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Full text of "The return of Tarzan"

turn 
Tarzan 

Edgar Rice 
Burroughs 



U.C.D. LIBRA!) 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



The 
Return of Tarzan 



By EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS 



Author of "Tarzan of the Apes' 




With Decorations By 
J. ALLEN ST. JOHN 



A. L BURT COMPANY, PUBLISHERS 

114-120 East Twenty-third Street - - New York 

PUBLISHED BY ARRANGEMENT WITH A. C. McCLURG & COMPANY 



A n 



Copyright 

A. C. McClurg & Co. 
1915 



Published March, 1915 
Copyrighted in Great Britain 



.. ," 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER PAGE 

I The Affair on the Liner 1 

II Forging Bonds of Hate and ? ... 14 

III What Happened in the Rue Maule ... 28 

IV The Countess Explains 42 

V The Plot That Failed 58 

VI A Duel 72 

VII The Dancing Girl of Sidi Aissa .... 86 

VIII The Fight in the Desert 100 

IX Numa "El Adrea" 113 

X Through the Valley of the Shadow ... 127 

XI John Caldwell, London 140 

XII Ships That Pass 154 

XIII The Wreck of the " Lady Alice " .... 168 

XIV Back to the Primitive 187 

XV From Ape to Savage 201 

XVI The Ivory Raiders 216 

XVII The White Chief of the Waziri 229 

XVIII The Lottery of Death 243 

XIX The City of Gold 259 

XX La 272 

XXI The Castaways 286 

XXII The Treasure Vaults of Opar 301 

XXIII The Fifty Frightful Men 315 

XXIV How Tarsan Came again to Opar ... 329 
XXV Through the Forest Primeval 343 

XXVI The Passing of the Ape-Man 358 



Te 

ify Mother 




THE AFFAIR ON THE LINER 

'TV/TAGNIFIQUE!" ejaculated the Countess de 

*^A Coude, beneath her breath. 

"Eh?" questioned the count, turning toward his 
young wife. "What is it that is magnificent?" and 
the count bent his eyes in various directions in quest 
of the object of her admiration. 

" Oh, nothing at all, my dear," replied the countess, 
a slight flush momentarily coloring her already pink 
cheek. "I was but recalling with admiration those 
stupendous skyscrapers, as they call them, of New 
York," and the fair countess settled herself more com 
fortably in her steamer chair, and resumed the maga 
zine which " nothing at all " had caused her to let fall 
upon her lap. 

Her husband again buried himself in his book, but 
not without a mild wonderment that three days out 
from New York his countess should suddenly have 
realized an admiration for the very buildings she had 
but recently characterized as horrid. 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



Presently the count put down his book. " It is 
very tiresome, Olga," he said. " I think that I shall 
hunt up some others who may be equally bored, and 
see if we cannot find enough for a game of cards." 

"You are not very gallant, my husband," replied 
the young woman, smiling, " but as I am equally bored 
I can forgive you. Go and play at your tiresome old 
cards, then, if you will." 

When he had gone she let her eyes wander slyly to 
the figure of a tall young man stretched lazily in a 
chair not far distant. 

" Magnifique! " she breathed once more. 

The Countess Olga de Coude was twenty. Her hus 
band forty. She was a very faithful and loyal wife, 
but as she had had nothing whatever to do with the 
selection of a husband, it is not at all unlikely that 
she was not wildly and passionately in love with the 
one that fate and her titled Russian father had 
selected for her. However, simply because she was 
surprised into a tiny exclamation of approval at sight 
of a splendid young stranger it must not be inferred 
therefrom that her thoughts were in any way disloyal 
to her spouse. She merely admired, as she might have 
admired a particularly fine specimen of any species. 
Furthermore, the young man was unquestionably good 
to look at. 

As her furtive glance rested upon his profile he rose 
to leave the deck. The Countess de Coude beckoned 
to a passing steward. 

" Who is that gentleman ? " she asked. 
[2] 



THE AFFAIR ON THE LINER 



"He is booked, madam, as Monsieur Tarzan, of 
Africa," replied the steward. 

" Rather a large estate," thought the girl, but now 
her interest was still further aroused. 

As Tarzan walked slowly toward the smoking-room 
he came unexpectedly upon two men whispering ex 
citedly just without. He would have vouchsafed them 
not even a passing thought but for the strangely 
guilty glance that one of them shot in his direction. 
They reminded Tarzan of melodramatic villains he 
had seen at the theaters in Paris. Both were very 
dark, and this, in connection with the shrugs and 
stealthy glances that accompanied their palpable in 
triguing, lent still greater force to the similarity. 

Tarzan entered the smoking-room, and sought a 
chair a little apart from the others who were there. 
He felt in no mood for conversation, and as he sipped 
his absinth he let his mind run rather sorrowfully over 
the past few weeks of his life. Time and again he 
had wondered if he had acted wisely in renouncing 
his birthright to a man to whom he owed nothing. 
It is true that he liked Clayton, but ah, but that 
was not the question. It was not for William Cecil 
Clayton, Lord Grey stoke, that he had denied his birth. 
It was for the woman whom both he and Clayton loved, 
and whom a strange freak of fate had given to Clayton 
instead of to him. 

That she loved him made the thing doubly difficult 
to bear, yet he knew that he could have done nothing 
less than he did do that night within the little railway 

[3] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



station in the far Wisconsin woods. To him her happi 
ness was the first consideration of all, and his brief 
experience with civilization and civilized men had 
taught him that without money and position life to 
most of them was unendurable. 

Jane Porter had been born to both, and had Tarzan 
taken them away from her future husband it would 
doubtless have plunged her into a life of misery and 
torture. That she would have spurned Clayton once 
he had been stripped of both his title and his estates 
never for once occurred to Tarzan, for he credited 
to others the same honest loyalty that was so inherent 
a quality in himself. Nor, in this instance, had he 
erred. Could any one thing have further bound Jane 
Porter to her promise to Clayton it would have been 
in the nature of some such misfortune as this over 
taking him. 

Tarzan's thoughts drifted from the past to the 
future. He tried to look forward with pleasurable 
sensations to his return to the jungle of his birth and 
boyhood; the cruel, fierce jungle in which he had 
spent twenty of his twenty-two years. But who or 
what of all the myriad jungle life would there be to 
welcome his return? Not one. Only Tantor, the 
elephant, could he call friend. The others would 
hunt him or flee from him as had been their way in 
the past. 

Not even the apes of his own tribe would extend 
the hand of fellowship to him. 

If civilization had done nothing else for Tarzan 
[4] 



THE AFFAIR ON THE LINER 



of the Apes, it had to some extent taught him to crave 
the society of his own kind, and to feel with genuine 
pleasure the congenial warmth of companionship. And 
in the same ratio had it made any other life distasteful 
to him. It was difficult to imagine a world without a 
friend without a living thing who spoke the new 
tongues which Tarzan had learned to love so well. And 
so it was that Tarzan looked with little relish upon the 
future he had mapped out for himself. 

As he sat musing over his cigarette his eyes fell 
upon a mirror before him, and in it he saw reflected 
a table at which four men sat at cards. Presently one 
of them rose to leave, and then another approached, 
and Tarzan could see that he courteously offered to 
fill the vacant chair, that the game might not be inter 
rupted. He was the smaller of the two whom Tarzan 
had seen whispering just outside the smoking-room. 

It was this fact that aroused a faint spark of inter 
est in Tarzan, and so as he speculated upon the future 
he watched in the mirror the reflection of the players 
at the table behind him. Aside from the man who had 
but just entered the game Tarzan knew the name of 
but one of the other players. It was he who sat oppo 
site the new player, Count Raoul de Coude, whom an 
over-attentive steward had pointed out as one of the 
celebrities of the passage, describing him as a man 
high in the official family of the French minister of 
war. 

Suddenly Tarzan's attention was riveted upon the 
picture in the glass. The other swarthy plotter had 

[5] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



entered, and was standing behind the count's chair. 
Tarzan saw him turn and glance furtively about the 
room, but his eyes did not rest for a sufficient time 
upon the mirror to note the reflection of Tarzan's 
watchful eyes. Stealthily the man withdrew some 
thing from his pocket. Tarzan could not discern what 
the object was, for the man's hand covered it. 

Slowly the hand approached the count, and then, 
very deftly, the thing that was in it was transferred 
to the count's pocket. The man remained standing 
where he could watch the Frenchman's cards. Tarzan 
was puzzled, but he was all attention now, nor did he 
permit another detail of the incident to escape him. 

The play went on for some ten minutes after this, 
until the count won a considerable wager from him 
who had last joined the game, and then Tarzan saw 
the fellow back of the count's chair nod his head to 
his confederate. Instantly the player arose and pointed 
a finger at the count. 

"Had I known that monsieur was a professional 
card sharp I had not been so ready to be drawn into 
the game," he said. 

Instantly the count and the two other players were 
upon their feet. 

De Coude's face went white. 

"What do you mean, sir?" he cried. "Do you 
know to whom you speak ? " 

" I know that I speak, for the last time, to one who 
cheats at cards," replied the fellow. 

The count leaned across the table, and struck the 
[6] 



THE AFFAIR ON THE LINER 



man full in the mouth with his open palm, and then 
the others closed in between them. 

" There is some mistake, sir," cried one of the other 
players. " Why, this is Count de Coude, of France." 

"If I am mistaken," said the accuser, "I shall 
gladly apologize ; but before I do so first let monsieur 
le count explain the extra cards which I saw him drop 
into his side pocket." 

And then the man whom Tarzan had seen drop them 
there turned to sneak from the room, but to his annoy 
ance he found the exit barred by a tall, gray-eyed 
stranger. 

"Pardon," said the man brusquely, attempting to 
pass to one side. 

" Wait," said Tarzan. 

"But why, monsieur?" exclaimed the other petu 
lantly. " Permit me to pass, monsieur." 

"Wait," said Tarzan. "I think that there is a 
matter in here that you may doubtless be able to 
explain." 

The fellow had lost his temper by this time, and 
with a low oath seized Tarzan to push him to one side. 
The ape-man but smiled as he twisted the big fellow 
about and, grasping him by the collar of his coat, 
escorted him back to the table, struggling, cursing, 
and striking in futile remonstrance. It was Nikolas 
Rokoff's first experience with the muscles that had 
brought their savage owner victorious through en 
counters with Numa, the lion, and Terkoz, the great 
bull ape. 

[7] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



The man who had accused De Coude, and the two 
others who had been playing, stood looking expec 
tantly at the count. Several other passengers had 
drawn toward the scene of the altercation, and all 
awaited the denouement. 

"The fellow is crazy," said the count "Gentle 
men, I implore that one of you search me." 

" The accusation is ridiculous." This from one of 
the players. 

"You have but to slip your hand in the count's 
coat pocket and you will see that the accusation is 
quite serious," insisted the accuser. And then, as the 
others still hesitated to do so : " Come, I shall do it 
myself if no other will," and he stepped forward 
toward the count. 

"No, monsieur," said De Coude. "I will submit 
to a search only at the hands of a gentleman." 

" It is unnecessary to search the count. The cards 
are in his pocket. I myself saw them placed there." 

All turned in surprise toward this new speaker, to 
behold a very well-built young man urging a resisting 
captive toward them by the scruff of his neck. 

"It is a conspiracy," cried De Coude angrily. 
"There are no cards in my coat," and with that he 
ran his hand into his pocket. As he did so tense 
silence reigned in the little group. The count went 
dead white, and then very slowly he withdrew his hand, 
and in it were three cards. 

He looked at them in mute and horrified surprise, 
and slowly the red of mortification suffused his face. 

18] 



THE AFFAIR ON THE LINER 



Expressions of pity and contempt tinged the features 
of those who looked on at the death of a man's honor. 

"It is a conspiracy, monsieur." It was the gray- 
eyed stranger who spoke. " Gentlemen," he continued, 
" monsieur le count did not know that those cards were 
in his pocket. They were placed there without his 
knowledge as he sat at play. From where I sat in 
that chair yonder I saw the reflection of it all in the 
mirror before me. This person whom I just inter 
cepted in an effort to escape placed the cards in the 
count's pocket." 

De Coude had glanced from Tarzan to the man ia 
his grasp. 

" Mvn Dieu, Nikolas ! " he cried. " You ? " 

Then he turned to his accuser, and eyed him in 
tently for a moment. 

"And you, monsieur, I did not recognize you with 
out your beard. It quite disguises you, Paulvitch. 
I see it all now. It is quite clear, gentlemen." 

"What shall we do with them, monsieur?" asked 
Tarzan. "Turn them over to the captain?" 

" No, my friend," said the count hastily. " It is a 
personal matter, and I beg that you will let it drop. 
It is sufficient that I have been exonerated from the 
charge. The less we have to do with such fellows, 
the better. But, monsieur, how can I thank you for 
the great kindness you have done me? Permit me to 
offer you my card, and should the time come when I 
may serve you, remember that I am yours to com- 
mand." 

[9] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



Tarzan had released Rokoff, who, with his con 
federate, Paulvitch, had hastened from the smoking- 
room. Just as he was leaving, Rokoff turned to 
Tarzan. "Monsieur will have ample opportunity to 
regret his interference in the affairs of others." 

Tarzan smiled, and then, bowing to the count, 
handed him his own card. 

The count read: 



*M. $ea#i to. da&wvM' 



"Monsieur Tarzan," he said, "may indeed wish 
that he had never befriended me, for I can assure 
him that he has won the enmity of two of the most 
unmitigated scoundrels in all Europe. Avoid them, 
monsieur, by all means." 

"I have had more awe-inspiring enemies, my dear 
count," replied Tarzan, with a quiet smile, "yet I 
am still alive and unworried. I think that neither of 
these two will ever find the means to harm me." 

" Let us hope not, monsieur," said De Coude ; " but 
yet it will do no harm to be on the alert, and to know 
that you have made at least one enemy today who 
never forgets and never forgives, and in whose malig 
nant brain there are always hatching new atrocities 
to perpetrate upon those who have thwarted or 
offended him. To say that Nikolas Rokoff is a devil 
would be to place a wanton affront upon his satanic 
majesty." 

That night as Tarzan entered his cabin he found a 
[10] 



THE AFFAIR ON THE LINER 



folded note upon the floor that had evidently been 
pushed beneath the door. He opened it and read : 

M. TARZAN: 

Doubtless you did not realize the gravity of your 
offense, or you would not have done the thing you did 
today. I am willing to believe that you acted in igno 
rance and without any intention to offend a stranger. 
For this reason I shall gladly permit you to offer an 
apology, and on receiving your assurances that you will 
not again interfere in affairs that do not concern you, I 
shall drop the matter. 

Otherwise but I am sure that you will see the wis 
dom of adopting the course I suggest. 

Very respectfully, 

NIKOLAS ROKOFF. 

Tarzan permitted a grim smile to play about his 
lips for a moment, then he promptly dropped the 
matter from his mind, and went to bed. 

In a nearby cabin the Countess de Coude was 
speaking to her husband. 

"Why so grave, my dear Raoul?" she asked. 
"You have been as glum as could be all evening. 
What worries you ? " 

"Olga, Nikolas is on board. Did you know it?" 

"Nikolas!" she exclaimed. "But it is impossible, 
Raoul. It cannot be. Nikolas is under arrest in 
Germany." 

" So I thought myself until I saw him today him 
and that other arch scoundrel, Paulvitch. Olga, I 
cannot endure his persecution much longer. No, not 
even for you. Sooner or later I shall turn him over 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



to the authorities. In fact, I am half minded to 
explain all to the captain before we land. On a 
French liner it were an easy matter, Olga, perma 
nently to settle this Nemesis of ours." 

" Oh, no, Raoul ! " cried the countess, sinking to 
her knees before him as he sat with bowed head upon 
a divan. " Do not do that. Remember your promise 
to me. Tell me, Raoul, that you will not do that. 
Do not even threaten him, Raoul." 

De Coude took his wife's hands in his, and gazed 
upon her pale and troubled countenance for some time 
before he spoke, as though he would wrest from those 
beautiful eyes the real reason which prompted her to 
shield this man. 

"Let it be as you wish, Olga," he said at length. 
"I cannot understand. He has forfeited all claim 
upon your love, loyalty, or respect. He is a menace 
to your life and honor, and the life and honor of your 
husband. I trust you may never regret championing 
him." 

"I do not champion him, Raoul," she interrupted 
vehemently. "I believe that I hate him as much as 
you do, but Oh, Raoul, blood is thicker than water." 

" I should today have liked to sample the consistency 
of his," growled De Coude grimly. "The two de 
liberately attempted to besmirch my honor, Olga," 
and then he told her of all that had happened in the 
smoking-room. "Had it not been for this utter 
stranger, they had succeeded, for who would have 
accepted my unsupported word against the damning 

[12] 



THE AFFAIR ON THJS LINER 



evidence of those cards hidden on my person? I had 
almost begun to doubt myself when this Monsieur 
Tarzan dragged your precious Nikolas before us, and 
explained the whole cowardly transaction." 

" Monsieur Tarzan ? " asked the countess, in evident 
surprise. 

" Yes. Do you know him, Olga? " 

"I have seen him. A steward pointed him out to 
me." 

" I did not know that he was a celebrity," said the 
count. 

Olga de Coude changed the subject. She discovered 
suddenly that she might find it difficult to explain just 
why the steward had pointed out the handsome Mon 
sieur Tarzan to her. Perhaps she flushed the least 
little bit, for was not the count, her husband, gazing 
at her with a strangely quizzical expression. "Ah," 
she thought, " a guilty conscience is a most suspicious 
thing." 



[IS] 




II 

FORGING BONDS OF HATE AND 



IT was not until late the following afternoon that 
Tarzan saw anything more of the fellow passengers 
into the midst of whose affairs his love of fair play 
had thrust him. And then he came most unexpectedly 
upon Rokoff and Paulvitch at a moment when of all 
others the two might least appreciate his company. 

They were standing on deck at a point which was 
temporarily deserted, and as Tarzan came upon them 
they were in heated argument with a woman. Tarzan 
noted that she was richly appareled, and that her slen 
der, well-modeled figure denoted youth; but as she 
was heavily veiled he could not discern her features. 

Hie men were standing on either side of her, and 
the backs of all were toward Tarzan, so that he was 
quite close to them without their being aware of his 
presence. He noticed that Rokoff seemed to be threat 
ening, the woman pleading; but they spoke in a 
strange tongue, and he could only guess from appear 
ances that the girl was afraid. 

[14] 



FORGING BONDS OF HATE AND ? 

Rokoff's attitude was so distinctly filled with the 
threat of physical violence that the ape-man paused 
for an instant just behind the trio, instinctively sensing 
an atmosphere of danger. Scarcely had he hesitated 
ere the man seized the woman roughly by the wrist, 
twisting it as though to wring a promise from her 
through torture. What would have happened next 
had Rokoff had his way we may only conjecture, since 
he did not have his way at all. Instead, steel fingers 
gripped his shoulder, and he was swung unceremo 
niously around, to meet the cold gray eyes of the 
stranger who had thwarted him on the previous day. 

" Sapristi! " screamed the infuriated Rokoff. " What 
do you mean? Are you a fool that you thus again 
insult Nikolas Rokoff?" 

" This is my answer to your note, monsieur," said 
Tarzan, in a low voice. And then he hurled the fellow 
from him with such force that Rokoff lunged sprawl 
ing against the rail. 

" Name of a name ! " shrieked Rokoff. " Pig, but 
you shall die for this," and, springing to his feet, he 
rushed upon Tarzan, tugging the meanwhile to draw 
a revolver from his hip pocket. The girl shrank back 
in terror. 

"Nikolas!" she cried. "Do not oh, do not do 
that. Quick, monsieur, fly, or he will surely kill you ! " 
But instead of flying Tarzan advanced to meet the 
fellow. " Do not make a fool of yourself, monsieur," 
he said. 

Rokoff, who was in a perfect frenzy of rage at the 
[15] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



humiliation the stranger had put upon him, had at last 
succeeded in drawing the revolver. He had stopped, 
and now he deliberately raised it to Tarzan's breast 
and pulled the trigger. The hammer fell with a futile 
click on an empty chamber the ape-man's hand shot 
out like the head of an angry python; there was a 
quick wrench, and the revolver sailed far out across 
the ship's rail, and dropped into the Atlantic. 

For a moment the two men stood there facing one 
another. Rokoff had regained his self-possession. He 
was the first to speak. 

"Twice now has monsieur seen fit to interfere in 
matters which do not concern him. Twice he has taken 
it upon himself to humiliate Nikolas Rokoff. The 
first offense was overlooked on the assumption that 
monsieur acted through ignorance, but this affair shall 
not be overlooked. If monsieur does not know who 
Nikolas Rokoff is, this last piece of effrontery will 
insure that monsieur later has good reason to remem 
ber him." 

"That you are a coward and a scoundrel, mon 
sieur," replied Tarzan, " is all that I care to know of 
you," and he turned to ask the girl if the man had 
hurt her, but she had disappeared. Then, without 
even a glance toward Rokoff and his companion, he 
continued his stroll along the deck. 

Tarzan could not but wonder what manner of con 
spiracy was on foot, or what the scheme of the two 
men might be. There had been something rather 
familiar about the appearance of the veiled woman to 

[16] 



FORGING BONDS OF HATE AND 



whose rescue he had just come, but as he had not seen 
her face he could not be sure that he had ever seen 
her before. The only thing about her that he had 
particularly noticed was a ring of peculiar workman 
ship upon a finger of the hand that Rokoff had seized, 
and he determined to note the fingers of the women 
passengers he came upon thereafter, that he might 
discover the identity of her whom Rokoff was perse 
cuting, and learn if the fellow had offered her further 
annoyance. 

Tarzan had sought his deck chair, where he sat 
speculating on the numerous instances of human 
cruelty, selfishness, and spite that had fallen to his lot 
to witness since that (Jay in the jungle four years 
since that his eyes had first fallen upon a human being 
other than himself the sleek, black Kulonga, whose 
swift spear had that day found the vitals of Kala, the 
great she-ape, and robbed the youth, Tarzan, of the 
only mother he had ever known. 

He recalled the murder of King by the rat-faced 
Snipes ; the abandonment of Professor Porter and his 
party by the mutineers of the Arrow; the cruelty of 
the black warriors and women of Mbonga to their 
captives ; the petty jealousies of the civil and military 
officers of the West Coast colony that had afforded 
him his first introduction to the civilized world. 

" Mon Dieu! " he soliloquized, " but they are all 
alike. Cheating, murdering, lying, fighting, and all 
for things that the beasts of the jungle would not 
deign to possess money to purchase the effeminate 

[17] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



pleasures of weaklings. And yet withal bound down 
by silly customs that make them slaves to their un 
happy lot while firm in the belief that they be the 
lords of creation enjoying the only real pleasures of 
existence. In the jungle one would scarcely stand 
supinely aside while another took his mate. It is a 
silly world, an idiotic world, and Tarzan of the Apes 
was a fool to renounce the freedom and the happiness 
of his jungle to come into it." 

Presently, as he sat there, the sudden feeling came 
over him that eyes were watching from behind, and 
the old instinct of the wild beast broke through the 
thin veneer of civilization, so that Tarzan wheeled 
about so quickly that the eyes of the young woman 
who had been surreptitiously regarding him had not 
even time to drop before the gray eyes of the ape-man 
shot an inquiring look straight into them. Then, as 
they fell, Tarzan saw a faint wave of crimson creep 
swiftly over the now half -averted face. 

He smiled to himself at the result of his very un 
civilized and ungallant action, for he had not lowered 
his own eyes when they met those of the young woman. 
She was very young, and equally good to look upon. 
Further, there was something rather familiar about 
her that set Tarzan to wondering where he had seen 
her before. He resumed his former position, and 
presently he was aware that she had arisen and was 
leaving the deck. As she passed, Tarzan turned to 
watch her, in the hope that he might discover a clew 
to satisfy his mild curiosity as to her identity. 

[18] 



FORGING BONDS OF RATE AND ? 

Nor was he disappointed entirely, for as she walked 
away she raised one hand to the black, waving mass 
at the nape of her neck the peculiarly feminine 
gesture that admits cognizance of appraising eyes 
behind her and Tarzan saw upon a finger of this 
hand the ring of strange workmanship that he had 
seen upon the finger of the veiled woman a short time 
before. 

So it was this beautiful young woman Rokoff had 
been persecuting. Tarzan wondered in a lazy sort of 
way whom she might be, and what relations one so 
lovely could have with the surly, bearded Russian. 

After dinner that evening Tarzan strolled forward, 
where he remained until after dark, in conversation 
with the second officer, and when that gentleman's 
duties called him elsewhere Tarzan lolled lazily by 
the rail watching the play of the moonlight upon the 
gently rolling waters. He was half hidden by a davit, 
so that two men who approached along the deck did 
not see him, and as they passed Tarzan caught enough 
of their conversation to cause him to fall in behind 
them, to follow and learn what deviltry they were up 
to. He had recognized the voice as that of Rokoff, 
and had seen that his companion was Paulvitch. 

Tarzan had overheard but a few words: "And if 
she screams you may choke her until " But those 
had been enough to arouse the spirit of adventure 
within him, and so he kept the two men in sight as 
they walked, briskly now, along the deck. To the 
smoking-room he followed them, but they merely 

[19] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



halted at the doorway long enough, apparently, to 
assure themselves that one whose whereabouts they 
wished to establish was within. 

Then they proceeded directly to the first-class cabins 
upon the promenade deck. Here Tarzan found greater 
difficulty in escaping detection, but he managed to do 
so successfully. As they halted before one of the 
polished hardwood doors, Tarzan slipped into the 
shadow of a passageway not a dozen feet from them. 

To their knock a woman's voice asked in French: 
Who is it?" 

"It is I, Olga Nikolas," was the answer, in 
Rokoff's now familiar guttural. "May I come in?" 

" Why do you not cease persecuting me, Nikolas ? " 
came the voice of the woman from beyond the thin 
panel. " I have never harmed you." 

"Come, come, Olga," urged the man, in propitia 
tory tones ; " I but ask a half dozen words with you. 
I shall not harm you, nor shall I enter your cabin; 
but I cannot shout my message through the door." 

Tarzan heard the catch click as it was released from 
the inside. He stepped out from his hiding-place far 
enough to see what transpired when the door was 
opened, for he could not but recall the sinister words 
he had heard a few moments before upon the deck: 
"And if she screams you may choke her." 

Rokoff was standing directly in front of the door. 
Paulvitch had flattened himself against the paneled 
wall of the corridor beyond. The door opened. Rokoff 
half entered the room, and stood with his back against 

[20] 



FORGING BONDS OF HATE AND 



the door, speaking in a low whisper to the woman, 
whom Tarzan could not see. Then Tarzan heard the 
woman's voice, level, but loud enough to distinguish 
her words. 

