therefore to be killed. He bared his yellow fangs as he approached,
and to his surprise The Killer bared his likewise, but he bared them at
Akut, and snarled menacingly.
"Ah," thought Akut, "The Killer has taken a mate," and so, obedient to
the tribal laws of his kind, he left them alone, becoming suddenly
absorbed in a fuzzy caterpillar of peculiarly succulent appearance.
The larva disposed of, he glanced from the corner of an eye at Korak.
The youth had deposited his burden upon a large limb, where she clung
desperately to keep from falling.
"She will accompany us," said Korak to Akut, jerking a thumb in the
direction of the girl. "Do not harm her. We will protect her."
Akut shrugged. To be burdened by the young of man was in no way to his
liking. He could see from her evident fright at her position on the
branch, and from the terrified glances she cast in his direction that
she was hopelessly unfit. By all the ethics of Akut's training and
inheritance the unfit should be eliminated; but if The Killer wished
this there was nothing to be done about it but to tolerate her. Akut
certainly didn't want her--of that he was quite positive. Her skin was
too smooth and hairless. Quite snake-like, in fact, and her face was
most unattractive. Not at all like that of a certain lovely she he had
particularly noticed among the apes in the amphitheater the previous
night. Ah, there was true feminine beauty for one!--a great, generous
mouth; lovely, yellow fangs, and the cutest, softest side whiskers!
Akut sighed. Then he rose, expanded his great chest and strutted back
and forth along a substantial branch, for even a puny thing like this
she of Korak's might admire his fine coat and his graceful carriage.
But poor little Meriem only shrank closer to Korak and almost wished
that she were back in the village of The Sheik where the terrors of
existence were of human origin, and so more or less familiar. The
hideous ape frightened her. He was so large and so ferocious in
appearance. His actions she could only interpret as a menace, for how
could she guess that he was parading to excite admiration? Nor could
she know of the bond of fellowship which existed between this great
brute and the godlike youth who had rescued her from the Sheik.
Meriem spent an evening and a night of unmitigated terror. Korak and
Akut led her
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