas, sniffing the air.  Presently one of them uttered a low
growl and with flattened head started, sneaking and wary, toward the
jungle.  The other followed.  Bukawai, his curiosity aroused, trailed
after them, in his hand a heavy knob-stick.

The hyenas halted a few yards from the prostrate Tarzan, sniffing and
growling.  Then came Bukawai, and at first he could not believe the
witness of his own eyes; but when he did and saw that it was indeed the
devil-god his rage knew no bounds, for he thought him dead and himself
cheated of the revenge he had so long dreamed upon.

The hyenas approached the ape-man with bared fangs.  Bukawai, with an
inarticulate scream, rushed upon them, striking cruel and heavy blows
with his knob-stick, for there might still be life in the apparently
lifeless form.  The beasts, snapping and snarling, half turned upon
their master and their tormentor, but long fear still held them from
his putrid throat.  They slunk away a few yards and squatted upon their
haunches, hatred and baffled hunger gleaming from their savage eyes.

Bukawai stooped and placed his ear above the ape-man's heart.  It still
beat.  As well as his sloughed features could register pleasure they
did so; but it was not a pretty sight.  At the ape-man's side lay his
long, grass rope.  Quickly Bukawai bound the limp arms behind his
prisoner's back, then he raised him to one of his shoulders, for,
though Bukawai was old and diseased, he was still a strong man.  The
hyenas fell in behind as the witch-doctor set off toward the cave, and
through the long black corridors they followed as Bukawai bore his
victim into the bowels of the hills.  Through subterranean chambers,
connected by winding passageways, Bukawai staggered with his load.  At
a sudden turning of the corridor, daylight flooded them and Bukawai
stepped out into a small, circular basin in the hill, apparently the
crater of an ancient volcano, one of those which never reached the
dignity of a mountain and are little more than lava-rimmed pits closed
to the earth's surface.

Steep walls rimmed the cavity.  The only exit was through the
passageway by which Bukawai had entered.  A few stunted trees grew upon
the rocky floor.  A hundred feet above could be seen the ragged lips of
this cold, dead mouth of hell.

Bukawai propped Tarzan against a tree and bound him there with his own
grass rope, leaving his hands free but securing the knots in such a way
that the ape-man could not reach them.  The hyenas slunk to and fro,
growling.  Bukawai hated them and they hated him.  He knew that they
but waited for the time when he should be helpless, or when their
hatred should rise to such a height as to submerge their cringing fear
of him.

In his own heart was not a little fear of these repulsive creatures,
and because of that fear, Bukawai always kept the beasts well fed,
often hunting for them when their own forages for food failed, but ever
was he cruel to them with the cruelty of a little brain, diseased,
bestial, primitive.


He had had them since they were puppies.  They had known no other life
than that with him, and though they went abroad to hunt, always they
returned.  Of late Bukawai had come to believe that they returned not
so much from habit as from a fiendish patience which would submit to
every indignity and pain rather than forego the final vengeance, and
Bukawai needed but little imagination to picture what that vengeance
would be.  Today he would see for himself what his end would be; but
another should impersonate Bukawai.

When he had trussed Tarzan securely, Bukawai went back into the
corridor, driving the hyenas ahead of him, and pulling across the
opening a lattice of laced branches, which shut the pit from the cave
during the night that Bukawai might sleep in security, for then the
hyenas were penned in the crater that they might not sneak upon a
sleeping Bukawai in the darkness.

Bukawai returned to the outer cave mouth, filled a vessel with water at
the spring which rose in the little canon close at hand and returned
toward the pit.  The hyenas stood before the lattice looking hungrily
toward Tarzan.  They had been fed in this manner before.

With his water, the witch-doctor approached Tarzan and threw a portion
of the contents of the vessel in the ape-man's face.  There was
fluttering of the eyelids, and at the second application Tarzan opened
his eyes and looked about.

"Devil-god," cried Bukawai, "I am the great witch-doctor.  My medicine
is strong.  Yours is weak.  If it is not, why do you stay tied here
like a goat that is bait for lions?"

Tarzan understood nothing the witch-doctor said, therefore he did not
reply, but only stared straight at Bukawai with cold and level gaze.
The hyenas crept up behind him.  He heard them growl; but he did not
even turn his head.  He was a beast with a man's brain.  The beast in
him refused to show fear in the face of a death which the man-mind
already admitted to be inevitable.

Bukawai, not yet ready to give his victim to the beasts, rushed upon
the hyenas with his knob-stick. There was a short scrimmage in which
the brutes came off second best, as they always did.  Tarzan watched
it.  He saw and realized the hatred which existed between the two
animals and the hideous semblance of a man.

With the hyenas subdued, Bukawai returned to the baiting of Tarzan; but
finding that the ape-man understood nothing he said, the witch-doctor
finally desisted.  Then he withdrew into the corridor and pulled the
latticework barrier across the opening.  He went back into the cave and
got a sleeping mat, which he brought to the opening, that he might lie
down and watch the spectacle of his revenge in comfort.

The hyenas were sneaking furtively around the ape-man.  Tarzan strained
at his bonds for a moment, but soon realized that the rope he had
braided to hold Numa, the lion, would hold him quite as successfully.
He did not wish to die; but he could look death in the face now as he
had many times before without a quaver.

As he pulled upon the rope he felt it rub against the small tree about
which it was passed.  Like a flash of the cinematograph upon the
screen, a picture was flashed before his mind's eye from the storehouse
of his memory.  He saw a lithe, boyish figure swinging high above the
ground at the end of a rope.  He saw many apes watching from below, and
then he saw the rope part and the boy hurtle downward toward the
ground.  Tarzan smiled.  Immediately he commenced to draw the rope
rapidly back and forth across the tree trunk.

The hyenas, gaining courage, came closer.  They sniffed at his legs;
but when he struck at them with his free arms they slunk off.  He knew
that with the growth of hunger they would attack.  Coolly,
methodically, without haste, Tarzan drew the rope back and forth
against the rough trunk of the small tree.

In the entrance to the cavern Bukawai fell asleep.  He thought it would
be some time before the beasts gained sufficient courage or hunger to
attack the captive.  Their growls and the cries of the victim would
awaken him.  In the meantime he might as well rest, and he did.

Thus the day wore on, for the hyenas were not famished, and the rope
with which Tarzan was bound was a stronger one than that of his
boyhood, which had parted so quickly to the chafing of the rough tree
bark.  Yet, all the while hunger was growing upon the beasts and the
strands of the grass rope were wearing thinner and thinner.  Bukawai
slept.

It was late afternoon before one of the beasts, irritated by the
gnawing of appetite, made a quick, growling dash at the ape-man. The
noise awoke Bukawai.  He sat up quickly and watched what went on within
the crater.  He saw the hungry hyena charge the man, leaping for the
unprotected throat.  He saw Tarzan reach out and seize the growling
animal, and then he saw the second beast spring for the devil-god's
shoulder.  There was a mighty heave of the great, smooth-skinned body.
Rounded muscles shot into great, tensed piles beneath the brown
hide--the ape-man surged forward with all his weight and all his great
strength--the bonds parted, and the three were rolling upon the floor
of the crater snarling, snapping, and rending.

Bukawai leaped to his feet.  Could it be that the devil-god was to
prevail against his servants? Impossible! The creature was unarmed, and
he was down with two hyenas on top of him; but Bukawai did not know
Tarzan.

The ape-man fastened his fingers upon the throat of one of the hyenas
and rose to one knee, though the other beast tore at him frantically in
an effort to pull him down.  With a single hand Tarzan held the one,
and with the other hand he reached forth and pulled toward him the
second beast.

And then Bukawai, seeing the battle going against his forces, rushed
forward from the cavern brandishing his knob-stick.  Tarzan saw him
coming, and rising now to both feet, a hyena in each hand, he hurled
one of the foaming beasts straight at the witch-doctor's head.  Down
went the two in a snarling, biting heap.  Tarzan tossed the second
hyena across the crater, while the first gnawed at the rotting face of
its master; but this did not suit the ape-man.  With a kick he sent the
beast howling after its companion, and springing to the side of the
prostrate witch-doctor, dragged him to his feet.

Bukawai, still conscious, saw death, immediate and terrible, in the
cold eyes of his captor, so he turned upon Tarzan with teeth and nails.
The ape-man shuddered at the proximity of that raw face to his.  The
hyenas had had enough and disappeared through the small aperture
leading into the cave.  Tarzan had little difficulty in overpowering
and binding Bukawai.  Then he led him to the very tree to which he had
been bound; but in binding Bukawai, Tarzan saw to it that escape after
the same fashion that he had escaped would be out of the question; then
he left him.

As he passed through the winding corridors and the subterranean
apartments, Tarzan saw nothing of the hyenas.

"They will return," he said to himself.

In the crater between the towering walls Bukawai, cold with terror,
trembled, trembled as with ague.

"They will return!" he cried, his voice rising to a fright-filled
shriek.

And they did.



                           8

                       The Lion

NUMA, THE LION, crouched behind a thorn bush close beside the drinking
pool where the river eddied just below the bend.  There was a ford
there and on either bank a well-worn trail, broadened far out at the
river's brim, where, for countless centuries, the wild things of the
jungle and of the plains beyond had come down to drink, the carnivora
with bold and fearless majesty, the herbivora timorous, hesitating,
fearful.

Numa, the lion, was hungry, he was very hungry, and so he was quite
silent now.  On his way to the drinking place he had moaned often and
roared not a little; but as he neared the spot where he would lie in
wait for Bara, the deer, or Horta, the boar, or some other of the many
luscious-fleshed creatures who came hither to drink, he was silent.  It
was a grim, a terrible silence, shot through with yellow-green light of
ferocious eyes, punctuated with undulating tremors of sinuous tail.

It was Pacco, the zebra, who came first, and Numa, the lion, could
scarce restrain a roar of anger, for of all the plains people, none are
more wary than Pacco, the zebra.  Behind the black-striped stallion
came a herd of thirty or forty of the plump and vicious little
horselike beasts.  As he neared the river, the leader paused often,
cocking his ears and raising his muzzle to sniff the gentle breeze for
the tell-tale scent spoor of the dread flesh-eaters.

Numa shifted uneasily, drawing his hind quarters far beneath his tawny
body, gathering himself for the sudden charge and the savage assault.
His eyes shot hungry fire.  His great muscles quivered to the
excitement of the moment.

Pacco came a little nearer, halted, snorted, and wheeled.  There was a
pattering of scurrying hoofs and the herd was gone; but Numa, the lion,
moved not.  He was familiar with the ways of Pacco, the zebra.  He knew
that he would return, though many times he might wheel and fly before
he summoned the courage to lead his harem and his offspring to the
water.  There was the chance that Pacco might be frightened off
entirely.  Numa had seen this happen before, and so he became almost
rigid lest he be the one to send them galloping, waterless, back to the
plain.

Again and again came Pacco and his family, and again and again did they
turn and flee; but each time they came closer to the river, until at
last the plump stallion dipped his velvet muzzle daintily into the
water.  The others, stepping warily, approached their leader.  Numa
selected a sleek, fat filly and his flaming eyes burned greedily as
they feasted upon her, for Numa, the lion, loves scarce anything better
than the meat of Pacco, perhaps because Pacco is, of all the
grass-eaters, the most difficult to catch.

Slowly the lion rose, and as he rose, a twig snapped beneath one of his
great, padded paws.  Like a shot from a rifle he charged upon the
filly; but the snapped twig had been enough to startle the timorous
quarry, so that they were in instant flight simultaneously with Numa's
charge.

The stallion was last, and with a prodigious leap, the lion catapulted
through the air to seize him; but the snapping twig had robbed Numa of
his dinner, though his mighty talons raked the zebra's glossy rump,
leaving four crimson bars across the beautiful coat.

It was an angry Numa that quitted the river and prowled, fierce,
dangerous, and hungry, into the jungle.  Far from particular now was
his appetite.  Even Dango, the hyena, would have seemed a tidbit to
that ravenous maw.  And in this temper it was that the lion came upon
the tribe of Kerchak, the great ape.

One does not look for Numa, the lion, this late in the morning.  He
should be lying up asleep beside his last night's kill by now; but Numa
had made no kill last night.  He was still hunting, hungrier than ever.

The anthropoids were idling about the clearing, the first keen desire
of the morning's hunger having been satisfied.  Numa scented them long
before he saw them.  Ordinarily he would have turned away in search of
other game, for even Numa respected the mighty muscles and the sharp
fangs of the great bulls of the tribe of Kerchak, but today he kept on
steadily toward them, his bristled snout wrinkled into a savage snarl.

Without an instant's hesitation, Numa charged the moment he reached a
point from where the apes were visible to him.  There were a dozen or
more of the hairy, manlike creatures upon the ground in a little glade.
In a tree at one side sat a brown-skinned youth.  He saw Numa's swift
charge; he saw the apes turn and flee, huge bulls trampling upon little
balus; only a single she held her ground to meet the charge, a young
she inspired by new motherhood to the great sacrifice that her balu
might escape.

Tarzan leaped from his perch, screaming at the flying bulls beneath and
at those who squatted in the safety of surrounding trees.  Had the
bulls stood their ground, Numa would not have carried through that
charge unless goaded by great rage or the gnawing pangs of starvation.
Even then he would not have come off unscathed.

If the bulls heard, they were too slow in responding, for Numa had
seized the mother ape and dragged her into the jungle before the males
had sufficiently collected their wits and their courage to rally in
defense of their fellow.  Tarzan's angry voice aroused similar anger in
the breasts of the apes.  Snarling and barking they followed Numa into
the dense labyrinth of foliage wherein he sought to hide himself from
them.  The ape-man was in the lead, moving rapidly and yet with
caution, depending even more upon his ears and nose than upon his eyes
for information of the lion's whereabouts.

The spoor was easy to follow, for the dragged body of the victim left a
plain trail, blood-spattered and scentful.  Even such dull creatures as
you or I might easily have followed it.  To Tarzan and the apes of
Kerchak it was as obvious as a cement sidewalk.

Tarzan knew that they were nearing the great cat even before he heard
an angry growl of warning just ahead.  Calling to the apes to follow
his example, he swung into a tree and a moment later Numa was
surrounded by a ring of growling beasts, well out of reach of his fangs
and talons but within plain sight of him.  The carnivore crouched with
his fore-quarters upon the she-ape. Tarzan could see that the latter
was already dead; but something within him made it seem quite necessary
to rescue the useless body from the clutches of the enemy and to punish
him.

He shrieked taunts and insults at Numa, and tearing dead branches from
the tree in which he danced, hurled them at the lion.  The apes
followed his example.  Numa roared out in rage and vexation.  He was
hungry, but under such conditions he could not feed.

The apes, if they had been left to themselves, would doubtless soon
have left the lion to peaceful enjoyment of his feast, for was not the
she dead? They could not restore her to life by throwing sticks at
Numa, and they might even now be feeding in quiet themselves; but
Tarzan was of a different mind.  Numa must be punished and driven away.
He must be taught that even though he killed a Mangani, he would not be
permitted to feed upon his kill.  The man-mind looked into the future,
while the apes perceived only the immediate present.  They would be
content to escape today the menace of Numa, while Tarzan saw the
necessity, and the means as well, of safeguarding the days to come.

So he urged the great anthropoids on until Numa was showered with
missiles that kept his head dodging and his voice pealing forth its
savage protest; but still he clung desperately to his kill.

The twigs and branches hurled at Numa, Tarzan soon realized, did not
hurt him greatly even when they struck him, and did not injure him at
all, so the ape-man looked about for more effective missiles, nor did
he have to look long.  An out-cropping of decomposed granite not far
from Numa suggested ammunition of a much more painful nature.  Calling
to the apes to watch him, Tarzan slipped to the ground and gathered a
handful of small fragments.  He knew that when once they had seen him
carry out his idea they would be much quicker to follow his lead than
to obey his instructions, were he to command them to procure pieces of
rock and hurl them at Numa, for Tarzan was not then king of the apes of
the tribe of Kerchak.  That came in later years.  Now he was but a
youth, though one who already had wrested for himself a place in the
councils of the savage beasts among whom a strange fate had cast him.
The sullen bulls of the older generation still hated him as beasts hate
those of whom they are suspicious, whose scent characteristic is the
scent characteristic of an alien order and, therefore, of an enemy
order.  The younger bulls, those who had grown up through childhood as
his playmates, were as accustomed to Tarzan's scent as to that of any
other member of the tribe.  They felt no greater suspicion of him than
of any other bull of their acquaintance; yet they did not love him, for
they loved none outside the mating season, and the animosities aroused
by other bulls during that season lasted well over until the next.
They were a morose and peevish band at best, though here and there were
those among them in whom germinated the primal seeds of
humanity--reversions to type, these, doubtless; reversions to the
ancient progenitor who took the first step out of ape-hood toward
humanness, when he walked more often upon his hind feet and discovered
other things for idle hands to do.

So now Tarzan led where he could not yet command.  He had long since
discovered the apish propensity for mimicry and learned to make use of
it.  Having filled his arms with fragments of rotted granite, he
clambered again into a tree, and it pleased him to see that the apes
had followed his example.

During the brief respite while they were gathering their ammunition,
Numa had settled himself to feed; but scarce had he arranged himself
and his kill when a sharp piece of rock hurled by the practiced hand of
the ape-man struck him upon the cheek.  His sudden roar of pain and
rage was smothered by a volley from the apes, who had seen Tarzan's
act.  Numa shook his massive head and glared upward at his tormentors.
For a half hour they pursued him with rocks and broken branches, and
though he dragged his kill into densest thickets, yet they always found
a way to reach him with their missiles, giving him no opportunity to
feed, and driving him on and on.

The hairless ape-thing with the man scent was worst of all, for he had
even the temerity to advance upon the ground to within a few yards of
the Lord of the Jungle, that he might with greater accuracy and force
hurl the sharp bits of granite and the heavy sticks at him.  Time and
again did Numa charge--sudden, vicious charges--but the lithe, active
tormentor always managed to elude him and with such insolent ease that
the lion forgot even his great hunger in the consuming passion of his
rage, leaving his meat for considerable spaces of time in vain efforts
to catch his enemy.

The apes and Tarzan pursued the great beast to a natural clearing,
where Numa evidently determined to make a last stand, taking up his
position in the center of the open space, which was far enough from any
tree to render him practically immune from the rather erratic throwing
of the apes, though Tarzan still found him with most persistent and
aggravating frequency.

This, however, did not suit the ape-man, since Numa now suffered an
occasional missile with no more than a snarl, while he settled himself
to partake of his delayed feast.  Tarzan scratched his head, pondering
some more effective method of offense, for he had determined to prevent
Numa from profiting in any way through his attack upon the tribe.  The
man-mind reasoned against the future, while the shaggy apes thought
only of their present hatred of this ancestral enemy.  Tarzan guessed
that should Numa find it an easy thing to snatch a meal from the tribe
of Kerchak, it would be but a short time before their existence would
be one living nightmare of hideous watchfulness and dread.  Numa must
be taught that the killing of an ape brought immediate punishment and
no rewards.  It would take but a few lessons to insure the former
safety of the tribe.  This must be some old lion whose failing strength
and agility had forced him to any prey that he could catch; but even a
single lion, undisputed, could exterminate the tribe, or at least make
its existence so precarious and so terrifying that life would no longer
be a pleasant condition.

