Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 169

loved, and absorbing the delicious sensations
of the scratching.

Numa, the lion, caught the scent of man, and warily stalked it until he
came within sight of his prey upon the head of the mighty tusker; then
he turned, growling and muttering, away in search of more propitious
hunting grounds.

The elephant caught the scent of the lion, borne to him by an eddying
breeze, and lifting his trunk trumpeted loudly. Tarzan stretched back
luxuriously, lying supine at full length along the rough hide. Flies
swarmed about his face; but with a leafy branch torn from a tree he
lazily brushed them away.

"Tantor," he said, "it is good to be alive. It is good to lie in the
cool shadows. It is good to look upon the green trees and the bright
colors of the flowers--upon everything which Bulamutumumo has put here
for us. He is very good to us, Tantor; He has given you tender leaves
and bark, and rich grasses to eat; to me He has given Bara and Horta
and Pisah, the fruits and the nuts and the roots. He provides for each
the food that each likes best. All that He asks is that we be strong
enough or cunning enough to go forth and take it. Yes, Tantor, it is
good to live. I should hate to die."

Tantor made a little sound in his throat and curled his trunk upward
that he might caress the ape-man's cheek with the finger at its tip.

"Tantor," said Tarzan presently, "turn and feed in the direction of the
tribe of Kerchak, the great ape, that Tarzan may ride home upon your
head without walking."

The tusker turned and moved slowly off along a broad, tree-arched
trail, pausing occasionally to pluck a tender branch, or strip the
edible bark from an adjacent tree. Tarzan sprawled face downward upon
the beast's head and back, his legs hanging on either side, his head
supported by his open palms, his elbows resting on the broad cranium.
And thus they made their leisurely way toward the gathering place of
the tribe.

Just before they arrived at the clearing from the north there reached
it from the south another figure--that of a well-knit black warrior,
who stepped cautiously through the jungle, every sense upon the alert
against the many dangers which might lurk anywhere along the way. Yet
he passed beneath the southernmost sentry that was posted in a great
tree commanding the trail from the south. The ape permitted the
Gomangani to pass unmolested, for he saw

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