The Son of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 53

a thorn
tree--only a few feet beyond him. It was the nearest sanctuary but
Numa stood between it and his prey.

The feel of the long spear shaft in his hand and the sight of the tree
beyond the lion gave the lad an idea--a preposterous idea--a
ridiculous, forlorn hope of an idea; but there was no time now to weigh
chances--there was but a single chance, and that was the thorn tree.
If the lion charged it would be too late--the lad must charge first,
and to the astonishment of Akut and none the less of Numa, the boy
leaped swiftly toward the beast. Just for a second was the lion
motionless with surprise and in that second Jack Clayton put to the
crucial test an accomplishment which he had practiced at school.

Straight for the savage brute he ran, his spear held butt foremost
across his body. Akut shrieked in terror and amazement. The lion
stood with wide, round eyes awaiting the attack, ready to rear upon his
hind feet and receive this rash creature with blows that could crush
the skull of a buffalo.

Just in front of the lion the boy placed the butt of his spear upon the
ground, gave a mighty spring, and, before the bewildered beast could
guess the trick that had been played upon him, sailed over the lion's
head into the rending embrace of the thorn tree--safe but lacerated.

Akut had never before seen a pole-vault. Now he leaped up and down
within the safety of his own tree, screaming taunts and boasts at the
discomfited Numa, while the boy, torn and bleeding, sought some
position in his thorny retreat in which he might find the least agony.
He had saved his life; but at considerable cost in suffering. It
seemed to him that the lion would never leave, and it was a full hour
before the angry brute gave up his vigil and strode majestically away
across the plain. When he was at a safe distance the boy extricated
himself from the thorn tree; but not without inflicting new wounds upon
his already tortured flesh.

It was many days before the outward evidence of the lesson he had
learned had left him; while the impression upon his mind was one that
was to remain with him for life. Never again did he uselessly tempt
fate.

He took long chances often in his after life; but only when the taking
of chances might further the attainment of some cherished end--and,
always thereafter, he practiced pole-vaulting.

For several days the boy and

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Text Comparison with At the Earth's Core

Page 0
At the Earth's Core By Edgar Rice Burroughs CONTENTS PROLOG I TOWARD THE ETERNAL FIRES II A STRANGE WORLD III A CHANGE OF MASTERS IV DIAN THE BEAUTIFUL V SLAVES VI THE BEGINNING OF HORROR VII FREEDOM VIII THE MAHAR TEMPLE IX THE FACE OF DEATH X PHUTRA AGAIN XI FOUR DEAD MAHARS XII PURSUIT XIII THE SLY ONE XIV THE GARDEN OF EDEN XV BACK TO EARTH PROLOG IN THE FIRST PLACE PLEASE BEAR IN MIND THAT I do not expect you to believe this story.
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But these were later reflections.
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And always do these awful questions harass me when I think of David Innes and his strange adventures.