Edgar Rice Burroughs - Tarzan 11 - Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle

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Transcript of Edgar Rice Burroughs - Tarzan 11 - Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle

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    Tarzan 11 - Tarzan, Lord of the Jungleby

    Edgar Rice Burroughs

    Chapter One.Tantor the Elephant His great bulk swaying to and fro as he threw his weight first upon one sideand then upon the other. Tantor the elephant lolled in the shade of the father of forests. Almostomnipotent, he, in the realm of his people. Dango, Sheta, e!en "uma the mighty were as naughtto the pahyderm. #or a hundred years he had ome and gone up and down the land that hadtrembled to the omings and the goings of his forebears for ountless ages.$n peae he had li!ed with Dango the hyena, Sheeta the leopard and "uma the lion. %an alonehad made war upon him. %an, who holds the uni&ue distintion among reated things of makingwar on all li!ing reatures, e!en to his own kind. %an, the ruthless' man, the pitiless' man, themost hated li!ing organism that "ature has e!ol!ed.

    Always during the long hundred years of his life, Tantor had known man. There had been blakmen, always. (ig blak warriors with spears and arrows, little blak warriors, swart Arabs with

    rude muskets and white men with powerful e)press rifles and elephant guns. The white men badbeen the last to ome and were the worst. *et Tantor did not hate men + not e!en white men.Hate, !engeane, en!y, a!arie, lust are a few of the delightful emotions reser!ed e)lusi!ely for"atures noblest work + the -lower- animals do not know them. "either do they know fear as manknows it, but rather a ertain bold aution that sends the antelope and the ebra, wathful andwary, to the water hole with the lion.Tantor shared this aution with his fellows and a!oided men + espeially white men' and so hadthere been other eyes there that day to see, their possessor might almost ha!e &uestioned their!eraity, or attributed their error to the half+light of the forest as they sanned the figure sprawlingprone upon the rough bak of the elephant, half doing in the heat to the swaying of the greatbody' for, despite the sun + broned hide, the figure was &uite e!idently that of a white man. (utthere were no other eyes to see and Tantor drowsed in the heat of midday and Taran, /ord of the0ungle, doed upon the bak of his mighty friend. A sultry air urrent mo!ed sluggishly from the

    north, bringing to the keen nostrils of the ape + man no dis&uieting pereption. 1eae lay upon the2ungle and the two beasts were ontent.$n the forest #ahd and %otlog, of the tribe el + Harb, hunted north from the menil of Shiek $bn 0adof the (eny Salem fendy el + 3uad. 4ith them were blak sla!es. They ad!aned warily and insilene upon the fresh spoor of el + fil the elephant, the thoughts of the swart Aarab dwelling uponi!ory, those of the blak sla!es upon fresh meat. The abd #e22uan, blak 3alla sla!e, sleek, ebonwarrior, eater of raw meat, famed hunter, led the others.#e22uan, as his omrades, thought of fresh meat, but also he thought of el + Habash, the land fromwhih he had been stolen as a boy. He thought of oming again to the lonely 3alla hut of hisparents. 1erhaps el + Habash was not far off now. #or months $bn 0ad had been tra!eling southand now he had ome east for a long distane. El + Habash must be near. 4hen he was sure ofthat his days of sla!ery would be o!er and $bn 0ad would ha!e lost his best 3alla sla!e.Two marhes to the north, in the southern e)tremity of Abyssinia, stood the round dwelling of thefather of #e22uan, almost on the roughly mapped route that $bn 0ad had planned nearly a yearsine when he had undertaken this mad ad!enture upon the ad!ie of a learned Sahar, amagiian of repute. (ut of either the e)at loation of his fathers house or the e)at plans of $bn0ad, #e22uan was e&ually ignorant. He but dreamed, and his dreams were fla!ored with raw meat.The lea!es of the forest drowsed in the heat abo!e the heads of the hunters. (eneath thedrowsing lea!es of other trees a stones throw ahead of them Taran and Tantor slept, theirperepti!e faulties momentarily dulled by the soothing influene of fanied seurity and thesomnolene that is a orollary of e&uatorial midday.#e22uan, the 3alla sla!e, halted in his traks, stopping those behind him by the silent mandate ofan upraised hand. Diretly before him, seen dimly between the boles and through the foliage,

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    swayed the giant bulk of el + fil. #e22uan motioned to #ahd, who mo!ed stealthily to the side of theblak. The 3alla sla!e pointed through the foliage toward a path of gray hide. #ahd raised el +/aary, his anient mathlok, to his shoulder. There was a flash of flame, a burst of smoke, aroar and el + fil, unhit, was bolting through the forest.

