Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 23

are coming behind you." But Tantor, the
elephant, is a huge bunch of nerves, and now he was half panic-stricken
by terror.

Before him yawned the pit, how far he did not know, but to right and
left lay the primeval jungle untouched by man. With a squeal the great
beast turned suddenly at right angles and burst his noisy way through
the solid wall of matted vegetation that would have stopped any but him.

Tarzan, standing upon the edge of the pit, smiled as he watched
Tantor's undignified flight. Soon the blacks would come. It was best
that Tarzan of the Apes faded from the scene. He essayed a step from
the pit's edge, and as he threw the weight of his body upon his left
foot, the earth crumbled away. Tarzan made a single Herculean effort
to throw himself forward, but it was too late. Backward and downward
he went toward the sharpened stakes in the bottom of the pit.

When, a moment later, the blacks came they saw even from a distance
that Tantor had eluded them, for the size of the hole in the pit
covering was too small to have accommodated the huge bulk of an
elephant. At first they thought that their prey had put one great foot
through the top and then, warned, drawn back; but when they had come to
the pit's verge and peered over, their eyes went wide in astonishment,
for, quiet and still, at the bottom lay the naked figure of a white
giant.

Some of them there had glimpsed this forest god before and they drew
back in terror, awed by the presence which they had for some time
believed to possess the miraculous powers of a demon; but others there
were who pushed forward, thinking only of the capture of an enemy, and
these leaped into the pit and lifted Tarzan out.

There was no scar upon his body. None of the sharpened stakes had
pierced him--only a swollen spot at the base of the brain indicated the
nature of his injury. In the falling backward his head had struck upon
the side of one of the stakes, rendering him unconscious. The blacks
were quick to discover this, and equally quick to bind their prisoner's
arms and legs before he should regain consciousness, for they had
learned to harbor a wholesome respect for this strange man-beast that
consorted with the hairy tree folk.

They had carried him but a short distance toward their village when the
ape-man's eyelids quivered and raised. He

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