Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 123

prowl about close to him, the elements might rage in all
their fury; but here at least, Tarzan might be entirely off his guard
in a delightful relaxation which gave him all his faculties for the
uninterrupted pursuit of this greatest of all his pleasures.

Today he turned to the picture of the huge bird which bore off the
little Tarmangani in its talons. Tarzan puckered his brows as he
examined the colored print. Yes, this was the very bird that had
carried him off the day before, for to Tarzan the dream had been so
great a reality that he still thought another day and a night had
passed since he had lain down in the tree to sleep.

But the more he thought upon the matter the less positive he was as to
the verity of the seeming adventure through which he had passed, yet
where the real had ceased and the unreal commenced he was quite unable
to determine. Had he really then been to the village of the blacks at
all, had he killed the old Gomangani, had he eaten of the elephant
meat, had he been sick? Tarzan scratched his tousled black head and
wondered. It was all very strange, yet he knew that he never had seen
Numa climb a tree, or Histah with the head and belly of an old black
man whom Tarzan already had slain.

Finally, with a sigh he gave up trying to fathom the unfathomable, yet
in his heart of hearts he knew that something had come into his life
that he never before had experienced, another life which existed when
he slept and the consciousness of which was carried over into his
waking hours.

Then he commenced to wonder if some of these strange creatures which he
met in his sleep might not slay him, for at such times Tarzan of the
Apes seemed to be a different Tarzan, sluggish, helpless and
timid--wishing to flee his enemies as fled Bara, the deer, most fearful
of creatures.

Thus, with a dream, came the first faint tinge of a knowledge of fear,
a knowledge which Tarzan, awake, had never experienced, and perhaps he
was experiencing what his early forbears passed through and transmitted
to posterity in the form of superstition first and religion later; for
they, as Tarzan, had seen things at night which they could not explain
by the daylight standards of sense perception or of reason, and so had
built for themselves a weird explanation which included grotesque
shapes, possessed of strange and uncanny powers, to whom they finally
came to

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