The Beasts of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 66

courage sufficient to sustain
them for a short charge toward the village, and even though he doubted
that they would reach it at the first attempt, he believed that at the
second or the third they would swarm through the gateway, when the
outcome could not be aught than the extermination of Tarzan's bold, but
unarmed and undisciplined, defenders.

Even as he had guessed, the first charge carried the howling warriors
but a short distance into the open--a shrill, weird challenge from the
ape-man being all that was necessary to send them scurrying back to the
bush. For half an hour they pranced and yelled their courage to the
sticking-point, and again essayed a charge.

This time they came quite to the village gate, but when Sheeta and the
hideous apes leaped among them they turned screaming in terror, and
again fled to the jungle.

Again was the dancing and shouting repeated. This time Tarzan felt no
doubt they would enter the village and complete the work that a handful
of determined white men would have carried to a successful conclusion
at the first attempt.

To have rescue come so close only to be thwarted because he could not
make his poor, savage friends understand precisely what he wanted of
them was most irritating, but he could not find it in his heart to
place blame upon them. They had done their best, and now he was sure
they would doubtless remain to die with him in a fruitless effort to
defend him.

The blacks were already preparing for the charge. A few individuals
had advanced a short distance toward the village and were exhorting the
others to follow them. In a moment the whole savage horde would be
racing across the clearing.

Tarzan thought only of the little child somewhere in this cruel,
relentless wilderness. His heart ached for the son that he might no
longer seek to save--that and the realization of Jane's suffering were
all that weighed upon his brave spirit in these that he thought his
last moments of life. Succour, all that he could hope for, had come to
him in the instant of his extremity--and failed. There was nothing
further for which to hope.

The blacks were half-way across the clearing when Tarzan's attention
was attracted by the actions of one of the apes. The beast was glaring
toward one of the huts. Tarzan followed his gaze. To his infinite
relief and delight he saw the stalwart form of Mugambi racing toward
him.

The huge black was panting heavily as though from

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