Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 115

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,

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