    As Tantor surged forward at the sound of the report Taran started to spring to an upright position,and at the same instant the pahyderm passed beneath a low hanging limb whih struk the ape+ mans head, sweeping him to the ground, where he lay stunned and unonsious.Terrified, Tantor thought only of esape as he ran north through the forest, lea!ing in his wakefelled trees, trampled or uptora bushes. 1erhaps he did not know that his friend lay helpless andin2ured, at the mery of the ommon enemy, man. Tantor ne!er thought of Taran as one of theTarman + gani, for the white man was synonymous with disomfort, pain, annoyane, whereasTaran of the Apes meant to him restful ompanionship, peae, happiness. Of all the 2unglebeasts, e)ept his own kind, he fraternied with Taran only.5(illah6 Thou missed,5 e)laimed #e22uan.53luk65 e2aulated #ahd. 5Sheytan guided the bullet. (ut let us see + perhaps el + fil is hit.55"ay, thou missed.5The two men pushed forward, followed by their fellows, looking for the hoped + for armine spoor.#ahd suddenly stopped.54ellah6 4hat ha!e we here75 he ried. 5$ fired at el + fil and killed a "asrany.5The others rowded about. 5$t is indeed a Christian dog, and naked, too,5 said %otlog.

    5Or some wild man of the forest,5 suggested another. 54here didst thy bullet strike him, #ahd75They stooped and rolled Taran o!er. 5There is no mark of bullet upon him.55$s he dead7 1erhaps he, too, hunted el + fil and was slain by the great beast.55He is not dead,5 announed #e22uan, who had kneeled and plaed an ear abo!e the ape + mansheart. 5He li!es and from the mark upon his head $ think but temporarily out of his wits from ablow. See, he lies in the path that el + fil made when he ran away + he was struk down in thebrutes flight.55$ will finish him,5 said #ahd, drawing his khusa.5(y 8llah, nol 1ut bak thy knife, #ahd,5 said %otlog. 5/et the sheykh say if he shall be killed.Thou art always too eager for blood.55$t is but a "asrany,5 insisted #ahd, 5Think thou to arry him bak to the menil755He mo!es,5 said #e22uan. 51resently he will be able to walk there without help. (ut perhaps hewill not ome with us, and look, he hath the sie and musles of a gaint. 4ellah6 4hat a man65

    5(ind him,5 ommanded #ahd. So with thongs of amel hide they made the ape + mans twowrists seure together aross his belly, nor was the work ompleted any too soon. They hadsare done when Taran opened his eyes and looked them slowly o!er. He shook his head, likesome great lion, and presently his senses leared. He reognied the Aarab instantly for whatthey were.54hy are my wrists bound75 he asked them in their own tongue. 59emo!e the thongs65#ahd laughed. 5Thinkest thou, "asrany, that thou art some great sheykh that thou anst orderabout the (eduw as they were dogs755$ am Taran,5 replied the ape + man, as one might say, 5$ am the sheykh of sheykhs.55Taran65 e)laimed %otlog. He drew #ahd aside. 5Of all men,5 he said, lowering his !oie, 5that itshould be our ill fortune to offend this one6 $n e!ery !illage that we ha!e entered in the past twoweeks we ha!e heard his name. 4ait, they ha!e said, until Taran, /ord of the 0ungle, returns.He will slay you when he learns that you ha!e taken sla!es in his ountry.5

    54hen $ drew my khusa thou shouldst not ha!e stopped my hand, %otlog,5 omplained #ahd'5but it is not too late yet.5 He plaed his hand upon the hilt of his knife.5(illah, nay65 ried %otlog. 54e ha!e taken sla!es in this ountry. They are with us now and someof them will esape. Suppose they arry word to the fendy of this great sheykh that we ha!e slainhim7 "ot one of us will li!e to return to (eled el + 3uad.55/et us then take him before $bn 0ad that the responsibility may be his,5 said #ahd.54ellah, you speak wisely,5 replied %otlog. 54hat the sheykh doeth with this man in the sheykhsbusiness. Come65

    As they returned to where Taran stood he eyed them &uestioningly.54hat ha!e you deided to do with me75 he demanded. 5$f you are wise you will ut these bonds

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    and lead me to your sheykh. $ wish a word with him.554e are only poor men,5 said %otlog. 5$t is not for us to say what shall be done, and so we shalltake you to our sheykh who will deide.5The Shiek $bn 0ad of the fendy el + 3uad s&uatted in the open mens ompartment of his beyt es +shar, and beside him in the mukaad of his house of hair sat Tollog, his brother, and a young(eduin, :eyd, who, doubtless, found less attration in the ompany of the shiek than in thepro)imity of the sheiks hareem whose &uarters were separated from the mu + kaad only by abreast high urtain suspended between the waist poles of the beyt, affording thus an oasionalglimpse of Ate2a, the daughter of $bn 0ad. That it also afforded an oasional glimpse of Hirfa, hiswife, raised not the temperature of :eyd an iota.

    As the men talked the two women were busy within their apartment at their housewifely duties. $na great braen 0idda Hirfa was plaing mutton to be boiled for the ne)t meal while Ate2a fashionedsandals from an old bag of amel leather impregnated with the 2uie of the dates that i