Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 82

figure of a hostile
warrior. Little Tibo had raised his tiny spear, his heart filled with
the savage blood lust of his race, as he pictured the night's orgy when
he should dance about the corpse of his human kill as the women of his
tribe prepared the meat for the feast to follow.

But when he cast the spear, he missed both squirrel and tree, losing
his missile far among the tangled undergrowth of the jungle. However,
it could be but a few steps within the forbidden labyrinth. The women
were all about in the field. There were warriors on guard within easy
hail, and so little Tibo boldly ventured into the dark place.

Just behind the screen of creepers and matted foliage lurked three
horrid figures--an old, old man, black as the pit, with a face half
eaten away by leprosy, his sharp-filed teeth, the teeth of a cannibal,
showing yellow and repulsive through the great gaping hole where his
mouth and nose had been. And beside him, equally hideous, stood two
powerful hyenas--carrion-eaters consorting with carrion.

Tibo did not see them until, head down, he had forced his way through
the thickly growing vines in search of his little spear, and then it
was too late. As he looked up into the face of Bukawai, the old
witch-doctor seized him, muffling his screams with a palm across his
mouth. Tibo struggled futilely.

A moment later he was being hustled away through the dark and terrible
jungle, the frightful old man still muffling his screams, and the two
hideous hyenas pacing now on either side, now before, now behind,
always prowling, always growling, snapping, snarling, or, worst of all,
laughing hideously.

To little Tibo, who within his brief existence had passed through such
experiences as are given to few to pass through in a lifetime, the
northward journey was a nightmare of terror. He thought now of the
time that he had been with the great, white jungle god, and he prayed
with all his little soul that he might be back again with the
white-skinned giant who consorted with the hairy tree men.
Terror-stricken he had been then, but his surroundings had been nothing
by comparison with those which he now endured.

The old man seldom addressed Tibo, though he kept up an almost
continuous mumbling throughout the long day. Tibo caught repeated
references to fat goats, sleeping mats, and pieces of copper wire.
"Ten fat goats, ten fat goats," the old Negro would croon over and over
again. By this little Tibo guessed that

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