Tarzan of the Apes

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 75

they understand aught of the many strange and wonderful
dreams that passed through the active brain of their human king. So
limited was their vocabulary that Tarzan could not even talk with them
of the many new truths, and the great fields of thought that his
reading had opened up before his longing eyes, or make known ambitions
which stirred his soul.

Among the tribe he no longer had friends as of old. A little child may
find companionship in many strange and simple creatures, but to a grown
man there must be some semblance of equality in intellect as the basis
for agreeable association.

Had Kala lived, Tarzan would have sacrificed all else to remain near
her, but now that she was dead, and the playful friends of his
childhood grown into fierce and surly brutes he felt that he much
preferred the peace and solitude of his cabin to the irksome duties of
leadership amongst a horde of wild beasts.

The hatred and jealousy of Terkoz, son of Tublat, did much to
counteract the effect of Tarzan's desire to renounce his kingship among
the apes, for, stubborn young Englishman that he was, he could not
bring himself to retreat in the face of so malignant an enemy.

That Terkoz would be chosen leader in his stead he knew full well, for
time and again the ferocious brute had established his claim to
physical supremacy over the few bull apes who had dared resent his
savage bullying.

Tarzan would have liked to subdue the ugly beast without recourse to
knife or arrows. So much had his great strength and agility increased
in the period following his maturity that he had come to believe that
he might master the redoubtable Terkoz in a hand to hand fight were it
not for the terrible advantage the anthropoid's huge fighting fangs
gave him over the poorly armed Tarzan.

The entire matter was taken out of Tarzan's hands one day by force of
circumstances, and his future left open to him, so that he might go or
stay without any stain upon his savage escutcheon.

It happened thus:

The tribe was feeding quietly, spread over a considerable area, when a
great screaming arose some distance east of where Tarzan lay upon his
belly beside a limpid brook, attempting to catch an elusive fish in his
quick, brown hands.

With one accord the tribe swung rapidly toward the frightened cries,
and there found Terkoz holding an old female by the hair and beating
her unmercifully with his great hands.

As Tarzan approached he raised his hand aloft for Terkoz to desist,

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