Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 164

gone in fear to do more than huddle
closer together and moan more loudly than before.

Seizing a blazing branch the man cast it straight into the face of the
lion. There was an angry roar, followed by a swift charge. With a
single bound the savage beast cleared the boma wall as, with almost
equal agility, the warrior cleared it upon the opposite side and,
chancing the dangers lurking in the darkness, bolted for the nearest
tree.

Numa was out of the boma almost as soon as he was inside it; but as he
went back over the low thorn wall, he took a screaming negro with him.
Dragging his victim along the ground he walked back toward Sabor, the
lioness, who joined him, and the two continued into the blackness,
their savage growls mingling with the piercing shrieks of the doomed
and terrified man.

At a little distance from the blaze the lions halted, there ensued a
short succession of unusually vicious growls and roars, during which
the cries and moans of the black man ceased--forever.

Presently Numa reappeared in the firelight. He made a second trip into
the boma and the former grisly tragedy was reenacted with another
howling victim.

Tarzan rose and stretched lazily. The entertainment was beginning to
bore him. He yawned and turned upon his way toward the clearing where
the tribe would be sleeping in the encircling trees.

Yet even when he had found his familiar crotch and curled himself for
slumber, he felt no desire to sleep. For a long time he lay awake
thinking and dreaming. He looked up into the heavens and watched the
moon and the stars. He wondered what they were and what power kept
them from falling. His was an inquisitive mind. Always he had been
full of questions concerning all that passed around him; but there
never had been one to answer his questions. In childhood he had wanted
to KNOW, and, denied almost all knowledge, he still, in manhood, was
filled with the great, unsatisfied curiosity of a child.

He was never quite content merely to perceive that things happened--he
desired to know WHY they happened. He wanted to know what made things
go. The secret of life interested him immensely. The miracle of death
he could not quite fathom. Upon innumerable occasions he had
investigated the internal mechanism of his kills, and once or twice he
had opened the chest cavity of victims in time to see the heart still
pumping.

He had learned from experience that a

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