Tarzan of the Apes

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 18

an alarm to his wife to run in and close the great
door in case the ape cut off his retreat.

Lady Greystoke had been sitting a little way from the cabin, and when
she heard his cry she looked up to see the ape springing with almost
incredible swiftness, for so large and awkward an animal, in an effort
to head off Clayton.

With a low cry she sprang toward the cabin, and, as she entered, gave a
backward glance which filled her soul with terror, for the brute had
intercepted her husband, who now stood at bay grasping his ax with both
hands ready to swing it upon the infuriated animal when he should make
his final charge.

"Close and bolt the door, Alice," cried Clayton. "I can finish this
fellow with my ax."

But he knew he was facing a horrible death, and so did she.

The ape was a great bull, weighing probably three hundred pounds. His
nasty, close-set eyes gleamed hatred from beneath his shaggy brows,
while his great canine fangs were bared in a horrid snarl as he paused
a moment before his prey.

Over the brute's shoulder Clayton could see the doorway of his cabin,
not twenty paces distant, and a great wave of horror and fear swept
over him as he saw his young wife emerge, armed with one of his rifles.

She had always been afraid of firearms, and would never touch them, but
now she rushed toward the ape with the fearlessness of a lioness
protecting its young.

"Back, Alice," shouted Clayton, "for God's sake, go back."

But she would not heed, and just then the ape charged, so that Clayton
could say no more.

The man swung his ax with all his mighty strength, but the powerful
brute seized it in those terrible hands, and tearing it from Clayton's
grasp hurled it far to one side.

With an ugly snarl he closed upon his defenseless victim, but ere his
fangs had reached the throat they thirsted for, there was a sharp
report and a bullet entered the ape's back between his shoulders.

Throwing Clayton to the ground the beast turned upon his new enemy.
There before him stood the terrified girl vainly trying to fire another
bullet into the animal's body; but she did not understand the mechanism
of the firearm, and the hammer fell futilely upon an empty cartridge.

Almost simultaneously Clayton regained his feet, and without thought of
the utter hopelessness of it, he rushed forward to drag the ape from
his wife's prostrate form.

With little or no effort he succeeded, and the great

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