Part 4 out of 6
them. Even the spear that he had had when captured had been taken
away from him, so that now he was unarmed and absolutely at the
mercy of the black sergeant and his followers.
Lieutenant Harold Percy Smith-Oldwick did not have long to wait
before discovering something of Usanga's plan, for almost immediately
after the sergeant finished giving his instructions, a number of
warriors approached the Englishman, while three went directly to
Without a word of explanation the warriors seized the young officer
and threw him to the ground upon his face. For a moment he struggled
to free himself and succeeded in landing a few heavy blows among
his assailants, but he was too greatly outnumbered to hope to more
than delay them in the accomplishment of their object which he
soon discovered was to bind him securely hand and foot. When they
had finally secured him to their satisfaction, they rolled him
over on his side and then it was he saw Bertha Kircher had been
Smith-Oldwick lay in such a position that he could see nearly the
entire expanse of meadow and the aeroplane a short distance away.
Usanga was talking to the girl who was shaking her head in vehement
"What is he saying?" called the Englishman.
"He is going to take me away in the plane," the girl called back.
"He is going to take me farther inland to another country where
he says that he will be king and I am to be one of his wives," and
then to the Englishman's surprise she turned a smiling face toward
him, "but there is no danger," she continued, "for we shall both
be dead within a few minutes--just give him time enough to get
the machine under way, and if he can rise a hundred feet from the
ground I shall never need fear him more."
"God!" cried the man. "Is there no way that you can dissuade him?
Promise him anything. Anything that you want. I have money, more
money than that poor fool could imagine there was in the whole
world. With it he can buy anything that money will purchase, fine
clothes and food and women, all the women he wants. Tell him this
and tell him that if he will spare you I give him my word that I
will fetch it all to him."
The girl shook her head. "It is useless," she said. "He would not
understand and if he did understand, he would not trust you. The
blacks are so unprincipled themselves that they can imagine no
such thing as principle or honor in others, and especially do these
blacks distrust an Englishman whom the Germans have taught them to
believe are the most treacherous and degraded of people. No, it is
better thus. I am sorry that you cannot go with us, for if he goes
high enough my death will be much easier than that which probably
Usanga had been continually interrupting their brief conversation
in an attempt to compel the girl to translate it to him, for he
feared that they were concocting some plan to thwart him, and to
quiet and appease him, she told him that the Englishman was merely
bidding her farewell and wishing her good luck. Suddenly she turned
to the black. "Will you do something for me?" she asked. "If I go
willingly with you?"
"What is it you want?" he inquired.
"Tell your men to free the white man after we are gone. He can
never catch us. That is all I ask of you. If you will grant him
his freedom and his life, I will go willingly with you.
"You will go with me anyway," growled Usanga. "It is nothing to
me whether you go willingly or not. I am going to be a great king
and you will do whatever I tell you to do."
He had in mind that he would start properly with this woman. There
should be no repetition of his harrowing experience with Naratu.
This wife and the twenty-four others should be carefully selected
and well trained. Hereafter Usanga would be master in his own house.
Bertha Kircher saw that it was useless to appeal to the brute
and so she held her peace though she was filled with sorrow in
contemplating the fate that awaited the young officer, scarce more
than a boy, who had impulsively revealed his love for her.
At Usanga's order one of the blacks lifted her from the ground and
carried her to the machine, and after Usanga had clambered aboard,
they lifted her up and he reached down and drew her into the fuselage
where he removed the thongs from her wrists and strapped her into
her seat and then took his own directly ahead of her.
The girl turned her eyes toward the Englishman. She was very pale
but her lips smiled bravely.
"Good-bye!" she cried.
"Good-bye, and God bless you!" he called back--his voice the least
bit husky--and then: "The thing I wanted to say-may I say it now,
we are so very near the end?"
Her lips moved but whether they voiced consent or refusal he did
not know, for the words were drowned in the whir of the propeller.
The black had learned his lesson sufficiently well so that the
motor was started without bungling and the machine was soon under
way across the meadowland. A groan escaped the lips of the distracted
Englishman as he watched the woman he loved being carried to almost
certain death. He saw the plane tilt and the machine rise from
the ground. It was a good take-off--as good as Lieutenant Harold
Percy Smith-Oldwick could make himself but he realized that it was
only so by chance. At any instant the machine might plunge to earth
and even if, by some miracle of chance, the black could succeed
in rising above the tree tops and make a successful flight, there
was not one chance in one hundred thousand that he could ever land
again without killing his fair captive and himself.
But what was that? His heart stood still.
For two days Tarzan of the Apes had been hunting leisurely to the
north, and swinging in a wide circle, he had returned to within
a short distance of the clearing where he had left Bertha Kircher
and the young lieutenant. He had spent the night in a large tree
that overhung the river only a short distance from the clearing,
and now in the early morning hours he was crouching at the water's
edge waiting for an opportunity to capture Pisah, the fish, thinking
that he would take it back with him to the hut where the girl could
cook it for herself and her companion.
Motionless as a bronze statue was the wily ape-man, for well he knew
how wary is Pisah, the fish. The slightest movement would frighten
him away and only by infinite patience might he be captured at
all. Tarzan depended upon his own quickness and the suddenness of
his attack, for he had no bait or hook. His knowledge of the ways
of the denizens of the water told him where to wait for Pisah. It
might be a minute or it might be an hour before the fish would swim
into the little pool above which he crouched, but sooner or later
one would come. That the ape-man knew, so with the patience of the
beast of prey he waited for his quarry.
At last there was a glint of shiny scales. Pisah was coming. In a
moment he would be within reach and then with the swiftness of light
two strong, brown hands would plunge into the pool and seize him,
but, just at the moment that the fish was about to come within reach,
there was a great crashing in the underbrush behind the ape-man.
Instantly Pisah was gone and Tarzan, growling, had wheeled about
to face whatever creature might be menacing him. The moment that
he turned he saw that the author of the disturbance was Zu-tag.
"What does Zu-tag want?" asked the ape-man.
"Zu-tag comes to the water to drink," replied the ape.
"Where is the tribe?" asked Tarzan.
"They are hunting for pisangs and scimatines farther back in the
forest," replied Zu-tag.
"And the Tarmangani she and bull--" asked Tarzan, "are they safe?"
"They have gone away," replied Zu-tag. "Kudu has come out of his
lair twice since they left."
"Did the tribe chase them away?" asked Tarzan.
"No," replied the ape. "We did not see them go. We do not know why
Tarzan swung quickly through the trees toward the clearing. The
hut and boma were as he had left them, but there was no sign of
either the man or the woman. Crossing the clearing, he entered the
boma and then the hut. Both were empty, and his trained nostrils
told him that they had been gone for at least two days. As he was
about to leave the hut he saw a paper pinned upon the wall with a
sliver of wood and taking it down, he read:
After what you told me about Miss Kircher, and knowing that you
dislike her, I feel that it is not fair to her and to you that we
should impose longer upon you. I know that our presence is keeping
you from continuing your journey to the west coast, and so I
have decided that it is better for us to try and reach the white
settlements immediately without imposing further upon you. We both
thank you for your kindness and protection. If there was any way
that I might repay the obligation I feel, I should be only too glad
to do so.
It was signed by Lieutenant Harold Percy Smith-Oldwick.
Tarzan shrugged his shoulders, crumpled the note in his hand and
tossed it aside. He felt a certain sense of relief from responsibility
and was glad that they had taken the matter out of his hands. They
were gone and would forget, but somehow he could not forget. He
walked out across the boma and into the clearing. He felt uneasy
and restless. Once he started toward the north in response to
a sudden determination to continue his way to the west coast. He
would follow the winding river toward the north a few miles where
its course turned to the west and then on toward its source across
a wooded plateau and up into the foothills and the mountains. Upon
the other side of the range he would search for a stream running
downward toward the west coast, and thus following the rivers he
would be sure of game and water in plenty.
But he did not go far. A dozen steps, perhaps, and he came to
a sudden stop. "He is an Englishman," he muttered, "and the other
is a woman. They can never reach the settlements without my help.
I could not kill her with my own hands when I tried, and if I let
them go on alone, I will have killed her just as surely as though
I had run my knife into her heart. No," and again he shook his
head. "Tarzan of the Apes is a fool and a weak, old woman," and he
turned back toward the south.
Manu, the monkey, had seen the two Tarmangani pass two days before.
Chattering and scolding, he told Tarzan all about it. They had
gone in the direction of the village of the Gomangani, that much
had Manu seen with his own eyes, so the ape-man swung on through
the jungle in a southerly direction and though with no concentrated
effort to follow the spoor of those he trailed, he passed numerous
evidences that they had gone this way--faint suggestions of their
scent spoor clung lightly to leaf or branch or bole that one
or the other had touched, or in the earth of the trail their feet
had trod, and where the way wound through the gloomy depth of dank
forest, the impress of their shoes still showed occasionally in
the damp mass of decaying vegetation that floored the way.
An inexplicable urge spurred Tarzan to increasing, speed. The
same still, small voice that chided him for having neglected them
seemed constantly whispering that they were in dire need of him
now. Tarzan's conscience was troubling him, which accounted for
the fact that he compared himself to a weak, old woman, for the
ape-man, reared in savagery and inured to hardships and cruelty,
disliked to admit any of the gentler traits that in reality were
The trail made a detour to the east of the village of the Wamabos,
and then returned to the wide elephant path nearer to the river,
where it continued in a southerly direction for several miles. At
last there came to the ears of the ape-man a peculiar whirring,
throbbing sound. For an instant he paused, listening intently, "An
aeroplane!" he muttered, and hastened forward at greatly increased
When Tarzan of the Apes finally reached the edge of the meadowland
where Smith-Oldwick's plane had landed, he took in the entire scene
in one quick glance and grasped the situation, although he could
scarce give credence to the things he saw. Bound and helpless,
the English officer lay upon the ground at one side of the meadow,
while around him stood a number of the black deserters from the
German command. Tarzan had seen these men before and knew who they
were. Coming toward him down the meadow was an aeroplane piloted
by the black Usanga and in the seat behind the pilot was the white
girl, Bertha Kircher. How it befell that the ignorant savage could
operate the plane, Tarzan could not guess nor had he time in which
to speculate upon the subject. His knowledge of Usanga, together
with the position of the white man, told him that the black sergeant
was attempting to carry off the white girl. Why he should be doing
this when he had her in his power and had also captured and secured
the only creature in the jungle who might wish to defend her in so
far as the black could know, Tarzan could not guess, for he knew
nothing of Usanga's twenty-four dream wives nor of the black's
fear of the horrid temper of Naratu, his present mate. He did not
know, then, that Usanga had determined to fly away with the white
girl never to return, and to put so great a distance between himself
and Naratu that the latter never could find him again; but it was
this very thing that was in the black's mind although not even his
own warriors guessed it. He had told them that he would take the
captive to a sultan of the north and there obtain a great price for
her and that when he returned they should have some of the spoils.
