Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 18

wave to and fro in
search of the scent of an enemy, while two weak, little eyes peered
suspiciously and futilely about in quest of the author of the noise
which had disturbed his peaceful way.

Tarzan laughed aloud and came closer above the head of the pachyderm.

"Tantor! Tantor!" he cried. "Bara, the deer, is less fearful than
you--you, Tantor, the elephant, greatest of the jungle folk with the
strength of as many Numas as I have toes upon my feet and fingers upon
my hands. Tantor, who can uproot great trees, trembles with fear at
the sound of a broken twig."

A rumbling noise, which might have been either a sign of contempt or a
sigh of relief, was Tantor's only reply as the uplifted trunk and ears
came down and the beast's tail dropped to normal; but his eyes still
roved about in search of Tarzan. He was not long kept in suspense,
however, as to the whereabouts of the ape-man, for a second later the
youth dropped lightly to the broad head of his old friend. Then
stretching himself at full length, he drummed with his bare toes upon
the thick hide, and as his fingers scratched the more tender surfaces
beneath the great ears, he talked to Tantor of the gossip of the jungle
as though the great beast understood every word that he said.

Much there was which Tarzan could make Tantor understand, and though
the small talk of the wild was beyond the great, gray dreadnaught of
the jungle, he stood with blinking eyes and gently swaying trunk as
though drinking in every word of it with keenest appreciation. As a
matter of fact it was the pleasant, friendly voice and caressing hands
behind his ears which he enjoyed, and the close proximity of him whom
he had often borne upon his back since Tarzan, as a little child, had
once fearlessly approached the great bull, assuming upon the part of
the pachyderm the same friendliness which filled his own heart.

In the years of their association Tarzan had discovered that he
possessed an inexplicable power to govern and direct his mighty friend.
At his bidding, Tantor would come from a great distance--as far as his
keen ears could detect the shrill and piercing summons of the
ape-man--and when Tarzan was squatted upon his head, Tantor would
lumber through the jungle in any direction which his rider bade him go.
It was the power of the man-mind over that of the brute and it was just
as effective as though both fully understood its

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