Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 24

looked about him wonderingly
for a moment, and then full consciousness returned and he realized the
seriousness of his predicament. Accustomed almost from birth to
relying solely upon his own resources, he did not cast about for
outside aid now, but devoted his mind to a consideration of the
possibilities for escape which lay within himself and his own powers.

He did not dare test the strength of his bonds while the blacks were
carrying him, for fear they would become apprehensive and add to them.
Presently his captors discovered that he was conscious, and as they had
little stomach for carrying a heavy man through the jungle heat, they
set him upon his feet and forced him forward among them, pricking him
now and then with their spears, yet with every manifestation of the
superstitious awe in which they held him.

When they discovered that their prodding brought no outward evidence of
suffering, their awe increased, so that they soon desisted, half
believing that this strange white giant was a supernatural being and so
was immune from pain.

As they approached their village, they shouted aloud the victorious
cries of successful warriors, so that by the time they reached the
gate, dancing and waving their spears, a great crowd of men, women, and
children were gathered there to greet them and hear the story of their
adventure.

As the eyes of the villagers fell upon the prisoner, they went wild,
and heavy jaws fell open in astonishment and incredulity. For months
they had lived in perpetual terror of a weird, white demon whom but few
had ever glimpsed and lived to describe. Warriors had disappeared from
the paths almost within sight of the village and from the midst of
their companions as mysteriously and completely as though they had been
swallowed by the earth, and later, at night, their dead bodies had
fallen, as from the heavens, into the village street.

This fearsome creature had appeared by night in the huts of the
village, killed, and disappeared, leaving behind him in the huts with
his dead, strange and terrifying evidences of an uncanny sense of humor.

But now he was in their power! No longer could he terrorize them.
Slowly the realization of this dawned upon them. A woman, screaming,
ran forward and struck the ape-man across the face. Another and
another followed her example, until Tarzan of the Apes was surrounded
by a fighting, clawing, yelling mob of natives.

And then Mbonga, the chief, came, and laying his spear heavily across
the shoulders of his people, drove them from their prey.

"We will

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