Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 22

Rapidly they converged toward the
trail, taking positions in trees down wind from the point at which
Tantor must pass them. Silently they waited and presently were
rewarded by the sight of a mighty tusker carrying an amount of ivory in
his long tusks that set their greedy hearts to palpitating.

No sooner had he passed their positions than the warriors clambered
from their perches. No longer were they silent, but instead clapped
their hands and shouted as they reached the ground. For an instant
Tantor, the elephant, paused with upraised trunk and tail, with great
ears up-pricked, and then he swung on along the trail at a rapid,
shuffling pace--straight toward the covered pit with its sharpened
stakes upstanding in the ground.

Behind him came the yelling warriors, urging him on in the rapid flight
which would not permit a careful examination of the ground before him.
Tantor, the elephant, who could have turned and scattered his
adversaries with a single charge, fled like a frightened deer--fled
toward a hideous, torturing death.

And behind them all came Tarzan of the Apes, racing through the jungle
forest with the speed and agility of a squirrel, for he had heard the
shouts of the warriors and had interpreted them correctly. Once he
uttered a piercing call that reverberated through the jungle; but
Tantor, in the panic of terror, either failed to hear, or hearing,
dared not pause to heed.

Now the giant pachyderm was but a few yards from the hidden death
lurking in his path, and the blacks, certain of success, were screaming
and dancing in his wake, waving their war spears and celebrating in
advance the acquisition of the splendid ivory carried by their prey and
the surfeit of elephant meat which would be theirs this night.

So intent were they upon their gratulations that they entirely failed
to note the silent passage of the man-beast above their heads, nor did
Tantor, either, see or hear him, even though Tarzan called to him to
stop.

A few more steps would precipitate Tantor upon the sharpened stakes;
Tarzan fairly flew through the trees until he had come abreast of the
fleeing animal and then had passed him. At the pit's verge the ape-man
dropped to the ground in the center of the trail. Tantor was almost
upon him before his weak eyes permitted him to recognize his old friend.

"Stop!" cried Tarzan, and the great beast halted to the upraised hand.

Tarzan turned and kicked aside some of the brush which hid the pit.
Instantly Tantor saw and understood.

"Fight!" growled Tarzan. "They

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