The Son of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 59

physical powers and
mental cunning. He was still but a boy, yet so great was his strength
that the powerful anthropoid with which he often engaged in mimic
battle was no match for him. Akut had taught him to fight as the bull
ape fights, nor ever was there a teacher better fitted to instruct in
the savage warfare of primordial man, or a pupil better equipped to
profit by the lessons of a master.

As the two searched for a band of the almost extinct species of ape to
which Akut belonged they lived upon the best the jungle afforded.
Antelope and zebra fell to the boy's spear, or were dragged down by the
two powerful beasts of prey who leaped upon them from some overhanging
limb or from the ambush of the undergrowth beside the trail to the
water hole or the ford.

The pelt of a leopard covered the nakedness of the youth; but the
wearing of it had not been dictated by any prompting of modesty. With
the rifle shots of the white men showering about him he had reverted to
the savagery of the beast that is inherent in each of us, but that
flamed more strongly in this boy whose father had been raised a beast
of prey. He wore his leopard skin at first in response to a desire to
parade a trophy of his prowess, for he had slain the leopard with his
knife in a hand-to-hand combat. He saw that the skin was beautiful,
which appealed to his barbaric sense of ornamentation, and when it
stiffened and later commenced to decompose because of his having no
knowledge of how to cure or tan it was with sorrow and regret that he
discarded it. Later, when he chanced upon a lone, black warrior
wearing the counterpart of it, soft and clinging and beautiful from
proper curing, it required but an instant to leap from above upon the
shoulders of the unsuspecting black, sink a keen blade into his heart
and possess the rightly preserved hide.

There were no after-qualms of conscience. In the jungle might is
right, nor does it take long to inculcate this axiom in the mind of a
jungle dweller, regardless of what his past training may have been.
That the black would have killed him had he had the chance the boy knew
full well. Neither he nor the black were any more sacred than the
lion, or the buffalo, the zebra or the deer, or any other of the
countless creatures who roamed,

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