The Beasts of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 17

day would have done so. Tarzan saw that the
beast was of wondrous proportions, standing over seven feet upon his
short, bowed legs.

His great, hairy arms reached almost to the ground even when he stood
erect, and his fighting fangs, now quite close to Tarzan's face, were
exceptionally long and sharp. Like the others of his tribe, he
differed in several minor essentials from the apes of Tarzan's boyhood.

At first the ape-man had experienced a thrill of hope at sight of the
shaggy bodies of the anthropoids--a hope that by some strange freak of
fate he had been again returned to his own tribe; but a closer
inspection had convinced him that these were another species.

As the threatening bull continued his stiff and jerky circling of the
ape-man, much after the manner that you have noted among dogs when a
strange canine comes among them, it occurred to Tarzan to discover if
the language of his own tribe was identical with that of this other
family, and so he addressed the brute in the language of the tribe of
Kerchak.

"Who are you," he asked, "who threatens Tarzan of the Apes?"

The hairy brute looked his surprise.

"I am Akut," replied the other in the same simple, primal tongue which
is so low in the scale of spoken languages that, as Tarzan had
surmised, it was identical with that of the tribe in which the first
twenty years of his life had been spent.

"I am Akut," said the ape. "Molak is dead. I am king. Go away or I
shall kill you!"

"You saw how easily I killed Molak," replied Tarzan. "So I could kill
you if I cared to be king. But Tarzan of the Apes would not be king of
the tribe of Akut. All he wishes is to live in peace in this country.
Let us be friends. Tarzan of the Apes can help you, and you can help
Tarzan of the Apes."

"You cannot kill Akut," replied the other. "None is so great as Akut.
Had you not killed Molak, Akut would have done so, for Akut was ready
to be king."

For answer the ape-man hurled himself upon the great brute who during
the conversation had slightly relaxed his vigilance.

In the twinkling of an eye the man had seized the wrist of the great
ape, and before the other could grapple with him had whirled him about
and leaped upon his broad back.

Down they went together, but so well had Tarzan's plan worked out that
before ever

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