The Beasts of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 40

horn, for
Kaviri was a crafty warrior, and it was in his mind to take no chances,
if they could be avoided. He would swoop noiselessly down with his
seven canoes upon the single one of the white man, and before the guns
of the latter could inflict much damage upon his people he would have
overwhelmed the enemy by force of numbers.

Kaviri's own canoe went in advance of the others a short distance, and
as it rounded a sharp bend in the river where the swift current bore it
rapidly on its way it came suddenly upon the thing that Kaviri sought.

So close were the two canoes to one another that the black had only an
opportunity to note the white face in the bow of the oncoming craft
before the two touched and his own men were upon their feet, yelling
like mad devils and thrusting their long spears at the occupants of the
other canoe.

But a moment later, when Kaviri was able to realize the nature of the
crew that manned the white man's dugout, he would have given all the
beads and iron wire that he possessed to have been safely within his
distant village. Scarcely had the two craft come together than the
frightful apes of Akut rose, growling and barking, from the bottom of
the canoe, and, with long, hairy arms far outstretched, grasped the
menacing spears from the hands of Kaviri's warriors.

The blacks were overcome with terror, but there was nothing to do other
than to fight. Now came the other war-canoes rapidly down upon the two
craft. Their occupants were eager to join the battle, for they thought
that their foes were white men and their native porters.

They swarmed about Tarzan's craft; but when they saw the nature of the
enemy all but one turned and paddled swiftly up-river. That one came
too close to the ape-man's craft before its occupants realized that
their fellows were pitted against demons instead of men. As it touched
Tarzan spoke a few low words to Sheeta and Akut, so that before the
attacking warriors could draw away there sprang upon them with a
blood-freezing scream a huge panther, and into the other end of their
canoe clambered a great ape.

At one end the panther wrought fearful havoc with his mighty talons and
long, sharp fangs, while Akut at the other buried his yellow canines in
the necks of those that came within his reach, hurling the
terror-stricken blacks overboard as he made his way toward the centre
of

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Page 5
Since we had entered the territory we had not seen a hostile Indian, and we had, therefore, become careless in the extreme, and were wont to ridicule the stories we had heard of the great numbers of these vicious marauders that were supposed to haunt the trails, taking their toll in lives and torture of every white party which fell into their merciless clutches.
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Above me shone the red eye of Mars holding her awful secret, forty-eight million miles away.