The Beasts of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 18

they touched the ground he had gained the same hold upon
Akut that had broken Molak's neck.

Slowly he brought the pressure to bear, and then as in days gone by he
had given Kerchak the chance to surrender and live, so now he gave to
Akut--in whom he saw a possible ally of great strength and
resource--the option of living in amity with him or dying as he had
just seen his savage and heretofore invincible king die.

"Ka-Goda?" whispered Tarzan to the ape beneath him.

It was the same question that he had whispered to Kerchak, and in the
language of the apes it means, broadly, "Do you surrender?"

Akut thought of the creaking sound he had heard just before Molak's
thick neck had snapped, and he shuddered.

He hated to give up the kingship, though, so again he struggled to free
himself; but a sudden torturing pressure upon his vertebra brought an
agonized "ka-goda!" from his lips.

Tarzan relaxed his grip a trifle.

"You may still be king, Akut," he said. "Tarzan told you that he did
not wish to be king. If any question your right, Tarzan of the Apes
will help you in your battles."

The ape-man rose, and Akut came slowly to his feet. Shaking his
bullet head and growling angrily, he waddled toward his tribe, looking
first at one and then at another of the larger bulls who might be
expected to challenge his leadership.

But none did so; instead, they drew away as he approached, and
presently the whole pack moved off into the jungle, and Tarzan was left
alone once more upon the beach.

The ape-man was sore from the wounds that Molak had inflicted upon him,
but he was inured to physical suffering and endured it with the calm
and fortitude of the wild beasts that had taught him to lead the jungle
life after the manner of all those that are born to it.

His first need, he realized, was for weapons of offence and defence,
for his encounter with the apes, and the distant notes of the savage
voices of Numa the lion, and Sheeta, the panther, warned him that his
was to be no life of indolent ease and security.

It was but a return to the old existence of constant bloodshed and
danger--to the hunting and the being hunted. Grim beasts would stalk
him, as they had stalked him in the past, and never would there be a
moment, by savage day or by cruel night, that he might not have instant
need of such crude weapons as he

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