"Let him hunt among the Gomangani," thought Tarzan.  "He will find them
easier prey.  I will teach ferocious Numa that he may not hunt the
Mangani."

But how to wrest the body of his victim from the feeding lion was the
first question to be solved.  At last Tarzan hit upon a plan.  To
anyone but Tarzan of the Apes it might have seemed rather a risky plan,
and perhaps it did even to him; but Tarzan rather liked things that
contained a considerable element of danger.  At any rate, I rather
doubt that you or I would have chosen a similar plan for foiling an
angry and a hungry lion.

Tarzan required assistance in the scheme he had hit upon and his
assistant must be equally as brave and almost as active as he.  The
ape-man's eyes fell upon Taug, the playmate of his childhood, the rival
in his first love and now, of all the bulls of the tribe, the only one
that might be thought to hold in his savage brain any such feeling
toward Tarzan as we describe among ourselves as friendship.  At least,
Tarzan knew, Taug was courageous, and he was young and agile and
wonderfully muscled.

"Taug!" cried the ape-man. The great ape looked up from a dead limb he
was attempting to tear from a lightning-blasted tree.  "Go close to
Numa and worry him," said Tarzan.  "Worry him until he charges.  Lead
him away from the body of Mamka.  Keep him away as long as you can."

Taug nodded.  He was across the clearing from Tarzan.  Wresting the
limb at last from the tree he dropped to the ground and advanced toward
Numa, growling and barking out his insults.  The worried lion looked up
and rose to his feet.  His tail went stiffly erect and Taug turned in
flight, for he knew that warming signal of the charge.

From behind the lion, Tarzan ran quickly toward the center of the
clearing and the body of Mamka.  Numa, all his eyes for Taug, did not
see the ape-man. Instead he shot forward after the fleeing bull, who
had turned in flight not an instant too soon, since he reached the
nearest tree but a yard or two ahead of the pursuing demon.  Like a cat
the heavy anthropoid scampered up the bole of his sanctuary.  Numa's
talons missed him by little more than inches.

For a moment the lion paused beneath the tree, glaring up at the ape
and roaring until the earth trembled, then he turned back again toward
his kill, and as he did so, his tail shot once more to rigid erectness
and he charged back even more ferociously than he had come, for what he
saw was the naked man-thing running toward the farther trees with the
bloody carcass of his prey across a giant shoulder.

The apes, watching the grim race from the safety of the trees, screamed
taunts at Numa and warnings to Tarzan.  The high sun, hot and
brilliant, fell like a spotlight upon the actors in the little
clearing, portraying them in glaring relief to the audience in the
leafy shadows of the surrounding trees.  The light-brown body of the
naked youth, all but hidden by the shaggy carcass of the killed ape,
the red blood streaking his smooth hide, his muscles rolling, velvety,
beneath.  Behind him the black-maned lion, head flattened, tail
extended, racing, a jungle thoroughbred, across the sunlit clearing.

Ah, but this was life! With death at his heels, Tarzan thrilled with
the joy of such living as this; but would he reach the trees ahead of
the rampant death so close behind?

Gunto swung from a limb in a tree before him.  Gunto was screaming
warnings and advice.

"Catch me!" cried Tarzan, and with his heavy burden leaped straight for
the big bull hanging there by his hind feet and one forepaw.  And Gunto
caught them--the big ape-man and the dead weight of the slain
she-ape--caught them with one great, hairy paw and whirled them upward
until Tarzan's fingers closed upon a near-by branch.

Beneath, Numa leaped; but Gunto, heavy and awkward as he may have
appeared, was as quick as Manu, the monkey, so that the lion's talons
but barely grazed him, scratching a bloody streak beneath one hairy arm.

Tarzan carried Mamka's corpse to a high crotch, where even Sheeta, the
panther, could not get it.  Numa paced angrily back and forth beneath
the tree, roaring frightfully.  He had been robbed of his kill and his
revenge also.  He was very savage indeed; but his despoilers were well
out of his reach, and after hurling a few taunts and missiles at him
they swung away through the trees, fiercely reviling him.

Tarzan thought much upon the little adventure of that day.  He foresaw
what might happen should the great carnivora of the jungle turn their
serious attention upon the tribe of Kerchak, the great ape, but equally
he thought upon the wild scramble of the apes for safety when Numa
first charged among them.  There is little humor in the jungle that is
not grim and awful.  The beasts have little or no conception of humor;
but the young Englishman saw humor in many things which presented no
humorous angle to his associates.

Since earliest childhood he had been a searcher after fun, much to the
sorrow of his fellow-apes, and now he saw the humor of the frightened
panic of the apes and the baffled rage of Numa even in this grim jungle
adventure which had robbed Mamka of life, and jeopardized that of many
members of the tribe.

It was but a few weeks later that Sheeta, the panther, made a sudden
rush among the tribe and snatched a little balu from a tree where it
had been hidden while its mother sought food.  Sheeta got away with his
small prize unmolested.  Tarzan was very wroth.  He spoke to the bulls
of the ease with which Numa and Sheeta, in a single moon, had slain two
members of the tribe.

"They will take us all for food," he cried.  "We hunt as we will
through the jungle, paying no heed to approaching enemies.  Even Manu,
the monkey, does not so.  He keeps two or three always watching for
enemies.  Pacco, the zebra, and Wappi, the antelope, have those about
the herd who keep watch while the others feed, while we, the great
Mangani, let Numa, and Sabor, and Sheeta come when they will and carry
us off to feed their balus.

"Gr-r-rmph," said Numgo.

"What are we to do?" asked Taug.

"We, too, should have two or three always watching for the approach of
Numa, and Sabor, and Sheeta," replied Tarzan.  "No others need we fear,
except Histah, the snake, and if we watch for the others we will see
Histah if he comes, though gliding ever so silently."

And so it was that the great apes of the tribe of Kerchak posted
sentries thereafter, who watched upon three sides while the tribe
hunted, scattered less than had been their wont.

But Tarzan went abroad alone, for Tarzan was a man-thing and sought
amusement and adventure and such humor as the grim and terrible jungle
offers to those who know it and do not fear it--a weird humor shot with
blazing eyes and dappled with the crimson of lifeblood.  While others
sought only food and love, Tarzan of the Apes sought food and joy.

One day he hovered above the palisaded village of Mbonga, the chief,
the jet cannibal of the jungle primeval.  He saw, as he had seen many
times before, the witch-doctor, Rabba Kega, decked out in the head and
hide of Gorgo, the buffalo.  It amused Tarzan to see a Gomangani
parading as Gorgo; but it suggested nothing in particular to him until
he chanced to see stretched against the side of Mbonga's hut the skin
of a lion with the head still on.  Then a broad grin widened the
handsome face of the savage beast-youth.

Back into the jungle he went until chance, agility, strength, and
cunning backed by his marvelous powers of perception, gave him an easy
meal.  If Tarzan felt that the world owed him a living he also realized
that it was for him to collect it, nor was there ever a better
collector than this son of an English lord, who knew even less of the
ways of his forbears than he did of the forbears themselves, which was
nothing.

It was quite dark when Tarzan returned to the village of Mbonga and
took his now polished perch in the tree which overhangs the palisade
upon one side of the walled enclosure.  As there was nothing in
particular to feast upon in the village there was little life in the
single street, for only an orgy of flesh and native beer could draw out
the people of Mbonga.  Tonight they sat gossiping about their cooking
fires, the older members of the tribe; or, if they were young, paired
off in the shadows cast by the palm-thatched huts.

Tarzan dropped lightly into the village, and sneaking stealthily in the
concealment of the denser shadows, approached the hut of the chief,
Mbonga.  Here he found that which he sought.  There were warriors all
about him; but they did not know that the feared devil-god slunk
noiselessly so near them, nor did they see him possess himself of that
which he coveted and depart from their village as noiselessly as he had
come.

Later that night, as Tarzan curled himself for sleep, he lay for a long
time looking up at the burning planets and the twinkling stars and at
Goro the moon, and he smiled.  He recalled how ludicrous the great
bulls had appeared in their mad scramble for safety that day when Numa
had charged among them and seized Mamka, and yet he knew them to be
fierce and courageous.  It was the sudden shock of surprise that always
sent them into a panic; but of this Tarzan was not as yet fully aware.
That was something he was to learn in the near future.

He fell asleep with a broad grin upon his face.

Manu, the monkey, awoke him in the morning by dropping discarded bean
pods upon his upturned face from a branch a short distance above him.
Tarzan looked up and smiled.  He had been awakened thus before many
times.  He and Manu were fairly good friends, their friendship
operating upon a reciprocal basis.  Sometimes Manu would come running
early in the morning to awaken Tarzan and tell him that Bara, the deer,
was feeding close at hand, or that Horta, the boar, was asleep in a
mudhole hard by, and in return Tarzan broke open the shells of the
harder nuts and fruits for Manu, or frightened away Histah, the snake,
and Sheeta, the panther.

The sun had been up for some time, and the tribe had already wandered
off in search of food.  Manu indicated the direction they had taken
with a wave of his hand and a few piping notes of his squeaky little
voice.

"Come, Manu," said Tarzan, "and you will see that which shall make you
dance for joy and squeal your wrinkled little head off.  Come, follow
Tarzan of the Apes."

With that he set off in the direction Manu had indicated and above him,
chattering, scolding and squealing, skipped Manu, the monkey.  Across
Tarzan's shoulders was the thing he had stolen from the village of
Mbonga, the chief, the evening before.

The tribe was feeding in the forest beside the clearing where Gunto,
and Taug, and Tarzan had so harassed Numa and finally taken away from
him the fruit of his kill.  Some of them were in the clearing itself.
In peace and content they fed, for were there not three sentries, each
watching upon a different side of the herd? Tarzan had taught them
this, and though he had been away for several days hunting alone, as he
often did, or visiting at the cabin by the sea, they had not as yet
forgotten his admonitions, and if they continued for a short time
longer to post sentries, it would become a habit of their tribal life
and thus be perpetuated indefinitely.

But Tarzan, who knew them better than they knew themselves, was
confident that they had ceased to place the watchers about them the
moment that he had left them, and now he planned not only to have a
little fun at their expense but to teach them a lesson in preparedness,
which, by the way, is even a more vital issue in the jungle than in
civilized places.  That you and I exist today must be due to the
preparedness of some shaggy anthropoid of the Oligocene.  Of course the
apes of Kerchak were always prepared, after their own way--Tarzan had
merely suggested a new and additional safeguard.

Gunto was posted today to the north of the clearing.  He squatted in
the fork of a tree from where he might view the jungle for quite a
distance about him.  It was he who first discovered the enemy.  A
rustling in the undergrowth attracted his attention, and a moment later
he had a partial view of a shaggy mane and tawny yellow back.  Just a
glimpse it was through the matted foliage beneath him; but it brought
from Gunto's leathern lungs a shrill "Kreeg-ah!" which is the ape for
beware, or danger.

Instantly the tribe took up the cry until "Kreeg-ahs!" rang through the
jungle about the clearing as apes swung quickly to places of safety
among the lower branches of the trees and the great bulls hastened in
the direction of Gunto.

And then into the clearing strode Numa, the lion--majestic and mighty,
and from a deep chest issued the moan and the cough and the rumbling
roar that set stiff hairs to bristling from shaggy craniums down the
length of mighty spines.

Inside the clearing, Numa paused and on the instant there fell upon him
from the trees near by a shower of broken rock and dead limbs torn from
age-old trees.  A dozen times he was hit, and then the apes ran down
and gathered other rocks, pelting him unmercifully.

Numa turned to flee, but his way was barred by a fusilade of
sharp-cornered missiles, and then, upon the edge of the clearing, great
Taug met him with a huge fragment of rock as large as a man's head, and
down went the Lord of the Jungle beneath the stunning blow.

With shrieks and roars and loud barkings the great apes of the tribe of
Kerchak rushed upon the fallen lion.  Sticks and stones and yellow
fangs menaced the still form.  In another moment, before he could
regain consciousness, Numa would be battered and torn until only a
bloody mass of broken bones and matted hair remained of what had once
been the most dreaded of jungle creatures.

But even as the sticks and stones were raised above him and the great
fangs bared to tear him, there descended like a plummet from the trees
above a diminutive figure with long, white whiskers and a wrinkled
face.  Square upon the body of Numa it alighted and there it danced and
screamed and shrieked out its challenge against the bulls of Kerchak.

For an instant they paused, paralyzed by the wonder of the thing.  It
was Manu, the monkey, Manu, the little coward, and here he was daring
the ferocity of the great Mangani, hopping about upon the carcass of
Numa, the lion, and crying out that they must not strike it again.

And when the bulls paused, Manu reached down and seized a tawny ear.
With all his little might he tugged upon the heavy head until slowly it
turned back, revealing the tousled, black head and clean-cut profile of
Tarzan of the Apes.

Some of the older apes were for finishing what they had commenced; but
Taug, sullen, mighty Taug, sprang quickly to the ape-man's side and
straddling the unconscious form warned back those who would have struck
his childhood playmate.  And Teeka, his mate, came too, taking her
place with bared fangs at Taug's side.  Others followed their example,
until at last Tarzan was surrounded by a ring of hairy champions who
would permit no enemy to approach him.

It was a surprised and chastened Tarzan who opened his eyes to
consciousness a few minutes later.  He looked about him at the
surrounding apes and slowly there returned to him a realization of what
had occurred.

Gradually a broad grin illuminated his features.  His bruises were many
and they hurt; but the good that had come from his adventure was worth
all that it had cost.  He had learned, for instance, that the apes of
Kerchak had heeded his teaching, and he had learned that he had good
friends among the sullen beasts whom he had thought without sentiment.
He had discovered that Manu, the monkey--even little, cowardly
Manu--had risked his life in his defense.

It made Tarzan very glad to know these things; but at the other lesson
he had been taught he reddened.  He had always been a joker, the only
joker in the grim and terrible company; but now as he lay there half
dead from his hurts, he almost swore a solemn oath forever to forego
practical joking--almost; but not quite.



                           9

                     The Nightmare

THE BLACKS OF the village of Mbonga, the chief, were feasting, while
above them in a large tree sat Tarzan of the Apes--grim, terrible,
empty, and envious.  Hunting had proved poor that day, for there are
lean days as well as fat ones for even the greatest of the jungle
hunters.  Oftentimes Tarzan went empty for more than a full sun, and he
had passed through entire moons during which he had been but barely
able to stave off starvation; but such times were infrequent.

There once had been a period of sickness among the grass-eaters which
had left the plains almost bare of game for several years, and again
the great cats had increased so rapidly and so overrun the country that
their prey, which was also Tarzan's, had been frightened off for a
considerable time.

But for the most part Tarzan had fed well always.  Today, though, he
had gone empty, one misfortune following another as rapidly as he
raised new quarry, so that now, as he sat perched in the tree above the
feasting blacks, he experienced all the pangs of famine and his hatred
for his lifelong enemies waxed strong in his breast.  It was
tantalizing, indeed, to sit there hungry while these Gomangani filled
themselves so full of food that their stomachs seemed almost upon the
point of bursting, and with elephant steaks at that!

It was true that Tarzan and Tantor were the best of friends, and that
Tarzan never yet had tasted of the flesh of the elephant; but the
Gomangani evidently had slain one, and as they were eating of the flesh
of their kill, Tarzan was assailed by no doubts as to the ethics of his
doing likewise, should he have the opportunity.  Had he known that the
elephant had died of sickness several days before the blacks discovered
the carcass, he might not have been so keen to partake of the feast,
for Tarzan of the Apes was no carrion-eater. Hunger, however, may blunt
the most epicurean taste, and Tarzan was not exactly an epicure.

What he was at this moment was a very hungry wild beast whom caution
was holding in leash, for the great cooking pot in the center of the
village was surrounded by black warriors, through whom not even Tarzan
of the Apes might hope to pass unharmed.  It would be necessary,
therefore, for the watcher to remain there hungry until the blacks had
gorged themselves to stupor, and then, if they had left any scraps, to
make the best meal he could from such; but to the impatient Tarzan it
seemed that the greedy Gomangani would rather burst than leave the
feast before the last morsel had been devoured.  For a time they broke
the monotony of eating by executing portions of a hunting dance, a
maneuver which sufficiently stimulated digestion to permit them to fall
to once more with renewed vigor; but with the consumption of appalling
quantities of elephant meat and native beer they presently became too
loggy for physical exertion of any sort, some reaching a stage where
they no longer could rise from the ground, but lay conveniently close
to the great cooking pot, stuffing themselves into unconsciousness.

It was well past midnight before Tarzan even could begin to see the end
of the orgy.  The blacks were now falling asleep rapidly; but a few
still persisted.  From before their condition Tarzan had no doubt but
that he easily could enter the village and snatch a handful of meat
from before their noses; but a handful was not what he wanted.  Nothing
less than a stomachful would allay the gnawing craving of that great
emptiness.  He must therefore have ample time to forage in peace.

At last but a single warrior remained true to his ideals--an old
fellow whose once wrinkled belly was now as smooth and as tight as the
head of a drum.  With evidences of great discomfort, and even pain, he
would crawl toward the pot and drag himself slowly to his knees, from
which position he could reach into the receptacle and seize a piece of
meat.  Then he would roll over on his back with a loud groan and lie
there while he slowly forced the food between his teeth and down into
his gorged stomach.

It was evident to Tarzan that the old fellow would eat until he died,
or until there was no more meat.  The ape-man shook his head in
disgust.  What foul creatures were these Gomangani? Yet of all the
jungle folk they alone resembled Tarzan closely in form.  Tarzan was a
man, and they, too, must be some manner of men, just as the little
monkeys, and the great apes, and Bolgani, the gorilla, were quite
evidently of one great family, though differing in size and appearance
and customs.  Tarzan was ashamed, for of all the beasts of the jungle,
then, man was the most disgusting--man and Dango, the hyena.  Only man
and Dango ate until they swelled up like a dead rat.  Tarzan had seen
Dango eat his way into the carcass of a dead elephant and then continue
to eat so much that he had been unable to get out of the hole through
which he had entered.  Now he could readily believe that man, given the
opportunity, would do the same.  Man, too, was the most unlovely of
creatures--with his skinny legs and his big stomach, his filed teeth,
and his thick, red lips.  Man was disgusting.  Tarzan's gaze was
riveted upon the hideous old warrior wallowing in filth beneath him.

There! the thing was struggling to its knees to reach for another
morsel of flesh.  It groaned aloud in pain and yet it persisted in
eating, eating, ever eating.  Tarzan could endure it no longer--neither
his hunger nor his disgust.  Silently he slipped to the ground with the
bole of the great tree between himself and the feaster.

The man was still kneeling, bent almost double in agony, before the
cooking pot.  His back was toward the ape-man.  Swiftly and noiselessly
Tarzan approached him.  There was no sound as steel fingers closed
about the black throat.  The struggle was short, for the man was old
and already half stupefied from the effects of the gorging and the beer.

