The Return of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 112

it was yet light Tarzan came to a drinking place by the side of a
jungle river. There was a ford there, and for countless ages the
beasts of the forest had come down to drink at this spot. Here of a
night might always be found either Sabor or Numa crouching in the dense
foliage of the surrounding jungle awaiting an antelope or a water buck
for their meal. Here came Horta, the boar, to water, and here came
Tarzan of the Apes to make a kill, for he was very empty.

On a low branch he squatted above the trail. For an hour he waited.
It was growing dark. A little to one side of the ford in the densest
thicket he heard the faint sound of padded feet, and the brushing of a
huge body against tall grasses and tangled creepers. None other than
Tarzan might have heard it, but the ape-man heard and translated--it
was Numa, the lion, on the same errand as himself. Tarzan smiled.

Presently he heard an animal approaching warily along the trail toward
the drinking place. A moment more and it came in view--it was Horta,
the boar. Here was delicious meat--and Tarzan's mouth watered. The
grasses where Numa lay were very still now--ominously still. Horta
passed beneath Tarzan--a few more steps and he would be within the
radius of Numa's spring. Tarzan could imagine how old Numa's eyes were
shining--how he was already sucking in his breath for the awful roar
which would freeze his prey for the brief instant between the moment of
the spring and the sinking of terrible fangs into splintering bones.

But as Numa gathered himself, a slender rope flew through the air from
the low branches of a near-by tree. A noose settled about Horta's
neck. There was a frightened grunt, a squeal, and then Numa saw his
quarry dragged backward up the trail, and, as he sprang, Horta, the
boar, soared upward beyond his clutches into the tree above, and a
mocking face looked down and laughed into his own.

Then indeed did Numa roar. Angry, threatening, hungry, he paced back
and forth beneath the taunting ape-man. Now he stopped, and, rising on
his hind legs against the stem of the tree that held his enemy,
sharpened his huge claws upon the bark, tearing out great pieces that
laid bare the white wood beneath.

And in the meantime Tarzan had dragged the struggling Horta to the limb
beside him. Sinewy fingers completed

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