The morning after the Dum-Dum
the tribe started slowly back
through the forest toward the
The body of Tublat lay where
it had fallen, for the people
of Kerchak do not eat their own
The march was but a leisurely
search for food. Cabbage palm
and gray plum, pisang and scitamine
they found in abundance, with
wild pineapple, and occasionally
small mammals, birds, eggs, reptiles,
and insects. The nuts they cracked
between their powerful jaws,
or, if too hard, broke by pounding
Once old Sabor, crossing their
path, sent them scurrying to
the safety of the higher branches,
for if she respected their number
and their sharp fangs, they on
their part held her cruel and
mighty ferocity in equal esteem.
Upon a low-hanging branch sat
Tarzan directly above the majestic,
supple body as it forged silently
through the thick jungle. He
hurled a pineapple at the ancient
enemy of his people. The great
beast stopped and, turning, eyed
the taunting figure above her.
With an angry lash of her tail
she bared her yellow fangs, curling
her great lips in a hideous snarl
that wrinkled her bristling snout
in serried ridges and closed
her wicked eyes to two narrow
slits of rage and hatred.
With back-laid ears she looked
straight into the eyes of Tarzan
of the Apes and sounded her fierce,
shrill challenge. And from the
safety of his overhanging limb
the ape-child sent back the fearsome
answer of his kind.
For a moment the two eyed each
other in silence, and then the
great cat turned into the jungle,
which swallowed her as the ocean
engulfs a tossed pebble.
But into the mind of Tarzan
a great plan sprang. He had killed
the fierce Tublat, so was he
not therefore a mighty fighter?
Now would he track down the crafty
Sabor and slay her likewise.
He would be a mighty hunter,
At the bottom of his little
English heart beat the great
desire to cover his nakedness
with CLOTHES for he had learned
from his picture books that all
MEN were so covered, while MONKEYS
and APES and every other living
thing went naked.
CLOTHES therefore, must be
truly a badge of greatness; the
insignia of the superiority of
MAN over all other animals, for
surely there could be no other
reason for wearing the hideous
Many moons ago, when he had
been much smaller, he had desired
the skin of Sabor, the lioness,
or Numa, the lion, or Sheeta,
the leopard to cover his hairless
body that he might no longer
resemble hideous Histah, the
snake; but now he was proud of
his sleek skin for it betokened
his descent from a mighty race,
and the conflicting desires to
go naked in prideful proof of
his ancestry, or to conform to
the customs of his own kind and
wear hideous and uncomfortable
apparel found first one and then
the other in the ascendency.
As the tribe continued their
slow way through the forest after
the passing of Sabor, Tarzan's
head was filled with his great
scheme for slaying his enemy,
and for many days thereafter
he thought of little else.
On this day, however, he presently
had other and more immediate
interests to attract his attention.
Suddenly it became as midnight;
the noises of the jungle ceased;
the trees stood motionless as
though in paralyzed expectancy
of some great and imminent disaster.
All nature waited--but not for
Faintly, from a distance, came
a low, sad moaning. Nearer and
nearer it approached, mounting
louder and louder in volume.
The great trees bent in unison
as though pressed earthward by
a mighty hand. Farther and farther
toward the ground they inclined,
and still there was no sound
save the deep and awesome moaning
of the wind.
Then, suddenly, the jungle
giants whipped back, lashing
their mighty tops in angry and
deafening protest. A vivid and
blinding light flashed from the
whirling, inky clouds above.
The deep cannonade of roaring
thunder belched forth its fearsome
challenge. The deluge came--all
hell broke loose upon the jungle.
The tribe shivering from the
cold rain, huddled at the bases
of great trees. The lightning,
darting and flashing through
the blackness, showed wildly
waving branches, whipping streamers
and bending trunks.
Now and again some ancient
patriarch of the woods, rent
by a flashing bolt, would crash
in a thousand pieces among the
surrounding trees, carrying down
numberless branches and many
smaller neighbors to add to the
tangled confusion of the tropical
Branches, great and small,
torn away by the ferocity of
the tornado, hurtled through
the wildly waving verdure, carrying
death and destruction to countless
unhappy denizens of the thickly
peopled world below.
For hours the fury of the storm
continued without surcease, and
still the tribe huddled close
in shivering fear. In constant
danger from falling trunks and
branches and paralyzed by the
vivid flashing of lightning and
the bellowing of thunder they
crouched in pitiful misery until
the storm passed.
The end was as sudden as the
beginning. The wind ceased, the
sun shone forth--nature smiled
The dripping leaves and branches,
and the moist petals of gorgeous
flowers glistened in the splendor
of the returning day. And, so--as
Nature forgot, her children forgot
also. Busy life went on as it
had been before the darkness
and the fright.
