Tarzan of the Apes

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 17

constant dread of attack by wild beasts and the ever
growing loneliness, they were not uncomfortable or unhappy.

At night great beasts snarled and roared about their tiny cabin, but,
so accustomed may one become to oft repeated noises, that soon they
paid little attention to them, sleeping soundly the whole night through.

Thrice had they caught fleeting glimpses of great man-like figures like
that of the first night, but never at sufficiently close range to know
positively whether the half-seen forms were those of man or brute.

The brilliant birds and the little monkeys had become accustomed to
their new acquaintances, and as they had evidently never seen human
beings before they presently, after their first fright had worn off,
approached closer and closer, impelled by that strange curiosity which
dominates the wild creatures of the forest and the jungle and the
plain, so that within the first month several of the birds had gone so
far as even to accept morsels of food from the friendly hands of the
Claytons.

One afternoon, while Clayton was working upon an addition to their
cabin, for he contemplated building several more rooms, a number of
their grotesque little friends came shrieking and scolding through the
trees from the direction of the ridge. Ever as they fled they cast
fearful glances back of them, and finally they stopped near Clayton
jabbering excitedly to him as though to warn him of approaching danger.

At last he saw it, the thing the little monkeys so feared--the
man-brute of which the Claytons had caught occasional fleeting glimpses.

It was approaching through the jungle in a semi-erect position, now and
then placing the backs of its closed fists upon the ground--a great
anthropoid ape, and, as it advanced, it emitted deep guttural growls
and an occasional low barking sound.

Clayton was at some distance from the cabin, having come to fell a
particularly perfect tree for his building operations. Grown careless
from months of continued safety, during which time he had seen no
dangerous animals during the daylight hours, he had left his rifles and
revolvers all within the little cabin, and now that he saw the great
ape crashing through the underbrush directly toward him, and from a
direction which practically cut him off from escape, he felt a vague
little shiver play up and down his spine.

He knew that, armed only with an ax, his chances with this ferocious
monster were small indeed--and Alice; O God, he thought, what will
become of Alice?

There was yet a slight chance of reaching the cabin. He turned and ran
toward it, shouting

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