discovering that the boy was not close behind him, turned back to
search for him. He had gone but a short distance in return when he
was brought to a sudden and startled halt by sight of a strange
figure moving through the trees toward him. It was the boy, yet could
it be? In his hand was a long spear, down his back hung an oblong
shield such as the black warriors who had attacked them had worn, and
upon ankle and arm were bands of iron and brass, while a loin cloth
was twisted about the youth's middle. A knife was thrust through its
the boy saw the ape he hastened forward to exhibit his trophies.
Proudly he called attention to each of his newly won possessions.
Boastfully he recounted the details of his exploit.
my bare hands and my teeth I killed him," he said. "I would
have made friends with them but they chose to be my enemies. And now
that I have a spear I shall show Numa, too, what it means to have me
for a foe. Only the white men and the great apes, Akut, are our
friends. Them we shall seek, all others must we avoid or kill. This
have I learned of the jungle."
made a detour about the hostile village, and resumed their journey
toward the coast. The boy took much pride in his new weapons and
ornaments. He practiced continually with the spear, throwing it at
some object ahead hour by hour as they traveled their loitering way,
until he gained a proficiency such as only youthful muscles may
attain to speedily. All the while his training went on under the
guidance of Akut. No longer was there a single jungle spoor but was
an open book to the keen eyes of the lad, and those other indefinite
spoor that elude the senses of civilized man and are only partially
appreciable to his savage cousin came to be familiar friends of the
eager boy. He could differentiate the innumerable species of the
herbivora by scent, and he could tell, too, whether an animal was
approaching or departing merely by the waxing or waning strength of
its effluvium. Nor did he need the evidence of his eyes to tell him
whether there were two lions or four up wind, — a hundred yards
away or half a mile.
of this had Akut taught him, but far more was instinctive knowledge —
a species of strange intuition inherited from his father. He had come
to love the jungle life. The constant battle of wits and senses
against the many deadly foes that lurked by day and by night along
the pathway of the wary and the unwary appealed to the spirit of
adventure which breathes strong in the heart of every red-blooded son
of primordial Adam. Yet, though he loved it, he had not let his
selfish desires outweigh the sense of duty that had brought him to a
realization of the moral wrong which lay beneath the adventurous
escapade that had brought him to Africa. His love of father and
mother was strong within him, too strong to permit unalloyed
happiness which was undoubtedly causing them days of sorrow. And so
he held tight to his determination to find a port upon the coast
where he might communicate with them and receive funds for his return
to London. There he felt sure that he could now persuade his parents
to let him spend at least a portion of his time upon those African
estates which from little careless remarks dropped at home he knew
his father possessed. That would be something, better at least than a
lifetime of the cramped and cloying restrictions of civilization.
so he was rather contented than otherwise as he made his way in the
direction of the coast, for while he enjoyed the liberty and the
savage pleasures of the wild his conscience was at the same time
clear, for he knew that he was doing all that lay in his power to
return to his parents. He rather looked forward, too, to meeting
white men again — creatures of his own kind — for there had been
many occasions upon which he had longed for other companionship than
that of the old ape. The affair with the blacks still rankled in his
heart. He had approached them in such innocent good fellowship and
with such childlike assurance of a hospitable welcome that the
reception which had been accorded him had proved a shock to his
boyish ideals. He no longer looked upon the black man as his brother;
but rather as only another of the innumerable foes of the
bloodthirsty jungle — a beast of prey which walked upon two feet
instead of four.
if the blacks were his enemies there were those in the world who were
not. There were those who always would welcome him with open arms;
who would accept him as a friend and brother, and with whom he might
find sanctuary from every enemy. Yes, there were always white men.
