Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 129

as they would fight for their own.

Toog could see no sign of any ape other than the strange she and a
young balu playing near by. His wicked, blood-shot eyes half closed as
they rested upon the charms of the former--as for the balu, one snap of
those great jaws upon the back of its little neck would prevent it from
raising any unnecessary alarm.

Toog was a fine, big male, resembling in many ways Teeka's mate, Taug.
Each was in his prime, and each was wonderfully muscled, perfectly
fanged and as horrifyingly ferocious as the most exacting and
particular she could wish. Had Toog been of her own tribe, Teeka might
as readily have yielded to him as to Taug when her mating time arrived;
but now she was Taug's and no other male could claim her without first
defeating Taug in personal combat. And even then Teeka retained some
rights in the matter. If she did not favor a correspondent, she could
enter the lists with her rightful mate and do her part toward
discouraging his advances, a part, too, which would prove no mean
assistance to her lord and master, for Teeka, even though her fangs
were smaller than a male's, could use them to excellent effect.

Just now Teeka was occupied in a fascinating search for beetles, to the
exclusion of all else. She did not realize how far she and Gazan had
become separated from the balance of the tribe, nor were her defensive
senses upon the alert as they should have been. Months of immunity
from danger under the protecting watchfulness of the sentries, which
Tarzan had taught the tribe to post, had lulled them all into a sense
of peaceful security based on that fallacy which has wrecked many
enlightened communities in the past and will continue to wreck others
in the future--that because they have not been attacked they never will
be.

Toog, having satisfied himself that only the she and her balu were in
the immediate vicinity, crept stealthily forward. Teeka's back was
toward him when he finally rushed upon her; but her senses were at last
awakened to the presence of danger and she wheeled to face the strange
bull just before he reached her. Toog halted a few paces from her.
His anger had fled before the seductive feminine charms of the
stranger. He made conciliatory noises--a species of clucking sound
with his broad, flat lips--that were, too, not greatly dissimilar to
that which might be produced in an osculatory solo.

But Teeka only bared her

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