"No, Nikolas," she was saying, "it is useless. 
Threaten as you will, I shall never accede to your 
demands. Leave the room, please ; you have no right 
here. You promised not to enter." 

"Very well, Olga, I shall not enter; but before I 
am done with you, you shall wish a thousand times 
that you had done at once the favor I have asked. 
In the end I shall win anyway, so you might as well 
save trouble and time for me, and disgrace for yourself 
and your " 

"Never, Nikolas!" interrupted the woman, and 
then Tarzan saw Rokoff turn and nod to Paulvitch, 
who sprang quickly toward the doorway of the cabin, 
rushing in past RokofF, who held the door open for 
him. Then the latter stepped quickly out. The door 
closed. Tarzan heard the click of the lock as Paul 
vitch turned it from the inside. Rokoff remained 
standing before the door, with head bent, as though 
to catch the words of the two within. A nasty smile 
curled his bearded lip. ' 

Tarzan could hear the woman's voice commanding 
the fellow to leave her cabin. "I shall send for my 
husband," she cried. " He will show you no mercy." 

Paulvitch's sneering laugh came through the 
polished panels. 

"The purser will fetch your husband, madame," 
[21] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



said the man. " In fact, that officer has already been 
notified that you are entertaining a man other than 
your husband behind the locked door of your cabin." 

" Bah ! " cried the woman. " My husband will 
know!" 

"Most assuredly your husband will know, but the 
purser will not ; nor will the newspaper men who shall 
in some mysterious way hear of it on our landing. 
But they will think it a fine story, and so will all your 
friends when they read of it at breakfast on let me 
see, this is Tuesday yes, when they read of it at 
breakfast next Friday morning. Nor will it detract 
from the interest they will all feel when they learn 
that the man whom madame entertained is a Russian 
servant her brother's valet, to be quite exact." 

"Alexis Paulvitch," came the woman's voice, cold 
and fearless, " you are a coward, and when I whisper 
a certain name in your ear you will think better of 
your demands upon me and your threats against me, 
and then you will leave my cabin quickly, nor do I 
think that ever again will you, at least, annoy me," and 
there came a moment's silence in which Tarzan could 
imagine the woman leaning toward the scoundrel and 
whispering the thing she had hinted at into his ear. 
Only a moment of silence, and then a startled oath 
from the man the scuffling of feet a woman's 
scream and silence. 

But scarcely had the cry ceased before the ape-man 
had leaped from his hiding-place. Rokoif started to 
run, but Tarzan grasped him by the collar and 



FORGING BONDS OF HATE AND 



dragged him back. Neither spoke, for both felt in 
stinctively that murder was being done in that room, 
and Tarzan was confident that Rokoff had had no 
intention that his confederate should go that far he 
felt that the man's aims were deeper than that 
deeper and even more sinister than brutal, cold-blooded 
murder. 

Without hesitating to question those within, the 
ape-man threw his giant shoulder against the frail 
panel, and in a shower of splintered wood he entered 
the cabin, dragging Rokoff after him. Before him, 
on a couch, the woman lay, and on top of her was 
Paulvitch, his fingers gripping the fair throat, while 
his victim's hands beat futilely at his face, tearing 
desperately at the cruel fingers that were forcing the 
life from her. 

The noise of his entrance brought Paulvitch to his 
feet, where he stood glowering menacingly at Tarzan. 
The girl rose falteringly to a sitting posture upon 
the couch. One hand was at her throat, and her breath 
came in little gasps. Although disheveled and very 
pale, Tarzan recognized her as the young woman 
whom he had caught staring at him on deck earlier in 
the day. 

" What is the meaning of this ? " said Tarzan, turn 
ing to Rokoff, whom he intuitively singled out as the 
instigator of the outrage. The man remained silent, 
scowling. " Touch the button, please," continued the 
ape-man; "we will have one of the ship's officers 
here this affair has gone quite far enough." 

[23] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



"No, no," cried the*girl, coming suddenly to her 
feet. " Please do not do that. I am sure that there 
was no real intention to harm me. I angered this 
person, and he lost control of himself, that is all. I 
would not care to have the matter go further, please, 
monsieur," and there was such a note of pleading in 
her voice that Tarzan could not press the matter, 
though his better judgment warned him that there 
was something afoot here of which the proper authori 
ties should be made cognizant. 

"You wish me to do nothing, then, in the matter?'* 
he asked. 

" Nothing, please," she replied. 

"You are content that these two scoundrels should 
continue persecuting you ? " 

She did not seem to know what answer to make, and 
looked very troubled and unhappy. Tarzan saw a 
malicious grin of triumph curl RokofPs lip. The girl 
evidently was in fear of these two she dared not 
express her real desires before them. 

"Then," said Tarzan, "I shall act on my own 
responsibility. To you," he continued, turning to 
Rokoff, "and this includes your accomplice, I may 
say that from now on to the end of the voyage I shall 
take it upon myself to keep an eye on you, and should 
there chance to come to my notice any act of either 
one of you that might even remotely annoy this young 
woman you shall be called to account for it directly 
to me, ncr shall the calling or the accounting be 
pleasant experiences for either of you. 

[34] 



FORGING BONDS OF HATE AND 



"Now get out of here," and he grabbed Rokoff 
and Paulvitch each by the scruff of the neck and thrust 
them forcibly through the doorway, giving each an 
added impetus down the corridor with the toe of his 
boot. Then he turned back to the stateroom and the 
girl. She was looking at him in wide-eyed astonish 
ment. 

"And you, madame, will confer a great favor upon 
me if you will but let me know if either of those rascals 
troubles you further." 

"Ah, monsieur," she answered, "I hope that you 
will not suffer for the kind deed you attempted. You 
have made a very wicked and resourceful enemy, who 
will stop at nothing to satisfy his hatred. You must 
be very careful indeed, Monsieur " 

"Pardon me, madame, my name is Tarzan." 

" Monsieur Tarzan. And because I would not con 
sent to notify the officers, do not think that I am not 
sincerely grateful to you for the brave and chivalrous 
protection you rendered me. Good night, Monsieur 
Tarzan. I shall never forget the debt I owe you," 
and, with a most winsome smile that displayed a row 
of perfect teeth, the girl curtsied to Tarzan, who 
bade her good night and made his way on deck. 

It puzzled the man considerably that there should 
be two on board this girl and Count de Coude 
who suffered indignities at the hands of Rokoff and 
his companion, and yet would not permit the offenders 
to be brought to justice. Before he turned in that 
night his thoughts reverted many times to the beauti- 

[25] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



ful young woman into the evidently tangled web of 
whose life fate had so strangely introduced him. It 
occurred to him that he had not learned her name. 
That she was married had been evidenced by the nar 
row gold band that encircled the third finger of her 
left hand. Involuntarily he wondered who the lucky 
man might be. 

Tarzan saw nothing further of any of the actors 
in the little drama that he had caught a fleeting 
glimpse of until late in the afternoon of the last day 
of the voyage. Then he came suddenly face to face 
with the young woman as the two approached their 
deck chairs from opposite directions. She greeted 
him with a pleasant smile, speaking almost immediately 
of the affair he had witnessed in her cabin two nights 
before. It was as though she had been perturbed by 
a conviction that he might have construed her acquaint 
ance with such men as Rokoff and Paulvitch as a 
personal reflection upon herself. 

"I trust that monsieur has not judged me," she 
said, "by the unfortunate occurrence of Tuesday 
evening. I have suffered much on account of it this 
is the first time that I have ventured from my cabin 
since ; I have been ashamed," she concluded simply. 

" One does not judge the gazelle by the lions that 
attack it," replied Tarzan. "I had seen those two 
work before in the smoking-room the day prior to 
their attack on you, if I recollect it correctly, and so, 
knowing their methods, I am convinced that their 
enmity is a sufficient guarantee of the integrity of its 
[26] 



FORGING BONDS OF HATE AND 



object. Men such as they must cleave only to the vile, 
hating all that is noblest and best." 

"It is very kind of you to put it that way," she 
replied, smiling. " I have already heard of the matter 
of the card game. My husband told me the entire 
story. He spoke especially of the strength and brav 
ery of Monsieur Tarzan, to whom he feels that he 
owes an immense debt of gratitude." 

"Your husband?" repeated Tarzan questioningly. 

" Yes. I am the Countess de Coude." 

"I am already amply repaid, madame, in knowing 
that I have rendered a service to the wife of the 
Count de Coude." 

"Alas, monsieur, I already am so greatly indebted 
to you that I may never hope to settle my own account, 
so pray do not add further to my obligations," and 
she smiled so sweetly upon him that Tarzan felt that 
a man might easily attempt much greater things than 
he had accomplished, solely for the pleasure of receiv 
ing the benediction of that smile. 

He did not see her again that day, and in the rush 
of landing on the following morning he missed her 
entirely, but there had been something in the expres 
sion of her eyes as they parted on deck the previous 
day that haunted him. It had been almost wistful as 
they had spoken of the strangeness of the swift friend 
ships of an ocean crossing, and of the equal ease with 
which they are broken forever. 

Tarzan wondered if he should ever see her again. 

[27] 




in 

WHAT HAPPENED IN THE RUE MAULE 

N his arrival in Paris, Tarzan had gone directly to 
the apartments of his old friend, D'Arnot, where 
the naval lieutenant had scored him roundly for his 
decision to renounce the title and estates that were 
rightly his from his father, John Clayton, the late 
Lord Greystoke. 

"You must be mad, my friend," said D'Arnot, 
"thus lightly to give up not alone wealth and posi 
tion, but an opportunity to prove beyond doubt to all 
the world that in your veins flows the noble blood of 
two of England's most honored houses instead of 
the blood of a savage she-ape. It is incredible that 
they could have believed you Miss Porter least of all. 

" Why, I never did believe it, even back in the wilds 
of your African jungle, when you tore the raw meat of 
your kills with mighty jaws, like some wild beast, and 
wiped your greasy hands upon your thighs. Even 
then, before there was the slightest proof to the con- 

[28] 



WHAT HAPPENED IN THE RUE MAULE 

trary, I knew that you were mistaken in the belief that 
Kala was your mother. 

"And now, with your father's diary of the terrible 
life led by him and your mother on that wild African 
shore; with the account of your birth, and, final and 
most convincing proof of all, your own baby finger 
prints upon the pages of it, it seems incredible to me 
that you are willing to remain a nameless, penniless 
vagabond." 

"I do not need any better name than Tarzan," 
replied the ape-man ; " and as for remaining a penni 
less vagabond, I have no intention of so doing. In 
fact, the next, and let us hope the last, burden that I 
shall be forced to put upon your unselfish friendship 
will be the finding of employment for me." 

" Pooh, pooh ! " scoffed D'Arnot. " You know that 
I did not mean that. Have I not told you a dozen 
times that I have enough for twenty men, and that 
half of what I have is yours ? And if I gave it all to 
you, would it represent even the tenth part of the 
value I place upon your friendship, my Tarzan? 
Would it repay the services you did me in Africa? 
I do not forget, my friend, that but for you and your 
wondrous bravery I had died at the stake in the village 
of Mbonga's cannibals. Nor do I forget that to your 
self-sacrificing devotion I owe the fact that I recov 
ered from the terrible wounds I received at their 
hands I discovered later something of what it meant 
to you to remain with me in the amphitheater of the 
apes while your heart was urging you on to the coast. 

[29] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



" When we finally came there, and found that Miss 
Porter and her party had left, I commenced to realize 
something of what you had done for an utter stranger. 
Nor am I trying to repay you with money, Tarzan. 
It is that just at present you need money; were it 
sacrifice that I might offer you it were the same my 
friendship must always be yours, because our tastes 
are similar, and I admire you. That I cannot com 
mand, but the money I can and shall." 

"Well," laughed Tarzan, "we shall not quarrel 
over the money. I must live, and so I must have it; 
but I shall be more contented with something to do. 
You cannot show me your friendship in a more con 
vincing manner than to find employment for me I 
shall die of inactivity in a short while. As for my 
birthright it is in good hands. Clayton is not 
guilty of robbing me of it. He truly believes that 
he is the real Lord Greystoke, and the chances are that 
he will make a better English lord than a man who 
was born and raised in an African jungle. You 
know that I am but half civilized even now. Let me 
see red in anger but for a moment, and all the in 
stincts of the savage beast that I really am, submerge 
what little I possess of the milder ways of culture and 
refinement. 

"And then again, had I declared myself I should 
have robbed the woman I love of the wealth and posi 
tion that her marriage to Clayton will now insure to 
her. I could not have done that could I, Paul ? 

" Nor is the matter of birth of great importance to 
[30] 



WHAT HAPPENED IN THE RUE MAULE 

me," he went on, without waiting for a reply. " Raised 
as I have been, I see no worth in man or beast that is 
not theirs by virtue of their own mental or physical 
prowess. And so I am as happy to think of Kala as 
my mother as I would be to try to picture the poor, 
unhappy little English girl who passed away a year 
after she bore me. Kala was always kind to me in her 
fierce and savage way. I must have nursed at her 
hairy breast from the time that my own mother died. 
She fought for me against the wild denizens of the 
forest, and against the savage members of our tribe, 
with the ferocity of real mother love. 

"And I, on my part, loved her, Paul. I did not 
realize how much until after the cruel spear and the 
poisoned arrow of Mbonga's black warrior had stolen 
her away from me. I was still a child when that 
occurred, and I threw myself upon her dead body and 
wept out my anguish as a child might for his own 
mother. To you, my friend, she would have appeared 
a hideous and ugly creature, but to me she was beauti 
ful so gloriously does love transfigure its object. 
And so I am perfectly content to remain forever the 
son of Kala, the she-ape." 

"I do not admire you the less for your loyalty," 
said D'Arnot, "but the time will come when you will 
be glad to claim your own. Remember what I say, 
and let us hope that it will be as easy then as it is now. 
You must bear in mind that Professor Porter and Mr. 
Philander are tne only people in the world who can 
swear that the little skeleton found in the cabin with 

[31] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



those of your father and mother was that of an infant 
anthropoid ape, and not the offspring 1 of Lord and 
Lady Greystoke. That evidence is most important. 
They are both old men. They may not live many 
years longer. And then, did it not occur to you that 
once Miss Porter knew the truth she would break her 
engagement with Clayton? You might easily have 
your title, your estates, and the woman you love, 
Tarzan. Had you not thought of that?" 

Tarzan shook his head. "You do not know her," 
he said. " Nothing could bind her closer to her bar 
gain than some misfortune to Clayton. She is from 
an old southern family in America, and southerners 
pride themselves upon their loyalty." 

Tarzan spent the two following weeks renewing his 
former brief acquaintance with Paris. In the daytime 
he haunted the libraries and picture galleries. He had 
become an omnivorous reader, and the world of possi 
bilities that were opened to him in this seat of culture 
and learning fairly appalled him when he contem 
plated the very infinitesimal crumb of the sum total of 
human knowledge that a single individual might hope 
to acquire even after a lifetime of study and research ; 
but he learned what he could by day, and threw him 
self into a search for relaxation and amusement at 
night. Nor did he find Paris a whit less fertile field 
for his nocturnal avocation. 

If he smoked too many cigarettes and drank too 
much absinth it was because he took civilization as 
he found it, and did the things that he found his civil- 

[32] 



WHAT HAPPENED IN THE RUE MAULE 

ized brothers doing. The life was a new and alluring 
one, and in addition he had a sorrow in his breast and 
great longing which he knew could never be fulfilled, 
and so he sought in study and in dissipation the 
two extremes to forget the past and inhibit contem 
plation of the future. 

He was sitting in a music hall one evening, sipping 
his absinth and admiring the art of a certain famous 
Russian dancer, when he caught a passing glimpse of 
a pair of evil black eyes upon him. The man turned 
and was lost in the crowd at the exit before Tarzan 
could catch a good look at him, but he was confident 
that he had seen those eyes before and that they had 
been fastened on him this evening through no passing 
accident. He had had the uncanny feeling for some 
time that he was being watched, and it was in response 
to this animal instinct that was strong within him that 
he had turned suddenly and surprised the eyes in the 
very act of watching him. 

Before he left the music hall the matter had been 
forgotten, nor did he notice the swarthy individual 
who stepped deeper into the shadows of an opposite 
doorway as Tarzan emerged from the brilliantly 
lighted amusement hall. 

Had Tarzan but known it, he had been followed 
many times from this and other places of amusement, 
but seldom if ever had he been alone. Tonight 
D'Arnot had had another engagement, and Tarzan 
had come by himself. 

As he turned in the direction he was accustomed to 
[33] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



taking from this part of Paris to his apartments, the 
watcher across the street ran from his hiding-place 
and hurried on ahead at a rapid pace. 

Tarzan had been wont to traverse the Rue Maule 
on his way home at night. Because it was very quiet 
and very dark it reminded him more of his beloved 
African jungle than did the noisy and garish streets 
surrounding it. If you are familiar with your Paris 
you will recall the narrow, forbidding precincts of the 
Rue Maule. If you are not, you need but ask the 
police about it to learn that in all Paris there is no 
street to which you should give a wider berth after 
dark. 

On this night Tarzan had proceeded some two 
squares through the dense shadows of the squalid old 
tenements which line this dismal way when he was 
attracted by screams and cries for help from the third 
floor of an opposite building. The voice was a 
woman's. Before the echoes of her first cries had died 
Tarzan was bounding up the stairs and through the 
dark corridors to her rescue. 

At the end of the corridor on the third landing a 
door stood slightly ajar, and from within Tarzan 
heard again the same appeal that had lured him from 
the street. Another instant found him in the center 
of a dimly-lighted room. An oil lamp burned upon a 
high, old-fashioned mantel, casting its dim rays over 
a dozen repulsive figures. All but one were men. The 
other was a woman of about thirty. Her face, marked 
by low passions and dissipation, might once have been 

[34] 



WHAT HAPPENED IN THE RUE MAULE 

lovely. She stood with one hand at her throat, crouch 
ing against the farther wall. 

" Help, monsieur," she cried in a low voice as Tarzan 
entered the room ; " they were killing me." 

As Tarzan turned toward the men about him he 
saw the crafty, evil faces of habitual criminals. He 
wondered that they had made no effort to escape. A 
movement behind him caused him to turn. Two things 
his eyes saw, and one of them caused him considerable 
wonderment. A man was sneaking stealthily from the 
room, and in the brief glance that Tarzan had of him 
he saw that it was Rokoff. 

But the other thing that he saw was of more imme 
diate interest. It was a great brute of a fellow tip 
toeing upon him from behind with a huge bludgeon in 
his hand, and then, as the man and his confederates 
saw that he was discovered, there was a concerted rush 
upon Tarzan from all sides. Some of the men drew 
knives. Others picked up chairs, while the fellow with 
the bludgeon raised it high above his head in a mighty 
swing that would have crushed Tarzan's head had it 
ver descended upon it. 

But the brain, and the agility, and the muscles that 
had coped with the mighty strength and cruel crafti 
ness of Terkoz and Numa in the fastness of their 
savage jungle were not to be so easily subdued as 
these apaches of Paris had believed. 

Selecting his most formidable antagonist, the fellow 
with the bludgeon, Tarzan charged full upon him, 
dodging the falling weapon, and catching the maji a 

[35] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



terrific blow on the point of the chin that felled him 
in his tracks. 

Then he turned upon the others. This was sport. 
He was reveling in the joy of battle and the lust of 
blood. As though it had been but a brittle shell, to 
break at the least rough usage, the thin veneer of his 
civilization fell from him, and ten burly villains found 
themselves penned in a small room with a wild and 
savage beast, against whose steel muscles their puny 
strength was less than futile. 

At the end of the corridor without stood Rokoff, 
waiting the outcome of the affair. He wished to be 
sure that Tarzan was dead before he left, but it was 
not a part of his plan to be one of those within the 
room when the murder occurred. 

The woman still stood where she had when Tarzan 
entered, but her face had undergone a number of 
changes with the few minutes which had elapsed. From 
the semblance of distress which it had worn when 
Tarzan first saw it, it had changed to one of craftiness 
as he had wheeled to meet the attack from behind ; but 
the change Tarzan had not seen. 

Later an expression of surprise and then one of hor 
ror superseded the others. And who may wonder. For 
the immaculate gentleman her cries had lured to what 
was to have been his death had been suddenly meta 
morphosed into a demon of revenge. Instead of soft 
muscles and a weak resistance, she was looking upon a 
veritable Hercules gone mad. 

" Mon Dieu! " she cried ; " he is a beast ! " For the 
[36] 



WHAT HAPPENED IN THE RUE MAULE 

strong, white teeth of the ape-man had found the 
throat of one of his assailants, and Tarzan fought as 
he had learned to fight with the great bull apes of the 
tribe of Kerchak. 

He was in a dozen places at once, leaping hither 
and thither about the room in sinuous bounds that 
reminded the woman of a panther she had seen at the 
zoo. Now a wrist-bone snapped in his iron grip, now 
a shoulder was wrenched from its socket as he forced a 
victim's arm backward and upward. 

With shrieks of pain the men escaped into the hall 
way as quickly as they could ; but even before the first 
one staggered, bleeding and broken, from the room, 
Rokoff had seen enough to convince him that Tarzan 
would not be the one to lie dead in that house this 
night, and so the Russian had hastened to a nearby 
den and telephoned the police that a man was commit 
ting murder on the third floor of Rue Maule, 27. 

When the officers arrived they found three men 
groaning on the floor, a frightened woman lying upon 
a filthy bed, her face buried in her arms, and what 
appeared to be a well-dressed young gentleman 
standing in the center of the room awaiting the re- 
enforcements which he had thought the footsteps of 
the officers hurrying up the stairway had announced 
but they were mistaken in the last ; it was a wild beast 
that looked upon them through those narrowed lids 
and steel-gray eyes. With the smell of blood the last 
vestige of civilization had deserted Tarzan, and now 
he stood at bay, like a lion surrounded by hunters, 

[37] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



awaiting the next overt act, and crouching to charge 
its author. 

"What has happened here?" asked one of the 
policemen. 

Tarzan explained briefly, but when he turned to 
the woman for confirmation of his statement he was 
appalled by her reply. 

"He lies!" she screamed shrilly, addressing the 
policemen. " He came to my room while I was alone, 
and for no good purpose. When I repulsed him he 
would have killed me had not my screams attracted 
these gentlemen, who were passing the house at the 
time. He is a devil, monsieurs; alone he has all but 
killed ten men with his bare hands and his teeth." 

So shocked was Tarzan by her ingratitude that 
for a moment he was struck dumb. The police were 
inclined to be a little skeptical, for they had had other 
dealings with this same lady and her lovely coterie of 
gentlemen friends. However, they were policemen, not 
judges, so they decided to place all the inmates of the 
room under arrest, and let another, whose business it 
was, separate the innocent from the guilty. 

But they found that it was one thing to tell this 
well-dressed young man that he was under arrest, but 
quite another to enforce it. 

"I am guilty of no offense," he said quietly. "I 
have but sought to defend myself. I do not know why 
the woman has told you what she has. She can have 
no enmity against me, for never until I came to this 
room in response to her cries for help had I seen her." 

[38] 



WHAT HAPPENED IN THE RUE MAULE 

" Come, come," said one of the officers ; " there are 
judges to listen to all that," and he advanced to lay 
his hand upon Tarzan's shoulder. An instant later 
he lay crumpled in a corner of the room, and then, as 
his comrades rushed in upon the ape-man, they expe 
rienced a taste of what the apaches had but recently 
gone through. So quickly and so roughly did he 
handle them that they had not even an opportunity to 
draw their revolvers. 

During the brief fight Tarzan had noted the open 
window and, beyond, the stem of a tree, or a telegraph 
pole he could not tell which. As the last officer 
went down, one of his fellows succeeded in drawing his 
revolver and, from where he lay on the floor, fired at 
Tarzan. The shot missed, and before the man could 
fire again Tarzan had swept the lamp from the mantel 
and plunged the room into darkness. 

The next they saw was a lithe form spring to the 
sill of the open window and leap, panther-like, onto 
the pole across the walk. When the police gathered 
themselves together and reached the street their 
prisoner was nowhere to be seen. 

They did not handle the woman and the men who 
had not escaped any too gently when they took them 
to the station ; they were a very sore and humiliated 
detail of police. It galled them to think that it would 
be necessary to report that a single unarmed man had 
wiped the floor with the whole lot of them, and then 
escaped them as easily as though they had not existed. 

The officer who had remained in the ^street swore 
[39] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



that no one had leaped from the window or left the 
building from the time they entered until they had 
come out. His comrades thought that he lied, but 
they could not prove it. 

When Tarzan found himself clinging to the pole 
outside the window, he followed his jungle instinct 
and looked below for enemies before he ventured down. 
It was well he did, for just beneath stood a policeman. 
Above, Tarzan saw no one, so he went up instead of 
down. 

The top of the pole was opposite the roof of the 
building, so it was but the work of an instant for 
the muscles that had for years sent him hurtling 
through the treetops of his primeval forest to carry 
him across the little space between the pole and the 
roof. From one building he went to another, and so 
on, with much climbing, until at a cross street he dis 
covered another pole, down which he ran to the 
ground. 

For a square or two he ran swiftly ; then he turned 
into a little all-night cafe and in the lavatory removed 
the evidences of his over-roof promenade from hands 
and clothes. When he emerged a few moments later 
it was to saunter slowly on toward his apartments. 

Not far from them he came to a well-lighted boule 
vard which it was necessary to cross. As he stood 
directly beneath a brilliant arc light, waiting for a 
limousine that was approaching to pass him, he heard 
his name called in a sweet feminine voice. Looking 
up, he met the smiling eyes of Olga de Coude as she 

[40] 



WHAT HAPPENED IN THE RUE MAULE 

leaned forward upon the back seat of the machine. 
He bowed very low in response to her friendly greet 
ing. When he straightened up the machine had borne 
her away. 

"Rokoff and the Countess de Coude both in the 
same evening," he soliloquized ; " Paris is not so large, 
after all." 




IV 



THE COUNTESS EXPLAINS 

'VT'OUR Paris is more dangerous than my savage 

-- jungles, Paul," concluded Tarzan, after nar 
rating his adventures to his friend the morning follow 
ing his encounter with the apaches and police in the 
Rue Maule. "Why did they lure me there? Were 
they hungry ? " 

D'Arnot feigned a horrified shudder, but he laughed 
at the quaint suggestion. 

"It is difficult to rise above the jungle standards 
and reason by the light of civilized ways, is it not, my 
friend ? " he queried banteringly . 

