Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 63

ape.

The latter sidled off, quite stiff and haughty, after the manner of a
dog which meets another and is too proud to fight and too fearful to
turn his back and run.

Next came Teeka, prompted by curiosity. At her side skipped little
Gazan. They were filled with wonder like the others; but Teeka did not
bare her fangs. Tarzan saw this and motioned that she approach.

"Tarzan has a balu now," he said. "He and Teeka's balu can play
together."

"It is a Gomangani," replied Teeka. "It will kill my balu. Take it
away, Tarzan."

Tarzan laughed. "It could not harm Pamba, the rat," he said. "It is
but a little balu and very frightened. Let Gazan play with it."

Teeka still was fearful, for with all their mighty ferocity the great
anthropoids are timid; but at last, assured by her great confidence in
Tarzan, she pushed Gazan forward toward the little black boy. The
small ape, guided by instinct, drew back toward its mother, baring its
small fangs and screaming in mingled fear and rage.

Tibo, too, showed no signs of desiring a closer acquaintance with
Gazan, so Tarzan gave up his efforts for the time.

During the week which followed, Tarzan found his time much occupied.
His balu was a greater responsibility than he had counted upon. Not
for a moment did he dare leave it, since of all the tribe, Teeka alone
could have been depended upon to refrain from slaying the hapless black
had it not been for Tarzan's constant watchfulness. When the ape-man
hunted, he must carry Go-bu-balu about with him. It was irksome, and
then the little black seemed so stupid and fearful to Tarzan. It was
quite helpless against even the lesser of the jungle creatures. Tarzan
wondered how it had survived at all. He tried to teach it, and found a
ray of hope in the fact that Go-bu-balu had mastered a few words of the
language of the anthropoids, and that he could now cling to a
high-tossed branch without screaming in fear; but there was something
about the child which worried Tarzan. He often had watched the blacks
within their village. He had seen the children playing, and always
there had been much laughter; but little Go-bu-balu never laughed. It
was true that Tarzan himself never laughed. Upon occasion he smiled,
grimly, but to laughter he was a stranger. The black, however, should
have laughed, reasoned the ape-man. It was the way of

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