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Chapter 3 Tarzan: The Lost Adventure by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Tarzan went to the camp where he had discovered Wilson and his gang. From there he could easily follow the plain trail of the safari even though he was traveling through the trees. Presently, he caught the scent of Numa the lion, and a few moments later he saw the great carnivore on the trail below-a splendid, black-maned beast.
Tarzan dropped to the ground behind the lion, and as the beast heard him, it turned upon him with a savage growl. Tarzan stood perfectly still, a faint smile on his lips.

The lion approached, and rearing on its hind feet, placed a forepaw on each of the ape-man's shoulders. It was Jad-bal-ja, the Golden Lion, which Tarzan had raised and trained since cubhood.

Tarzan twisted its ears, and the great cat nuzzled its nose against his neck. A moment later Tarzan pushed the lion from his shoulders. "Come," he said, "You and I have something to do."

The four renegades had selected a campsite after a hard march. It was off the trail near a break in the trees. The bearers were about setting up camp, and Cannon, whip in hand, was lashing at the carriers of his safari and Hanson's as well.

"Snap it up, you lazy bastards," Cannon yelled. "Quit loafin'. I say jump, you say how high. You're working for men now." He laid the lash across the back of a carrier who was working diligently, and took delight in watching him jump.

Satisfied for the moment, his arm tired. Cannon paused, his belly heaving beneath his sweat-stained shirt. The whip gave him pleasure. It made him think of the lashes he had gotten at the legionnaire post. And for nothing-stealing food. God, but he liked to eat, and there was never enough to eat there. And the heat. And the marching and the drilling. What had ever possessed him to join the Foreign Legion?

Just as Cannon struck his last blow, Wilson came back from the concealment of the jungle where he had been hiding some of the weapons, ammunition, and a few supplies. He had taken to doing that at night, lest the safari take off with their supplies. Now, seeing what Cannon was doing, he was more certain than ever that the safari deserting them was inevitable. The askari and the bearers were silent and sullen, but he could see hate and murder on their faces. He beckoned Cannon to him.

"Lay off those fellas. Cannon," said Wilson, "or we'll wake up some morning with our throats cut. Or at the least, all our supplies gone. Besides, I get the feelin' you like hittin' black hide too much."

"It ain't like that," Cannon said.

"I'm not sure what it's like," Wilson said. "But lay off."

Cannon was about to respond, when his mouth fell open. "Who in the hell is that?"

Wilson turned, amazed at what Tarzan was approaching, followed by Jad-bal-ja. The two looked to be out for an afternoon stroll.

"Look out, man!" cried Wilson.

"A lion! Behind you!" Tarzan continued toward the camp. As Tarzan came near, the lion

walked at his left side, and Tarzan's fingers grasped the black mane. Tarzan and the lion stopped before the four men, who shrank back in fear.

"That your lion?" Wilson asked.

"Yeah," Gromvitch said. "He bite?"

"He's a friend," Tarzan said. "And yes, he bites. I will make this short and direct. I want the safari you stole."

Cannon pushed forward slightly, carefully eyeing the lion. "You what?"

"I am not in the mood for questions," Tarzan said. "In fact, I am an ill-tempered sort. You heard me."

"You can take a flyin' leap, brother," Cannon said. "Just because you come in here in your skivvies with a lion beside you, that don't give you no juice with us. I'll wring your damn neck, shoot the lion, and stick you in him."

"He's right," Wilson said. "You've got two minutes to get out of here. And take your cat with you. You do that, nobody gets hurt."

"And get on some pants," Cannon said. "I can't stand to see no man without pants. It ain't civilized."

Tarzan didn't move.

"The clock is running on that two minutes," Gromvitch said, snapping the cover off the holster of his .45.

Talent, though not looking directly at Tarzan, inched forward, his hand next to his holster. Tarzan sensed immediately that, though all of the men were ruthless. Talent was the most deadly, determined, and in love with killing. He had faced men like him before, and he knew their body language. He knew you gave them absolutely no quarter

"How are we for time?" Tarzan said.

Cannon exploded. "Time's up!" He jerked his .45 from its holster and pointed it at the ape-man's heart.

Blinding. That is one way to describe the movements of Tarzan. To say that he struck swift as Ara the lightning is another. But neither do him justice. Even as he moved, he spoke a few words to Jad-bal-ja in the language the lion understood, and simultaneously grasped Cannon's pistol hand and his throat as Jad-bal-ja leaped upon Gromvitch.

Tarzan flung Cannon as easily as he had flung the panther. But not as gently. Cannon flew backward, high and hard, and hit his head against a tree trunk with the sound of rotten timber falling into a pond. He hit the tree and then the ground and didn't get up.

In the same instant, Wilson and Talent moved, came at the ape-man from two sides, drawing their pistols. They were fast. Real fast. But Tarzan was faster. His right leg shot out and kicked Talent in the stomach. As Talent bent forward, Tarzan slapped the .45 from his hand with the ease of a cobra striking a paralyzed rodent. Then Tarzan spun toward Wilson, dealing him a slap along the right side of his head, just behind the ear. It was a tremendous blow, dealt with the palm slightly cuffed; a technique Tarzan had learned in the Orient. It sent Wilson to his knees.

