Tarzan of the Apes

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 35

letters of the alphabet, and he was over ten years old.

Of course he had never before seen print, or ever had spoken with any
living thing which had the remotest idea that such a thing as a written
language existed, nor ever had he seen anyone reading.

So what wonder that the little boy was quite at a loss to guess the
meaning of these strange figures.

Near the middle of the book he found his old enemy, Sabor, the lioness,
and further on, coiled Histah, the snake.

Oh, it was most engrossing! Never before in all his ten years had he
enjoyed anything so much. So absorbed was he that he did not note the
approaching dusk, until it was quite upon him and the figures were
blurred.

He put the book back in the cupboard and closed the door, for he did
not wish anyone else to find and destroy his treasure, and as he went
out into the gathering darkness he closed the great door of the cabin
behind him as it had been before he discovered the secret of its lock,
but before he left he had noticed the hunting knife lying where he had
thrown it upon the floor, and this he picked up and took with him to
show to his fellows.

He had taken scarce a dozen steps toward the jungle when a great form
rose up before him from the shadows of a low bush. At first he thought
it was one of his own people but in another instant he realized that it
was Bolgani, the huge gorilla.

So close was he that there was no chance for flight and little Tarzan
knew that he must stand and fight for his life; for these great beasts
were the deadly enemies of his tribe, and neither one nor the other
ever asked or gave quarter.

Had Tarzan been a full-grown bull ape of the species of his tribe he
would have been more than a match for the gorilla, but being only a
little English boy, though enormously muscular for such, he stood no
chance against his cruel antagonist. In his veins, though, flowed the
blood of the best of a race of mighty fighters, and back of this was
the training of his short lifetime among the fierce brutes of the
jungle.

He knew no fear, as we know it; his little heart beat the faster but
from the excitement and exhilaration of adventure. Had the opportunity
presented itself he would have escaped, but solely because his judgment
told him he was

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