The Beasts of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 23

for all his noble birth, one whit less
savage than the wild, fierce thing he stalked.

As he came closer to Sheeta he became aware that the panther on his
part was stalking game of his own, and even as he realized this fact
there came to his nostrils, wafted from his right by a vagrant breeze,
the strong odour of a company of great apes.

The panther had taken to a large tree as Tarzan came within sight of
him, and beyond and below him Tarzan saw the tribe of Akut lolling in a
little, natural clearing. Some of them were dozing against the boles
of trees, while others roamed about turning over bits of bark from
beneath which they transferred the luscious grubs and beetles to their
mouths.

Akut was the closest to Sheeta.

The great cat lay crouched upon a thick limb, hidden from the ape's
view by dense foliage, waiting patiently until the anthropoid should
come within range of his spring.

Tarzan cautiously gained a position in the same tree with the panther
and a little above him. In his left hand he grasped his slim stone
blade. He would have preferred to use his noose, but the foliage
surrounding the huge cat precluded the possibility of an accurate throw
with the rope.

Akut had now wandered quite close beneath the tree wherein lay the
waiting death. Sheeta slowly edged his hind paws along the branch
still further beneath him, and then with a hideous shriek he launched
himself toward the great ape. The barest fraction of a second before
his spring another beast of prey above him leaped, its weird and savage
cry mingling with his.

As the startled Akut looked up he saw the panther almost above him, and
already upon the panther's back the white ape that had bested him that
day near the great water.

The teeth of the ape-man were buried in the back of Sheeta's neck and
his right arm was round the fierce throat, while the left hand,
grasping a slender piece of stone, rose and fell in mighty blows upon
the panther's side behind the left shoulder.

Akut had just time to leap to one side to avoid being pinioned beneath
these battling monsters of the jungle.

With a crash they came to earth at his feet. Sheeta was screaming,
snarling, and roaring horribly; but the white ape clung tenaciously and
in silence to the thrashing body of his quarry.

Steadily and remorselessly the stone knife was driven home through the
glossy hide--time and again it drank deep, until with a

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