"Civilized ways, forsooth," scoffed Tarzan. 
" Jungle standards do not countenance wanton atroc 
ities. There we kill for food and for self-preserva 
tion, or in the winning of mates and the protection of 
the young. Always, you see, in accordance with the 
dictates of some great natural law. But here ! Faugh, 
your civilized man is more brutal than the brutes. He 



THE COUNTESS EXPLAINS 



kills wantonly, and, worse than that, he utilizes a noble 
sentiment, the brotherhood of man, as a lure to entice 
his unwary victim to his doom. It was in answer to 
an appeal from a fellow being that I hastened to that 
room where the assassins lay in wait for me. 

"I did not realize, I could not realize for a long 
time afterward, that any woman could sink to such 
moral depravity as that one must have to call a would- 
be rescuer to death. But it must have been so the 
sight of Rokoff there and the woman's later repudia 
tion of me to the police make it impossible to place 
any other construction upon her acts. Rokoff must 
have known that I frequently passed through the Rue 
Maule. He lay in wait for me his entire scheme 
worked out to the last detail, even to the woman's 
story in case a hitch should occur in the program such 
as really did happen. It is all perfectly plain to me." 

" Well," said D'Arnot, " among other things, it has 
taught you what I have been unable to impress upon 
you that the Rue Maule is a good place to avoid 
after dark." 

" On the contrary," replied Tarzan, with a smile, 
" it has convinced me that it is the one worth-while 
street in all Paris. Never again shall I miss an oppor 
tunity to traverse it, for it has given me the first real 
entertainment I have had since I left Africa." 

"It may give you more than you will relish even 
without another visit," said D'Arnot. "You are not 
through with the police yet, remember. I know the 
Paris police well enough to assure you that they will 

[43] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



not soon forget what you did to them. Sooner or 
later they will get you, my dear Tarzan, and then 
they will lock the wild man of the woods up behind 
iron bars. How will you like that ? " 

"They will never lock Tarzan of the Apes behind 
iron bars," replied he, grimly. 

There was something in the man's voice as he said 
it that caused D'Arnot to look up sharply at his 
friend. What he saw in the set jaw and the cold, gray 
eyes made the young Frenchman very apprehensive 
for this great child, who could recognize no law 
mightier than his own mighty physical prowess. He 
saw that something must be done to set Tarzan right 
with the police before another encounter was possible. 

" You have much to learn, Tarzan," he said gravely. 
"The law of man must be respected, whether you 
relish it or no. Nothing but trouble can come to you 
and your friends should you persist in defying the 
police. I can explain it to them once for you, and 
that I shall do this very day, but hereafter you must 
obey the law. If its representatives say ' Come,' you 
must come ; if they say ' Go,' you must go. Now we 
shall go to my great friend in the department and fix 
up this matter of the Rue Maule. Come ! " 

Together they entered the office of the police official 
a half hour later. He was very cordial. He remem 
bered Tarzan from the visit the two had made him 
several months prior in the matter of finger prints. 

When D'Arnot had concluded the narration of the 
events which had transpired the previous evening, a 

[44] 



THE COUNTESS EXPLAINS 



grim smile was playing about the lips of the police 
man. He touched a button near his hand, and as he 
waited for the clerk to respond to its summons he 
searched through the papers on his desk for one which 
he finally located. 

46 Here, Joubon," he said as the clerk entered. 
"Summon these officers have them come to me at 
once," and he handed the man the paper he had sought. 
Then he turned to Tarzan. 

"You have committed a very grave offense, mon 
sieur," he said, not unkindly, " and but for the expla 
nation made by our good friend here I should be 
inclined to judge you harshly. I am, instead, about 
to do a rather unheard-of thing. I have summoned 
the officers whom you maltreated last night. They 
shall hear Lieutenant D'Arnot's story, and then I 
shall leave it to their discretion to say whether you 
shall be prosecuted or not. 

" You have much to learn about the ways of civili 
zation. Things that seem strange or unnecessary to 
you, you must learn to accept until you are able to 
judge the motives behind them. The officers whom 
you attacked were but doing their duty. They had 
no discretion in the matter. Every day they risk their 
lives in the protection of the lives or property of 
others. They would do the same for you. They are 
very brave men, and they are deeply mortified that a 
single unarmed man bested and beat them. 

"Make it easy for them to overlook what you did. 
Unless I am gravely in error you are yourself a very 

[45] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



brave man, and brave men are proverbially magnan 
imous." 

Further conversation was interrupted by the ap 
pearance of the four policemen. As their eyes fell 
on Tarzan, surprise was writ large on each counte 
nance. 

" My children," said the official, " here is the gentle 
man whom you met in the Rue Maule last evening. He 
has come voluntarily to give himself up. I wish you 
to listen attentively to Lieutenant IVArnot, who will 
tell you a part of the story of monsieur's life. It may 
explain his attitude toward you of last night. Pro 
ceed, my dear lieutenant." 

D'Arnot spoke to the policemen for half an hour. 
He told them something of Tarzan's wild jungle life. 
He explained the savage training that had taught him 
to battle like a wild beast in self-preservation. It be 
came plain to them that the man had been guided by 
instinct rather than reason in his attack upon them. 
He had not understood their intentions. To him they 
had been little different from any of the various forms 
of life he had been accustomed to in his native jungle, 
where practically all were his enemies. 

" Your pride has been wounded," said D'Arnot, in 
conclusion. " It is the fact that this man overcame you 
that hurts the most. But you need feel no shame. 
You would not make apologies for defeat had you 
been penned in that small room with an African Kon, 
or with the great Gorilla of the jungles. 

" And yet you were battling with muscles that have 
[46] 



THE COUNTESS EXPLAINS 



time and time again been pitted, and always vic 
toriously, against these terrors of the dark continent. 
It is no disgrace to fall beneath the superhuman 
strength of Tarzan of the Apes." 

And then, as the men stood looking first at Tarzan 
and then at their superior the ape-man did the one 
thing which was needed to erase the last remnant of 
animosity which they might have felt for him. With 
outstretched hand he advanced toward them. 

" I am sorry for the mistake I made," he said simply. 
"Let us be friends." And that was the end of the 
whole matter, except that Tarzan became a subject of 
much conversation in the barracks of the police, and 
increased the number of his friends by four brave men 
at least. 

On their return to D'Arnot's apartments the lieuten 
ant found a letter awaiting him from an English 
friend, William Cecil Clayton, Lord Greystoke. The 
two had maintained a correspondence since the birth 
of their friendship on that ill-fated expedition in search 
of Jane Porter after her theft by Terkoz, the bull 
ape. 

"They are to be married in London in about two 
months," said D'Arnot, as he completed his perusal of 
the letter. Tarzan did not need to be told who was 
meant by "they." He made no reply, but he was 
very quiet and thoughtful during the balance of the 
day. 

That evening they attended the opera. Tarzan's 
mind was still occupied by his gloomy thoughts. He 

[47] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



paid little or no attention to what was transpiring 
upon the stage. Instead he saw only the lovely vision 
of a beautiful American girl, and heard naught but a 
sad, sweet voice acknowledging that his love was re 
turned. And she was to marry another ! 

He shook himself to be rid of his unwelcome 
thoughts, and at the same instant he felt eyes upon 
him. With the instinct that was his by virtue of train 
ing he looked up squarely into the eyes that were look 
ing at him, to find that they were shining from the 
smiling face of Olga, Countess de Coude. As Tarzan 
returned her bow he was positive that there was an 
invitation in her look, almost a plea. 

The next intermission found him beside her in her 
box. 

"I have so much wished to see you," she was say 
ing. " It has troubled me not a little to think that 
after the services you rendered to both my husband 
and myself no adequate explanation was ever made 
you of what must have seemed ingratitude on our part 
in not taking the necessary steps to prevent a repeti 
tion of the attacks upon us by those two men." 

" You wrong me," replied Tarzan. " My thoughts 
of you have been only the most pleasant. You must 
not feel that any explanation is due me. Have they 
annoyed you further?" 

"They never cease," she replied sadly. "I feel 
that I must tell some one, and I do not know another 
who so deserves an explanation as you. You must 
permit me to do so. It may be of service to you, for 

[48] 



THE COUNTESS EXPLAINS 



I know Nikolas Rokoff quite well enough to be posi 
tive that you have not seen the last of him. He will 
find some means to be revenged upon you. What I 
wish to tell you may be of aid to you in combating 
any scheme of revenge he may harbor. I cannot tell 
you here, but tomorrow I shall be at home to Mon 
sieur Tarzan at five." 

" It will be an eternity until tomorrow at five," he 
said, as he bade her good night. 

From a corner of the theater Rokoff and Paulvitch 
saw Monsieur Tarzan in the box of the Countess de 
Coude, and both men smiled. 

At four-thirty the following afternoon a swarthy, 
bearded man rang the bell at the servants' entrance of 
the palace of the Count de Coude. The footman who 
opened the door raised his eyebrows in recognition as 
he saw who stood without. A low conversation passed 
between the two. 

At first the footman demurred from some proposi 
tion that the bearded one made, but an instant later 
something passed from the hand of the caller to the 
hand of the servant. Then the latter turned and led 
the visitor by a roundabout way to a little curtained 
alcove off the apartment in which the countess was 
wont to serve tea of an afternoon. 

A half hour later Tarzan was ushered into the room, 
and presently his hostess entered, smiling, and with 
outstretched hands. 

" I am so glad that you came," she said. 

" Nothing could have prevented," he replied. 
[49] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



For a few moments they spoke of the opera, of the 
topics that were then occupying the attention of Paris, 
of the pleasure of renewing their brief acquaintance 
which had had its inception under such odd circum 
stances, and this brought them to the subject that was 
uppermost in the minds of both. 

"You must have wondered," said the countess 
finally, " what the object of RokofPs persecution could 
be. It is very simple. The count is intrusted with 
many of the vital secrets of the ministry of war. He 
often has in his possession papers that foreign powers 
would give a fortune to possess secrets of state that 
their agents would commit murder and worse than 
murder to learn. 

"There is such a matter now in his possession that 
would make the fame and fortune of any Russian who 
could divulge it to his government. Rokoff and Paul- 
vitch are Russian spies. They will stop at nothing to 
procure this information. The affair on the liner I 
mean the matter of the card game was for the pur 
pose of blackmailing the knowledge they seek from 
my husband. 

"Had he been convicted of cheating at cards, his 
career would have been blighted. He would have had 
to leave the war department. He would have been 
socially ostracized. They intended to hold this club 
over him the price of an avowal on their part that 
the count was but the victim of the plot of enemies 
who wished to besmirch his name was to have been the 
papers they seek. 

[50] 



THE COUNTESS EXPLAINS 



"You thwarted them in this. Then they con 
cocted the scheme whereby my reputation was to be 
the price, instead of the count's. When Paulvitch en 
tered my cabin he explained it to me. If I would ob 
tain the information for them he promised to go no 
farther, otherwise Rokoff, who stood without, was to 
notify the purser that I was entertaining a man other 
than my husband behind the locked doors of my 
cabin. He was to tell every one he met on the boat, 
and when we landed he was to have given the whole 
story to the newspaper men. 

"Was it not too horrible? But I happened to 
know something of Monsieur Paulvitch that would 
send him to the gallows in Russia if it were known by 
the police of St. Petersburg. I dared him to carry 
out his plan, and then I leaned toward him and whis 
pered a name in his ear. Like that" and she 
snapped her fingers " he flew at my throat as a mad 
man. He would have killed me had you not inter 
fered." 

" The brutes ! " muttered Tarzan. 

"They are worse than that, my friend," she said. 
"They are devils. I fear for you because you have 
gained their hatred. I wish you to be on your guard 
constantly. Tell me that you will, for my sake, for I 
should never forgive myself should you suffer through 
the kindness you did me." 

"I do not fear them," he replied. "I have sur 
vived grimmer enemies than Rokoff and Paulvitch." 
He saw that she knew nothing of the occurrence in 

[51] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



the Rue Maule, nor did he mention it, fearing that it 
might distress her. 

"For your own safety," he continued, "why do 
you not turn the scoundrels over to the authorities? 
They should make quick work of them." 

She hesitated for a moment before replying. 

" There are two reasons," she said finally. " One 
of them it is that keeps the count from doing that 
very thing. The other, my real reason for fearing 
to expose them, I have never told only Rokoff and 
I know it. I wonder," and then she paused, looking 
intently at him for a long time. 

"And what do you wonder?" he asked, smiling. 

" I was wondering why it is that I want to tell you 
the thing that I have not dared tell even to my hus 
band. I believe that you would understand, and that 
you could tell me the right course to follow. I believe 
that you would not judge me too harshly." 

"I fear that I should prove a very poor judge, 
madame," Tarzan replied, " for if you had been guilty 
of murder I should say that the victim should be grate 
ful to have met so sweet a fate." 

"Oh, dear, no," she expostulated; "it is not so ter 
rible as that. But first let me tell you the reason the 
count has for not prosecuting these men; then, if I 
can hold my courage, I shall tell you the real reason 
that I dare not. The first is that Nikolas Rokoff is 
my brother. We are Russians. Nikolas has been a 
bad man since I can remember. He was cashiered 
from the Russian army, in which he held a captaincy. 

[52] 



THE COUNTESS EXPLAINS 



There was a scandal for a time, but after a while 
it was partially forgotten, and my father obtained 
a position for him in the secret service. 

" There have been many terrible crimes laid at Nik 
olas' door, but he has always managed to escape pun 
ishment. Of late he has accomplished it by trumped- 
up evidence convicting his victims of treason against 
the czar, and the Russian police, who are always only 
too ready to fasten guilt of this nature upon any 
and all, have accepted his version and exonerated 
him." 

"Have not his attempted crimes against you and 
your husband forfeited whatever rights the bonds of 
kinship might have accorded him?" asked Tarzan. 
" The fact that you are his sister has not deterred him 
from seeking to besmirch your honor. You owe him 
no loyalty, madame." 

" Ah, but there is that other reason. If I owe him 
no loyalty though he be my brother, I cannot so easily 
disavow the fear I hold him in because of a certain epi 
sode in my life of which he is cognizant. 

" I might as well tell you all," she resumed after a 
pause, "for I see that it is in my heart to tell you 
sooner or later. I was educated in a convent. While 
there I met a man whom I supposed to be a gentle 
man. I knew little or nothing about men and less 
about love. I got it into my foolish head that I loved 
this man, and at his urgent request I ran away with 
him. We were to have been married. 

" I was with him just three hours. All in the day- 
[53] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



time and in public places railroad stations and upon 
a train. When we reached our destination where we 
were to have been married, two officers stepped up to 
my escort as we descended from the train, and placed 
him under arrest. They took me also, but when I 
had told my story they did not detain me, other than 
to send me back to the convent under the care of a 
matron. It seemed that the man who had wooed me 
was no gentleman at all, but a deserter from the army 
as well as a fugitive from civil justice. He had a po 
lice record in nearly every country in Europe. 

"The matter was hushed up by the authorities of 
the convent. Not even my parents knew of it. But 
Nikolas met the man afterward, and learned the whole 
story. Now he threatens to tell the count if I do not 
do just as he wishes me to." 

Tarzan laughed. "You are still but a little girl. 
The story that you have told me cannot reflect in any 
way upon your reputation, and were you not a little 
girl at heart you would know it. Go to your husband 
tonight, and tell him the whole story, just as you have 
told it to me. Unless I am much mistaken he will 
laugh at you for your fears, and take immediate steps 
to put that precious brother of yours in prison where 
he belongs." 

"I only wish that I dared," she said; "but I am 
afraid. I learned early to fear men. First my father, 
then Nikolas, then the fathers in the convent. Nearly 
all my friends fear their husbands why should I not 
fear mine ? " 

[54] 



THE COUNTESS EXPLAINS 



"It does not seem right that women should fear 
men," said Tarzan, an expression of puzzlement on 
his face. "I am better acquainted with the jungle 
folk, and there it is more often the other way around, 
except among the black men, and they to my mind 
are in most ways lower in the scale than the beasts. 
No, I cannot understand why civilized women should 
fear men, the beings that are created to protect 
them. I should hate to think that any woman feared 
me." 

"I do not think that any woman would fear you, 
my friend," said Olga de Coude softly. "I have 
known you but a short while, yet though it may seem 
foolish to say it, you are the only man I have ever 
known whom I think that I sheuld never fear it is 
strange, too, for you are very strong. I wondered at 
the ease with which you handled Nikolas and Paulvitch 
that night in my cabin. It was marvelous." 

As Tarzan was leaving her a short time later he 
wondered a little at the clinging pressure of her hand 
at parting, and the firm insistence with which she ex 
acted a promise from him that he would call again on 
the morrow. 

The memory of her half -veiled eyes and perfect lips 
as she had stood smiling up into his face as he bade 
her good-by remained with him for the balance of the 
day. Olga de Coude was a very beautiful woman, and 
Tarzan of the Apes a very lonely young man, with a 
heart in him that was in need of the doctoring that 
enly a woman may provide. 

[55] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



As the countess turned back into the room after 
Tarzan's departure, she found herself face to face 
with Nikolas Rokoff. 

" How long have you been here ? " she cried, shrink 
ing away from him. 

" Since before your lover came," he answered, with 
a nasty leer. 

" Stop ! " she commanded. " How dare you say 
such a thing to me your sister ! " 

" Well, my dear Olga, if he is not your lover, accept 
my apologies; but it is no fault of yours that he is 
not. Had he one-tenth the knowledge of women that 
I have you would be in his arms this minute. He is a 
stupid fool, Olga. Why, your every word and act was 
an open invitation to him, and he had not the sense to 
see it." 

The woman put her hands to her ears. 

"I will not listen. You are wicked to say such 
things as that. No matter what you may threaten 
me with, you know that I am a good woman. After 
tonight you will not dare to annoy me, for I shall tell 
Raoul all. He will understand, and then, Monsieur 
Nikolas, beware ! " 

"You shall tell him nothing," said Rokoff. "I 
have this affair now, and with the help of one of your 
servants whom I may trust it will lack nothing in the 
telling when the time comes that the details of the 
sworn evidence shall be poured into your husband's 
ears. The other affair served its purpose well we 
now have something tangible to work on, Olga. A 

[56] 



THE COUNTESS EXPLAINS 



real affair and you a trusted wife. Shame, Olga," 
and the brute laughed. 

So the countess told her count nothing, and matters 
were worse than they had been. From a vague fear 
her mind was transferred to a very tangible one. It 
may be, too, that conscience helped to enlarge it out 
of all proportions. 



187] 




THE PLOT THAT FAILED 

TTj^OR a month Tarzan was a regular and very 
* welcome devotee at the shrine of the beautiful 
Countess de Coude. Often he met other members of 
the select little coterie that dropped in for tea of an 
afternoon. More often Olga found devices that would 
give her an hour of Tarzan alone. 

For a time she had been frightened by what Nikolas 
had insinuated. She had not thought of this big, 
young man as anything more than friend, but with 
the suggestion implanted by the evil words of her 
brother she had grown to speculate much upon the 
strange force which seemed to attract her toward the 
gray-eyed stranger. She did not wish to love him, 
nor did she wish his love. 

She was much younger than her husband, and with 
out having realized it she had been craving the haven 
of a friendship with one nearer her own age. Twenty 
is shy in exchanging confidences with forty. Tarzan 

[58] 



THE PLOT THAT FAILED 



was but two years her senior. He could understand 
her, she felt. Then he was clean and honorable and 
chivalrous. She was not afraid of him. That she 
could trust him she had felt instinctively from the first. 

From a distance Rokoff had watched this growing 
intimacy with malicious glee. Ever since he had 
learned that Tarzan knew that he was a Russian spy 
there had been added to his hatred for the ape-man a 
great fear that he would expose him. He was but 
waiting now until the moment was propitious for a 
master stroke. He wanted to rid himself forever of 
Tarzan, and at the same time reap an ample revenge 
for the humiliations and defeats that he had suffered 
at his hands. 

Tarzan was nearer to contentment than he had been 
since the peace and tranquility of his jungle had been 
broken in upon by the advent of the marooned Porter 
party. 

He enjoyed the pleasant social intercourse with 
Olga's friends, while the friendship which had sprung 
up between the fair countess and himself was a source 
of never-ending delight. It broke in upon and dis 
persed his gloomy thoughts, and served as a balm to 
his lacerated heart. 

Sometimes D'Arnot accompanied him on his visits 
to the De Coude home, for he had long known both 
Olga and the count. Occasionally De Coude dropped 
in, but the multitudinous affairs of his official position 
and the never-ending demands of politics kept him 
from home usually until late at night. 

[59] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



Rokoff spied upon Tarzan almost constantly, wait 
ing for the time that he should call at the De Coude 
palace at night, but in this he was doomed to disap 
pointment. On several occasions Tarzan accom 
panied the countess to her home after the opera, but 
he invariably left her at the entrance much to the 
disgust of the lady's devoted brother. 

Finding that it seemed impossible to trap Tarzan 
through any voluntary act of his own, Rokoff and 
Paulvitch put their heads together to hatch a plan 
that would trap the ape-man in all the circumstantial 
evidence of a compromising position. 

For days they watched the papers as well as the 
movements of De Coude and Tarzan. At length they 
were rewarded. A morning paper made brief mention 
of a smoker that was to be given on the following 
evening by the German minister. De Coude's name 
was among those of the invited guests. If he attended 
this meant that he would be absent from his home 
until after midnight. 

On the night of the banquet Paulvitch waited at the 
curb before the residence of the German minister, 
where he could scan the face of each guest that 
arrived. He had not long to wait before De 
Coude descended from his car and passed him. 
That was enough. Paulvitch hastened back to 
his quarters, where Rokoff awaited him. There 
they waited until after eleven, then Paulvitch took 
down the receiver of their telephone. He called a 
number. 

[60] 



THE PLOT THAT FAILED 



"The apartments of Lieutenant D'Arnot?" he 
asked, when he had obtained his connection. 

" A message for Monsieur Tarzan, if he will be so 
kind as to step to the telephone." 

For a minute there was silence. 

" Monsieur Tarzan ? 

"Ah, yes, monsieur, this is Fra^ois in the serv 
ice of the Countess de Coude. Possibly monsieur does 
poor Fran9ois the honor to recall him yes ? 

" Yes, monsieur. I have a message, an urgent mes 
sage from the countess. She asks that you hasten to 
her at once she is in trouble, monsieur. 

66 No, monsieur, poor Francois does not know. Shall 
I tell madame that monsieur will be here shortly ? 

"Thank you, monsieur. The good God will bless 

you." 

Paulvitch hung up the receiver and turned to grin 
at Rokoff. 

"It will take him thirty minutes to get there. If 
you reach the German minister's in fifteen, De Coude 
should arrive at his home in about forty-five minutes. 
It all depends upon whether the fool will remain fif 
teen minutes after he finds that a trick has been played 
upon him ; but unless I am mistaken Olga will be loath 
to let him go in so short a time as that. Here is the 
note for De Coude. Hasten ! " 

Paulvitch lost no time in reaching the German min 
ister's. At the door he handed the note to a footman. 
" This is for the Count de Coude. It is very urgent. 
You must see that it is placed in his hands at once," 

[61] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



and he dropped a piece of silver into the willing hand 
of the servant. Then he returned to his quarters. 

A moment later De Coude was apologizing to his 
host as he tore open the envelope. What he read left 
his face white and his hand trembling: 

MONSIEUR LK COUNT DE COUDE: 

One who wishes to save the honor of your name takes 
this means to warn you that the sanctity of your home 
is this minute in jeopardy. 

A certain man who for months has been a constant 
visitor there during your absence is now with your wife. 
If you go at once to your countess' boudoir you will find 
them together. 

A FRIEND. 

Twenty minutes after Paulvitch had called Tarzan, 
Rokoff obtained a connection with Olga's private line. 
Her maid answered the telephone which was in the 
countess' boudoir. 

" But madame has retired," said the maid, in answer 
to Rokoff 's request to speak with her. 

"This is a very urgent message for the countess' 
ears alone," replied Rokoff. " Tell her that she must 
arise and slip something about her and come to the 
telephone. I shall call up again in five minutes." 
Then he hung up his receiver. A moment later Paul 
vitch entered. 

" The count has the message ? " asked Rokoff. 

"He should be on his way to his home by now," 
replied Paulvitch. 

"Good! My lady will be sitting in her boudoir, 
[62] 



THE PLOT THAT FAILED 



very much in negligee, about now. In a minute the 
faithful Jacques will escort Monsieur Tarzan into her 
presence without announcing him. It will take a few 
minutes for explanations. Olga will look very allur 
ing in the filmy creation that is her nightdress, and 
the clinging robe which but half conceals the charms 
that the former does not conceal at all. Olga will be 
surprised, but not displeased. 

"If there is a drop of red blood in the man the 
count will break in upon a very pretty love scene in 
about fifteen minutes from now. I think we have 
planned marvelously, my dear Alexis. Let us go out 
and drink to the very good health of Monsieur Tar 
zan in some of old Plancon's unparalleled absinth ; not 
forgetting that the Count de Coude is one of the best 
swordsmen in Paris, and by far the best shot in all 
France." 

When Tarzan reached Olga's, Jacques was awaiting 
him at the entrance. 

" This way, monsieur," he said, and led the way up 
the broad, marble staircase. In another moment he 
had opened a door, and, drawing aside a heavy cur 
tain, obsequiously bowed Tarzan into a dimly lighted 
apartment. Then Jacques vanished. 

Across the room from him Tarzan saw Olga seated 
before a little desk on which stood her telephone. She 
was tapping impatiently upon the polished surface of 
the desk. She had not heard him enter. 

" Olga," he said, " what is wrong? " 

She turned toward him with a little cry of alarm. 
[63] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



"Jean!" she cried. "What are you doing here? 
Who admitted you? What does it mean? " 

Tarzan was thunderstruck, but in an instant he 
realized a part of the truth. 

"Then you did not send for me, Olga?" 

" Send for you at this time of night? Mon Dieu! 
Jean, do you think that I am quite mad? " 

" Fran9ois telephoned me to come at once ; that you 
were in trouble and wanted me." 

" Fra^ois ? Who in the world is Fran9ois ? " 

" He said that he was in your service. He spoke as 
though I should recall the fact." 

"There is no one by that name in my employ. 
Some one has played a joke upon you, Jean," and 
Olga laughed. 

"I fear that it may be a most sinister 'joke,' 
Olga," he replied. "There is more back of it than 
humor." 

"What do you mean? You do not think that " 

"Where is the count?" he interrupted. 

"At the German ambassador's." 

"This is another move by your estimable brother. 
Tomorrow the count will hear of it. He will question 
the servants. Everything will point to to what 
Rokoff wishes the count to think." 

