The Son of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 45

as a boy he too had taunted and tantalized the
great cats of the jungle.

The lioness fretted about the bole of the tree for a short time; but
finally, either realizing the uselessness of her vigil, or prompted by
the pangs of hunger, she stalked majestically away and disappeared in
the brush that hid her lord, who had not once shown himself during the
altercation.

Freed from their retreats Akut and the boy came to the ground, to take
up their interrupted journey once more. The old ape scolded the lad
for his carelessness.

"Had you not been so intent upon the lion behind you you might have
discovered the lioness much sooner than you did."

"But you passed right by her without seeing her," retorted the boy.

Akut was chagrined.

"It is thus," he said, "that jungle folk die. We go cautiously for a
lifetime, and then, just for an instant, we forget, and--" he ground
his teeth in mimicry of the crunching of great jaws in flesh. "It is a
lesson," he resumed. "You have learned that you may not for too long
keep your eyes and your ears and your nose all bent in the same
direction."

That night the son of Tarzan was colder than he ever had been in all
his life. The pajama trousers had not been heavy; but they had been
much heavier than nothing. And the next day he roasted in the hot sun,
for again their way led much across wide and treeless plains.

It was still in the boy's mind to travel to the south, and circle back
to the coast in search of another outpost of civilization. He had said
nothing of this plan to Akut, for he knew that the old ape would look
with displeasure upon any suggestion that savored of separation.

For a month the two wandered on, the boy learning rapidly the laws of
the jungle; his muscles adapting themselves to the new mode of life
that had been thrust upon them. The thews of the sire had been
transmitted to the son--it needed only the hardening of use to develop
them. The lad found that it came quite naturally to him to swing
through the trees. Even at great heights he never felt the slightest
dizziness, and when he had caught the knack of the swing and the
release, he could hurl himself through space from branch to branch with
even greater agility than the heavier Akut.

And with exposure came a toughening and hardening of his smooth, white
skin, browning

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