The Beasts of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 24

final agonized
lunge and shriek the great feline rolled over upon its side and, save
for the spasmodic jerking of its muscles, lay quiet and still in death.

Then the ape-man raised his head, as he stood over the carcass of his
kill, and once again through the jungle rang his wild and savage
victory challenge.

Akut and the apes of Akut stood looking in startled wonder at the dead
body of Sheeta and the lithe, straight figure of the man who had slain
him.

Tarzan was the first to speak.

He had saved Akut's life for a purpose, and, knowing the limitations of
the ape intellect, he also knew that he must make this purpose plain to
the anthropoid if it were to serve him in the way he hoped.

"I am Tarzan of the Apes," he said, "Mighty hunter. Mighty fighter.
By the great water I spared Akut's life when I might have taken it and
become king of the tribe of Akut. Now I have saved Akut from death
beneath the rending fangs of Sheeta.

"When Akut or the tribe of Akut is in danger, let them call to Tarzan
thus"--and the ape-man raised the hideous cry with which the tribe of
Kerchak had been wont to summon its absent members in times of peril.

"And," he continued, "when they hear Tarzan call to them, let them
remember what he has done for Akut and come to him with great speed.
Shall it be as Tarzan says?"

"Huh!" assented Akut, and from the members of his tribe there rose a
unanimous "Huh."

Then, presently, they went to feeding again as though nothing had
happened, and with them fed John Clayton, Lord Greystoke.

He noticed, however, that Akut kept always close to him, and was often
looking at him with a strange wonder in his little bloodshot eyes, and
once he did a thing that Tarzan during all his long years among the
apes had never before seen an ape do--he found a particularly tender
morsel and handed it to Tarzan.

As the tribe hunted, the glistening body of the ape-man mingled with
the brown, shaggy hides of his companions. Oftentimes they brushed
together in passing, but the apes had already taken his presence for
granted, so that he was as much one of them as Akut himself.

If he came too close to a she with a young baby, the former would bare
her great fighting fangs and growl ominously, and occasionally a
truculent young bull would snarl a warning if Tarzan approached while
the former was eating. But in those

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