Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 158

the same
instant Tarzan gave voice to the low, coughing roar of an angry lion
and slunk slowly forward through the open lane toward the frenzied
dancers.

A woman saw him first and screamed. Instantly there was a panic in the
immediate vicinity of the ape-man. The strong light from the fire fell
full upon the lion head and the blacks leaped to the conclusion, as
Tarzan had known they would, that their captive had escaped his cage.

With another roar, Tarzan moved forward. The dancing warriors paused
but an instant. They had been hunting a lion securely housed within a
strong cage, and now that he was at liberty among them, an entirely
different aspect was placed upon the matter. Their nerves were not
attuned to this emergency. The women and children already had fled to
the questionable safety of the nearest huts, and the warriors were not
long in following their example, so that presently Tarzan was left in
sole possession of the village street.

But not for long. Nor did he wish to be left thus long alone. It
would not comport with his scheme. Presently a head peered forth from
a near-by hut, and then another and another until a score or more of
warriors were looking out upon him, waiting for his next move--waiting
for the lion to charge or to attempt to escape from the village.

Their spears were ready in their hands against either a charge or a
bolt for freedom, and then the lion rose erect upon its hind legs, the
tawny skin dropped from it and there stood revealed before them in the
firelight the straight young figure of the white devil-god.

For an instant the blacks were too astonished to act. They feared this
apparition fully as much as they did Numa, yet they would gladly have
slain the thing could they quickly enough have gathered together their
wits; but fear and superstition and a natural mental density held them
paralyzed while the ape-man stooped and gathered up the lion skin.
They saw him turn then and walk back into the shadows at the far end of
the village. Not until then did they gain courage to pursue him, and
when they had come in force, with brandished spears and loud war cries,
the quarry was gone.

Not an instant did Tarzan pause in the tree. Throwing the skin over a
branch he leaped again into the village upon the opposite side of the
great bole, and diving into the shadow of a hut, ran

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