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|Tarzan of the Apes||Edgar Rice Burroughs|
The Forest God
|Page 3 of 3||
Pawing and tearing at earth and air, Sabor rolled and threw herself this way and that in an effort to dislodge this strange antagonist; but ever tighter and tighter drew the iron bands that were forcing her head lower and lower upon her tawny breast.
Higher crept the steel forearms of the ape-man about the back of Sabor's neck. Weaker and weaker became the lioness's efforts.
At last Clayton saw the immense muscles of Tarzan's shoulders and biceps leap into corded knots beneath the silver moonlight. There was a long sustained and supreme effort on the ape-man's part--and the vertebrae of Sabor's neck parted with a sharp snap.
In an instant Tarzan was upon his feet, and for the second time that day Clayton heard the bull ape's savage roar of victory. Then he heard Jane's agonized cry:
"Cecil--Mr. Clayton! Oh, what is it? What is it?"
Running quickly to the cabin door, Clayton called out that all was right, and shouted to her to open the door. As quickly as she could she raised the great bar and fairly dragged Clayton within.
"What was that awful noise?" she whispered, shrinking close to him.
"It was the cry of the kill from the throat of the man who has just saved your life, Miss Porter. Wait, I will fetch him so you may thank him."
The frightened girl would not be left alone, so she accompanied Clayton to the side of the cabin where lay the dead body of the lioness.
Tarzan of the Apes was gone.
Clayton called several times, but there was no reply, and so the two returned to the greater safety of the interior.
"What a frightful sound!" cried Jane, "I shudder at the mere thought of it. Do not tell me that a human throat voiced that hideous and fearsome shriek."
"But it did, Miss Porter," replied Clayton; "or at least if not a human throat that of a forest god."
And then he told her of his experiences with this strange creature--of how twice the wild man had saved his life--of the wondrous strength, and agility, and bravery--of the brown skin and the handsome face.
"I cannot make it out at all," he concluded. "At first I thought he might be Tarzan of the Apes; but he neither speaks nor understands English, so that theory is untenable."
"Well, whatever he may be," cried the girl, "we owe him our lives, and may God bless him and keep him in safety in his wild and savage jungle!"
"Amen," said Clayton, fervently.
"For the good Lord's sake, ain't I dead?"
The two turned to see Esmeralda sitting upright upon the floor, her great eyes rolling from side to side as though she could not believe their testimony as to her whereabouts.
And now, for Jane Porter, the reaction came, and she threw herself upon the bench, sobbing with hysterical laughter.
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|Tarzan of the Apes
Edgar Rice Burroughs
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