Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 119

He did not feel particularly
refreshed as he should have after a good sleep. A noise attracted his
attention, and he looked down to see a lion standing at the foot of the
tree gazing hungrily at him. Tarzan made a face at the king of beasts,
whereat Numa, greatly to the ape-man's surprise, started to climb up
into the branches toward him. Now, never before had Tarzan seen a lion
climb a tree, yet, for some unaccountable reason, he was not greatly
surprised that this particular lion should do so.

As the lion climbed slowly toward him, Tarzan sought higher branches;
but to his chagrin, he discovered that it was with the utmost
difficulty that he could climb at all. Again and again he slipped
back, losing all that he had gained, while the lion kept steadily at
his climbing, coming ever closer and closer to the ape-man. Tarzan
could see the hungry light in the yellow-green eyes. He could see the
slaver on the drooping jowls, and the great fangs agape to seize and
destroy him. Clawing desperately, the ape-man at last succeeded in
gaining a little upon his pursuer. He reached the more slender
branches far aloft where he well knew no lion could follow; yet on and
on came devil-faced Numa. It was incredible; but it was true. Yet
what most amazed Tarzan was that though he realized the incredibility
of it all, he at the same time accepted it as a matter of course, first
that a lion should climb at all and second that he should enter the
upper terraces where even Sheeta, the panther, dared not venture.

To the very top of a tall tree the ape-man clawed his awkward way and
after him came Numa, the lion, moaning dismally. At last Tarzan stood
balanced upon the very utmost pinnacle of a swaying branch, high above
the forest. He could go no farther. Below him the lion came steadily
upward, and Tarzan of the Apes realized that at last the end had come.
He could not do battle upon a tiny branch with Numa, the lion,
especially with such a Numa, to which swaying branches two hundred feet
above the ground provided as substantial footing as the ground itself.

Nearer and nearer came the lion. Another moment and he could reach up
with one great paw and drag the ape-man downward to those awful jaws.
A whirring noise above his head caused Tarzan to glance apprehensively
upward. A great bird was circling close

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