These things Tarzan did not know. All he knew was what he saw--a
Negro attempting to fly away with a white girl. Already the
machine was slowly leaving the ground. In a moment more it would
rise swiftly out of reach. At first Tarzan thought of fitting an
arrow to his bow and slaying Usanga, but as quickly he abandoned
the idea because he knew that the moment the pilot was slain the
machine, running wild, would dash the girl to death among the trees.
There was but one way in which he might hope to succor her--a way
which if it failed must send him to instant death and yet he did
not hesitate in an attempt to put it into execution.
Usanga did not see him, being too intent upon the unaccustomed duties
of a pilot, but the blacks across the meadow saw him and they ran
forward with loud and savage cries and menacing rifles to intercept
him. They saw a giant white man leap from the branches of a tree
to the turf and race rapidly toward the plane. They saw him take
a long grass rope from about his shoulders as he ran. They saw the
noose swinging in an undulating circle above his head. They saw
the white girl in the machine glance down and discover him.
Twenty feet above the running ape-man soared the huge plane. The
open noose shot up to meet it, and the girl, half guessing the
ape-man's intentions, reached out and caught the noose and, bracing
herself, clung tightly to it with both hands. Simultaneously Tarzan
was dragged from his feet and the plane lurched sideways in response
to the new strain. Usanga clutched wildly at the control and the
machine shot upward at a steep angle. Dangling at the end of the
rope the ape-man swung pendulum-like in space. The Englishman, lying
bound upon the ground, had been a witness of all these happenings.
His heart stood still as he saw Tarzan's body hurtling through the
air toward the tree tops among which it seemed he must inevitably
crash; but the plane was rising rapidly, so that the beast-man
cleared the top-most branches. Then slowly, hand over hand, he
climbed toward the fuselage. The girl, clinging desperately to the
noose, strained every muscle to hold the great weight dangling at
the lower end of the rope.
Usanga, all unconscious of what was going on behind him, drove the
plane higher and higher into the air.
Tarzan glanced downward. Below him the tree tops and the river
passed rapidly to the rear and only a slender grass rope and the
muscles of a frail girl stood between him and the death yawning
there thousands of feet below.
It seemed to Bertha Kircher that the fingers of her hands were dead.
The numbness was running up her arms to her elbows. How much longer
she could cling to the straining strands she could not guess. It
seemed to her that those lifeless fingers must relax at any instant
and then, when she had about given up hope, she saw a strong brown
hand reach up and grasp the side of the fuselage. Instantly the
weight upon the rope was removed and a moment later Tarzan of the
Apes raised his body above the side and threw a leg over the edge.
He glanced forward at Usanga and then, placing his mouth close to
the girl's ear he cried: "Have you ever piloted a plane?" The girl
nodded a quick affirmative.
"Have you the courage to climb up there beside the black and seize
the control while I take care of him?"
The girl looked toward Usanga and shuddered. "Yes," she replied,
"but my feet are bound."
Tarzan drew his hunting knife from its sheath and reaching down,
severed the thongs that bound her ankles. Then the girl unsnapped
the strap that held her to her seat. With one hand Tarzan grasped
the girl's arm and steadied her as the two crawled slowly across
the few feet which intervened between the two seats. A single slight
tip of the plane would have cast them both into eternity. Tarzan
realized that only through a miracle of chance could they reach
Usanga and effect the change in pilots and yet he knew that that
chance must be taken, for in the brief moments since he had first
seen the plane, he had realized that the black was almost without
experience as a pilot and that death surely awaited them in any
event should the black sergeant remain at the control.
The first intimation Usanga had that all was not well with him was
when the girl slipped suddenly to his side and grasped the control
and at the same instant steel-like fingers seized his throat. A brown
hand shot down with a keen blade and severed the strap about his
waist and giant muscles lifted him bodily from his seat. Usanga
clawed the air and shrieked but he was helpless as a babe. Far
below the watchers in the meadow could see the aeroplane careening
in the sky, for with the change of control it had taken a sudden
dive. They saw it right itself and, turning in a short circle, return
in their direction, but it was so far above them and the light of
the sun so strong that they could see nothing of what was going on
within the fuselage; but presently Lieutenant Smith-Oldwick gave
a gasp of dismay as he saw a human body plunge downward from the
plane. Turning and twisting in mid-air it fell with ever-increasing
velocity and the Englishman held his breath as the thing hurtled
With a muffled thud it flattened upon the turf near the center of
the meadow, and when at last the Englishman could gain the courage
to again turn his eyes upon it, he breathed a fervent prayer of
thanks, for the shapeless mass that lay upon the blood-stained turf
was covered with an ebon hide. Usanga had reaped his reward.
Again and again the plane circled above the meadow. The blacks, at
first dismayed at the death of their leader, were now worked to a
frenzy of rage and a determination to be avenged. The girl and the
ape-man saw them gather in a knot about the body of their fallen
chief. They saw as they circled above the meadow the black fists
shaken at them, and the rifles brandishing a menace toward them.
Tarzan still clung to the fuselage directly behind the pilot's seat.
His face was close beside Bertha Kircher's, and at the top of his
voice, above the noise of propeller, engine and exhaust, he screamed
a few words of instruction into her ear.
As the girl grasped the significance of his words she paled, but
her lips set in a hard line and her eyes shone with a sudden fire
of determination as she dropped the plane to within a few feet of
the ground and at the opposite end of the meadow from the blacks
and then at full speed bore down upon the savages. So quickly the
plane came that Usanga's men had no time to escape it after they
realized its menace. It touched the ground just as it struck among
them and mowed through them, a veritable juggernaut of destruction.
When it came to rest at the edge of the forest the ape-man leaped
quickly to the ground and ran toward the young lieutenant, and as
he went he glanced at the spot where the warriors had stood, ready
to defend himself if necessary, but there was none there to oppose
him. Dead and dying they lay strewn for fifty feet along the turf.
By the time Tarzan had freed the Englishman the girl joined them.
She tried to voice her thanks to the ape-man but he silenced her
with a gesture.
"You saved yourself," he insisted, "for had you been unable to
pilot the plane, I could not have helped you, and now," he said,
"you two have the means of returning to the settlements. The day
is still young. You can easily cover the distance in a few hours
if you have sufficient petrol." He looked inquiringly toward the
Smith-Oldwick nodded his head affirmatively. "I have plenty," he
"Then go at once," said the ape-man. "Neither of you belong in the
jungle." A slight smile touched his lips as he spoke.
The girl and the Englishman smiled too. "This jungle is no place
for us at least," said Smith-Oldwick, "and it is no place for any
other white man. Why don't you come back to civilization with us?"
Tarzan shook his head. "I prefer the jungle," he said.
The aviator dug his toe into the ground and still looking down,
blurted something which he evidently hated to say. "If it is a
matter of living, old top," he said, "er--money, er--you know--"
Tarzan laughed. "No," he said. "I know what you are trying to say.
It is not that. I was born in the jungle. I have lived all my life
in the jungle, and I shall die in the jungle. I do not wish to
live or die elsewhere."
The others shook their heads. They could not understand him.
"Go," said the ape-man. "The quicker you go, the quicker you will
They walked to the plane together. Smith-Oldwick pressed the
ape-man's hand and clambered into the pilot's seat. "Good-bye,"
said the girl as she extended her hand to Tarzan. "Before I go
won't you tell me you don't hate me any more?" Tarzan's face clouded.
Without a word he picked her up and lifted her to her place behind
the Englishman. An expression of pain crossed Bertha Kircher's
face. The motor started and a moment later the two were being borne
rapidly toward the east.
In the center of the meadow stood the ape-man watching them. "It
is too bad that she is a German and a spy," he said, "for she is
very hard to hate."
The Black Lion
Numa, the lion, was hungry. He had come out of the desert country
to the east into a land of plenty but though he was young and strong,
the wary grass-eaters had managed to elude his mighty talons each
time he had thought to make a kill.
Numa, the lion, was hungry and very savage. For two days he had
not eaten and now he hunted in the ugliest of humors. No more did
Numa roar forth a rumbling challenge to the world but rather he
moved silent and grim, stepping softly that no cracking twig might
betray his presence to the keen-eared quarry he sought.
Fresh was the spoor of Bara, the deer, that Numa picked up in the
well-beaten game trail he was following. No hour had passed since
Bara had come this way; the time could be measured in minutes and
so the great lion redoubled the cautiousness of his advance as he
crept stealthily in pursuit of his quarry.
A light wind was moving through the jungle aisles, and it wafted
down now to the nostrils of the eager carnivore the strong scent
spoor of the deer, exciting his already avid appetite to a point
where it became a gnawing pain. Yet Numa did not permit himself to
be carried away by his desires into any premature charge such as
had recently lost him the juicy meat of Pacco, the zebra. Increasing
his gait but slightly he followed the tortuous windings of the
trail until suddenly just before him, where the trail wound about
the bole of a huge tree, he saw a young buck moving slowly ahead
Numa judged the distance with his keen eyes, glowing now like two
terrible spots of yellow fire in his wrinkled, snarling face. He
could do it--this time he was sure. One terrific roar that would
paralyze the poor creature ahead of him into momentary inaction,
and a simultaneous charge of lightning-like rapidity and Numa, the
lion, would feed. The sinuous tail, undulating slowly at its tufted
extremity, whipped suddenly erect. It was the signal for the charge
and the vocal organs were shaped for the thunderous roar when, as
lightning out of a clear sky, Sheeta, the panther, leaped suddenly
into the trail between Numa and the deer.
A blundering charge made Sheeta, for with the first crash of his
spotted body through the foliage verging the trail, Bara gave a
single startled backward glance and was gone.
The roar that was intended to paralyze the deer broke horribly from
the deep throat of the great cat--an angry roar of rage against
the meddling Sheeta who had robbed him of his kill, and the charge
that was intended for Bara was launched against the panther; but
here too Numa was doomed to disappointment, for with the first notes
of his fearsome roar Sheeta, considering well the better part of
valor, leaped into a near-by tree.
