Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 157

on one knee, he searched the ground for signs of the quarry;
again he poised, statuesque, listening. The warrior was young and
lithe and graceful; he was full-muscled and arrow-straight. The
firelight glistened upon his ebon body and brought out into bold relief
the grotesque designs painted upon his face, breasts, and abdomen.

Presently he bent low to the earth, then leaped high in air. Every
line of face and body showed that he had struck the scent. Immediately
he leaped toward the circle of warriors about him, telling them of his
find and summoning them to the hunt. It was all in pantomime; but so
truly done that even Tarzan could follow it all to the least detail.

He saw the other warriors grasp their hunting spears and leap to their
feet to join in the graceful, stealthy "stalking dance." It was very
interesting; but Tarzan realized that if he was to carry his design to
a successful conclusion he must act quickly. He had seen these dances
before and knew that after the stalk would come the game at bay and
then the kill, during which Numa would be surrounded by warriors, and
unapproachable.

With the lion's skin under one arm the ape-man dropped to the ground in
the dense shadows beneath the tree and then circled behind the huts
until he came out directly in the rear of the cage, in which Numa paced
nervously to and fro. The cage was now unguarded, the two warriors
having left it to take their places among the other dancers.

Behind the cage Tarzan adjusted the lion's skin about him, just as he
had upon that memorable occasion when the apes of Kerchak, failing to
pierce his disguise, had all but slain him. Then, on hands and knees,
he crept forward, emerged from between the two huts and stood a few
paces back of the dusky audience, whose whole attention was centered
upon the dancers before them.

Tarzan saw that the blacks had now worked themselves to a proper pitch
of nervous excitement to be ripe for the lion. In a moment the ring of
spectators would break at a point nearest the caged lion and the victim
would be rolled into the center of the circle. It was for this moment
that Tarzan waited.

At last it came. A signal was given by Mbonga, the chief, at which the
women and children immediately in front of Tarzan rose and moved to one
side, leaving a broad path opening toward the caged lion. At

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