The Son of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 58

the tree tops.

The Sheik had been away for a long time, conducting a caravan of ivory,
skins, and rubber far into the north. The interim had been one of
great peace for Meriem. It is true that Mabunu had still been with
her, to pinch or beat her as the mood seized the villainous old hag;
but Mabunu was only one. When The Sheik was there also there were two
of them, and The Sheik was stronger and more brutal even than Mabunu.
Little Meriem often wondered why the grim old man hated her so. It is
true that he was cruel and unjust to all with whom he came in contact,
but to Meriem he reserved his greatest cruelties, his most studied
injustices.

Today Meriem was squatting at the foot of a large tree which grew
inside the palisade close to the edge of the village. She was
fashioning a tent of leaves for Geeka. Before the tent were some
pieces of wood and small leaves and a few stones. These were the
household utensils. Geeka was cooking dinner. As the little girl
played she prattled continuously to her companion, propped in a sitting
position with a couple of twigs. She was totally absorbed in the
domestic duties of Geeka--so much so that she did not note the gentle
swaying of the branches of the tree above her as they bent to the body
of the creature that had entered them stealthily from the jungle.

In happy ignorance the little girl played on, while from above two
steady eyes looked down upon her--unblinking, unwavering. There was
none other than the little girl in this part of the village, which had
been almost deserted since The Sheik had left long months before upon
his journey toward the north.

And out in the jungle, an hour's march from the village, The Sheik was
leading his returning caravan homeward.


A year had passed since the white men had fired upon the lad and driven
him back into the jungle to take up his search for the only remaining
creatures to whom he might look for companionship--the great apes. For
months the two had wandered eastward, deeper and deeper into the
jungle. The year had done much for the boy--turning his already mighty
muscles to thews of steel, developing his woodcraft to a point where it
verged upon the uncanny, perfecting his arboreal instincts, and
training him in the use of both natural and artificial weapons.

He had become at last a creature of marvelous

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