The Son of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 79

and when both the
males were gone they would come close to Meriem, tugging at her
ornaments or playing with Geeka, who was a never ending source of
amusement to them. The girl played with them and fed them, and when
she was alone they helped her to pass the long hours until Korak's
return.

Nor were they worthless as friends. In the hunt they helped her locate
her quarry. Often they would come racing through the trees to her side
to announce the near presence of antelope or giraffe, or with excited
warnings of the proximity of Sheeta or Numa. Luscious, sun-kissed
fruits which hung far out upon the frail bough of the jungle's waving
crest were brought to her by these tiny, nimble allies. Sometimes they
played tricks upon her; but she was always kind and gentle with them
and in their wild, half-human way they were kind to her and
affectionate. Their language being similar to that of the great apes
Meriem could converse with them though the poverty of their vocabulary
rendered these exchanges anything but feasts of reason. For familiar
objects they had names, as well as for those conditions which induced
pain or pleasure, joy, sorrow, or rage. These root words were so
similar to those in use among the great anthropoids as to suggest that
the language of the Manus was the mother tongue. At best it lent
itself to but material and sordid exchange. Dreams, aspirations, hopes,
the past, the future held no place in the conversation of Manu, the
monkey. All was of the present--particularly of filling his belly and
catching lice.

Poor food was this to nourish the mental appetite of a girl just upon
the brink of womanhood. And so, finding Manu only amusing as an
occasional playfellow or pet, Meriem poured out her sweetest soul
thoughts into the deaf ears of Geeka's ivory head. To Geeka she spoke
in Arabic, knowing that Geeka, being but a doll, could not understand
the language of Korak and Akut, and that the language of Korak and Akut
being that of male apes contained nothing of interest to an Arab doll.

Geeka had undergone a transformation since her little mother had left
the village of The Sheik. Her garmenture now reflected in miniature
that of Meriem. A tiny bit of leopard skin covered her ratskin torso
from shoulder to splinter knee. A band of braided grasses about her
brow held in place a few gaudy feathers from the parakeet, while other
bits of grass

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