Tarzan of the Apes

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 29

it with the beautiful broad
nostrils of his companion. Such a generous nose! Why it spread half
across his face! It certainly must be fine to be so handsome, thought
poor little Tarzan.

But when he saw his own eyes; ah, that was the final blow--a brown
spot, a gray circle and then blank whiteness! Frightful! not even the
snakes had such hideous eyes as he.

So intent was he upon this personal appraisement of his features that
he did not hear the parting of the tall grass behind him as a great
body pushed itself stealthily through the jungle; nor did his
companion, the ape, hear either, for he was drinking and the noise of
his sucking lips and gurgles of satisfaction drowned the quiet approach
of the intruder.

Not thirty paces behind the two she crouched--Sabor, the huge
lioness--lashing her tail. Cautiously she moved a great padded paw
forward, noiselessly placing it before she lifted the next. Thus she
advanced; her belly low, almost touching the surface of the ground--a
great cat preparing to spring upon its prey.

Now she was within ten feet of the two unsuspecting little
playfellows--carefully she drew her hind feet well up beneath her body,
the great muscles rolling under the beautiful skin.

So low she was crouching now that she seemed flattened to the earth
except for the upward bend of the glossy back as it gathered for the
spring.

No longer the tail lashed--quiet and straight behind her it lay.

An instant she paused thus, as though turned to stone, and then, with
an awful scream, she sprang.

Sabor, the lioness, was a wise hunter. To one less wise the wild alarm
of her fierce cry as she sprang would have seemed a foolish thing, for
could she not more surely have fallen upon her victims had she but
quietly leaped without that loud shriek?

But Sabor knew well the wondrous quickness of the jungle folk and their
almost unbelievable powers of hearing. To them the sudden scraping of
one blade of grass across another was as effectual a warning as her
loudest cry, and Sabor knew that she could not make that mighty leap
without a little noise.

Her wild scream was not a warning. It was voiced to freeze her poor
victims in a paralysis of terror for the tiny fraction of an instant
which would suffice for her mighty claws to sink into their soft flesh
and hold them beyond hope of escape.

So far as the ape was concerned, Sabor reasoned correctly. The little
fellow crouched trembling just

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