Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 35

clearing. Instantly his
attitude of good-natured bantering and pompous boastfulness dropped
from him. Silently and swiftly he shot downward toward the ground.
Teeka, seeing him coming, and thinking that he was after her or her
balu, bristled and prepared to fight. But Tarzan sped by her, and as
he went, her eyes followed him and she saw the cause of his sudden
descent and his rapid charge across the clearing. There in full sight
now was Sheeta, the panther, stalking slowly toward the tiny, wriggling
balu which lay among the grasses many yards away.

Teeka gave voice to a shrill scream of terror and of warning as she
dashed after the ape-man. Sheeta saw Tarzan coming. He saw the
she-ape's cub before him, and he thought that this other was bent upon
robbing him of his prey. With an angry growl, he charged.

Taug, warned by Teeka's cry, came lumbering down to her assistance.
Several other bulls, growling and barking, closed in toward the
clearing, but they were all much farther from the balu and the panther
than was Tarzan of the Apes, so it was that Sheeta and the ape-man
reached Teeka's little one almost simultaneously; and there they stood,
one upon either side of it, baring their fangs and snarling at each
other over the little creature.

Sheeta was afraid to seize the balu, for thus he would give the ape-man
an opening for attack; and for the same reason Tarzan hesitated to
snatch the panther's prey out of harm's way, for had he stooped to
accomplish this, the great beast would have been upon him in an
instant. Thus they stood while Teeka came across the clearing, going
more slowly as she neared the panther, for even her mother love could
scarce overcome her instinctive terror of this natural enemy of her
kind.

Behind her came Taug, warily and with many pauses and much bluster, and
still behind him came other bulls, snarling ferociously and uttering
their uncanny challenges. Sheeta's yellow-green eyes glared terribly
at Tarzan, and past Tarzan they shot brief glances at the apes of
Kerchak advancing upon him. Discretion prompted him to turn and flee,
but hunger and the close proximity of the tempting morsel in the grass
before him urged him to remain. He reached forth a paw toward Teeka's
balu, and as he did so, with a savage guttural, Tarzan of the Apes was
upon him.

The panther reared to meet the ape-man's attack. He swung a frightful
raking blow for Tarzan that would have wiped his face away

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