Tarzan dropped the inert mass and scooped several large pieces of meat
from the cooking pot--enough to satisfy even his great hunger--then he
raised the body of the feaster and shoved it into the vessel.  When the
other blacks awoke they would have something to think about! Tarzan
grinned.  As he turned toward the tree with his meat, he picked up a
vessel containing beer and raised it to his lips, but at the first
taste he spat the stuff from his mouth and tossed the primitive tankard
aside.  He was quite sure that even Dango would draw the line at such
filthy tasting drink as that, and his contempt for man increased with
the conviction.

Tarzan swung off into the jungle some half mile or so before he paused
to partake of his stolen food.  He noticed that it gave forth a strange
and unpleasant odor, but assumed that this was due to the fact that it
had stood in a vessel of water above a fire.  Tarzan was, of course,
unaccustomed to cooked food.  He did not like it; but he was very
hungry and had eaten a considerable portion of his haul before it was
really borne in upon him that the stuff was nauseating.  It required
far less than he had imagined it would to satisfy his appetite.

Throwing the balance to the ground he curled up in a convenient crotch
and sought slumber; but slumber seemed difficult to woo.  Ordinarily
Tarzan of the Apes was asleep as quickly as a dog after it curls itself
upon a hearthrug before a roaring blaze; but tonight he squirmed and
twisted, for at the pit of his stomach was a peculiar feeling that
resembled nothing more closely than an attempt upon the part of the
fragments of elephant meat reposing there to come out into the night
and search for their elephant; but Tarzan was adamant.  He gritted his
teeth and held them back.  He was not to be robbed of his meal after
waiting so long to obtain it.

He had succeeded in dozing when the roaring of a lion awoke him.  He
sat up to discover that it was broad daylight.  Tarzan rubbed his eyes.
Could it be that he had really slept? He did not feel particularly
refreshed as he should have after a good sleep.  A noise attracted his
attention, and he looked down to see a lion standing at the foot of the
tree gazing hungrily at him.  Tarzan made a face at the king of beasts,
whereat Numa, greatly to the ape-man's surprise, started to climb up
into the branches toward him.  Now, never before had Tarzan seen a lion
climb a tree, yet, for some unaccountable reason, he was not greatly
surprised that this particular lion should do so.

As the lion climbed slowly toward him, Tarzan sought higher branches;
but to his chagrin, he discovered that it was with the utmost
difficulty that he could climb at all.  Again and again he slipped
back, losing all that he had gained, while the lion kept steadily at
his climbing, coming ever closer and closer to the ape-man. Tarzan
could see the hungry light in the yellow-green eyes.  He could see the
slaver on the drooping jowls, and the great fangs agape to seize and
destroy him.  Clawing desperately, the ape-man at last succeeded in
gaining a little upon his pursuer.  He reached the more slender
branches far aloft where he well knew no lion could follow; yet on and
on came devil-faced Numa.  It was incredible; but it was true.  Yet
what most amazed Tarzan was that though he realized the incredibility
of it all, he at the same time accepted it as a matter of course, first
that a lion should climb at all and second that he should enter the
upper terraces where even Sheeta, the panther, dared not venture.

To the very top of a tall tree the ape-man clawed his awkward way and
after him came Numa, the lion, moaning dismally.  At last Tarzan stood
balanced upon the very utmost pinnacle of a swaying branch, high above
the forest.  He could go no farther.  Below him the lion came steadily
upward, and Tarzan of the Apes realized that at last the end had come.
He could not do battle upon a tiny branch with Numa, the lion,
especially with such a Numa, to which swaying branches two hundred feet
above the ground provided as substantial footing as the ground itself.

Nearer and nearer came the lion.  Another moment and he could reach up
with one great paw and drag the ape-man downward to those awful jaws.
A whirring noise above his head caused Tarzan to glance apprehensively
upward.  A great bird was circling close above him.  He never had seen
so large a bird in all his life, yet he recognized it immediately, for
had he not seen it hundreds of times in one of the books in the little
cabin by the land-locked bay--the moss-grown cabin that with its
contents was the sole heritage left by his dead and unknown father to
the young Lord Greystoke?

In the picture-book the great bird was shown flying far above the
ground with a small child in its talons while, beneath, a distracted
mother stood with uplifted hands.  The lion was already reaching forth
a taloned paw to seize him when the bird swooped and buried no less
formidable talons in Tarzan's back.  The pain was numbing; but it was
with a sense of relief that the ape-man felt himself snatched from the
clutches of Numa.

With a great whirring of wings the bird rose rapidly until the forest
lay far below.  It made Tarzan sick and dizzy to look down upon it from
so great a height, so he closed his eyes tight and held his breath.
Higher and higher climbed the huge bird.  Tarzan opened his eyes.  The
jungle was so far away that he could see only a dim, green blur below
him, but just above and quite close was the sun.  Tarzan reached out
his hands and warmed them, for they were very cold.  Then a sudden
madness seized him.  Where was the bird taking him? Was he to submit
thus passively to a feathered creature however enormous? Was he, Tarzan
of the Apes, mighty fighter, to die without striking a blow in his own
defense? Never!

He snatched the hunting blade from his gee-string and thrusting upward
drove it once, twice, thrice into the breast above him.  The mighty
wings fluttered a few more times, spasmodically, the talons relaxed
their hold, and Tarzan of the Apes fell hurtling downward toward the
distant jungle.

It seemed to the ape-man that he fell for many minutes before he
crashed through the leafy verdure of the tree tops.  The smaller
branches broke his fall, so that he came to rest for an instant upon
the very branch upon which he had sought slumber the previous night.
For an instant he toppled there in a frantic attempt to regain his
equilibrium; but at last he rolled off, yet, clutching wildly, he
succeeded in grasping the branch and hanging on.

Once more he opened his eyes, which he had closed during the fall.
Again it was night.  With all his old agility he clambered back to the
crotch from which he had toppled.  Below him a lion roared, and,
looking downward, Tarzan could see the yellow-green eyes shining in the
moonlight as they bored hungrily upward through the darkness of the
jungle night toward him.

The ape-man gasped for breath.  Cold sweat stood out from every pore,
there was a great sickness at the pit of Tarzan's stomach.  Tarzan of
the Apes had dreamed his first dream.

For a long time he sat watching for Numa to climb into the tree after
him, and listening for the sound of the great wings from above, for to
Tarzan of the Apes his dream was a reality.

He could not believe what he had seen and yet, having seen even these
incredible things, he could not disbelieve the evidence of his own
perceptions.  Never in all his life had Tarzan's senses deceived him
badly, and so, naturally, he had great faith in them.  Each perception
which ever had been transmitted to Tarzan's brain had been, with
varying accuracy, a true perception.  He could not conceive of the
possibility of apparently having passed through such a weird adventure
in which there was no grain of truth.  That a stomach, disordered by
decayed elephant flesh, a lion roaring in the jungle, a picture-book,
and sleep could have so truly portrayed all the clear-cut details of
what he had seemingly experienced was quite beyond his knowledge; yet
he knew that Numa could not climb a tree, he knew that there existed in
the jungle no such bird as he had seen, and he knew, too, that he could
not have fallen a tiny fraction of the distance he had hurtled
downward, and lived.

To say the least, he was a very puzzled Tarzan as he tried to compose
himself once more for slumber--a very puzzled and a very nauseated
Tarzan.

As he thought deeply upon the strange occurrences of the night, he
witnessed another remarkable happening.  It was indeed quite
preposterous, yet he saw it all with his own eyes--it was nothing less
than Histah, the snake, wreathing his sinuous and slimy way up the bole
of the tree below him--Histah, with the head of the old man Tarzan had
shoved into the cooking pot--the head and the round, tight, black,
distended stomach.  As the old man's frightful face, with upturned
eyes, set and glassy, came close to Tarzan, the jaws opened to seize
him.  The ape-man struck furiously at the hideous face, and as he
struck the apparition disappeared.

Tarzan sat straight up upon his branch trembling in every limb,
wide-eyed and panting.  He looked all around him with his keen,
jungle-trained eyes, but he saw naught of the old man with the body of
Histah, the snake, but on his naked thigh the ape-man saw a
caterpillar, dropped from a branch above him.  With a grimace he
flicked it off into the darkness beneath.

And so the night wore on, dream following dream, nightmare following
nightmare, until the distracted ape-man started like a frightened deer
at the rustling of the wind in the trees about him, or leaped to his
feet as the uncanny laugh of a hyena burst suddenly upon a momentary
jungle silence.  But at last the tardy morning broke and a sick and
feverish Tarzan wound sluggishly through the dank and gloomy mazes of
the forest in search of water.  His whole body seemed on fire, a great
sickness surged upward to his throat.  He saw a tangle of almost
impenetrable thicket, and, like the wild beast he was, he crawled into
it to die alone and unseen, safe from the attacks of predatory
carnivora.

But he did not die.  For a long time he wanted to; but presently nature
and an outraged stomach relieved themselves in their own therapeutic
manner, the ape-man broke into a violent perspiration and then fell
into a normal and untroubled sleep which persisted well into the
afternoon.  When he awoke he found himself weak but no longer sick.

Once more he sought water, and after drinking deeply, took his way
slowly toward the cabin by the sea.  In times of loneliness and trouble
it had long been his custom to seek there the quiet and restfulness
which he could find nowhere else.

As he approached the cabin and raised the crude latch which his father
had fashioned so many years before, two small, blood-shot eyes watched
him from the concealing foliage of the jungle close by.  From beneath
shaggy, beetling brows they glared maliciously upon him, maliciously
and with a keen curiosity; then Tarzan entered the cabin and closed the
door after him.  Here, with all the world shut out from him, he could
dream without fear of interruption.  He could curl up and look at the
pictures in the strange things which were books, he could puzzle out
the printed word he had learned to read without knowledge of the spoken
language it represented, he could live in a wonderful world of which he
had no knowledge beyond the covers of his beloved books.  Numa and
Sabor might prowl about close to him, the elements might rage in all
their fury; but here at least, Tarzan might be entirely off his guard
in a delightful relaxation which gave him all his faculties for the
uninterrupted pursuit of this greatest of all his pleasures.

Today he turned to the picture of the huge bird which bore off the
little Tarmangani in its talons.  Tarzan puckered his brows as he
examined the colored print.  Yes, this was the very bird that had
carried him off the day before, for to Tarzan the dream had been so
great a reality that he still thought another day and a night had
passed since he had lain down in the tree to sleep.

But the more he thought upon the matter the less positive he was as to
the verity of the seeming adventure through which he had passed, yet
where the real had ceased and the unreal commenced he was quite unable
to determine.  Had he really then been to the village of the blacks at
all, had he killed the old Gomangani, had he eaten of the elephant
meat, had he been sick? Tarzan scratched his tousled black head and
wondered.  It was all very strange, yet he knew that he never had seen
Numa climb a tree, or Histah with the head and belly of an old black
man whom Tarzan already had slain.

Finally, with a sigh he gave up trying to fathom the unfathomable, yet
in his heart of hearts he knew that something had come into his life
that he never before had experienced, another life which existed when
he slept and the consciousness of which was carried over into his
waking hours.

Then he commenced to wonder if some of these strange creatures which he
met in his sleep might not slay him, for at such times Tarzan of the
Apes seemed to be a different Tarzan, sluggish, helpless and
timid--wishing to flee his enemies as fled Bara, the deer, most fearful
of creatures.

Thus, with a dream, came the first faint tinge of a knowledge of fear,
a knowledge which Tarzan, awake, had never experienced, and perhaps he
was experiencing what his early forbears passed through and transmitted
to posterity in the form of superstition first and religion later; for
they, as Tarzan, had seen things at night which they could not explain
by the daylight standards of sense perception or of reason, and so had
built for themselves a weird explanation which included grotesque
shapes, possessed of strange and uncanny powers, to whom they finally
came to attribute all those inexplicable phenomena of nature which with
each recurrence filled them with awe, with wonder, or with terror.

And as Tarzan concentrated his mind on the little bugs upon the printed
page before him, the active recollection of the strange adventures
presently merged into the text of that which he was reading--a story of
Bolgani, the gorilla, in captivity.  There was a more or less lifelike
illustration of Bolgani in colors and in a cage, with many remarkable
looking Tarmangani standing against a rail and peering curiously at the
snarling brute.  Tarzan wondered not a little, as he always did, at the
odd and seemingly useless array of colored plumage which covered the
bodies of the Tarmangani.  It always caused him to grin a trifle when
he looked at these strange creatures.  He wondered if they so covered
their bodies from shame of their hairlessness or because they thought
the odd things they wore added any to the beauty of their appearance.
Particularly was Tarzan amused by the grotesque headdresses of the
pictured people.  He wondered how some of the shes succeeded in
balancing theirs in an upright position, and he came as near to
laughing aloud as he ever had, as he contemplated the funny little
round things upon the heads of the hes.

Slowly the ape-man picked out the meaning of the various combinations
of letters on the printed page, and as he read, the little bugs, for as
such he always thought of the letters, commenced to run about in a most
confusing manner, blurring his vision and befuddling his thoughts.
Twice he brushed the back of a hand smartly across his eyes; but only
for a moment could he bring the bugs back to coherent and intelligible
form.  He had slept ill the night before and now he was exhausted from
loss of sleep, from sickness, and from the slight fever he had had, so
that it became more and more difficult to fix his attention, or to keep
his eyes open.

Tarzan realized that he was falling asleep, and just as the realization
was borne in upon him and he had decided to relinquish himself to an
inclination which had assumed almost the proportions of a physical
pain, he was aroused by the opening of the cabin door.  Turning quickly
toward the interruption Tarzan was amazed, for a moment, to see bulking
large in the doorway the huge and hairy form of Bolgani, the gorilla.

Now there was scarcely a denizen of the great jungle with whom Tarzan
would rather not have been cooped up inside the small cabin than
Bolgani, the gorilla, yet he felt no fear, even though his quick eye
noted that Bolgani was in the throes of that jungle madness which
seizes upon so many of the fiercer males.  Ordinarily the huge gorillas
avoid conflict, hide themselves from the other jungle folk, and are
generally the best of neighbors; but when they are attacked, or the
madness seizes them, there is no jungle denizen so bold and fierce as
to deliberately seek a quarrel with them.

But for Tarzan there was no escape.  Bolgani was glowering at him from
red-rimmed, wicked eyes.  In a moment he would rush in and seize the
ape-man. Tarzan reached for the hunting knife where he had lain it on
the table beside him; but as his fingers did not immediately locate the
weapon, he turned a quick glance in search of it.  As he did so his
eyes fell upon the book he had been looking at which still lay open at
the picture of Bolgani.  Tarzan found his knife, but he merely fingered
it idly and grinned in the direction of the advancing gorilla.

Not again would he be fooled by empty things which came while he slept!
In a moment, no doubt, Bolgani would turn into Pamba, the rat, with the
head of Tantor, the elephant.  Tarzan had seen enough of such strange
happenings recently to have some idea as to what he might expect; but
this time Bolgani did not alter his form as he came slowly toward the
young ape-man.

Tarzan was a bit puzzled, too, that he felt no desire to rush
frantically to some place of safety, as had been the sensation most
conspicuous in the other of his new and remarkable adventures.  He was
just himself now, ready to fight, if necessary; but still sure that no
flesh and blood gorilla stood before him.

The thing should be fading away into thin air by now, thought Tarzan,
or changing into something else; yet it did not.  Instead it loomed
clear-cut and real as Bolgani himself, the magnificent dark coat
glistening with life and health in a bar of sunlight which shot across
the cabin through the high window behind the young Lord Greystoke.
This was quite the most realistic of his sleep adventures, thought
Tarzan, as he passively awaited the next amusing incident.

And then the gorilla charged.  Two mighty, calloused hands seized upon
the ape-man, great fangs were bared close to his face, a hideous growl
burst from the cavernous throat and hot breath fanned Tarzan's cheek,
and still he sat grinning at the apparition.  Tarzan might be fooled
once or twice, but not for so many times in succession!  He knew that
this Bolgani was no real Bolgani, for had he been he never could have
gained entrance to the cabin, since only Tarzan knew how to operate the
latch.

The gorilla seemed puzzled by the strange passivity of the hairless
ape.  He paused an instant with his jaws snarling close to the other's
throat, then he seemed suddenly to come to some decision.  Whirling the
ape-man across a hairy shoulder, as easily as you or I might lift a
babe in arms, Bolgani turned and dashed out into the open, racing
toward the great trees.

Now, indeed, was Tarzan sure that this was a sleep adventure, and so
grinned largely as the giant gorilla bore him, unresisting, away.
Presently, reasoned Tarzan, he would awaken and find himself back in
the cabin where he had fallen asleep.  He glanced back at the thought
and saw the cabin door standing wide open.  This would never do! Always
had he been careful to close and latch it against wild intruders.
Manu, the monkey, would make sad havoc there among Tarzan's treasures
should he have access to the interior for even a few minutes.  The
question which arose in Tarzan's mind was a baffling one.  Where did
sleep adventures end and reality commence? How was he to be sure that
the cabin door was not really open?  Everything about him appeared
quite normal--there were none of the grotesque exaggerations of his
former sleep adventures.  It would be better then to be upon the safe
side and make sure that the cabin door was closed--it would do no harm
even if all that seemed to be happening were not happening at all.

Tarzan essayed to slip from Bolgani's shoulder; but the great beast
only growled ominously and gripped him tighter.  With a mighty effort
the ape-man wrenched himself loose, and as he slid to the ground, the
dream gorilla turned ferociously upon him, seized him once more and
buried great fangs in a sleek, brown shoulder.

The grin of derision faded from Tarzan's lips as the pain and the hot
blood aroused his fighting instincts.  Asleep or awake, this thing was
no longer a joke! Biting, tearing, and snarling, the two rolled over
upon the ground.  The gorilla now was frantic with insane rage.  Again
and again he loosed his hold upon the ape-man's shoulder in an attempt
to seize the jugular; but Tarzan of the Apes had fought before with
creatures who struck first for the vital vein, and each time he
wriggled out of harm's way as he strove to get his fingers upon his
adversary's throat.  At last he succeeded--his great muscles tensed and
knotted beneath his smooth hide as he forced with every ounce of his
mighty strength to push the hairy torso from him.  And as he choked
Bolgani and strained him away, his other hand crept slowly upward
between them until the point of the hunting knife rested over the
savage heart--there was a quick movement of the steel-thewed wrist and
the blade plunged to its goal.

Bolgani, the gorilla, voiced a single frightful shriek, tore himself
loose from the grasp of the ape-man, rose to his feet, staggered a few
steps and then plunged to earth.  There were a few spasmodic movements
of the limbs and the brute was still.

Tarzan of the Apes stood looking down upon his kill, and as he stood
there he ran his fingers through his thick, black shock of hair.
Presently he stooped and touched the dead body.  Some of the red
life-blood of the gorilla crimsoned his fingers.  He raised them to his
nose and sniffed.  Then he shook his head and turned toward the cabin.
The door was still open.  He closed it and fastened the latch.
Returning toward the body of his kill he again paused and scratched his
head.

