Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 96

embedded deeply in the bush. It
took Kala several minutes to disentangle him and drag him forth; but he
was not killed. He was not even badly injured. The bush had broken
the force of the fall. A cut upon the back of his head showed where he
had struck the tough stem of the shrub and explained his
unconsciousness.

In a few minutes he was as active as ever. Tublat was furious. In his
rage he snapped at a fellow-ape without first discovering the identity
of his victim, and was badly mauled for his ill temper, having chosen
to vent his spite upon a husky and belligerent young bull in the full
prime of his vigor.

But Tarzan had learned something new. He had learned that continued
friction would wear through the strands of his rope, though it was many
years before this knowledge did more for him than merely to keep him
from swinging too long at a time, or too far above the ground at the
end of his rope.

The day came, however, when the very thing that had once all but killed
him proved the means of saving his life.

He was no longer a child, but a mighty jungle male. There was none now
to watch over him, solicitously, nor did he need such. Kala was dead.
Dead, too, was Tublat, and though with Kala passed the one creature
that ever really had loved him, there were still many who hated him
after Tublat departed unto the arms of his fathers. It was not that he
was more cruel or more savage than they that they hated him, for though
he was both cruel and savage as were the beasts, his fellows, yet too
was he often tender, which they never were. No, the thing which
brought Tarzan most into disrepute with those who did not like him, was
the possession and practice of a characteristic which they had not and
could not understand--the human sense of humor. In Tarzan it was a
trifle broad, perhaps, manifesting itself in rough and painful
practical jokes upon his friends and cruel baiting of his enemies.

But to neither of these did he owe the enmity of Bukawai, the
witch-doctor, who dwelt in the cave between the two hills far to the
north of the village of Mbonga, the chief. Bukawai was jealous of
Tarzan, and Bukawai it was who came near proving the undoing of the
ape-man. For months Bukawai had nursed his hatred while revenge seemed
remote indeed,

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