Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 99

clean-washed air.

At either side of the leper stood his sole and constant companions, the
two hyenas, sniffing the air. Presently one of them uttered a low
growl and with flattened head started, sneaking and wary, toward the
jungle. The other followed. Bukawai, his curiosity aroused, trailed
after them, in his hand a heavy knob-stick.

The hyenas halted a few yards from the prostrate Tarzan, sniffing and
growling. Then came Bukawai, and at first he could not believe the
witness of his own eyes; but when he did and saw that it was indeed the
devil-god his rage knew no bounds, for he thought him dead and himself
cheated of the revenge he had so long dreamed upon.

The hyenas approached the ape-man with bared fangs. Bukawai, with an
inarticulate scream, rushed upon them, striking cruel and heavy blows
with his knob-stick, for there might still be life in the apparently
lifeless form. The beasts, snapping and snarling, half turned upon
their master and their tormentor, but long fear still held them from
his putrid throat. They slunk away a few yards and squatted upon their
haunches, hatred and baffled hunger gleaming from their savage eyes.

Bukawai stooped and placed his ear above the ape-man's heart. It still
beat. As well as his sloughed features could register pleasure they
did so; but it was not a pretty sight. At the ape-man's side lay his
long, grass rope. Quickly Bukawai bound the limp arms behind his
prisoner's back, then he raised him to one of his shoulders, for,
though Bukawai was old and diseased, he was still a strong man. The
hyenas fell in behind as the witch-doctor set off toward the cave, and
through the long black corridors they followed as Bukawai bore his
victim into the bowels of the hills. Through subterranean chambers,
connected by winding passageways, Bukawai staggered with his load. At
a sudden turning of the corridor, daylight flooded them and Bukawai
stepped out into a small, circular basin in the hill, apparently the
crater of an ancient volcano, one of those which never reached the
dignity of a mountain and are little more than lava-rimmed pits closed
to the earth's surface.

Steep walls rimmed the cavity. The only exit was through the
passageway by which Bukawai had entered. A few stunted trees grew upon
the rocky floor. A hundred feet above could be seen the ragged lips of
this cold, dead mouth of hell.

Bukawai propped Tarzan against a tree and bound him there with his

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