If this was a sleep adventure, what then was reality? How was he to
know the one from the other? How much of all that had happened in his
life had been real and how much unreal?

He placed a foot upon the prostrate form and raising his face to the
heavens gave voice to the kill cry of the bull ape.  Far in the
distance a lion answered.  It was very real and, yet, he did not know.
Puzzled, he turned away into the jungle.

No, he did not know what was real and what was not; but there was one
thing that he did know--never again would he eat of the flesh of
Tantor, the elephant.



                          10

                 The Battle for Teeka

THE DAY WAS perfect.  A cool breeze tempered the heat of the equatorial
sun.  Peace had reigned within the tribe for weeks and no alien enemy
had trespassed upon its preserves from without.  To the ape-mind all
this was sufficient evidence that the future would be identical with
the immediate past--that Utopia would persist.

The sentinels, now from habit become a fixed tribal custom, either
relaxed their vigilance or entirely deserted their posts, as the whim
seized them.  The tribe was far scattered in search of food.  Thus may
peace and prosperity undermine the safety of the most primitive
community even as it does that of the most cultured.

Even the individuals became less watchful and alert, so that one might
have thought Numa and Sabor and Sheeta entirely deleted from the scheme
of things.  The shes and the balus roamed unguarded through the sullen
jungle, while the greedy males foraged far afield, and thus it was that
Teeka and Gazan, her balu, hunted upon the extreme southern edge of the
tribe with no great male near them.

Still farther south there moved through the forest a sinister figure--a
huge bull ape, maddened by solitude and defeat.  A week before he had
contended for the kingship of a tribe far distant, and now battered,
and still sore, he roamed the wilderness an outcast.  Later he might
return to his own tribe and submit to the will of the hairy brute he
had attempted to dethrone; but for the time being he dared not do so,
since he had sought not only the crown but the wives, as well, of his
lord and master.  It would require an entire moon at least to bring
forgetfulness to him he had wronged, and so Toog wandered a strange
jungle, grim, terrible, hate-filled.

It was in this mental state that Toog came unexpectedly upon a young
she feeding alone in the jungle--a stranger she, lithe and strong and
beautiful beyond compare.  Toog caught his breath and slunk quickly to
one side of the trail where the dense foliage of the tropical
underbrush concealed him from Teeka while permitting him to feast his
eyes upon her loveliness.

But not alone were they concerned with Teeka--they roved the
surrounding jungle in search of the bulls and cows and balus of her
tribe, though principally for the bulls.  When one covets a she of an
alien tribe one must take into consideration the great, fierce, hairy
guardians who seldom wander far from their wards and who will fight a
stranger to the death in protection of the mate or offspring of a
fellow, precisely as they would fight for their own.

Toog could see no sign of any ape other than the strange she and a
young balu playing near by.  His wicked, blood-shot eyes half closed as
they rested upon the charms of the former--as for the balu, one snap of
those great jaws upon the back of its little neck would prevent it from
raising any unnecessary alarm.

Toog was a fine, big male, resembling in many ways Teeka's mate, Taug.
Each was in his prime, and each was wonderfully muscled, perfectly
fanged and as horrifyingly ferocious as the most exacting and
particular she could wish.  Had Toog been of her own tribe, Teeka might
as readily have yielded to him as to Taug when her mating time arrived;
but now she was Taug's and no other male could claim her without first
defeating Taug in personal combat.  And even then Teeka retained some
rights in the matter.  If she did not favor a correspondent, she could
enter the lists with her rightful mate and do her part toward
discouraging his advances, a part, too, which would prove no mean
assistance to her lord and master, for Teeka, even though her fangs
were smaller than a male's, could use them to excellent effect.

Just now Teeka was occupied in a fascinating search for beetles, to the
exclusion of all else.  She did not realize how far she and Gazan had
become separated from the balance of the tribe, nor were her defensive
senses upon the alert as they should have been.  Months of immunity
from danger under the protecting watchfulness of the sentries, which
Tarzan had taught the tribe to post, had lulled them all into a sense
of peaceful security based on that fallacy which has wrecked many
enlightened communities in the past and will continue to wreck others
in the future--that because they have not been attacked they never will
be.

Toog, having satisfied himself that only the she and her balu were in
the immediate vicinity, crept stealthily forward.  Teeka's back was
toward him when he finally rushed upon her; but her senses were at last
awakened to the presence of danger and she wheeled to face the strange
bull just before he reached her.  Toog halted a few paces from her.
His anger had fled before the seductive feminine charms of the
stranger.  He made conciliatory noises--a species of clucking sound
with his broad, flat lips--that were, too, not greatly dissimilar to
that which might be produced in an osculatory solo.

But Teeka only bared her fangs and growled.  Little Gazan started to
run toward his mother, but she warned him away with a quick "Kreeg-ah!"
telling him to run high into a tall tree.  Evidently Teeka was not
favorably impressed by her new suitor.  Toog realized this and altered
his methods accordingly.  He swelled his giant chest, beat upon it with
his calloused knuckles and swaggered to and fro before her.

"I am Toog," he boasted.  "Look at my fighting fangs.  Look at my great
arms and my mighty legs.  With one bite I can slay your biggest bull.
Alone have I slain Sheeta.  I am Toog.  Toog wants you." Then he waited
for the effect, nor did he have long to wait.  Teeka turned with a
swiftness which belied her great weight and bolted in the opposite
direction.  Toog, with an angry growl, leaped in pursuit; but the
smaller, lighter female was too fleet for him.  He chased her for a few
yards and then, foaming and barking, he halted and beat upon the ground
with his hard fists.

From the tree above him little Gazan looked down and witnessed the
stranger bull's discomfiture.  Being young, and thinking himself safe
above the reach of the heavy male, Gazan screamed an ill-timed insult
at their tormentor.  Toog looked up.  Teeka had halted at a little
distance--she would not go far from her balu; that Toog quickly
realized and as quickly determined to take advantage of.  He saw that
the tree in which the young ape squatted was isolated and that Gazan
could not reach another without coming to earth.  He would obtain the
mother through her love for her young.

He swung himself into the lower branches of the tree.  Little Gazan
ceased to insult him; his expression of deviltry changed to one of
apprehension, which was quickly followed by fear as Toog commenced to
ascend toward him.  Teeka screamed to Gazan to climb higher, and the
little fellow scampered upward among the tiny branches which would not
support the weight of the great bull; but nevertheless Toog kept on
climbing.  Teeka was not fearful.  She knew that he could not ascend
far enough to reach Gazan, so she sat at a little distance from the
tree and applied jungle opprobrium to him.  Being a female, she was a
past master of the art.

But she did not know the malevolent cunning of Toog's little brain.
She took it for granted that the bull would climb as high as he could
toward Gazan and then, finding that he could not reach him, resume his
pursuit of her, which she knew would prove equally fruitless.  So sure
was she of the safety of her balu and her own ability to take care of
herself that she did not voice the cry for help which would soon have
brought the other members of the tribe flocking to her side.

Toog slowly reached the limit to which he dared risk his great weight
to the slender branches.  Gazan was still fifteen feet above him.  The
bull braced himself and seized the main branch in his powerful hands,
then he commenced shaking it vigorously.  Teeka was appalled.
Instantly she realized what the bull purposed.  Gazan clung far out
upon a swaying limb.  At the first shake he lost his balance, though he
did not quite fall, clinging still with his four hands; but Toog
redoubled his efforts; the shaking produced a violent snapping of the
limb to which the young ape clung.  Teeka saw all too plainly what the
outcome must be and forgetting her own danger in the depth of her
mother love, rushed forward to ascend the tree and give battle to the
fearsome creature that menaced the life of her little one.

But before ever she reached the bole, Toog had succeeded, by violent
shaking of the branch, to loosen Gazan's hold.  With a cry the little
fellow plunged down through the foliage, clutching futilely for a new
hold, and alighted with a sickening thud at his mother's feet, where he
lay silent and motionless.  Moaning, Teeka stooped to lift the still
form in her arms; but at the same instant Toog was upon her.

Struggling and biting she fought to free herself; but the giant muscles
of the great bull were too much for her lesser strength.  Toog struck
and choked her repeatedly until finally, half unconscious, she lapsed
into quasi submission.  Then the bull lifted her to his shoulder and
turned back to the trail toward the south from whence he had come.

Upon the ground lay the quiet form of little Gazan.  He did not moan.
He did not move.  The sun rose slowly toward meridian.  A mangy thing,
lifting its nose to scent the jungle breeze, crept through the
underbrush.  It was Dango, the hyena.  Presently its ugly muzzle broke
through some near-by foliage and its cruel eyes fastened upon Gazan.

Early that morning, Tarzan of the Apes had gone to the cabin by the
sea, where he passed many an hour at such times as the tribe was
ranging in the vicinity.  On the floor lay the skeleton of a man--all
that remained of the former Lord Greystoke--lay as it had fallen some
twenty years before when Kerchak, the great ape, had thrown it,
lifeless, there.  Long since had the termites and the small rodents
picked clean the sturdy English bones.  For years Tarzan had seen it
lying there, giving it no more attention than he gave the countless
thousand bones that strewed his jungle haunts.  On the bed another,
smaller, skeleton reposed and the youth ignored it as he ignored the
other.  How could he know that the one had been his father, the other
his mother? The little pile of bones in the rude cradle, fashioned with
such loving care by the former Lord Greystoke, meant nothing to
him--that one day that little skull was to help prove his right to a
proud title was as far beyond his ken as the satellites of the suns of
Orion.  To Tarzan they were bones--just bones.  He did not need them,
for there was no meat left upon them, and they were not in his way, for
he knew no necessity for a bed, and the skeleton upon the floor he
easily could step over.

Today he was restless.  He turned the pages first of one book and then
of another.  He glanced at pictures which he knew by heart, and tossed
the books aside.  He rummaged for the thousandth time in the cupboard.
He took out a bag which contained several small, round pieces of metal.
He had played with them many times in the years gone by; but always he
replaced them carefully in the bag, and the bag in the cupboard, upon
the very shelf where first he had discovered it.  In strange ways did
heredity manifest itself in the ape-man. Come of an orderly race, he
himself was orderly without knowing why.  The apes dropped things
wherever their interest in them waned--in the tall grass or from the
high-flung branches of the trees.  What they dropped they sometimes
found again, by accident; but not so the ways of Tarzan.  For his few
belongings he had a place and scrupulously he returned each thing to
its proper place when he was done with it.  The round pieces of metal
in the little bag always interested him.  Raised pictures were upon
either side, the meaning of which he did not quite understand.  The
pieces were bright and shiny.  It amused him to arrange them in various
figures upon the table.  Hundreds of times had he played thus.  Today,
while so engaged, he dropped a lovely yellow piece--an English
sovereign--which rolled beneath the bed where lay all that was mortal
of the once beautiful Lady Alice.

True to form, Tarzan at once dropped to his hands and knees and
searched beneath the bed for the lost gold piece.  Strange as it might
appear, he had never before looked beneath the bed.  He found the gold
piece, and something else he found, too--a small wooden box with a
loose cover.  Bringing them both out he returned the sovereign to its
bag and the bag to its shelf within the cupboard; then he investigated
the box.  It contained a quantity of cylindrical bits of metal,
cone-shaped at one end and flat at the other, with a projecting rim.
They were all quite green and dull, coated with years of verdigris.

Tarzan removed a handful of them from the box and examined them.  He
rubbed one upon another and discovered that the green came off, leaving
a shiny surface for two-thirds of their length and a dull gray over the
cone-shaped end.  Finding a bit of wood he rubbed one of the cylinders
rapidly and was rewarded by a lustrous sheen which pleased him.

At his side hung a pocket pouch taken from the body of one of the
numerous black warriors he had slain.  Into this pouch he put a handful
of the new playthings, thinking to polish them at his leisure; then he
replaced the box beneath the bed, and finding nothing more to amuse
him, left the cabin and started back in the direction of the tribe.

Shortly before he reached them he heard a great commotion ahead of
him--the loud screams of shes and balus, the savage, angry barking and
growling of the great bulls.  Instantly he increased his speed, for the
"Kreeg-ahs" that came to his ears warned him that something was amiss
with his fellows.

While Tarzan had been occupied with his own devices in the cabin of his
dead sire, Taug, Teeka's mighty mate, had been hunting a mile to the
north of the tribe.  At last, his belly filled, he had turned lazily
back toward the clearing where he had last seen the tribe and presently
commenced passing its members scattered alone or in twos or threes.
Nowhere did he see Teeka or Gazan, and soon he began inquiring of the
other apes where they might be; but none had seen them recently.

Now the lower orders are not highly imaginative.  They do not, as you
and I, paint vivid mental pictures of things which might have occurred,
and so Taug did not now apprehend that any misfortune had overtaken his
mate and their off-spring--he merely knew that he wished to find Teeka
that he might lie down in the shade and have her scratch his back while
his breakfast digested; but though he called to her and searched for
her and asked each whom he met, he could find no trace of Teeka, nor of
Gazan either.

He was beginning to become peeved and had about made up his mind to
chastise Teeka for wandering so far afield when he wanted her.  He was
moving south along a game trail, his calloused soles and knuckles
giving forth no sound, when he came upon Dango at the opposite side of
a small clearing.  The eater of carrion did not see Taug, for all his
eyes were for something which lay in the grass beneath a
tree--something upon which he was sneaking with the cautious stealth of
his breed.

Taug, always cautious himself, as it behooves one to be who fares up
and down the jungle and desires to survive, swung noiselessly into a
tree, where he could have a better view of the clearing.  He did not
fear Dango; but he wanted to see what it was that Dango stalked.  In a
way, possibly, he was actuated as much by curiosity as by caution.

And when Taug reached a place in the branches from which he could have
an unobstructed view of the clearing he saw Dango already sniffing at
something directly beneath him--something which Taug instantly
recognized as the lifeless form of his little Gazan.

With a cry so frightful, so bestial, that it momentarily paralyzed the
startled Dango, the great ape launched his mighty bulk upon the
surprised hyena.  With a cry and a snarl, Dango, crushed to earth,
turned to tear at his assailant; but as effectively might a sparrow
turn upon a hawk.  Taug's great, gnarled fingers closed upon the
hyena's throat and back, his jaws snapped once on the mangy neck,
crushing the vertebrae, and then he hurled the dead body contemptuously
aside.

Again he raised his voice in the call of the bull ape to its mate, but
there was no reply; then he leaned down to sniff at the body of Gazan.
In the breast of this savage, hideous beast there beat a heart which
was moved, however slightly, by the same emotions of paternal love
which affect us.  Even had we no actual evidence of this, we must know
it still, since only thus might be explained the survival of the human
race in which the jealousy and selfishness of the bulls would, in the
earliest stages of the race, have wiped out the young as rapidly as
they were brought into the world had not God implanted in the savage
bosom that paternal love which evidences itself most strongly in the
protective instinct of the male.

In Taug the protective instinct was not alone highly developed; but
affection for his offspring as well, for Taug was an unusually
intelligent specimen of these great, manlike apes which the natives of
the Gobi speak of in whispers; but which no white man ever had seen,
or, if seeing, lived to tell of until Tarzan of the Apes came among
them.

And so Taug felt sorrow as any other father might feel sorrow at the
loss of a little child.  To you little Gazan might have seemed a
hideous and repulsive creature, but to Taug and Teeka he was as
beautiful and as cute as is your little Mary or Johnnie or Elizabeth
Ann to you, and he was their firstborn, their only balu, and a
he--three things which might make a young ape the apple of any fond
father's eye.

For a moment Taug sniffed at the quiet little form.  With his muzzle
and his tongue he smoothed and caressed the rumpled coat.  From his
savage lips broke a low moan; but quickly upon the heels of sorrow came
the overmastering desire for revenge.

Leaping to his feet he screamed out a volley of "Kreegahs," punctuated
from time to time by the blood-freezing cry of an angry, challenging
bull--a rage-mad bull with the blood lust strong upon him.

Answering his cries came the cries of the tribe as they swung through
the trees toward him.  It was these that Tarzan heard on his return
from his cabin, and in reply to them he raised his own voice and
hurried forward with increased speed until he fairly flew through the
middle terraces of the forest.

When at last he came upon the tribe he saw their members gathered about
Taug and something which lay quietly upon the ground.  Dropping among
them, Tarzan approached the center of the group.  Taug was stiff
roaring out his challenges; but when he saw Tarzan he ceased and
stooping picked up Gazan in his arms and held him out for Tarzan to
see.  Of all the bulls of the tribe, Taug held affection for Tarzan
only.  Tarzan he trusted and looked up to as one wiser and more
cunning.  To Tarzan he came now--to the playmate of his balu days, the
companion of innumerable battles of his maturity.

When Tarzan saw the still form in Taug's arms, a low growl broke from
his lips, for he too loved Teeka's little balu.

"Who did it?" he asked.  "Where is Teeka?"

"I do not know," replied Taug.  "I found him lying here with Dango
about to feed upon him; but it was not Dango that did it--there are no
fang marks upon him."

Tarzan came closer and placed an ear against Gazan's breast.  "He is
not dead," he said.  "Maybe he will not die." He pressed through the
crowd of apes and circled once about them, examining the ground step by
step.  Suddenly he stopped and placing his nose close to the earth
sniffed.  Then he sprang to his feet, giving a peculiar cry.  Taug and
the others pressed forward, for the sound told them that the hunter had
found the spoor of his quarry.

"A stranger bull has been here," said Tarzan.  "It was he that hurt
Gazan.  He has carried off Teeka."

Taug and the other bulls commenced to roar and threaten; but they did
nothing.  Had the stranger bull been within sight they would have torn
him to pieces; but it did not occur to them to follow him.

"If the three bulls had been watching around the tribe this would not
have happened," said Tarzan.  "Such things will happen as long as you
do not keep the three bulls watching for an enemy.  The jungle is full
of enemies, and yet you let your shes and your balus feed where they
will, alone and unprotected.  Tarzan goes now--he goes to find Teeka
and bring her back to the tribe."

The idea appealed to the other bulls.  "We will all go," they cried.

"No," said Tarzan, "you will not all go.  We cannot take shes and balus
when we go out to hunt and fight.  You must remain to guard them or you
will lose them all."

They scratched their heads.  The wisdom of his advice was dawning upon
them, but at first they had been carried away by the new idea--the idea
of following up an enemy offender to wrest his prize from him and
punish him.  The community instinct was ingrained in their characters
through ages of custom.  They did not know why they had not thought to
pursue and punish the offender--they could not know that it was because
they had as yet not reached a mental plane which would permit them to
work as individuals.  In times of stress, the community instinct sent
them huddling into a compact herd where the great bulls, by the weight
of their combined strength and ferocity, could best protect them from
an enemy.  The idea of separating to do battle with a foe had not yet
occurred to them--it was too foreign to custom, too inimical to
community interests; but to Tarzan it was the first and most natural
thought.  His senses told him that there was but a single bull
connected with the attack upon Teeka and Gazan.  A single enemy did not
require the entire tribe for his punishment.  Two swift bulls could
quickly overhaul him and rescue Teeka.

