Chapter 8 apes

Tarzan had fastened the end of the rope securely to the trunk of the great tree on which he sat.

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Sabor was trapped. At last came she whom Tarzan sought, with lithe sinews rolling beneath shimmering hide; fat and glossy came Sabor, the lioness. He had learned from experience. But into the mind of Tarzan a great plan sprang. How snug he would have been beneath the heavy coat of Sabor! At last Tarzan tired of the sport, and with a parting roar of challenge and a well-aimed ripe fruit that spread soft and sticky over the snarling face of his enemy, he swung rapidly through the trees, a hundred feet above the ground, and in a short time was among the members of his tribe. He lost a long rope on this occasion, but he knew that had it been Sabor who had thus dragged him from his perch the outcome might have been very different, for he would have lost his life, doubtless, into the bargain. Screaming with rage she suddenly charged, leaping high into the air toward Tarzan, but when her huge body struck the limb on which Tarzan had been, Tarzan was no longer there. Suddenly it became as midnight; the noises of the jungle ceased; the trees stood motionless as though in paralyzed expectancy of some great and imminent disaster. The lightning darting and flashing through the blackness, showed wildly waving branches, whipping streamers and bending trunks. Her head was high in ever alert attention; her long tail moved slowly in sinuous and graceful undulations.

At the bottom of his little English heart beat the great desire to cover his nakedness with clothes for he had learned from his picture books that all men were so covered, while monkeys and apes and every other living thing went naked.

He had killed the fierce Tublat, so was he not therefore a mighty fighter?

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Branches, great and small, torn away by the ferocity of the tornado, hurtled through the wildly waving verdure, carrying death and destruction to countless unhappy denizens of the thickly peopled world below.

The mighty tusker turned at the sound of his falling body, and, seeing only the easy prey of a young ape, he lowered his head and charged madly at the surprised youth.

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With a quick jerk Tarzan snapped the noose tight about the glossy throat, and then he dropped the rope and clung to his support with both hands. But into the mind of Tarzan a great plan sprang. The weight of old Sabor was immense, and when she braced her huge paws nothing less than Tantor, the elephant, himself, could have budged her. Once old Sabor, crossing their path, sent them scurrying to the safety of the higher branches, for if she respected their number and their sharp fangs, they on their part held her cruel and mighty ferocity in equal esteem. The tribe shivering from the cold rain, huddled at the bases of great trees. The lioness was now back in the path where she could see the author of the indignity which had been placed upon her. Tarzan, happily, was uninjured by the fall, alighting catlike upon all fours far outspread to take up the shock. Sabor paced back and forth beneath the tree for hours; four times she crouched and sprang at the dancing sprite above her, but might as well have clutched at the illusive wind that murmured through the tree tops.

His well-laid plan had come to naught, so he sat there screaming at the roaring creature beneath him and making mocking grimaces at it. How snug he would have been beneath the heavy coat of Sabor!

The nuts they cracked between their powerful jaws, or, if too hard, broke by pounding between stones.

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The great trees bent in unison as though pressed earthward by a mighty hand. One stride beyond she took—a second, a third, and then the silent coil shot out above her.

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The deluge came--all hell broke loose upon the jungle. A vivid and blinding light flashed from the whirling, inky clouds above. All nature waited--but not for long. He would be a mighty hunter, also. The deluge came—all hell broke loose upon the jungle. For a moment Sabor hung half across the branch, while Tarzan mocked, and hurled twigs and branches at her unprotected face. Tarzan, happily, was uninjured by the fall, alighting catlike upon all fours far outspread to take up the shock.

Then, suddenly, the jungle giants whipped back, lashing their mighty tops in angry and deafening protest. Here he recounted the details of his adventure, with swelling chest and so considerable swagger that he quite impressed even his bitterest enemies, while Kala fairly danced for joy and pride.

Now would he track down the crafty Sabor and slay her likewise.

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The great beast stopped and, turning, eyed the taunting figure above her.

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Tarzan of the Apes/Chapter 8