Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 152

a death less
cruel; but he might as well have saved his pleas for Numa, since
already they were directed toward a wild beast who understood no word
of what he said.

But his constant jabbering not only annoyed Tarzan, who worked in
silence, but suggested that later the black might raise his voice in
cries for succor, so he stepped out of the cage, gathered a handful of
grass and a small stick and returning, jammed the grass into Rabba
Kega's mouth, laid the stick crosswise between his teeth and fastened
it there with the thong from Rabba Kega's loin cloth. Now could the
witch-doctor but roll his eyes and sweat. Thus Tarzan left him.

The ape-man went first to the spot where he had cached the body of the
kid. Digging it up, he ascended into a tree and proceeded to satisfy
his hunger. What remained he again buried; then he swung away through
the trees to the water hole, and going to the spot where fresh, cold
water bubbled from between two rocks, he drank deeply. The other
beasts might wade in and drink stagnant water; but not Tarzan of the
Apes. In such matters he was fastidious. From his hands he washed
every trace of the repugnant scent of the Gomangani, and from his face
the blood of the kid. Rising, he stretched himself not unlike some
huge, lazy cat, climbed into a near-by tree and fell asleep.

When he awoke it was dark, though a faint luminosity still tinged the
western heavens. A lion moaned and coughed as it strode through the
jungle toward water. It was approaching the drinking hole. Tarzan
grinned sleepily, changed his position and fell asleep again.

When the blacks of Mbonga, the chief, reached their village they
discovered that Rabba Kega was not among them. When several hours had
elapsed they decided that something had happened to him, and it was the
hope of the majority of the tribe that whatever had happened to him
might prove fatal. They did not love the witch-doctor. Love and fear
seldom are playmates; but a warrior is a warrior, and so Mbonga
organized a searching party. That his own grief was not unassuagable
might have been gathered from the fact that he remained at home and
went to sleep. The young warriors whom he sent out remained steadfast
to their purpose for fully half an hour, when, unfortunately for Rabba
Kega--upon so slight a thing may the fate of a man rest--a honey

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