Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 84

a haunting premonition of the future, and the
fear of the hyenas combined to almost paralyze the child. He stumbled
and reeled until Bukawai was dragging rather than leading him.

Presently Tibo saw a faint lightness ahead of them, and a moment later
they emerged into a roughly circular chamber to which a little daylight
filtered through a rift in the rocky ceiling. The hyenas were there
ahead of them, waiting. As Bukawai entered with Tibo, the beasts slunk
toward them, baring yellow fangs. They were hungry. Toward Tibo they
came, and one snapped at his naked legs. Bukawai seized a stick from
the floor of the chamber and struck a vicious blow at the beast, at the
same time mumbling forth a volley of execrations. The hyena dodged and
ran to the side of the chamber, where he stood growling. Bukawai took
a step toward the creature, which bristled with rage at his approach.
Fear and hatred shot from its evil eyes, but, fortunately for Bukawai,
fear predominated.

Seeing that he was unnoticed, the second beast made a short, quick rush
for Tibo. The child screamed and darted after the witch-doctor, who
now turned his attention to the second hyena. This one he reached with
his heavy stick, striking it repeatedly and driving it to the wall.
There the two carrion-eaters commenced to circle the chamber while the
human carrion, their master, now in a perfect frenzy of demoniacal
rage, ran to and fro in an effort to intercept them, striking out with
his cudgel and lashing them with his tongue, calling down upon them the
curses of whatever gods and demons he could summon to memory, and
describing in lurid figures the ignominy of their ancestors.

Several times one or the other of the beasts would turn to make a stand
against the witch-doctor, and then Tibo would hold his breath in
agonized terror, for never in his brief life had he seen such frightful
hatred depicted upon the countenance of man or beast; but always fear
overcame the rage of the savage creatures, so that they resumed their
flight, snarling and bare-fanged, just at the moment that Tibo was
certain they would spring at Bukawai's throat.

At last the witch-doctor tired of the futile chase. With a snarl quite
as bestial as those of the beast, he turned toward Tibo. "I go to
collect the ten fat goats, the new sleeping mat, and the two pieces of
copper wire that your mother will pay for the medicine I shall make

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