The Son of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 52

was with him for a long time. The lions he met were
well-fed, perhaps, or the very boldness of the strange creature which
invaded their domain so filled them with surprise that thoughts of
attack were banished from their minds as they stood, round-eyed,
watching his approach and his departure. Whatever the cause, however,
the fact remains that on many occasions the boy passed within a few
paces of some great lion without arousing more than a warning growl.

But no two lions are necessarily alike in character or temper. They
differ as greatly as do individuals of the human family. Because ten
lions act similarly under similar conditions one cannot say that the
eleventh lion will do likewise--the chances are that he will not. The
lion is a creature of high nervous development. He thinks, therefore
he reasons. Having a nervous system and brains he is the possessor of
temperament, which is affected variously by extraneous causes. One day
the boy met the eleventh lion. The former was walking across a small
plain upon which grew little clumps of bushes. Akut was a few yards to
the left of the lad who was the first to discover the presence of Numa.

"Run, Akut," called the boy, laughing. "Numa lies hid in the bushes to
my right. Take to the trees. Akut! I, the son of Tarzan, will
protect you," and the boy, laughing, kept straight along his way which
led close beside the brush in which Numa lay concealed.

The ape shouted to him to come away, but the lad only flourished his
spear and executed an improvised war dance to show his contempt for the
king of beasts. Closer and closer to the dread destroyer he came,
until, with a sudden, angry growl, the lion rose from his bed not ten
paces from the youth. A huge fellow he was, this lord of the jungle
and the desert. A shaggy mane clothed his shoulders. Cruel fangs
armed his great jaws. His yellow-green eyes blazed with hatred and
challenge.

The boy, with his pitifully inadequate spear ready in his hand,
realized quickly that this lion was different from the others he had
met; but he had gone too far now to retreat. The nearest tree lay
several yards to his left--the lion could be upon him before he had
covered half the distance, and that the beast intended to charge none
could doubt who looked upon him now. Beyond the lion was

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