" The scoundrel ! " cried Olga. She had arisen, and 
come close to Tarzan, where she stood looking up into 
his face. She was very frightened. In her eyes was 
an expression that the hunter sees in those of a poor, 
terrified doe puzzled questioning. She trembled, 

[64] 



THE PLOT THAT FAILED 



and to steady herself raised her hands to his broad 
shoulders. "What shall we do, Jean?" she whis 
pered. " It is terrible. Tomorrow all Paris will read 
of it he will see to that." 

Her look, her attitude, her words were eloquent of 
the age-old appeal of defenseless woman to her natural 
protector man. Tarzan took one of the warm little 
hands that lay on his breast in his own strong one. 
The act was quite involuntary, and almost equally so 
was the instinct of protection that threw a sheltering 
arm around the girl's shoulders. 

The result was electrical. Never before had he been 
so close to her. In startled guilt they looked suddenly 
into each other's eyes, and where Olga de Coude should 
have been strong she was weak, for she crept closer 
Into the man's arms, and clasped her own about his 
neck. And Tarzan of the Apes? He took the pant 
ing figure into his mighty arms, and covered the hot 
lips with kisses. 

Raoul de Coude made hurried excuses to his host 
after he had read the note handed him by the ambas 
sador's butler. Never afterward could he recall the 
nature of the excuses he made. Everything was quite 
a blur to him up to the time that he stood on the 
threshold of his own home. Then he became very 
cool, moving quietly and with caution. For some in- 
explicabk reason Jacques had the door open before 
he was halfway to the steps. It did not strike him at 
the time as being unusual, though afterward he re 
marked it. 

[65] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



Very softly he tiptoed up the stairs and along the 
gallery to the door of his wife's boudoir. In his hand 
was a heavy walking stick in his heart, murder. 

Olga was the first to see him. With a horrified 
shriek she tore herself from Tarzan's arms, and the 
ape-man turned just in time to ward with his arm a 
terrific blow that De Coude had aimed at his head. 
Once, twice, three times the heavy stick fell with light 
ning rapidity, and each blow aided in the transition of 
the ape-man back to the primordial. 

With the low, guttural snarl of the bull ape he 
sprang for the Frenchman. The great stick was torn 
from his grasp and broken in two as though it had 
been matchwood, to be flung aside as the now infuri 
ated beast charged for his adversary's throat. 

Olga de Coude stood a horrified spectator of the 
terrible scene which ensued during the next brief 
moment, then she sprang to where Tarzan was mur 
dering her husband choking the life from him 
shaking him as a terrier might shake a rat. 

Frantically she tore at his great hands. "Mother 
of God!" she cried. "You are killing him, you are 
killing him ! Oh, Jean, you are killing my husband ! " 

Tarzan was deaf with rage. Suddenly he hurled 
the body to the floor, and, placing his foot upon the 
upturned breast, raised his head. Then through the 
palace of the Count de Coude rang the awesome chal 
lenge of the bull ape that has made a kill. From cellar 
to attic the horrid sound searched out the servants, and 
left them blanched and trembling. The woman in the 

[66] 



THE PLOT THAT FAILED 



room sank to her knees beside the body of her hus 
band, and prayed. 

Slowly the red mist faded from before Tarzan's 
eyes. Things began to take form he was regaining 
the perspective of civilized man. His eyes fell upon 
the figure of the kneeling woman. " Olga," he whis 
pered. She looked up, expecting to see the maniacal 
light of murder in the eyes above her. Instead she 
saw sorrow and contrition. 

" Oh, Jean ! " she cried. " See what you have done. 
He was my husband. I loved him, and you have killed 
him." 

Very gently Tarzan raised the limp form of the 
Count de Coude and bore it to a couch. Then he put 
his ear to the man's breast. 

" Some brandy, Olga," he said. 

She brought it, and together they forced it between 
his lips. Presently a faint gasp came from the white 
lips. The head turned, and De Coude groaned. 

" He will not die," said Tarzan. " Thank God ! " 

" Why did you do it, Jean ? " she asked. 

"I do not know. He struck me, and I went mad. 
I have seen the apes of my tribe do the same thing. 
I have never told you my story, Olga. It would have 
been better had you known it this might not have 
happened. I never saw my father. The only mother 
I ever knew was a ferocious she-ape. Until I was fif 
teen I had never seen a human being. I was twenty 
before I saw a white man. A little more than a year 
ago I was a naked beast of prey in an African jungle. 

[67] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



" Do not judge me too harshly. Two years is too 
short a time in which to attempt to work the change in 
an individual that it has taken countless ages to ac 
complish in the white race." 

"I do not judge you at all, Jean. The fault is 
mine. You must go now he must not find you here 
when he regains consciousness. Good-by." 

It was a sorrowful Tarzan who walked with bowed 
head from the palace of the Count de Coude. 

Once outside his thoughts took definite shape, to the 
end that twenty minutes later he entered a police sta 
tion not far from the Rue Maule. Here he soon 
found one of the officers with whom he had had the 
encounter several weeks previous. The policeman was 
genuinely glad to see again the man who had so 
roughly handled him. After a moment of conversa 
tion Tarzan asked if he had ever heard of Nikolas 
Rokoff or Alexis Paulvitch. 

" Very often, indeed, monsieur. Each has a police 
record, and while there is nothing charged against 
them now, we make it a point to know pretty well 
where they may be found should the occasion demand. 
It is only the same precaution that we take with every 
known criminal. Why does monsieur ask? 

"They are known to me," replied Tarzan. "I 
wish to see Monsieur Rokoff on a little matter of 
business. If you can direct me to his lodgings I shall 
appreciate it." 

A few minutes later he bade the policeman adieu, 
and, with a slip of paper in his pocket bearing a cer- 

[68] 



THE PLOT THAT FAILED 



tain address in a semirespectable quarter, he walked 
briskly toward the nearest taxi stand. 

Rokoff and Paulvitch had returned to their rooms, 
and were sitting talking over the probable outcome of 
the evening's events. They had telephoned to the 
offices of two of the morning papers from which they 
momentarily expected representatives to hear the first 
report of the scandal that was to stir social Paris on 
the morrow. 

A heavy step sounded on the stairway. "Ah, but 
these newspaper men are prompt," exclaimed Rokoff , 
and as a knock fell upon the door of their room: 
" Enter, monsieur." 

The smile of welcome froze upon the Russian's 
face as he looked into the hard, gray eyes of his 
visitor. 

" Name of a name ! " he shouted, springing to his 
feet. " What brings you here ? " 

" Sit down ! " said Tarzan, so low that the men could 
barely catch the words, but in a tone that brought 
Rokoff to his chair, and kept Paulvitch in his. 

"You know what has brought me here," he con 
tinued, in the same low tone. "It should be to kill 
you, but because you are Olga de Coude's brother I 
shall not do that now. 

"I shall give you a chance for your lives. Paul 
vitch does not count much he is merely a stupid, 
foolish little tool, and so I shall not kill him so long 
as I permit you to live. Before I leave you two alive 
in this room you will have done two things. The first 

[69] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



will be to write a full confession of your connection 
with tonight's plot and sign it. 

"The second will be to promise me upon pain of 
death that you will permit no word of this affair to 
get into the newspapers. If you do not do both, 
neither of you will be alive when I pass next through 
that doorway. Do you understand?" And, without 
waiting for a reply : " Make haste ; there is ink before 
you, and paper and a pen." 

Rokoff assumed a truculent air, attempting by bra 
vado to show how little he feared Tarzan's threats. 
An instant later he felt the ape-man's steel fingers at 
his throat, and Paulvitch, who attempted to dodge 
them and reach the door, was lifted completely off the 
floor, and hurled senseless into a corner. When Rokoff 
commenced to blacken about the face Tarzan released 
his hold and shoved the fellow back into his chair. 
After a moment of coughing Rokoff sat sullenly glar 
ing at the man standing opposite him. Presently 
Paulvitch came to himself, and limped painfully back 
to his chair at Tarzan's command. 

"Now write," said the ape-man. "If it is 
necessary to handle you again I shall not be so 
lenient." 

Rokoff picked up a pen and commenced to write. 

" See that you omit no detail, and that you mention 
every name," cautioned Tarzan. 

Presently there was a knock at the door. " Enter,'* 
said Tarzan. 

A dapper young man came in. "I am from the 
[70] 



THE. PLOT THAT FAILED 



Matin" he announced. " I understand that Monsieur 
Rokoff has a story for me." 

"Then you are mistaken, monsieur," replied Tar- 
zan. " You have no story for publication, have you, 
my dear Nikolas ? " 

Rokoff looked up from his writing with an ugly 
scowl upon his face. 

"No," he growled, "I have no story for publica 
tion now." 

" Nor ever, my dear Nikolas," and the reporter did 
not see the nasty light in the ape-man's eye ; but Nik 
olas Rokoff did. 

" Nor ever," he repeated hastily. 

" It is too bad that monsieur has been troubled," 
said Tarzan, turning to the newspaper man. " I bid 
monsieur good evening," and he bowed the dapper 
young man out of the room, and closed the door in his 
face. 

An hour later Tarzan, with a rather bulky manu 
script in his coat pocket, turned at the door leading 
from Rokoff's room. 

" Were I you I should leave France," he said, " for 
sooner or later I shall find an excuse to kill you that 
will not in any way compromise your sister." 



[71] 




VI 



A DUEL 

P\'ARNOT was asleep when Tarzan entered their 
^ apartments after leaving Rokoff's. Tarzan did 
not disturb him, but the following morning he nar 
rated the happenings of the previous evening, omit 
ting not a single detail. 

"What a fool I have been," he concluded. "De 
Coude and his wife were both my friends. How have 
I returned their friendship ? Barely did I escape mur 
dering the count. I have cast a stigma on the name of 
a good woman. It is very probable that I have broken 
up a happy home. 

"Do you love Olga de Coude?" asked D'Arnot. 

"Were I not positive that she does not love me I 
could not answer your question, Paul; but without 
disloyalty to her I tell you that I do not love her, nor 
does she love me. For an instant we were the victims 
of a sudden madness it was not love and it would 

[72] 



A DUEL 



have left us, unharmed, as suddenly as it had come 
upon us even though De Coude had not returned. As 
you know, I have had little experience of women. 
Olga de Coude is very beautiful; that, and the dim 
light and the seductive surrounding, and the appeal 
of the defenseless for protection, might have been re 
sisted by a more civilized man, but my civilization is 
not even skin deep it does not go deeper than my 
clothes. 

" Paris is no place for me. I will but continue to 
stumble into more and more serious pitfalls. The man- 
made restrictions are irksome. I feel always that I 
am a prisoner. I cannot endure it, my friend, and so 
I think that I shall go back to my own jungle, and 
lead the life that God intended that I should lead when 
He put me there." 

"Do not take it so to heart, Jean," responded 
D'Arnot. " You have acquitted yourself much better 
than most 'civilized' men would have under similar 
circumstances. As to leaving Paris at this time, I 
rather think that Raoul de Coude may be expected 
to have something to say on that subject before 
long." 

Nor was D'Arnot mistaken. A week later on Mon 
sieur Flaubert was announced about eleven in the 
morning, as D'Arnot and Tarzan were breakfasting. 
Monsieur Flaubert was an impressively polite gentle 
man. With many low bows he delivered Monsieur le 
Count de Coude's challenge to Monsieur Tarzan. 
Would monsieur be so very kind as to arrange to have 

[73] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



a friend meet Monsieur Flaubert at as early an hour 
as convenient, that the details might be arranged to 
the mutual satisfaction of all concerned? 

Certainly. Monsieur Tarzan would be delighted to 
place his interests unreservedly in the hands of his 
friend, Lieutenant D'Arnot. And so it was arranged 
that D'Arnot was to call on Monsieur Flaubert at 
two that afternoon, and the polite Monsieur Flaubert, 
with many bows, left them. 

When they were again alone D'Arnot looked quiz 
zically at Tarzan. 

"Well? "he said. 

" Now to my sins I must add murder, or else myself 
be killed," said Tarzan. " I am progressing rapidly 
in the ways of my civilized brothers." 

"What weapons shall you select?" asked D'Arnot. 
" De Coude is accredited with being a master with the 
sword, and a splendid shot." 

"I might then choose poisoned arrows at twenty 
paces, or spears at the same distance," laughed Tar 
zan. " Make it pistols, Paul." 

"He will kill you, Jean." 

" I have no doubt of it," replied Tarzan. " I must 
die some day." 

"We had better make it swords," said D'Arnot. 
" He will be satisfied with wounding you, and there is 
less danger of a mortal wound." 

" Pistols," said Tarzan, with finality. 

D'Arnot tried to argue him out of it, but without 
avail, so pistols it was. 

[74] 



A DUEL 



D'Arnot returned from his conference with Mon 
sieur Flaubert shortly after four. 

" It is all arranged," he said. " Everything is satis 
factory. Tomorrow morning at daylight there is a 
secluded spot on the road not far from Etamps. For 
some personal reason Monsieur Flaubert preferred it. 
I did not demur." 

" Good ! " was Tarzan's only comment. He did not 
refer to the matter again even indirectly. That night 
he wrote several letters before he retired. After seal 
ing and addressing them he placed them all in an en 
velope address to D'Arnot. As he undressed D'Arnot 
heard him humming a music-hall ditty. 

The Frenchman swore under his breath. He was 
very unhappy, for he was positive that when the sun 
rose the next morning it would look down upon a dead 
Tarzan. It grated upon him to see Tarzan so uncon 
cerned. 

"This is a most uncivilized hour for people to 
kill each other," remarked the ape-man when he 
had been routed out of a comfortable bed in the 
blackness of the early morning hours. He had 
slept well, and so it seemed that his head scarcely 
touched the pillow ere his man deferentially aroused 
him. His remark was addressed to D'Arnot, who stood 
fully dressed in the doorway of Tarzan's bedroom. 

D'Arnot had scarcely slept at all during the night. 
He was nervous, and therefore inclined to be irritable. 

"I presume you slept like a baby all night," he 
said. 

[75] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



Tarzan laughed. " From your tone, Paul, I infer 
that you rather harbor the fact against me. I could 
not help it, really." 

"No, Jean; it is not that," replied D'Arnot, him 
self smiling. "But you take the entire matter with 
such infernal indifference it is exasperating. One 
would think that you were going out to shoot at a 
target, rather than to face one of the best shots in 
France." 

Tarzan shrugged his shoulders. "I am going out 
to expiate a great wrong, Paul. A very necessary 
feature of the expiation is the marksmanship of my 
opponent. Wherefore, then, should I be dissatisfied? 
Have you not yourself told me that Count de Coude 
is a splendid marksman ? " 

" You mean that you hope to be killed? " exclaimed 
D'Arnot, in horror. 

" I cannot say that I hope to be ; but you must ad 
mit that there is little reason to believe that I shall 
not be killed." 

Had D'Arnot known the thing that was in the ape- 
man's mind that had been in his mind almost from 
the first intimation that De Coude would call him to 
account on the field of honor he would have been 
even more horrified than he was. 

In silence they entered D'Arnot's great car, and in 
similar silence they sped over the dim road that leads 
to Etamps. Each man was occupied with his own 
thoughts. D'Arnot's were very mournful, for he was 
genuinely fond of Tarzan. The great friendship 

[76] 



A DUEL 



which had sprung up between these two men whose 
lives and training had been so widely different had but 
been strengthened by association, for they were both 
men to whom the same high ideals of manhood, of per 
sonal courage, and of honor appealed with equal force. 
They could understand one another, and each could be 
proud of the friendship of the other. 

Tarzan of the Apes was wrapped in thoughts of the 
past; pleasant memories of the happier occasions of 
his lost jungle life. He recalled the countless boy 
hood hours that he had spent cross-legged upon the 
table in his dead father's cabin, his little brown body 
bent over one of the fascinating picture books from 
which, unaided, he had gleaned the secret of the 
printed language long before the sounds of human 
speech fell upon his ears. A smile of contentment 
softened his strong face as he thought of that day of 
days that he had had alone with Jane Porter in the 
heart of his primeval forest. 

Presently his reminiscences were broken in upon by 
the stopping of the car they were at their destina 
tion. Tarzan's mind returned to the affairs of the 
moment. He knew that he was about to die, but there 
was no fear of death in him. To a denizen of the 
cruel jungle death is a commonplace. The first law 
of nature compels them to cling tenaciously to life 
to fight for it; but it does not teach them to fear 
death. 

D'Arnot and Tarzan were first upon the field of 
honor. A moment later De Coude, Monsieur Flau~ 

[77] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



bert, and a third gentleman arrived. The last was 
introduced to D'Arnot and Tarzan; he was a physi 
cian. 

D'Arnot and Monsieur Flaubert spoke together in 
whispers for a brief time. The Count de Coude and 
Tarzan stood apart at opposite sides of the field. 
Presently the seconds summoned them. D'Arnot and 
Monsieur Flaubert had examined both pistols. The 
two men who were to face each other a moment later 
stood silently while Monsieur Flaubert recited the con 
ditions they were to observe. 

They were to stand back to back. At a signal from 
Monsieur Flaubert they were to walk in opposite direc 
tions, their pistols hanging by their sides. When each 
had proceeded ten paces D'Arnot was to give the 
final signal then they were to turn and fire at will 
until one fell, or each had expended the three shots 
allowed. 

While Monsieur Flaubert spoke Tarzan selected a 
cigarette from his case, and lighted it. De Coude was 
the personification of coolness was he not the best 
shot in France? 

Presently Monsieur Flaubert nodded to D'Arnot, 
and each man placed his principal in position. 

" Are you quite ready, gentlemen ? " asked Monsieur 
Flaubert. 

" Quite," replied De Coude. 

Tarzan nodded. Monsieur Flaubert gave the sig 
nal. He and D'Arnot stepped back a few paces to be 
out of the line of fire as the men paced slowly apart. 

[78] 



A DUEL 



Six ! Seven ! Eight ! There were tears in D'Arnot's 
eyes. He loved Tarzan very much. Nine! Another 
pace, and the poor lieutenant gave the signal he so 
hated to give. To him it sounded the doom of his 
best friend. 

Quickly De Coude wheeled and fired. Tarzan gave 
a little start. His pistol still dangled at his side. De 
Coude hesitated, as though waiting to see his an 
tagonist crumple to the ground. The Frenchman was 
too experienced a marksman not to know that he had 
scored a hit. Still Tarzan made no move to raise his 
pistol. De Coude fired once more, but the attitude of 
the ape-man the utter indifference that was so ap 
parent in every line of the nonchalant ease of his giant 
figure, and the even, unruffled puffing of his cigarette 
had disconcerted the best marksman in France. 
This time Tarzan did not start, but again De Coude 
knew that he had hit. 

Suddenly the explanation leaped to his mind his 
antagonist was coolly taking these terrible chances in 
the hope that he would receive no staggering wound 
from any of De Coude's three shots. Then he would 
take his own time about shooting De Coude down de 
liberately, coolly, and in cold blood. A little shiver 
ran up the Frenchman's spine. It was fiendish dia 
bolical. What manner of creature was this that could 
stand complacently with two bullets in him, waiting 
for the third? 

And so De Coude took careful aim this time, but his 
nerve was gone, and he made a clean miss. Not once 

[79] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



had Tarzan raised his pistol hand from where it hung 
beside his leg. 

For a moment the two stood looking straight into 
each other's eyes. On Tarzan's face was a pathetic 
expression of disappointment. On De Coude's a rap 
idly growing expression of horror yes, of terror. 

He. could endure it no longer. 

"Mother of God! Monsieur shoot!" he 
screamed. 

But Tarzan did not raise his pistol. Instead, he ad 
vanced toward De Coude, and when D'Arnot and Mon 
sieur Flaubert, misinterpreting his intention, would 
have rushed between them, he raised his left hand in a 
sign of remonstrance. 

" Do not fear," he said to them, " I shall not harm 
him." 

It was most unusual, but they halted. Tarzan ad 
vanced until he was quite close to De Coude. 

" There must have been something wrong with mon 
sieur's pistol," he said. "Or monsieur is unstrung. 
Take mine, monsieur, and try again," and Tarzan of 
fered his pistol, butt foremost, to the astonished De 
Coude. 

"Mon Dieu, monsieur ! " cried the latter. " Are you 
mad?" 

" No, my friend," replied the ape-man ; " but I de 
serve to die. It is the only way in which I may atone 
for the wrong I have done a very good woman. Take 
my pistol and do as I bid." 

" It would be murder," replied De Coude. " But 
[80] 



A DUEL 



what wrong did you do my wife? She swore to me 
that" 

" I do not mean that," said Tarzan quickly. " You 
saw all the wrong that passed between us. But that 
was enough to cast a shadow upon her name, and to 
ruin the happiness of a man against whom I had no 
enmity. The fault was all mine, and so I hoped to die 
for it this morning. I am disappointed that monsieur 
is not so wonderful a marksman as I had been led to 
believe." 

" You say that the fault was all yours ? " asked De 
Coude eagerly. 

"All mine, monsieur. Your wife is a very pure 
woman. She loves only you. The fault that you saw 
was all mine. The thing that brought me there was 
no fault of either the Countess de Coude or myself. 
Here is a paper which will quite positively demon 
strate that," and Tarzan drew from his pocket the 
statement Rokoff had written and signed. 

De Coude took it and read. D'Arnot and Monsieur 
Flaubert had drawn near. They were interested spec 
tators of this strange ending of a strange duel. None 
spoke until De Coude had quite finished, then he looked 
up at Tarzan. 

" You are a very brave and chivalrous gentleman," 
he said. " I thank God that I did not kill you." 

De Coude was a Frenchman. Frenchmen are im 
pulsive. He threw his arms about Tarzan and em 
braced him. Monsieur Flaubert embraced D'Arnot. 
There was no one to embrace the doctor. So possibly 

[81] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



it was pique which prompted him to interfere, and de 
mand that he be permitted to dress Tarzan's wounds. 

"This gentleman was hit once at least," he said. 
"Possibly thrice." 

" Twice," said Tarzan. " Once in the left shoulder, 
and again in the left side both flesh wounds, I 
think." But the doctor insisted upon stretching 
him upon the sward, and tinkering with him until 
the wounds were cleansed and the flow of blood 
checked. 

One result of the duel was that they all rode back 
to Paris together in D'Arnot's car, the best of friends. 
De Coude was so relieved to have had this double as 
surance of his wife's loyalty that he felt no rancor at 
all toward Tarzan. It is true that the latter had as 
sumed much more of the fault than was rightly his, 
but if he lied a little he may be excused, for he lied in 
the service of a woman, and he lied like a gentleman. 

The ape-man was confined to his bed for several 
days. He felt that it was foolish and unnecessary, but 
the doctor and D'Arnot took the matter so to heart 
that he gave in to please them, though it made him 
laugh to think of it. 

" It is droll," he said to D'Arnot. " To lie abed 
because of a pin prick ! Why, when Bolgani, the king 
gorilla, tore me almost to pieces, while I was still but a 
little boy, did I have a nice soft bed to lie on? No, 
only the damp, rotting vegetation of the jungle. Hid 
den beneath some friendly bush I lay for days and 
weeks with only Kala to nurse me poor, faithful 

[82] 



A DUEL 



Kala, who kept the insects from my wounds and warned 
off the beasts of prey. 

"When I called for water she brought it to me in 
her own mouth the only way she knew to carry it. 
There was no sterilized gauze, there was no antiseptic 
bandage there was nothing that would not have 
driven our dear doctor mad to have seen. Yet I re 
covered recovered to lie in bed because of a tiny 
scratch that one of the jungle folk would scarce realize 
unless it were upon the end of his nose." 

But the time was soon over, and before he realized 
it Tarzan found himself abroad again. Several times 
De Coude had called, and when he found that Tarzan 
was anxious for employment of some nature he 
promised to see what could be done to find a berth 
for him. 

It was the first day that Tarzan was permitted to go 
out that he received a message from De Coude request 
ing him to call at the count's office that afternoon. 

He found De Coude awaiting him with a very 
pleasant welcome, and a sincere congratulation that he 
was once more upon his feet. Neither had ever men 
tioned the duel or the cause of it since that morning 
upon the field of honor. 

"I think that I have found just the thing for you, 
Monsieur Tarzan," said the count. " It is a position 
of much trust and responsibility, which also requires 
considerable physical courage and prowess. I cannot 
imagine a man better fitted than you, my dear Mon 
sieur Tarzan, for this very position. It will necessitate 

[83] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



travel, and later it may lead to a very much better 
post possibly in the diplomatic service. 

" At first, for a short time only, you will be a special 
agent in the service of the ministry of war. Come, I 
will take you to the gentleman who will be your chief. 
He can explain the duties better than I, and then you 
will be in a position to judge if you wish to accept or 
no." 

De Coude himself escorted Tarzan to the office of 
General Rochere, the chief of the bureau to which Tar 
zan would be attached if he accepted the position. 
There the count left him, after a glowing description 
to the general of the many attributes possessed by the 
ape-man which should fit him for the work of the 
service. 

A half hour later Tarzan walked out of the office the 
possessor of the first position he had ever held. On 
the morrow he was to return for further instructions, 
though General Rochere had made it quite plain that 
Tarzan might prepare to leave Paris for an almost in 
definite period, possibly on the morrow. 

It was with feelings of the keenest elation that he 
hastened home to bear the good news to D'Arnot. At 
last he was to be of some value in the world. He was 
to earn money, and, best of all, to travel and see the 
world. 

He could scarcely wait to get well inside D'Arnot's 
sitting room before he burst out with the glad tidings. 
D'Arnot was not so pleased. 

" It seems to delight you to think that you are to 
184] 



A DUEL 



leave Paris, and that we shall not see each other for 
months, perhaps. Tarzan, you are a most ungrateful 
beast ! " and D'Arnot laughed. 

" No, Paul ; I am a little child. I have a new toy, 
and I am tickled to death." 

And so it came that on the following day Tarzan 
left Paris en route for Marseilles and Oran. 



[85] 




VII 



THE DANCING GIRL OF SIDI AISSA 



first mission did not bid fair to be 
either exciting or vastly important. There was 
a certain lieutenant of spahis whom the government 
had reason to suspect of improper relations with a 
great European power. This Lieutenant Gernois, 
who was at present stationed at Sidi-bel-Abbes, had 
recently been attached to the general staff, where cer 
tain information of great military value had come into 
his possession in the ordinary routine of his duties. 
It was this information which the government sus 
pected the great power was bartering for with the 
officer. 

It was at most but a vague hint dropped by a cer 
tain notorious Parisienne in a jealous mood that had 
caused suspicion to rest upon the lieutenant. But 
general staffs are jealous of their secrets, and treason 
so serious a thing that even a hint of it may not be 
safely neglected. And so it was that Tarzan had come 

[86] 



THE DANCING GIRL OF SIDI AISSA 

to Algeria in the guise of an American hunter and 
traveler to keep a close eye upon Lieutenant Gernois. 