Somewhere along the coast or even in the depths of the jungle itself
there were white men. To them he would be a welcome visitor. They
would befriend him. And there were also the great apes — the
friends of his father and of Akut. How glad they would be to receive
the son of Tarzan of the Apes! He hoped that he could come upon them
before he found a trading post upon the coast. He wanted to be able
to tell his father that he had known his old friends of the jungle,
that he had hunted with them, that he had joined with them in their
savage life, and their fierce, primeval ceremonies — the strange
ceremonies of which Akut had tried to tell him. It cheered him
immensely to dwell upon these happy meetings. Often he rehearsed the
long speech which he would make to the apes, in which he would tell
them of the life of their former king since he had left them.
other times he would play at meeting with white men. Then he would
enjoy their consternation at sight of a naked white boy trapped in
the war togs of a black warrior and roaming the jungle with only a
great ape as his companion.
so the days passed, and with the traveling and the hunting and the
climbing the boy's muscles developed and his agility increased until
even phlegmatic Akut marvelled at the prowess of his pupil. And the
boy, realizing his great strength and revelling in it, became
careless. He strode through the jungle, his proud head erect, defying
danger. Where Akut took to the trees at the first scent of Numa, the
lad laughed in the face of the king of beasts and walked boldly past
him. Good fortune was with him for a long time. The lions he met were
well-fed, perhaps, or the very boldness of the strange creature which
invaded their domain so filled them with surprise that thoughts of
attack were banished from their minds as they stood, round-eyed,
watching his approach and his departure. Whatever the cause, however,
the fact remains that on many occasions the boy passed within a few
paces of some great lion without arousing more than a warning growl.
no two lions are necessarily alike in character or temper. They
differ as greatly as do individuals of the human family. Because ten
lions act similarly under similar conditions one cannot say that the
eleventh lion will do likewise — the chances are that he will not.
The lion is a creature of high nervous development. He thinks,
therefore he reasons. Having a nervous system and brains he is the
possessor of temperament, which is affected variously by extraneous
causes. One day the boy met the eleventh lion. The former was walking
across a small plain upon which grew little clumps of bushes. Akut
was a few yards to the left of the lad who was the first to discover
the presence of Numa.
Akut," called the boy, laughing. "Numa lies hid in the
bushes to my right. Take to the trees. Akut! I, the son of Tarzan,
will protect you," and the boy, laughing, kept straight along
his way which led close beside the brush in which Numa lay concealed.
ape shouted to him to come away, but the lad only flourished his
spear and executed an improvised war dance to show his contempt for
the king of beasts. Closer and closer to the dread destroyer he came,
until, with a sudden, angry growl, the lion rose from his bed not ten
paces from the youth. A huge fellow he was, this lord of the jungle
and the desert. A shaggy mane clothed his shoulders. Cruel fangs
armed his great jaws. His yellow-green eyes blazed with hatred and
boy, with his pitifully inadequate spear ready in his hand, realized
quickly that this lion was different from the others he had met; but
he had gone too far now to retreat. The nearest tree lay several
yards to his left — the lion could be upon him before he had
covered half the distance, and that the beast intended to charge none
could doubt who looked upon him now. Beyond the lion was a thorn tree
— only a few feet beyond him. It was the nearest sanctuary but Numa
stood between it and his prey.
feel of the long spear shaft in his hand and the sight of the tree
beyond the lion gave the lad an idea — a preposterous idea — a
ridiculous, forlorn hope of an idea; but there was no time now to
weigh chances — there was but a single chance, and that was the
thorn tree. If the lion charged it would be too late — the lad must
charge first, and to the astonishment of Akut and none the less of
Numa, the boy leaped swiftly toward the beast. Just for a second was
the lion motionless with surprise and in that second Jack Clayton put
to the crucial test an accomplishment which he had practiced at
for the savage brute he ran, his spear held butt foremost across his
body. Akut shrieked in terror and amazement. The lion stood with
wide, round eyes awaiting the attack, ready to rear upon his hind
feet and receive this rash creature with blows that could crush the
skull of a buffalo.
in front of the lion the boy placed the butt of his spear upon the
ground, gave a mighty spring, and, before the bewildered beast could
guess the trick that had been played upon him, sailed over the lion's
head into the rending embrace of the thorn tree — safe but
had never before seen a pole-vault. Now he leaped up and down within
the safety of his own tree, screaming taunts and boasts at the
discomfited Numa, while the boy, torn and bleeding, sought some
position in his thorny retreat in which he might find the least
agony. He had saved his life; but at considerable cost in suffering.
