The Son of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 62

that the stinging hail of
blows released upon him always found their mark and effectually stopped
him--effectually and painfully. Then he would withdraw growling
viciously, backing away with grinning jaws distended, to sulk for an
hour or so.

Tonight they did not box. Just for a moment or two they wrestled
playfully, until the scent of Sheeta, the panther, brought them to
their feet, alert and wary. The great cat was passing through the
jungle in front of them. For a moment it paused, listening. The boy
and the ape growled menacingly in chorus and the carnivore moved on.

Then the two took up their journey toward the sound of the Dum-Dum.
Louder and louder came the beating of the drum. Now, at last, they
could hear the growling of the dancing apes, and strong to their
nostrils came the scent of their kind. The lad trembled with
excitement. The hair down Akut's spine stiffened--the symptoms of
happiness and anger are often similar.

Silently they crept through the jungle as they neared the meeting place
of the apes. Now they were in the trees, worming their way forward,
alert for sentinels. Presently through a break in the foliage the
scene burst upon the eager eyes of the boy. To Akut it was a familiar
one; but to Korak it was all new. His nerves tingled at the savage
sight. The great bulls were dancing in the moonlight, leaping in an
irregular circle about the flat-topped earthen drum about which three
old females sat beating its resounding top with sticks worn smooth by
long years of use.

Akut, knowing the temper and customs of his kind, was too wise to make
their presence known until the frenzy of the dance had passed. After
the drum was quiet and the bellies of the tribe well-filled he would
hail them. Then would come a parley, after which he and Korak would be
accepted into membership by the community. There might be those who
would object; but such could be overcome by brute force, of which he
and the lad had an ample surplus. For weeks, possibly months, their
presence might cause ever decreasing suspicion among others of the
tribe; but eventually they would become as born brothers to these
strange apes.

He hoped that they had been among those who had known Tarzan, for that
would help in the introduction of the lad and in the consummation of
Akut's dearest wish, that Korak should become king of the apes. It was
with difficulty,

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