A half-hour later it was a thoroughly furious Numa who came
unexpectedly upon the scent of man. Heretofore the lord of the jungle
had disdained the unpalatable flesh of the despised man-thing. Such
meat was only for the old, the toothless, and the decrepit who no
longer could make their kills among the fleet-footed grass-eaters.
Bara, the deer, Horta, the boar, and, best and wariest, Pacco, the
zebra, were for the young, the strong, and the agile, but Numa was
hungry-hungrier than he ever had been in the five short years of
What if he was a young, powerful, cunning, and ferocious beast?
In the face of hunger, the great leveler, he was as the old, the
toothless, and the decrepit. His belly cried aloud in anguish and
his jowls slavered for flesh. Zebra or deer or man, what mattered
it so that it was warm flesh, red with the hot juices of life?
Even Dango, the hyena, eater of offal, would, at the moment, have
seemed a tidbit to Numa.
The great lion knew the habits and frailties of man, though he never
before had hunted man for food. He knew the despised Gomangani as
the slowest, the most stupid, and the most defenseless of creatures.
No woodcraft, no cunning, no stealth was necessary in the hunting
of man, nor had Numa any stomach for either delay or silence.
His rage had become an almost equally consuming passion with
his hunger, so that now, as his delicate nostrils apprised him of
the recent passage of man, he lowered his head and rumbled forth
a thunderous roar, and at a swift walk, careless of the noise he
made, set forth upon the trail of his intended quarry.
Majestic and terrible, regally careless of his surroundings, the
king of beasts strode down the beaten trail. The natural caution
that is inherent to all creatures of the wild had deserted him.
What had he, lord of the jungle, to fear and, with only man to hunt,
what need of caution? And so he did not see or scent what a more
wary Numa might readily have discovered until, with the cracking of
twigs and a tumbling of earth, he was precipitated into a cunningly
devised pit that the wily Wamabos had excavated for just this
purpose in the center of the game trail.
Tarzan of the Apes stood in the center of the clearing watching the
plane shrinking to diminutive toy-like proportions in the eastern
sky. He had breathed a sigh of relief as he saw it rise safely with
the British flier and Fraulein Bertha Kircher. For weeks he had
felt the hampering responsibility of their welfare in this savage
wilderness where their utter helplessness would have rendered them
easy prey for the savage carnivores or the cruel Wamabos. Tarzan
of the Apes loved unfettered freedom, and now that these two were
safely off his hands, he felt that he could continue upon his
journey toward the west coast and the long-untenanted cabin of his
And yet, as he stood there watching the tiny speck in the east,
another sigh heaved his broad chest, nor was it a sigh of relief,
but rather a sensation which Tarzan had never expected to feel
again and which he now disliked to admit even to himself. It could
not be possible that he, the jungle bred, who had renounced forever
the society of man to return to his beloved beasts of the wilds,
could be feeling anything akin to regret at the departure of these
two, or any slightest loneliness now that they were gone. Lieutenant
Harold Percy Smith-Oldwick Tarzan had liked, but the woman whom he
had known as a German spy he had hated, though he never had found it
in his heart to slay her as he had sworn to slay all Huns. He had
attributed this weakness to the fact that she was a woman, although
he had been rather troubled by the apparent inconsistency of
his hatred for her and his repeated protection of her when danger
With an irritable toss of his head he wheeled suddenly toward the
west as though by turning his back upon the fast disappearing plane
he might expunge thoughts of its passengers from his memory. At
the edge of the clearing he paused; a giant tree loomed directly
ahead of him and, as though actuated by sudden and irresistible
impulse, he leaped into the branches and swung himself with apelike
agility to the topmost limbs that would sustain his weight. There,
balancing lightly upon a swaying bough, he sought in the direction
of the eastern horizon for the tiny speck that would be the British
plane bearing away from him the last of his own race and kind that
he expected ever again to see.
At last his keen eyes picked up the ship flying at a considerable
altitude far in the east. For a few seconds he watched it speeding
evenly eastward, when, to his horror, he saw the speck dive suddenly
downward. The fall seemed interminable to the watcher and he
realized how great must have been the altitude of the plane before
the drop commenced. Just before it disappeared from sight its
downward momentum appeared to abate suddenly, but it was still
moving rapidly at a steep angle when it finally disappeared from
view behind the far hills.
For half a minute the ape-man stood noting distant landmarks that
he judged might be in the vicinity of the fallen plane, for no
sooner had he realized that these people were again in trouble than
his inherent sense of duty to his own kind impelled him once more
to forego his plans and seek to aid them.
The ape-man feared from what he judged of the location of the machine
that it had fallen among the almost impassable gorges of the arid
country just beyond the fertile basin that was bounded by the
hills to the east of him. He had crossed that parched and desolate
country of the dead himself and he knew from his own experience
and the narrow escape he had had from succumbing to its relentless
cruelty no lesser man could hope to win his way to safety from
any considerable distance within its borders. Vividly he recalled
the bleached bones of the long-dead warrior in the bottom of the
precipitous gorge that had all but proved a trap for him as well.
He saw the helmet of hammered brass and the corroded breastplate of
steel and the long straight sword in its scabbard and the ancient
harquebus--mute testimonials to the mighty physique and the
warlike spirit of him who had somehow won, thus illy caparisoned
and pitifully armed, to the center of savage, ancient Africa; and
he saw the slender English youth and the slight figure of the girl
cast into the same fateful trap from which this giant of old had
been unable to escape--cast there wounded and broken perhaps, if
His judgment told him that the latter possibility was probably
the fact, and yet there was a chance that they might have landed
without fatal injuries, and so upon this slim chance he started out
upon what he knew would be an arduous journey, fraught with many
hardships and unspeakable peril, that he might attempt to save them
if they still lived.
He had covered a mile perhaps when his quick ears caught the sound
of rapid movement along the game trail ahead of him. The sound,
increasing in volume, proclaimed the fact that whatever caused it
was moving in his direction and moving rapidly. Nor was it long
before his trained senses convinced him that the footfalls were
those of Bara, the deer, in rapid flight. Inextricably confused in
Tarzan's character were the attributes of man and of beasts. Long
experience had taught him that he fights best or travels fastest
who is best nourished, and so, with few exceptions, Tarzan could
delay his most urgent business to take advantage of an opportunity
to kill and feed. This perhaps was the predominant beast trait in
him. The transformation from an English gentleman, impelled by the
most humanitarian motives, to that of a wild beast crouching in the
concealment of a dense bush ready to spring upon its approaching
prey, was instantaneous.
And so, when Bara came, escaping the clutches of Numa and Sheeta,
his terror and his haste precluded the possibility of his sensing
that other equally formidable foe lying in ambush for him. Abreast
of the ape-man came the deer; a light-brown body shot from the
concealing verdure of the bush, strong arms encircled the sleek
neck of the young buck and powerful teeth fastened themselves in
the soft flesh. Together the two rolled over in the trail and a
moment later the ape-man rose, and, with one foot upon the carcass
of his kill, raised his voice in the victory cry of the bull ape.
Like an answering challenge came suddenly to the ears of the
ape-man the thunderous roar of a lion, a hideous angry roar in which
Tarzan thought that he discerned a note of surprise and terror. In
the breast of the wild things of the jungle, as in the breasts of
their more enlightened brothers and sisters of the human race, the
characteristic of curiosity is well developed. Nor was Tarzan far
from innocent of it. The peculiar note in the roar of his hereditary
enemy aroused a desire to investigate, and so, throwing the carcass
of Bara, the deer, across his shoulder, the ape-man took to the
lower terraces of the forest and moved quickly in the direction
from which the sound had come, which was in line with the trail he
had set out upon.
As the distance lessened, the sounds increased in volume, which
indicated that he was approaching a very angry lion and presently,
where a jungle giant overspread the broad game trail that countless
thousands of hoofed and padded feet had worn and trampled into a
deep furrow during perhaps countless ages, he saw beneath him the
lion pit of the Wamabos and in it, leaping futilely for freedom
such a lion as even Tarzan of the Apes never before had beheld. A
mighty beast it was that glared up at the ape-man--large, powerful
and young, with a huge black mane and a coat so much darker than
any Tarzan ever had seen that in the depths of the pit it looked
almost black--a black lion!
Tarzan who had been upon the point of taunting and reviling his
captive foe was suddenly turned to open admiration for the beauty
of the splendid beast. What a creature! How by comparison the
ordinary forest lion was dwarfed into insignificance! Here indeed
was one worthy to be called king of beasts. With his first sight of
the great cat the ape-man knew that he had heard no note of terror
in that initial roar; surprise doubtless, but the vocal chords of
that mighty throat never had reacted to fear.
With growing admiration came a feeling of quick pity for the hapless
situation of the great brute rendered futile and helpless by the
wiles of the Gomangani. Enemy though the beast was, he was less an
enemy to the ape-man than those blacks who had trapped him, for
though Tarzan of the Apes claimed many fast and loyal friends among
certain tribes of African natives, there were others of degraded
character and bestial habits that he looked upon with utter loathing,
and of such were the human flesh-eaters of Numabo the chief. For
a moment Numa, the lion, glared ferociously at the naked man-thing
upon the tree limb above him. Steadily those yellow-green eyes
bored into the clear eyes of the ape-man, and then the sensitive
nostrils caught the scent of the fresh blood of Bara and the eyes
moved to the carcass lying across the brown shoulder, and there
came from the cavernous depths of the savage throat a low whine.
Tarzan of the Apes smiled. As unmistakably as though a human voice
had spoken, the lion had said to him "I am hungry, even more than
hungry. I am starving," and the ape-man looked down upon the lion
beneath him and smiled, a slow quizzical smile, and then he shifted
the carcass from his shoulder to the branch before him and, drawing
the long blade that had been his father's, deftly cut off a hind
quarter and, wiping the bloody blade upon Bara's smooth coat, he
returned it to its scabbard. Numa, with watering jaws, looked up
at the tempting meat and whined again and the ape-man smiled down
upon him his slow smile and, raising the hind quarter in his strong
brown hands buried his teeth in the tender, juicy flesh.
For the third time Numa, the lion, uttered that low pleading whine
and then, with a rueful and disgusted shake of his head, Tarzan of
the Apes raised the balance of the carcass of Bara, the deer, and
hurled it to the famished beast below.