He had looked forward with keen delight to again 
seeing his beloved Africa, but this northern aspect of 
it was so different from his tropical jungle home that 
he might as well have been back in Paris for all the 
heart thrills of home-coming that he experienced. At 
Oran he spent a day wandering through the narrow, 
crooked alleys of the Arab quarter enjoying the 
strange, new sights. The next day found him at 
Sidi-bel-Abbes, where he presented his letters of in 
troduction to both civil and military authorities let 
ters which gave no clew to the real significance of his 
mission. 

Tarzan possessed a sufficient command of English 
to enable him to pass among Arabs and Frenchmen as 
an American, and that was all that was required of it. 
When he met an Englishman he spoke French in order 
that he might not betray himself, but occasionally 
talked in English to foreigners who understood that 
tongue, but could not note the slight imperfections of 
accent and pronunciation that were his. 

Here he became acquainted with many of the French 
officers, and soon became a favorite among them. He 
met Gernois, whom he found to be a taciturn, dyspep 
tic-looking man of about forty, having little or no 
social intercourse with his fellows. 

For a month nothing of moment occurred. Ger 
nois apparently had no visitors, nor did he on his occa 
sional visits to the town hold communication with any 

[87] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



who might even by the wildest flight of imagination 
be construed into secret agents of a foreign power. 
Tarzan was beginning to hope that, after all, the 
rumor might have been false, when suddenly Gernois 
was ordered to Bou Saada in the Petit Sahara far to 
the south. 

A company of spahis and three officers were to re 
lieve another company already stationed there. For 
tunately one of the officers, Captain Gerard, had be 
come an excellent friend of Tarzan's, and so when 
the ape-man suggested that he should embrace the op 
portunity of accompanying him to Bou Saada, where 
he expected to find hunting, it caused not the slightest 
suspicion. 

At Bouira the detachment detrained, and the bal 
ance of the journey was made in the saddle. As Tar 
zan was dickering at Bouira for a mount he caught a 
brief glimpse of a man in European clothes eying 
him from the doorway of a native coffeehouse, but as 
Tarzan looked the man turned and entered the little, 
low-ceiled mud hut, and but for a haunting impression 
that there had been something familiar about the face 
or figure of the fellow, Tarzan gave the matter no 
further thought. 

The march to Aumale was fatiguing to Tarzan, 
whose equestrian experiences hitherto had been con 
fined to a course of riding lessons in a Parisian acad 
emy, and so it was that he quickly sought the com 
forts of a bed in the Hotel Grossat, while the officers 
and troops took up their quarters at the military post. 

[88] 



THE DANCING GIRL OF SIDI AISSA 

Although Tarzan was called early the following 
morning, the company of spahis was on the march be 
fore he had finished his breakfast. He was hurrying 
through his meal that the soldiers might not get too 
far in advance of him when he glanced through the 
door connecting the dining room with the bar. 

To his surprise, he saw Gernois standing there in 
conversation with the very stranger he had seen iu 
the coffeehouse at Bouira the day previous. He could 
not be mistaken, for there was the same strangely fa 
miliar attitude and figure, though the man's back was 
toward him. 

As his eyes lingered on the two, Gernois looked up 
and caught the intent expression on Tarzan's face. 
The stranger was talking in a low whisper at the time, 
but the French officer immediately interrupted him, 
and the two at once turned away and passed out of 
the range of Tarzan's vision. 

This was the first suspicious occurrence that Tar 
zan had ever witnessed in connection with Gernois' 
actions, but he was positive that the men had left the 
barroom solely because Gernois had caught Tarzan's 
eyes upon them ; then there was the persistent impres 
sion of familiarity about the stranger to further aug 
ment the ape-man's belief that here at length was 
something which would bear watching. 

A moment later Tarzan entered the barroom, but 
the men had left, nor did he see aught of them in the 
street beyond, though he found a pretext to ride to 
various shops before he set out after the column which 

[89] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



had now considerable start of him. He did not over 
take them until he reached Sidi Aissa shortly after 
noon, where the soldiers had halted for an hour's rest. 
Here he found Gernois with the column, but there was 
no sign of the stranger. 

It was market day at Sidi Aissa, and the number 
less caravans of camels coming in from the desert, and 
the crowds of bickering Arabs in the market place, 
filled Tarzan with a consuming desire to remain for a 
day that he might see more of these sons of the desert. 
Thus it was that the company of spahis marched on 
that afternoon toward Bou Saada without him. He 
spent the hours until dark wandering about the mar 
ket in company with a youthful Arab, one Abdul, who 
had been recommended to him by the innkeeper as a 
trustworthy servant and interpreter. 

Here Tarzan purchased a better mount than the 
one he had selected at Bouira, and, entering into con 
versation with the stately Arab to whom the animal 
had belonged, learned that the seller was Kadour Ben 
Saden, sheik of a desert tribe far south of Djelfa. 
Through Abdul, Tarzan invited his new acquaintance 
to dine with him. As the three were making their way 
through the crowds of marketers, camels, donkeys, and 
horses that filled the market place with a confusing 
babel of sounds, Abdul plucked at Tarzan's sleeve. 

" Look, master, behind us," and he turned, pointing 
at a figure which disappeared behind a camel as Tar 
zan turned. "He has been following us about all 
afternoon," continued Abdul. 

[90] 



THE DANCING GIRL OF SIDI AISSA 

"I caught only a glimpse of an Arab in a dark- 
blue burnoose and white turban," replied Tarzan. " Is 
it he you mean ? " 

" Yes. I suspected him because he seems a stranger 
here, without other business than following us, which 
is not the way of the Arab who is honest, and also be 
cause he keeps the lower part of his face hidden, only 
his eyes showing. He must be a bad man, or he would 
have honest business of his own to occupy his time." 

"He is on the wrong scent then, Abdul," replied 
Tarzan, "for no one here can have any grievance 
against me. This is my first visit to your country, 
and none knows me. He will soon discover his error, 
and cease to follow us." 

"Unless he be bent on robbery," returned Abdul. 

" Then all we can do is wait until he is ready to try 
his hand upon us," laughed Tarzan, " and I warrant 
that he will get his bellyful of robbing now that we 
are prepared for him," and so he dismissed the subject 
from his mind, though he was destined to recall it be 
fore many hours through a most unlooked-for occur 
rence. 

Kadour Ben Saden having dined well, prepared to 
take leave of his host. With dignified protestations 
of friendship, he invited Tarzan to visit him in his 
wild domain, where the antelope, the stag, the boar, 
the panther, and the lion might still be found in suffi 
cient numbers to tempt an ardent huntsman. 

On his departure the ape-man, with Abdul, wan 
dered again into the streets of Sidi Aissa, where he 

[91] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



was soon attracted by the wild din of sound coming 
from the open doorway of one of the numerous cafes 
maures. It was after eight, and the dancing was in 
full swing as Tarzan entered. The room was filled 
to repletion with Arabs. All were smoking, and drink 
ing their thick, hot coffee. 

Tarzan and Abdul found seats near the center of 
the room, though the terrific noise produced by the 
musicians upon their Arab drums and pipes would 
have rendered a seat farther from them more accept 
able to the quiet-loving ape-man. A rather good- 
looking Ouled-Nail was dancing, and, perceiving 
Tarzan's European clothes, and scenting a generous 
gratuity, she threw her silken handkerchief upon his 
shoulder, to be rewarded with a franc. 

When her place upon the floor had been taken by 
another the bright-eyed Abdul saw her in conversation 
with two Arabs at the far side of the room, near a side 
door that let upon an inner court, around the gallery 
of which were the rooms occupied by the girls who 
danced in this cafe. 

At first he thought nothing of the matter, but pres 
ently he noticed from the corner of his eye one of the 
men nod in their direction, and the girl turn and shoot 
a furtive glance at Tarzan. Then the Arabs melted 
through the doorway into the darkness of the court. 

When it came again the girl's turn to dance she 
hovered close to Tarzan, and for the ape-man alone 
were her sweetest smiles. Many an ugly scowl was 
cast upon the tall European by swarthy, dark-eyed 



THE DANCING GIRL OF SIDI AISSA 

sons of the desert, but neither smiles nor scowls pro 
duced any outwardly visible effect upon him. Again 
the girl cast her handkerchief upon his shoulder, and 
again was she rewarded with a franc piece. As she 
was sticking it upon her forehead, after the custom 
of her kind, she bent low toward Tarzan, whispering 
a quick word in his ear. 

"There are two without in the court," she said 
quickly, in broken French, " who would harm m'sieur. 
At first I promised to lure you to them, but you have 
been kind, and I cannot do it. Go quickly, before 
they find that I have failed them. I think that they 
are very bad men." 

Tarzan thanked the girl, assuring her that he would 
be careful, and, having finished her dance, she crossed 
to the little doorway and went out into the court. But 
Tarzan did not leave the cafe as she had urged. 

For another half hour nothing unusual occurred, 
then a surly-looking Arab entered the cafe from the 
street. He stood near Tarzan, where he deliberately 
made insulting remarks about the European, but as 
they were in his native tongue Tarzan was entirely in 
nocent of their purport until Abdul took it upon him 
self to enlighten him. 

"This fellow is looking for trouble," warned Ab 
dul. "He is not alone. In fact, in case of a dis 
turbance, nearly every man here would be against you. 
It would be better to leave quietly, master." 

"Ask the fellow what he wants," commanded Tarzan. 

" He says that ' the dog of a Christian' insulted the 
[93] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



Ouled-Nail, who belongs to him. He means trouble, 
m'sieur." 

"Tell him that I did not insult his or any other 
Ouled-Nail, that I wish him to go away and leave me 
alone. That I have no quarrel with him, nor has he 
any with me." 

" He says," replied Abdul, after delivering this mes 
sage to the Arab, " that besides being a dog yourself 
that you are the son of one, and that your grandmother 
was a hyena. Incidentally you are a liar." 

The attention of those near by had now been at 
tracted by the altercation, and the sneering laughs 
that followed this torrent of invective easily indicated 
the trend of the sympathies of the majority of the 
audience. 

Tarzan did not like being laughed at, neither did 
he relish the terms applied to him by the Arab, but he 
showed no sign of anger as he arose from his seat 
upon the bench. A half smile played about his lips, 
but of a sudden a mighty fist shot into the face of the 
scowling Arab, and back of it were the terrible muscles 
of the ape-man. 

At the instant that the man fell a half dozen fierce 
plainsmen sprang into the room from where they had 
apparently been waiting for their cue in the street 
before the cafe. With cries of " Kill the unbeliever ! " 
and " Down with the dog of a Christian ! " they made 
straight for Tarzan. 

A number of the younger Arabs in the audience 
sprang to their feet to join in the assault upon the 

[94] 



THE DANCING GIRL OF SIDI AISSA 

unarmed white man. Tarzan and Abdul were rushed 
back toward the end of the room by the very force of 
numbers opposing them. The young Arab remained 
loyal to his master, and with drawn knife fought at 
his side. 

With tremendous blows the ape-man felled all who 
came within reach of his powerful hands. He fought 
quietly and without a word, upon his lips the same 
half smile they had worn as he rose to strike down the 
man who had insulted him. It seemed impossible that 
either he or Abdul could survive the sea of wicked- 
looking swords and knives that surrounded them, but 
the very numbers of their assailants proved the best 
bulwark of their safety. So closely packed was the 
howling, cursing mob that no weapon could be wielded 
to advantage, and none of the Arabs dared use a 
firearm for fear of wounding one of his compatriots. 

Finally Tarzan succeeded in seizing one of the most 
persistent of his attackers. With a quick wrench he 
disarmed the fellow, and then, holding him before 
them as a shield, he backed slowly beside Abdul toward 
the little door which led into the inner courtyard. At 
the threshold he paused for an instant, and, lifting 
the struggling Arab above his head, hurled him, as 
though from a catapult, full in the faces of his 
on-pressing fellows. 

Then Tarzan and Abdul stepped into the semi- 
darkness of the court. The frightened Ouled-Nails 
were crouching at the tops of the stairs which led to 
their respective rooms, the only light in the courtyard 

[95] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



coming from the sickly candles which each girl had 
stuck with its own grease to the woodwork of her 
door-frame, the better to display her charms to those 
who might happen to traverse the dark inclosure. 

Scarcely had Tarzan and Abdul emerged from the 
room ere a revolver spoke close at their backs from 
the shadows beneath one of the stairways, and as they 
turned to meet this new antagonist, two muffled figures 
sprang toward them, firing as they came. Tarzan 
leaped to meet these two new assailants. The fore 
most lay, a second later, in the trampled dirt of the 
court, disarmed and groaning from a broken wrist. 
Abdul's knife found the vitals of the second in the 
instant that the fellow's revolver missed fire as he held 
it to the faithful Arab's forehead. 

The maddened horde within the cafe were now rush 
ing out in pursuit of their quarry. The Ouled-Nails 
had extinguished their candles at a cry from one of 
their number, and the only light within the yard came 
feebly from the open and half -blocked door of the 
cafe. Tarzan had seized a sword from the man who 
had fallen before Abdul's knife, and now he stood 
waiting for the rush of men that was coming in search 
of them through the darkness. 

Suddenly he felt a light hand upon his shoulder 
from behind, and a woman's voice whispering, " Quick, 
m'sieur ; this way. Follow me." 

" Come, Abdul," said Tarzan, in a low tone, to the 
youth ; " we can be no worse off elsewhere than we are 
here." 

[96] 



THE DANCING GIRL OF SIDI AISSA 

The woman turned and led them up the narrow 
stairway that ended at the door of her quarters. 
Tarzan was close beside her. He saw the gold and 
silver bracelets upon her bare arms, the strings of gold 
coin that depended from her hair ornaments, and the 
gorgeous colors of her dress. He saw that she was a 
Ouled-Nail, and instinctively he knew that she was the 
same who had whispered the warning in his ear earlier 
in the evening. 

As they reached the top of the stairs they could 
hear the angry crowd searching the yard beneath. 

" Soon they will search here," whispered the girl. 
" They must not find you, for, though you fight with 
the strength of many men, they will kill you in the end. 
Hasten; you can drop from the farther window of 
my room to the street beyond. Before they discover 
that you are no longer in the court of the buildings 
you will be safe within the hotel." 

But even as she spoke, several men had started up 
the stairway at the head of which they stood. There 
was a sudden cry from one of the searchers. They 
had been discovered. Quickly the crowd rushed for 
the stairway. The foremost assailant leaped quickly 
upward, but at the top he met the sudden sword that 
he had not expected the quarry had been unarmed 
before. 

With a cry, the man toppled back upon those behind 
him. Like tenpins they rolled down the stairs. The 
ancient and rickety structure could not withstand the 
strain of this unwonted weight and jarring. With a 

[97] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



creaking and rending of breaking wood it collapsed 
beneath the Arabs, leaving Tarzan, Abdul, and the 
girl alone upon the frail platform at the top. 

" Come ! " cried the Ouled-Nail. " They will reach 
us from another stairway through the room next to 
mine. We have not a moment to spare." 

Just as they were entering the room Abdul heard 
and translated a cry from the yard below for several 
to hasten to the street and cut off escape from that 
side. 

" We are lost now," said the girl simply. 

"We?" questioned Tarzan. 

"Yes, m'sieur," she responded; "they will kill me 
as well. Have I not aided you? " 

This put a different aspect on the matter. Tarzan 
had rather been enjoying the excitement and danger 
of the encounter. He had not for an instant sup 
posed that either Abdul or the girl could suffer except 
through accident, and he had only retreated just 
enough to keep from being killed himself. He had 
had no intention of running away until he saw that 
he was hopelessly lost were he to remain. 

Alone he could have sprung into the midst of that 
close-packed mob, and, laying about him after the 
fashion of Numa, the lion, have struck the Arabs with 
such consternation that escape would have been easy. 
Now he must think entirely of these two faithful 
friends. 

He crossed to the window which overlooked the 
street. In a minute there would be enemies below. 

[98] 



THE DANCING GIRL OF SIDI AISSA 

Already he could hear the mob clambering the stair 
way to the next quarters they would be at the door 
beside him in another instant. He put a foot upon 
the sill and leaned out, but he did not look down. 
Above him, within arm's reach, was the low roof of 
the building. He called to the girl. She came and 
stood beside him. He put a great arm about her and 
lifted her across his shoulder. 

" Wait here until I reach down for you from above,' 5 
he said to Abdul. " In the meantime shove everything 
in the room against that door it may delay them 
long enough." Then he stepped to the sill of the 
narrow window with the girl upon his shoulders. 
"Hold tight," he cautioned her. A moment later he 
had clambered to the roof above with the ease and 
dexterity of an ape. Setting the girl down, he leaned 
far over the roof's edge, calling softly to Abdul. The 
youth ran to the window. 

" Your hand," whispered Tarzan. The men in the 
room beyond were battering at the door. With a 
sudden crash it fell splintering in, and at the same 
instant Abdul felt himself lifted like a feather onto 
the roof above. They were not a moment too soon, 
for as the men broke into the room which they had 
just quitted a dozen more rounded the corner in the 
street below and came running to a spot beneath the 
girl's window. 



[99] 




'S^i-I-*. 



VIII 

THE FIGHT IN THE DESERT 

AS the three squatted upon the roof above the 
quarters of the Ouled-Nails they heard the 
angry cursing of the Arabs in the room beneath. 
Abdul translated from time to time to Tarzan. 

" They are berating those in the street below now," 
said Abdul, " for permitting us to escape so easily. 
Those in the street say that we did not come that 
way that we are still within the building, and that 
those above, being too cowardly to attack us, are 
attempting to deceive them into believing that we have 
escaped. In a moment they will have fighting of their 
own to attend to if they continue their brawling." 

Presently those in the building gave up the search, 
and returned to the cafe. A few remained in the 
street below, smoking and talking. 

Tarzan spoke to the girl, thanking her for the 
sacrifice she had made for him, a total stranger. 

"I liked you," she said simply. "You were unlike 
the others who come to the cafe. You did not speak 
[100] 



THE FIGHT IN THE DESERT 

coarsely to me the manner in which you gave me 
money was not an insult." 

"What shall you do after tonight?" he asked. 
" You cannot return to the cafe. Can you even remain 
with safety in Sidi Aissa ? " 

" Tomorrow it will be forgotten," she replied. " But 
I should be glad if it might be that I need never return 
to this or another cafe. I have not remained because 
I wished to ; I have been a prisoner." 

"A prisoner!" ejaculated Tarzan incredulously. 

"A slave would be the better word," she answered. 
" I was stolen in the night from my father's douar by 
a band of marauders. They brought me here and sold 
me to the Arab who keeps this cafe. It has been nearly 
two years now since I saw the last of mine own people. 
They are very far to the south. They never come to 
Sidi Aissa." 

" You would like to return to your people ? " asked 
Tarzan. " Then I shall promise to see you safely so 
far as Bou Saada at least. There we can doubtless 
arrange with the commandant to send you the rest of 
the way." 

"Oh, m'sieur," she cried, "how can I ever repay 
you! You cannot really mean that you will do so 
much for a poor Ouled-Nail. But my father can 
reward you, and he will, for is he not a great sheik? 
He is Kadour ben Saden." 

" Kadour ben Saden ! " ejaculated Tarzan. " Why, 
Kadour ben Saden is in Sidi Aissa this very night. He 
dined with me but a few hours since." 
[101] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



66 My father in Sidi Aissa ? " cried the amazed girl. 
"Allah be praised then, for I am indeed saved." 

" Hssh ! " cautioned Abdul. " Listen." 

From below came the sound of voices, quite distin 
guishable upon the still night air. Tarzan could not 
understand the words, but Abdul and the girl trans 
lated. 

"They have gone now," said the latter. "It is 
you they want, m'sieur. One of them said that the 
stranger who had offered money for your slaying lay 
in the house of Akmed din Soulef with a broken wrist, 
but that he had offered a still greater reward if some 
would lay in wait for you upon the road to Bou Saada 
and kill you." 

"It is he who followed m'sieur about the market 
today," exclaimed Abdul. "I saw him again within 
the cafe him and another; and the two went out 
into the inner court after talking with this girl here. 
It was they who attacked and fired upon us as we came 
out of the cafe. Why do they wish to kill you, 
m'sieur?" 

" I do not know," replied Tarzan, and then, after a? 
pause: "Unless " But he did not finish, for the 
thought that had come to his mind, while it seemed 
the only reasonable solution of the mystery, appeared 
at the same time quite improbable. 

Presently the men in the street went away. The 

courtyard and the cafe were deserted. Cautiously 

Tarzan lowered himself to the sill of the girl's window. 

The room was empty. He returned to the roof and 

[102] 



THE FIGHT IN THE DESERT 

let Abdul down, then he lowered the girl to the arms 
of the waiting Arab. 

From the window Abdul dropped the short distance 
to the street below, while Tarzan took the girl in his 
arms and leaped down as he had done on so many other 
occasions in his own forest with a burden in his arms. 
A little cry of alarm was startled from the girl's lips, 
but Tarzan landed in the street with but an imper 
ceptible jar, and lowered her in safety to her feet. 

She clung to him for a moment. 

" How strong m'sieur is, and how active," she cried. 
"El adrea, the black lion, himself is not more so." 

"I should like to meet this el adrea of yours," he 
said. " I have heard much about him." 

"And you come to the douar of my father you shall 
see him," said the girl. "He lives in a spur of the 
mountains north of us, and comes down from his lair 
at night to rob my father's douar. With a single 
blow of his mighty paw he crushes the skull of a bull, 
and woe betide the belated wayfarer who meets el adrea 
abroad at night." 

Without further mishap they reached the hotel. The 
sleepy landlord objected strenuously to instituting a 
search for Kadour ben Saden until the following morn 
ing, but a piece of gold put a different aspect on the 
matter, so that a few moments later a servant had 
started to make the rounds of the lesser native hostel- 
ries where it might be expected that a desert sheik 
would find congenial associations. Tarzan had felt it 
necessary to find the girl's father that night, for fear 
[103] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



he might start on his homeward journey too early in 
the morning to be intercepted. 

They had waited perhaps half an hour when the 
messenger returned with Kadour ben Saden. The old 
sheik entered the room with a questioning expression 
upon his proud face. 

"Monsieur has done me the honor to " he com 
menced, and then his eyes fell upon the girl. With 
outstretched arms he crossed the room to meet her. 
" My daughter ! " he cried. "Allah is merciful ! " and 
tears dimmed the martial eyes of the old warrior. 

When the story of her abduction and her final rescue 
had been told to Kadour ben Saden he extended his 
hand to Tarzan. 

"All that is Kadour ben Saden's is thine, my friend, 
even to his life," he said very simply, but Tarzan knew 
that those were no idle words. 

It was decided that although three of them would 
have to ride after practically no sleep, it would be best 
to make an early start in the morning, and attempt to 
ride all the way to Bou Saada in one day. It would 
have been comparatively easy for the men, but for the 
girl it was sure to be a fatiguing journey. 

She, however, was the most anxious to undertake it, 
for it seemed to her that she could not quickly enough 
reach the family and friends from whom she had been 
separated for two years. 

It seemed to Tarzan that he had not closed his eyes 
before he was awakened, and in another hour the party 
was on its way south toward Bou Saada. For a few 
[104] 



THE FIGHT IN THE DESERT 

miles the road was good, and they made rapid prog 
ress, but suddenly it became only a waste of sand, into 
which the horses sank fetlock deep at nearly every 
step. In addition to Tarzan, Abdul, the sheik, and 
his daughter were four of the wild plainsmen of the 
sheik's tribe who had accompanied him upon the trip 
to Sidi Aissa. Thus, seven guns strong, they enter 
tained little fear of attack by day, and if all went well 
they should reach Bou Saada before nightfall. 

A brisk wind enveloped them in the blowing sand 
of the desert, until Tarzan's lips were parched and 
cracked. What little he could see of the surrounding 
country was far from alluring a vast expanse of 
rough country, rolling in little, barren hillocks, and 
tufted here and there with clumps of dreary shrub. 
Far to the south rose the dim lines of the Saharan 
Atlas range. How different, thought Tarzan, from 
the gorgeous Africa of his boyhood ! 

Abdul, always on the alert, looked backward quite 
as often as he did ahead. At the top of each hillock 
that they mounted he would draw in his horse and, 
turning, scan the country to the rear with utmost care. 
At last his scrutiny was rewarded. 

"Look!" he cried. "There are six horsemen be 
hind us." 

"Your friends of last evening, no doubt, mon 
sieur," remarked Kadour ben Saden dryly to Tarzan. 

" No doubt," replied the ape-man. " I am sorry 
that my society should endanger the safety of your 
journey. At the next village I shall remain and ques- 
[105] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



tion these gentlemen, while you ride on. There is no 
necessity for my being at Bou Saada tonight, and less 
still why you should not ride in peace." 

"If you stop we shall stop," said Kadour ben 
Saden. " Until you are safe with your friends, or the 
enemy has left your trail, we shall remain with you. 
There is nothing more to say." 

Tarzan but nodded his head. He was a man of few 
words, and possibly it was for this reason as much as 
any that Kadour ben Saden had taken to him, for if 
there be one thing that an Arab despises it is a talka 
tive man. 

All the balance of the day Abdul caught glimpses 
of the horsemen in their rear. They remained always 
at about the same distance. During the occasional 
halts for rest, and at the longer halt at noon, they 
approached no closer. 

" They are waiting for darkness," said Kadour ben 
Saden. 

And darkness came before they reached Bou Saada. 
The last glimpse that Abdul had of the grim, white- 
robed figures that trailed them, just before dusk made 
it impossible to distinguish them, had made it appar 
ent that they were rapidly closing up the distance that 
intervened between them and their intended quarry. 
He whispered this fact to Tarzan, for he did not wish 
to alarm the girl. The ape-man drew back beside him. 

"You will ride ahead with the others, Abdul," said 
Tarzan. " This is my quarrel. I shall wait at the next 
convenient spot, and interview these fellows." 
[106] 



THE FIGHT IN THE DESERT 

"Then Abdul shall wait at thy side," replied the 
young Arab, nor would any threats or commands move 
him from his decision. 

"Very well, then," replied Tarzan. "Here is as 
good a place as we could wish. Here are rocks at the 
top of this hillock. We shall remain hidden here and 
give an account of ourselves to these gentlemen when 
they appear." 

They drew in their horses and dismounted. The 
others riding ahead were already out of sight in the 
darkness. Beyond them shone the lights of Bou 
Saada. Tarzan removed his rifle from its boot and 
loosened his revolver in its holster. He ordered Abdul 
to withdraw behind the rocks with the horses, so that 
they should be shielded from the enemies' bullets should 
they fire. The young Arab pretended to do as he was 
bid, but when he had fastened the two animals securely 
to a low shrub he crept back to lie on his belly a few 
paces behind Tarzan. 

