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Chapter 4 Tarzan: The Lost Adventure by Edgar Rice Burroughs

At the moment the apes burst forth from the brush and Jean spoke, Hanson looked up from the fire and saw what he had been looking for. The man-apes of Africa. They were huge beasts, more gorilla than man, but not quite either. If ever there was a direct link between man and ape, this was it. Hanson, because of his anthropological background, knew all this at a glance; from the way some of them chose to stand upright, to the size and shape of their craniums. A hundred little things.

But upon seeing them, realizing who they were, the enthusiasm he thought to have for such a discovery vanished. The man-apes sprang forward, beating their chests, running on their hind legs, and as Hanson grabbed Jean's wrist and pulled her away from the carcass she was carving, the creatures took to all fours and came springing after them.

Go-lot, ahead of his fellows, pursued the two and decided Jean was the one he wanted. Something about the way her hair flashed in the sunlight, the fact that she was easier to reach than Hanson, made his decision.

Hanson, glancing over his shoulder, saw Go-lot groping for Jean, and he swung around behind her and struck a hard right at Go-lot's jaw. It was a good blow, and Go-lot felt it, but it was as if he had been bitten by a stinging fly. He backhanded Hanson, sent him tumbling off the trail and into the brush like a tumbleweed.

Jean whirled then, the expression on her face like that of a wild beast. She still held Tarzan's great knife, and she thrust it at Go-lot. But Go-lot turned, and as he did, the blade sliced along his leathery stomach. Though it brought blood, it was not a straight contact wound; it only angered the beast. He slapped the knife from Jean's hand and grabbed her. He tossed her over his shoulder like a sack of meal and bolted into the jungle.

Behind Go-lot, worked into a frenzy, Zu-yad's tribe pursued him, anxious to examine his prize. Zu-yad, angry, and slower, followed. He passed where Hanson lay, eyeballed him, but left him there. If the prize had not been good enough for Go-lot, then he would leave it. To assure his position in the tribe, he would have to take the female tarmangani from Go-lot. If not, his time as king had come to an end. And so had his life.

Hanson struggled to his feet. The blow that Go-lot had struck him had nearly put his lights out, for good. He felt dizzy and sick to his stomach. He glanced in the direction the apes were taking, and he could see that one of the brutes had Jean slung over his shoulder, and he was bounding into the brush, followed by a horde of other apes, one of them bringing up the rear and making poor time. A moment later, all the apes, and Jean, were out of sight.

Hanson's heart sank. He looked about for some sort of weapon, snatched a broken branch from the ground, and set off in pursuit of Go-lot.

The day was still young when Tarzan arrived with the safari at the location where he had left Hanson and jean. While Jad-bal-ja raced about sniffing the ground excitedly, Tarzan read the very recent events of the morning with his nose and eyes. Hanson and Jean's scent spoor were still fresh, and also that of a number of great apes.

Near the edge of the trail, Tarzan found his knife and the tracks of great apes, a man, and a woman. There was dried blood on the blade. Tarzan smelled the blood. It was that of a great ape. Since there was no pool or gush of blood on the ground, or in the brush, he determined mat the wound had been a minor one, and from the way the tracks looked, it had probably been delivered by the woman, Jean.

Tarzan sniffed about until he found where Hanson had been thrown. He determined Hanson had followed after the apes, obviously in pursuit of his captive daughter. Tarzan snorted. "Good man." But he had about as much chance against the apes as a baby might, wrestling a crocodile.

Tarzan returned the huge knife to its sheath and took one of the askaris aside. The one with the lump on his jaw. A man who went by the name of Billy because he had found his name too difficult for foreigners to pronounce. And since he made his living being hired as a guide and askari, he wanted to be remembered, even if it meant changing his name.

Tarzan trusted him. His trust was based on the way Billy had handled his duties on the trail and in camp, and it was also based on Tarzan's instinct. Having lived more with beasts than with men, Tarzan had learned to observe men carefully, and therefore understood them even better than their fellows.

"Billy. Stay here and make camp," Tarzan told him. "I am uncertain when I will return. If I do not return within a few days, go to your homes and divide the supplies amongst you as a reward for your and the bearers' service-both Hanson's bearers, and the others. If you should decide to leave when I am out of your sight and divide the goods, I will hunt you down and make things most unpleasant for you."

