Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 120

above him. He never had seen
so large a bird in all his life, yet he recognized it immediately, for
had he not seen it hundreds of times in one of the books in the little
cabin by the land-locked bay--the moss-grown cabin that with its
contents was the sole heritage left by his dead and unknown father to
the young Lord Greystoke?

In the picture-book the great bird was shown flying far above the
ground with a small child in its talons while, beneath, a distracted
mother stood with uplifted hands. The lion was already reaching forth
a taloned paw to seize him when the bird swooped and buried no less
formidable talons in Tarzan's back. The pain was numbing; but it was
with a sense of relief that the ape-man felt himself snatched from the
clutches of Numa.

With a great whirring of wings the bird rose rapidly until the forest
lay far below. It made Tarzan sick and dizzy to look down upon it from
so great a height, so he closed his eyes tight and held his breath.
Higher and higher climbed the huge bird. Tarzan opened his eyes. The
jungle was so far away that he could see only a dim, green blur below
him, but just above and quite close was the sun. Tarzan reached out
his hands and warmed them, for they were very cold. Then a sudden
madness seized him. Where was the bird taking him? Was he to submit
thus passively to a feathered creature however enormous? Was he, Tarzan
of the Apes, mighty fighter, to die without striking a blow in his own
defense? Never!

He snatched the hunting blade from his gee-string and thrusting upward
drove it once, twice, thrice into the breast above him. The mighty
wings fluttered a few more times, spasmodically, the talons relaxed
their hold, and Tarzan of the Apes fell hurtling downward toward the
distant jungle.

It seemed to the ape-man that he fell for many minutes before he
crashed through the leafy verdure of the tree tops. The smaller
branches broke his fall, so that he came to rest for an instant upon
the very branch upon which he had sought slumber the previous night.
For an instant he toppled there in a frantic attempt to regain his
equilibrium; but at last he rolled off, yet, clutching wildly, he
succeeded in grasping the branch and hanging on.

Once more he opened his eyes, which he had closed during the fall.
Again it was night. With all his old

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