The Son of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 82

clutching for a new
support. She found it a dozen feet below the broken limb. She had
fallen thus many times before, so that she had no particular terror of
a fall--it was the delay which appalled her most, and rightly, for
scarce had she scrambled to a place of safety than the body of the huge
ape dropped at her side and a great, hairy arm went about her waist.

Almost at once the other ape reached his companion's side. He made a
lunge at Meriem; but her captor swung her to one side, bared his
fighting fangs and growled ominously. Meriem struggled to escape. She
struck at the hairy breast and bearded cheek. She fastened her strong,
white teeth in one shaggy forearm. The ape cuffed her viciously across
the face, then he had to turn his attention to his fellow who quite
evidently desired the prize for his own.

The captor could not fight to advantage upon the swaying bough,
burdened as he was by a squirming, struggling captive, so he dropped
quickly to the ground beneath. The other followed him, and here they
fought, occasionally abandoning their duel to pursue and recapture the
girl who took every advantage of her captors' preoccupation in battle
to break away in attempted escape; but always they overtook her, and
first one and then the other possessed her as they struggled to tear
one another to pieces for the prize.

Often the girl came in for many blows that were intended for a hairy
foe, and once she was felled, lying unconscious while the apes,
relieved of the distraction of detaining her by force, tore into one
another in fierce and terrible combat.

Above them screamed the little monkeys, racing hither and thither in a
frenzy of hysterical excitement. Back and forth over the battle field
flew countless birds of gorgeous plumage, squawking their hoarse cries
of rage and defiance. In the distance a lion roared.

The larger bull was slowly tearing his antagonist to pieces. They
rolled upon the ground biting and striking. Again, erect upon their
hind legs they pulled and tugged like human wrestlers; but always the
giant fangs found their bloody part to play until both combatants and
the ground about them were red with gore.

Meriem, through it all, lay still and unconscious upon the ground. At
last one found a permanent hold upon the jugular of the other and thus
they went down for the last time. For several minutes they lay with
scarce a struggle.

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