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||Tarzan of the Apes||Edgar Rice Burroughs|
|Page 5 of 5||
And so he struggled to encompass a similar hold with the left hand, and in a few moments Terkoz's bull neck was creaking beneath a full-Nelson.
There was no more lunging about now. The two lay perfectly still upon the ground, Tarzan upon Terkoz's back. Slowly the bullet head of the ape was being forced lower and lower upon his chest.
Tarzan knew what the result would be. In an instant the neck would break. Then there came to Terkoz's rescue the same thing that had put him in these sore straits--a man's reasoning power.
"If I kill him," thought Tarzan, "what advantage will it be to me? Will it not rob the tribe of a great fighter? And if Terkoz be dead, he will know nothing of my supremacy, while alive he will ever be an example to the other apes."
"KA-GODA?" hissed Tarzan in Terkoz's ear, which, in ape tongue, means, freely translated: "Do you surrender?"
For a moment there was no reply, and Tarzan added a few more ounces of pressure, which elicited a horrified shriek of pain from the great beast.
"KA-GODA?" repeated Tarzan.
"KA-GODA!" cried Terkoz.
"Listen," said Tarzan, easing up a trifle, but not releasing his hold. "I am Tarzan, King of the Apes, mighty hunter, mighty fighter. In all the jungle there is none so great.
"You have said: `KA-GODA' to me. All the tribe have heard. Quarrel no more with your king or your people, for next time I shall kill you. Do you understand?"
"HUH," assented Terkoz.
"And you are satisfied?"
"HUH," said the ape.
Tarzan let him up, and in a few minutes all were back at their vocations, as though naught had occurred to mar the tranquility of their primeval forest haunts.
But deep in the minds of the apes was rooted the conviction that Tarzan was a mighty fighter and a strange creature. Strange because he had had it in his power to kill his enemy, but had allowed him to live--unharmed.
That afternoon as the tribe came together, as was their wont before darkness settled on the jungle, Tarzan, his wounds washed in the waters of the stream, called the old males about him.
"You have seen again to-day that Tarzan of the Apes is the greatest among you," he said.
"HUH," they replied with one voice, "Tarzan is great."
"Tarzan," he continued, "is not an ape. He is not like his people. His ways are not their ways, and so Tarzan is going back to the lair of his own kind by the waters of the great lake which has no farther shore. You must choose another to rule you, for Tarzan will not return."
And thus young Lord Greystoke took the first step toward the goal which he had set--the finding of other white men like himself.
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|Tarzan of the Apes
Edgar Rice Burroughs
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