Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 121

agility he clambered back to the
crotch from which he had toppled. Below him a lion roared, and,
looking downward, Tarzan could see the yellow-green eyes shining in the
moonlight as they bored hungrily upward through the darkness of the
jungle night toward him.

The ape-man gasped for breath. Cold sweat stood out from every pore,
there was a great sickness at the pit of Tarzan's stomach. Tarzan of
the Apes had dreamed his first dream.

For a long time he sat watching for Numa to climb into the tree after
him, and listening for the sound of the great wings from above, for to
Tarzan of the Apes his dream was a reality.

He could not believe what he had seen and yet, having seen even these
incredible things, he could not disbelieve the evidence of his own
perceptions. Never in all his life had Tarzan's senses deceived him
badly, and so, naturally, he had great faith in them. Each perception
which ever had been transmitted to Tarzan's brain had been, with
varying accuracy, a true perception. He could not conceive of the
possibility of apparently having passed through such a weird adventure
in which there was no grain of truth. That a stomach, disordered by
decayed elephant flesh, a lion roaring in the jungle, a picture-book,
and sleep could have so truly portrayed all the clear-cut details of
what he had seemingly experienced was quite beyond his knowledge; yet
he knew that Numa could not climb a tree, he knew that there existed in
the jungle no such bird as he had seen, and he knew, too, that he could
not have fallen a tiny fraction of the distance he had hurtled
downward, and lived.

To say the least, he was a very puzzled Tarzan as he tried to compose
himself once more for slumber--a very puzzled and a very nauseated
Tarzan.

As he thought deeply upon the strange occurrences of the night, he
witnessed another remarkable happening. It was indeed quite
preposterous, yet he saw it all with his own eyes--it was nothing less
than Histah, the snake, wreathing his sinuous and slimy way up the bole
of the tree below him--Histah, with the head of the old man Tarzan had
shoved into the cooking pot--the head and the round, tight, black,
distended stomach. As the old man's frightful face, with upturned
eyes, set and glassy, came close to Tarzan, the jaws opened to seize
him. The ape-man struck furiously at the hideous face, and as he
struck the apparition disappeared.

Tarzan sat straight up upon

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