In the past no one ever had thought to go forth in search of the shes
that were occasionally stolen from the tribe.  If Numa, Sabor, Sheeta
or a wandering bull ape from another tribe chanced to carry off a maid
or a matron while no one was looking, that was the end of it--she was
gone, that was all.  The bereaved husband, if the victim chanced to
have been mated, growled around for a day or two and then, if he were
strong enough, took another mate within the tribe, and if not, wandered
far into the jungle on the chance of stealing one from another
community.

In the past Tarzan of the Apes had condoned this practice for the
reason that he had had no interest in those who had been stolen; but
Teeka had been his first love and Teeka's balu held a place in his
heart such as a balu of his own would have held.  Just once before had
Tarzan wished to follow and revenge.  That had been years before when
Kulonga, the son of Mbonga, the chief, had slain Kala.  Then,
single-handed, Tarzan had pursued and avenged.  Now, though to a lesser
degree, he was moved by the same passion.

He turned toward Taug.  "Leave Gazan with Mumga," he said.  "She is old
and her fangs are broken and she is no good; but she can take care of
Gazan until we return with Teeka, and if Gazan is dead when we come
back," he turned to address Mumga, "I will kill you, too."

"Where are we going?" asked Taug.

"We are going to get Teeka," replied the ape-man, "and kill the bull
who has stolen her.  Come!"

He turned again to the spoor of the stranger bull, which showed plainly
to his trained senses, nor did he glance back to note if Taug followed.
The latter laid Gazan in Mumga's arms with a parting: "If he dies
Tarzan will kill you," and he followed after the brown-skinned figure
that already was moving at a slow trot along the jungle trail.

No other bull of the tribe of Kerchak was so good a trailer as Tarzan,
for his trained senses were aided by a high order of intelligence.  His
judgment told him the natural trail for a quarry to follow, so that he
need but note the most apparent marks upon the way, and today the trail
of Toog was as plain to him as type upon a printed page to you or me.

Following close behind the lithe figure of the ape-man came the huge
and shaggy bull ape.  No words passed between them.  They moved as
silently as two shadows among the myriad shadows of the forest.  Alert
as his eyes and ears, was Tarzan's patrician nose.  The spoor was
fresh, and now that they had passed from the range of the strong ape
odor of the tribe he had little difficulty in following Toog and Teeka
by scent alone.  Teeka's familiar scent spoor told both Tarzan and Taug
that they were upon her trail, and soon the scent of Toog became as
familiar as the other.

They were progressing rapidly when suddenly dense clouds overcast the
sun.  Tarzan accelerated his pace.  Now he fairly flew along the jungle
trail, or, where Toog had taken to the trees, followed nimbly as a
squirrel along the bending, undulating pathway of the foliage branches,
swinging from tree to tree as Toog had swung before them; but more
rapidly because they were not handicapped by a burden such as Toog's.

Tarzan felt that they must be almost upon the quarry, for the scent
spoor was becoming stronger and stronger, when the jungle was suddenly
shot by livid lightning, and a deafening roar of thunder reverberated
through the heavens and the forest until the earth trembled and shook.
Then came the rain--not as it comes to us of the temperate zones, but
as a mighty avalanche of water--a deluge which spills tons instead of
drops upon the bending forest giants and the terrified creatures which
haunt their shade.

And the rain did what Tarzan knew that it would do--it wiped the spoor
of the quarry from the face of the earth.  For a half hour the torrents
fell--then the sun burst forth, jeweling the forest with a million
scintillant gems; but today the ape-man, usually alert to the changing
wonders of the jungle, saw them not.  Only the fact that the spoor of
Teeka and her abductor was obliterated found lodgment in his thoughts.

Even among the branches of the trees there are well-worn trails, just
as there are trails upon the surface of the ground; but in the trees
they branch and cross more often, since the way is more open than among
the dense undergrowth at the surface.  Along one of these well-marked
trails Tarzan and Taug continued after the rain had ceased, because the
ape-man knew that this was the most logical path for the thief to
follow; but when they came to a fork, they were at a loss.  Here they
halted, while Tarzan examined every branch and leaf which might have
been touched by the fleeing ape.

He sniffed the bole of the tree, and with his keen eyes he sought to
find upon the bark some sign of the way the quarry had taken.  It was
slow work and all the time, Tarzan knew, the bull of the alien tribe
was forging steadily away from them--gaining precious minutes that
might carry him to safety before they could catch up with him.

First along one fork he went, and then another, applying every test
that his wonderful junglecraft was cognizant of; but again and again he
was baffled, for the scent had been washed away by the heavy downpour,
in every exposed place.  For a half hour Tarzan and Taug searched,
until at last, upon the bottom of a broad leaf, Tarzan's keen nose
caught the faint trace of the scent spoor of Toog, where the leaf had
brushed a hairy shoulder as the great ape passed through the foliage.

Once again the two took up the trail, but it was slow work now and
there were many discouraging delays when the spoor seemed lost beyond
recovery.  To you or me there would have been no spoor, even before the
coming of the rain, except, possibly, where Toog had come to earth and
followed a game trail.  In such places the imprint of a huge handlike
foot and the knuckles of one great hand were sometimes plain enough for
an ordinary mortal to read.  Tarzan knew from these and other
indications that the ape was yet carrying Teeka.  The depth of the
imprint of his feet indicated a much greater weight than that of any of
the larger bulls, for they were made under the combined weight of Toog
and Teeka, while the fact that the knuckles of but one hand touched the
ground at any time showed that the other hand was occupied in some
other business--the business of holding the prisoner to a hairy
shoulder.  Tarzan could follow, in sheltered places, the changing of
the burden from one shoulder to another, as indicated by the deepening
of the foot imprint upon the side of the load, and the changing of the
knuckle imprints from one side of the trail to the other.

There were stretches along the surface paths where the ape had gone for
considerable distances entirely erect upon his hind feet--walking as a
man walks; but the same might have been true of any of the great
anthropoids of the same species, for, unlike the chimpanzee and the
gorilla, they walk without the aid of their hands quite as readily as
with.  It was such things, however, which helped to identify to Tarzan
and to Taug the appearance of the abductor, and with his individual
scent characteristic already indelibly impressed upon their memories,
they were in a far better position to know him when they came upon him,
even should he have disposed of Teeka before, than is a modern sleuth
with his photographs and Bertillon measurements, equipped to recognize
a fugitive from civilized justice.

But with all their high-strung and delicately attuned perceptive
faculties the two bulls of the tribe of Kerchak were often sore pressed
to follow the trail at all, and at best were so delayed that in the
afternoon of the second day, they still had not overhauled the
fugitive.  The scent was now strong, for it had been made since the
rain, and Tarzan knew that it would not be long before they came upon
the thief and his loot.  Above them, as they crept stealthily forward,
chattered Manu, the monkey, and his thousand fellows; squawked and
screamed the brazen-throated birds of plumage; buzzed and hummed the
countless insects amid the rustling of the forest leaves, and, as they
passed, a little gray-beard, squeaking and scolding upon a swaying
branch, looked down and saw them.  Instantly the scolding and squeaking
ceased, and off tore the long-tailed mite as though Sheeta, the
panther, had been endowed with wings and was in close pursuit of him.
To all appearances he was only a very much frightened little monkey,
fleeing for his life--there seemed nothing sinister about him.

And what of Teeka during all this time? Was she at last resigned to her
fate and accompanying her new mate in the proper humility of a loving
and tractable spouse?  A single glance at the pair would have answered
these questions to the utter satisfaction of the most captious.  She
was torn and bleeding from many wounds, inflicted by the sullen Toog in
his vain efforts to subdue her to his will, and Toog too was disfigured
and mutilated; but with stubborn ferocity, he still clung to his now
useless prize.

On through the jungle he forced his way in the direction of the
stamping ground of his tribe.  He hoped that his king would have
forgotten his treason; but if not he was still resigned to his
fate--any fate would be better than suffering longer the sole
companionship of this frightful she, and then, too, he wished to
exhibit his captive to his fellows.  Maybe he could wish her on the
king--it is possible that such a thought urged him on.

At last they came upon two bulls feeding in a parklike grove--a
beautiful grove dotted with huge boulders half embedded in the rich
loam--mute monuments, possibly, to a forgotten age when mighty glaciers
rolled their slow course where now a torrid sun beats down upon a
tropic jungle.

The two bulls looked up, baring long fighting fangs, as Toog appeared
in the distance.  The latter recognized the two as friends.  "It is
Toog," he growled.  "Toog has come back with a new she."

The apes waited his nearer approach.  Teeka turned a snarling, fanged
face toward them.  She was not pretty to look upon, yet through the
blood and hatred upon her countenance they realized that she was
beautiful, and they envied Toog--alas! they did not know Teeka.

As they squatted looking at one another there raced through the trees
toward them a long-tailed little monkey with gray whiskers.  He was a
very excited little monkey when he came to a halt upon the limb of a
tree directly overhead.  "Two strange bulls come," he cried.  "One is a
Mangani, the other a hideous ape without hair upon his body.  They
follow the spoor of Toog.  I saw them."

The four apes turned their eyes backward along the trail Toog had just
come; then they looked at one another for a minute.  "Come," said the
larger of Toog's two friends, "we will wait for the strangers in the
thick bushes beyond the clearing."

He turned and waddled away across the open place, the others following
him.  The little monkey danced about, all excitement.  His chief
diversion in life was to bring about bloody encounters between the
larger denizens of the forest, that he might sit in the safety of the
trees and witness the spectacles.  He was a glutton for gore, was this
little, whiskered, gray monkey, so long as it was the gore of others--a
typical fight fan was the graybeard.

The apes hid themselves in the shrubbery beside the trail along which
the two stranger bulls would pass.  Teeka trembled with excitement.
She had heard the words of Manu, and she knew that the hairless ape
must be Tarzan, while the other was, doubtless, Taug.  Never, in her
wildest hopes, had she expected succor of this sort.  Her one thought
had been to escape and find her way back to the tribe of Kerchak; but
even this had appeared to her practically impossible, so closely did
Toog watch her.

As Taug and Tarzan reached the grove where Toog had come upon his
friends, the ape scent became so strong that both knew the quarry was
but a short distance ahead.  And so they went even more cautiously, for
they wished to come upon the thief from behind if they could and charge
him before he was aware of their presence.  That a little
gray-whiskered monkey had forestalled them they did not know, nor that
three pairs of savage eyes were already watching their every move and
waiting for them to come within reach of itching paws and slavering
jowls.

On they came across the grove, and as they entered the path leading
into the dense jungle beyond, a sudden "Kreeg-ah!" shrilled out close
before them--a "Kreeg-ah" in the familiar voice of Teeka.  The small
brains of Toog and his companions had not been able to foresee that
Teeka might betray them, and now that she had, they went wild with
rage.  Toog struck the she a mighty blow that felled her, and then the
three rushed forth to do battle with Tarzan and Taug.  The little
monkey danced upon his perch and screamed with delight.

And indeed he might well be delighted, for it was a lovely fight.
There were no preliminaries, no formalities, no introductions--the five
bulls merely charged and clinched.  They rolled in the narrow trail and
into the thick verdure beside it.  They bit and clawed and scratched
and struck, and all the while they kept up the most frightful chorus of
growlings and barkings and roarings.  In five minutes they were torn
and bleeding, and the little graybeard leaped high, shrilling his
primitive bravos; but always his attitude was "thumbs down." He wanted
to see something killed.  He did not care whether it were friend or
foe.  It was blood he wanted--blood and death.

Taug had been set upon by Toog and another of the apes, while Tarzan
had the third--a huge brute with the strength of a buffalo.  Never
before had Tarzan's assailant beheld so strange a creature as this
slippery, hairless bull with which he battled.  Sweat and blood covered
Tarzan's sleek, brown hide.  Again and again he slipped from the
clutches of the great bull, and all the while he struggled to free his
hunting knife from the scabbard in which it had stuck.

At length he succeeded--a brown hand shot out and clutched a hairy
throat, another flew upward clutching the sharp blade.  Three swift,
powerful strokes and the bull relaxed with a groan, falling limp
beneath his antagonist.  Instantly Tarzan broke from the clutches of
the dying bull and sprang to Taug's assistance.  Toog saw him coming
and wheeled to meet him.  In the impact of the charge, Tarzan's knife
was wrenched from his hand and then Toog closed with him.  Now was the
battle even--two against two--while on the verge, Teeka, now recovered
from the blow that had felled her, slunk waiting for an opportunity to
aid.  She saw Tarzan's knife and picked it up.  She never had used it,
but knew how Tarzan used it.  Always had she been afraid of the thing
which dealt death to the mightiest of the jungle people with the ease
that Tantor's great tusks deal death to Tantor's enemies.

She saw Tarzan's pocket pouch torn from his side, and with the
curiosity of an ape, that even danger and excitement cannot entirely
dispel, she picked this up, too.

Now the bulls were standing--the clinches had been broken.  Blood
streamed down their sides--their faces were crimsoned with it.  Little
graybeard was so fascinated that at last he had even forgotten to
scream and dance; but sat rigid with delight in the enjoyment of the
spectacle.

Back across the grove Tarzan and Taug forced their adversaries.  Teeka
followed slowly.  She scarce knew what to do.  She was lame and sore
and exhausted from the frightful ordeal through which she had passed,
and she had the confidence of her sex in the prowess of her mate and
the other bull of her tribe--they would not need the help of a she in
their battle with these two strangers.

The roars and screams of the fighters reverberated through the jungle,
awakening the echoes in the distant hills.  From the throat of Tarzan's
antagonist had come a score of "Kreeg-ahs!" and now from behind came
the reply he had awaited.  Into the grove, barking and growling, came a
score of huge bull apes--the fighting men of Toog's tribe.

Teeka saw them first and screamed a warning to Tarzan and Taug.  Then
she fled past the fighters toward the opposite side of the clearing,
fear for a moment claiming her.  Nor can one censure her after the
frightful ordeal from which she was still suffering.

Down upon them came the great apes.  In a moment Tarzan and Taug would
be torn to shreds that would later form the PIECE DE RESISTANCE of the
savage orgy of a Dum-Dum.  Teeka turned to glance back.  She saw the
impending fate of her defenders and there sprung to life in her savage
bosom the spark of martyrdom, that some common forbear had transmitted
alike to Teeka, the wild ape, and the glorious women of a higher order
who have invited death for their men.  With a shrill scream she ran
toward the battlers who were rolling in a great mass at the foot of one
of the huge boulders which dotted the grove; but what could she do? The
knife she held she could not use to advantage because of her lesser
strength.  She had seen Tarzan throw missiles, and she had learned this
with many other things from her childhood playmate.  She sought for
something to throw and at last her fingers touched upon the hard
objects in the pouch that had been torn from the ape-man. Tearing the
receptacle open, she gathered a handful of shiny cylinders--heavy for
their size, they seemed to her, and good missiles.  With all her
strength she hurled them at the apes battling in front of the granite
boulder.

The result surprised Teeka quite as much as it did the apes.  There was
a loud explosion, which deafened the fighters, and a puff of acrid
smoke.  Never before had one there heard such a frightful noise.
Screaming with terror, the stranger bulls leaped to their feet and fled
back toward the stamping ground of their tribe, while Taug and Tarzan
slowly gathered themselves together and arose, lame and bleeding, to
their feet.  They, too, would have fled had they not seen Teeka
standing there before them, the knife and the pocket pouch in her hands.

"What was it?" asked Tarzan.

Teeka shook her head.  "I hurled these at the stranger bulls," and she
held forth another handful of the shiny metal cylinders with the dull
gray, cone-shaped ends.

Tarzan looked at them and scratched his head.

"What are they?" asked Taug.

"I do not know," said Tarzan.  "I found them."

The little monkey with the gray beard halted among the trees a mile
away and huddled, terrified, against a branch.  He did not know that
the dead father of Tarzan of the Apes, reaching back out of the past
across a span of twenty years, had saved his son's life.

Nor did Tarzan, Lord Greystoke, know it either.



                          11

                     A Jungle Joke

TIME SELDOM HUNG heavily upon Tarzan's hands.  Even where there is
sameness there cannot be monotony if most of the sameness consists in
dodging death first in one form and then in another; or in inflicting
death upon others.  There is a spice to such an existence; but even
this Tarzan of the Apes varied in activities of his own invention.

He was full grown now, with the grace of a Greek god and the thews of a
bull, and, by all the tenets of apedom, should have been sullen,
morose, and brooding; but he was not.  His spirits seemed not to age at
all--he was still a playful child, much to the discomfiture of his
fellow-apes. They could not understand him or his ways, for with
maturity they quickly forgot their youth and its pastimes.

Nor could Tarzan quite understand them.  It seemed strange to him that
a few moons since, he had roped Taug about an ankle and dragged him
screaming through the tall jungle grasses, and then rolled and tumbled
in good-natured mimic battle when the young ape had freed himself, and
that today when he had come up behind the same Taug and pulled him over
backward upon the turf, instead of the playful young ape, a great,
snarling beast had whirled and leaped for his throat.

Easily Tarzan eluded the charge and quickly Taug's anger vanished,
though it was not replaced with playfulness; yet the ape-man realized
that Taug was not amused nor was he amusing.  The big bull ape seemed
to have lost whatever sense of humor he once may have possessed.  With
a grunt of disappointment, young Lord Greystoke turned to other fields
of endeavor.  A strand of black hair fell across one eye.  He brushed
it aside with the palm of a hand and a toss of his head.  It suggested
something to do, so he sought his quiver which lay cached in the hollow
bole of a lightning-riven tree.  Removing the arrows he turned the
quiver upside down, emptying upon the ground the contents of its
bottom--his few treasures.  Among them was a flat bit of stone and a
shell which he had picked up from the beach near his father's cabin.

With great care he rubbed the edge of the shell back and forth upon the
flat stone until the soft edge was quite fine and sharp.  He worked
much as a barber does who hones a razor, and with every evidence of
similar practice; but his proficiency was the result of years of
painstaking effort.  Unaided he had worked out a method of his own for
putting an edge upon the shell--he even tested it with the ball of his
thumb--and when it met with his approval he grasped a wisp of hair
which fell across his eyes, grasped it between the thumb and first
finger of his left hand and sawed upon it with the sharpened shell
until it was severed.  All around his head he went until his black
shock was rudely bobbed with a ragged bang in front.  For the
appearance of it he cared nothing; but in the matter of safety and
comfort it meant everything.  A lock of hair falling in one's eyes at
the wrong moment might mean all the difference between life and death,
while straggly strands, hanging down one's back were most
uncomfortable, especially when wet with dew or rain or perspiration.

As Tarzan labored at his tonsorial task, his active mind was busy with
many things.  He recalled his recent battle with Bolgani, the gorilla,
the wounds of which were but just healed.  He pondered the strange
sleep adventures of his first dreams, and he smiled at the painful
outcome of his last practical joke upon the tribe, when, dressed in the
hide of Numa, the lion, he had come roaring upon them, only to be
leaped upon and almost killed by the great bulls whom he had taught how
to defend themselves from an attack of their ancient enemy.

His hair lopped off to his entire satisfaction, and seeing no
possibility of pleasure in the company of the tribe, Tarzan swung
leisurely into the trees and set off in the direction of his cabin; but
when part way there his attention was attracted by a strong scent spoor
coming from the north.  It was the scent of the Gomangani.

