Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 57

the long years that it had spread
its leafy branches above the deep-worn jungle path! Tarzan, the
ape-man, Sheeta, the panther, and Histah, the snake, it knew well.
They had worn smooth the bark upon its upper surface.

Today it was Horta, the boar, which came down toward the watcher in the
old tree--Horta, the boar, whose formidable tusks and diabolical temper
preserved him from all but the most ferocious or most famished of the
largest carnivora.

But to Tarzan, meat was meat; naught that was edible or tasty might
pass a hungry Tarzan unchallenged and unattacked. In hunger, as in
battle, the ape-man out-savaged the dreariest denizens of the jungle.
He knew neither fear nor mercy, except upon rare occasions when some
strange, inexplicable force stayed his hand--a force inexplicable to
him, perhaps, because of his ignorance of his own origin and of all the
forces of humanitarianism and civilization that were his rightful
heritage because of that origin.

So today, instead of staying his hand until a less formidable feast
found its way toward him, Tarzan dropped his new noose about the neck
of Horta, the boar. It was an excellent test for the untried strands.
The angered boar bolted this way and that; but each time the new rope
held him where Tarzan had made it fast about the stem of the tree above
the branch from which he had cast it.

As Horta grunted and charged, slashing the sturdy jungle patriarch with
his mighty tusks until the bark flew in every direction, Tarzan dropped
to the ground behind him. In the ape-man's hand was the long, keen
blade that had been his constant companion since that distant day upon
which chance had directed its point into the body of Bolgani, the
gorilla, and saved the torn and bleeding man-child from what else had
been certain death.

Tarzan walked in toward Horta, who swung now to face his enemy. Mighty
and muscled as was the young giant, it yet would have appeared but the
maddest folly for him to face so formidable a creature as Horta, the
boar, armed only with a slender hunting knife. So it would have seemed
to one who knew Horta even slightly and Tarzan not at all.

For a moment Horta stood motionless facing the ape-man. His wicked,
deep-set eyes flashed angrily. He shook his lowered head.

"Mud-eater!" jeered the ape-man. "Wallower in filth. Even your meat
stinks, but it is juicy and makes Tarzan strong. Today I shall eat
your heart, O Lord of the Great Tusks, that it shall

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