Tarzan of the Apes waited until the upcut of a wicked tusk
would have laid open his thigh, then he moved--just the least bit to one side; but so quickly that lightning was a sluggard by comparison, and as he moved, he stooped low and with all the great power of his right arm drove the long blade of his father's hunting knife straight into the heart of Horta, the boar.
He knew what he was talking of; for he had been born under Kala Nag's shadow, had played with the end of his trunk before he could walk, had taken him down to water as soon as he could walk, and Kala Nag would no more have dreamed of disobeying his shrill little orders than he would have dreamed of killing him on that day when Big Toomai carried the little brown baby under Kala Nag's tusks, and told him to salute his master that was to be.
Lay your beast alongside, Toomai, and let him prod with his tusks. By all the Gods of the Hills, these new elephants are possessed, or else they can smell their companions in the jungle." Kala Nag hit the new elephant in the ribs and knocked the wind out of him, as Big Toomai said, "We have swept the hills of wild elephants at the last catch.
The undergrowth on either side of him ripped with a noise like torn canvas, and the saplings that he heaved away right and left with his shoulders sprang back again and banged him on the flank, and great trails of creepers, all matted together, hung from his tusks as he threw his head from side to side and plowed out his pathway.
There were white-tusked wild males, with fallen leaves and nuts and twigs lying in the wrinkles of their necks and the folds of their ears; fat, slow-footed she-elephants, with restless, little pinky black calves only three or four feet high running under their stomachs; young elephants with their tusks just beginning to show, and very proud of them; lanky, scraggy old-maid elephants, with their hollow anxious faces, and trunks like rough bark; savage old bull elephants, scarred from shoulder to flank with great weals and cuts of bygone fights, and the caked dirt of their solitary mud baths dropping from their shoulders; and there was one with a broken tusk and the marks of the full-stroke, the terrible drawing scrape, of a tiger's claws on his side.
He heard the click of tusks as they crossed other tusks by accident, and the dry rustle of trunks twined together, and the chafing of enormous sides and shoulders in the crowd, and the incessant flick and hissh of the great tails.
No station can show such tusks. Those traders wanted carriers badly, and our men were no good here.
"Why!" he shouted, "I believe you have sold our men for these tusks!" Makola stood impassive and silent.
Makola retired into the bosom of his family; and the tusks, left lying before the store, looked very large and valuable in the sunshine.
He found his companion staring grimly over the yard at the tusks, away by the store.
Deesa sat on Moti Guj's neck and gave him orders, while Moti Guj rooted up the stumps-for he owned a magnificent pair of tusks; or pulled at the end of a rope-for he had a magnificent pair of shoulders-while Deesa kicked him behind the ears and said he was the king of elephants.
So he waited, waving his head from right to left, and measuring the precise spot in Kala Nag's fat side where a blunt tusk could sink deepest.