Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 116

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

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