"I do not work that way," Billy said.

"I did not think you did," Tarzan said. "And you must pardon my bluntness. I am rarely among men, and when I am among them, I always feel it is too long."

"No offense taken. Until you walked into that camp back there, I thought you were nothing more than legend. As soon as I saw you, and that lion, I knew who you were. I have known men who claim to have seen you, but I thought them liars. Now I will be thought a liar."

Tarzan almost grinned. "Take care, Billy."

Tarzan turned, and with Jad-bal-ja at his heels, he raced into the jungle, hot on the recent trail of Hanson, Jean, and the great apes.

Jungle, brush, limbs, vines, all of them seemed to work against Hanson. Thorns tore him, vines tripped him, limbs slapped his face. Then suddenly, he was aware of something behind him. He wheeled with the stick ready to strike, and was shocked to see a great lion in his path. And then he saw, standing slightly behind the lion, Tarzan.

Hanson eyed the lion, then Tarzan. Tarzan said, "Do not fear him. He is a friend. We are here to find your daughter."

"Thank God," Hanson said.

"Go back to camp-" ,

"No!" Hanson said.

"You must," Tarzan said. "I am more capable man you. You will slow us down. Go back to camp. Your bearer Billy is there, and the others. Go back to camp, and in time, I will join you with Jean."


Tarzan was no longer interested in discussing the matter. He moved past Hanson swiftly, followed by the Hon. Hanson turned, determined at first to follow, but so rapidly had the ape-man and the lion taken to the jungle, there was no sign of them.

Hanson thought a moment. So far, the wild man had done all that he had promised. And there was no way he could keep up with him and the lion. He had no choice but to return to the safari and wait.

The other apes overtook Go-lot at the edge of a small open space where Go-lot stopped to rest. They reached out and touched Jean, to see if the nearly hairless tarmangani were real. She fought and struggled as best she could, but it was useless against the strength of the great apes. So persistent were they in their curiosity, Go-lot was forced to drop and straddle her, and face his fellows. He growled at them and beat his chest and cursed them in the language of the great apes. He whirled this way and that, snapping and biting the air, flicking foam from his lips.

But Go-lot could not watch all directions at once. Zu-yad had arrived, and he reached out and grabbed Jean by the leg, pulled her from between Go-lot's legs, tugged her behind him. He beat his chest and snarled. Jean lay still on the ground, waiting for a moment in which she might escape.

She watched the apes bark and growl, not knowing that they were speaking a language.

"I am the king," Zu-yad said. "The prize is mine."

Go-lot snarled and bared his fangs. "You are weak. I am to be the king. The female tarmangani is mine!"
"Come and take her," Zu-yad said.

Go-lot charged. The two came together with a great grunt and a slapping of chests, and then they grabbed each other and rolled about in the leaves. Members of the tribe formed a circle, awaiting the outcome.

Go-lot was strong, but Zu-yad was experienced. It wasn't the first time he had defended his leadership. He knew better how to grab Go-lot. How to twist his head down so that he might bite him in the back of the neck.

For a moment, Go-lot felt lost. His neck was aching with Zu-yad's bites. He considered submitting, hoping for mercy. Then he felt Zu-yad weaken, felt his mouth and strength take hold, and that was all it took. Go-lot ducked and grabbed one of Zu-yad's legs and caught him around the neck with the other, lifted him high above his head, and dropped him facedown across his extended knee. Something cracked in Zu-yad's chest. Go-lot drove his forearm against the back of Zu-yad's neck. Once. Twice. This time, the cracking sound was even louder. Zu-yad rolled off of Go-lot's knee, onto his back. His legs twitched and his mouth frothed blood. The scene held for yet another moment. A fly came out of the jungle and lit on one of Zu-yad's open eyes. The ape did not blink.

Go-lot leapt into the air suddenly, came down on his hind legs beating his chest, bellowing, "I, Go-lot, am king!"

The other apes grunted and clapped.

"I, Go-lot," continued the great ape, straddling Jean again, "am the strongest. The best."

"You are lucky."

