Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 139

Tarzan knew that it would do--it wiped the spoor
of the quarry from the face of the earth. For a half hour the torrents
fell--then the sun burst forth, jeweling the forest with a million
scintillant gems; but today the ape-man, usually alert to the changing
wonders of the jungle, saw them not. Only the fact that the spoor of
Teeka and her abductor was obliterated found lodgment in his thoughts.

Even among the branches of the trees there are well-worn trails, just
as there are trails upon the surface of the ground; but in the trees
they branch and cross more often, since the way is more open than among
the dense undergrowth at the surface. Along one of these well-marked
trails Tarzan and Taug continued after the rain had ceased, because the
ape-man knew that this was the most logical path for the thief to
follow; but when they came to a fork, they were at a loss. Here they
halted, while Tarzan examined every branch and leaf which might have
been touched by the fleeing ape.

He sniffed the bole of the tree, and with his keen eyes he sought to
find upon the bark some sign of the way the quarry had taken. It was
slow work and all the time, Tarzan knew, the bull of the alien tribe
was forging steadily away from them--gaining precious minutes that
might carry him to safety before they could catch up with him.

First along one fork he went, and then another, applying every test
that his wonderful junglecraft was cognizant of; but again and again he
was baffled, for the scent had been washed away by the heavy downpour,
in every exposed place. For a half hour Tarzan and Taug searched,
until at last, upon the bottom of a broad leaf, Tarzan's keen nose
caught the faint trace of the scent spoor of Toog, where the leaf had
brushed a hairy shoulder as the great ape passed through the foliage.

Once again the two took up the trail, but it was slow work now and
there were many discouraging delays when the spoor seemed lost beyond
recovery. To you or me there would have been no spoor, even before the
coming of the rain, except, possibly, where Toog had come to earth and
followed a game trail. In such places the imprint of a huge handlike
foot and the knuckles of one great hand were sometimes plain enough for
an ordinary mortal to read. Tarzan knew from these and other
indications that the

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