Tarzan the Terrible

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 12

that it might
turn upon its attacker, the man clinging desperately to his hold.

Seemingly the attack was one of mad, senseless ferocity unguided by
either reason or skill. Nothing, however, could have been farther from
the truth than such an assumption since every muscle in the ape-man's
giant frame obeyed the dictates of the cunning mind that long
experience had trained to meet every exigency of such an encounter. The
long, powerful legs, though seemingly inextricably entangled with the
hind feet of the clawing cat, ever as by a miracle, escaped the raking
talons and yet at just the proper instant in the midst of all the
rolling and tossing they were where they should be to carry out the
ape-man's plan of offense. So that on the instant that the cat believed
it had won the mastery of its antagonist it was jerked suddenly upward
as the ape-man rose to his feet, holding the striped back close against
his body as he rose and forcing it backward until it could but claw the
air helplessly.

Instantly the shaggy black rushed in with drawn knife which it buried
in the beast's heart. For a few moments Tarzan retained his hold but
when the body had relaxed in final dissolution he pushed it from him
and the two who had formerly been locked in mortal combat stood facing
each other across the body of the common foe.

Tarzan waited, ready either for peace or war. Presently two shaggy
black hands were raised; the left was laid upon its own heart and the
right extended until the palm touched Tarzan's breast. It was the same
form of friendly salutation with which the pithecanthropus had sealed
his alliance with the ape-man and Tarzan, glad of every ally he could
win in this strange and savage world, quickly accepted the proffered

At the conclusion of the brief ceremony Tarzan, glancing in the
direction of the hairless pithecanthropus, discovered that the latter
had recovered consciousness and was sitting erect watching them
intently. He now rose slowly and at the same time the shaggy black
turned in his direction and addressed him in what evidently was their
common language. The hairless one replied and the two approached each
other slowly. Tarzan watched interestedly the outcome of their meeting.
They halted a few paces apart, first one and then the other speaking
rapidly but without apparent excitement, each occasionally glancing or
nodding toward Tarzan, indicating that he was to some extent the
subject of their conversation.

Presently they advanced again until they met, whereupon was repeated
the brief ceremony of alliance which had previously marked

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