The ape-man stood erect in the middle of the road, 
waiting. Nor did he have long to wait. The sound 
of galloping horses came suddenly out of the darkness 
below him, and a moment later he discerned the moving 
blotches of lighter color against the solid background 
of the night. 

"Halt," he cried, "or we fire!" 

The white figures came to a sudden stop, and for a 

moment there was silence. Then came the sound of 

a whispered council, and like ghosts the phantom 

riders dispersed in all directions. Again the desert 

[107] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



lay still about him, yet it was an ominous stillness 
that foreboded evil. 

Abdul raised himself to one knee. Tarzan cocked 
his jungle-trained ears, and presently there came to 
him the sound of horses walking quietly through the 
sand to the east of him, to the west, to the north, and 
to the south. They had been surrounded. Then a 
shot came from the direction in which he was looking, 
a bullet whirred through the air above his head, and 
he fired at the flash of the enemy's gun. 

Instantly the soundless waste was torn with the 
quick staccato of guns upon every hand. Abdul and 
Tarzan fired only at the flashes they could not yet 
see their foemen. Presently it became evident that 
the attackers were circling their position, drawing 
closer and closer in as they began to realize the paltry 
numbers of the party which opposed them. 

But one came too close, for Tarzan was accustomed 
to using his eyes in the darkness of the jungle night, 
than which there is no more utter darkness this side 
the grave, and with a cry of pain a saddle was emptied. 

" The odds are evening, Abdul," said Tarzan, with 
a low laugh. 

But they were still far too one-sided, and when the 
five remaining horsemen whirled at a signal and 
charged full upon them it looked as if there would 
be a sudden ending of the battle. Both Tarzan and 
Abdul sprang to the shelter of the rocks, that they 
might keep the enemy in front of them. There was a 
mad clatter of galloping hoofs, a volley of shots from 
[108] 



THE FIGHT IN THE DESERT 

both sides, and the Arabs withdrew to repeat the 
maneuver; but there were now only four against the 
two. 

For a few moments there came no sound from out 
of the surrounding blackness. Tarzan could not tell 
whether the Arabs, satisfied with their losses, had given 
up the fight, or were waiting farther along the road 
to waylay them as they proceeded on toward Bou 
Saada. But he was not left long in doubt, for now 
all from one direction came the sound of a new charge. 
But scarcely had the first gun spoken ere a dozen shots 
rang out behind the Arabs. There came the wild 
shouts of a new party to the controversy, and the 
pounding of the feet of many horses from down the 
road to Bou Saada. 

The Arabs did not wait to learn the identity of the 
oncomers. With a parting volley as they dashed by 
the position which Tarzan and Abdul were holding, 
they plunged off along the road toward Sidi Aissa. 
A moment later Kadour ben Saden and his men 
dashed up. 

The old sheik was much relieved to find that neither 
Tarzan nor Abdul had received a scratch. Not even 
had their horses been wounded. They sought out the 
two men who had fallen before Tarzan's shots, and, 
finding that both were dead, left them where they lay. 

"Why did you not tell me that you contemplated 
ambushing those fellows?" asked the sheik in a hurt 
tone. "We might have had them all if the seven of 
us had stopped to meet them." 
[109] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



"Then it would have been useless to stop at all," 
replied Tarzan, " for had we simply ridden on toward 
Bou Saada they would have been upon us presently, 
and all could have been engaged. It was to prevent 
the transfer of my own quarrel to another's shoulders 
that Abdul and I stopped off to question them. Then 
there is your daughter I could not be the cause of 
exposing her needlessly to the marksmanship of six 
men." 

Kadour ben Saden shrugged his shoulders. He did 
not relish having been cheated out of a fight. 

The little battle so close to Bou Saada had drawn 
out a company of soldiers. Tarzan and his party met 
them just outside the town. The officer in charge 
halted them to learn the significance of the shots. 

"A handful of marauders," replied Kadour ben 
Saden. " They attacked two of our number who had 
dropped behind, but when we returned to them the 
fellows soon dispersed. They left two dead. None of 
my party was injured." 

This seemed to satisfy the officer, and after taking 
the names of the party he marched his men on toward 
the scene of the skirmish to bring back the dead men 
for purposes of identification, if possible. 

Two days later, Kadour ben Saden, with his daugh 
ter and followers, rode south through the pass below 
Bou Saada, bound for their home in the far wilder 
ness. The sheik had urged Tarzan to accompany him, 
and the girl had added her entreaties to those of her 
father; but, though he could not explain it to them, 
[110] 



THE FIGHT IN THE DESERT 

Tarzan's duties loomed particularly large after the 
happenings of the past few days, so that he could not 
think of leaving his post for an instant. But he 
promised to come later if it lay within his power to 
do so, and they had to content themselves with that 
assurance. 

During these two days Tarzan had spent practically 
all his time with Kadour ben Saden and his daughter. 
He was keenly interested in this race of stern and 
dignified warriors, and embraced the opportunity which 
their friendship offered to learn what he could of their 
lives and customs. He even commenced to acquire the 
rudiments of their language under the pleasant tutor 
age of the brown-eyed girl. It was with real regret 
that he saw them depart, and he sat his horse at the 
opening to the pass, as far as which he had accompa 
nied them, gazing after the little party as long as he 
could catch a glimpse of them. 

Here were people after his own heart ! Their wild, 
rough lives, filled with danger and hardship, appealed 
to this half -savage man as nothing had appealed to 
him in the midst of the effeminate civilization of the 
great cities he had visited. Here was a life that 
excelled even that of the jungle, for here he might 
have the society of men real men whom he could 
honor and respect, and yet be near to the wild nature 
that he loved. In his head revolved an idea that when 
he had completed his mission he would resign and 
return to live for the remainder of his life with the 
tribe of Kadour ben Saden. 

cm] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



Then he turned his horse's head and rode slowly 
back to Bou Saada. 

The front of the Hotel du Petit Sahara, where 
Tarzan stopped in Bou Saada, is taken up with the 
bar, two dining-rooms, and the kitchens. Both of the 
dining-rooms open directly off the bar, and one of 
them is reserved for the use of the officers of the 
garrison. As you stand in the barroom you may look 
into either of the dining-rooms if you wish. 

It was to the bar that Tarzan repaired after speed 
ing Kadour ben Saden and his party on their way. 
It was yet early in the morning, for Kadour ben Saden 
had elected to ride far that day, so that it happened 
that when Tarzan returned there were guests still at 
breakfast. 

As his casual glance wandered into the officers' 
dining-room, Tarzan saw something which brought a 
look of interest to his eyes. Lieutenant Gernois was 
sitting there, and as Tarzan looked a white-robed 
Arab approached and, bending, whispered a few words 
into the lieutenant's ear. Then he passed on out of 
the building through another door. 

In itself the thing was nothing, but as the man had 
stooped to speak to the officer, Tarzan had caught 
sight of something which the accidental parting of the 
man's burnoose had revealed he carried his left arm 
in a sling. 



[112] 




IX 



NUMA "EL ADREA 7 

ON the same day that Kadour ben Saden rode 
south the diligence from the north brought 
Tarzan a letter from D'Arnot which had been for 
warded from Sidi-bel- Abbes. It opened the old wound 
that Tarzan would have been glad to have forgotten ; 
yet he was not sorry that D'Arnot had written, for 
one at least of his subjects could never cease to interest 
the ape-man. Here is the letter: 

MY DEAR JEAN: 

Since last I wrote you I have been across to London 
on a matter of business. I was there but three days. 
The very first day I came upon an old friend of yours 
quite unexpectedly in Henrietta Street. Now you 
never in the world would guess whom. None other than 
Mr. Samuel T. Philander. But it is true. I can see 
your look of incredulity. Nor is this all. He insisted 
that I return to the hotel with him, and there I found 
the others Professor Archimedes Q. Porter, Miss 
Porter, and that enormous black woman, Miss Porter's 
maid Esmeralda, you will recall. While I was there 
Clayton came in. They are to be married soon, or rather 
sooner, for I rather suspect that we shall receive an 
nouncements almost any day. On account of his father's 
[113] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



death it is to be a very quiet affair only blood relatives. 

While I was alone with Mr. Philander the old fellow 
became rather confidential. Said Miss Porter had already 
postponed the wedding on three different occasions. He 
confided that it appeared to him that she was not par 
ticularly anxious to marry Clayton at all; but this time 
it seems that it is quite likely to go through. 

Of course they all asked after you, but I respected 
your wishes in the matter of your true origin, and only 
spoke to them of your present affairs. 

Miss Porter was especially interested in everything I 
had to say about you, and asked many questions. I am 
afraid I took a rather unchivalrous delight in picturing 
your desire and resolve to go back eventually to your 
native jungle. I was sorry afterward, for it did seem to 
cause her real anguish to contemplate the awful dangers 
to which you wished to return. "And yet," she said, 
"I do not know. There are more unhappy fates than 
the grim and terrible jungle presents to Monsieur Tarzan. 
At least his conscience will be free from remorse. And 
there are moments of quiet and restfulness by day, and 
vistas of exquisite beauty. You may find it strange that 
I should say it, who experienced such terrifying expe 
riences in that frightful forest, yet at times I long to 
return, for I cannot but feel that the happiest moments 
of my life were spent there." 

There was an expression of ineffable sadness on her 
face as she spoke, and I could not but feel that she knew 
that I knew her secret, and that this was her way of 
transmitting to you a last tender message from a heart 
that might still enshrine your memory, though its pos 
sessor belonged to another. 

Clayton appeared nervous and ill at ease while you 
were the subject of conversation. He wore a worried 
and harassed expression. Yet he was very kindly in his 
expressions of interest in you. I wonder if he suspects 
the truth about you ? 

Tennington came in with Clayton. They are great 
friends, you know. He is about to set out upon one of 

[114] 



NUMA "EL ADREA" 



his interminable cruises in that yacht of his, and was 
urging the entire party to accompany him. Tried to 
inveigle me into it, too. Is thinking of circumnavigating 
Africa this time. I told him that his precious toy would 
take him and some of his friends to the bottom of the 
ocean one of these days if he didn't get it out of his head 
that she was a liner or a battleship. 

I returned to Paris day before yesterday, and yester 
day I met the Count and Countess de Coude at the races. 
They inquired after you. De Coude really seems quite 
fond of you. Doesn't appear to harbor the least ill will. 
Olga is as beautiful as ever, but a trifle subdued. I 
imagine that she learned a lesson through her acquaint 
ance with you that will serve her in good stead during 
the balance of her life. It is fortunate for her, and for 
De Coude as well, that it was you and not another man 
more sophisticated. 

Had you really paid court to Olga's heart I am afraid 
that there would have been no hope for either of you. 

She asked me to tell you that Nikolas had left France. 
She paid him twenty thousand francs to go away, and 
stay. She is congratulating herself that she got rid of 
him before he tried to carry out a threat he recently made 
her that he should kill you at the first opportunity. She 
said that she should hate to think that her brother's blood 
was on your hands, for she is very fond of you, and made 
no bones in saying so before the count. It never for a 
moment seemed to occur to her that there might be any 
possibility of any other outcome of a meeting between 
you and Nikolas. The count quite agreed with her in 
that. He added that it would take a regiment of Rokoffs 
to kill you. He has a most healthy respect for your 
prowess. 

Have been ordered back to my ship. She sails from 
Havre in two days under sealed orders. If you will 
address me in her care, the letters will find me even 
tually. I shall write you as soon as another opportunity 
presents. Your sincere friend, 

PAUL D'ARNOT. 
[115] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



"I fear," mused Tarzan, half aloud, "that Olga 
has thrown away her twenty thousand francs." 

He read over that part of D'Arnot's letter several 
times in which he had quoted from his conversation 
with Jane Porter. Tarzan derived a rather pathetic 
happiness from it, but it was better than no happiness 
at all. 

The following three weeks were quite uneventful. 
On several occasions Tarzan saw the mysterious Arab, 
and once again he had been exchanging words with 
Lieutenant Gernois; but no amount of espionage or 
shadowing by Tarzan revealed the Arab's lodgings, 
the location of which Tarzan was anxious to ascertain. 

Gernois, never cordial, had kept more than ever 
aloof from Tarzan since the episode in the dining- 
room of the hotel at Aumale. His attitude on the few 
occasions that they had been thrown together had been 
distinctly hostile. 

That he might keep up the appearance of the 
character he was playing, Tarzan spent considerable 
time hunting in the vicinity of Bou Saada. He would 
spend entire days in the foothills, ostensibly searching 
for gazelle, but on the few occasions that he came 
close enough to any of the beautiful little animals to 
harm them he invariably allowed them to escape with 
out so much as taking his rifle from its boot. The 
ape-man could see no sport in slaughtering the most 
harmless and defenseless of God's creatures for the 
mere pleasure of killing. 

In fact, Tarzan had never killed for "pleasure," 
[1161 



NUMA EL ADREA " 



nor to him was there pleasure in killing. It was the 
joy of righteous battle that he loved the ecstasy of 
victory. And the keen and successful hunt for food 
in which he pitted his skill and craftiness against the 
skill and craftiness of another ; but to come out of a 
town filled with food to shoot down a soft-eyed, pretty 
gazelle ah, that was crueller than the deliberate and 
cold-blooded murder of a fellow man. Tarzan would 
have none of it, and so he hunted alone that none 
might discover the sham that he was practicing. 

And once, probably because of the fact that he rode 
alone, he was like to have lost his life. He was rid 
ing slowly through a little ravine when a shot sounded 
close behind him, and a bullet passed through the cork 
helmet he wore. Although he turned at once and gal 
loped rapidly to the top of the ravine, there was no 
sign of any enemy, nor did he see aught of another 
human being until he reached Bou Saada. 

" Yes," he soliloquized, in recalling the occurrence, 
"Olga has indeed thrown away her twenty thousand 
francs." 

That night he was Captain Gerard's guest at a 
little dinner. 

"Your hunting has not been very fortunate? " ques 
tioned the officer. 

"No," replied Tarzan; "the game hereabout is 
timid, nor do I care particularly about hunting game 
birds or antelope. I think I shall move on farther 
south, and have a try at some of your Algerian lions." 

" Good ! " exclaimed the captain. " We are march- 
[117] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



ing toward Djelfa on the morrow. You shall have 
company that far at least. Lieutenant Gernois and I, 
with a hundred men, are ordered south to patrol a 
district in which the marauders are giving considerable 
trouble. Possibly we may have the pleasure of hunt 
ing the lion together what say you ? " 

Tarzan was more than pleased, nor did he hesitate 
to say so ; but the captain would have been astonished 
had he known the real reason of Tarzan's pleasure. 
Gernois was sitting opposite the ape-man. He did not 
seem so pleased with his captain's invitation. 

" You will find lion hunting more exciting than ga 
zelle shooting," remarked Captain Gerard, " and more 
dangerous." 

"Even gazelle shooting has its dangers," replied 
Tarzan. " Especially when one goes alone. I found 
it so today. I also found that while the gazelle is the 
most timid of animals, it is not the most cowardly." 

He let his glance rest only casually upon Gernois 
after he had spoken, for he did not wish the man to 
know that he was under suspicion, or surveillance, 
no matter what he might think. The effect of his 
remark upon him, however, might tend to prove his 
connection with, or knowledge of, certain recent hap 
penings. Tarzan saw a dull red creep up from be 
neath Gernois' collar. He was satisfied, and quickly 
changed the subject. 

When the column rode south from Bou Saada the 
next morning there were half a dozen Arabs bringing 
up the rear. 

[118] 



NUMA "EL ADREA" 



"They are not attached to the command," replied 
Gerard in response to Tarzan's query. " They merely 
accompany us on the road for companionship." 

Tarzan had learned enough about Arab character 
since he had been in Algeria to know that this was no 
real motive, for the Arab is never overfond of the 
companionship of strangers, and especially of French 
soldiers. So his suspicions were aroused, and he de 
cided to keep a sharp eye on the little party that 
trailed behind the column at a distance of about a 
quarter of a mile. But they did not come close enough 
even during the halts to enable him to obtain a close 
scrutiny of them. 

He had long been convinced that there were hired 
assassins on his trail, nor was he in great doubt but 
that Rokoff was at the bottom of the plot. Whether 
it was to be revenge for the several occasions in the 
past that Tarzan had defeated the Russian's purposes 
and humiliated him, or was in some way connected 
with his mission in the Gernois affair, he could not 
determine. If the latter, and it seemed probable since 
the evidence he had had that Gernois suspected him, 
then he had two rather powerful enemies to contend 
with, for there would be many opportunities in the 
wilds of Algeria, for which they were bound, to dis 
patch a suspected enemy quietly and without attract 
ing suspicion. 

After camping at Djelfa for two days the column 
moved to the southwest, from whence word had come 
that the marauders were operating against the tribes 
[119] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



whose douars were situated at the foot of the moun 
tains. 

The little band of Arabs who had accompanied 
them from Bou Saada had disappeared suddenly the 
very night that orders had been given to prepare 
for the morrow's march from Djelfa. Tarzan made 
casual inquiries among the men, but none could tell 
him why they had left, or in what direction they had 
gone. He did not like the looks of it, especially in 
view of the fact that he had seen Gernois in conver 
sation with one of them some half hour after Captain 
Gerard had issued his instructions relative to the new 
move. Only Gernois and Tarzan knew the direction 
of the proposed march. All the soldiers knew was 
that they were to be prepared to break camp early the 
next morning. Tarzan wondered if Gernois could 
have revealed their destination to the Arabs. 

Late that afternoon they went into camp at a little 
oasis in which was the douar of a sheik whose flocks 
were being stolen, and whose herdsmen were being 
killed. The Arabs came out of their goatskin tents, 
and surrounded the soldiers, asking many questions in 
the native tongue, for the soldiers were themselves 
natives. Tarzan, who, by this time, with the assistance 
of Abdul, had picked up quite a smattering of Arab, 
questioned one of the younger men who had accom 
panied the sheik while the latter paid his respects to 
Captain Gerard. 

No, he had seen no party of six horsemen riding 
from the direction of Djelfa. There were other oases 
[1201 



NUMA "EL ADREA" 



scattered about possibly they had been journeying 
to one of these. Then there were the marauders in 
the mountains above they often rode north to Bou 
Saada in small parties, and even as far as Aumale and 
Bouira. It might indeed have been a few marauders 
returning to the band from a pleasure trip to one of 
these cities. 

Early the next morning Captain Gerard split his 
command in two, giving Lieutenant Gernois command 
of one party, while he headed the other. They were 
to scour the mountains upon opposite sides of the 
plain. 

"And with which detachment will Monsieur Tarzan 
ride ? " asked the captain. " Or maybe it is that mon 
sieur does not care to hunt marauders ? " 

" Oh, I shall be delighted to go," Tarzan hastened 
to explain. He was wondering what excuse he could 
make to accompany Gernois. His embarrassment was 
short-lived, and was relieved from a most unexpected 
source. It was Gernois himself who spoke. 

"If my captain will forego the pleasure of Mon 
sieur Tarzan's company for this once, I shall esteem 
it an honor indeed to have monsieur ride with me 
today," he said, nor was his tone lacking in cordiality. 
In fact, Tarzan imagined that he had overdone it a 
trifle, but, even so, he was both astounded and pleased, 
hastening to express his delight at the arrangement. 

And so it was that Lieutenant Gernois and Tarzan 
rode off side by side at the head of the little detach 
ment of spahis. Gernois' cordiality was short-lived. 
[121] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



No sooner had they ridden out of sight of Captain 
Gerard and his men than he lapsed once more into his 
accustomed taciturnity. As they advanced the ground 
became rougher. Steadily it ascended toward the 
mountains, into which they filed through a narrow 
canon close to noon. By the side of a little rivulet 
Gernois called the midday halt. Here the men pre 
pared and ate their frugal meal, and refilled their 
canteens. 

After an hour's rest they advanced again along the 
canon, until they presently came to a little valley, 
from which several rocky gorges diverged. Here they 
halted, while Gernois minutely examined the surround 
ing heights from the center of the depression. 

" We shall separate here," he said, " several riding 
into each of these gorges," and then he commenced to 
detail his various squads and issue instructions to the 
non-commissioned officers who were to command them. 
When he had done he turned to Tarzan. " Monsieur 
will be so good as to remain here until we return." 

Tarzan demurred, but the officer cut him short. 
" There may be fighting for one of these sections," he 
said, "and troops cannot be embarrassed by civilian 
noncombatants during action." 

"But, my dear lieutenant," expostulated Tarzan, 
"I am most ready and willing to place myself under 
command of yourself or any of your sergeants or 
corporals, and to fight in the ranks as they direct. 
It is what I came for." 

"I should be glad to think so," retorted Gernois, 



NUMA " EL ADREA " 



with a sneer he made no attempt to disguise. Then 
shortly: "You are under my orders, and they are 
that you remain here until we return. Let that end 
the matter," and he turned and spurred away at the 
head of his men. A moment later Tarzan found him 
self alone in the midst of a desolate mountain fastness. 

The sun was hot, so he sought the shelter of a 
nearby tree, where he tethered his horse, and sat down 
upon the ground to smoke. Inwardly he swore at 
Gernois for the trick he had played upon him. A mean 
little revenge, thought Tarzan, and then suddenly it 
occurred to him that the man would not be such a fool 
as to antagonize him through a trivial annoyance of 
so petty a description. There must be something 
deeper than this behind it. With the thought he arose 
and removed his rifle from its boot. He looked to its 
loads and saw that the magazine was full. Then he 
inspected his revolver. After this preliminary pre 
caution he scanned the surrounding heights and the 
mouths of the several gorges he was determined 
that he should not be caught napping. 

The sun sank lower and lower, yet there was no 
sign of returning spahis. At last the valley was sub 
merged in shadow. Tarzan was too proud to go back 
to camp until he had given the detachment ample time 
to return to the valley, which he thought was to have 
been their rendezvous. With the closing in of night 
he felt safer from attack, for he was at home in the 
dark. He knew that none might approach him so 
cautiously as to elude those alert and sensitive ears 
[123] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



of his ; then there were his eyes, too, for he could see 
well at night ; and his nose, if they came toward him 
from up-wind, would apprise him of the approach of 
an enemy while they were still a great way off. 

So he felt that he was in little danger, and thus 
lulled to a sense of security he fell asleep, with his 
back against the tree. 

He must have slept for several hours, for when he 
was suddenly awakened by the frightened snorting 
and plunging of his horse the moon was shining full 
upon the little valley, and there, not ten paces before 
him, stood the grim cause of the terror of his mount. 

Superb, majestic, his graceful tail extended and 
quivering, and his two eyes of fire riveted full upon 
his prey, stood Numa el adrea, the black lion. A little 
thrill of joy tingled through Tarzan's nerves. It was 
like meeting an old friend after years of separation. 
For a moment he sat rigid to enjoy the magnificent 
spectacle of this lord of the wilderness. 

But now Numa was crouching for the spring. Very 
slowly Tarzan raised his gun to his shoulder. He had 
never killed a large animal with a gun in all his life 
heretofore he had depended upon his spear, his poi 
soned arrows, his rope, his knife, or his bare hands. 
Instinctively he wished that he had his arrows and his 
knife he would have felt surer with them. 

Numa was lying quite flat upon the ground now, 
presenting only his head. Tarzan would have pre 
ferred to fire a little from one side, for he knew what 
terrific damage the lion could do if he lived two 
[124] 



NUMA " EL ADREA " 



minutes, or even a minute after he was hit. The horse 
stood trembling in terror at Tarzan's back. The ape- 
man took a cautious step to one side Numa but 
followed him with his eyes. Another step he took, 
and then another. Numa had not moved. Now he 
could aim at a point between the eye and the ear. 

His finger tightened upon the trigger, and as he 
fired Numa sprang. At the same instant the terrified 
horse made a last frantic effort to escape the tether 
parted, and he went careening down the canon toward 
the desert. 

No ordinary man could have escaped those fright 
ful claws when Numa sprang from so short a distance, 
but Tarzan was no ordinary man. From earliest 
childhood his muscles had been trained by the fierce 
exigencies of his existence to act with the rapidity of 
thought. As quick as was el adrea, Tarzan of the 
Apes was quicker, and so the great beast crashed 
against a tree where he had expected to feel the soft 
flesh of man, while Tarzan, a couple of paces to the 
right, pumped another bullet into him that brought 
him clawing and roaring to his side. 

Twice more Tarzan fired in quick succession, and 
then el adrea lay still and roared no more. It was no 
longer Monsieur Jean Tarzan ; it was Tarzan of the 
Apes that put a savage foot upon the body of his 
savage kill, and, raising his face to the full moon, 
lifted his mighty voice in the weird and terrible chal 
lenge of his kind a bull ape had made his kill. And 
the wild things in the wild mountains stopped in their 
[125] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



hunting, and trembled at this new and awful voice, 
while down in the desert the children of the wilderness 
came out of their goatskin tents and looked toward 
the mountains, wondering what new and savage 
scourge had come to devastate their flocks. 

A half mile from the valley in which Tarzan stood, 
a score of white-robed figures, bearing long, wicked- 
looking guns, halted at the sound, and looked at one 
another with questioning eyes. But presently, as it 
was not repeated, they took up their silent, stealthy 
way toward the valley. 

Tarzan was now confident that Gernois had no in 
tention of returning for him, but he could not fathom 
the object that had prompted the officer to desert him, 
yet leave him free to return to camp. His horse gone, 
he decided that it would be foolish to remain longer 
in the mountains, so he set out toward the desert. 

He had scarcely entered the confines of the canon 
when the first of the white-robed figures emerged into 
the valley upon the opposite side. For a moment they 
scanned the little depression from behind sheltering 
bowlders, but when they had satisfied themselves that 
it was empty they advanced across it. Beneath the 
tree at one side they came upon the body of el adrea. 
With muttered exclamations they crowded about it. 
Then, a moment later, they hurried down the canon 
which Tarzan was threading a brief distance in ad 
vance of them. They moved cautiously and in silence, 
taking advantage of shelter, as men do who are 
stalking man. 

[126] 




THROUGH THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW 

A S Tarzan walked down the wild canon beneath 
* * the brilliant African moon the call of the jungle 
was strong upon him. The solitude and the savage 
freedom filled his heart with life and buoyancy. Again 
he was Tarzan of the Apes every sense alert against 
the chance of surprise by some jungle enemy yet 
treading lightly and with head erect, in proud con 
sciousness of his might. 