"Old woman," muttered the ape-man. "Tarzan has become a weak old
woman. Presently he would shed tears because he has killed Bara,
the deer. He cannot see Numa, his enemy, go hungry, because Tarzan's
heart is turning to water by contact with the soft, weak creatures
of civilization." But yet he smiled, nor was he sorry that he had
given way to the dictates of a kindly impulse.
As Tarzan tore the flesh from that portion of the kill he had retained
for himself his eyes were taking in each detail of the scene below.
He saw the avidity with which Numa devoured the carcass; he noted
with growing admiration the finer points of the beast, and also
the cunning construction of the trap. The ordinary lion pit with
which Tarzan was familiar had stakes imbedded in the bottom, upon
whose sharpened points the hapless lion would be impaled, but this
pit was not so made. Here the short stakes were set at intervals of
about a foot around the walls near the top, their sharpened points
inclining downward so that the lion had fallen unhurt into the trap
but could not leap out because each time he essayed it his head
came in contact with the sharp end of a stake above him.
Evidently, then, the purpose of the Wamabos was to capture a lion
alive. As this tribe had no contact whatsoever with white men in
so far as Tarzan knew, their motive was doubtless due to a desire
to torture the beast to death that they might enjoy to the utmost
his dying agonies.
Having fed the lion, it presently occurred to Tarzan that his act
would be futile were he to leave the beast to the mercies of the
blacks, and then too it occurred to him that he could derive more
pleasure through causing the blacks discomfiture than by leaving
Numa to his fate. But how was he to release him? By removing two
stakes there would be left plenty of room for the lion to leap from
the pit, which was not of any great depth. However, what assurance
had Tarzan that Numa would not leap out instantly the way to
freedom was open, and before the ape-man could gain the safety of
the trees? Regardless of the fact that Tarzan felt no such fear
of the lion as you and I might experience under like circumstances,
he yet was imbued with the sense of caution that is necessary to
all creatures of the wild if they are to survive. Should necessity
require, Tarzan could face Numa in battle, although he was not so
egotistical as to think that he could best a full-grown lion in
mortal combat other than through accident or the utilization of the
cunning of his superior man-mind. To lay himself liable to death
futilely, he would have considered as reprehensible as to have
shunned danger in time of necessity; but when Tarzan elected to do
a thing he usually found the means to accomplish it.
He had now fully determined to liberate Numa, and having so determined,
he would accomplish it even though it entailed considerable personal
risk. He knew that the lion would be occupied with his feeding for
some time, but he also knew that while feeding he would be doubly
resentful of any fancied interference. Therefore Tarzan must work
Coming to the ground at the side of the pit, he examined the stakes
and as he did so was rather surprised to note that Numa gave no
evidence of anger at his approach. Once he turned a searching gaze
upon the ape-man for a moment and then returned to the flesh of
Bara. Tarzan felt of the stakes and tested them with his weight.
He pulled upon them with the muscles of his strong arms, presently
discovering that by working them back and forth he could loosen
them: and then a new plan was suggested to him so that he fell to
work excavating with his knife at a point above where one of the
stakes was imbedded. The loam was soft and easily removed, and it
was not long until Tarzan had exposed that part of one of the stakes
which was imbedded in the wall of the pit to almost its entire
length, leaving only enough imbedded to prevent the stake from
falling into the excavation. Then he turned his attention to an
adjoining stake and soon had it similarly exposed, after which he
threw the noose of his grass rope over the two and swung quickly
to the branch of the tree above. Here he gathered in the slack of
the rope and, bracing himself against the bole of the tree, pulled
steadily upward. Slowly the stakes rose from the trench in which
they were imbedded and with them rose Numa's suspicion and growling.
Was this some new encroachment upon his rights and his liberties?
He was puzzled and, like all lions, being short of temper, he
was irritated. He had not minded it when the Tarmangani squatted
upon the verge of the pit and looked down upon him, for had not
this Tarmangani fed him? But now something else was afoot and the
suspicion of the wild beast was aroused. As he watched, however,
Numa saw the stakes rise slowly to an erect position, tumble
against each other and then fall backwards out of his sight upon
the surface of the ground above. Instantly the lion grasped the
possibilities of the situation, and, too, perhaps he sensed the fact
that the man-thing had deliberately opened a way for his escape.
Seizing the remains of Bara in his great jaws, Numa, the lion,
leaped agilely from the pit of the Wamabos and Tarzan of the Apes
melted into the jungles to the east.
On the surface of the ground or through the swaying branches of the
trees the spoor of man or beast was an open book to the ape-man, but
even his acute senses were baffled by the spoorless trail of the
airship. Of what good were eyes, or ears, or the sense of smell
in following a thing whose path had lain through the shifting
air thousands of feet above the tree tops? Only upon his sense of
direction could Tarzan depend in his search for the fallen plane.
He could not even judge accurately as to the distance it might
lie from him, and he knew that from the moment that it disappeared
beyond the hills it might have traveled a considerable distance at
right angles to its original course before it crashed to earth. If
its occupants were killed or badly injured the ape-man might search
futilely in their immediate vicinity for some time before finding
There was but one thing to do and that was to travel to a point
as close as possible to where he judged the plane had landed, and
then to follow in ever-widening circles until he picked up their
scent spoor. And this he did.
Before he left the valley of plenty he made several kills and
carried the choicest cuts of meat with him, leaving all the dead
weight of bones behind. The dense vegetation of the jungle terminated
at the foot of the western slope, growing less and less abundant
as he neared the summit beyond which was a sparse growth of sickly
scrub and sunburned grasses, with here and there a gnarled and hardy
tree that had withstood the vicissitudes of an almost waterless
From the summit of the hills Tarzan's keen eyes searched the arid
landscape before him. In the distance he discerned the ragged
tortuous lines that marked the winding course of the hideous gorges
which scored the broad plain at intervals--the terrible gorges that
had so nearly claimed his life in punishment for his temerity in
attempting to invade the sanctity of their ancient solitude.
For two days Tarzan sought futilely for some clew to the whereabouts
of the machine or its occupants. He cached portions of his kills at
different points, building cairns of rock to mark their locations.
He crossed the first deep gorge and circled far beyond it. Occasionally
he stopped and called aloud, listening for some response but
only silence rewarded him-a sinister silence that his cries only
Late in the evening of the second day he came to the well-remembered
gorge in which lay the clean-picked bones of the ancient adventurer,
and here, for the first time, Ska, the vulture, picked up his trail.
"Not this time, Ska," cried the ape-man in a taunting voice, "for
now indeed is Tarzan Tarzan. Before, you stalked the grim skeleton
of a Tarmangani and even then you lost. Waste not your time upon
Tarzan of the Apes in the full of his strength." But still Ska, the
vulture, circled and soared above him, and the ape-man, notwithstanding
his boasts, felt a shudder of apprehension. Through his brain ran
a persistent and doleful chant to which he involuntarily set two
words, repeated over and over again in horrible monotony: "Ska
knows! Ska knows!" until, shaking himself in anger, he picked up
a rock and hurled it at the grim scavenger.
Lowering himself over the precipitous side of the gorge Tarzan half
clambered and half slid to the sandy floor beneath. He had come
upon the rift at almost the exact spot at which he had clambered
from it weeks before, and there he saw, just as he had left it,
just, doubtless, as it had lain for centuries, the mighty skeleton
and its mighty armor.
As he stood looking down upon this grim reminder that another man
of might had succumbed to the cruel powers of the desert, he was
brought to startled attention by the report of a firearm, the sound
of which came from the depths of the gorge to the south of him,
and reverberated along the steep walls of the narrow rift.
As the British plane piloted by Lieutenant Harold Percy Smith-Oldwick
rose above the jungle wilderness where Bertha Kircher's life had
so often been upon the point of extinction, and sped toward the
east, the girl felt a sudden contraction of the muscles of her
throat. She tried very hard to swallow something that was not there.
It seemed strange to her that she should feel regret in leaving
behind her such hideous perils, and yet it was plain to her that
such was the fact, for she was also leaving behind something beside
the dangers that had menaced her--a unique figure that had entered
her life, and for which she felt an unaccountable attraction.
Before her in the pilot's seat sat an English officer and gentleman
whom, she knew, loved her, and yet she dared to feel regret in his
company at leaving the stamping ground of a wild beast!
Lieutenant Smith-Oldwick, on his part, was in the seventh heaven
of elation. He was in possession again of his beloved ship, he was
flying swiftly in the direction of his comrades and his duty, and
with him was the woman he loved. The fly in the ointment, however,
was the accusation Tarzan had made against this woman. He had said
that she was a German, and a spy, and from the heights of bliss the
English officer was occasionally plunged to the depths of despair
in contemplation of the inevitable, were the ape-man's charges to
prove true. He found himself torn between sentiments of love and
honor. On the one hand he could not surrender the woman he loved
to the certain fate that must be meted out to her if she were in
truth an enemy spy, while on the other it would be equally impossible
for him as an Englishman and an officer to give her aid or protection.
The young man contented himself therefore with repeated mental
denials of her guilt. He tried to convince himself that Tarzan was
mistaken, and when he conjured upon the screen of recollection the
face of the girl behind him, he was doubly reassured that those
lines of sweet femininity and character, those clear and honest
eyes, could not belong to one of the hated alien race.
And so they sped toward the east, each wrapped in his own thoughts.
Below them they saw the dense vegetation of the jungle give place
to the scantier growth upon the hillside, and then before them
there spread the wide expanse of arid wastelands marked by the deep
scarring of the narrow gorges that long-gone rivers had cut there
in some forgotten age.
Shortly after they passed the summit of the ridge which formed
the boundary between the desert and the fertile country, Ska, the
vulture, winging his way at a high altitude toward his aerie, caught
sight of a strange new bird of gigantic proportions encroaching upon
the preserves of his aerial domain. Whether with intent to give
battle to the interloper or merely impelled by curiosity, Ska rose
suddenly upward to meet the plane. Doubtless he misjudged the speed
of the newcomer, but be that as it may, the tip of the propeller
blade touched him and simultaneously many things happened. The
lifeless body of Ska, torn and bleeding, dropped plummet-like toward
the ground; a bit of splintered spruce drove backward to strike
the pilot on the forehead; the plane shuddered and trembled and
as Lieutenant Harold Percy Smith-Oldwick sank forward in momentary
unconsciousness the ship dived headlong toward the earth.
