Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 52

the ape-man, brought his head within reach of Tarzan's blade.
Instantly a brown hand leaped forth and seized the mottled neck, and
another drove the heavy hunting knife to the hilt into the little brain.

Convulsively Histah shuddered and relaxed, tensed and relaxed again,
whipping and striking with his great body; but no longer sentient or
sensible. Histah was dead, but in his death throes he might easily
dispatch a dozen apes or men.

Quickly Tarzan seized Teeka and dragged her from the loosened embrace,
dropping her to the ground beneath, then he extricated the balu and
tossed it to its mother. Still Histah whipped about, clinging to the
ape-man; but after a dozen efforts Tarzan succeeded in wriggling free
and leaping to the ground out of range of the mighty battering of the
dying snake.

A circle of apes surrounded the scene of the battle; but the moment
that Tarzan broke safely from the enemy they turned silently away to
resume their interrupted feeding, and Teeka turned with them,
apparently forgetful of all but her balu and the fact that when the
interruption had occurred she just had discovered an ingeniously hidden
nest containing three perfectly good eggs.

Tarzan, equally indifferent to a battle that was over, merely cast a
parting glance at the still writhing body of Histah and wandered off
toward the little pool which served to water the tribe at this point.
Strangely, he did not give the victory cry over the vanquished Histah.
Why, he could not have told you, other than that to him Histah was not
an animal. He differed in some peculiar way from the other denizens of
the jungle. Tarzan only knew that he hated him.

At the pool Tarzan drank his fill and lay stretched upon the soft grass
beneath the shade of a tree. His mind reverted to the battle with
Histah, the snake. It seemed strange to him that Teeka should have
placed herself within the folds of the horrid monster. Why had she
done it? Why, indeed, had he? Teeka did not belong to him, nor did
Teeka's balu. They were both Taug's. Why then had he done this thing?
Histah was not food for him when he was dead. There seemed to Tarzan,
now that he gave the matter thought, no reason in the world why he
should have done the thing he did, and presently it occurred to him
that he had acted almost involuntarily, just as he had acted when he
had released the old Gomangani the previous evening.

What made him

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