The Son of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 118

advanced
slowly, warily, and still stiff-legged. He must have the confirmatory
evidence of his nose before venturing to rely too implicitly upon the
testimony of his ears and eyes. Korak stood perfectly still. To have
advanced then might have precipitated an immediate attack, or, as
easily, a panic of flight. Wild beasts are creatures of nerves. It is
a relatively simple thing to throw them into a species of hysteria
which may induce either a mania for murder, or symptoms of apparent
abject cowardice--it is a question, however, if a wild animal ever is
actually a coward.

The king baboon approached Korak. He walked around him in an ever
decreasing circle--growling, grunting, sniffing. Korak spoke to him.

"I am Korak," he said. "I opened the cage that held you. I saved you
from the Tarmangani. I am Korak, The Killer. I am your friend."

"Huh," grunted the king. "Yes, you are Korak. My ears told me that
you were Korak. My eyes told me that you were Korak. Now my nose
tells me that you are Korak. My nose is never wrong. I am your
friend. Come, we shall hunt together."

"Korak cannot hunt now," replied the ape-man. "The Gomangani have
stolen Meriem. They have tied her in their village. They will not let
her go. Korak, alone, was unable to set her free. Korak set you free.
Now will you bring your people and set Korak's Meriem free?"

"The Gomangani have many sharp sticks which they throw. They pierce
the bodies of my people. They kill us. The gomangani are bad people.
They will kill us all if we enter their village."

"The Tarmangani have sticks that make a loud noise and kill at a great
distance," replied Korak. "They had these when Korak set you free from
their trap. If Korak had run away from them you would now be a
prisoner among the Tarmangani."

The baboon scratched his head. In a rough circle about him and the
ape-man squatted the bulls of his herd. They blinked their eyes,
shouldered one another about for more advantageous positions, scratched
in the rotting vegetation upon the chance of unearthing a toothsome
worm, or sat listlessly eyeing their king and the strange Mangani, who
called himself thus but who more closely resembled the hated
Tarmangani. The king looked at some of the older of his subjects, as
though inviting suggestion.

"We are too few," grunted one.

"There are

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