The Son of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 61

He was happy and expectant. The moment he had
looked forward to for so long was about to be realized. He was coming
into his own. He was coming home. As the months had dragged or flown
along, retarded or spurred on as privation or adventure predominated,
thoughts of his own home, while oft recurring, had become less vivid.
The old life had grown to seem more like a dream than a reality, and
the balking of his determination to reach the coast and return to
London had finally thrown the hope of realization so remotely into the
future that it too now seemed little more than a pleasant but hopeless
dream.

Now all thoughts of London and civilization were crowded so far into
the background of his brain that they might as well have been
non-existent. Except for form and mental development he was as much an
ape as the great, fierce creature at his side.

In the exuberance of his joy he slapped his companion roughly on the
side of the head. Half in anger, half in play the anthropoid turned
upon him, his fangs bared and glistening. Long, hairy arms reached out
to seize him, and, as they had done a thousand times before, the two
clinched in mimic battle, rolling upon the sward, striking, growling
and biting, though never closing their teeth in more than a rough
pinch. It was wondrous practice for them both. The boy brought into
play wrestling tricks that he had learned at school, and many of these
Akut learned to use and to foil. And from the ape the boy learned the
methods that had been handed down to Akut from some common ancestor of
them both, who had roamed the teeming earth when ferns were trees and
crocodiles were birds.

But there was one art the boy possessed which Akut could not master,
though he did achieve fair proficiency in it for an ape--boxing. To
have his bull-like charges stopped and crumpled with a suddenly planted
fist upon the end of his snout, or a painful jolt in the short ribs,
always surprised Akut. It angered him too, and at such times his
mighty jaws came nearer to closing in the soft flesh of his friend than
at any other, for he was still an ape, with an ape's short temper and
brutal instincts; but the difficulty was in catching his tormentor
while his rage lasted, for when he lost his head and rushed madly into
close quarters with the boy he discovered

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