Tarzan of the Apes

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 63

sprang across the opening to the pile of arrows.
Gathering up all he could carry under one arm, he overturned the
seething cauldron with a kick, and disappeared into the foliage above
just as the first of the returning natives entered the gate at the far
end of the village street. Then he turned to watch the proceeding
below, poised like some wild bird ready to take swift wing at the first
sign of danger.

The natives filed up the street, four of them bearing the dead body of
Kulonga. Behind trailed the women, uttering strange cries and weird
lamentation. On they came to the portals of Kulonga's hut, the very
one in which Tarzan had wrought his depredations.

Scarcely had half a dozen entered the building ere they came rushing
out in wild, jabbering confusion. The others hastened to gather about.
There was much excited gesticulating, pointing, and chattering; then
several of the warriors approached and peered within.

Finally an old fellow with many ornaments of metal about his arms and
legs, and a necklace of dried human hands depending upon his chest,
entered the hut.

It was Mbonga, the king, father of Kulonga.

For a few moments all was silent. Then Mbonga emerged, a look of
mingled wrath and superstitious fear writ upon his hideous countenance.
He spoke a few words to the assembled warriors, and in an instant the
men were flying through the little village searching minutely every hut
and corner within the palisades.

Scarcely had the search commenced than the overturned cauldron was
discovered, and with it the theft of the poisoned arrows. Nothing more
they found, and it was a thoroughly awed and frightened group of
savages which huddled around their king a few moments later.

Mbonga could explain nothing of the strange events that had taken
place. The finding of the still warm body of Kulonga--on the very
verge of their fields and within easy earshot of the village--knifed
and stripped at the door of his father's home, was in itself
sufficiently mysterious, but these last awesome discoveries within the
village, within the dead Kulonga's own hut, filled their hearts with
dismay, and conjured in their poor brains only the most frightful of
superstitious explanations.

They stood in little groups, talking in low tones, and ever casting
affrighted glances behind them from their great rolling eyes.

Tarzan of the Apes watched them for a while from his lofty perch in the
great tree. There was much in their demeanor which he could not
understand, for of superstition he was ignorant, and of fear of any
kind

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