Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 71

voice.

"It is Momaya," replied the woman; "Momaya from the village of Mbonga,
the chief.

"What do you want?"

"I want good medicine, better medicine than Mbonga's witch-doctor can
make," replied Momaya. "The great, white, jungle god has stolen my
Tibo, and I want medicine to bring him back, or to find where he is
hidden that I may go and get him."

"Who is Tibo?" asked Bukawai.

Momaya told him.

"Bukawai's medicine is very strong," said the voice. "Five goats and a
new sleeping mat are scarce enough in exchange for Bukawai's medicine."

"Two goats are enough," said Momaya, for the spirit of barter is strong
in the breasts of the blacks.

The pleasure of haggling over the price was a sufficiently potent lure
to draw Bukawai to the mouth of the cave. Momaya was sorry when she
saw him that he had not remained within. There are some things too
horrible, too hideous, too repulsive for description--Bukawai's face
was of these. When Momaya saw him she understood why it was that he
was almost inarticulate.

Beside him were two hyenas, which rumor had said were his only and
constant companions. They made an excellent trio--the most repulsive
of beasts with the most repulsive of humans.

"Five goats and a new sleeping mat," mumbled Bukawai.

"Two fat goats and a sleeping mat." Momaya raised her bid; but Bukawai
was obdurate. He stuck for the five goats and the sleeping mat for a
matter of half an hour, while the hyenas sniffed and growled and
laughed hideously. Momaya was determined to give all that Bukawai
asked if she could do no better, but haggling is second nature to black
barterers, and in the end it partly repaid her, for a compromise
finally was reached which included three fat goats, a new sleeping mat,
and a piece of copper wire.

"Come back tonight," said Bukawai, "when the moon is two hours in the
sky. Then will I make the strong medicine which shall bring Tibo back
to you. Bring with you the three fat goats, the new sleeping mat, and
the piece of copper wire the length of a large man's forearm."

"I cannot bring them," said Momaya. "You will have to come after them.
When you have restored Tibo to me, you shall have them all at the
village of Mbonga."

Bukawai shook his head.

"I will make no medicine," he said, "until I have the goats and the mat
and the copper wire."

Momaya pleaded and threatened, but all to no avail. Finally, she
turned away and started off through

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