The Beasts of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 26

upbringing of the child.

Tarzan shuddered as he thought of the cruel suffering the little one
must endure in such a life, even though he might fall into the hands of
individuals whose intentions toward him were of the kindest. The
ape-man had had sufficient experience with the lower savages of Africa
to know that even there may be found the cruder virtues of charity and
humanity; but their lives were at best but a series of terrible
privations, dangers, and sufferings.

Then there was the horrid after-fate that awaited the child as he grew
to manhood. The horrible practices that would form a part of his
life-training would alone be sufficient to bar him forever from
association with those of his own race and station in life.

A cannibal! His little boy a savage man-eater! It was too horrible to
contemplate.

The filed teeth, the slit nose, the little face painted hideously.
Tarzan groaned. Could he but feel the throat of the Russ fiend beneath
his steel fingers!

And Jane!

What tortures of doubt and fear and uncertainty she must be suffering.
He felt that his position was infinitely less terrible than hers, for
he at least knew that one of his loved ones was safe at home, while she
had no idea of the whereabouts of either her husband or her son.

It is well for Tarzan that he did not guess the truth, for the
knowledge would have but added a hundredfold to his suffering.

As he moved slowly through the jungle his mind absorbed by his gloomy
thoughts, there presently came to his ears a strange scratching sound
which he could not translate.

Cautiously he moved in the direction from which it emanated, presently
coming upon a huge panther pinned beneath a fallen tree.

As Tarzan approached, the beast turned, snarling, toward him,
struggling to extricate itself; but one great limb across its back and
the smaller entangling branches pinioning its legs prevented it from
moving but a few inches in any direction.

The ape-man stood before the helpless cat fitting an arrow to his bow
that he might dispatch the beast that otherwise must die of starvation;
but even as he drew back the shaft a sudden whim stayed his hand.

Why rob the poor creature of life and liberty, when it would be so easy
a thing to restore both to it! He was sure from the fact that the
panther moved all its limbs in its futile struggle for freedom that its
spine was uninjured, and for the same reason he knew that none of its
limbs

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