The Beasts of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 19

could fashion from the materials at
hand.

Upon the shore he found an out-cropping of brittle, igneous rock. By
dint of much labour he managed to chip off a narrow sliver some twelve
inches long by a quarter of an inch thick. One edge was quite thin for
a few inches near the tip. It was the rudiment of a knife.

With it he went into the jungle, searching until he found a fallen tree
of a certain species of hardwood with which he was familiar. From this
he cut a small straight branch, which he pointed at one end.

Then he scooped a small, round hole in the surface of the prostrate
trunk. Into this he crumbled a few bits of dry bark, minutely
shredded, after which he inserted the tip of his pointed stick, and,
sitting astride the bole of the tree, spun the slender rod rapidly
between his palms.

After a time a thin smoke rose from the little mass of tinder, and a
moment later the whole broke into flame. Heaping some larger twigs
and sticks upon the tiny fire, Tarzan soon had quite a respectable
blaze roaring in the enlarging cavity of the dead tree.

Into this he thrust the blade of his stone knife, and as it became
superheated he would withdraw it, touching a spot near the thin edge
with a drop of moisture. Beneath the wetted area a little flake of the
glassy material would crack and scale away.

Thus, very slowly, the ape-man commenced the tedious operation of
putting a thin edge upon his primitive hunting-knife.

He did not attempt to accomplish the feat all in one sitting. At first
he was content to achieve a cutting edge of a couple of inches, with
which he cut a long, pliable bow, a handle for his knife, a stout
cudgel, and a goodly supply of arrows.

These he cached in a tall tree beside a little stream, and here also he
constructed a platform with a roof of palm-leaves above it.

When all these things had been finished it was growing dusk, and Tarzan
felt a strong desire to eat.

He had noted during the brief incursion he had made into the forest
that a short distance up-stream from his tree there was a much-used
watering place, where, from the trampled mud of either bank, it was
evident beasts of all sorts and in great numbers came to drink. To
this spot the hungry ape-man made his silent way.

Through the upper terrace of the tree-tops he swung with

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