The Son of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 91

bedlam of savage war cries and a
score of shrieking blacks were upon them.

Korak turned to give battle. Meriem with her own light spear stood by
his side. An avalanche of barbed missiles flew about them. One
pierced Korak's shoulder, another his leg, and he went down.

Meriem was unscathed for the blacks had intentionally spared her. Now
they rushed forward to finish Korak and make good the girl's capture;
but as they came there came also from another point in the jungle the
great Akut and at his heels the huge bulls of his new kingdom.

Snarling and roaring they rushed upon the black warriors when they saw
the mischief they had already wrought. Kovudoo, realizing the danger
of coming to close quarters with these mighty ape-men, seized Meriem
and called upon his warriors to retreat. For a time the apes followed
them, and several of the blacks were badly mauled and one killed before
they succeeded in escaping. Nor would they have gotten off thus easily
had Akut not been more concerned with the condition of the wounded
Korak than with the fate of the girl upon whom he had always looked as
more or less of an interloper and an unquestioned burden.

Korak lay bleeding and unconscious when Akut reached his side. The
great ape tore the heavy spears from his flesh, licked the wounds and
then carried his friend to the lofty shelter that Korak had constructed
for Meriem. Further than this the brute could do nothing. Nature must
accomplish the rest unaided or Korak must die.

He did not die, however. For days he lay helpless with fever, while
Akut and the apes hunted close by that they might protect him from such
birds and beasts as might reach his lofty retreat. Occasionally Akut
brought him juicy fruits which helped to slake his thirst and allay his
fever, and little by little his powerful constitution overcame the
effects of the spear thrusts. The wounds healed and his strength
returned. All during his rational moments as he had lain upon the soft
furs which lined Meriem's nest he had suffered more acutely from fears
for Meriem than from the pain of his own wounds. For her he must live.
For her he must regain his strength that he might set out in search of
her. What had the blacks done to her? Did she still live, or had they
sacrificed her to their lust for torture and human flesh? Korak almost
trembled

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