Tarzan of the Apes

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 66

the gates were thrown open to admit
them, and then, as the people saw the victim of the chase, a savage cry
rose to the heavens, for the quarry was a man.

As he was dragged, still resisting, into the village street, the women
and children set upon him with sticks and stones, and Tarzan of the
Apes, young and savage beast of the jungle, wondered at the cruel
brutality of his own kind.

Sheeta, the leopard, alone of all the jungle folk, tortured his prey.
The ethics of all the others meted a quick and merciful death to their
victims.

Tarzan had learned from his books but scattered fragments of the ways
of human beings.

When he had followed Kulonga through the forest he had expected to come
to a city of strange houses on wheels, puffing clouds of black smoke
from a huge tree stuck in the roof of one of them--or to a sea covered
with mighty floating buildings which he had learned were called,
variously, ships and boats and steamers and craft.

He had been sorely disappointed with the poor little village of the
blacks, hidden away in his own jungle, and with not a single house as
large as his own cabin upon the distant beach.

He saw that these people were more wicked than his own apes, and as
savage and cruel as Sabor, herself. Tarzan began to hold his own kind
in low esteem.

Now they had tied their poor victim to a great post near the center of
the village, directly before Mbonga's hut, and here they formed a
dancing, yelling circle of warriors about him, alive with flashing
knives and menacing spears.

In a larger circle squatted the women, yelling and beating upon drums.
It reminded Tarzan of the Dum-Dum, and so he knew what to expect. He
wondered if they would spring upon their meat while it was still alive.
The Apes did not do such things as that.

The circle of warriors about the cringing captive drew closer and
closer to their prey as they danced in wild and savage abandon to the
maddening music of the drums. Presently a spear reached out and
pricked the victim. It was the signal for fifty others.

Eyes, ears, arms and legs were pierced; every inch of the poor writhing
body that did not cover a vital organ became the target of the cruel
lancers.

The women and children shrieked their delight.

The warriors licked their hideous lips in anticipation of the feast to
come, and vied with one another in the savagery and loathsomeness of
the cruel indignities

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