Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 2

Teeka, and Tarzan had been uninterested. Why was it then that
his brows contracted and his muscles tensed as he saw Taug pause beside
the young she and then squat down close to her?

Tarzan always had liked Taug. Since childhood they had romped
together. Side by side they had squatted near the water, their quick,
strong fingers ready to leap forth and seize Pisah, the fish, should
that wary denizen of the cool depths dart surfaceward to the lure of
the insects Tarzan tossed upon the face of the pool.

Together they had baited Tublat and teased Numa, the lion. Why, then,
should Tarzan feel the rise of the short hairs at the nape of his neck
merely because Taug sat close to Teeka?

It is true that Taug was no longer the frolicsome ape of yesterday.
When his snarling-muscles bared his giant fangs no one could longer
imagine that Taug was in as playful a mood as when he and Tarzan had
rolled upon the turf in mimic battle. The Taug of today was a huge,
sullen bull ape, somber and forbidding. Yet he and Tarzan never had
quarreled.

For a few minutes the young ape-man watched Taug press closer to Teeka.
He saw the rough caress of the huge paw as it stroked the sleek
shoulder of the she, and then Tarzan of the Apes slipped catlike to the
ground and approached the two.

As he came his upper lip curled into a snarl, exposing his fighting
fangs, and a deep growl rumbled from his cavernous chest. Taug looked
up, batting his blood-shot eyes. Teeka half raised herself and looked
at Tarzan. Did she guess the cause of his perturbation? Who may say?
At any rate, she was feminine, and so she reached up and scratched Taug
behind one of his small, flat ears.

Tarzan saw, and in the instant that he saw, Teeka was no longer the
little playmate of an hour ago; instead she was a wondrous thing--the
most wondrous in the world--and a possession for which Tarzan would
fight to the death against Taug or any other who dared question his
right of proprietorship.

Stooped, his muscles rigid and one great shoulder turned toward the
young bull, Tarzan of the Apes sidled nearer and nearer. His face was
partly averted, but his keen gray eyes never left those of Taug, and as
he came, his growls increased in depth and volume.

Taug rose upon his short legs, bristling. His fighting fangs were
bared. He, too, sidled, stiff-legged, and growled.

"Teeka

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