Talent had recovered enough to pull a knife from his boot, and now he came at Tarzan, thrusting. Tarzan sidestepped, caught the man's arm, swung under it, and pinned Talent in a hammerlock. He switched his grip and spun away from Talent, still holding the arm. Suddenly, Tarzan pulled it, as if the black man's arm was something he was about to toss over his shoulder. The move was so swift, sharp, and violent, that Talent's elbow snapped, the shoulder popped free, and his clavicle shattered. By the time Tarzan let go of him and turned to kick Wilson-who was trying to rise-full in the face with the ball of his foot. Talent was lying on the ground in a heap, his destroyed arm wriggling like a snake with a spear through it. Before the arm stopped its movements. Talent was dead of shock and Wilson was out from the kick to his face.

Tarzan turned to see Jad-bal-ja standing with both paws on Gromvitch's arms, pinning him to the ground. The terrified man lay trembling, looking up into Jad-bal-ja's snarling face, the lion's saliva dripped down on him. "Don't let him hurt me," he said.

Tarzan glanced up to see the safari was gawking at him, shocked. Everything had happened in less time than anyone could have thought possible. Now, with the action finished, Tarzan staring at them, his lion holding down its prey as if deciding which cut of meat it would consume first, they concluded they were next, and started to flee into the jungle.

"Stay where you are," Tarzan ordered. "I am not your enemy. I am from Hanson and his daughter Jean."

The bearers stopped their flight, but seemed ready to fade into the jungle at a moment's notice. "Hanson," said one the askari.

"Yes," Tarzan said. "Hanson."

Tarzan bent and took the gun from Gromvitch's hand, not that it might do Gromvitch any good with Jad-bal-ja's large paw holding his arm flat against the ground. Tarzan spoke again to the askaris and the bearers, speaking in their language.

"Hanson's bearers will pack up everything that belongs to him, and I will lead you back to his camp. Hanson's askaris will come over here, and guard these two men."

The bearers moved now with enthusiasm-all but Hanson's four askaris. They came forward slowly, for they were afraid of the lion. Tarzan understood and spoke to Jad-bal-ja. The lion strolled off a short distance, sat on its haunches, watching, awaiting his master's orders.

Tarzan turned Gromvitch over to an askari, a little man with a jaw that had been broken and grown back crooked. He had a lump on the right side of his face, like a frog hiding under a blanket. "If he makes trouble or tries to escape, kill him,"

Tarzan said. "I hope he tries to escape," said the askari. "I will whip him first, shoot his toes off, then cut his hands slow and all over, and maybe, when all the blood is out of him, I will cut his throat."
Tarzan stepped over to where Cannon lay. The man was still breathing. He would be out awhile. "Tie him up," Tarzan said to the askari with the lump. "Make sure he is completely unarmed." Tarzan waved a hand at Wilson. "And tie that one up, quickly. I believe he will come around soon."

"What about the other one?" asked another of the askaris.

Tarzan glanced at where Talent lay. "Being tied or untied is exactly the same to him."

"Do we bury him?" asked the askari.

"The animals will see that he has a funeral crowd," Tarzan said.

The askari who had asked the question grinned, turned, saw Jad-bal-ja watching him. He stopped grinning.

"Do not be afraid of the lion," Tarzan said to the askari. "He will attack no one in this camp unless I tell him to. Take all the weapons from these men's askaris and bearers. Tell them they may come with us if they wish, or stay. Tell them that if any of them feel loyal to these men and do not wish to go with us, and should they attempt to follow us or rescue them, I will kill them."

"Anyone loyal to these men can be taken care of right now," said the askari.

"Let us do it my way," Tarzan said.

The askari, disappointed, nodded, and went to do as Tarzan had suggested. Hanson's bearers made quick work of repacking the loads and relieving Wilson's safari of its weapons and ammunition, but the sun was very low when they had completed their work and were formed in a single file, ready to march. None of Wilson's safari had remained loyal.

"We will need to march all night," Tarzan said. "I will march at the head with the lion. Hanson's askaris will carry rifles and bring up the rear. There is to be no straggling. Start out. I will catch up momentarily."

Hanson's bearers were happy. They talked and joked. Sometimes they sang. Eventually, realizing they were not going to be slain, Wilson's bearers joined in the festivities; they had been under Cannon's whip long enough to doubly appreciate the humane treatment they had received at the hands of Tarzan of the Apes-a living legend of the jungle. They began to move down the trail.

Wilson, Cannon, and Gromvitch were tied, hands and feet, sitting on the ground in the middle of the trail. Wilson and Cannon had come around, but they still had confusion in their eyes.

Tarzan squatted down beside them. He removed the spear from his back and used the blade to cut them free. "Start for the coast, get out of Africa," he said. "And don't come back."

