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|Tarzan of the Apes||Edgar Rice Burroughs|
The White Ape
|Page 5 of 5||
That the huge, fierce brute loved this child of another race is beyond question, and he, too, gave to the great, hairy beast all the affection that would have belonged to his fair young mother had she lived.
When he was disobedient she cuffed him, it is true, but she was never cruel to him, and was more often caressing him than chastising him.
Tublat, her mate, always hated Tarzan, and on several occasions had come near ending his youthful career.
Tarzan on his part never lost an opportunity to show that he fully reciprocated his foster father's sentiments, and whenever he could safely annoy him or make faces at him or hurl insults upon him from the safety of his mother's arms, or the slender branches of the higher trees, he did so.
His superior intelligence and cunning permitted him to invent a thousand diabolical tricks to add to the burdens of Tublat's life.
Early in his boyhood he had learned to form ropes by twisting and tying long grasses together, and with these he was forever tripping Tublat or attempting to hang him from some overhanging branch.
By constant playing and experimenting with these he learned to tie rude knots, and make sliding nooses; and with these he and the younger apes amused themselves. What Tarzan did they tried to do also, but he alone originated and became proficient.
One day while playing thus Tarzan had thrown his rope at one of his fleeing companions, retaining the other end in his grasp. By accident the noose fell squarely about the running ape's neck, bringing him to a sudden and surprising halt.
Ah, here was a new game, a fine game, thought Tarzan, and immediately he attempted to repeat the trick. And thus, by painstaking and continued practice, he learned the art of roping.
Now, indeed, was the life of Tublat a living nightmare. In sleep, upon the march, night or day, he never knew when that quiet noose would slip about his neck and nearly choke the life out of him.
Kala punished, Tublat swore dire vengeance, and old Kerchak took notice and warned and threatened; but all to no avail.
Tarzan defied them all, and the thin, strong noose continued to settle about Tublat's neck whenever he least expected it.
The other apes derived unlimited amusement from Tublat's discomfiture, for Broken Nose was a disagreeable old fellow, whom no one liked, anyway.
In Tarzan's clever little mind many thoughts revolved, and back of these was his divine power of reason.
If he could catch his fellow apes with his long arm of many grasses, why not Sabor, the lioness?
It was the germ of a thought, which, however, was destined to mull around in his conscious and subconscious mind until it resulted in magnificent achievement.
But that came in later years.
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|Tarzan of the Apes
Edgar Rice Burroughs
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