Tarzan of the Apes

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 74

bodies from
a high tree into the village street during the still watches of the
night.

These various escapades again so terrorized the blacks that, had it not
been for the monthly respite between Tarzan's visits, in which they had
opportunity to renew hope that each fresh incursion would prove the
last, they soon would have abandoned their new village.

The blacks had not as yet come upon Tarzan's cabin on the distant
beach, but the ape-man lived in constant dread that, while he was away
with the tribe, they would discover and despoil his treasure. So it
came that he spent more and more time in the vicinity of his father's
last home, and less and less with the tribe. Presently the members of
his little community began to suffer on account of his neglect, for
disputes and quarrels constantly arose which only the king might settle
peaceably.

At last some of the older apes spoke to Tarzan on the subject, and for
a month thereafter he remained constantly with the tribe.

The duties of kingship among the anthropoids are not many or arduous.

In the afternoon comes Thaka, possibly, to complain that old Mungo has
stolen his new wife. Then must Tarzan summon all before him, and if he
finds that the wife prefers her new lord he commands that matters
remain as they are, or possibly that Mungo give Thaka one of his
daughters in exchange.

Whatever his decision, the apes accept it as final, and return to their
occupations satisfied.

Then comes Tana, shrieking and holding tight her side from which blood
is streaming. Gunto, her husband, has cruelly bitten her! And Gunto,
summoned, says that Tana is lazy and will not bring him nuts and
beetles, or scratch his back for him.

So Tarzan scolds them both and threatens Gunto with a taste of the
death-bearing slivers if he abuses Tana further, and Tana, for her
part, is compelled to promise better attention to her wifely duties.

And so it goes, little family differences for the most part, which, if
left unsettled would result finally in greater factional strife, and
the eventual dismemberment of the tribe.

But Tarzan tired of it, as he found that kingship meant the curtailment
of his liberty. He longed for the little cabin and the sun-kissed
sea--for the cool interior of the well-built house, and for the
never-ending wonders of the many books.

As he had grown older, he found that he had grown away from his people.
Their interests and his were far removed. They had not kept pace with
him, nor could

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