Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 20

lofty nest yielded its fresh, warm
harvest. Fruits, berries, and tender plantain found a place upon his
menu in the order that he happened upon them, for he did not seek such
foods. Meat, meat, meat! It was always meat that Tarzan of the Apes
hunted; but sometimes meat eluded him, as today.

And as he roamed the jungle his active mind busied itself not alone
with his hunting, but with many other subjects. He had a habit of
recalling often the events of the preceding days and hours. He lived
over his visit with Tantor; he cogitated upon the digging blacks and
the strange, covered pit they had left behind them. He wondered again
and again what its purpose might be. He compared perceptions and
arrived at judgments. He compared judgments, reaching conclusions--not
always correct ones, it is true, but at least he used his brain for the
purpose God intended it, which was the less difficult because he was
not handicapped by the second-hand, and usually erroneous, judgment of
others.

And as he puzzled over the covered pit, there loomed suddenly before
his mental vision a huge, gray-black bulk which lumbered ponderously
along a jungle trail. Instantly Tarzan tensed to the shock of a sudden
fear. Decision and action usually occurred simultaneously in the life
of the ape-man, and now he was away through the leafy branches ere the
realization of the pit's purpose had scarce formed in his mind.

Swinging from swaying limb to swaying limb, he raced through the middle
terraces where the trees grew close together. Again he dropped to the
ground and sped, silently and light of foot, over the carpet of
decaying vegetation, only to leap again into the trees where the
tangled undergrowth precluded rapid advance upon the surface.

In his anxiety he cast discretion to the winds. The caution of the
beast was lost in the loyalty of the man, and so it came that he
entered a large clearing, denuded of trees, without a thought of what
might lie there or upon the farther edge to dispute the way with him.

He was half way across when directly in his path and but a few yards
away there rose from a clump of tall grasses a half dozen chattering
birds. Instantly Tarzan turned aside, for he knew well enough what
manner of creature the presence of these little sentinels proclaimed.
Simultaneously Buto, the rhinoceros, scrambled to his short legs and
charged furiously. Haphazard charges Buto, the rhinoceros. With his
weak eyes he sees

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