Tarzan of the Apes

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 49

blackness,
showed wildly waving branches, whipping streamers and bending trunks.

Now and again some ancient patriarch of the woods, rent by a flashing
bolt, would crash in a thousand pieces among the surrounding trees,
carrying down numberless branches and many smaller neighbors to add to
the tangled confusion of the tropical jungle.

Branches, great and small, torn away by the ferocity of the tornado,
hurtled through the wildly waving verdure, carrying death and
destruction to countless unhappy denizens of the thickly peopled world
below.

For hours the fury of the storm continued without surcease, and still
the tribe huddled close in shivering fear. In constant danger from
falling trunks and branches and paralyzed by the vivid flashing of
lightning and the bellowing of thunder they crouched in pitiful misery
until the storm passed.

The end was as sudden as the beginning. The wind ceased, the sun shone
forth--nature smiled once more.

The dripping leaves and branches, and the moist petals of gorgeous
flowers glistened in the splendor of the returning day. And, so--as
Nature forgot, her children forgot also. Busy life went on as it had
been before the darkness and the fright.

But to Tarzan a dawning light had come to explain the mystery of
CLOTHES. How snug he would have been beneath the heavy coat of Sabor!
And so was added a further incentive to the adventure.

For several months the tribe hovered near the beach where stood
Tarzan's cabin, and his studies took up the greater portion of his
time, but always when journeying through the forest he kept his rope in
readiness, and many were the smaller animals that fell into the snare
of the quick thrown noose.

Once it fell about the short neck of Horta, the boar, and his mad lunge
for freedom toppled Tarzan from the overhanging limb where he had lain
in wait and from whence he had launched his sinuous coil.

The mighty tusker turned at the sound of his falling body, and, seeing
only the easy prey of a young ape, he lowered his head and charged
madly at the surprised youth.

Tarzan, happily, was uninjured by the fall, alighting catlike upon all
fours far outspread to take up the shock. He was on his feet in an
instant and, leaping with the agility of the monkey he was, he gained
the safety of a low limb as Horta, the boar, rushed futilely beneath.

Thus it was that Tarzan learned by experience the limitations as well
as the possibilities of his strange weapon.

He lost a long rope on this occasion, but he knew that

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