It seemed to him that the lion would never leave, and it was a full
hour before the angry brute gave up his vigil and strode majestically
away across the plain. When he was at a safe distance the boy
extricated himself from the thorn tree; but not without inflicting
new wounds upon his already tortured flesh.
was many days before the outward evidence of the lesson he had
learned had left him; while the impression upon his mind was one that
was to remain with him for life. Never again did he uselessly tempt
took long chances often in his after life; but only when the taking
of chances might further the attainment of some cherished end —
and, always thereafter, he practiced pole-vaulting.
several days the boy and the ape lay up while the former recovered
from the painful wounds inflicted by the sharp thorns. The great
anthropoid licked the wounds of his human friend, nor, aside from
this, did they receive other treatment, but they soon healed, for
healthy flesh quickly replaces itself.
the lad felt fit again the two continued their journey toward the
coast, and once more the boy's mind was filled with pleasurable
at last the much dreamed of moment came. They were passing through a
tangled forest when the boy's sharp eyes discovered from the lower
branches through which he was traveling an old but well-marked spoor
— a spoor that set his heart to leaping — the spoor of man, of
white men, for among the prints of naked feet were the well defined
outlines of European made boots. The trail, which marked the passage
of a good-sized company, pointed north at right angles to the course
the boy and the ape were taking toward the coast.
these white men knew the nearest coast settlement. They might even be
headed for it now. At any rate it would be worth while overtaking
them if even only for the pleasure of meeting again creatures of his
own kind. The lad was all excitement; palpitant with eagerness to be
off in pursuit. Akut demurred. He wanted nothing of men. To him the
lad was a fellow ape, for he was the son of the king of apes. He
tried to dissuade the boy, telling him that soon they should come
upon a tribe of their own folk where some day when he was older the
boy should be king as his father had before him. But Jack was
obdurate. He insisted that he wanted to see white men again. He
wanted to send a message to his parents. Akut listened and as he
listened the intuition of the beast suggested the truth to him —
the boy was planning to return to his own kind.
thought filled the old ape with sorrow. He loved the boy as he had
loved the father, with the loyalty and faithfulness of a hound for
its master. In his ape brain and his ape heart he had nursed the hope
that he and the lad would never be separated. He saw all his fondly
cherished plans fading away, and yet he remained loyal to the lad and
to his wishes. Though disconsolate he gave in to the boy's
determination to pursue the safari of the white men, accompanying him
upon what he believed would be their last journey together.
spoor was but a couple of days old when the two discovered it, which
meant that the slow-moving caravan was but a few hours distant from
them whose trained and agile muscles could carry their bodies swiftly
through the branches above the tangled undergrowth which had impeded
the progress of the laden carriers of the white men.
boy was in the lead, excitement and anticipation carrying him ahead
of his companion to whom the attainment of their goal meant only
sorrow. And it was the boy who first saw the rear guard of the
caravan and the white men he had been so anxious to overtake.
along the tangled trail of those ahead a dozen heavily laden blacks
who, from fatigue or sickness, had dropped behind were being prodded
by the black soldiers of the rear guard, kicked when they fell, and
then roughly jerked to their feet and hustled onward. On either side
walked a giant white man, heavy blonde beards almost obliterating
their countenances. The boy's lips formed a glad cry of salutation as
his eyes first discovered the whites — a cry that was never
uttered, for almost immediately he witnessed that which turned his
happiness to anger as he saw that both the white men were wielding
heavy whips brutally upon the naked backs of the poor devils
staggering along beneath loads that would have overtaxed the strength
and endurance of strong men at the beginning of a new day.
