Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 134

he began inquiring of the
other apes where they might be; but none had seen them recently.

Now the lower orders are not highly imaginative. They do not, as you
and I, paint vivid mental pictures of things which might have occurred,
and so Taug did not now apprehend that any misfortune had overtaken his
mate and their off-spring--he merely knew that he wished to find Teeka
that he might lie down in the shade and have her scratch his back while
his breakfast digested; but though he called to her and searched for
her and asked each whom he met, he could find no trace of Teeka, nor of
Gazan either.

He was beginning to become peeved and had about made up his mind to
chastise Teeka for wandering so far afield when he wanted her. He was
moving south along a game trail, his calloused soles and knuckles
giving forth no sound, when he came upon Dango at the opposite side of
a small clearing. The eater of carrion did not see Taug, for all his
eyes were for something which lay in the grass beneath a
tree--something upon which he was sneaking with the cautious stealth of
his breed.

Taug, always cautious himself, as it behooves one to be who fares up
and down the jungle and desires to survive, swung noiselessly into a
tree, where he could have a better view of the clearing. He did not
fear Dango; but he wanted to see what it was that Dango stalked. In a
way, possibly, he was actuated as much by curiosity as by caution.

And when Taug reached a place in the branches from which he could have
an unobstructed view of the clearing he saw Dango already sniffing at
something directly beneath him--something which Taug instantly
recognized as the lifeless form of his little Gazan.

With a cry so frightful, so bestial, that it momentarily paralyzed the
startled Dango, the great ape launched his mighty bulk upon the
surprised hyena. With a cry and a snarl, Dango, crushed to earth,
turned to tear at his assailant; but as effectively might a sparrow
turn upon a hawk. Taug's great, gnarled fingers closed upon the
hyena's throat and back, his jaws snapped once on the mangy neck,
crushing the vertebrae, and then he hurled the dead body contemptuously
aside.

Again he raised his voice in the call of the bull ape to its mate, but
there was no reply; then he leaned down to sniff at the body of Gazan.
In the breast of this savage, hideous

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