Go-lot wheeled. A bronze man with a great lion beside him was pushing back the brush, stepping into the clearing. Jean turned, saw that it was her wild man, but he was barking and snarling like the apes. She thought it might be best if she just carefully crawled off, leaving the whole lot. The world had gone mad.

Go-lot could not believe his eyes. Who was this man who spoke the language of the apes? Who was this man who walked with the jungle's most deadly killer? Go-lot could not decide what he felt most. Surprise at the man, or fear of the lion. Surprise finally ruled, then turned to anger, when, again, in the language of the great apes, Tarzan said: "You are lucky to beat an old one who had but a short time to live anyway. I'm surprised he didn't die in your arms before you struck a blow."

Go-lot's jaw dropped. "Who are you? How is it a tarmangani speaks the language of our tribe?"

"I am Tarzan. Tarzan of the Apes."

Go-lot bared his teeth. "I have heard of you. I thought you were but a lie of the elders."

"I am of a people like yours," Tarzan said. "And I tell you now, let the woman go, or I will kill you."

Go-lot snarled. "You mean you and your beast will kill me."

"No," Tarzan said. "I want the pleasure for myself. Stay, Jad-bal-ja."

Tarzan pulled his great knife, moved toward the circle of apes. Jad-bal-ja sat on his haunches, waiting. He wondered if Tarzan would let him eat the dead ape, or maybe the one Tarzan was about to kill. He certainly hoped so. The meat of a great ape was very tasty.

Suddenly Tarzan charged. "Kree-gah!" he shouted. 'Tarzan kill." Tarzan's body loosened, and he came forward, bent, running with the backs of his knuckles on the ground, growling, hooting.

Jean was astonished at this display. The man looked more beast than human. She did not know how to feel. Once again, she thought slipping off would be the ticket. But there was no opportunity. No way to get through the circle of apes unnoticed. She could do nothing more than watch, mesmerized.

Go-lot pounded his chest in defiance, then, dropping to his knuckles, Go-lot charged. Go-lot was astonishingly quick. He leapt like a panther, his long arms reaching out for Tarzan's neck, closing on it.

Then Tarzan was not there. He ducked low and hit Go-tot in the ribs with his shoulder, brought the knife up quickly, and buried it in Go-lot's belly. Go-lot charged past, wheeled, hurled himself back at Tarzan. Tarzan sidestepped. The knife flashed again. Go-lot made two long steps, stumbled, stood, wheeled, his belly opened up, and his innards began to roll out in a smelly, steamy heap.

Go-lot looked down at his insides. Instinctively, he grabbed at them, as if to gather them up. Then he looked at Tarzan, turned his head to one side quizzically, and fell forward on his face, smashing the oozing contents of his body with a loud squish.

The great apes sat silent. Astonished. They looked at Go-lot, lying in his own guts. They looked at Tarzan, crouched, ready to fight, the great claw in his hand, red with blood from its point to the ape-man's elbow.

While the apes remained amazed, Tarzan slipped the knife in its sheath quickly, darted to where Jean lay, and pulled her to her feet. He said, "Come. Now."

No sooner had Tarzan wheeled with Jean toward the jungle, his arm around her waist, than the apes, frozen for the moment, came undone, let out a bellow and pursued them in mass. When Tarzan darted past Jad-bal-ja, the lion snarled.

"Too many," Tarzan told the lion in the language of the apes. He tightened his grip on Jean's waist and took to the trees.

"Hang tight," he said.

This was not a command Jean needed. She clung with all her strength. As they rose into the trees, carried by the arm and leg strength of Tarzan, Jean let out a scream, but a moment later she was silent. There was no air left in her lungs. She was too terrified to scream.

Limbs rushed by, and Tarzan grabbed at them and swung from them. Just when it seemed they would drop to the ground, another limb fortuitously appeared. He moved in such a way that he was sometimes high in the trees, perhaps fifty feet high, then, by dropping great distances, grabbing at a limb with one hand and swinging from it, they were sometimes only ten feet from the ground. It was like a roller coaster until they reached a mass of great trees from which hung thick liana vines. He grabbed those and swung way out, let go, grabbed another, and moved on; the treetops came down to meet them, then the ground grew tall, then the treetops were back again. Monkeys scattered through the trees all around them, scolding, chattering with fear. Birds rustled to flight. Once, Jean saw a great python raise its head from a limb and watch them pass with its cold, dark eyes.

