Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 37

to
see Sheeta's great fangs sink into the soft throat of the ape-man? Or
did he realize the courageous unselfishness that had prompted Tarzan to
rush to the rescue and imperil his life for Teeka's balu--for Taug's
little balu? Is gratitude a possession of man only, or do the lower
orders know it also?

With the spilling of Tarzan's blood, Taug answered these questions.
With all the weight of his great body he leaped, hideously growling,
upon Sheeta. His long fighting fangs buried themselves in the white
throat. His powerful arms beat and clawed at the soft fur until it
flew upward in the jungle breeze.

And with Taug's example before them the other bulls charged, burying
Sheeta beneath rending fangs and filling all the forest with the wild
din of their battle cries.

Ah! but it was a wondrous and inspiring sight--this battle of the
primordial apes and the great, white ape-man with their ancestral foe,
Sheeta, the panther.

In frenzied excitement, Teeka fairly danced upon the limb which swayed
beneath her great weight as she urged on the males of her people, and
Thaka, and Mumga, and Kamma, with the other shes of the tribe of
Kerchak, added their shrill cries or fierce barkings to the pandemonium
which now reigned within the jungle.

Bitten and biting, tearing and torn, Sheeta battled for his life; but
the odds were against him. Even Numa, the lion, would have hesitated
to have attacked an equal number of the great bulls of the tribe of
Kerchak, and now, a half mile away, hearing the sounds of the terrific
battle, the king of beasts rose uneasily from his midday slumber and
slunk off farther into the jungle.

Presently Sheeta's torn and bloody body ceased its titanic struggles.
It stiffened spasmodically, twitched and was still, yet the bulls
continued to lacerate it until the beautiful coat was torn to shreds.
At last they desisted from sheer physical weariness, and then from the
tangle of bloody bodies rose a crimson giant, straight as an arrow.

He placed a foot upon the dead body of the panther, and lifting his
blood-stained face to the blue of the equatorial heavens, gave voice to
the horrid victory cry of the bull ape.

One by one his hairy fellows of the tribe of Kerchak followed his
example. The shes came down from their perches of safety and struck
and reviled the dead body of Sheeta. The young apes refought the
battle in mimicry of their mighty elders.

Teeka was quite close to Tarzan. He turned and saw her with the balu
hugged close to

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