The Son of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 81

attentively. There
were two and they were great apes--Korak and Akut. To her Korak was an
ape--a Mangani, for as such the three always described themselves. Man
was an enemy, so they did not think of themselves as belonging any
longer to the same genus. Tarmangani, or great white ape, which
described the white man in their language, did not fit them all.
Gomangani--great black ape, or Negro--described none of them so they
called themselves plain Mangani.

Meriem decided that she would feign slumber and play a joke on Korak.
So she lay very still with eyes tightly closed. She heard the two
approaching closer and closer. They were in the adjoining tree now and
must have discovered her, for they had halted. Why were they so quiet?
Why did not Korak call out his customary greeting? The quietness was
ominous. It was followed presently by a very stealthy sound--one of
them was creeping upon her. Was Korak planning a joke upon his own
account? Well, she would fool him. Cautiously she opened her eyes the
tiniest bit, and as she did so her heart stood still. Creeping
silently toward her was a huge bull ape that she never before had seen.
Behind him was another like him.

With the agility of a squirrel Meriem was upon her feet and at the same
instant the great bull lunged for her. Leaping from limb to limb the
girl fled through the jungle while close behind her came the two great
apes. Above them raced a bevy of screaming, chattering monkeys,
hurling taunts and insults at the Mangani, and encouragement and advice
to the girl.

From tree to tree swung Meriem working ever upward toward the smaller
branches which would not bear the weight of her pursuers. Faster and
faster came the bull apes after her. The clutching fingers of the
foremost were almost upon her again and again, but she eluded them by
sudden bursts of speed or reckless chances as she threw herself across
dizzy spaces.

Slowly she was gaining her way to the greater heights where safety lay,
when, after a particularly daring leap, the swaying branch she grasped
bent low beneath her weight, nor whipped upward again as it should have
done. Even before the rending sound which followed Meriem knew that
she had misjudged the strength of the limb. It gave slowly at first.
Then there was a ripping as it parted from the trunk. Releasing her
hold Meriem dropped among the foliage beneath,

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