The Beasts of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 31

perceptive faculties, so that the advancing
savages were almost upon him before he became aware that he was no
longer alone upon the beach.

So quickly, though, were his mind and muscles wont to react in unison
to the slightest alarm that he was upon his feet and facing his
enemies, even as he realized that something was behind him. As he
sprang to his feet the warriors leaped toward him with raised clubs and
savage yells, but the foremost went down to sudden death beneath the
long, stout stick of the ape-man, and then the lithe, sinewy figure was
among them, striking right and left with a fury, power, and precision
that brought panic to the ranks of the blacks.

For a moment they withdrew, those that were left of them, and consulted
together at a short distance from the ape-man, who stood with folded
arms, a half-smile upon his handsome face, watching them. Presently
they advanced upon him once more, this time wielding their heavy
war-spears. They were between Tarzan and the jungle, in a little
semicircle that closed in upon him as they advanced.

There seemed to the ape-man but slight chance to escape the final
charge when all the great spears should be hurled simultaneously at
him; but if he had desired to escape there was no way other than
through the ranks of the savages except the open sea behind him.

His predicament was indeed most serious when an idea occurred to him
that altered his smile to a broad grin. The warriors were still some
little distance away, advancing slowly, making, after the manner of
their kind, a frightful din with their savage yells and the pounding of
their naked feet upon the ground as they leaped up and down in a
fantastic war dance.

Then it was that the ape-man lifted his voice in a series of wild,
weird screams that brought the blacks to a sudden, perplexed halt.
They looked at one another questioningly, for here was a sound so
hideous that their own frightful din faded into insignificance beside
it. No human throat could have formed those bestial notes, they were
sure, and yet with their own eyes they had seen this white man open his
mouth to pour forth his awful cry.

But only for a moment they hesitated, and then with one accord they
again took up their fantastic advance upon their prey; but even then a
sudden crashing in the jungle behind them brought them once more to a
halt, and as they turned to look in the direction

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