Tarzan of the Apes

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 23

of command to them to follow him, set off toward the

They traveled for the most part upon the ground, where it was open,
following the path of the great elephants whose comings and goings
break the only roads through those tangled mazes of bush, vine,
creeper, and tree. When they walked it was with a rolling, awkward
motion, placing the knuckles of their closed hands upon the ground and
swinging their ungainly bodies forward.

But when the way was through the lower trees they moved more swiftly,
swinging from branch to branch with the agility of their smaller
cousins, the monkeys. And all the way Kala carried her little dead
baby hugged closely to her breast.

It was shortly after noon when they reached a ridge overlooking the
beach where below them lay the tiny cottage which was Kerchak's goal.

He had seen many of his kind go to their deaths before the loud noise
made by the little black stick in the hands of the strange white ape
who lived in that wonderful lair, and Kerchak had made up his brute
mind to own that death-dealing contrivance, and to explore the interior
of the mysterious den.

He wanted, very, very much, to feel his teeth sink into the neck of the
queer animal that he had learned to hate and fear, and because of this,
he came often with his tribe to reconnoiter, waiting for a time when
the white ape should be off his guard.

Of late they had quit attacking, or even showing themselves; for every
time they had done so in the past the little stick had roared out its
terrible message of death to some member of the tribe.

Today there was no sign of the man about, and from where they watched
they could see that the cabin door was open. Slowly, cautiously, and
noiselessly they crept through the jungle toward the little cabin.

There were no growls, no fierce screams of rage--the little black stick
had taught them to come quietly lest they awaken it.

On, on they came until Kerchak himself slunk stealthily to the very
door and peered within. Behind him were two males, and then Kala,
closely straining the little dead form to her breast.

Inside the den they saw the strange white ape lying half across a
table, his head buried in his arms; and on the bed lay a figure covered
by a sailcloth, while from a tiny rustic cradle came the plaintive
wailing of a babe.

Noiselessly Kerchak entered, crouching for the charge; and then John
Clayton rose with a

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