The nocturnal sounds of the mountains were new to 
him, yet they fell upon his ears like the soft voice of 
a half -forgotten love. Many he intuitively sensed 
ah, there was one that was familiar indeed ; the distant 
coughing of Sheeta, the leopard; but there was a 
strange note in the final wail which made him doubt. 
It was a panther he heard. 

Presently a new sound a soft, stealthy sound 
obtruded itself among the others. No human ears 
other than the ape-man's would have detected it. At 
[127] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



first he did not translate it, but finally he realized that 
it came from the bare feet of a number of human 
beings. They were behind him, and they were coming 
toward him quietly. He was being stalked. 

In a flash he knew why he had been left in that little 
valley by Gernois ; but there had been a hitch in the 
arrangements the men had come too late. Closer 
and closer came the footsteps. Tarzan halted and 
faced them, his rifle ready in his hand. Now he caught 
a fleeting glimpse of a white burnoose. He called 
aloud in French, asking what they would of him. His 
reply was the flash of a long gun, and with the sound 
of the shot Tarzan of the Apes plunged forward upon 
his face. 

The Arabs did not rush out immediately; instead, 
they waited to be sure that their victim did not rise. 
Then they came rapidly from their concealment, and 
bent over him. It was soon apparent that he was not 
dead. One of the men put the muzzle of his gun to 
the back of Tarzan's head to finish him, but another 
waved him aside. " If we bring him alive the reward 
is to be greater," explained the latter. 

So they bound his hands and feet, and, picking him 
up, placed him on the shoulders of four of their 
number. Then the march was resumed toward the 
desert. When they had come out of the mountains 
they turned toward the south, and about daylight 
came to the spot where their horses stood in care of 
two of their number. 

From here on their progress was more rapid. 
[128] 



THROUGH THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW 

Tarzan, who had regained consciousness, was tied to 
a spare horse, which they evidently had brought for 
the purpose. His wound was but a slight scratch, 
which had furrowed the flesh across his temple. It 
had stopped bleeding, but the dried and clotted blood 
smeared his face and clothing. He had said no word 
since he had fallen into the hands of these Arabs, nor 
had they addressed him other than to issue a few brief 
commands to him when the horses had been reached. 

For six hours they rode rapidly across the burning 
desert, avoiding the oases near which their way led. 
About noon they came to a douar of about twenty 
tents. Here they halted, and as one of the Arabs was 
releasing the alfa-grass ropes which bound him to his 
mount they were surrounded by a mob of men, women, 
and children. Many of the tribe, and more especially 
the women, appeared to take delight in heaping insults 
upon the prisoner, and some had even gone so far as 
to throw stones at him and strike him with sticks, when 
an old sheik appeared and drove them away. 

"Ali-ben- Ahmed tells me," he said, "that this man 
sat alone in the mountains and slew el adrea. What the 
business of the stranger who sent us after him may be, 
I know not, and what he may do with this man when 
we turn him over to him, I care not ; but the prisoner 
is a brave man, and while he is in our hands he shall 
be treated with the respect that be due one who hunts 
the lord with the large head alone and by night and 
slays him." 

Tarzan had heard of the respect in which Arabs 
[129] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



held a lion-killer, and he was not sorry that chance 
had played into his hands thus favorably to relieve 
him of the petty tortures of the tribe. Shortly after 
this he was taken to a goatskin tent upon the upper 
side of the douar. There he was fed, and then, 
securely bound, was left lying on a piece of native 
carpet, alone in the tent. 

He could see a guard sitting before the door of his 
frail prison, but when he attempted to force the stout 
bonds that held him he realized that any extra precau 
tion on the part of his captors was quite unnecessary ; 
not even his giant muscles could part those numerous 
strands. 

Just before dusk several men approached the tent 
where he lay, and entered it. All were in Arab dress, 
but presently one of the number advanced to Tarzan's 
side, and as he let the folds of cloth that had hidden 
the lower half of his face fall away the ape-man saw 
the malevolent features of Nikolas Rokoff. There 
was a nasty smile on the bearded lips. 

"Ah, Monsieur Tarzan," he said, "this is indeed a 
pleasure. But why do you not rise and greet your 
guest?" Then, with an ugly oath, "Get up, you 
dog!" and, drawing back his booted foot, he kicked 
Tarzan heavily in the side. "And here is another, and 
another, and another," he continued, as he kicked 
Tarzan about the face and side. "One for each of 
the injuries you have done me." 

The ape-man made no reply he did not even 
deign to look upon the Russian again after the first 
[130] 



THROUGH THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW 

glance of recognition. Finally the sheik, who had 
been standing a mute and frowning witness of the 
cowardly attack, intervened. 

"Stop!" he commanded. "Kill him if you will, 
but I will see no brave man subjected to such indig 
nities in my presence. I have half a mind to turn him 
loose, that I may see how long you would kick him 
then." 

This threat put a sudden end to RokofPs brutality, 
for he had no craving to see Tarzan loosed from his 
bonds while he was within reach of those powerful 
hands. 

"Very well," he replied to the Arab; "I shall kill 
him presently." 

" Not within the precincts of my douar," returned 
the sheik. "When he leaves here he leaves alive. 
What you do with him in the desert is none of my 
concern, but I shall not have the blood of a French 
man on the hands of my tribe on account of another 
man's quarrel they would send soldiers here and kill 
many of my people, and burn our tents and drive away 
our flocks." 

"As you say," growled Rokoff. "I'll take him out 
into the desert below the douar, and dispatch him." 

" You will take him a day's ride from my country," 
said the sheik, firmly, " and some of my children shall 
follow you to see that you do not disobey me other 
wise there may be two dead Frenchmen in the desert." 

Rokoff shrugged. " Then I shall have to wait until 
the morrow it is already dark." 
[131] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



"As you will," said the sheik. "But by an hour 
after dawn you must be gone from my douar. I have 
little liking for unbelievers, and none at all for a 
coward." 

Rokoff would have made some kind of retort, but 
he checked himself, for he realized that it would re 
quire but little excuse for the old man to turn upon 
him. Together they left the tent. At the door Rokoff 
could not resist the temptation to turn and fling a 
parting taunt at Tarzan. 

" Sleep well, monsieur," he said, " and do not for 
get to pray well, for when you die tomorrow it will 
be in such agony that you will be unable to pray for 
blaspheming." 

No one had bothered to bring Tarzan either food 
or water since noon, and consequently he suffered 
considerably from thirst. He wondered if it would be 
worth while to ask his guard for water, but after 
making two or three requests without receiving any 
response, he decided that it would not. 

Far up in the mountains he heard a lion roar. How 
much safer one was, he soliloquized, in the haunts of 
wild beasts than in the haunts of men. Never in all 
his jungle life had be been more relentlessly tracked 
down than in the past few months of his experience 
among civilized men. Never had he been any nearer 
death. 

Again the lion roared. It sounded a little nearer. 
Tarzan felt the old, wild impulse to reply with the 
challenge of his kind. His kind? He had almost 



THROUGH THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW 

forgotten that he was a man and not an ape. He 
tugged at his bonds. God, if he could but get them 
near those strong teeth of his. He felt a wild wave 
of madness sweep over him as his efforts to regain his 
liberty met with failure. 

Numa was roaring almost continually now. It was 
quite evident that he was coming down into the desert 
to hunt. It was the roar of a hungry lion. Tarzan 
envied him, for he was free. No one would tie him 
with ropes and slaughter him like a sheep. It was 
that which galled the ape-man. He did not fear to 
die, no it was the humiliation of defeat before 
death, without even a chance to battle for his life. 

It must be near midnight, thought Tarzan. He 
had several hours to live. Possibly he would yet find 
a way to take Rokoff with him on the long journey. 
He could hear the savage lord of the desert quite 
close by now. Possibly he sought his meat from 
among the penned animals within the douar. 

For a long time silence reigned, then Tarzan's 
trained ears caught the sound of a stealthily moving 
body. It came from the side of the tent nearest the 
mountains the back. Nearer and nearer it came. 
He waited, listening intently, for it to pass. For a 
time there was silence without, such a terrible silence 
that Tarzan was surprised that he did not hear the 
breathing of the animal he felt sure must be crouching 
close to the back wall of his tent. 

There! It is moving again. Closer it creeps. 
Tarzan turns his head in the direction of the sound. 
[133] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



It is very dark within the tent. Slowly the back rises 
from the ground, forced up by the head and shoulders 
of a body that looks all black in the semi-darkness. 
Beyond is a faint glimpse of the dimly starlit desert. 

A grim smile plays about Tarzan's lips. At least 
Rokoff will be cheated. How mad he will be! And 
death will be more merciful than he could have hoped 
for at the hands of the Russian. 

Now the back of the tent drops into place, and all 
is darkness again whatever it is is inside the tent 
with him. He hears it creeping close to him now 
it is beside him. He closes his eyes and waits for the 
mighty paw. Upon his upturned face falls the gentle 
touch of a soft hand groping in the dark, and then a 
girl's voice in a scarcely audible whisper pronounces 
his name. 

"Yes, it is I," he whispers in reply. "But in the 
name of Heaven who are you ? " 

"The Ouled-Nail of Sidi Aissa," came the answer. 
While she spoke Tarzan could feel her working about 
his bonds. Occasionally the cold steel of a knife 
touched his flesh. A moment later he was free. 

" Come ! " she whispered. 

On hands and knees he followed her out of the tent 
by the way she had come. She continued crawling 
thus flat to the ground until she reached a little patch 
of shrub. There she halted until he gained her side. 
For a moment he looked at her before he spoke. 

" I cannot understand," he said at last. " Why are 
you here? How did you know that I was a prisoner 
[134] 



THROUGH THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW 

in that tent? How does it happen that it is you who 
have saved me ? " 

She smiled. " I have come a long way tonight," 
she said, "and we have a long way to go before we 
shall be out of danger. Come ; I shall tell you all 
about it as we go." 

Together they rose and set off across the desert in 
the direction of the mountains. 

" I was not quite sure that I should ever reach you," 
she said at last. "El adrea is abroad tonight, and 
after I left the horses I think he winded me and was 
following I was terribly frightened." 

"What a brave girl," he said. "And you ran all 
that risk for a stranger an alien an unbeliever?" 

She drew herself up very proudly. 

"I am the daughter of the Sheik Kabour ben 
Saden," she answered. "I should be no fit daughter 
of his if I would not risk my life to save that of the 
man who saved mine while he yet thought that I was 
but a common Ouled-Nail." 

" Nevertheless," he insisted, " you are a very brave 
girl. But how did you know that I was a prisoner 
back there?" 

"Achmet-din-Taieb, who is my cousin on my father's 
side, was visiting some friends who belong to the tribe 
that captured you. He was at the douar when you 
were brought in. When he reached home he was tell 
ing us about the big Frenchman who had been cap 
tured by Ali-ben-Ahmed for another Frenchman who 
wished to kill him. From the description I knew 
[135] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



that it must be you. My father was away. I tried 
to persuade some of the men to come and save you, 
but they would not do it, saying : * Let the unbeliev 
ers kill one another if they wish. It is none of our 
affair, and if we go and interfere with Ali-ben- Ahmed's 
plans we shall only stir up a fight with our own 
people.' 

" So when it was dark I came alone, riding one 
horse and leading another for you. They are tethered 
not far from here. By morning we shall be within my 
father's douar. He should be there himself by now 
then let them come and try to take Kadour ben Saden's 
friend." 

For a few moments they walked on in silence. 

"We should be near the horses," she said. "It is 
strange that I do not see them here." 

Then a moment later she stopped, with a little cry 
of consternation. 

" They are gone ! " she exclaimed. " It is here that 
I tethered them." 

Tarzan stooped to examine the ground. He found 
that a large shrub had been torn up by the roots. 
Then he found something else. There was a wry smile 
on his face as he rose and turned toward the girl. 

"El adrea has been here. From the signs, though, I 
rather think that his prey escaped him. With a little 
start they would be safe enough from him in the 
open." 

There was nothing to do but continue on foot. The 
way led them across a low spur of the mountains, but 
[136] 



THROUGH THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW 

the girl knew the trail as well as she did her mother's 
face. They walked in easy, swinging strides, Tarzan 
keeping a hand's breadth behind the girl's shoulder, 
that she might set the pace, and thus be less fatigued. 
As they walked they talked, occasionally stopping to 
listen for sounds of pursuit. 

It was now a beautiful, moonlit night. The air was 
crisp and invigorating. Behind them lay the intermi 
nable vista of the desert, dotted here and there with an 
occasional oasis. The date palms of the little fertile 
spot they had just left, and the circle of goatskin tents, 
stood out in sharp relief against the yellow sand a 
phantom paradise upon a phantom sea. Before them 
rose the grim and silent mountains. Tarzan's blood 
leaped in his veins. This was life! He looked down 
upon the girl beside him a daughter of the desert 
walking across the face of a dead world with a son of 
the jungle. He smiled at the thought. He wished 
that he had had a sister, and that she had been like 
this girl. What a bully chum she would have been! 

They had entered the mountains now, and were 
progressing more slowly, for the trail was steeper 
and very rocky. 

For a few minutes they had been silent. The girl 
was wondering if they would reach her father's douar 
before the pursuit had overtaken them. Tarzan was 
wishing that they might walk on thus forever. If the 
girl were only a man they might. He longed for a 
friend who loved the same wild life that he loved. He 
had learned to crave companionship, but it was his 
[137] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



misfortune that most of the men he knew preferred 
immaculate linen and their clubs to nakedness and the 
jungle. It was, of course, difficult to understand, yet 
it was very evident that they did. 

The two had just turned a projecting rock around 
which the trail ran when they were brought to a sud 
den stop. There, before them, directly in the middle 
of the path, stood Numa, el adrea, the black lion. His 
green eyes looked very wicked, and he bared his teeth, 
and lashed his bay-black sides with his angry tail. 
Then he roared the fearsome, terror-inspiring roar 
of the hungry lion which is also angry. 

"Your knife," said Tarzan to the girl, extending 
his hand. She slipped the hilt of the weapon into his 
waiting palm. As his fingers closed upon it he drew 
her back and pushed her behind him. " Walk back to 
the desert as rapidly as you can. If you hear me call 
you will know that all is well, and you may return." 

"It is useless," she replied, resignedly. "This is 
the end." 

" Do as I tell you," he commanded. " Quickly ! He 
is about to charge." The girl dropped back a few 
paces, where she stood watching for the terrible sight 
that she knew she should soon witness. 

The lion was advancing slowly toward Tarzan, his 
nose to the ground, like a challenging bull, his tail 
extended now and quivering as though with intense 
excitement. 

The ape-man stood, half crouching, the long Arab 
knife glistening in the moonlight. Behind him the 
[138] 



THROUGH THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW 

tense figure of the girl, motionless as a carven statue. 
She leaned slightly forward, her lips parted, her eyes 
wide. Her only conscious thought was wonder at the 
bravery of the man who dared face with a puny knife 
the lord with the large head. A man of her own blood 
would have knelt in prayer and gone down beneath 
those awful fangs without resistance. In either case 
the result would be the same it was inevitable ; but 
she could not repress a thrill of admiration as her eyes 
rested upon the heroic figure before her. Not a tremor 
in the whole giant frame his attitude as menacing 
and defiant as that of el adrea himself. 

The lion was quite close to him now but a few 
paces intervened he crouched, and then, with * 
deafening roar, he sprang. 



[139] 




XI 



JOHN CALDWEI/L, LONDON 

A S Numa el adrea launched himself with wide- 
* ^ spread paws and bared fangs he looked to find 
this puny man as easy prey as the score who had 
gone down beneath him in the past. To him man was 
a clumsy, slow-moving, defenseless creature he had 
little respect for him. 

But this time he found that he was pitted against a 
creature as agile and as quick as himself. When his 
mighty frame struck the spot where the man had been 
he was no longer there. 

The watching girl was transfixed by astonishment 
at the ease with which the crouching man eluded the 
great paws. And now, O Allah! He had rushed in 
behind el adrea's shoulder even before the beast could 
turn, and had grasped him by the mane. The lion 
reared upon his hind legs like a horse Tarzan had 
known that he would do this, and he was ready. A 
giant arm encircled the black-maned throat, and once, 
[140] 



JOHN CALDWELL, LONDON 



twice, a dozen times a sharp blade darted in and out of 
the bay-black side behind the left shoulder. 

Frantic were the leaps of Numa awful his roars 
of rage and pain; but the giant upon his back could 
not be dislodged or brought within reach of fangs or 
talons in the brief interval of life that remained to 
the lord with the large head. He was quite dead when 
Tarzan of the Apes released his hold and arose. Then 
the daughter of the desert witnessed a thing that ter 
rified her even more than had the presence of el adrea. 
The man placed a foot upon the carcass of his kill, 
and, with his handsome face raised toward the full 
moon, gave voice to the most frightful cry that ever 
had smote upon her ears. 

With a little cry of fear she shrank away from him 
she thought that the fearful strain of the encoun 
ter had driven him mad. As the last note of that 
fiendish challenge died out in the diminishing echoes 
of the distance the man dropped his eyes until they 
rested upon the girl. 

Instantly his face was lighted by the kindly smile 
that was ample assurance of his sanity, and the girl 
breathed freely once again, smiling in response. 

" What manner of man are you ? " she asked. " The 
thing you have done is unheard of. Even now I can 
not believe that it is possible for a lone man armed 
only with a knife to have fought hand to hand with 
el adrea and conquered him, unscathed to have con-*, 
quered him at all. And that cry it was not human. 
Why did you do that?" 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



Tarzan flushed. "It is because I forget," he said, 
" sometimes, that I am a civilized man. When I kill it 
must be that I am another creature." He did not try 
to explain further, for it always seemed to him that a 
woman must look with loathing upon one who was yet 
so nearly a beast. 

Together they continued their journey. The sun 
was an hour high when they came out into the desert 
again beyond the mountains. Beside a little rivulet 
they found the girl's horses grazing. They had 
come this far on their way home, and with the cause 
of their fear no longer present had stopped to 
feed. 

With little trouble Tarzan and the girl caught 
them, and, mounting, rode out into the desert toward 
the douar of Sheik Kadour-ben-Saden. 

No sign of pursuit developed, and they came in 
safety about nine o'clock to their destination. The 
sheik had but just returned. He was frantic with 
grief at the absence of his daughter, whom he thought 
had been again abducted by the marauders. With 
fifty men he was already mounted to go in search of 
her when the two rode into the douar. 

His joy at the safe return of his daughter was only 
equaled by his gratitude to Tarzan for bringing her 
safely to him through the dangers of the night, and 
his thankfulness that she had been in time to save 
the man who had once saved her. 

No honor that Kadour-ben-Saden could heap upon 
the ape-man in acknowledgment of his esteem and 



JOHN CALDWEJLL, LONDON 



friendship was neglected. When the girl had recited 
the story of the slaying of el adrea Tarzan was sur 
rounded by a mob of worshiping Arabs it was a 
sure road to their admiration and respect. 

The old sheik insisted that Tarzan remain indef 
initely as his guest. He even wished to adopt him as 
a member of the tribe, and there was for some time a 
half-formed resolution in the ape-man's mind to ac 
cept and remain forever with these wild people, whom 
he understood and who seemed to understand him. His 
friendship and liking for the girl were potent factors 
in urging him toward an affirmative decision. 

Had she been a man, he argued, he should not have 
hesitated, for it would have meant a friend after his 
own heart, with whom he could ride and hunt at will ; 
but as it was they would be hedged by the convention 
alities that are even more strictly observed by the wild 
nomads of the desert than by their more civilized 
brothers and sisters. And in a little while she would 
be married to one of these swarthy warriors, and there 
would be an end to their friendship. So he decided 
against the sheik's proposal, though he remained a 
week as his guest. 

When he left, Kadour-ben-Saden and fifty white- 
robed warriors rode with him to Bou Saada. While 
they were mounting in the douar of Kadour-ben-Saden 
the morning of their departure, the girl came to bid 
farewell to Tarzan. 

"I have prayed that you would remain with us," 
she said simply, as he leaned from his saddle to clasp 
[143] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



her hand in farewell, " and now I shall pray that you 
will return." 

There was an expression of wistfulness in her beau 
tiful eyes, and a pathetic droop at the corners of her 
mouth. Tarzan was touched. 

" Who knows ?" and then he turned and rode after 
the departing Arabs. 

Outside Bou Saada he bade Kadour-ben-Saden and 
his men good-by, for there were reasons which made 
him wish to make his entry into the town as secret as 
possible, and when he had explained them to the sheik 
the latter concurred in his decision. The Arabs were 
to enter Bou Saada ahead of him, saying nothing as 
to his presence with them. Later Tarzan would come 
in alone, and go directly to an obscure native inn. 

Thus, making his entrance after dark, as he did, he 
was not seen by any one who knew him, and reached 
the inn unobserved. After dining with Kadour-ben- 
Saden as his guest, he went to his former hotel by a 
roundabout way, and, coming in by a rear entrance, 
sought the proprietor, who seemed much surprised to 
see him alive. 

Yes, there was mail for monsieur ; he would fetch it. 
No, he would mention monsieur's return to no one. 
Presently he returned with a packet of letters. One 
was an order from his superior to lay off on his pres 
ent work, and hasten to Cape Town by the first 
steamer he could get. His further instructions would 
be awaiting him there in the hands of another agent 
whose name and address were given. That was all - 
[144] 



JOHN CALDWELL, LONDON 



brief but explicit. Tarzan arranged to leave Bou 
Saada early the next morning. Then he started for 
the garrison to see Captain Gerard, whom the hotel 
man had told him had returned with his detachment 
the previous day. 

He found the officer in his quarters. He was filled 
with surprise and pleasure at seeing Tarzan alive and 
well. 

"When Lieutenant Gernois returned and reported 
that he had not found you at the spot that you had 
chosen to remain while the detachment was scouting, 
I was filled with alarm. We searched the mountains 
for days. Then came word that you had been killed 
and eaten by a lion. As proof your gun was brought 
to us. Your horse had returned to camp the second 
day after your disappearance. We could not doubt. 
Lieutenant Gernois was grief-stricken he took all 
the blame upon himself. It was he who insisted on 
carrying on the search himself. It was he who found 
the Arab with your gun. He will be delighted to know 
that you are safe." 

" Doubtless," said Tarzan, with a grim smile. 

" He is down in the town now, or I should send for 
him," continued Captain Gerard. "I shalHell him as 
soon as he returns." 

Tarzan let the officer think that he had been lost, 
wandering finally into the douar of Kadour-ben-Saden, 
who had escorted him back to Bou Saada. As soon as 
possible he bade the good officer adieu, and hastened 
back into the town. At the native inn he had learned 
[145] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



through Kadour-ben-Saden a piece of interesting in 
formation. It told of a black-bearded white man who 
went always disguised as an Arab. For a time he had 
nursed a broken wrist. More recently he had been 
away from Bou Saada, but now he was back, and Tar- 
zan knew his place of concealment. It was for there 
he headed. 

Through narrow, stinking alleys, black as Erebus, 
he groped, and then up a rickety stairway, at the end 
of which was a closed door and a tiny, unglazed win 
dow. The window was high under the low eaves of 
the mud building. Tarzan could just reach the sill. 
He raised himself slowly until his eyes topped it. The 
room within was lighted, and at a table sat Rokoff 
and Gernois. Geraois was speaking. 

66 Rokoff, you are a devil ! " he was saying. " You 
have hounded me until I have lost the last shred of my 
honor. You have driven me to murder, for the blood 
of that man Tarzan is on my hands. If it were not 
that that other devil's spawn, Paulvitch, still knew my 
secret, I should kill you here tonight with my bare 
hands." 

Rokoff laughed. " You would not do that, my dear 
lieutenant," he said. "The moment I am reported 
dead by assassination that dear Alexis will forward to 
the minister of war full proof of the affair you so ar 
dently long to conceal ; and, further, will charge you 
with my murder. Come, be sensible. I am your best 
friend. Have I not protected your honor as though 
it were my own?" 

[146] 



JOHN CALDWELL, LONDON 



Gernois sneered, and spat out an oath. 

" Just one more little payment," continued Rokoff, 
" and the papers I wish, and you have my word of 
honor that I shall never ask another cent from you, 
or further information." 

"And a good reason why," growled Gernois. 
"What you ask will take my last cent, and the only 
valuable military secret I hold. You ought to be pay 
ing me for the information, instead of taking both it 
and money, too." 

" I am paying you by keeping a still tongue in my 
head," retorted Rokoff. "But let's have done. Will 
you, or will you not? I give you three minutes to 
decide. If you are not agreeable I shall send a note 
to your commandant tonight that will end in the 
degradation that Dreyfus suffered the only differ 
ence being that he did not deserve it." 

For a moment Gernois sat with bowed head. At 
length he arose. He drew two pieces of paper from 
his blouse. 

"Here," he said hopelessly. "I had them ready, 
for I knew that there could be but one outcome." He 
held them toward the Russian. 

Rokoff's cruel face lighted in malignant gloating. 
He seized the bits of paper. 

"You have done well, Gernois," he said. "I shall 
not trouble you again unless you happen to accumu 
late some more money or information," and he grinned. 

" You never shall again, you dog ! " hissed Gernois. 
" The next time I shall kill you. I came near doing 
[147] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



it tonight. For an hour I sat with these two pieces 
of paper on my table before me ere I came here be 
side them lay my loaded revolver. I was trying to 
decide which I should bring. Next time the choice 
shall be easier, for I already have decided. You had 
a close call tonight, Rokoff; do not tempt fate a 
second time." 

Then Gernois rose to leave. Tarzan barely had 
time to drop to the landing and shrink back into the 
shadows on the far side of the door. Even then he 
scarcely hoped to elude detection. The landing was 
very small, and though he flattened himself against 
the wall at its far edge he was scarcely more than a 
foot from the doorway. Almost immediately it 
opened, and Gernois stepped out. Rokoff was behind 
him. Neither spoke. Gernois had taken perhaps three 
steps down the stairway when he halted and half 
turned, as though to retrace his steps. 

Tarzan knew that discovery would be inevitable. 
Rokoff still stood on the threshold a foot from him, 
but he was looking in the opposite direction, toward 
Gernois. Then the officer evidently reconsidered his 
decision, and resumed his downward course. Tarzan 
could hear Rokoff's sigh of relief. A moment later the 
Russian went back into the room and closed the door. 

Tarzan waited until Gernois had had time to get 
well out of hearing, then he pushed open the door and 
stepped into the room. He was on top of Rokoff be 
fore the man could rise from the chair where he sat 
scanning the paper Gernois had given him. As his 
[148] 



JOHN CALDWELL, LONDON 



eyes turned and fell upon the ape-man's face his own 
went livid. 

"You! "he gasped. 

" I," replied Tarzan. 