Curiosity, that best-developed, common heritage of man and ape, always
prompted Tarzan to investigate where the Gomangani were concerned.
There was that about them which aroused his imagination.  Possibly it
was because of the diversity of their activities and interests.  The
apes lived to eat and sleep and propagate.  The same was true of all
the other denizens of the jungle, save the Gomangani.

These black fellows danced and sang, scratched around in the earth from
which they had cleared the trees and underbrush; they watched things
grow, and when they had ripened, they cut them down and put them in
straw-thatched huts.  They made bows and spears and arrows, poison,
cooking pots, things of metal to wear around their arms and legs.  If
it hadn't been for their black faces, their hideously disfigured
features, and the fact that one of them had slain Kala, Tarzan might
have wished to be one of them.  At least he sometimes thought so, but
always at the thought there rose within him a strange revulsion of
feeling, which he could not interpret or understand--he simply knew
that he hated the Gomangani, and that he would rather be Histah, the
snake, than one of these.

But their ways were interesting, and Tarzan never tired of spying upon
them, and from them he learned much more than he realized, though
always his principal thought was of some new way in which he could
render their lives miserable.  The baiting of the blacks was Tarzan's
chief divertissement.

Tarzan realized now that the blacks were very near and that there were
many of them, so he went silently and with great caution.  Noiselessly
he moved through the lush grasses of the open spaces, and where the
forest was dense, swung from one swaying branch to another, or leaped
lightly over tangled masses of fallen trees where there was no way
through the lower terraces, and the ground was choked and impassable.

And so presently he came within sight of the black warriors of Mbonga,
the chief.  They were engaged in a pursuit with which Tarzan was more
or less familiar, having watched them at it upon other occasions.  They
were placing and baiting a trap for Numa, the lion.  In a cage upon
wheels they were tying a kid, so fastening it that when Numa seized the
unfortunate creature, the door of the cage would drop behind him,
making him a prisoner.

These things the blacks had learned in their old home, before they
escaped through the untracked jungle to their new village.  Formerly
they had dwelt in the Belgian Congo until the cruelties of their
heartless oppressors had driven them to seek the safety of unexplored
solitudes beyond the boundaries of Leopold's domain.

In their old life they often had trapped animals for the agents of
European dealers, and had learned from them certain tricks, such as
this one, which permitted them to capture even Numa without injuring
him, and to transport him in safety and with comparative ease to their
village.

No longer was there a white market for their savage wares; but there
was still a sufficient incentive for the taking of Numa--alive. First
was the necessity for ridding the jungle of man-eaters, and it was only
after depredations by these grim and terrible scourges that a lion hunt
was organized.  Secondarily was the excuse for an orgy of celebration
was the hunt successful, and the fact that such fetes were rendered
doubly pleasurable by the presence of a live creature that might be put
to death by torture.

Tarzan had witnessed these cruel rites in the past.  Being himself more
savage than the savage warriors of the Gomangani, he was not so shocked
by the cruelty of them as he should have been, yet they did shock him.
He could not understand the strange feeling of revulsion which
possessed him at such times.  He had no love for Numa, the lion, yet he
bristled with rage when the blacks inflicted upon his enemy such
indignities and cruelties as only the mind of the one creature molded
in the image of God can conceive.

Upon two occasions he had freed Numa from the trap before the blacks
had returned to discover the success or failure of their venture.  He
would do the same today--that he decided immediately he realized the
nature of their intentions.

Leaving the trap in the center of a broad elephant trail near the
drinking hole, the warriors turned back toward their village.  On the
morrow they would come again.  Tarzan looked after them, upon his lips
an unconscious sneer--the heritage of unguessed caste.  He saw them
file along the broad trail, beneath the overhanging verdure of leafy
branch and looped and festooned creepers, brushing ebon shoulders
against gorgeous blooms which inscrutable Nature has seen fit to lavish
most profusely farthest from the eye of man.

As Tarzan watched, through narrowed lids, the last of the warriors
disappear beyond a turn in the trail, his expression altered to the
urge of a newborn thought.  A slow, grim smile touched his lips.  He
looked down upon the frightened, bleating kid, advertising, in its fear
and its innocence, its presence and its helplessness.

Dropping to the ground, Tarzan approached the trap and entered.
Without disturbing the fiber cord, which was adjusted to drop the door
at the proper time, he loosened the living bait, tucked it under an arm
and stepped out of the cage.

With his hunting knife he quieted the frightened animal, severing its
jugular; then he dragged it, bleeding, along the trail down to the
drinking hole, the half smile persisting upon his ordinarily grave
face.  At the water's edge the ape-man stooped and with hunting knife
and quick strong fingers deftly removed the dead kid's viscera.
Scraping a hole in the mud, he buried these parts which he did not eat,
and swinging the body to his shoulder took to the trees.

For a short distance he pursued his way in the wake of the black
warriors, coming down presently to bury the meat of his kill where it
would be safe from the depredations of Dango, the hyena, or the other
meat-eating beasts and birds of the jungle.  He was hungry.  Had he
been all beast he would have eaten; but his man-mind could entertain
urges even more potent than those of the belly, and now he was
concerned with an idea which kept a smile upon his lips and his eyes
sparkling in anticipation.  An idea, it was, which permitted him to
forget that he was hungry.

The meat safely cached, Tarzan trotted along the elephant trail after
the Gomangani.  Two or three miles from the cage he overtook them and
then he swung into the trees and followed above and behind
them--waiting his chance.

Among the blacks was Rabba Kega, the witch-doctor. Tarzan hated them
all; but Rabba Kega he especially hated.  As the blacks filed along the
winding path, Rabba Kega, being lazy, dropped behind.  This Tarzan
noted, and it filled him with satisfaction--his being radiated a grim
and terrible content.  Like an angel of death he hovered above the
unsuspecting black.

Rabba Kega, knowing that the village was but a short distance ahead,
sat down to rest.  Rest well, O Rabba Kega! It is thy last opportunity.

Tarzan crept stealthily among the branches of the tree above the
well-fed, self-satisfied witch-doctor.  He made no noise that the dull
ears of man could hear above the soughing of the gentle jungle breeze
among the undulating foliage of the upper terraces, and when he came
close above the black man he halted, well concealed by leafy branch and
heavy creeper.

Rabba Kega sat with his back against the bole of a tree, facing Tarzan.
The position was not such as the waiting beast of prey desired, and so,
with the infinite patience of the wild hunter, the ape-man crouched
motionless and silent as a graven image until the fruit should be ripe
for the plucking.  A poisonous insect buzzed angrily out of space.  It
loitered, circling, close to Tarzan's face.  The ape-man saw and
recognized it.  The virus of its sting spelled death for lesser things
than he--for him it would mean days of anguish.  He did not move.  His
glittering eyes remained fixed upon Rabba Kega after acknowledging the
presence of the winged torture by a single glance.  He heard and
followed the movements of the insect with his keen ears, and then he
felt it alight upon his forehead.  No muscle twitched, for the muscles
of such as he are the servants of the brain.  Down across his face
crept the horrid thing--over nose and lips and chin.  Upon his throat
it paused, and turning, retraced its steps.  Tarzan watched Rabba Kega.
Now not even his eyes moved.  So motionless he crouched that only death
might counterpart his movelessness.  The insect crawled upward over the
nut-brown cheek and stopped with its antennae brushing the lashes of
his lower lid.  You or I would have started back, closing our eyes and
striking at the thing; but you and I are the slaves, not the masters of
our nerves.  Had the thing crawled upon the eyeball of the ape-man, it
is believable that he could yet have remained wide-eyed and rigid; but
it did not.  For a moment it loitered there close to the lower lid,
then it rose and buzzed away.

Down toward Rabba Kega it buzzed and the black man heard it, saw it,
struck at it, and was stung upon the cheek before he killed it.  Then
he rose with a howl of pain and anger, and as he turned up the trail
toward the village of Mbonga, the chief, his broad, black back was
exposed to the silent thing waiting above him.

And as Rabba Kega turned, a lithe figure shot outward and downward from
the tree above upon his broad shoulders.  The impact of the springing
creature carried Rabba Kega to the ground.  He felt strong jaws close
upon his neck, and when he tried to scream, steel fingers throttled his
throat.  The powerful black warrior struggled to free himself; but he
was as a child in the grip of his adversary.

Presently Tarzan released his grip upon the other's throat; but each
time that Rabba Kega essayed a scream, the cruel fingers choked him
painfully.  At last the warrior desisted.  Then Tarzan half rose and
kneeled upon his victim's back, and when Rabba Kega struggled to arise,
the ape-man pushed his face down into the dirt of the trail.  With a
bit of the rope that had secured the kid, Tarzan made Rabba Kega's
wrists secure behind his back, then he rose and jerked his prisoner to
his feet, faced him back along the trail and pushed him on ahead.

Not until he came to his feet did Rabba Kega obtain a square look at
his assailant.  When he saw that it was the white devil-god his heart
sank within him and his knees trembled; but as he walked along the
trail ahead of his captor and was neither injured nor molested his
spirits slowly rose, so that he took heart again.  Possibly the
devil-god did not intend to kill him after all.  Had he not had little
Tibo in his power for days without harming him, and had he not spared
Momaya, Tibo's mother, when he easily might have slain her?

And then they came upon the cage which Rabba Kega, with the other black
warriors of the village of Mbonga, the chief, had placed and baited for
Numa.  Rabba Kega saw that the bait was gone, though there was no lion
within the cage, nor was the door dropped.  He saw and he was filled
with wonder not unmixed with apprehension.  It entered his dull brain
that in some way this combination of circumstances had a connection
with his presence there as the prisoner of the white devil-god.

Nor was he wrong.  Tarzan pushed him roughly into the cage, and in
another moment Rabba Kega understood.  Cold sweat broke from every pore
of his body--he trembled as with ague--for the ape-man was binding him
securely in the very spot the kid had previously occupied.  The
witch-doctor pleaded, first for his life, and then for a death less
cruel; but he might as well have saved his pleas for Numa, since
already they were directed toward a wild beast who understood no word
of what he said.

But his constant jabbering not only annoyed Tarzan, who worked in
silence, but suggested that later the black might raise his voice in
cries for succor, so he stepped out of the cage, gathered a handful of
grass and a small stick and returning, jammed the grass into Rabba
Kega's mouth, laid the stick crosswise between his teeth and fastened
it there with the thong from Rabba Kega's loin cloth.  Now could the
witch-doctor but roll his eyes and sweat.  Thus Tarzan left him.

The ape-man went first to the spot where he had cached the body of the
kid.  Digging it up, he ascended into a tree and proceeded to satisfy
his hunger.  What remained he again buried; then he swung away through
the trees to the water hole, and going to the spot where fresh, cold
water bubbled from between two rocks, he drank deeply.  The other
beasts might wade in and drink stagnant water; but not Tarzan of the
Apes.  In such matters he was fastidious.  From his hands he washed
every trace of the repugnant scent of the Gomangani, and from his face
the blood of the kid.  Rising, he stretched himself not unlike some
huge, lazy cat, climbed into a near-by tree and fell asleep.

When he awoke it was dark, though a faint luminosity still tinged the
western heavens.  A lion moaned and coughed as it strode through the
jungle toward water.  It was approaching the drinking hole.  Tarzan
grinned sleepily, changed his position and fell asleep again.

When the blacks of Mbonga, the chief, reached their village they
discovered that Rabba Kega was not among them.  When several hours had
elapsed they decided that something had happened to him, and it was the
hope of the majority of the tribe that whatever had happened to him
might prove fatal.  They did not love the witch-doctor. Love and fear
seldom are playmates; but a warrior is a warrior, and so Mbonga
organized a searching party.  That his own grief was not unassuagable
might have been gathered from the fact that he remained at home and
went to sleep.  The young warriors whom he sent out remained steadfast
to their purpose for fully half an hour, when, unfortunately for Rabba
Kega--upon so slight a thing may the fate of a man rest--a honey bird
attracted the attention of the searchers and led them off for the
delicious store it previously had marked down for betrayal, and Rabba
Kega's doom was sealed.

When the searchers returned empty handed, Mbonga was wroth; but when he
saw the great store of honey they brought with them his rage subsided.
Already Tubuto, young, agile and evil-minded, with face hideously
painted, was practicing the black art upon a sick infant in the fond
hope of succeeding to the office and perquisites of Rabba Kega.
Tonight the women of the old witch-doctor would moan and howl.
Tomorrow he would be forgotten.  Such is life, such is fame, such is
power--in the center of the world's highest civilization, or in the
depths of the black, primeval jungle.  Always, everywhere, man is man,
nor has he altered greatly beneath his veneer since he scurried into a
hole between two rocks to escape the tyrannosaurus six million years
ago.

The morning following the disappearance of Rabba Kega, the warriors set
out with Mbonga, the chief, to examine the trap they had set for Numa.
Long before they reached the cage, they heard the roaring of a great
lion and guessed that they had made a successful bag, so it was with
shouts of joy that they approached the spot where they should find
their captive.

Yes! There he was, a great, magnificent specimen--a huge, black-maned
lion.  The warriors were frantic with delight.  They leaped into the
air and uttered savage cries--hoarse victory cries, and then they came
closer, and the cries died upon their lips, and their eyes went wide so
that the whites showed all around their irises, and their pendulous
lower lips drooped with their drooping jaws.  They drew back in terror
at the sight within the cage--the mauled and mutilated corpse of what
had, yesterday, been Rabba Kega, the witch-doctor.

The captured lion had been too angry and frightened to feed upon the
body of his kill; but he had vented upon it much of his rage, until it
was a frightful thing to behold.

From his perch in a near-by tree Tarzan of the Apes, Lord Greystoke,
looked down upon the black warriors and grinned.  Once again his
self-pride in his ability as a practical joker asserted itself.  It had
lain dormant for some time following the painful mauling he had
received that time he leaped among the apes of Kerchak clothed in the
skin of Numa; but this joke was a decided success.

After a few moments of terror, the blacks came closer to the cage, rage
taking the place of fear--rage and curiosity.  How had Rabba Kega
happened to be in the cage? Where was the kid? There was no sign nor
remnant of the original bait.  They looked closely and they saw, to
their horror, that the corpse of their erstwhile fellow was bound with
the very cord with which they had secured the kid.  Who could have done
this thing? They looked at one another.

Tubuto was the first to speak.  He had come hopefully out with the
expedition that morning.  Somewhere he might find evidence of the death
of Rabba Kega.  Now he had found it, and he was the first to find an
explanation.

"The white devil-god," he whispered.  "It is the work of the white
devil-god!"

No one contradicted Tubuto, for, indeed, who else could it have been
but the great, hairless ape they all so feared? And so their hatred of
Tarzan increased again with an increased fear of him.  And Tarzan sat
in his tree and hugged himself.

No one there felt sorrow because of the death of Rabba Kega; but each
of the blacks experienced a personal fear of the ingenious mind which
might discover for any of them a death equally horrible to that which
the witch-doctor had suffered.  It was a subdued and thoughtful company
which dragged the captive lion along the broad elephant path back to
the village of Mbonga, the chief.

And it was with a sigh of relief that they finally rolled it into the
village and closed the gates behind them.  Each had experienced the
sensation of being spied upon from the moment they left the spot where
the trap had been set, though none had seen or heard aught to give
tangible food to his fears.

At the sight of the body within the cage with the lion, the women and
children of the village set up a most frightful lamentation, working
themselves into a joyous hysteria which far transcended the happy
misery derived by their more civilized prototypes who make a business
of dividing their time between the movies and the neighborhood funerals
of friends and strangers--especially strangers.

From a tree overhanging the palisade, Tarzan watched all that passed
within the village.  He saw the frenzied women tantalizing the great
lion with sticks and stones.  The cruelty of the blacks toward a
captive always induced in Tarzan a feeling of angry contempt for the
Gomangani.  Had he attempted to analyze this feeling he would have
found it difficult, for during all his life he had been accustomed to
sights of suffering and cruelty.  He, himself, was cruel.  All the
beasts of the jungle were cruel; but the cruelty of the blacks was of a
different order.  It was the cruelty of wanton torture of the helpless,
while the cruelty of Tarzan and the other beasts was the cruelty of
necessity or of passion.

Perhaps, had he known it, he might have credited this feeling of
repugnance at the sight of unnecessary suffering to heredity--to the
germ of British love of fair play which had been bequeathed to him by
his father and his mother; but, of course, he did not know, since he
still believed that his mother had been Kala, the great ape.

And just in proportion as his anger rose against the Gomangani his
savage sympathy went out to Numa, the lion, for, though Numa was his
lifetime enemy, there was neither bitterness nor contempt in Tarzan's
sentiments toward him.  In the ape-man's mind, therefore, the
determination formed to thwart the blacks and liberate the lion; but he
must accomplish this in some way which would cause the Gomangani the
greatest chagrin and discomfiture.

As he squatted there watching the proceeding beneath him, he saw the
warriors seize upon the cage once more and drag it between two huts.
Tarzan knew that it would remain there now until evening, and that the
blacks were planning a feast and orgy in celebration of their capture.
When he saw that two warriors were placed beside the cage, and that
these drove off the women and children and young men who would have
eventually tortured Numa to death, he knew that the lion would be safe
until he was needed for the evening's entertainment, when he would be
more cruelly and scientifically tortured for the edification of the
entire tribe.

Now Tarzan preferred to bait the blacks in as theatric a manner as his
fertile imagination could evolve.  He had some half-formed conception
of their superstitious fears and of their especial dread of night, and
so he decided to wait until darkness fell and the blacks partially
worked to hysteria by their dancing and religious rites before he took
any steps toward the freeing of Numa.  In the meantime, he hoped, an
idea adequate to the possibilities of the various factors at hand would
occur to him.  Nor was it long before one did.

He had swung off through the jungle to search for food when the plan
came to him.  At first it made him smile a little and then look
dubious, for he still retained a vivid memory of the dire results that
had followed the carrying out of a very wonderful idea along almost
identical lines, yet he did not abandon his intention, and a moment
later, food temporarily forgotten, he was swinging through the middle
terraces in rapid flight toward the stamping ground of the tribe of
Kerchak, the great ape.

As was his wont, he alighted in the midst of the little band without
announcing his approach save by a hideous scream just as he sprang from
a branch above them.  Fortunate are the apes of Kerchak that their kind
is not subject to heart failure, for the methods of Tarzan subjected
them to one severe shock after another, nor could they ever accustom
themselves to the ape-man's peculiar style of humor.

Now, when they saw who it was they merely snarled and grumbled angrily
for a moment and then resumed their feeding or their napping which he
had interrupted, and he, having had his little joke, made his way to
the hollow tree where he kept his treasures hid from the inquisitive
eyes and fingers of his fellows and the mischievous little manus.  Here
he withdrew a closely rolled hide--the hide of Numa with the head on; a
clever bit of primitive curing and mounting, which had once been the
property of the witch-doctor, Rabba Kega, until Tarzan had stolen it
from the village.

