The Return of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 117

that Numa must be
quickly finished before those mighty teeth had found and parted the
slender cord that held him. It was a matter of but an instant to reach
the black's side and drag his long knife from its scabbard. Then he
signed the warrior to continue to shoot arrows into the great beast
while he attempted to close in upon him with the knife; so as one
tantalized upon one side, the other sneaked cautiously in upon the
other. Numa was furious. He raised his voice in a perfect frenzy of
shrieks, growls, and hideous moans, the while he reared upon his hind
legs in futile attempt to reach first one and then the other of his
tormentors.

But at length the agile ape-man saw his chance, and rushed in upon the
beast's left side behind the mighty shoulder. A giant arm encircled
the tawny throat, and a long blade sank once, true as a die, into the
fierce heart. Then Tarzan arose, and the black man and the white
looked into each other's eyes across the body of their kill--and the
black made the sign of peace and friendship, and Tarzan of the Apes
answered in kind.




Chapter 15

From Ape to Savage


The noise of their battle with Numa had drawn an excited horde of
savages from the nearby village, and a moment after the lion's death
the two men were surrounded by lithe, ebon warriors, gesticulating and
jabbering--a thousand questions that drowned each ventured reply.

And then the women came, and the children--eager, curious, and, at
sight of Tarzan, more questioning than ever. The ape-man's new friend
finally succeeded in making himself heard, and when he had done talking
the men and women of the village vied with one another in doing honor
to the strange creature who had saved their fellow and battled
single-handed with fierce Numa.

At last they led him back to their village, where they brought him
gifts of fowl, and goats, and cooked food. When he pointed to their
weapons the warriors hastened to fetch spear, shield, arrows, and a
bow. His friend of the encounter presented him with the knife with
which he had killed Numa. There was nothing in all the village he
could not have had for the asking.

How much easier this was, thought Tarzan, than murder and robbery to
supply his wants. How close he had been to killing this man whom he
never had seen before, and who now was manifesting by every primitive
means at his command friendship and affection for

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