Tarzan of the Apes

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 176

because one has
met a cowardly white.

"There is as much individuality among the lower orders, gentlemen, as
there is among ourselves. Today we may go out and stumble upon a lion
which is over-timid--he runs away from us. To-morrow we may meet his
uncle or his twin brother, and our friends wonder why we do not return
from the jungle. For myself, I always assume that a lion is ferocious,
and so I am never caught off my guard."

"There would be little pleasure in hunting," retorted the first
speaker, "if one is afraid of the thing he hunts."

D'Arnot smiled. Tarzan afraid!

"I do not exactly understand what you mean by fear," said Tarzan.
"Like lions, fear is a different thing in different men, but to me the
only pleasure in the hunt is the knowledge that the hunted thing has
power to harm me as much as I have to harm him. If I went out with a
couple of rifles and a gun bearer, and twenty or thirty beaters, to
hunt a lion, I should not feel that the lion had much chance, and so
the pleasure of the hunt would be lessened in proportion to the
increased safety which I felt."

"Then I am to take it that Monsieur Tarzan would prefer to go naked
into the jungle, armed only with a jackknife, to kill the king of
beasts," laughed the other, good naturedly, but with the merest touch
of sarcasm in his tone.

"And a piece of rope," added Tarzan.

Just then the deep roar of a lion sounded from the distant jungle, as
though to challenge whoever dared enter the lists with him.

"There is your opportunity, Monsieur Tarzan," bantered the Frenchman.

"I am not hungry," said Tarzan simply.

The men laughed, all but D'Arnot. He alone knew that a savage beast
had spoken its simple reason through the lips of the ape-man.

"But you are afraid, just as any of us would be, to go out there naked,
armed only with a knife and a piece of rope," said the banterer. "Is
it not so?"

"No," replied Tarzan. "Only a fool performs any act without reason."

"Five thousand francs is a reason," said the other. "I wager you that
amount you cannot bring back a lion from the jungle under the
conditions we have named--naked and armed only with a knife and a piece
of rope."

Tarzan glanced toward D'Arnot and nodded his head.

"Make it ten thousand," said D'Arnot.

"Done," replied the other.

Tarzan arose.

"I shall have to leave my clothes at the

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