The Beasts of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 143

the half-light of the beach. There was no
moon, but the sky was brilliant with stars. Silently the savage brute
came to the side of the man. It had been long since Tarzan had seen
his old fighting companion, but the soft purr was sufficient to assure
him that the animal still recalled the bonds which had united them in
the past.

The ape-man let his fingers fall upon the beast's coat, and as Sheeta
pressed close against his leg he caressed and fondled the wicked head
while his eyes continued to search the blackness of the waters.

Presently he started. What was that? He strained his eyes into the
night. Then he turned and called aloud to the men smoking upon their
blankets in the camp. They came running to his side; but Gust
hesitated when he saw the nature of Tarzan's companion.

"Look!" cried Tarzan. "A light! A ship's light! It must be the
Cowrie. They are becalmed." And then with an exclamation of renewed
hope, "We can reach them! The skiff will carry us easily."

Gust demurred. "They are well armed," he warned. "We could not take
the ship--just five of us."

"There are six now," replied Tarzan, pointing to Sheeta, "and we can
have more still in a half-hour. Sheeta is the equivalent of twenty
men, and the few others I can bring will add full a hundred to our
fighting strength. You do not know them."

The ape-man turned and raised his head toward the jungle, while there
pealed from his lips, time after time, the fearsome cry of the bull-ape
who would summon his fellows.

Presently from the jungle came an answering cry, and then another and
another. Gust shuddered. Among what sort of creatures had fate thrown
him? Were not Kai Shang and Momulla to be preferred to this great
white giant who stroked a panther and called to the beasts of the
jungle?

In a few minutes the apes of Akut came crashing through the underbrush
and out upon the beach, while in the meantime the five men had been
struggling with the unwieldy bulk of the skiff's hull.

By dint of Herculean efforts they had managed to get it to the water's
edge. The oars from the two small boats of the Kincaid, which had been
washed away by an off-shore wind the very night that the party had
landed, had been in use to support the canvas of the sailcloth tents.
These were hastily requisitioned, and

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