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Chapter 4: The Apes (continued)
As he passed through the opening, the front sight of the rifle caught upon the edge of the inswung door with sufficient force to close it tightly after the fleeing ape.
When Kerchak came to a halt a short distance from the cabin and discovered that he still held the rifle, he dropped it as he might have dropped a red hot iron, nor did he again attempt to recover it--the noise was too much for his brute nerves; but he was now quite convinced that the terrible stick was quite harmless by itself if left alone.
It was an hour before the apes could again bring themselves to approach the cabin to continue their investigations, and when they finally did so, they found to their chagrin that the door was closed and so securely fastened that they could not force it.
The cleverly constructed latch which Clayton had made for the door had sprung as Kerchak passed out; nor could the apes find means of ingress through the heavily barred windows.
After roaming about the vicinity for a short time, they started back for the deeper forests and the higher land from whence they had come.
Kala had not once come to earth with her little adopted babe, but now Kerchak called to her to descend with the rest, and as there was no note of anger in his voice she dropped lightly from branch to branch and joined the others on their homeward march.
Those of the apes who attempted to examine Kala's strange baby were repulsed with bared fangs and low menacing growls, accompanied by words of warning from Kala.
When they assured her that they meant the child no harm she permitted them to come close, but would not allow them to touch her charge.
It was as though she knew that her baby was frail and delicate and feared lest the rough hands of her fellows might injure the little thing.
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