The Beasts of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 99

of land and over
the rising promontory brought Tarzan, by a short cut, to the inward
bend of the winding river, and there before him upon the bosom of the
stream he saw the dugout, and in its stern Nikolas Rokoff.

Jane was not with the Russian.

At sight of his enemy the broad scar upon the ape-man's brow burned
scarlet, and there rose to his lips the hideous, bestial challenge of
the bull-ape.

Rokoff shuddered as the weird and terrible alarm fell upon his ears.
Cowering in the bottom of the boat, his teeth chattering in terror, he
watched the man he feared above all other creatures upon the face of
the earth as he ran quickly to the edge of the water.

Even though the Russian knew that he was safe from his enemy, the very
sight of him threw him into a frenzy of trembling cowardice, which
became frantic hysteria as he saw the white giant dive fearlessly into
the forbidding waters of the tropical river.

With steady, powerful strokes the ape-man forged out into the stream
toward the drifting dugout. Now Rokoff seized one of the paddles lying
in the bottom of the craft, and, with terrorwide eyes still glued upon
the living death that pursued him, struck out madly in an effort to
augment the speed of the unwieldy canoe.

And from the opposite bank a sinister ripple, unseen by either man,
moved steadily toward the half-naked swimmer.

Tarzan had reached the stern of the craft at last. One hand
upstretched grasped the gunwale. Rokoff sat frozen with fear, unable
to move a hand or foot, his eyes riveted upon the face of his Nemesis.

Then a sudden commotion in the water behind the swimmer caught his
attention. He saw the ripple, and he knew what caused it.

At the same instant Tarzan felt mighty jaws close upon his right leg.
He tried to struggle free and raise himself over the side of the boat.
His efforts would have succeeded had not this unexpected interruption
galvanized the malign brain of the Russian into instant action with its
sudden promise of deliverance and revenge.

Like a venomous snake the man leaped toward the stern of the boat, and
with a single swift blow struck Tarzan across the head with the heavy
paddle. The ape-man's fingers slipped from their hold upon the gunwale.

There was a short struggle at the surface, and then a swirl of waters,
a little eddy, and a burst of bubbles soon smoothed out by the flowing
current marked for the instant the spot where Tarzan

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