The Beasts of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 48

that night the ape-man swung rapidly through the
upper and middle terraces of the forest. When the going was good there
he preferred the upper branches of the giant trees, for then his way
was better lighted by the moon; but so accustomed were all his senses
to the grim world of his birth that it was possible for him, even in
the dense, black shadows near the ground, to move with ease and
rapidity. You or I walking beneath the arcs of Main Street, or
Broadway, or State Street, could not have moved more surely or with a
tenth the speed of the agile ape-man through the gloomy mazes that
would have baffled us entirely.

At dawn he stopped to feed, and then he slept for several hours, taking
up the pursuit again toward noon.

Twice he came upon natives, and, though he had considerable difficulty
in approaching them, he succeeded in each instance in quieting both
their fears and bellicose intentions toward him, and learned from them
that he was upon the trail of the Russian.

Two days later, still following up the Ugambi, he came upon a large
village. The chief, a wicked-looking fellow with the sharp-filed teeth
that often denote the cannibal, received him with apparent friendliness.

The ape-man was now thoroughly fatigued, and had determined to rest for
eight or ten hours that he might be fresh and strong when he caught up
with Rokoff, as he was sure he must do within a very short time.

The chief told him that the bearded white man had left his village only
the morning before, and that doubtless he would be able to overtake him
in a short time. The other party the chief had not seen or heard of,
so he said.

Tarzan did not like the appearance or manner of the fellow, who seemed,
though friendly enough, to harbour a certain contempt for this
half-naked white man who came with no followers and offered no
presents; but he needed the rest and food that the village would afford
him with less effort than the jungle, and so, as he knew no fear of
man, beast, or devil, he curled himself up in the shadow of a hut and
was soon asleep.

Scarcely had he left the chief than the latter called two of his
warriors, to whom he whispered a few instructions. A moment later the
sleek, black bodies were racing along the river path, up-stream, toward
the east.

In the village the chief maintained perfect quiet. He would permit no
one to approach

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