Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 106

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

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