Only for an instant was the pilot unconscious, but that instant
almost proved their undoing. When he awoke to a realization of
their peril it was also to discover that his motor had stalled.
The plane had attained frightful momentum, and the ground seemed
too close for him to hope to flatten out in time to make a safe
landing. Directly beneath him was a deep rift in the plateau, a
narrow gorge, the bottom of which appeared comparatively level and
In the brief instant in which he must reach a decision, the safest
plan seemed to attempt a landing in the gorge, and this he did, but
not without considerable damage to the plane and a severe shaking-up
for himself and his passenger.
Fortunately neither of them was injured but their condition seemed
indeed a hopeless one. It was a grave question as to whether the
man could repair his plane and continue the journey, and it seemed
equally questionable as to their ability either to proceed on foot
to the coast or retrace their way to the country they had just
left. The man was confident that they could not hope to cross the
desert country to the east in the face of thirst and hunger, while
behind them in the valley of plenty lay almost equal danger in the
form of carnivores and the warlike natives.
After the plane came to its sudden and disastrous stop, Smith-Oldwick
turned quickly to see what the effect of the accident had been on
the girl. He found her pale but smiling, and for several seconds
the two sat looking at each other in silence.
"This is the end?" the girl asked.
The Englishman shook his head. "It is the end of the first leg,
anyway," he replied.
"But you can't hope to make repairs here," she said dubiously.
"No," he said, "not if they amount to anything, but I may be able
to patch it up. I will have to look her over a bit first. Let us
hope there is nothing serious. It's a long, long way to the Tanga
"We would not get far," said the girl, a slight note of hopelessness
in her tone. "Entirely unarmed as we are, it would be little less
than a miracle if we covered even a small fraction of the distance."
"But we are not unarmed," replied the man. "I have an extra pistol
here, that the beggars didn't discover," and, removing the cover
of a compartment, he drew forth an automatic.
Bertha Kircher leaned back in her seat and laughed aloud, a mirthless,
half-hysterical laugh. "That popgun!" she exclaimed. "What earthly
good would it do other than to infuriate any beast of prey you
might happen to hit with it?"
Smith-Oldwick looked rather crestfallen. "But it is a weapon," he
said. "You will have to admit that, and certainly I could kill a
man with it."
"You could if you happened to hit him," said the girl, "or the
thing didn't jam. Really, I haven't much faith in an automatic. I
have used them myself."
"Oh, of course," he said ironically, "an express rifle would be
better, for who knows but we might meet an elephant here in the
The girl saw that he was hurt, and she was sorry, for she realized
that there was nothing he would not do in her service or protection,
and that it was through no fault of his that he was so illy armed.
Doubtless, too, he realized as well as she the futility of his
weapon, and that he had only called attention to it in the hope of
reassuring her and lessening her anxiety.
"Forgive me," she said. "I did not mean to be nasty, but this
accident is the proverbial last straw. It seems to me that I have
borne all that I can. Though I was willing to give my life in the
service of my country, I did not imagine that my death agonies would
be so long drawn out, for I realize now that I have been dying for
"What do you mean!" he exclaimed; "what do you mean by that! You
are not dying. There is nothing the matter with you."
"Oh, not that," she said, "I did not mean that. What I mean is that
at the moment the black sergeant, Usanga, and his renegade German
native troops captured me and brought me inland, my death warrant
was signed. Sometimes I have imagined that a reprieve has been
granted. Sometimes I have hoped that I might be upon the verge of
winning a full pardon, but really in the depths of my heart I have
known that I should never live to regain civilization. I have done
my bit for my country, and though it was not much I can at least
go with the realization that it was the best I was able to offer.
All that I can hope for now, all that I ask for, is a speedy
fulfillment of the death sentence. I do not wish to linger any more
to face constant terror and apprehension. Even physical torture
would be preferable to what I have passed through. I have no doubt
that you consider me a brave woman, but really my terror has been
boundless. The cries of the carnivores at night fill me with a dread
so tangible that I am in actual pain. I feel the rending talons
in my flesh and the cruel fangs munching upon my bones--it is as
real to me as though I were actually enduring the horrors of such
a death. I doubt if you can understand it--men are so different."
"Yes," he said, "I think I can understand it, and because I understand
I can appreciate more than you imagine the heroism you have shown
in your endurance of all that you have passed through. There can
be no bravery where there is no fear. A child might walk into a
lion's den, but it would take a very brave man to go to its rescue."
"Thank you," she said, "but I am not brave at all, and now I am
very much ashamed of my thoughtlessness for your own feelings. I
will try and take a new grip upon myself and we will both hope for
the best. I will help you all I can if you will tell me what I may
"The first thing," he replied, "is to find out just how serious
our damage is, and then to see what we can do in the way of repairs."
For two days Smith-Oldwick worked upon the damaged plane--worked
in the face of the fact that from the first he realized the case
was hopeless. And at last he told her.
'I knew it," she said, "but I believe that I felt much as you must
have; that however futile our efforts here might be, it would be
infinitely as fatal to attempt to retrace our way to the jungle we
just left or to go on toward the coast. You know and I know that we
could not reach the Tanga railway on foot. We should die of thirst
and starvation before we had covered half the distance, and if we
return to the jungle, even were we able to reach it, it would be
but to court an equally certain, though different, fate."
"So we might as well sit here and wait for death as to uselessly
waste our energies in what we know would be a futile attempt at
escape?" he asked.
"No," she replied, "I shall never give up like that. What I meant
was that it was useless to attempt to reach either of the places
where we know that there is food and water in abundance, so we
must strike out in a new direction. Somewhere there may be water
in this wilderness and if there is, the best chance of our finding
it would be to follow this gorge downward. We have enough food and
water left, if we are careful of it, for a couple of days and in
that time we might stumble upon a spring or possibly even reach
the fertile country which I know lies to the south. When Usanga
brought me to the Wamabo country from the coast he took a southerly
route along which there was usually water and game in plenty. It
was not until we neared our destination that the country became
overrun with carnivores. So there is hope if we can reach the
fertile country south of us that we can manage to pull through to
The man shook his head dubiously. "We can try it," he said.
"Personally, I do not fancy sitting here waiting for death."
Smith-Oldwick was leaning against the ship, his dejected gaze
directed upon the ground at his feet. The girl was looking south
down the gorge in the direction of their one slender chance of
life. Suddenly she touched him on the arm.
"Look," she whispered.
The man raised his eyes quickly in the direction of her gaze to
see the massive head of a great lion who was regarding them from
beyond a rocky projection at the first turning of the gorge.
"Phew!" he exclaimed, "the beggars are everywhere."
"They do not go far from water do they," asked the girl hopefully.
"I should imagine not," he replied; "a lion is not particularly
strong on endurance."
"Then he is a harbinger of hope," she exclaimed.
The man laughed. "Cute little harbinger of hope!" he said. "Reminds
me of Cock Robin heralding spring."
The girl cast a quick glance at him. "Don't be silly, and I don't
care if you do laugh. He fills me with hope."
"It is probably mutual," replied Smith-Oldwick, "as we doubtless
fill him with hope."
The lion evidently having satisfied himself as to the nature of
the creatures before him advanced slowly now in their direction.
"Come," said the man, 'let's climb aboard," and he helped the girl
over the side of the ship.
"Can't he get in here?" she asked.
"I think he can," said the man.
"You are reassuring," she returned.
"I don't feel so." He drew his pistol.
"For heaven's sake," she cried, "don't shoot at him with that thing.
You might hit him."
"I don't intend to shoot at him but I might succeed in frightening
him away if he attempts to reach us here. Haven't you ever seen a
trainer work with lions? He carries a silly little pop-gun loaded
with blank cartridges. With that and a kitchen chair he subdues
the most ferocious of beasts."
"But you haven't a kitchen chair," she reminded him.
"No," he said, "Government is always muddling things. I have always
maintained that airplanes should be equipped with kitchen chairs."
Bertha Kircher laughed as evenly and with as little hysteria as
though she were moved by the small talk of an afternoon tea.
Numa, the lion, came steadily toward them; his attitude seemed
more that of curiosity than of belligerency. Close to the side of
the ship he stopped and stood gazing up at them.
"Magnificent, isn't he?" exclaimed the man.
"I never saw a more beautiful creature," she replied, "nor one with
such a dark coat. Why, he is almost black."
The sound of their voices seemed not to please the lord of the
jungle, for he suddenly wrinkled his great face into deep furrows
as he bared his fangs beneath snarling lips and gave vent to an
angry growl. Almost simultaneously he crouched for a spring and
immediately Smith-Oldwick discharged his pistol into the ground in
front of the lion. The effect of the noise upon Numa seemed but to
enrage him further, and with a horrid roar he sprang for the author
of the new and disquieting sound that had outraged his ears.
Simultaneously Lieutenant Harold Percy Smith-Oldwick vaulted nimbly
out of the cockpit on the opposite side of his plane, calling to
the girl to follow his example. The girl, realizing the futility
of leaping to the ground, chose the remaining alternative and
clambered to the top of the upper plane.
Numa, unaccustomed to the idiosyncrasies of construction of an
airship and having gained the forward cockpit, watched the girl
clamber out of his reach without at first endeavoring to prevent
her. Having taken possession of the plane his anger seemed suddenly
to leave him and he made no immediate move toward following
Smith-Oldwick. The girl, realizing the comparative safety of her
position, had crawled to the outer edge of the wing and was calling
to the man to try and reach the opposite end of the upper plane.
It was this scene upon which Tarzan of the Apes looked as he
rounded the bend of the gorge above the plane after the pistol shot
had attracted his attention. The girl was so intent upon watching
the efforts of the Englishman to reach a place of safety, and the
latter was so busily occupied in attempting to do so that neither
at once noticed the silent approach of the ape-man.
It was Numa who first noticed the intruder. The lion immediately
evinced his displeasure by directing toward him a snarling countenance
and a series of warning growls. His action called the attention of
the two upon the upper plane to the newcomer, eliciting a stifled
"Thank God!" from the girl, even though she could scarce credit the
evidence of her own eyes that it was indeed the savage man, whose
presence always assured her safety, who had come so providentially
in the nick of time.