Below, running on the ground, darting between trees, Jean could see the great lion. Once Jean looked back, saw the apes on the ground, looking up, trying to keep sight of them. The next time she looked, the apes had taken to the trees themselves, but even though they were born to the jungle, designed for it, they could not catch her wild man.

As they progressed through the treetops, Jean's confidence increased until she began to enjoy the strange adventure. It wasn't quite what she preferred to be doing this bright and sunny morning, but she presumed it was better than being kidnapped by an ape. And why had that ape wanted her? Was she supposed to feel flattered?

A week ago, life had been a lot less confusing.

Below, she saw her father and the safari. Tarzan let go of the vine they were swinging on, dropped rapidly through the brush. Limbs touched her, tore at her clothes, and just as it looked as if they might dash themselves to pieces at her father's feet, Tarzan snatched at a supple branch, swung way out, twisted, grabbed another, then dropped them to the ground next to her father.

When they landed, Hanson leapt back, bringing up both hands to fight. Then he saw who it was. Jean stepped into his arms and Hanson held her. Over her shoulder he spoke to Tarzan. "Thank you ... Whoever you are."

"They call me Tarzan," the ape-man said.

"My God," Hanson said. "I thought you were a legend."

Jean turned from her father then, smiled at her rescuer. 'Thank you, Tarzan."

"Can you believe this, Jean?" Hanson said. "I came to Africa to prove the existence of the man-apes, and they kidnapped you. Then you were rescued by a legend I didn't believe existed. Tarzan, the ape-man."
"Will the apes come after us?" Jean asked Tarzan.

"No," Tarzan said. "There are rifles here. They know what rifles do. They lose interest rather quickly, as well. They will be fighting amongst themselves to establish a new king."

Jean considered what Tarzan had said. She began to understand what all the fighting had been about. One ruler had been usurped, only to be defeated by Tarzan.

At that moment, Jad-bal-ja entered the campsite. He padded over to Tarzan and lay down at his feet, and put his great head between his paws.

"He looks mopey," Jean said.

"He wanted to fight the great apes," Tarzan said. "That and eat one. He is hungry."

"Then it would not be a good idea to pet him right now," Jean said.

"It is never a good idea," Tarzan said. "He is a lion, and a lion is always a lion."

"I've never seen anything like it," Jean said. "You were actually communicating with those apes, weren't you?"

"Yes," said Tarzan. "I was raised by a tribe not unlike them."

"You're kidding," said Hanson.

"No," said Tarzan. "I am not kidding."

Hanson studied Tarzan a moment. "No. I can see you aren't.

"You communicate with the lion, too," Jean said. "Do you think he fully understands you?"

"I know he does," Tarzan said. "I speak to him in the language of the great apes. My first language."

Hanson thought that explained Tarzan's stiff almost formal use of English. His strange accent-the accent of the beasts.

Jean was warming to the subject, excited. "What about other animals?" she asked. "Can you speak with them? Are they ... your friends?"

"Animals in their native state," replied Tarzan, "make few friends in the sense that humans do, even among their own kind. But I have friends among them." Tarzan waved a hand at the golden lion. "Jad-bal-ja here would fight to the death to protect me. And I him. Tantor the elephant is my friend, as is Nkima."

"Nkima?" Jean asked.

"A small monkey that is usually with me," Tarzan said. "Where he is now, I can't say. He often wanders off. But when he gets in trouble, or is afraid, he often comes racing to me for protection. He is a coward, and an outrageous braggart, but I'm fond of him."

"You seem to prefer animals to humans," Jean said.

"I do."

"But that's because you've had unpleasant experiences with men," Hanson said. "Am I right?"

"You are," Tarzan said. "But let me remind you that you, as of recent, have had some very unpleasant experiences with men."

"That's true," Jean said. "But I wouldn't call my experience with the apes a picnic."

Tarzan smiled. "Ultimately, man and beast are not all that different."

Hanson said, "It's amazing. Everything they say about you ... the legends ... they're true."

Tarzan smiled, and this time it was a true smile. "Nothing is ever completely true about a legend," he said.

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