The Son of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 76

biting at its neck
and knifing it in the side.

Akut, startled by the sudden rush from his rear, and following hoary
instinct, was in the tree beside the girl with an agility little short
of marvelous in so heavy a beast. But the moment that he turned to see
what was going on below him brought him as quickly to the ground again.
Personal differences were quickly forgotten in the danger which menaced
his human companion, nor was he a whit less eager to jeopardize his own
safety in the service of his friend than Korak had been to succor him.

The result was that Sheeta presently found two ferocious creatures
tearing him to ribbons. Shrieking, snarling and growling, the three
rolled hither and thither among the underbrush, while with staring eyes
the sole spectator of the battle royal crouched trembling in the tree
above them hugging Geeka frantically to her breast.

It was the boy's knife which eventually decided the battle, and as the
fierce feline shuddered convulsively and rolled over upon its side the
youth and the ape rose and faced one another across the prostrate
carcass. Korak jerked his head in the direction of the little girl in
the tree.

"Leave her alone," he said; "she is mine."

Akut grunted, blinked his blood-shot eyes, and turned toward the body
of Sheeta. Standing erect upon it he threw out his great chest, raised
his face toward the heavens and gave voice to so horrid a scream that
once again the little girl shuddered and shrank. It was the victory
cry of the bull ape that has made a kill. The boy only looked on for a
moment in silence; then he leaped into the tree again to the girl's
side. Akut presently rejoined them. For a few minutes he busied
himself licking his wounds, then he wandered off to hunt his breakfast.

For many months the strange life of the three went on unmarked by any
unusual occurrences. At least without any occurrences that seemed
unusual to the youth or the ape; but to the little girl it was a
constant nightmare of horrors for days and weeks, until she too became
accustomed to gazing into the eyeless sockets of death and to the feel
of the icy wind of his shroud-like mantle. Slowly she learned the
rudiments of the only common medium of thought exchange which her
companions possessed--the language of the great apes. More quickly she
perfected herself in jungle craft, so that the time soon came when she
was an

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