Almost immediately both were horrified to see Numa leap from the
cockpit and advance upon Tarzan. The ape-man, carrying his stout
spear in readiness, moved deliberately onward to meet the carnivore,
which he had recognized as the lion of the Wamabos' pit. He knew
from the manner of Numa's approach what neither Bertha Kircher nor
Smith-Oldwick knew--that there was more of curiosity than belligerency
in it, and he wondered if in that great head there might not be a
semblance of gratitude for the kindness that Tarzan had done him.
There was no question in Tarzan's mind but that Numa recognized
him, for he knew his fellows of the jungle well enough to know that
while they oft-times forgot certain sensations more quickly than
man there are others which remain in their memories for years. A
well-defined scent spoor might never be forgotten by a beast if it
had first been sensed under unusual circumstances, and so Tarzan
was confident that Numa's nose had already reminded him of all the
circumstances of their brief connection.
Love of the sporting chance is inherent in the Anglo-Saxon race and
it was not now Tarzan of the Apes but rather John Clayton, Lord
Greystoke, who smilingly welcomed the sporting chance which he must
take to discover how far-reaching was Numa's gratitude.
Smith-Oldwick and the girl saw the two nearing each other. The
former swore softly beneath his breath while he nervously fingered
the pitiful weapon at his hip. The girl pressed her open palms to
her cheeks as she leaned forward in stony-eyed, horror-stricken
silence. While she had every confidence in the prowess of the godlike
creature who thus dared brazenly to face the king of beasts, she
had no false conception of what must certainly happen when they
met. She had seen Tarzan battle with Sheeta, the panther, and she
had realized then that powerful as the man was, it was only agility,
cunning, and chance that placed him upon anywhere near an equal
footing with his savage adversary, and that of the three factors
upon his side chance was the greatest.
She saw the man and the lion stop simultaneously, not more than
a yard apart. She saw the beast's tail whipping from side to side
and she could hear his deep-throated growls rumbling from his
cavernous breast, but she could read correctly neither the movement
of the lashing tail nor the notes of the growl.
To her they seemed to indicate nothing but bestial rage while to
Tarzan of the Apes they were conciliatory and reassuring in the
extreme. And then she saw Numa move forward again until his nose
touched the man's naked leg and she closed her eyes and covered
them with her palms. For what seemed an eternity she waited for
the horrid sound of the conflict which she knew must come, but all
she heard was an explosive sigh of relief from Smith-Oldwick and
a half-hysterical "By Jove! Just fancy it!"
She looked up to see the great lion rubbing his shaggy head against
the man's hip, and Tarzan's free hand entangled in the black mane
as he scratched Numa, the lion, behind a back-laid ear.
Strange friendships are often formed between the lower animals
of different species, but less often between man and the savage
felidae, because of the former's inherent fear of the great cats.
And so after all, therefore, the friendship so suddenly developed
between the savage lion and the savage man was not inexplicable.
As Tarzan approached the plane Numa walked at his side, and when
Tarzan stopped and looked up at the girl and the man Numa stopped
"I had about given up hope of finding you," said the ape-man, "and
it is evident that I found you just in time."
"But how did you know we were in trouble?" asked the English officer.
"I saw your plane fall," replied Tarzan. "I was watching you from
a tree beside the clearing where you took off. I didn't have much
to locate you by other than the general direction, but it seems
that you volplaned a considerable distance toward the south after
you disappeared from my view behind the hills. I have been looking
for you further toward the north. I was just about to turn back
when I heard your pistol shot. Is your ship beyond repair?"
"Yes," replied Smith-Oldwick, "it is hopeless."
"What are your plans, then? What do you wish to do?" Tarzan directed
his question to the girl.
"We want to reach the coast," she said, "but it seems impossible
"I should have thought so a little while ago," replied the ape-man,
"but if Numa is here there must be water within a reasonable
distance. I ran across this lion two days ago in the Wamabo country.
I liberated him from one of their pits. To have reached this spot
he must have come by some trail unknown to me--at least I crossed
no game trail and no spoor of any animal after I came over the hills
out of the fertile country. From which direction did he come upon
"It was from the south," replied the girl. "We thought, too, that
there must be water in that direction."
"Let's find out then," said Tarzan.
"But how about the lion?" asked Smith-Oldwick.
"That we will have to discover," replied the ape-man, "and we can
only do so if you will come down from your perch."
The officer shrugged his shoulders. The girl turned her gaze upon
him to note the effect of Tarzan's proposal. The Englishman grew
suddenly very white, but there was a smile upon his lips as without
a word he slipped over the edge of the plane and clambered to the
ground behind Tarzan.
Bertha Kircher realized that the man was afraid nor did she blame
him, and she also realized the remarkable courage that he had shown
in thus facing a danger that was very real to him.
Numa standing close to Tarzan's side raised his head and glared at
the young Englishman, growled once, and looked up at the ape-man.
Tarzan retained a hold upon the beast's mane and spoke to him in
the language of the great apes. To the girl and Smith-Oldwick the
growling gutturals falling from human lips sounded uncanny in the
extreme, but whether Numa understood them or not they appeared to
have the desired effect upon him, as he ceased growling, and as
Tarzan walked to Smith-Oldwick's side Numa accompanied him, nor
did he offer to molest the officer.
"What did you say to him?" asked the girl.
Tarzan smiled. "I told him," he replied, "that I am Tarzan of the
Apes, mighty hunter, killer of beasts, lord of the jungle, and that
you are my friends. I have never been sure that all of the other
beasts understand the language of the Mangani. I know that Manu,
the monkey, speaks nearly the same tongue and I am sure that Tantor,
the elephant, understands all that I say to him. We of the jungle
are great boasters. In our speech, in our carriage, in every detail
of our demeanor we must impress others with our physical power and
our ferocity. That is why we growl at our enemies. We are telling
them to beware or we shall fall upon them and tear them to pieces.
Perhaps Numa does not understand the words that I use but I believe
that my tones and my manner carry the impression that I wish them
to convey. Now you may come down and be introduced."
It required all the courage that Bertha Kircher possessed to lower
herself to the ground within reach of the talons and fangs of this
untamed forest beast, but she did it. Nor did Numa do more than
bare his teeth and growl a little as she came close to the ape-man.
"I think you are safe from him as long as I am present," said the
ape-man. "The best thing to do is simply to ignore him. Make no
advances, but be sure to give no indication of fear and, if possible
always keep me between you and him. He will go away presently I am
sure and the chances are that we shall not see him again."
At Tarzan's suggestion Smith-Oldwick removed the remaining water
and provisions from the plane and, distributing the burden among
them, they set off toward the south. Numa did not follow them, but
stood by the plane watching until they finally disappeared from
view around a bend in the gorge.
Tarzan had picked up Numa's trail with the intention of following
it southward in the belief that it would lead to water. In the sand
that floored the bottom of the gorge tracks were plain and easily
followed. At first only the fresh tracks of Numa were visible, but
later in the day the ape-man discovered the older tracks of other
lions and just before dark he stopped suddenly in evident surprise.
His two companions looked at him questioningly, and in answer to
their implied interrogations he pointed at the ground directly in
front of him.
"Look at those," he exclaimed.
At first neither Smith-Oldwick nor the girl saw anything but a
confusion of intermingled prints of padded feet in the sand, but
presently the girl discovered what Tarzan had seen, and an exclamation
of surprise broke from her lips.
"The imprint of human feet!" she cried.
"But there are no toes," the girl pointed out.
"The feet were shod with a soft sandal," explained Tarzan.
"Then there must be a native village somewhere in the vicinity,"
"Yes," replied the ape-man, "but not the sort of natives which we
would expect to find here in this part of Africa where others all
go unshod with the exception of a few of Usanga's renegade German
native troops who wear German army shoes. I don't know that you can
notice it, but it is evident to me that the foot inside the sandal
that made these imprints were not the foot of a Negro. If you will
examine them carefully you will notice that the impression of the
heel and ball of the foot are well marked even through the sole of
the sandal. The weight comes more nearly in the center of a Negro's
"Then you think these were made by a white person?"
"It looks that way," replied Tarzan, and suddenly, to the surprise
of both the girl and Smith-Oldwick, he dropped to his hands and
knees and sniffed at the tracks--again a beast utilizing the senses
and woodcraft of a beast. Over an area of several square yards his
keen nostrils sought the identity of the makers of the tracks. At
length he rose to his feet.
"It is not the spoor of the Gomangani," he said, "nor is it exactly
like that of white men. There were three who came this way. They
were men, but of what race I do not know."
There was no apparent change in the nature of the gorge except that
it had steadily grown deeper as they followed it downward until now
the rocky and precipitous sides rose far above them. At different
points natural caves, which appeared to have been eroded by the action
of water in some forgotten age, pitted the side walls at various
heights. Near them was such a cavity at the ground's level--an
arched cavern floored with white sand. Tarzan indicated it with a
gesture of his hand.
"We will lair here tonight," he said, and then with one of his
rare, slow smiles: "We will CAMP here tonight."
Having eaten their meager supper Tarzan bade the girl enter the
"You will sleep inside," he said. "The lieutenant and I will lie
outside at the entrance."
The Night Attack
As the girl turned to bid them good night, she thought that she
saw a shadowy form moving in the darkness beyond them, and almost
simultaneously she was sure that she heard the sounds of stealthy
movement in the same direction.
"What is that?" she whispered. "There is something out there in
"Yes," replied Tarzan, "it is a lion. It has been there for some
time. Hadn't you noticed it before?"
"Oh!" cried the girl, breathing a sigh of relief, "is it our lion?"
"No," said Tarzan, "it is not our lion; it is another lion and he
"He is stalking us?" asked the girl.
"He is," replied the ape-man. Smith-Oldwick fingered the grip of
Tarzan saw the involuntary movement and shook his head.
"Leave that thing where it is, Lieutenant," he said.
The officer laughed nervously. "I couldn't help it, you know, old
man," he said; "instinct of self-preservation and all that."
"It would prove an instinct of self-destruction," said Tarzan.
"There are at least three hunting lions out there watching us. If
we had a fire or the moon were up you would see their eyes plainly.
Presently they may come after us but the chances are that they will
not. If you are very anxious that they should, fire your pistol
and hit one of them."
"What if they do charge?" asked the girl; "there is no means of
"Why, we should have to fight them," replied Tarzan.
"What chance would we three have against them?" asked the girl.
The ape-man shrugged his shoulders. "One must die sometime," he
said. "To you doubtless it may seem terrible--such a death; but
Tarzan of the Apes has always expected to go out in some such way.
