Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 21

but poorly even at short distances, and whether his
erratic rushes are due to the panic of fear as he attempts to escape,
or to the irascible temper with which he is generally credited, it is
difficult to determine. Nor is the matter of little moment to one whom
Buto charges, for if he be caught and tossed, the chances are that
naught will interest him thereafter.

And today it chanced that Buto bore down straight upon Tarzan, across
the few yards of knee-deep grass which separated them. Accident
started him in the direction of the ape-man, and then his weak eyes
discerned the enemy, and with a series of snorts he charged straight
for him. The little rhino birds fluttered and circled about their
giant ward. Among the branches of the trees at the edge of the
clearing, a score or more monkeys chattered and scolded as the loud
snorts of the angry beast sent them scurrying affrightedly to the upper
terraces. Tarzan alone appeared indifferent and serene.

Directly in the path of the charge he stood. There had been no time to
seek safety in the trees beyond the clearing, nor had Tarzan any mind
to delay his journey because of Buto. He had met the stupid beast
before and held him in fine contempt.

And now Buto was upon him, the massive head lowered and the long, heavy
horn inclined for the frightful work for which nature had designed it;
but as he struck upward, his weapon raked only thin air, for the
ape-man had sprung lightly aloft with a catlike leap that carried him
above the threatening horn to the broad back of the rhinoceros.
Another spring and he was on the ground behind the brute and racing
like a deer for the trees.

Buto, angered and mystified by the strange disappearance of his prey,
wheeled and charged frantically in another direction, which chanced to
be not the direction of Tarzan's flight, and so the ape-man came in
safety to the trees and continued on his swift way through the forest.

Some distance ahead of him Tantor moved steadily along the well-worn
elephant trail, and ahead of Tantor a crouching, black warrior listened
intently in the middle of the path. Presently he heard the sound for
which he had been hoping--the cracking, snapping sound which heralded
the approach of an elephant.

To his right and left in other parts of the jungle other warriors were
watching. A low signal, passed from one to another, apprised the most
distant that the quarry was afoot.

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