Tarzan of the Apes

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 72

of
the straining beast were scarce an inch from Tarzan's throat when, with
a shuddering tremor, the great body stiffened for an instant and then
sank limply to the ground.

Kerchak was dead.

Withdrawing the knife that had so often rendered him master of far
mightier muscles than his own, Tarzan of the Apes placed his foot upon
the neck of his vanquished enemy, and once again, loud through the
forest rang the fierce, wild cry of the conqueror.

And thus came the young Lord Greystoke into the kingship of the Apes.




Chapter XII

Man's Reason


There was one of the tribe of Tarzan who questioned his authority, and
that was Terkoz, the son of Tublat, but he so feared the keen knife and
the deadly arrows of his new lord that he confined the manifestation of
his objections to petty disobediences and irritating mannerisms; Tarzan
knew, however, that he but waited his opportunity to wrest the kingship
from him by some sudden stroke of treachery, and so he was ever on his
guard against surprise.

For months the life of the little band went on much as it had before,
except that Tarzan's greater intelligence and his ability as a hunter
were the means of providing for them more bountifully than ever before.
Most of them, therefore, were more than content with the change in
rulers.

Tarzan led them by night to the fields of the black men, and there,
warned by their chief's superior wisdom, they ate only what they
required, nor ever did they destroy what they could not eat, as is the
way of Manu, the monkey, and of most apes.

So, while the blacks were wroth at the continued pilfering of their
fields, they were not discouraged in their efforts to cultivate the
land, as would have been the case had Tarzan permitted his people to
lay waste the plantation wantonly.

During this period Tarzan paid many nocturnal visits to the village,
where he often renewed his supply of arrows. He soon noticed the food
always standing at the foot of the tree which was his avenue into the
palisade, and after a little, he commenced to eat whatever the blacks
put there.

When the awe-struck savages saw that the food disappeared overnight
they were filled with consternation and dread, for it was one thing to
put food out to propitiate a god or a devil, but quite another thing to
have the spirit really come into the village and eat it. Such a thing
was unheard of, and it clouded their superstitious minds with all
manner of vague fears.

Nor was this all. The

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