The Beasts of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 106

that he could make his
way to the surface of the river beyond and then to the shore seemed
highly improbable. There might be turns and windings in the neck of
the passage, or, most to be feared, he might meet another of the slimy
inhabitants of the retreat upon his journey outward.

Even should he reach the river in safety, there was still the danger of
his being again attacked before he could effect a safe landing. Still
there was no alternative, and, filling his lungs with the close and
reeking air of the chamber, Tarzan of the Apes dived into the dark and
watery hole which he could not see but had felt out and found with his
feet and legs.

The leg which had been held within the jaws of the crocodile was badly
lacerated, but the bone had not been broken, nor were the muscles or
tendons sufficiently injured to render it useless. It gave him
excruciating pain, that was all.

But Tarzan of the Apes was accustomed to pain, and gave it no further
thought when he found that the use of his legs was not greatly impaired
by the sharp teeth of the monster.

Rapidly he crawled and swam through the passage which inclined downward
and finally upward to open at last into the river bottom but a few feet
from the shore line. As the ape-man reached the surface he saw the
heads of two great crocodiles but a short distance from him. They were
making rapidly in his direction, and with a superhuman effort the man
struck out for the overhanging branches of a near-by tree.

Nor was he a moment too soon, for scarcely had he drawn himself to the
safety of the limb than two gaping mouths snapped venomously below him.
For a few minutes Tarzan rested in the tree that had proved the means
of his salvation. His eyes scanned the river as far down-stream as
the tortuous channel would permit, but there was no sign of the Russian
or his dugout.

When he had rested and bound up his wounded leg he started on in
pursuit of the drifting canoe. He found himself upon the opposite of
the river to that at which he had entered the stream, but as his quarry
was upon the bosom of the water it made little difference to the
ape-man upon which side he took up the pursuit.

To his intense chagrin he soon found that his leg was more badly
injured than he had thought, and that its condition

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