Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 91

the savage snarls of the two hyenas, mingled with the scraping and
scratching of their paws upon wood. The moans of a child grew in
volume, and Tarzan recognized in them the voice of the little black boy
he once had sought to adopt as his balu.

There was no hysteria in the ape-man's advance. Too accustomed was he
to the passing of life in the jungle to be greatly wrought even by the
death of one whom he knew; but the lust for battle spurred him on. He
was only a wild beast at heart and his wild beast's heart beat high in
anticipation of conflict.

In the rocky chamber of the hill's center, little Tibo crouched low
against the wall as far from the hunger-crazed beasts as he could drag
himself. He saw the lattice giving to the frantic clawing of the
hyenas. He knew that in a few minutes his little life would flicker
out horribly beneath the rending, yellow fangs of these loathsome

Beneath the buffetings of the powerful bodies, the lattice sagged
inward, until, with a crash it gave way, letting the carnivora in upon
the boy. Tibo cast one affrighted glance toward them, then closed his
eyes and buried his face in his arms, sobbing piteously.

For a moment the hyenas paused, caution and cowardice holding them from
their prey. They stood thus glaring at the lad, then slowly,
stealthily, crouching, they crept toward him. It was thus that Tarzan
came upon them, bursting into the chamber swiftly and silently; but not
so silently that the keen-eared beasts did not note his coming. With
angry growls they turned from Tibo upon the ape-man, as, with a smile
upon his lips, he ran toward them. For an instant one of the animals
stood its ground; but the ape-man did not deign even to draw his
hunting knife against despised Dango. Rushing in upon the brute he
grasped it by the scruff of the neck, just as it attempted to dodge
past him, and hurled it across the cavern after its fellow which
already was slinking into the corridor, bent upon escape.

Then Tarzan picked Tibo from the floor, and when the child felt human
hands upon him instead of the paws and fangs of the hyenas, he rolled
his eyes upward in surprise and incredulity, and as they fell upon
Tarzan, sobs of relief broke from the childish lips and his hands
clutched at his deliverer as though the white devil-god was not the
most feared of jungle creatures.


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