Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 137

instinct was ingrained in their characters
through ages of custom. They did not know why they had not thought to
pursue and punish the offender--they could not know that it was because
they had as yet not reached a mental plane which would permit them to
work as individuals. In times of stress, the community instinct sent
them huddling into a compact herd where the great bulls, by the weight
of their combined strength and ferocity, could best protect them from
an enemy. The idea of separating to do battle with a foe had not yet
occurred to them--it was too foreign to custom, too inimical to
community interests; but to Tarzan it was the first and most natural
thought. His senses told him that there was but a single bull
connected with the attack upon Teeka and Gazan. A single enemy did not
require the entire tribe for his punishment. Two swift bulls could
quickly overhaul him and rescue Teeka.

In the past no one ever had thought to go forth in search of the shes
that were occasionally stolen from the tribe. If Numa, Sabor, Sheeta
or a wandering bull ape from another tribe chanced to carry off a maid
or a matron while no one was looking, that was the end of it--she was
gone, that was all. The bereaved husband, if the victim chanced to
have been mated, growled around for a day or two and then, if he were
strong enough, took another mate within the tribe, and if not, wandered
far into the jungle on the chance of stealing one from another
community.

In the past Tarzan of the Apes had condoned this practice for the
reason that he had had no interest in those who had been stolen; but
Teeka had been his first love and Teeka's balu held a place in his
heart such as a balu of his own would have held. Just once before had
Tarzan wished to follow and revenge. That had been years before when
Kulonga, the son of Mbonga, the chief, had slain Kala. Then,
single-handed, Tarzan had pursued and avenged. Now, though to a lesser
degree, he was moved by the same passion.

He turned toward Taug. "Leave Gazan with Mumga," he said. "She is old
and her fangs are broken and she is no good; but she can take care of
Gazan until we return with Teeka, and if Gazan is dead when we come
back," he turned to address Mumga, "I will kill you,

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