With this he made his way back through the jungle toward the village of
the blacks, stopping to hunt and feed upon the way, and, in the
afternoon, even napping for an hour, so that it was already dusk when
he entered the great tree which overhung the palisade and gave him a
view of the entire village.  He saw that Numa was still alive and that
the guards were even dozing beside the cage.  A lion is no great
novelty to a black man in the lion country, and the first keen edge of
their desire to worry the brute having worn off, the villagers paid
little or no attention to the great cat, preferring now to await the
grand event of the night.

Nor was it long after dark before the festivities commenced.  To the
beating of tom-toms, a lone warrior, crouched half doubled, leaped into
the firelight in the center of a great circle of other warriors, behind
whom stood or squatted the women and the children.  The dancer was
painted and armed for the hunt and his movements and gestures suggested
the search for the spoor of game.  Bending low, sometimes resting for a
moment on one knee, he searched the ground for signs of the quarry;
again he poised, statuesque, listening.  The warrior was young and
lithe and graceful; he was full-muscled and arrow-straight. The
firelight glistened upon his ebon body and brought out into bold relief
the grotesque designs painted upon his face, breasts, and abdomen.

Presently he bent low to the earth, then leaped high in air.  Every
line of face and body showed that he had struck the scent.  Immediately
he leaped toward the circle of warriors about him, telling them of his
find and summoning them to the hunt.  It was all in pantomime; but so
truly done that even Tarzan could follow it all to the least detail.

He saw the other warriors grasp their hunting spears and leap to their
feet to join in the graceful, stealthy "stalking dance." It was very
interesting; but Tarzan realized that if he was to carry his design to
a successful conclusion he must act quickly.  He had seen these dances
before and knew that after the stalk would come the game at bay and
then the kill, during which Numa would be surrounded by warriors, and
unapproachable.

With the lion's skin under one arm the ape-man dropped to the ground in
the dense shadows beneath the tree and then circled behind the huts
until he came out directly in the rear of the cage, in which Numa paced
nervously to and fro.  The cage was now unguarded, the two warriors
having left it to take their places among the other dancers.

Behind the cage Tarzan adjusted the lion's skin about him, just as he
had upon that memorable occasion when the apes of Kerchak, failing to
pierce his disguise, had all but slain him.  Then, on hands and knees,
he crept forward, emerged from between the two huts and stood a few
paces back of the dusky audience, whose whole attention was centered
upon the dancers before them.

Tarzan saw that the blacks had now worked themselves to a proper pitch
of nervous excitement to be ripe for the lion.  In a moment the ring of
spectators would break at a point nearest the caged lion and the victim
would be rolled into the center of the circle.  It was for this moment
that Tarzan waited.

At last it came.  A signal was given by Mbonga, the chief, at which the
women and children immediately in front of Tarzan rose and moved to one
side, leaving a broad path opening toward the caged lion.  At the same
instant Tarzan gave voice to the low, couching roar of an angry lion
and slunk slowly forward through the open lane toward the frenzied
dancers.

A woman saw him first and screamed.  Instantly there was a panic in the
immediate vicinity of the ape-man. The strong light from the fire fell
full upon the lion head and the blacks leaped to the conclusion, as
Tarzan had known they would, that their captive had escaped his cage.

With another roar, Tarzan moved forward.  The dancing warriors paused
but an instant.  They had been hunting a lion securely housed within a
strong cage, and now that he was at liberty among them, an entirely
different aspect was placed upon the matter.  Their nerves were not
attuned to this emergency.  The women and children already had fled to
the questionable safety of the nearest huts, and the warriors were not
long in following their example, so that presently Tarzan was left in
sole possession of the village street.

But not for long.  Nor did he wish to be left thus long alone.  It
would not comport with his scheme.  Presently a head peered forth from
a near-by hut, and then another and another until a score or more of
warriors were looking out upon him, waiting for his next move--waiting
for the lion to charge or to attempt to escape from the village.

Their spears were ready in their hands against either a charge or a
bolt for freedom, and then the lion rose erect upon its hind legs, the
tawny skin dropped from it and there stood revealed before them in the
firelight the straight young figure of the white devil-god.

For an instant the blacks were too astonished to act.  They feared this
apparition fully as much as they did Numa, yet they would gladly have
slain the thing could they quickly enough have gathered together their
wits; but fear and superstition and a natural mental density held them
paralyzed while the ape-man stooped and gathered up the lion skin.
They saw him turn then and walk back into the shadows at the far end of
the village.  Not until then did they gain courage to pursue him, and
when they had come in force, with brandished spears and loud war cries,
the quarry was gone.

Not an instant did Tarzan pause in the tree.  Throwing the skin over a
branch he leaped again into the village upon the opposite side of the
great bole, and diving into the shadow of a hut, ran quickly to where
lay the caged lion.  Springing to the top of the cage he pulled upon
the cord which raised the door, and a moment later a great lion in the
prime of his strength and vigor leaped out into the village.

The warriors, returning from a futile search for Tarzan, saw him step
into the firelight.  Ah! there was the devil-god again, up to his old
trick.  Did he think he could twice fool the men of Mbonga, the chief,
the same way in so short a time? They would show him!  For long they
had waited for such an opportunity to rid themselves forever of this
fearsome jungle demon.  As one they rushed forward with raised spears.

The women and the children came from the huts to witness the slaying of
the devil-god. The lion turned blazing eyes upon them and then swung
about toward the advancing warriors.

With shouts of savage joy and triumph they came toward him, menacing
him with their spears.  The devil-god was theirs!

And then, with a frightful roar, Numa, the lion, charged.

The men of Mbonga, the chief, met Numa with ready spears and screams of
raillery.  In a solid mass of muscled ebony they waited the coming of
the devil-god; yet beneath their brave exteriors lurked a haunting fear
that all might not be quite well with them--that this strange creature
could yet prove invulnerable to their weapons and inflict upon them
full punishment for their effrontery.  The charging lion was all too
lifelike--they saw that in the brief instant of the charge; but beneath
the tawny hide they knew was hid the soft flesh of the white man, and
how could that withstand the assault of many war spears?

In their forefront stood a huge young warrior in the full arrogance of
his might and his youth.  Afraid? Not he! He laughed as Numa bore down
upon him; he laughed and couched his spear, setting the point for the
broad breast.  And then the lion was upon him.  A great paw swept away
the heavy war spear, splintering it as the hand of man might splinter a
dry twig.

Down went the black, his skull crushed by another blow.  And then the
lion was in the midst of the warriors, clawing and tearing to right and
left.  Not for long did they stand their ground; but a dozen men were
mauled before the others made good their escape from those frightful
talons and gleaming fangs.

In terror the villagers fled hither and thither.  No hut seemed a
sufficiently secure asylum with Numa ranging within the palisade.  From
one to another fled the frightened blacks, while in the center of the
village Numa stood glaring and growling above his kills.

At last a tribesman flung wide the gates of the village and sought
safety amid the branches of the forest trees beyond.  Like sheep his
fellows followed him, until the lion and his dead remained alone in the
village.

From the nearer trees the men of Mbonga saw the lion lower his great
head and seize one of his victims by the shoulder and then with slow
and stately tread move down the village street past the open gates and
on into the jungle.  They saw and shuddered, and from another tree
Tarzan of the Apes saw and smiled.

A full hour elapsed after the lion had disappeared with his feast
before the blacks ventured down from the trees and returned to their
village.  Wide eyes rolled from side to side, and naked flesh
contracted more to the chill of fear than to the chill of the jungle
night.

"It was he all the time," murmured one.  "It was the devil-god."

"He changed himself from a lion to a man, and back again into a lion,"
whispered another.

"And he dragged Mweeza into the forest and is eating him," said a
third, shuddering.

"We are no longer safe here," wailed a fourth.  "Let us take our
belongings and search for another village site far from the haunts of
the wicked devil-god."

But with morning came renewed courage, so that the experiences of the
preceding evening had little other effect than to increase their fear
of Tarzan and strengthen their belief in his supernatural origin.

And thus waxed the fame and the power of the ape-man in the mysterious
haunts of the savage jungle where he ranged, mightiest of beasts
because of the man-mind which directed his giant muscles and his
flawless courage.



                          12

                Tarzan Rescues the Moon

THE MOON SHONE down out of a cloudless sky--a huge, swollen moon that
seemed so close to earth that one might wonder that she did not brush
the crooning tree tops.  It was night, and Tarzan was abroad in the
jungle--Tarzan, the ape-man; mighty fighter, mighty hunter.  Why he
swung through the dark shadows of the somber forest he could not have
told you.  It was not that he was hungry--he had fed well this day, and
in a safe cache were the remains of his kill, ready against the coming
of a new appetite.  Perhaps it was the very joy of living that urged
him from his arboreal couch to pit his muscles and his senses against
the jungle night, and then, too, Tarzan always was goaded by an intense
desire to know.

The jungle which is presided over by Kudu, the sun, is a very different
jungle from that of Goro, the moon.  The diurnal jungle has its own
aspect--its own lights and shades, its own birds, its own blooms, its
own beasts; its noises are the noises of the day.  The lights and
shades of the nocturnal jungle are as different as one might imagine
the lights and shades of another world to differ from those of our
world; its beasts, its blooms, and its birds are not those of the
jungle of Kudu, the sun.

Because of these differences Tarzan loved to investigate the jungle by
night.  Not only was the life another life; but it was richer in
numbers and in romance; it was richer in dangers, too, and to Tarzan of
the Apes danger was the spice of life.  And the noises of the jungle
night--the roar of the lion, the scream of the leopard, the hideous
laughter of Dango, the hyena, were music to the ears of the ape-man.

The soft padding of unseen feet, the rustling of leaves and grasses to
the passage of fierce beasts, the sheen of opalesque eyes flaming
through the dark, the million sounds which proclaimed the teeming life
that one might hear and scent, though seldom see, constituted the
appeal of the nocturnal jungle to Tarzan.

Tonight he had swung a wide circle--toward the east first and then
toward the south, and now he was rounding back again into the north.
His eyes, his ears and his keen nostrils were ever on the alert.
Mingled with the sounds he knew, there were strange sounds--weird
sounds which he never heard until after Kudu had sought his lair below
the far edge of the big water-sounds which belonged to Goro, the
moon--and to the mysterious period of Goro's supremacy.  These sounds
often caused Tarzan profound speculation.  They baffled him because he
thought that he knew his jungle so well that there could be nothing
within it unfamiliar to him.  Sometimes he thought that as colors and
forms appeared to differ by night from their familiar daylight aspects,
so sounds altered with the passage of Kudu and the coming of Goro, and
these thoughts roused within his brain a vague conjecture that perhaps
Goro and Kudu influenced these changes.  And what more natural that
eventually he came to attribute to the sun and the moon personalities
as real as his own? The sun was a living creature and ruled the day.
The moon, endowed with brains and miraculous powers, ruled the night.

Thus functioned the untrained man-mind groping through the dark night
of ignorance for an explanation of the things he could not touch or
smell or hear and of the great, unknown powers of nature which he could
not see.

As Tarzan swung north again upon his wide circle the scent of the
Gomangani came to his nostrils, mixed with the acrid odor of wood
smoke.  The ape-man moved quickly in the direction from which the scent
was borne down to him upon the gentle night wind.  Presently the ruddy
sheen of a great fire filtered through the foliage to him ahead, and
when Tarzan came to a halt in the trees near it, he saw a party of half
a dozen black warriors huddled close to the blaze.  It was evidently a
hunting party from the village of Mbonga, the chief, caught out in the
jungle after dark.  In a rude circle about them they had constructed a
thorn boma which, with the aid of the fire, they apparently hoped would
discourage the advances of the larger carnivora.

That hope was not conviction was evidenced by the very palpable terror
in which they crouched, wide-eyed and trembling, for already Numa and
Sabor were moaning through the jungle toward them.  There were other
creatures, too, in the shadows beyond the firelight.  Tarzan could see
their yellow eyes flaming there.  The blacks saw them and shivered.
Then one arose and grasping a burning branch from the fire hurled it at
the eyes, which immediately disappeared.  The black sat down again.
Tarzan watched and saw that it was several minutes before the eyes
began to reappear in twos and fours.

Then came Numa, the lion, and Sabor, his mate.  The other eyes
scattered to right and left before the menacing growls of the great
cats, and then the huge orbs of the man-eaters flamed alone out of the
darkness.  Some of the blacks threw themselves upon their faces and
moaned; but he who before had hurled the burning branch now hurled
another straight at the faces of the hungry lions, and they, too,
disappeared as had the lesser lights before them.  Tarzan was much
interested.  He saw a new reason for the nightly fires maintained by
the blacks--a reason in addition to those connected with warmth and
light and cooking.  The beasts of the jungle feared fire, and so fire
was, in a measure, a protection from them.  Tarzan himself knew a
certain awe of fire.  Once he had, in investigating an abandoned fire
in the village of the blacks, picked up a live coal.  Since then he had
maintained a respectful distance from such fires as he had seen.  One
experience had sufficed.

For a few minutes after the black hurled the firebrand no eyes
appeared, though Tarzan could hear the soft padding of feet all about
him.  Then flashed once more the twin fire spots that marked the return
of the lord of the jungle and a moment later, upon a slightly lower
level, there appeared those of Sabor, his mate.

For some time they remained fixed and unwavering--a constellation of
fierce stars in the jungle night--then the male lion advanced slowly
toward the boma, where all but a single black still crouched in
trembling terror.  When this lone guardian saw that Numa was again
approaching, he threw another firebrand, and, as before, Numa retreated
and with him Sabor, the lioness; but not so far, this time, nor for so
long.  Almost instantly they turned and began circling the boma, their
eyes turning constantly toward the firelight, while low, throaty growls
evidenced their increasing displeasure.  Beyond the lions glowed the
flaming eyes of the lesser satellites, until the black jungle was shot
all around the black men's camp with little spots of fire.

Again and again the black warrior hurled his puny brands at the two big
cats; but Tarzan noticed that Numa paid little or no attention to them
after the first few retreats.  The ape-man knew by Numa's voice that
the lion was hungry and surmised that he had made up his mind to feed
upon a Gomangani; but would he dare a closer approach to the dreaded
flames?

Even as the thought was passing in Tarzan's mind, Numa stopped his
restless pacing and faced the boma.  For a moment he stood motionless,
except for the quick, nervous upcurving of his tail, then he walked
deliberately forward, while Sabor moved restlessly to and fro where he
had left her.  The black man called to his comrades that the lion was
coming, but they were too far gone in fear to do more than huddle
closer together and moan more loudly than before.

Seizing a blazing branch the man cast it straight into the face of the
lion.  There was an angry roar, followed by a swift charge.  With a
single bound the savage beast cleared the boma wall as, with almost
equal agility, the warrior cleared it upon the opposite side and,
chancing the dangers lurking in the darkness, bolted for the nearest
tree.

Numa was out of the boma almost as soon as he was inside it; but as he
went back over the low thorn wall, he took a screaming negro with him.
Dragging his victim along the ground he walked back toward Sabor, the
lioness, who joined him, and the two continued into the blackness,
their savage growls mingling with the piercing shrieks of the doomed
and terrified man.

At a little distance from the blaze the lions halted, there ensued a
short succession of unusually vicious growls and roars, during which
the cries and moans of the black man ceased--forever.

Presently Numa reappeared in the firelight.  He made a second trip into
the boma and the former grisly tragedy was reenacted with another
howling victim.

Tarzan rose and stretched lazily.  The entertainment was beginning to
bore him.  He yawned and turned upon his way toward the clearing where
the tribe would be sleeping in the encircling trees.

Yet even when he had found his familiar crotch and curled himself for
slumber, he felt no desire to sleep.  For a long time he lay awake
thinking and dreaming.  He looked up into the heavens and watched the
moon and the stars.  He wondered what they were and what power kept
them from falling.  His was an inquisitive mind.  Always he had been
full of questions concerning all that passed around him; but there
never had been one to answer his questions.  In childhood he had wanted
to KNOW, and, denied almost all knowledge, he still, in manhood, was
filled with the great, unsatisfied curiosity of a child.

He was never quite content merely to perceive that things happened--he
desired to know WHY they happened.  He wanted to know what made things
go.  The secret of life interested him immensely.  The miracle of death
he could not quite fathom.  Upon innumerable occasions he had
investigated the internal mechanism of his kills, and once or twice he
had opened the chest cavity of victims in time to see the heart still
pumping.

He had learned from experience that a knife thrust through this organ
brought immediate death nine times out of ten, while he might stab an
antagonist innumerable times in other places without even disabling
him.  And so he had come to think of the heart, or, as he called it,
"the red thing that breathes," as the seat and origin of life.

The brain and its functionings he did not comprehend at all.  That his
sense perceptions were transmitted to his brain and there translated,
classified, and labeled was something quite beyond him.  He thought
that his fingers knew when they touched something, that his eyes knew
when they saw, his ears when they heard, his nose when it scented.

He considered his throat, epidermis, and the hairs of his head as the
three principal seats of emotion.  When Kala had been slain a peculiar
choking sensation had possessed his throat; contact with Histah, the
snake, imparted an unpleasant sensation to the skin of his whole body;
while the approach of an enemy made the hairs on his scalp stand erect.

Imagine, if you can, a child filled with the wonders of nature,
bursting with queries and surrounded only by beasts of the jungle to
whom his questionings were as strange as Sanskrit would have been.  If
he asked Gunto what made it rain, the big old ape would but gaze at him
in dumb astonishment for an instant and then return to his interesting
and edifying search for fleas; and when he questioned Mumga, who was
very old and should have been very wise, but wasn't, as to the reason
for the closing of certain flowers after Kudu had deserted the sky, and
the opening of others during the night, he was surprised to discover
that Mumga had never noticed these interesting facts, though she could
tell to an inch just where the fattest grubworm should be hiding.

To Tarzan these things were wonders.  They appealed to his intellect
and to his imagination.  He saw the flowers close and open; he saw
certain blooms which turned their faces always toward the sun; he saw
leaves which moved when there was no breeze; he saw vines crawl like
living things up the boles and over the branches of great trees; and to
Tarzan of the Apes the flowers and the vines and the trees were living
creatures.  He often talked to them, as he talked to Goro, the moon,
and Kudu, the sun, and always was he disappointed that they did not
reply.  He asked them questions; but they could not answer, though he
knew that the whispering of the leaves was the language of the
leaves--they talked with one another.

The wind he attributed to the trees and grasses.  He thought that they
swayed themselves to and fro, creating the wind.  In no other way could
he account for this phenomenon.  The rain he finally attributed to the
stars, the moon, and the sun; but his hypothesis was entirely unlovely
and unpoetical.

Tonight as Tarzan lay thinking, there sprang to his fertile imagination
an explanation of the stars and the moon.  He became quite excited
about it.  Taug was sleeping in a nearby crotch.  Tarzan swung over
beside him.

"Taug!" he cried.  Instantly the great bull was awake and bristling,
sensing danger from the nocturnal summons.  "Look, Taug!" exclaimed
Tarzan, pointing toward the stars.  "See the eyes of Numa and Sabor, of
Sheeta and Dango.  They wait around Goro to leap in upon him for their
kill.  See the eyes and the nose and the mouth of Goro.  And the light
that shines upon his face is the light of the great fire he has built
to frighten away Numa and Sabor and Dango and Sheeta.

