Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 114

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,

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