"But we haven't got a safari," Gromvitch said. "You've got to leave us food, some weapons."

"No, I do not," Tarzan said.

"Next time," Wilson said, rubbing his blood-starved wrists where the bonds had held him, "maybe we can tango a little longer. I like to think you got lucky."

"Think all you want," said Tarzan. "But do not cross my path again, or I will kill you."

Tarzan turned then and trotted after the safari.

Cannon rubbed the back of his aching head as he stood. "Man, I think maybe he dropped that whole tree on me... You know, there's some guys you don't like, then there's guys you really don't like. That guy, I like less than either of them."

"Yeah," Gromvitch said, shaking his legs out as he stood. "Me too. How we gonna bury Talent? We ain't got no shovels or stuff."

"You heard the wild man," Wilson said moving toward the jungle. "Animals will take care of him. Right now, what we got to do is get those guns I hid. And get that safari back."

"Oh yeah," Cannon said with a smile. "Wilson, I take my hat off to you. You was thinking ahead... That wild man, he ain't so smart as he thought, is he?"

THE great apes of the tribe of Zu-yad, the king, moved about in the early morning searching for food. Grubs. Nuts. Berries. Whatever came their way. They moved silently through the jungle, examining holes in trees, overturning logs, prowling the branches for nests of bird eggs.

Zu-yad was feasting on an egg one of the tribe had brought him, when he smelled smoke, a sign of the tarmangani. His dark nostrils flared. Yes, he could smell the tarmangani as well. A male and a female. He licked his yoke-stained lips, gave a short, soft bark to his tribe, and they went still. All except Go-lot. Go-lot, a young bull of the tribe, purposely made a bit of noise before coming to rest. Zu-yad eyed him long and hard.

Day by day. Go-lot was becoming bolder. In time, Zu-yad knew he would have to deal with him, lest Go-lot take over his position as king. Dealing with Go-lot was not something Zu-yad wished to think about. Go-lot was younger than he, and strong. And in the end, strength, not wisdom, would decide who was king.

But for now, this day, this moment. Zu-yad was king.

Zu-yad moved like a shadow through the brush, climbed into a thick-limbed tree and spied down on the two tarmangani. Zu-yad's tribe moved carefully forward, watching unseen from the brush.

Hanson was rebuilding his fire. Jean was cutting some flesh from the carcass of the antelope with the knife Tarzan had left her. She was scrunching up her face, holding the meat away from her as she cut. "This stuff is starting to smell like your socks," she said. "Then again, you always did like your meat aged, didn't you. Dad?"

"Aged," Hanson said, dropping small sticks onto the fire. "Not ripe. If our wild man doesn't return pretty soon we'll have to go back to nuts and fruit."

"I'm willing," Jean said. "Another day of this, and we'll be poisoned."

"He's been gone a week," said Hanson. "Those scoundrels probably killed him."

Jean pulled a strip of meat free from the carcass, and said, "I think he might be more of a challenge to them than you think. He was traveling very fast by the trees. Like a monkey. If he's returning with the safari by foot, having to slow down to bring them here, well, it could take awhile."

"Could be," Hanson said, coughing from the smoke. "But I doubt it. Seems to me, now that we've regained our strength from the meat he left, we should consider smoke-drying some of it, and heading out."

"Our water is almost gone," Jean said.

"I think we'll have to chance a spring," Hanson said. "Things will only turn worse if we stay here. It's not like water is going to come our way while we wait."

Zu-yad, watching from the tree, appraised them. He sniffed the air. They were alone, and he neither saw nor smelled the sticks that belched smoke, that thundered and killed. The apes of Zu-yad were not naive. They had met tarmangani before.

From the concealment of the brush. Go-lot watched the tarmangani curiously. He knew of them, but he had only seen them before from a great distance. It was a great prize and status symbol to have a tarmangani slave. It had only been thus a few times-Zu-yad had owned two- and of course the slaves did not last long-but it was still prestigious, and Go-lot wanted this female for his slave. A tarmangani slave would give him prestige in his ongoing attempt to become king. But he was still a little afraid of old Zu-yad. He felt that his youth would give him the edge on the elder king, but he could not quite will himself to challenge Zu-yad. Perhaps, if he waited, a more opportune moment would present itself. Already, many of the tribe were looking to him, following his lead, and in time, when he had gained their complete confidence, then, and only then, he would strike at Zu-yad and claim his position as leader of the tribe.

Go-lot moved forward, and, as though it were a signal, the other apes did likewise. For the first time they made real noise-a rustling of the undergrowth through which they moved. At the same moment Zu-yad shot Go-lot and the tribe an angry look, the sound attracted Jean's attention. She looked up, hoping to spy Tarzan. What she saw pushing through the brush was Go-lot, and behind him the tribe of Zu-yad.

"Oh, hell," Jean said. "And us without a camera."
But what she thought as the apes rushed forward was: "Oh, hell, and us without a gun."

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