But to Tarzan a dawning light
had come to explain the mystery
of CLOTHES. How snug he would
have been beneath the heavy coat
of Sabor! And so was added a
further incentive to the adventure.
For several months the tribe
hovered near the beach where
stood Tarzan's cabin, and his
studies took up the greater portion
of his time, but always when
journeying through the forest
he kept his rope in readiness,
and many were the smaller animals
that fell into the snare of the
quick thrown noose.
Once it fell about the short
neck of Horta, the boar, and
his mad lunge for freedom toppled
Tarzan from the overhanging limb
where he had lain in wait and
from whence he had launched his
The mighty tusker turned at
the sound of his falling body,
and, seeing only the easy prey
of a young ape, he lowered his
head and charged madly at the
Tarzan, happily, was uninjured
by the fall, alighting catlike
upon all fours far outspread
to take up the shock. He was
on his feet in an instant and,
leaping with the agility of the
monkey he was, he gained the
safety of a low limb as Horta,
the boar, rushed futilely beneath.
Thus it was that Tarzan learned
by experience the limitations
as well as the possibilities
of his strange weapon.
He lost a long rope on this
occasion, but he knew that had
it been Sabor who had thus dragged
him from his perch the outcome
might have been very different,
for he would have lost his life,
doubtless, into the bargain.
It took him many days to braid
a new rope, but when, finally,
it was done he went forth purposely
to hunt, and lie in wait among
the dense foliage of a great
branch right above the well-beaten
trail that led to water.
Several small animals passed
unharmed beneath him. He did
not want such insignificant game.
It would take a strong animal
to test the efficacy of his new
At last came she whom Tarzan
sought, with lithe sinews rolling
beneath shimmering hide; fat
and glossy came Sabor, the lioness.
Her great padded feet fell
soft and noiseless on the narrow
trail. Her head was high in ever
alert attention; her long tail
moved slowly in sinuous and graceful
Nearer and nearer she came
to where Tarzan of the Apes crouched
upon his limb, the coils of his
long rope poised ready in his
Like a thing of bronze, motionless
as death, sat Tarzan. Sabor passed
beneath. One stride beyond she
took--a second, a third, and
then the silent coil shot out
For an instant the spreading
noose hung above her head like
a great snake, and then, as she
looked upward to detect the origin
of the swishing sound of the
rope, it settled about her neck.
With a quick jerk Tarzan snapped
the noose tight about the glossy
throat, and then he dropped the
rope and clung to his support
with both hands.
Sabor was trapped.
With a bound the startled beast
turned into the jungle, but Tarzan
was not to lose another rope
through the same cause as the
first. He had learned from experience.
The lioness had taken but half
her second bound when she felt
the rope tighten about her neck;
her body turned completely over
in the air and she fell with
a heavy crash upon her back.
Tarzan had fastened the end of
the rope securely to the trunk
of the great tree on which he
Thus far his plan had worked
to perfection, but when he grasped
the rope, bracing himself behind
a crotch of two mighty branches,
he found that dragging the mighty,
struggling, clawing, biting,
screaming mass of iron-muscled
fury up to the tree and hanging
her was a very different proposition.
The weight of old Sabor was
immense, and when she braced
her huge paws nothing less than
Tantor, the elephant, himself,
could have budged her.
The lioness was now back in
the path where she could see
the author of the indignity which
had been placed upon her. Screaming
with rage she suddenly charged,
leaping high into the air toward
Tarzan, but when her huge body
struck the limb on which Tarzan
had been, Tarzan was no longer
Instead he perched lightly
upon a smaller branch twenty
feet above the raging captive.
For a moment Sabor hung half
across the branch, while Tarzan
mocked, and hurled twigs and
branches at her unprotected face.
Presently the beast dropped
to the earth again and Tarzan
came quickly to seize the rope,
but Sabor had now found that
it was only a slender cord that
held her, and grasping it in
her huge jaws severed it before
Tarzan could tighten the strangling
noose a second time.
Tarzan was much hurt. His well-laid
plan had come to naught, so he
sat there screaming at the roaring
creature beneath him and making
mocking grimaces at it.
Sabor paced back and forth
beneath the tree for hours; four
times she crouched and sprang
at the dancing sprite above her,
but might as well have clutched
at the illusive wind that murmured
through the tree tops.
At last Tarzan tired of the
sport, and with a parting roar
of challenge and a well-aimed
ripe fruit that spread soft and
sticky over the snarling face
of his enemy, he swung rapidly
through the trees, a hundred
feet above the ground, and in
a short time was among the members
of his tribe.
Here he recounted the details
of his adventure, with swelling
chest and so considerable swagger
that he quite impressed even
his bitterest enemies, while
Kala fairly danced for joy and