Tarzan of the Apes

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 71

rounded with huge muscles. The back of his
short neck was as a single lump of iron sinew which bulged beyond the
base of his skull, so that his head seemed like a small ball protruding
from a huge mountain of flesh.

His back-drawn, snarling lips exposed his great fighting fangs, and his
little, wicked, blood-shot eyes gleamed in horrid reflection of his
madness.

Awaiting him stood Tarzan, himself a mighty muscled animal, but his six
feet of height and his great rolling sinews seemed pitifully inadequate
to the ordeal which awaited them.

His bow and arrows lay some distance away where he had dropped them
while showing Sabor's hide to his fellow apes, so that he confronted
Kerchak now with only his hunting knife and his superior intellect to
offset the ferocious strength of his enemy.

As his antagonist came roaring toward him, Lord Greystoke tore his long
knife from its sheath, and with an answering challenge as horrid and
bloodcurdling as that of the beast he faced, rushed swiftly to meet the
attack. He was too shrewd to allow those long hairy arms to encircle
him, and just as their bodies were about to crash together, Tarzan of
the Apes grasped one of the huge wrists of his assailant, and,
springing lightly to one side, drove his knife to the hilt into
Kerchak's body, below the heart.

Before he could wrench the blade free again, the bull's quick lunge to
seize him in those awful arms had torn the weapon from Tarzan's grasp.

Kerchak aimed a terrific blow at the ape-man's head with the flat of
his hand, a blow which, had it landed, might easily have crushed in the
side of Tarzan's skull.

The man was too quick, and, ducking beneath it, himself delivered a
mighty one, with clenched fist, in the pit of Kerchak's stomach.

The ape was staggered, and what with the mortal wound in his side had
almost collapsed, when, with one mighty effort he rallied for an
instant--just long enough to enable him to wrest his arm free from
Tarzan's grasp and close in a terrific clinch with his wiry opponent.

Straining the ape-man close to him, his great jaws sought Tarzan's
throat, but the young lord's sinewy fingers were at Kerchak's own
before the cruel fangs could close on the sleek brown skin.

Thus they struggled, the one to crush out his opponent's life with
those awful teeth, the other to close forever the windpipe beneath his
strong grasp while he held the snarling mouth from him.

The greater strength of the ape was slowly prevailing, and the teeth

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