Tarzan the Terrible

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 5

across the grassy carpet in the vicinity of
his tree brought him to alert and ready activity. Tarzan does not
awaken as you and I with the weight of slumber still upon his eyes and
brain, for did the creatures of the wild awaken thus, their awakenings
would be few. As his eyes snapped open, clear and bright, so, clear
and bright upon the nerve centers of his brain, were registered the
various perceptions of all his senses.

Almost beneath him, racing toward his tree was what at first glance
appeared to be an almost naked white man, yet even at the first instant
of discovery the long, white tail projecting rearward did not escape
the ape-man. Behind the fleeing figure, escaping, came Numa, the lion,
in full charge. Voiceless the prey, voiceless the killer; as two
spirits in a dead world the two moved in silent swiftness toward the
culminating tragedy of this grim race.

Even as his eyes opened and took in the scene beneath him--even in that
brief instant of perception, followed reason, judgment, and decision,
so rapidly one upon the heels of the other that almost simultaneously
the ape-man was in mid-air, for he had seen a white-skinned creature
cast in a mold similar to his own, pursued by Tarzan's hereditary
enemy. So close was the lion to the fleeing man-thing that Tarzan had
no time carefully to choose the method of his attack. As a diver leaps
from the springboard headforemost into the waters beneath, so Tarzan of
the Apes dove straight for Numa, the lion; naked in his right hand the
blade of his father that so many times before had tasted the blood of
lions.

A raking talon caught Tarzan on the side, inflicting a long, deep wound
and then the ape-man was on Numa's back and the blade was sinking again
and again into the savage side. Nor was the man-thing either longer
fleeing, or idle. He too, creature of the wild, had sensed on the
instant the truth of the miracle of his saving, and turning in his
tracks, had leaped forward with raised bludgeon to Tarzan's assistance
and Numa's undoing. A single terrific blow upon the flattened skull of
the beast laid him insensible and then as Tarzan's knife found the wild
heart a few convulsive shudders and a sudden relaxation marked the
passing of the carnivore.

Leaping to his feet the ape-man placed his foot upon the carcass of his
kill and, raising his face to Goro, the moon, voiced the savage victory
cry that had so often awakened the echoes of his native jungle.

As

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