Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 16

ears. For a moment he stood
statuesque but for his sensitively dilating nostrils; then he wheeled
and fled noiselessly from the terrifying presence of man.

A hundred yards away, deep in the tangle of impenetrable jungle, Numa,
the lion, raised his massive head. Numa had dined well until almost
daybreak and it had required much noise to awaken him. Now he lifted
his muzzle and sniffed the air, caught the acrid scent spoor of the
reed buck and the heavy scent of man. But Numa was well filled. With
a low, disgusted grunt he rose and slunk away.

Brilliantly plumaged birds with raucous voices darted from tree to
tree. Little monkeys, chattering and scolding, swung through the
swaying limbs above the black warriors. Yet they were alone, for the
teeming jungle with all its myriad life, like the swarming streets of a
great metropolis, is one of the loneliest spots in God's great universe.

But were they alone?

Above them, lightly balanced upon a leafy tree limb, a gray-eyed youth
watched with eager intentness their every move. The fire of hate,
restrained, smoldered beneath the lad's evident desire to know the
purpose of the black men's labors. Such a one as these it was who had
slain his beloved Kala. For them there could be naught but enmity, yet
he liked well to watch them, avid as he was for greater knowledge of
the ways of man.

He saw the pit grow in depth until a great hole yawned the width of the
trail--a hole which was amply large enough to hold at one time all of
the six excavators. Tarzan could not guess the purpose of so great a
labor. And when they cut long stakes, sharpened at their upper ends,
and set them at intervals upright in the bottom of the pit, his
wonderment but increased, nor was it satisfied with the placing of the
light cross-poles over the pit, or the careful arrangement of leaves
and earth which completely hid from view the work the black men had
performed.

When they were done they surveyed their handiwork with evident
satisfaction, and Tarzan surveyed it, too. Even to his practiced eye
there remained scarce a vestige of evidence that the ancient game trail
had been tampered with in any way.

So absorbed was the ape-man in speculation as to the purpose of the
covered pit that he permitted the blacks to depart in the direction of
their village without the usual baiting which had rendered him the
terror of Mbonga's people and had

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