Tarzan the Terrible

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 178

a forest and here at last he
felt such a measure of safety as he never knew in open spaces or in
cities. The forest and the jungle were his birthright. No creature that
went upon the ground upon four feet, or climbed among the trees, or
crawled upon its belly had any advantage over the ape-man in his native
heath. As myrrh and frankincense were the dank odors of rotting
vegetation in the nostrils of the great Tarmangani. He squared his
broad shoulders and lifting his head filled his lungs with the air that
he loved best. The heavy fragrance of tropical blooms, the commingled
odors of the myriad-scented life of the jungle went to his head with a
pleasurable intoxication far more potent than aught contained in the
oldest vintages of civilization.

He took to the trees now, not from necessity but from pure love of the
wild freedom that had been denied him so long. Though it was dark and
the forest strange yet he moved with a surety and ease that bespoke
more a strange uncanny sense than wondrous skill. He heard JA moaning
somewhere ahead and an owl hooted mournfully to the right of him--long
familiar sounds that imparted to him no sense of loneliness as they
might to you or to me, but on the contrary one of companionship for
they betokened the presence of his fellows of the jungle, and whether
friend or foe it was all the same to the ape-man.

He came at last to a little stream at a spot where the trees did not
meet above it so he was forced to descend to the ground and wade
through the water and upon the opposite shore he stopped as though
suddenly his godlike figure had been transmuted from flesh to marble.
Only his dilating nostrils bespoke his pulsing vitality. For a long
moment he stood there thus and then swiftly, but with a caution and
silence that were inherent in him he moved forward again, but now his
whole attitude bespoke a new urge. There was a definite and masterful
purpose in every movement of those steel muscles rolling softly beneath
the smooth brown hide. He moved now toward a certain goal that quite
evidently filled him with far greater enthusiasm than had the possible
event of his return to A-lur.

And so he came at last to the foot of a great tree and there he stopped
and looked up above him among the foliage where the dim outlines of a
roughly rectangular bulk loomed darkly. There was a choking sensation
in

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