now and then the rear guard and the white men cast apprehensive
glances rearward as though momentarily expecting the materialization
of some long expected danger from that quarter. The boy had paused
after his first sight of the caravan, and now was following slowly in
the wake of the sordid, brutal spectacle. Presently Akut came up with
him. To the beast there was less of horror in the sight than to the
lad, yet even the great ape growled beneath his breath at useless
torture being inflicted upon the helpless slaves. He looked at the
boy. Now that he had caught up with the creatures of his own kind,
why was it that he did not rush forward and greet them? He put the
question to his companion.
are fiends," muttered the boy. "I would not travel with
such as they, for if I did I should set upon them and kill them the
first time they beat their people as they are beating them now; but,"
he added, after a moment's thought, "I can ask them the
whereabouts of the nearest port, and then, Akut, we can leave them."
ape made no reply, and the boy swung to the ground and started at a
brisk walk toward the safari. He was a hundred yards away, perhaps,
when one of the whites caught sight of him. The man gave a shout of
alarm, instantly levelling his rifle upon the boy and firing. The
bullet struck just in front of its mark, scattering turf and fallen
leaves against the lad's legs. A second later the other white and the
black soldiers of the rear guard were firing hysterically at the boy.
leaped behind a tree, unhit. Days of panic ridden flight through the
jungle had filled Carl Jenssen and Sven Malbihn with jangling nerves
and their native boys with unreasoning terror. Every new note from
behind sounded to their frightened ears the coming of The Sheik and
his bloodthirsty entourage. They were in a blue funk, and the sight
of the naked white warrior stepping silently out of the jungle
through which they had just passed had been sufficient shock to let
loose in action all the pent nerve energy of Malbihn, who had been
the first to see the strange apparition. And Malbihn's shout and shot
had set the others going.
their nervous energy had spent itself and they came to take stock of
what they had been fighting it developed that Malbihn alone had seen
anything clearly. Several of the blacks averred that they too had
obtained a good view of the creature but their descriptions of it
varied so greatly that Jenssen, who had seen nothing himself, was
inclined to be a trifle skeptical. One of the blacks insisted that
the thing had been eleven feet tall, with a man's body and the head
of an elephant. Another had seen three immense Arabs with huge, black
beards; but when, after conquering their nervousness, the rear guard
advanced upon the enemy's position to investigate they found nothing,
for Akut and the boy had retreated out of range of the unfriendly
was disheartened and sad. He had not entirely recovered from the
depressing effect of the unfriendly reception he had received at the
hands of the blacks, and now he had found an even more hostile one
accorded him by men of his own color.
lesser beasts flee from me in terror," he murmured, half to
himself, "the greater beasts are ready to tear me to pieces at
sight. Black men would kill me with their spears or arrows. And now
white men, men of my own kind, have fired upon me and driven me away.
Are all the creatures of the world my enemies? Has the son of Tarzan
no friend other than Akut?"
old ape drew closer to the boy.
are the great apes," he said. "They only will be the
friends of Akut's friend. Only the great apes will welcome the son of
Tarzan. You have seen that men want nothing of you. Let us go now and
continue our search for the great apes — our people."
language of the great apes is a combination of monosyllabic
gutturals, amplified by gestures and signs. It may not be literally
translated into human speech; but as near as may be this is what Akut
said to the boy.
two proceeded in silence for some time after Akut had spoken. The boy
was immersed in deep thought — bitter thoughts in which hatred and
revenge predominated. Finally he spoke: "Very well, Akut,"
he said, "we will find our friends, the great apes."
anthropoid was overjoyed; but he gave no outward demonstration of his
pleasure. A low grunt was his only response, and a moment later he
had leaped nimbly upon a small and unwary rodent that had been
surprised at a fatal distance from its burrow. Tearing the unhappy
creature in two Akut handed the lion's share to the lad.