Tarzan the Terrible

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 62

road to liberty. Finally, just before dawn, he
relinquished his immediate effort and sought rest in a friendly tree
crotch in the safety of the middle terrace.

Once again was the sun high when Tarzan awoke, rested and refreshed.
Keen to the necessities of the moment he made no effort to locate his
jailers lest in the act he might apprise them of his movements. Instead
he sought cautiously and silently to melt away among the foliage of the
trees. His first move, however, was heralded by a deep bellow from
below.

Among the numerous refinements of civilization that Tarzan had failed
to acquire was that of profanity, and possibly it is to be regretted
since there are circumstances under which it is at least a relief to
pent emotion. And it may be that in effect Tarzan resorted to profanity
if there can be physical as well as vocal swearing, since immediately
the bellow announced that his hopes had been again frustrated, he
turned quickly and seeing the hideous face of the GRYF below him seized
a large fruit from a nearby branch and hurled it viciously at the
horned snout. The missile struck full between the creature's eyes,
resulting in a reaction that surprised the ape-man; it did not arouse
the beast to a show of revengeful rage as Tarzan had expected and
hoped; instead the creature gave a single vicious side snap at the
fruit as it bounded from his skull and then turned sulkily away,
walking off a few steps.

There was that in the act that recalled immediately to Tarzan's mind
similar action on the preceding day when the Tor-o-don had struck one
of the creatures across the face with his staff, and instantly there
sprung to the cunning and courageous brain a plan of escape from his
predicament that might have blanched the cheek of the most heroic.

The gambling instinct is not strong among creatures of the wild; the
chances of their daily life are sufficient stimuli for the beneficial
excitement of their nerve centers. It has remained for civilized man,
protected in a measure from the natural dangers of existence, to invent
artificial stimulants in the form of cards and dice and roulette
wheels. Yet when necessity bids there are no greater gamblers than the
savage denizens of the jungle, the forest, and the hills, for as
lightly as you roll the ivory cubes upon the green cloth they will
gamble with death--their own lives the stake.

And so Tarzan would gamble now, pitting the seemingly wild deductions
of his shrewd brain against all the proofs of the bestial ferocity

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