The Beasts of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 115

the terrible ferocity of the beasts the men were soon
scampering in all directions--those who still lived to scamper, for the
great fangs of the apes of Akut and the tearing talons of Sheeta
already had found more than a single victim.

Four, however, escaped and disappeared into the forecastle, where they
hoped to barricade themselves against further assault. Here they
found Rokoff, and, enraged at his desertion of them in their moment of
peril, no less than at the uniformly brutal treatment it had been his
wont to accord them, they gloated upon the opportunity now offered them
to revenge themselves in part upon their hated employer.

Despite his prayers and grovelling pleas, therefore, they hurled him
bodily out upon the deck, delivering him to the mercy of the fearful
things from which they had themselves just escaped.

Tarzan saw the man emerge from the forecastle--saw and recognized his
enemy; but another saw him even as soon.

It was Sheeta, and with grinning jaws the mighty beast slunk silently
toward the terror-stricken man.

When Rokoff saw what it was that stalked him his shrieks for help
filled the air, as with trembling knees he stood, as one paralyzed,
before the hideous death that was creeping upon him.

Tarzan took a step toward the Russian, his brain burning with a raging
fire of vengeance. At last he had the murderer of his son at his
mercy. His was the right to avenge.

Once Jane had stayed his hand that time that he sought to take the law
into his own power and mete to Rokoff the death that he had so long
merited; but this time none should stay him.

His fingers clenched and unclenched spasmodically as he approached the
trembling Russ, beastlike and ominous as a brute of prey.

Presently he saw that Sheeta was about to forestall him, robbing him of
the fruits of his great hate.

He called sharply to the panther, and the words, as if they had broken
a hideous spell that had held the Russian, galvanized him into sudden
action. With a scream he turned and fled toward the bridge.

After him pounced Sheeta the panther, unmindful of his master's warning
voice.

Tarzan was about to leap after the two when he felt a light touch upon
his arm. Turning, he found Jane at his elbow.

"Do not leave me," she whispered. "I am afraid."

Tarzan glanced behind her.

All about were the hideous apes of Akut. Some, even, were approaching
the young woman with bared fangs and menacing guttural warnings.

The ape-man warned them back.

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