The Beasts of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 50

forefingers of the chief and his companion held them all
to perfect silence.

As they turned the corner of the hut, cautiously and upon tiptoe, an
ugly smile touched the lips of the white as his eyes fell upon the
giant figure of the sleeping ape-man.

The chief looked at the other inquiringly. The latter nodded his head,
to signify that the chief had made no mistake in his suspicions. Then
he turned to those behind him and, pointing to the sleeping man,
motioned for them to seize and bind him.

A moment later a dozen brutes had leaped upon the surprised Tarzan, and
so quickly did they work that he was securely bound before he could
make half an effort to escape.

Then they threw him down upon his back, and as his eyes turned toward
the crowd that stood near, they fell upon the malign face of Nikolas
Rokoff.

A sneer curled the Russian's lips. He stepped quite close to Tarzan.

"Pig!" he cried. "Have you not learned sufficient wisdom to keep away
from Nikolas Rokoff?"

Then he kicked the prostrate man full in the face.

"That for your welcome," he said.

"Tonight, before my Ethiop friends eat you, I shall tell you what has
already befallen your wife and child, and what further plans I have for
their futures."




Chapter 8

The Dance of Death


Through the luxuriant, tangled vegetation of the Stygian jungle night a
great lithe body made its way sinuously and in utter silence upon its
soft padded feet. Only two blazing points of yellow-green flame shone
occasionally with the reflected light of the equatorial moon that now
and again pierced the softly sighing roof rustling in the night wind.

Occasionally the beast would stop with high-held nose, sniffing
searchingly. At other times a quick, brief incursion into the branches
above delayed it momentarily in its steady journey toward the east. To
its sensitive nostrils came the subtle unseen spoor of many a tender
four-footed creature, bringing the slaver of hunger to the cruel,
drooping jowl.

But steadfastly it kept on its way, strangely ignoring the cravings of
appetite that at another time would have sent the rolling, fur-clad
muscles flying at some soft throat.

All that night the creature pursued its lonely way, and the next day it
halted only to make a single kill, which it tore to fragments and
devoured with sullen, grumbling rumbles as though half famished for
lack of food.

It was dusk when it approached the palisade that surrounded a large
native village. Like the shadow of a swift and silent death it circled
the

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