The Beasts of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 35

a revolting fact; but had
we learned in childhood to eat these things, and had we seen all those
about us eat them, they would seem no more sickening to us now than do
many of our greatest dainties, at which a savage African cannibal would
look with repugnance and turn up his nose.

For instance, there is a tribe in the vicinity of Lake Rudolph that
will eat no sheep or cattle, though its next neighbors do so. Near by
is another tribe that eats donkey-meat--a custom most revolting to the
surrounding tribes that do not eat donkey. So who may say that it is
nice to eat snails and frogs' legs and oysters, but disgusting to feed
upon grubs and beetles, or that a raw oyster, hoof, horns, and tail, is
less revolting than the sweet, clean meat of a fresh-killed buck?

The next few days Tarzan devoted to the weaving of a barkcloth sail
with which to equip the canoe, for he despaired of being able to teach
the apes to wield the paddles, though he did manage to get several of
them to embark in the frail craft which he and Mugambi paddled about
inside the reef where the water was quite smooth.

During these trips he had placed paddles in their hands, when they
attempted to imitate the movements of him and Mugambi, but so difficult
is it for them long to concentrate upon a thing that he soon saw that
it would require weeks of patient training before they would be able to
make any effective use of these new implements, if, in fact, they
should ever do so.

There was one exception, however, and he was Akut. Almost from the
first he showed an interest in this new sport that revealed a much
higher plane of intelligence than that attained by any of his tribe.
He seemed to grasp the purpose of the paddles, and when Tarzan saw that
this was so he took much pains to explain in the meagre language of the
anthropoid how they might be used to the best advantage.

From Mugambi Tarzan learned that the mainland lay but a short distance
from the island. It seemed that the Wagambi warriors had ventured too
far out in their frail craft, and when caught by a heavy tide and a
high wind from off-shore they had been driven out of sight of land.
After paddling for a whole night, thinking that they were headed for
home, they had seen this land at sunrise, and, still taking it for the
mainland, had

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