Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 97

since Tarzan of the Apes frequented another part of the
jungle, miles away from the lair of Bukawai. Only once had the black
witch-doctor seen the devil-god, as he was most often called among the
blacks, and upon that occasion Tarzan had robbed him of a fat fee, at
the same time putting the lie in the mouth of Bukawai, and making his
medicine seem poor medicine. All this Bukawai never could forgive,
though it seemed unlikely that the opportunity would come to be
revenged.

Yet it did come, and quite unexpectedly. Tarzan was hunting far to the
north. He had wandered away from the tribe, as he did more and more
often as he approached maturity, to hunt alone for a few days. As a
child he had enjoyed romping and playing with the young apes, his
companions; but now these play-fellows of his had grown to surly,
lowering bulls, or to touchy, suspicious mothers, jealously guarding
helpless balus. So Tarzan found in his own man-mind a greater and a
truer companionship than any or all of the apes of Kerchak could afford
him.

This day, as Tarzan hunted, the sky slowly became overcast. Torn
clouds, whipped to ragged streamers, fled low above the tree tops.
They reminded Tarzan of frightened antelope fleeing the charge of a
hungry lion. But though the light clouds raced so swiftly, the jungle
was motionless. Not a leaf quivered and the silence was a great, dead
weight--insupportable. Even the insects seemed stilled by apprehension
of some frightful thing impending, and the larger things were
soundless. Such a forest, such a jungle might have stood there in the
beginning of that unthinkably far-gone age before God peopled the world
with life, when there were no sounds because there were no ears to hear.

And over all lay a sickly, pallid ocher light through which the
scourged clouds raced. Tarzan had seen all these conditions many times
before, yet he never could escape a strange feeling at each recurrence
of them. He knew no fear, but in the face of Nature's manifestations
of her cruel, immeasurable powers, he felt very small--very small and
very lonely.

Now he heard a low moaning, far away. "The lions seek their prey," he
murmured to himself, looking up once again at the swift-flying clouds.
The moaning rose to a great volume of sound. "They come!" said Tarzan
of the Apes, and sought the shelter of a thickly foliaged tree. Quite
suddenly the trees bent their tops simultaneously as though God

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