The Son of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 41

he said. "I am cold and hungry. We will search for food, out
there in the sunlight," and he pointed to an open plain, dotted with
stunted trees and strewn with jagged rock.

The boy slid to the ground as he spoke, but the ape first looked
carefully about, sniffing the morning air. Then, satisfied that no
danger lurked near, he descended slowly to the ground beside the boy.

"Numa, and Sabor his mate, feast upon those who descend first and look
afterward, while those who look first and descend afterward live to
feast themselves." Thus the old ape imparted to the son of Tarzan the
boy's first lesson in jungle lore. Side by side they set off across
the rough plain, for the boy wished first to be warm. The ape showed
him the best places to dig for rodents and worms; but the lad only
gagged at the thought of devouring the repulsive things. Some eggs
they found, and these he sucked raw, as also he ate roots and tubers
which Akut unearthed. Beyond the plain and across a low bluff they
came upon water--brackish, ill-smelling stuff in a shallow water hole,
the sides and bottom of which were trampled by the feet of many beasts.
A herd of zebra galloped away as they approached.

The lad was too thirsty by now to cavil at anything even remotely
resembling water, so he drank his fill while Akut stood with raised
head, alert for any danger. Before the ape drank he cautioned the boy
to be watchful; but as he drank he raised his head from time to time to
cast a quick glance toward a clump of bushes a hundred yards away upon
the opposite side of the water hole. When he had done he rose and
spoke to the boy, in the language that was their common heritage--the
tongue of the great apes.

"There is no danger near?" he asked.

"None," replied the boy. "I saw nothing move while you drank."

"Your eyes will help you but little in the jungle," said the ape.

"Here, if you would live, you must depend upon your ears and your nose
but most upon your nose. When we came down to drink I knew that no
danger lurked near upon this side of the water hole, for else the
zebras would have discovered it and fled before we came; but upon the
other side toward which the wind blows danger might lie concealed. We
could not smell it for its scent

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