Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 109

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.

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