The mad whirl of the Death Dance
Book: Tarzan of the Apes
Posted by: Andrea Kalfas
“Another male then sprang into the arena, and, repeating the horrid cries of his king, followed stealthily in his wake. Another and another followed in quick succession until the jungle reverberated with the now almost ceaseless notes of their bloodthirsty screams. It was the challenge and the hunt.”
So here, finally, is the piece I promised from last months’ post. I’m hoping since this is an empty weekend for the blog, that folks won’t mind if I sneak in just this one, and have two Tarzan posts this month…
I’ve never limited my colors quite this much, but I’m liking it! This is one of my favorite parts of the book. Tarzan wins some respect from the tribe during “the Dum-Dum”, a sort of interpretive killing spree where the males of the tribe leap in circles around the corpse of an enemy ape and beat it to a pulp before devouring the remains.
“Tarzan was one of the wild, leaping horde…None was more stealthy in the mimic hunt, none more ferocious than he in the wild ferocity of the attack, none who leaped so high into the air in the Dance of Death.”
Tarzan is still young, so once all the males start feasting on the corpse, he can hardly push through the wall of frenzied apes to get a bite. He uses the knife he found in his parent’s cabin, however, to cut off a forearm! (I always thought that was kinda crazy) and retreats to the edge of the circle to eat it. Tublat, Tarzan’s foster father, attacks Tarzan for the chunk of meat, and when he can’t catch the boy, goes into a rage. Kala, Tarzan’s mother is almost killed as a result, but Tarzan saves her, leaping in front of Tublat as he rushes towards them, and plunging his knife “a dozen times into the broad beast.” Thus Tarzan becomes a mighty killer.
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