Tarzan of the Apes

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 76

for
the female was not his, but belonged to a poor old ape whose fighting
days were long over, and who, therefore, could not protect his family.

Terkoz knew that it was against the laws of his kind to strike this
woman of another, but being a bully, he had taken advantage of the
weakness of the female's husband to chastise her because she had
refused to give up to him a tender young rodent she had captured.

When Terkoz saw Tarzan approaching without his arrows, he continued to
belabor the poor woman in a studied effort to affront his hated
chieftain.

Tarzan did not repeat his warning signal, but instead rushed bodily
upon the waiting Terkoz.

Never had the ape-man fought so terrible a battle since that long-gone
day when Bolgani, the great king gorilla had so horribly manhandled him
ere the new-found knife had, by accident, pricked the savage heart.

Tarzan's knife on the present occasion but barely offset the gleaming
fangs of Terkoz, and what little advantage the ape had over the man in
brute strength was almost balanced by the latter's wonderful quickness
and agility.

In the sum total of their points, however, the anthropoid had a shade
the better of the battle, and had there been no other personal
attribute to influence the final outcome, Tarzan of the Apes, the young
Lord Greystoke, would have died as he had lived--an unknown savage
beast in equatorial Africa.

But there was that which had raised him far above his fellows of the
jungle--that little spark which spells the whole vast difference
between man and brute--Reason. This it was which saved him from death
beneath the iron muscles and tearing fangs of Terkoz.

Scarcely had they fought a dozen seconds ere they were rolling upon the
ground, striking, tearing and rending--two great savage beasts battling
to the death.

Terkoz had a dozen knife wounds on head and breast, and Tarzan was torn
and bleeding--his scalp in one place half torn from his head so that a
great piece hung down over one eye, obstructing his vision.

But so far the young Englishman had been able to keep those horrible
fangs from his jugular and now, as they fought less fiercely for a
moment, to regain their breath, Tarzan formed a cunning plan. He would
work his way to the other's back and, clinging there with tooth and
nail, drive his knife home until Terkoz was no more.

The maneuver was accomplished more easily than he had hoped, for the
stupid beast, not knowing what Tarzan was attempting, made no
particular effort to prevent the accomplishment of the

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I.