The Beasts of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 30

the panther, though doubtless some
subconscious suggestion, superinduced by this primary reason and aided
and abetted by the habit of the past few days, did much to compel the
beast to tolerate treatment at his hands that would have sent it at the
throat of any other creature.

Then, too, there was the compelling force of the manmind exerting its
powerful influence over this creature of a lower order, and, after all,
it may have been this that proved the most potent factor in Tarzan's
supremacy over Sheeta and the other beasts of the jungle that had from
time to time fallen under his domination.

Be that as it may, for days the man, the panther, and the great apes
roamed their savage haunts side by side, making their kills together
and sharing them with one another, and of all the fierce and savage
band none was more terrible than the smooth-skinned, powerful beast
that had been but a few short months before a familiar figure in many a
London drawing room.

Sometimes the beasts separated to follow their own inclinations for an
hour or a day, and it was upon one of these occasions when the ape-man
had wandered through the tree-tops toward the beach, and was stretched
in the hot sun upon the sand, that from the low summit of a near-by
promontory a pair of keen eyes discovered him.

For a moment the owner of the eyes looked in astonishment at the figure
of the savage white man basking in the rays of that hot, tropic sun;
then he turned, making a sign to some one behind him. Presently
another pair of eyes were looking down upon the ape-man, and then
another and another, until a full score of hideously trapped, savage
warriors were lying upon their bellies along the crest of the ridge
watching the white-skinned stranger.

They were down wind from Tarzan, and so their scent was not carried to
him, and as his back was turned half toward them he did not see their
cautious advance over the edge of the promontory and down through the
rank grass toward the sandy beach where he lay.

Big fellows they were, all of them, their barbaric headdresses and
grotesquely painted faces, together with their many metal ornaments and
gorgeously coloured feathers, adding to their wild, fierce appearance.

Once at the foot of the ridge, they came cautiously to their feet, and,
bent half-double, advanced silently upon the unconscious white man,
their heavy war-clubs swinging menacingly in their brawny hands.

The mental suffering that Tarzan's sorrowful thoughts induced had the
effect of numbing his keen,

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