Tarzan of the Apes

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 36

no match for the great thing which confronted him. And
since reason showed him that successful flight was impossible he met
the gorilla squarely and bravely without a tremor of a single muscle,
or any sign of panic.

In fact he met the brute midway in its charge, striking its huge body
with his closed fists and as futilely as he had been a fly attacking an
elephant. But in one hand he still clutched the knife he had found in
the cabin of his father, and as the brute, striking and biting, closed
upon him the boy accidentally turned the point toward the hairy breast.
As the knife sank deep into its body the gorilla shrieked in pain and
rage.

But the boy had learned in that brief second a use for his sharp and
shining toy, so that, as the tearing, striking beast dragged him to
earth he plunged the blade repeatedly and to the hilt into its breast.

The gorilla, fighting after the manner of its kind, struck terrific
blows with its open hand, and tore the flesh at the boy's throat and
chest with its mighty tusks.

For a moment they rolled upon the ground in the fierce frenzy of
combat. More and more weakly the torn and bleeding arm struck home
with the long sharp blade, then the little figure stiffened with a
spasmodic jerk, and Tarzan, the young Lord Greystoke, rolled
unconscious upon the dead and decaying vegetation which carpeted his
jungle home.

A mile back in the forest the tribe had heard the fierce challenge of
the gorilla, and, as was his custom when any danger threatened, Kerchak
called his people together, partly for mutual protection against a
common enemy, since this gorilla might be but one of a party of
several, and also to see that all members of the tribe were accounted
for.

It was soon discovered that Tarzan was missing, and Tublat was strongly
opposed to sending assistance. Kerchak himself had no liking for the
strange little waif, so he listened to Tublat, and, finally, with a
shrug of his shoulders, turned back to the pile of leaves on which he
had made his bed.

But Kala was of a different mind; in fact, she had not waited but to
learn that Tarzan was absent ere she was fairly flying through the
matted branches toward the point from which the cries of the gorilla
were still plainly audible.

Darkness had now fallen, and an early moon was sending its faint light
to cast strange, grotesque shadows among the dense foliage of the
forest.

Here and there the

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