Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 147

attack of their ancient enemy.

His hair lopped off to his entire satisfaction, and seeing no
possibility of pleasure in the company of the tribe, Tarzan swung
leisurely into the trees and set off in the direction of his cabin; but
when part way there his attention was attracted by a strong scent spoor
coming from the north. It was the scent of the Gomangani.

Curiosity, that best-developed, common heritage of man and ape, always
prompted Tarzan to investigate where the Gomangani were concerned.
There was that about them which aroused his imagination. Possibly it
was because of the diversity of their activities and interests. The
apes lived to eat and sleep and propagate. The same was true of all
the other denizens of the jungle, save the Gomangani.

These black fellows danced and sang, scratched around in the earth from
which they had cleared the trees and underbrush; they watched things
grow, and when they had ripened, they cut them down and put them in
straw-thatched huts. They made bows and spears and arrows, poison,
cooking pots, things of metal to wear around their arms and legs. If
it hadn't been for their black faces, their hideously disfigured
features, and the fact that one of them had slain Kala, Tarzan might
have wished to be one of them. At least he sometimes thought so, but
always at the thought there rose within him a strange revulsion of
feeling, which he could not interpret or understand--he simply knew
that he hated the Gomangani, and that he would rather be Histah, the
snake, than one of these.

But their ways were interesting, and Tarzan never tired of spying upon
them, and from them he learned much more than he realized, though
always his principal thought was of some new way in which he could
render their lives miserable. The baiting of the blacks was Tarzan's
chief divertissement.

Tarzan realized now that the blacks were very near and that there were
many of them, so he went silently and with great caution. Noiselessly
he moved through the lush grasses of the open spaces, and where the
forest was dense, swung from one swaying branch to another, or leaped
lightly over tangled masses of fallen trees where there was no way
through the lower terraces, and the ground was choked and impassable.

And so presently he came within sight of the black warriors of Mbonga,
the chief. They were engaged in a pursuit with which Tarzan was more
or less familiar, having watched them at it upon other occasions.

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