"All about him are the eyes, Taug, you can see them! But they do not
come very close to the fire--there are few eyes close to Goro.  They
fear the fire! It is the fire that saves Goro from Numa.  Do you see
them, Taug? Some night Numa will be very hungry and very angry--then he
will leap over the thorn bushes which encircle Goro and we will have no
more light after Kudu seeks his lair--the night will be black with the
blackness that comes when Goro is lazy and sleeps late into the night,
or when he wanders through the skies by day, forgetting the jungle and
its people."

Taug looked stupidly at the heavens and then at Tarzan.  A meteor fell,
blazing a flaming way through the sky.

"Look!" cried Tarzan.  "Goro has thrown a burning branch at Numa."

Taug grumbled.  "Numa is down below," he said.  "Numa does not hunt
above the trees." But he looked curiously and a little fearfully at the
bright stars above him, as though he saw them for the first time, and
doubtless it was the first time that Taug ever had seen the stars,
though they had been in the sky above him every night of his life.  To
Taug they were as the gorgeous jungle blooms--he could not eat them and
so he ignored them.

Taug fidgeted and was nervous.  For a long time he lay sleepless,
watching the stars--the flaming eyes of the beasts of prey surrounding
Goro, the moon--Goro, by whose light the apes danced to the beating of
their earthen drums.  If Goro should be eaten by Numa there could be no
more Dum-Dums. Taug was overwhelmed by the thought.  He glanced at
Tarzan half fearfully.  Why was his friend so different from the others
of the tribe? No one else whom Taug ever had known had had such queer
thoughts as Tarzan.  The ape scratched his head and wondered, dimly, if
Tarzan was a safe companion, and then he recalled slowly, and by a
laborious mental process, that Tarzan had served him better than any
other of the apes, even the strong and wise bulls of the tribe.

Tarzan it was who had freed him from the blacks at the very time that
Taug had thought Tarzan wanted Teeka.  It was Tarzan who had saved
Taug's little balu from death.  It was Tarzan who had conceived and
carried out the plan to pursue Teeka's abductor and rescue the stolen
one.  Tarzan had fought and bled in Taug's service so many times that
Taug, although only a brutal ape, had had impressed upon his mind a
fierce loyalty which nothing now could swerve--his friendship for
Tarzan had become a habit, a tradition almost, which would endure while
Taug endured.  He never showed any outward demonstration of
affection--he growled at Tarzan as he growled at the other bulls who
came too close while he was feeding--but he would have died for Tarzan.
He knew it and Tarzan knew it; but of such things apes do not
speak--their vocabulary, for the finer instincts, consisting more of
actions than words.  But now Taug was worried, and he fell asleep again
still thinking of the strange words of his fellow.

The following day he thought of them again, and without any intention
of disloyalty he mentioned to Gunto what Tarzan had suggested about the
eyes surrounding Goro, and the possibility that sooner or later Numa
would charge the moon and devour him.  To the apes all large things in
nature are male, and so Goro, being the largest creature in the heavens
by night, was, to them, a bull.

Gunto bit a sliver from a horny finger and recalled the fact that
Tarzan had once said that the trees talked to one another, and Gozan
recounted having seen the ape-man dancing alone in the moonlight with
Sheeta, the panther.  They did not know that Tarzan had roped the
savage beast and tied him to a tree before he came to earth and leaped
about before the rearing cat, to tantalize him.

Others told of seeing Tarzan ride upon the back of Tantor, the
elephant; of his bringing the black boy, Tibo, to the tribe, and of
mysterious things with which he communed in the strange lair by the
sea.  They had never understood his books, and after he had shown them
to one or two of the tribe and discovered that even the pictures
carried no impression to their brains, he had desisted.

"Tarzan is not an ape," said Gunto.  "He will bring Numa to eat us, as
he is bringing him to eat Goro.  We should kill him."

Immediately Taug bristled.  Kill Tarzan! "First you will kill Taug," he
said, and lumbered away to search for food.

But others joined the plotters.  They thought of many things which
Tarzan had done--things which apes did not do and could not understand.
Again Gunto voiced the opinion that the Tarmangani, the white ape,
should be slain, and the others, filled with terror about the stories
they had heard, and thinking Tarzan was planning to slay Goro, greeted
the proposal with growls of accord.

Among them was Teeka, listening with all her ears; but her voice was
not raised in furtherance of the plan.  Instead she bristled, showing
her fangs, and afterward she went away in search of Tarzan; but she
could not find him, as he was roaming far afield in search of meat.
She found Taug, though, and told him what the others were planning, and
the great bull stamped upon the ground and roared.  His bloodshot eyes
blazed with wrath, his upper lip curled up to expose his fighting
fangs, and the hair upon his spine stood erect, and then a rodent
scurried across the open and Taug sprang to seize it.  In an instant he
seemed to have forgotten his rage against the enemies of his friend;
but such is the mind of an ape.

Several miles away Tarzan of the Apes lolled upon the broad head of
Tantor, the elephant.  He scratched beneath the great ears with the
point of a sharp stick, and he talked to the huge pachyderm of
everything which filled his black-thatched head.  Little, or nothing,
of what he said did Tantor understand; but Tantor is a good listener.
Swaying from side to side he stood there enjoying the companionship of
his friend, the friend he loved, and absorbing the delicious sensations
of the scratching.

Numa, the lion, caught the scent of man, and warily stalked it until he
came within sight of his prey upon the head of the mighty tusker; then
he turned, growling and muttering, away in search of more propitious
hunting grounds.

The elephant caught the scent of the lion, borne to him by an eddying
breeze, and lifting his trunk trumpeted loudly.  Tarzan stretched back
luxuriously, lying supine at full length along the rough hide.  Flies
swarmed about his face; but with a leafy branch torn from a tree he
lazily brushed them away.

"Tantor," he said, "it is good to be alive.  It is good to lie in the
cool shadows.  It is good to look upon the green trees and the bright
colors of the flowers--upon everything which Bulamutumumo has put here
for us.  He is very good to us, Tantor; He has given you tender leaves
and bark, and rich grasses to eat; to me He has given Bara and Horta
and Pisah, the fruits and the nuts and the roots.  He provides for each
the food that each likes best.  All that He asks is that we be strong
enough or cunning enough to go forth and take it.  Yes, Tantor, it is
good to live.  I should hate to die."

Tantor made a little sound in his throat and curled his trunk upward
that he might caress the ape-man's cheek with the finger at its tip.

"Tantor," said Tarzan presently, "turn and feed in the direction of the
tribe of Kerchak, the great ape, that Tarzan may ride home upon your
head without walking."

The tusker turned and moved slowly off along a broad, tree-arched
trail, pausing occasionally to pluck a tender branch, or strip the
edible bark from an adjacent tree.  Tarzan sprawled face downward upon
the beast's head and back, his legs hanging on either side, his head
supported by his open palms, his elbows resting on the broad cranium.
And thus they made their leisurely way toward the gathering place of
the tribe.

Just before they arrived at the clearing from the north there reached
it from the south another figure--that of a well-knit black warrior,
who stepped cautiously through the jungle, every sense upon the alert
against the many dangers which might lurk anywhere along the way.  Yet
he passed beneath the southernmost sentry that was posted in a great
tree commanding the trail from the south.  The ape permitted the
Gomangani to pass unmolested, for he saw that he was alone; but the
moment that the warrior had entered the clearing a loud "Kreeg-ah!"
rang out from behind him, immediately followed by a chorus of replies
from different directions, as the great bulls crashed through the trees
in answer to the summons of their fellow.

The black man halted at the first cry and looked about him.  He could
see nothing, but he knew the voice of the hairy tree men whom he and
his kind feared, not alone because of the strength and ferocity of the
savage beings, but as well through a superstitious terror engendered by
the manlike appearance of the apes.

But Bulabantu was no coward.  He heard the apes all about him; he knew
that escape was probably impossible, so he stood his ground, his spear
ready in his hand and a war cry trembling on his lips.  He would sell
his life dearly, would Bulabantu, under-chief of the village of Mbonga,
the chief.

Tarzan and Tantor were but a short distance away when the first cry of
the sentry rang out through the quiet jungle.  Like a flash the ape-man
leaped from the elephant's back to a near-by tree and was swinging
rapidly in the direction of the clearing before the echoes of the first
"Kreeg-ah" had died away.  When he arrived he saw a dozen bulls
circling a single Gomangani.  With a blood-curdling scream Tarzan
sprang to the attack.  He hated the blacks even more than did the apes,
and here was an opportunity for a kill in the open.  What had the
Gomangani done? Had he slain one of the tribe?

Tarzan asked the nearest ape.  No, the Gomangani had harmed none.
Gozan, being on watch, had seen him coming through the forest and had
warned the tribe--that was all.  The ape-man pushed through the circle
of bulls, none of which as yet had worked himself into sufficient
frenzy for a charge, and came where he had a full and close view of the
black.  He recognized the man instantly.  Only the night before he had
seen him facing the eyes in the dark, while his fellows groveled in the
dirt at his feet, too terrified even to defend themselves.  Here was a
brave man, and Tarzan had deep admiration for bravery.  Even his hatred
of the blacks was not so strong a passion as his love of courage.  He
would have joyed in battling with a black warrior at almost any time;
but this one he did not wish to kill--he felt, vaguely, that the man
had earned his life by his brave defense of it on the preceding night,
nor did he fancy the odds that were pitted against the lone warrior.

He turned to the apes.  "Go back to your feeding," he said, "and let
this Gomangani go his way in peace.  He has not harmed us, and last
night I saw him fighting Numa and Sabor with fire, alone in the jungle.
He is brave.  Why should we kill one who is brave and who has not
attacked us? Let him go."

The apes growled.  They were displeased.  "Kill the Gomangani!" cried
one.

"Yes." roared another, "kill the Gomangani and the Tarmangani as well."

"Kill the white ape!" screamed Gozan, "he is no ape at all; but a
Gomangani with his skin off."

"Kill Tarzan!" bellowed Gunto.  "Kill! Kill! Kill!"

The bulls were now indeed working themselves into the frenzy of
slaughter; but against Tarzan rather than the black man.  A shaggy form
charged through them, hurling those it came in contact with to one side
as a strong man might scatter children.  It was Taug--great, savage
Taug.

"Who says 'kill Tarzan'?" he demanded.  "Who kills Tarzan must kill
Taug, too.  Who can kill Taug? Taug will tear your insides from you and
feed them to Dango."

"We can kill you all," replied Gunto.  "There are many of us and few of
you," and he was right.  Tarzan knew that he was right.  Taug knew it;
but neither would admit such a possibility.  It is not the way of bull
apes.

"I am Tarzan," cried the ape-man. "I am Tarzan.  Mighty hunter; mighty
fighter.  In all the jungle none so great as Tarzan."

Then, one by one, the opposing bulls recounted their virtues and their
prowess.  And all the time the combatants came closer and closer to one
another.  Thus do the bulls work themselves to the proper pitch before
engaging in battle.

Gunto came, stiff-legged, close to Tarzan and sniffed at him, with
bared fangs.  Tarzan rumbled forth a low, menacing growl.  They might
repeat these tactics a dozen times; but sooner or later one bull would
close with another and then the whole hideous pack would be tearing and
rending at their prey.

Bulabantu, the black man, had stood wide-eyed in wonder from the moment
he had seen Tarzan approaching through the apes.  He had heard much of
this devil-god who ran with the hairy tree people; but never before had
he seen him in full daylight.  He knew him well enough from the
description of those who had seen him and from the glimpses he had had
of the marauder upon several occasions when the ape-man had entered the
village of Mbonga, the chief, by night, in the perpetration of one of
his numerous ghastly jokes.

Bulabantu could not, of course, understand anything which passed
between Tarzan and the apes; but he saw that the ape-man and one of the
larger bulls were in argument with the others.  He saw that these two
were standing with their back toward him and between him and the
balance of the tribe, and he guessed, though it seemed improbable, that
they might be defending him.  He knew that Tarzan had once spared the
life of Mbonga, the chief, and that he had succored Tibo, and Tibo's
mother, Momaya.  So it was not impossible that he would help Bulabantu;
but how he could accomplish it Bulabantu could not guess; nor as a
matter of fact could Tarzan, for the odds against him were too great.

Gunto and the others were slowly forcing Tarzan and Taug back toward
Bulabantu.  The ape-man thought of his words with Tantor just a short
time before: "Yes, Tantor, it is good to live.  I should hate to die."
And now he knew that he was about to die, for the temper of the great
bulls was mounting rapidly against him.  Always had many of them hated
him, and all were suspicious of him.  They knew he was different.
Tarzan knew it too; but he was glad that he was--he was a MAN; that he
had learned from his picture-books, and he was very proud of the
distinction.  Presently, though, he would be a dead man.

Gunto was preparing to charge.  Tarzan knew the signs.  He knew that
the balance of the bulls would charge with Gunto.  Then it would soon
be over.  Something moved among the verdure at the opposite side of the
clearing.  Tarzan saw it just as Gunto, with the terrifying cry of a
challenging ape, sprang forward.  Tarzan voiced a peculiar call and
then crouched to meet the assault.  Taug crouched, too, and Bulabantu,
assured now that these two were fighting upon his side, couched his
spear and sprang between them to receive the first charge of the enemy.

Simultaneously a huge bulk broke into the clearing from the jungle
behind the charging bulls.  The trumpeting of a mad tusker rose shrill
above the cries of the anthropoids, as Tantor, the elephant, dashed
swiftly across the clearing to the aid of his friend.

Gunto never closed upon the ape-man, nor did a fang enter flesh upon
either side.  The terrific reverberation of Tantor's challenge sent the
bulls scurrying to the trees, jabbering and scolding.  Taug raced off
with them.  Only Tarzan and Bulabantu remained.  The latter stood his
ground because he saw that the devil-god did not run, and because the
black had the courage to face a certain and horrible death beside one
who had quite evidently dared death for him.

But it was a surprised Gomangani who saw the mighty elephant come to a
sudden halt in front of the ape-man and caress him with his long,
sinuous trunk.

Tarzan turned toward the black man.  "Go!" he said in the language of
the apes, and pointed in the direction of the village of Mbonga.
Bulabantu understood the gesture, if not the word, nor did he lose time
in obeying.  Tarzan stood watching him until he had disappeared.  He
knew that the apes would not follow.  Then he said to the elephant:
"Pick me up!" and the tusker swung him lightly to his head.

"Tarzan goes to his lair by the big water," shouted the ape-man to the
apes in the trees.  "All of you are more foolish than Manu, except Taug
and Teeka.  Taug and Teeka may come to see Tarzan; but the others must
keep away.  Tarzan is done with the tribe of Kerchak."

He prodded Tantor with a calloused toe and the big beast swung off
across the clearing, the apes watching them until they were swallowed
up by the jungle.

Before the night fell Taug killed Gunto, picking a quarrel with him
over his attack upon Tarzan.

For a moon the tribe saw nothing of Tarzan of the Apes.  Many of them
probably never gave him a thought; but there were those who missed him
more than Tarzan imagined.  Taug and Teeka often wished that he was
back, and Taug determined a dozen times to go and visit Tarzan in his
seaside lair; but first one thing and then another interfered.

One night when Taug lay sleepless looking up at the starry heavens he
recalled the strange things that Tarzan once had suggested to him--that
the bright spots were the eyes of the meat-eaters waiting in the dark
of the jungle sky to leap upon Goro, the moon, and devour him.  The
more he thought about this matter the more perturbed he became.

And then a strange thing happened.  Even as Taug looked at Goro, he saw
a portion of one edge disappear, precisely as though something was
gnawing upon it.  Larger and larger became the hole in the side of
Goro.  With a scream, Taug leaped to his feet.  His frenzied
"Kreeg-ahs!" brought the terrified tribe screaming and chattering
toward him.

"Look!" cried Taug, pointing at the moon.  "Look! It is as Tarzan said.
Numa has sprung through the fires and is devouring Goro.  You called
Tarzan names and drove him from the tribe; now see how wise he was.
Let one of you who hated Tarzan go to Goro's aid.  See the eyes in the
dark jungle all about Goro.  He is in danger and none can help
him--none except Tarzan.  Soon Goro will be devoured by Numa and we
shall have no more light after Kudu seeks his lair.  How shall we dance
the Dum-Dum without the light of Goro?"

The apes trembled and whimpered.  Any manifestation of the powers of
nature always filled them with terror, for they could not understand.

"Go and bring Tarzan," cried one, and then they all took up the cry of
"Tarzan!" "Bring Tarzan!" "He will save Goro." But who was to travel
the dark jungle by night to fetch him?

"I will go," volunteered Taug, and an instant later he was off through
the Stygian gloom toward the little land-locked harbor by the sea.

And as the tribe waited they watched the slow devouring of the moon.
Already Numa had eaten out a great semicircular piece.  At that rate
Goro would be entirely gone before Kudu came again.  The apes trembled
at the thought of perpetual darkness by night.  They could not sleep.
Restlessly they moved here and there among the branches of trees,
watching Numa of the skies at his deadly feast, and listening for the
coming of Taug with Tarzan.

Goro was nearly gone when the apes heard the sounds of the approach
through the trees of the two they awaited, and presently Tarzan,
followed by Taug, swung into a nearby tree.

The ape-man wasted no time in idle words.  In his hand was his long bow
and at his back hung a quiver full of arrows, poisoned arrows that he
had stolen from the village of the blacks; just as he had stolen the
bow.  Up into a great tree he clambered, higher and higher until he
stood swaying upon a small limb which bent low beneath his weight.
Here he had a clear and unobstructed view of the heavens.  He saw Goro
and the inroads which the hungry Numa had made into his shining surface.

Raising his face to the moon, Tarzan shrilled forth his hideous
challenge.  Faintly and from afar came the roar of an answering lion.
The apes shivered.  Numa of the skies had answered Tarzan.

Then the ape-man fitted an arrow to his bow, and drawing the shaft far
back, aimed its point at the heart of Numa where he lay in the heavens
devouring Goro.  There was a loud twang as the released bolt shot into
the dark heavens.  Again and again did Tarzan of the Apes launch his
arrows at Numa, and all the while the apes of the tribe of Kerchak
huddled together in terror.

At last came a cry from Taug.  "Look! Look!" he screamed.  "Numa is
killed.  Tarzan has killed Numa.  See! Goro is emerging from the belly
of Numa," and, sure enough, the moon was gradually emerging from
whatever had devoured her, whether it was Numa, the lion, or the shadow
of the earth; but were you to try to convince an ape of the tribe of
Kerchak that it was aught but Numa who so nearly devoured Goro that
night, or that another than Tarzan preserved the brilliant god of their
savage and mysterious rites from a frightful death, you would have
difficulty--and a fight on your hands.

And so Tarzan of the Apes came back to the tribe of Kerchak, and in his
coming he took a long stride toward the kingship, which he ultimately
won, for now the apes looked up to him as a superior being.

In all the tribe there was but one who was at all skeptical about the
plausibility of Tarzan's remarkable rescue of Goro, and that one,
strange as it may seem, was Tarzan of the Apes.





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