Few of us die of old age in the jungle, nor should I care to die
thus. Some day Numa will get me, or Sheeta, or a black warrior.
These or some of the others. What difference does it make which
it is, or whether it comes tonight or next year or in ten years?
After it is over it will be all the same."
The girl shuddered. "Yes," she said in a dull, hopeless voice,
"after it is over it will be all the same."
Then she went into the cavern and lay down upon the sand. Smith-Oldwick
sat in the entrance and leaned against the cliff. Tarzan squatted
on the opposite side.
"May I smoke?" questioned the officer of Tarzan. "I have been
hoarding a few cigarettes and if it won't attract those bouncers
out there I would like to have one last smoke before I cash in.
Will you join me?" and he proffered the ape-man a cigarette.
"No, thanks," said Tarzan, "but it will be all right if you smoke.
No wild animal is particularly fond of the fumes of tobacco so it
certainly won't entice them any closer."
Smith-Oldwick lighted his cigarette and sat puffing slowly upon
it. He had proffered one to the girl but she had refused, and thus
they sat in silence for some time, the silence of the night ruffled
occasionally by the faint crunching of padded feet upon the soft
sands of the gorge's floor.
It was Smith-Oldwick who broke the silence. "Aren't they unusually
quiet for lions?" he asked.
"No," replied the ape-man; "the lion that goes roaring around the
jungle does not do it to attract prey. They are very quiet when
they are stalking their quarry."
"I wish they would roar," said the officer. "I wish they would
do anything, even charge. Just knowing that they are there and
occasionally seeing something like a shadow in the darkness and the
faint sounds that come to us from them are getting on my nerves.
But I hope," he said, "that all three don't charge at once."
"Three?" said Tarzan. "There are seven of them out there now."
"Good Lord! exclaimed Smith-Oldwick.
"Couldn't we build a fire," asked the girl, "and frighten them
"I don't know that it would do any good," said Tarzan, "as I have
an idea that these lions are a little different from any that we
are familiar with and possibly for the same reason which at first
puzzled me a little--I refer to the apparent docility in the
presence of a man of the lion who was with us today. A man is out
there now with those lions."
"It is impossible!" exclaimed Smith-Oldwick. "They would tear him
"What makes you think there is a man there?" asked the girl.
Tarzan smiled and shook his head. "I am afraid you would not
understand," he replied. "It is difficult for us to understand
anything that is beyond our own powers."
"What do you mean by that?" asked the officer.
"Well," said Tarzan, "if you had been born without eyes you could
not understand sense impressions that the eyes of others transmit
to their brains, and as you have both been born without any sense
of smell I am afraid you cannot understand how I can know that
there is a man there."
"You mean that you scent a man?" asked the girl.
Tarzan nodded affirmatively.
"And in the same way you know the number of lions?" asked the man.
"Yes," said Tarzan. "No two lions look alike, no two have the same
The young Englishman shook his head. "No," he said, "I cannot
"I doubt if the lions or the man are here necessarily for the purpose
of harming us," said Tarzan, "because there has been nothing to
prevent their doing so long before had they wished to. I have a
theory, but it is utterly preposterous."
"What is it?" asked the girl.
"I think they are here," replied Tarzan, "to prevent us from going
some place that they do not wish us to go; in other words we are
under surveillance, and possibly as long as we don't go where we
are not wanted we shall not be bothered."
"But how are we to know where they don't want us to go?" asked
"We can't know," replied Tarzan, "and the chances are that the very
place we are seeking is the place they don't wish us to trespass
"You mean the water?" asked the girl.
"Yes," replied Tarzan.
For some time they sat in silence which was broken only by an
occasional sound of movement from the outer darkness. It must have
been an hour later that the ape-man rose quietly and drew his long
blade from its sheath. Smith-Oldwick was dozing against the rocky
wall of the cavern entrance, while the girl, exhausted by the
excitement and fatigue of the day, had fallen into deep slumber. An
instant after Tarzan arose, Smith-Oldwick and the girl were aroused
by a volley of thunderous roars and the noise of many padded feet
rushing toward them.
Tarzan of the Apes stood directly before the entrance to the cavern,
his knife in his hand, awaiting the charge. The ape-man had not
expected any such concerted action as he now realized had been taken
by those watching them. He had known for some time that other men
had joined those who were with the lions earlier in the evening,
and when he arose to his feet it was because he knew that the lions
and the men were moving cautiously closer to him and his party.
He might easily have eluded them, for he had seen that the face of
the cliff rising above the mouth of the cavern might be scaled by
as good a climber as himself. It might have been wiser had he tried
to escape, for he knew that in the face of such odds even he was
helpless, but he stood his ground though I doubt if he could have
He owed nothing either of duty or friendship to the girl sleeping
in the cavern, nor could he longer be of any protection to her or
her companion. Yet something held him there in futile self-sacrifice.
The great Tarmangani had not even the satisfaction of striking a
blow in self-defense. A veritable avalanche of savage beasts rolled
over him and threw him heavily to the ground. In falling his head
struck the rocky surface of the cliff, stunning him.
It was daylight when he regained consciousness. The first dim
impression borne to his awakening mind was a confusion of savage
sounds which gradually resolved themselves into the growling
of lions, and then, little by little, there came back to him the
recollections of what had preceded the blow that had felled him.
Strong in his nostrils was the scent of Numa, the lion, and against
one naked leg he could feel the coat of some animal. Slowly Tarzan
opened his eyes. He was lying on his side and as he looked down his
body, he saw that a great lion stood straddling him--a great lion
who growled hideously at something which Tarzan could not see.
With the full return of his senses Tarzan's nose told him that the
beast above him was Numa of the Wamabo pit.
Thus reassured, the ape-man spoke to the lion and at the same time
made a motion as though he would arise. Immediately Numa stepped
from above him. As Tarzan raised his head, he saw that he still
lay where he had fallen before the opening of the cliff where the
girl had been sleeping and that Numa, backed against the cliffside,
was apparently defending him from two other lions who paced to and
fro a short distance from their intended victim.
And then Tarzan turned his eyes into the cave and saw that the girl
and Smith-Oldwick were gone.
His efforts had been for naught. With an angry toss of his head,
the ape-man turned upon the two lions who had continued to pace
back and forth a few yards from him. Numa of the lion pit turned a
friendly glance in Tarzan's direction, rubbed his head against the
ape-man's side, and then directed his snarling countenance toward
the two hunters.
"I think," said Tarzan to Numa, "that you and I together can make
these beasts very unhappy." He spoke in English, which, of course,
Numa did not understand at all, but there must have been something
reassuring in the tone, for Numa whined pleadingly and moved
impatiently to and fro parallel with their antagonists.
"Come," said Tarzan suddenly and grasping the lion's mane with his
left hand he moved toward the other lions, his companion pacing
at his side. As the two advanced the others drew slowly back and,
finally separating, moved off to either side. Tarzan and Numa
passed between them but neither the great black-maned lion nor the
man failed to keep an eye upon the beast nearer him so that they
were not caught unawares when, as though at some preconcerted
signal, the two cats charged simultaneously from opposite directions.
The ape-man met the charge of his antagonist after the same fashion
of fighting that he had been accustomed to employing in previous
encounters with Numa and Sheeta. To have attempted to meet the
full shock of a lion's charge would have been suicidal even for
the giant Tarmangani. Instead he resorted to methods of agility and
cunning, for quick as are the great cats, even quicker is Tarzan
of the Apes.
With outspread, raking talons and bared fangs Numa sprang for the
naked chest of the ape-man. Throwing up his left arm as a boxer might
ward off a blow, Tarzan struck upward beneath the left forearm of
the lion, at the same time rushing in with his shoulder beneath
the animal's body and simultaneously drove his blade into the tawny
hide behind the shoulder. With a roar of pain Numa wheeled again,
the personification of bestial rage. Now indeed would he exterminate
this presumptuous man-thing who dared even to think that he could
thwart the king of beasts in his desires. But as he wheeled, his
intended quarry wheeled with him, brown fingers locked in the heavy
mane on the powerful neck and again the blade struck deep into the
Then it was that Numa went mad with hate and pain and at the same
instant the ape-man leaped full upon his back. Easily before had
Tarzan locked his legs beneath the belly of a lion while he clung
to its long mane and stabbed it until his point reached its heart.
So easy it had seemed before that he experienced a sharp feeling of
resentment that he was unable to do so now, for the quick movements
of the lion prevented him, and presently, to his dismay, as the
lion leaped and threw him about, the ape-man realized that he was
swinging inevitably beneath those frightful talons.
With a final effort he threw himself from Numa's back and sought,
by his quickness, to elude the frenzied beast for the fraction of
an instant that would permit him to regain his feet and meet the
animal again upon a more even footing. But this time Numa was too
quick for him and he was but partially up when a great paw struck
him on the side of the head and bowled him over.
As he fell he saw a black streak shoot above him and another lion
close upon his antagonist. Rolling from beneath the two battling lions
Tarzan regained his feet, though he was half dazed and staggering
from the impact of the terrible blow he had received. Behind him
he saw a lifeless lion lying torn and bleeding upon the sand, and
before him Numa of the pit was savagely mauling the second lion.
He of the black coat tremendously outclassed his adversary in
point of size and strength as well as in ferocity. The battling
beasts made a few feints and passes at each other before the larger
succeeded in fastening his fangs in the other's throat, and then,
as a cat shakes a mouse, the larger lion shook the lesser, and when
his dying foe sought to roll beneath and rake his conqueror with
his hind claws, the other met him halfway at his own game, and as
the great talons buried themselves in the lower part of the other's
chest and then were raked downward with all the terrific strength
of the mighty hind legs, the battle was ended.
As Numa rose from his second victim and shook himself, Tarzan could
not but again note the wondrous proportions and symmetry of the
beast. The lions they had bested were splendid specimens themselves
and in their coats Tarzan noted a suggestion of the black which
was such a strongly marked characteristic of Numa of the pit. Their
manes were just a trifle darker than an ordinary black-maned lion
but the tawny shade on the balance of their coats predominated.
However, the ape-man realized that they were a distinct species
from any he had seen as though they had sprung originally from a
cross between the forest lion of his acquaintance and a breed of
which Numa of the pit might be typical.
