Tarzan the Terrible

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 176

at a distance and hurl their clubs and
this they did, but the ape-man had learned something of the use of this
weapon since he had arrived in Pal-ul-don. And as he learned great had
grown his respect for this most primitive of arms. He had come to
realize that the black savages he had known had never appreciated the
possibilities of their knob sticks, nor had he, and he had discovered,
too, why the Pal-ul-donians had turned their ancient spears into
plowshares and pinned their faith to the heavy-ended club alone. In
deadly execution it was far more effective than a spear and it
answered, too, every purpose of a shield, combining the two in one and
thus reducing the burden of the warrior. Thrown as they throw it,
after the manner of the hammer-throwers of the Olympian games, an
ordinary shield would prove more a weakness than a strength while one
that would be strong enough to prove a protection would be too heavy to
carry. Only another club, deftly wielded to deflect the course of an
enemy missile, is in any way effective against these formidable weapons
and, too, the war club of Pal-ul-don can be thrown with accuracy a far
greater distance than any spear.

And now was put to the test that which Tarzan had learned from Om-at
and Ta-den. His eyes and his muscles trained by a lifetime of necessity
moved with the rapidity of light and his brain functioned with an
uncanny celerity that suggested nothing less than prescience, and these
things more than compensated for his lack of experience with the war
club he handled so dexterously. Weapon after weapon he warded off and
always he moved with a single idea in mind--to place himself within
reach of one of his antagonists. But they were wary for they feared
this strange creature to whom the superstitious fears of many of them
attributed the miraculous powers of deity. They managed to keep between
Tarzan and the gateway and all the time they bawled lustily for
reinforcements. Should these come before he had made his escape the
ape-man realized that the odds against him would be unsurmountable, and
so he redoubled his efforts to carry out his design.

Following their usual tactics two or three of the warriors were always
circling behind him collecting the thrown clubs when Tarzan's attention
was directed elsewhere. He himself retrieved several of them which he
hurled with such deadly effect as to dispose of two of his antagonists,
but now he heard the approach of hurrying warriors, the patter of their
bare feet

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