Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 55

bole of the tree beneath
the branches of which Tarzan worked upon his rope, Gazan scampered
quickly forward, scrambling nimbly upward to the lower limbs. Here he
would squat for a moment or two, quite proud of his achievement, then
clamber to the ground again and repeat. Sometimes, quite often in
fact, for he was an ape, his attention was distracted by other things,
a beetle, a caterpillar, a tiny field mouse, and off he would go in
pursuit; the caterpillars he always caught, and sometimes the beetles;
but the field mice, never.

Now he discovered the tail of the rope upon which Tarzan was working.
Grasping it in one small hand he bounced away, for all the world like
an animated rubber ball, snatching it from the ape-man's hand and
running off across the clearing. Tarzan leaped to his feet and was in
pursuit in an instant, no trace of anger on his face or in his voice as
he called to the roguish little balu to drop his rope.

Straight toward his mother raced Gazan, and after him came Tarzan.
Teeka looked up from her feeding, and in the first instant that she
realized that Gazan was fleeing and that another was in pursuit, she
bared her fangs and bristled; but when she saw that the pursuer was
Tarzan she turned back to the business that had been occupying her
attention. At her very feet the ape-man overhauled the balu and,
though the youngster squealed and fought when Tarzan seized him, Teeka
only glanced casually in their direction. No longer did she fear harm
to her first-born at the hands of the ape-man. Had he not saved Gazan
on two occasions?

Rescuing his rope, Tarzan returned to his tree and resumed his labor;
but thereafter it was necessary to watch carefully the playful balu,
who was now possessed to steal it whenever he thought his great,
smooth-skinned cousin was momentarily off his guard.

But even under this handicap Tarzan finally completed the rope, a long,
pliant weapon, stronger than any he ever had made before. The
discarded piece of his former one he gave to Gazan for a plaything, for
Tarzan had it in his mind to instruct Teeka's balu after ideas of his
own when the youngster should be old and strong enough to profit by his
precepts. At present the little ape's innate aptitude for mimicry
would be sufficient to familiarize him with Tarzan's ways and weapons,
and so the ape-man swung off into the jungle, his new rope coiled over
one shoulder, while little Gazan

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