Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 26

coming of Tantor.

Even Tarzan but half believed that he would come. He knew Tantor even
better than Tantor knew himself. He knew the timid heart which lay in
the giant body. He knew the panic of terror which the scent of the
Gomangani inspired within that savage breast, and as night drew on,
hope died within his heart and in the stoic calm of the wild beast
which he was, he resigned himself to meet the fate which awaited him.

All afternoon he had been working, working, working with the bonds that
held his wrists. Very slowly they were giving. He might free his
hands before they came to lead him out to be butchered, and if he
did--Tarzan licked his lips in anticipation, and smiled a cold, grim
smile. He could imagine the feel of soft flesh beneath his fingers and
the sinking of his white teeth into the throats of his foemen. He
would let them taste his wrath before they overpowered him!

At last they came--painted, befeathered warriors--even more hideous
than nature had intended them. They came and pushed him into the open,
where his appearance was greeted by wild shouts from the assembled
villagers.

To the stake they led him, and as they pushed him roughly against it
preparatory to binding him there securely for the dance of death that
would presently encircle him, Tarzan tensed his mighty thews and with a
single, powerful wrench parted the loosened thongs which had secured
his hands. Like thought, for quickness, he leaped forward among the
warriors nearest him. A blow sent one to earth, as, growling and
snarling, the beast-man leaped upon the breast of another. His fangs
were buried instantly in the jugular of his adversary and then a half
hundred black men had leaped upon him and borne him to earth.

Striking, clawing, and snapping, the ape-man fought--fought as his
foster people had taught him to fight--fought like a wild beast
cornered. His strength, his agility, his courage, and his intelligence
rendered him easily a match for half a dozen black men in a
hand-to-hand struggle, but not even Tarzan of the Apes could hope to
successfully cope with half a hundred.

Slowly they were overpowering him, though a score of them bled from
ugly wounds, and two lay very still beneath the trampling feet, and the
rolling bodies of the contestants.

Overpower him they might, but could they keep him overpowered while
they bound him? A half hour of desperate endeavor convinced them that
they could not, and so Mbonga,

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