Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 85

to
bring you back to her," he said. "You will stay here. There," and he
pointed toward the passage which they had followed to the chamber, "I
will leave the hyenas. If you try to escape, they will eat you."

He cast aside the stick and called to the beasts. They came, snarling
and slinking, their tails between their legs. Bukawai led them to the
passage and drove them into it. Then he dragged a rude lattice into
place before the opening after he, himself, had left the chamber.
"This will keep them from you," he said. "If I do not get the ten fat
goats and the other things, they shall at least have a few bones after
I am through." And he left the boy to think over the meaning of his
all-too-suggestive words.

When he was gone, Tibo threw himself upon the earth floor and broke
into childish sobs of terror and loneliness. He knew that his mother
had no ten fat goats to give and that when Bukawai returned, little
Tibo would be killed and eaten. How long he lay there he did not know,
but presently he was aroused by the growling of the hyenas. They had
returned through the passage and were glaring at him from beyond the
lattice. He could see their yellow eyes blazing through the darkness.
They reared up and clawed at the barrier. Tibo shivered and withdrew
to the opposite side of the chamber. He saw the lattice sag and sway
to the attacks of the beasts. Momentarily he expected that it would
fall inward, letting the creatures upon him.

Wearily the horror-ridden hours dragged their slow way. Night came,
and for a time Tibo slept, but it seemed that the hungry beasts never
slept. Always they stood just beyond the lattice growling their
hideous growls or laughing their hideous laughs. Through the narrow
rift in the rocky roof above him, Tibo could see a few stars, and once
the moon crossed. At last daylight came again. Tibo was very hungry
and thirsty, for he had not eaten since the morning before, and only
once upon the long march had he been permitted to drink, but even
hunger and thirst were almost forgotten in the terror of his position.

It was after daylight that the child discovered a second opening in the
walls of the subterranean chamber, almost opposite that at which the
hyenas still stood glaring hungrily at him. It was only a

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