Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 156

memory of the dire results that
had followed the carrying out of a very wonderful idea along almost
identical lines, yet he did not abandon his intention, and a moment
later, food temporarily forgotten, he was swinging through the middle
terraces in rapid flight toward the stamping ground of the tribe of
Kerchak, the great ape.

As was his wont, he alighted in the midst of the little band without
announcing his approach save by a hideous scream just as he sprang from
a branch above them. Fortunate are the apes of Kerchak that their kind
is not subject to heart failure, for the methods of Tarzan subjected
them to one severe shock after another, nor could they ever accustom
themselves to the ape-man's peculiar style of humor.

Now, when they saw who it was they merely snarled and grumbled angrily
for a moment and then resumed their feeding or their napping which he
had interrupted, and he, having had his little joke, made his way to
the hollow tree where he kept his treasures hid from the inquisitive
eyes and fingers of his fellows and the mischievous little manus. Here
he withdrew a closely rolled hide--the hide of Numa with the head on; a
clever bit of primitive curing and mounting, which had once been the
property of the witch-doctor, Rabba Kega, until Tarzan had stolen it
from the village.

With this he made his way back through the jungle toward the village of
the blacks, stopping to hunt and feed upon the way, and, in the
afternoon, even napping for an hour, so that it was already dusk when
he entered the great tree which overhung the palisade and gave him a
view of the entire village. He saw that Numa was still alive and that
the guards were even dozing beside the cage. A lion is no great
novelty to a black man in the lion country, and the first keen edge of
their desire to worry the brute having worn off, the villagers paid
little or no attention to the great cat, preferring now to await the
grand event of the night.

Nor was it long after dark before the festivities commenced. To the
beating of tom-toms, a lone warrior, crouched half doubled, leaped into
the firelight in the center of a great circle of other warriors, behind
whom stood or squatted the women and the children. The dancer was
painted and armed for the hunt and his movements and gestures suggested
the search for the spoor of game. Bending low, sometimes resting for a

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