The Return of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 113

the work the choking noose had
commenced. The ape-man had no knife, but nature had equipped him with
the means of tearing his food from the quivering flank of his prey, and
gleaming teeth sank into the succulent flesh while the raging lion
looked on from below as another enjoyed the dinner that he had thought
already his.

It was quite dark by the time Tarzan had gorged himself. Ah, but it
had been delicious! Never had he quite accustomed himself to the
ruined flesh that civilized men had served him, and in the bottom of
his savage heart there had constantly been the craving for the warm
meat of the fresh kill, and the rich, red blood.

He wiped his bloody hands upon a bunch of leaves, slung the remains of
his kill across his shoulder, and swung off through the middle terrace
of the forest toward his cabin, and at the same instant Jane Porter and
William Cecil Clayton arose from a sumptuous dinner upon the LADY
ALICE, thousands of miles to the east, in the Indian Ocean.

Beneath Tarzan walked Numa, the lion, and when the ape-man deigned to
glance downward he caught occasional glimpses of the baleful green eyes
following through the darkness. Numa did not roar now--instead, he
moved stealthily, like the shadow of a great cat; but yet he took no
step that did not reach the sensitive ears of the ape-man.

Tarzan wondered if he would stalk him to his cabin door. He hoped not,
for that would mean a night's sleep curled in the crotch of a tree, and
he much preferred the bed of grasses within his own abode. But he knew
just the tree and the most comfortable crotch, if necessity demanded
that he sleep out. A hundred times in the past some great jungle cat
had followed him home, and compelled him to seek shelter in this same
tree, until another mood or the rising sun had sent his enemy away.

But presently Numa gave up the chase and, with a series of
blood-curdling moans and roars, turned angrily back in search of
another and an easier dinner. So Tarzan came to his cabin unattended,
and a few moments later was curled up in the mildewed remnants of what
had once been a bed of grasses. Thus easily did Monsieur Jean C.
Tarzan slough the thin skin of his artificial civilization, and sink
happy and contented into the deep sleep of the wild beast that has fed
to repletion. Yet a woman's "yes" would

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