Tarzan of the Apes

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 55

long distance, but
finally one by one they abandoned the chase and returned to the scene
of the tragedy.

None of them had ever seen a man before, other than Tarzan, and so they
wondered vaguely what strange manner of creature it might be that had
invaded their jungle.

On the far beach by the little cabin Tarzan heard the faint echoes of
the conflict and knowing that something was seriously amiss among the
tribe he hastened rapidly toward the direction of the sound.

When he arrived he found the entire tribe gathered jabbering about the
dead body of his slain mother.

Tarzan's grief and anger were unbounded. He roared out his hideous
challenge time and again. He beat upon his great chest with his
clenched fists, and then he fell upon the body of Kala and sobbed out
the pitiful sorrowing of his lonely heart.

To lose the only creature in all his world who ever had manifested love
and affection for him was the greatest tragedy he had ever known.

What though Kala was a fierce and hideous ape! To Tarzan she had been
kind, she had been beautiful.

Upon her he had lavished, unknown to himself, all the reverence and
respect and love that a normal English boy feels for his own mother.
He had never known another, and so to Kala was given, though mutely,
all that would have belonged to the fair and lovely Lady Alice had she
lived.

After the first outburst of grief Tarzan controlled himself, and
questioning the members of the tribe who had witnessed the killing of
Kala he learned all that their meager vocabulary could convey.

It was enough, however, for his needs. It told him of a strange,
hairless, black ape with feathers growing upon its head, who launched
death from a slender branch, and then ran, with the fleetness of Bara,
the deer, toward the rising sun.

Tarzan waited no longer, but leaping into the branches of the trees
sped rapidly through the forest. He knew the windings of the elephant
trail along which Kala's murderer had flown, and so he cut straight
through the jungle to intercept the black warrior who was evidently
following the tortuous detours of the trail.

At his side was the hunting knife of his unknown sire, and across his
shoulders the coils of his own long rope. In an hour he struck the
trail again, and coming to earth examined the soil minutely.

In the soft mud on the bank of a tiny rivulet he found footprints such
as he alone in all the jungle had

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