The immediate obstruction in his way having been removed, Tarzan was
for setting out in search of the spoor of the girl and Smith-Oldwick,
that he might discover their fate. He suddenly found himself
tremendously hungry and as he circled about over the sandy bottom
searching among the tangled network of innumerable tracks for those
of his proteges, there broke from his lips involuntarily the whine
of a hungry beast. Immediately Numa of the pit pricked up his ears
and, regarding the ape-man steadily for a moment, he answered the
call of hunger and started briskly off toward the south, stopping
occasionally to see if Tarzan was following.
The ape-man realized that the beast was leading him to food, and so
he followed and as he followed his keen eyes and sensitive nostrils
sought for some indication of the direction taken by the man and
the girl. Presently out of the mass of lion tracks, Tarzan picked
up those of many sandaled feet and the scent spoor of the members
of the strange race such as had been with the lions the night
before, and then faintly he caught the scent spoor of the girl and
a little later that of Smith-Oldwick. Presently the tracks thinned
and here those of the girl and the Englishman became well marked.
They had been walking side by side and there had been men and
lions to the right and left of them, and men and lions in front and
behind. The ape-man was puzzled by the possibilities suggested by
the tracks, but in the light of any previous experience he could
not explain satisfactorily to himself what his perceptions indicated.
There was little change in the formation of the gorge; it still
wound its erratic course between precipitous cliffs. In places it
widened out and again it became very narrow and always deeper the
further south they traveled. Presently the bottom of the gorge began
to slope more rapidly. Here and there were indications of ancient
rapids and waterfalls. The trail became more difficult but was well
marked and showed indications of great antiquity, and, in places,
the handiwork of man. They had proceeded for a half or three-quarters
of a mile when, at a turning of the gorge, Tarzan saw before him a
narrow valley cut deep into the living rock of the earth's crust,
with lofty mountain ranges bounding it upon the south. How far it
extended east and west he could not see, but apparently it was no
more than three or four miles across from north to south.
That it was a well-watered valley was indicated by the wealth of
vegetation that carpeted its floor from the rocky cliffs upon the
north to the mountains on the south.
Over the edge of the cliffs from which the ape-man viewed the valley
a trail had been hewn that led downward to the base. Preceded by
the lion Tarzan descended into the valley, which, at this point,
was forested with large trees. Before him the trail wound onward
toward the center of the valley. Raucous-voiced birds of brilliant
plumage screamed among the branches while innumerable monkeys
chattered and scolded above him.
The forest teemed with life, and yet there was borne in upon the
ape-man a sense of unutterable loneliness, a sensation that he
never before had felt in his beloved jungles. There was unreality
in everything about him--in the valley itself, lying hidden
and forgotten in what was supposed to be an arid waste. The birds
and the monkeys, while similar in type to many with which he was
familiar, were identical with none, nor was the vegetation without
its idiosyncrasies. It was as though he had been suddenly transported
to another world and he felt a strange restlessness that might
easily have been a premonition of danger.
Fruits were growing among the trees and some of these he saw that
Manu, the monkey, ate. Being hungry he swung to the lower branches
and, amidst a great chattering of the monkeys, proceeded to eat
such of the fruit as he saw the monkeys ate in safety. When he had
partially satisfied his hunger, for meat alone could fully do so,
he looked about him for Numa of the pit to discover that the lion
The Walled City
Dropping to the ground once more he picked up the trail of the girl
and her captors, which he followed easily along what appeared to
be a well-beaten trail. It was not long before he came to a small
stream, where he quenched his thirst, and thereafter he saw that
the trail followed in the general direction of the stream, which
ran southwesterly. Here and there were cross trails and others
which joined the main avenue, and always upon each of them were the
tracks and scent of the great cats, of Numa, the lion, and Sheeta,
With the exception of a few small rodents there appeared to be no
other wild life on the surface of the valley. There was no indication
of Bara, the deer, or Horta, the boar, or of Gorgo, the buffalo,
Buto, Tantor, or Duro. Histah, the snake, was there. He saw him in
the trees in greater numbers than he ever had seen Histah before;
and once beside a reedy pool he caught a scent that could have
belonged to none other than Gimla the crocodile, but upon none of
these did the Tarmangani care to feed.
And so, as he craved meat, he turned his attention to the birds
above him. His assailants of the night before had not disarmed
him. Either in the darkness and the rush of the charging lions the
human foe had overlooked him or else they had considered him dead;
but whatever the reason he still retained his weapons--his spear
and his long knife, his bow and arrows, and his grass rope.
Fitting a shaft to his bow Tarzan awaited an opportunity to bring
down one of the larger birds, and when the opportunity finally
presented itself he drove the arrow straight to its mark. As the
gaily plumaged creature fluttered to earth its companions and the
little monkeys set up a most terrific chorus of wails and screaming
protests. The whole forest became suddenly a babel of hoarse screams
and shrill shrieks.
Tarzan would not have been surprised had one or two birds in the
immediate vicinity given voice to terror as they fled, but that the
whole life of the jungle should set up so weird a protest filled
him with disgust. It was an angry face that he turned up toward
the monkeys and the birds as there suddenly stirred within him a
savage inclination to voice his displeasure and his answer to what
he considered their challenge. And so it was that there broke upon
this jungle for the first time Tarzan's hideous scream of victory
The effect upon the creatures above him was instantaneous. Where
before the air had trembled to the din of their voices, now utter
silence reigned and a moment later the ape-man was alone with his
The silence following so closely the previous tumult carried
a sinister impression to the ape-man, which still further aroused
his anger. Picking the bird from where it had fallen he withdrew
his arrow from the body and returned it to his quiver. Then with
his knife he quickly and deftly removed the skin and feathers
together. He ate angrily, growling as though actually menaced by
a near-by foe, and perhaps, too, his growls were partially induced
by the fact that he did not care for the flesh of birds. Better
this, however, than nothing and from what his senses had told him
there was no flesh in the vicinity such as he was accustomed to
and cared most for. How he would have enjoyed a juicy haunch from
Pacco, the zebra, or a steak from the loin of Gorgo, the buffalo!
The very thought made his mouth water and increased his resentment
against this unnatural forest that harbored no such delicious
He had but partially consumed his kill when he suddenly became
aware of a movement in the brush at no great distance from him
and downwind, and a moment later his nostrils picked up the scent
of Numa from the opposite direction, and then upon either side he
caught the fall of padded feet and the brushing of bodies against
leafy branches. The ape-man smiled. What stupid creature did they
think him, to be surprised by such clumsy stalkers? Gradually the
sounds and scents indicated that lions were moving upon him from
all directions, that he was in the center of a steadily converging
circle of beasts. Evidently they were so sure of their prey that
they were making no effort toward stealth, for he heard twigs crack
beneath their feet, and the brushing of their bodies against the
vegetation through which they forced their way.
He wondered what could have brought them. It seemed unreasonable
to believe that the cries of the birds and the monkeys should
have summoned them, and yet, if not, it was indeed a remarkable
coincidence. His judgment told him that the death of a single bird
in this forest which teemed with birds could scarce be of sufficient
moment to warrant that which followed. Yet even in the face of reason
and past experience he found that the whole affair perplexed him.
He stood in the center of the trail awaiting the coming of the lions
and wondering what would be the method of their attack or if they
would indeed attack. Presently a maned lion came into view along
the trail below him. At sight of him the lion halted. The beast was
similar to those that had attacked him earlier in the day, a trifle
larger and a trifle darker than the lions of his native jungles,
but neither so large nor so black as Numa of the pit.
Presently he distinguished the outlines of other lions in the
surrounding brush and among the trees. Each of them halted as it
came within sight of the ape-man and there they stood regarding
him in silence. Tarzan wondered how long it would be before they
charged and while he waited he resumed his feeding, though with
every sense constantly alert.
One by one the lions lay down, but always their faces were toward
him and their eyes upon him. There had been no growling and no
roaring--just the quiet drawing of the silent circle about him.
It was all so entirely foreign to anything that Tarzan ever before
had seen lions do that it irritated him so that presently, having
finished his repast, he fell to making insulting remarks to first
one and then another of the lions, after the habit he had learned
from the apes of his childhood.
"Dango, eater of carrion," he called them, and he compared them most
unfavorably with Histah, the snake, the most loathed and repulsive
creature of the jungle. Finally he threw handfuls of earth at them
and bits of broken twigs, and then the lions growled and bared
their fangs, but none of them advanced.
"Cowards," Tarzan taunted them. "Numa with a heart of Bara, the
deer." He told them who he was, and after the manner of the jungle
folk he boasted as to the horrible things he would do to them, but
the lions only lay and watched him.
It must have been a half hour after their coming that Tarzan caught
in the distance along the trail the sound of footsteps approaching.
They were the footsteps of a creature who walked upon two legs,
and though Tarzan could catch no scent spoor from that direction
he knew that a man was approaching. Nor had he long to wait before
his judgment was confirmed by the appearance of a man who halted
in the trail directly behind the first lion that Tarzan had seen.
At sight of the newcomer the ape-man realized that here was one
similar to those who had given off the unfamiliar scent spoor that
he had detected the previous night, and he saw that not only in
the matter of scent did the man differ from other human beings with
whom Tarzan was familiar.
The fellow was strongly built with skin of a leathery appearance,
like parchment yellowed with age. His hair, which was coal black
and three or four inches in length, grew out stiffly at right angles
to his scalp. His eyes were close set and the irises densely black
and very small, so that the white of the eyeball showed around
them. The man's face was smooth except for a few straggly hairs on
his chin and upper lip. The nose was aquiline and fine, but the
hair grew so far down on the forehead as to suggest a very low
and brutal type. The upper lip was short and fine while the lower
lip was rather heavy and inclined to be pendulous, the chin being
equally weak. Altogether the face carried the suggestion of a
once strong and handsome countenance entirely altered by physical
violence or by degraded habits and thoughts. The man's arms were
long, though not abnormally so, while his legs were short, though
He was clothed in tight-fitting nether garments and a loose,
sleeveless tunic that fell just below his hips, while his feet
were shod in soft-soled sandals, the wrappings of which extended
halfway to his knees, closely resembling a modern spiral military
legging. He carried a short, heavy spear, and at his side swung
a weapon that at first so astonished the ape-man that he could
scarcely believe the evidence of his senses--a heavy saber in
a leather-covered scabbard. The man's tunic appeared to have been
fabricated upon a loom--it was certainly not made of skins, while
the garments that covered his legs were quite as evidently made
from the hides of rodents.
Tarzan noted the utter unconcern with which the man approached the