Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 54

cat as he bounded away through the jungle with the noose still
about his savage neck and the loose end dragging among the underbrush.

Tarzan smiled as he recalled Sheeta's great rage, his frantic efforts
to free himself from the entangling strands, his uncanny screams that
were part hate, part anger, part terror. He smiled in retrospection at
the discomfiture of his enemy, and in anticipation of another day as he
added an extra strand to his new rope.

This would be the strongest, the heaviest rope that Tarzan of the Apes
ever had fashioned. Visions of Numa, the lion, straining futilely in
its embrace thrilled the ape-man. He was quite content, for his hands
and his brain were busy. Content, too, were his fellows of the tribe
of Kerchak, searching for food in the clearing and the surrounding
trees about him. No perplexing thoughts of the future burdened their
minds, and only occasionally, dimly arose recollections of the near
past. They were stimulated to a species of brutal content by the
delectable business of filling their bellies. Afterward they would
sleep--it was their life, and they enjoyed it as we enjoy ours, you and
I--as Tarzan enjoyed his. Possibly they enjoyed theirs more than we
enjoy ours, for who shall say that the beasts of the jungle do not
better fulfill the purposes for which they are created than does man
with his many excursions into strange fields and his contraventions of
the laws of nature? And what gives greater content and greater
happiness than the fulfilling of a destiny?

As Tarzan worked, Gazan, Teeka's little balu, played about him while
Teeka sought food upon the opposite side of the clearing. No more did
Teeka, the mother, or Taug, the sullen sire, harbor suspicions of
Tarzan's intentions toward their first-born. Had he not courted death
to save their Gazan from the fangs and talons of Sheeta? Did he not
fondle and cuddle the little one with even as great a show of affection
as Teeka herself displayed? Their fears were allayed and Tarzan now
found himself often in the role of nursemaid to a tiny anthropoid--an
avocation which he found by no means irksome, since Gazan was a
never-failing fount of surprises and entertainment.

Just now the apeling was developing those arboreal tendencies which
were to stand him in such good stead during the years of his youth,
when rapid flight into the upper terraces was of far more importance
and value than his undeveloped muscles and untried fighting fangs.
Backing off fifteen or twenty feet from the

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