"What do you want?" whispered Rokoff, for the 
look in the ape-man's eyes frightened him. "Have 
you come to kill me ? You do not dare. They would 
guillotine you. You do not dare kill me." 

" I dare kill you, Rokoff," replied Tarzan, " for no 
one knows that you are here or that I am here, and 
Paulvitch would tell them that it was Gernois. I 
heard you tell Gernois so. But that would not in 
fluence me, Rokoff. I would not care who knew that 
I had killed you; the pleasure of killing you would 
more than compensate for any punishment they might 
inflict upon me. You are the most despicable cur of a 
coward, Rokoff, I have ever heard of. You should be 
killed. I should love to kill you," and Tarzan ap 
proached closer to the man. 

Rokoff's nerves were keyed to the breaking point. 
With a shriek he sprang toward an adjoining room, 
but the ape-man was upon his back while his leap was 
yet but half completed. Iron fingers sought his 
throat the great coward squealed like a stuck pig, 
until Tarzan had shut off his wind. Then the ape-man 
dragged him to his feet, still choking him. The Rus 
sian struggled futilely he was like a babe in the 
mighty grasp of Tarzan of the Apes. 

Tarzan sat him in a chair, and long before there 
was danger of the man's dying he released his hold 
[149] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



upon his throat. When the Russian's coughing spell 
had abated Tarzan spoke to him again. 

" I have given you a taste of the suffering of 
death," he said. " But I shall not kill this time. I 
am sparing you solely for the sake of a very good 
woman whose great misfortune it was to have been 
born of the same woman who gave birth to you. But 
I shall spare you only this once on her account. 
Should I ever learn that you have again annoyed her 
or her husband should you ever annoy me again 
should I hear that you have returned to France or to 
any French possession, I shall make it my sole busi 
ness to hunt you down and complete the choking I 
commenced tonight." Then he turned to the table, on 
which the two pieces of paper still lay. As he picked 
them up Rokoff gasped in horror. 

Tarzan examined both the check and the other. He 
was amazed at the information the latter contained. 
RokofF had partially read it, but Tarzan knew that 
no one could remember the salient facts and figures it 
held which made it of real value to an enemy of 
France. 

" These will interest the chief of staff," he said, as 
he slipped them into his pocket. 

Rokoff groaned. He did not dare curse aloud. 

The next morning Tarzan rode north on his way to 
Bouira and Algiers. As he had ridden past the hotel 
Lieutenant Gernois was standing on the veranda. As 
his eyes discovered Tarzan he went white as chalk. The 
ape-man would have been glad had the meeting not oc- 
[150] 



JOHN CALDWELL, LONDON 



curred, but he could not avoid it. He saluted the offi 
cer as he rode past. Mechanically Gernois returned 
the salute, but those terrible, wide eyes followed the 
horseman, expressionless except for horror. It was 
as though a dead man looked upon a ghost. 

At Sidi Aissa Tarzan met a French officer with whom 
he had become acquainted on the occasion of his recent 
sojourn in the town. 

" You left Bou Saada early ? " questioned the officer. 
" Then you have not heard about poor Gernois." 

"He was the last man I saw as I rode away," re 
plied Tarzan. " What about him ? " 

" He is dead. He shot himself about eight o'clock 
this morning." 

Two days later Tarzan reached Algiers. There he 
found that he would have a two days' wait before he 
could catch a ship bound for Cape Town. He oc 
cupied his time in writing out a full report of his 
mission. The secret papers he had taken from Rokoff 
he did not inclose, for he did not dare trust them out 
of his own possession until he had been authorized to 
turn them over to another agent, or himself returned 
to Paris with them. 

As Tarzan boarded his ship after what seemed a 
most tedious wait to him, two men watched him from 
an upper deck. Both were fashionably dressed and 
smooth shaven. The taller of the two had sandy hair, 
but his eyebrows were very black. Later in the day 
they chanced to meet Tarzan on deck, but as one hur 
riedly called his companion's attention to something at 
[151] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



sea their faces were turned from Tarzan as he passed, 
so that he did not notice their features. In fact, he 
had paid no attention to them at all. 

Following the instructions of his chief, Tarzan had 
booked his passage under an assumed name John 
Caldwell, London. He did not understand the neces 
sity of this, and it caused him considerable specula 
tion. He wondered what role he was to play in Cape 
Town. 

"Well," he thought, "thank Heaven that I am rid 
of Rokoff. He was commencing to annoy me. I won 
der if I am really becoming so civilized that presently 
I shall develop a set of nerves. He would give them 
to me if any one could, for he does not fight fair. 
One never knows through what new agency he is going 
to strike. It is as though Numa, the lion, had induced 
Tantor, the elephant, and Histah, the snake, to join 
him in attempting to kill me. I would then never have 
known what minute, or by whom, I was to be attacked 
next. But the brutes are more chivalrous than man 
they do not stoop to cowardly intrigue." 

At dinner that night Tarzan sat next to a young 
woman whose place was at the captain's left. The 
officer introduced them. 

Miss Strong! Where had he heard the name be 
fore? It was very familiar. And then the girl's 
mother gave him the clew, for when she addressed her 
daughter she called her Hazel. 

Hazel Strong! What memories the name inspired. 
It had been a letter to this girl, penned by the fair 



JOHN CALDWELL, LONDON 



hand of Jane Porter, that had carried to him the first 
message from the woman he loved. How vividly he 
recalled the night he had stolen it from the desk in 
the cabin of his long-dead father, where Jane Porter 
had sat writing it late into the night, while he crouched 
in the darkness without. How terror-stricken she 
would have been that night had she known that the 
wild jungle beast squatted outside her window, watch 
ing her every move. 

And this was Hazel Strong Jane Porter's best 
friend ! 



[153] 




xn 

SHIPS THAT PASS 

T ET us go back a few months to the little, wind- 
* ' swept platform of a railway station in northern 
Wisconsin. The smoke of forest fires hangs low over 
the surrounding landscape, its acrid fumes smarting 
the eyes of a little party of six who stand waiting the 
coming of the train that is to bear them away toward 
the south. 

Professor Archimedes Q. Porter, his hands clasped 
beneath the tails of his long coat, paces back and 
forth under the ever-watchful eye of his faithful sec 
retary, Mr. Samuel T. Philander. Twice within the 
past few minutes he has started absent-mindedly across 
the tracks in the direction of a near-by swamp, only 
to be rescued and dragged back by the tireless Mr. 
Philander. 

Jane Porter, the professor's daughter, is in strained 
and lifeless conversation with William Cecil Clayton 
and Tarzan of the Apes. Within the little waiting 
[154] 



SHIPS THAT PASS 



room, but a bare moment before, a confession of love 
and a renunciation had taken place that had blighted 
the lives and happiness of two of the party, but Will 
iam Cecil Clayton, Lord Greystoke, was not one of 
them. 

Behind Miss Porter hovered the motherly Esmer- 
alda. She, too, was happy, for was she not returning 
to her beloved Maryland ? Already she could see dimly 
through the fog of smoke the murky headlight of the 
oncoming engine. The men began to gather up the 
hand baggage. Suddenly Clayton exclaimed. 

" By Jove ! I've left my ulster in the waiting-room," 
and hastened off to fetch it. 

" Good-bye, Jane," said Tarzan, extending his hand. 
" God bless you ! " 

" Good-bye," replied the girl faintly. " Try to for 
get me no, not that I could not bear to think 
that you had forgotten me." 

"There is no danger of that, dear," he answered. 
" I wish to Heaven that I might forget. It would be 
so much easier than to go through life always remem 
bering what might have been. You will be happy, 
though; I am sure you shall you must be. You 
may tell the others of my decision to drive my car on 
to New York I don't feel equal to bidding Clayton 
good-bye. I want always to remember him kindly, but 
I fear that I am too much of a wild beast yet to be 
trusted too long with the man who stands between me 
and the one person in all the world I want." 

As Clayton stooped to pick up his coat in the wait- 
[155] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



ing room his eyes fell on a telegraph blank lying face 
down upon the floor. He stooped to pick it up, think 
ing it might be a message of importance which some 
one had dropped. He glanced at it hastily, and then 
suddenly he forgot his coat, the approaching train 
everything but that terrible little piece of yellow 
paper in his hand. He read it twice before he could 
fully grasp the terrific weight of meaning that it 
bore to him. 

When he had picked it up he had been an English 
nobleman, the proud and wealthy possessor of vast 
estates a moment later he had read it, and he knew 
that he was an untitled and penniless beggar. It was 
D'Arnot's cablegram to Tarzan, and it read : 

Finger prints prove you Greystoke. Congratulations. 

D'ARNOT. 

He staggered as though he had received a mortal 
blow. Just then he heard the others calling to him to 
hurry the train was coming to a stop at the little 
platform. Like a man dazed he gathered up his ulster. 
He would tell them about the cablegram when they 
were all on board the train. Then he ran out upon 
the platform just as the engine whistled twice in the 
final- warning that precedes the first rumbling jerk of 
coupling pins. The others were on board, leaning out 
from the platform of a Pullman, crying to him to 
hurry. Quite five minutes elapsed before they were 
settled in their seats, nor was it until then that Clayton 
discovered that Tarzan was not with them. 
[156] 



SHIPS THAT PASS 



"Where is Tarzan?" he asked Jane Porter. "In 
another car?" 

"No," she replied; "at the last minute he deter 
mined to drive his machine back to New York. He is 
anxious to see more of America than is possible from 
a car window. He is returning to France, you know." 

Clayton did not reply. He was trying to find the 
right words to explain to Jane Porter the calamity 
that had befallen him and her. He wondered just 
what the effect of this knowledge would be on her. 
Would she still wish to marry him to be plain Mrs. 
Clayton? Suddenly the awful sacrifice which one of 
them must make loomed large before his imagination. 
Then came the question : Will Tarzan claim his own? 
The ape-man had known the contents of the message 
before he calmly denied knowledge of his parentage ! 
He had admitted that Kala, the ape, was his mother! 
Could it have been for love of Jane Porter? 

There was no other explanation which seemed rea 
sonable. Then, having ignored the evidence of the 
message, was it not reasonable to assume that he meant 
never to claim his birthright? If this were so, what 
right had he, William Cecil Clayton, to thwart the 
wishes, to balk the self-sacrifice of this strange man? 
If Tarzan of the Apes could do this thing to save 
Jane Porter from unhappiness, why should he, to 
whose care she was intrusting her whole future, do 
aught to jeopardize her interests? 

And so he reasoned until the first generous impulse 
to proclaim the truth and relinquish his titles and his 
[157] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



estates to their rightful owner was forgotten beneath 
the mass of sophistries which self-interest had ad 
vanced. But during the balance of the trip, and for 
many days thereafter, he was moody and distraught. 
Occasionally the thought obtruded itself that possibly 
at some later day Tarzan would regret his magnanim 
ity, and claim his rights. 

Several days after they reached Baltimore Clayton 
broached the subject of an early marriage to Jane. 

" What do you mean by early ? " she asked. 

" Within the next few days. I must return to Eng 
land at once I want you to return with me, dear.'* 

" I can't get ready so soon as that," replied Jane. 
" It will take a whole month, at least." 

She was glad, for she hoped that whatever called 
him to England might still further delay the wedding. 
She had made a bad bargain, but she intended carry 
ing her part loyally to the bitter end if she could 
manage to secure a temporary reprieve, though she 
felt that she was warranted in doing so. His reply 
disconcerted her. 

"Very well, Jane," he said. "I am disappointed, 
but I shall let my trip to England wait a month ; then 
we can go back together." 

But when the month was drawing to a close she 
found still another excuse upon which to hang a post 
ponement, until at last, discouraged and doubting, 
Clayton was forced to go back to England alone. 

The several letters that passed between them brought 
Clayton no nearer to a consummation of/ his hopes 
[158] 



SHIPS THAT PASS 



than he had been before, and so it was that he wrote 
directly to Professor Porter, and enlisted his services. 
The old man had always favored the match. He 
liked Clayton, and, being of an old southern family, 
he put rather an exaggerated value on the advan 
tages of a title, which meant little or nothing to his 
daughter. 

Clayton urged that the professor accept his invita 
tion to be his guest in London, an invitation which 
included the professor's entire little family Mr. 
Philander, Esmeralda, and all. The Englishman ar 
gued that once Jane was there, and home ties had been 
broken, she would not so dread the step which she had 
so long hesitated to take. 

So the evening that he received Clayton's letter 
Professor Porter announced that they would leave for 
London the following week. 

But once in London Jane Porter was no more tract 
able than she had been in Baltimore. She found one 
excuse after another, and when, finally, Lord Tenning- 
ton invited the party to cruise around Africa in his 
yacht, she expressed the greatest delight in the idea, 
but absolutely refused to be married until they had re 
turned to London. As the cruise was to consume a 
year at least, for they were to stop for indefinite 
periods at various points of interest, Clayton mentally 
anathematized Tennington for ever suggesting such 
a ridiculous trip. 

It was Lord Tennington's plan to cruise through 
the Mediterranean, and the Red Sea to the Indian 
[159] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



Ocean, and thus down the East Coast, putting in at 
every port that was worth the seeing. 

And so it happened that on a certain day two ves 
sels passed in the Strait of Gibraltar. The smaller, a 
trim white yacht, was speeding toward the east, and on 
her deck sat a young woman who gazed with sad eyes 
upon a diamond-studded locket which she idly fingered. 
Her thoughts were far away, in the dim, leafy fastness 
of a tropical jungle and her heart was with her 
thoughts. 

She wondered if the man who had given her the 
beautiful bauble, that had meant so much more to him 
than the intrinsic value which he had not even known 
could ever have meant to him, was back in his savage 
forest. 

And upon the deck of the larger vessel, a passenger 
steamer passing toward the east, the man sat with an 
other young woman, and the two idly speculated upon 
the identity of the dainty craft gliding so gracefully 
through the gentle swell of the lazy sea. 

When the yacht had passed the man resumed the 
conversation that her appearance had broken off. 

"Yes," he said, "I like America very much, and 
that means, of course, that I like Americans, for a 
country is only what its people make it. I met some 
very delightful people while I was there. I recall one 
family from your own city, Miss Strong, whom I liked 
particularly Professor Porter and his daughter." 

"Jane Porter!" exclaimed the girl. "Do you 
mean to tell me that you know Jane Porter? Why, 
[160] 



SHIPS THAT PASS 



she is the very best friend I have in the world. We 
were little children together we have known each 
other for ages." 

"Indeed!" he answered, smiling. "You would 
have difficulty in persuading any one of the fact who 
had seen either of you." 

"I'll qualify the statement, then," she answered, 
with a laugh. "We have known each other for two 
ages hers and mine. But seriously we are as dear 
to each other as sisters, and now that I am going to 
lose her I am almost heartbroken." 

"Going to lose her?" exclaimed Tarzan. "Why, 
what do you mean? Oh, yes, I understand. You mean 
that now that she is married and living in England, 
you will seldom if ever see her." 

" Yes," replied she ; " and the saddest part of it all 
is that she is not marrying the man she loves. Oh, it 
is terrible. Marrying from a sense of duty ! I think 
it is perfectly wicked, and I told her so. I have felt 
so strongly on the subject that although I was the 
only person outside of blood relations who was to have 
been asked to the wedding I would not let her invite 
me, for I should not have gone to witness the terrible 
mockery. But Jane Porter is peculiarly positive. She 
has convinced herself that she is doing the only hon 
orable thing that she can do, and nothing in the world 
will ever prevent her from marrying Lord Grey stoke 
except Greystoke himself, or death." 

" I am sorry for her," said Tarzan. 

"And I am sorry for the man she loves," said the 
[161] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



girl, " for lie loves her. I never met him, but from 
what Jane tells me he must be a very wonderful person. 
It seems that he was born in an African jungle, and 
brought up by fierce, anthropoid apes. He had never 
seen a white man or woman until Professor Porter 
and his party were marooned on the coast right at the 
threshold of his tiny cabin. He saved them from all 
manner of terrible beasts, and accomplished the most 
wonderful feats imaginable, and then to cap the climax 
he fell in love with Jane and she with him, though she 
never really knew it for sure until she had promised 
herself to Lord Greystoke." 

"Most remarkable," murmured Tarzan, cudgeling 
his brain for some pretext upon which to turn the sub- 
ject. He delighted in hearing Hazel Strong talk of 
Jane, but when he was the subj ect of the conversation 
he was bored and embarrassed. But he was soon given 
a respite, for the girl's mother joined them, and the 
talk became general. 

The next few days passed uneventfully. The sea 
was quiet. The sky was clear. The steamer plowed 
steadily on toward the south without pause. Tarzan 
spent quite a little time with Miss Strong and her 
mother. They whiled away their hours on deck read 
ing, talking, or taking pictures with Miss Strong's 
camera. When the sun had set they walked. 

One day Tarzan found Miss Strong in conversation 
with a stranger, a man he had not seen on board be 
fore. As he approached the couple the man bowed to 
the girl and turned to walk away. 
[162] 



SHIPS THAT PASS 



"Wait, Monsieur Thuran," said Miss Strong; 
" you must meet Mr. Caldwell. We are all fellow pas 
sengers, and should be acquainted." 

The two men shook hands. As Tarzan looked into 
the eyes of Monsieur Thuran he was struck by the 
strange familiarity of their expression. 

"I have had the honor of monsieur's acquaintance 
in the past, I am sure," said Tarzan, " though I can 
not recall the circumstances." 

Monsieur Thuran appeared ill at ease. 

" I cannot say, monsieur," he replied. " It may be 
so. I have had that identical sensation myself when 
meeting a stranger." 

" Monsieur Thuran has been explaining some of the 
mysteries of navigation to me," explained the girl. 

Tarzan paid little heed to the conversation that en 
sued he was attempting to recall where he had met 
Monsieur Thuran before. That it had been under pe 
culiar circumstances he was positive. Presently the 
sun reached them, and the girl asked Monsieur Thuran 
to move her chair farther back into the shade. Tarzan 
happened to be watching the man at the time, and no 
ticed the awkward manner in which he handled the 
chair his left wrist was stiff. That clew was suffi 
cient a sudden train of associated ideas did the 
rest. 

Monsieur Thuran had been trying to find an ex 
cuse to make a graceful departure. The lull in the 
conversation following the moving of their position 
gave him an opportunity to make his excuses. Bow- 
[163] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



ing low to Miss Strong, and inclining his head to 
Tarzan, he turned to leave them. 

" Just a moment," said Tarzan. " If Miss Strong 
will pardon me I will accompany you. I shall return 
in a moment, Miss Strong." 

Monsieur Thuran looked uncomfortable. When 
the two men had passed out of the girl's sight, 
Tarzan stopped, laying a heavy hand on the other's 
shoulder. 

"What is your game now, Rokoff?" he asked. 

" I am leaving France as I promised you," replied 
the other, in a surly voice. 

" I see you are," said Tarzan ; " but I know you so 
well that I can scarcely believe that your being on the 
same boat with me is purely a coincidence. If I could 
believe it the fact that you are in disguise would im 
mediately disabuse my mind of any such idea." 

"Well," growled Rokoff, with a shrug, "I cannot 
see what you are going to do about it. This vessel 
flies the English flag. I have as much right on board 
her as you, and from the fact that you are booked un 
der an assumed name I imagine that I have more 
right." 

"We will not discuss it, Rokoff. All I wanted to 
say to you is that you must keep away from Miss 
Strong she is a decent woman." 

Rokoff turned scarlet. 

"If you don't I shall pitch you overboard," con 
tinued Tarzan. "Do not forget that I am just wait 
ing for some excuse." Then he turned on his heel, 
[164] 



SHIPS THAT PASS 



and left Rokoff standing there trembling with sup 
pressed rage. 

He did not see the man again for days, but Rokoff 
was not idle. In his stateroom with Paulvitch he 
fumed and swore, threatening the most terrible of re 
venges. 

"I would throw him overboard tonight," he cried, 
"were I sure that those papers were not on his per 
son. I cannot chance pitching them into the ocean 
with him. If you were not such a stupid coward, 
Alexis, you would find a way to enter his stateroom 
and search for the documents." 

Paulvitch smiled. "You are supposed to be the 
brains of this partnership, my dear Nikolas," he re 
plied. "Why do you not find the means to search 
Monsieur Caldwell's stateroom eh?" 

Two hours later fate was kind to them, for Paul 
vitch, who was ever on the watch, saw Tarzan leave 
his room without locking the door. Five minutes 
later Rokoff was stationed where he could give the 
alarm in case Tarzan returned, and Paulvitch was 
deftly searching the contents of the ape-man's 
luggage. 

He was about to give up in despair when he saw a 
coat which Tarzan had just removed. A moment later 
he grasped an official envelope in his hand. A quick 
glance at its contents brought a broad smile to the Rus 
sian's face. 

When he left the stateroom Tarzan himself could 
not have told that an article in it had been touched 
[165] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



since he left it Paulvitch was a past master in his 
chosen field. 

When he handed the packet to Rokoff in the seclu 
sion of their stateroom the larger man rang for a 
steward, and ordered a pint of champagne. 

" We must celebrate, my dear Alexis," he said. 

"It was luck, Nikolas," explained Paulvitch. "It 
is evident that he carries these papers always upon 
his person just by chance he neglected to transfer 
them when he changed coats a few minutes since. But 
there will be the deuce to pay when he discovers his 
loss. I am afraid that he will immediately connect you 
with it. Now that he knows that you are on board he 
will suspect you at once." 

"It will make no difference whom he suspects 
after tonight," said Rokoff, with a nasty grin. 

After Miss Strong had gone below that night Tar- 
zan stood leaning over the rail looking far out to sea. 
Every night he had done this since he had come on 
board sometimes he stood thus for an hour. And 
the eyes that had been watching his every movement 
since he had boarded the ship at Algiers knew that this 
was his habit. 

Even as he stood there this night those eyes were on 
him. Presently the last straggler had left the deck. 
It was a clear night, but there was no moon objects 
on deck were barely discernible. 

From the shadows of the cabin two figures crept 
stealthily upon the ape-man from behind. The lap 
ping of the waves against the ship's sides, the whir- 
[166] 



SHIPS THAT PASS 



ring of the propeller, the throbbing of the engines, 
drowned the almost soundless approach of the two. 

They were quite close to him now, and crouching 
low, like tacklers on a gridiron. One of them raised 
his hand and lowered it, as though counting off sec 
onds one two three ! As one man the two 
leaped for their victim. Each grasped a leg, and be 
fore Tarzan of the Apes, lightning though he was, 
could turn to save himself he had been pitched over 
the low rail and was falling into the Atlantic. 

Hazel Strong was looking from her darkened port 
across the dark sea. Suddenly a body shot past her 
eyes from the deck above. It dropped so quickly into 
the dark waters below that she could not be sure of 
what it was it might have been a man, she could not 
say. She listened for some outcry from above for 
the always- fearsome call, "Man overboard!" but it 
did not come. All was silence on the ship above all 
was silence in the sea below. 

The girl decided that she had but seen a bundle of 
refuse thrown overboard by one of the ship's crew, 
and a moment later sought her berth. 



[167] 




XIII 



^ I^HE next morning at breakfast Tarzan's place 
-* was vacant. Miss Strong was mildly curious, 
for Mr. Caldwell had always made it a point to wait 
that he might breakfast with her and her mother. As 
she was sitting on deck later Monsieur Thuran paused 
to exchange a half dozen pleasant words with her. 
He seemed in most excellent spirits his manner was 
the extreme of affability. As he passed on Miss 
Strong thought what a very delightful man was Mon 
sieur Thuran. 

The day dragged heavily. She missed the quiet 
companionship of Mr. Caldwell there had been 
something about him that had made the girl like him 
from the first; he had talked so entertainingly of the 
places he had seen the peoples and their customs 
the wild beasts ; and he had always had a droll way 
of drawing striking comparisons between savage ani 
mals and civilized men that showed a considerable 
[168] 



THE WRECK OF THE "LADY ALICE" 

knowledge of the former, and a keen, though some 
what cynical, estimate of the latter. 

When Monsieur Thuran stopped again to chat with 
her in the afternoon she welcomed the break in the 
day's monotony. But she had begun to become seri 
ously concerned in Mr. Caldwell's continued absence; 
somehow she constantly associated it with the start 
she had had the night before, when the dark object 
fell past her port into the sea. Presently she broached 
the subject to Monsieur Thuran. Had he seen Mr. 
Caldwell today? He had not. Why? 

" He was not at breakfast as usual, nor have I seen 
him once since yesterday," explained the girl. 

Monsieur Thuran was extremely solicitous. 

" I did not have the pleasure of intimate acquain 
tance with Mr. Caldwell," he said. "He seemed a 
most estimable gentleman, however. Can it be that he 
is indisposed, and has remained in his stateroom? It 
would not be strange." 

" No," replied the girl, " it would not be strange, of 
course ; but for some inexplicable reason I have one of 
those foolish feminine presentiments that all is not 
right with Mr. Caldwell. It is the strangest feeling 
it is as though I knew that he was not on board the 
ship." 

Monsieur Thuran laughed pleasantly. " Mercy, my 
dear Miss Strong," he said ; " where in the world could 
he be then? We have not been within sight of land 
for days." 

" Of course, it is ridiculous of me," she admitted. 
[169] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



And then : " But I am not going to worry about it 
any longer; I am going to find out where Mr. Cald- 
well is," and she motioned to a passing steward. 

" That may be more difficult than you imagine, my 
dear girl," thought Monsieur Thuran, but aloud he 
said : " By all means." 

"Find Mr. Caldwell, please," she said to the stew 
ard, " and tell him that his friends are much worried 
by his continued absence." 

"You are very fond of Mr. Caldwell?" suggested 
Monsieur Thuran. 

"I think he is splendid," replied the girl. "And 
mamma is perfectly infatuated with him. He is the 
sort of man with whom one has a feeling of perfect 
security no one could help but have confidence in 
Mr. Caldwell." 

A moment later the steward returned to say that 
Mr. Caldwell was not in his stateroom. "I cannot 
find him, Miss Strong, and" he hesitated "I 
have learned that his berth was not occupied last 
night. I think that I had better report the matter to 
the captain." 

" Most assuredly," exclaimed Miss Strong. " I shall 
go with you to the captain myself. It is terrible! I 
know that something awful has happened. My pre 
sentiments were not false, after all." 

It was a very frightened young woman and an ex 
cited steward who presented themselves before the cap 
tain a few moments later. He listened to their stories 
in silence a look of concern marking his expression 
[170] 



THE WRECK OF THE "LADY ALICE" 

as the steward assured him that he had sought for the 
missing passenger in every part of the ship that a 
passenger might be expected to frequent. 

"And you are sure, Miss Strong, that you saw a 
body fall overboard last night ? " he asked. 

"There is not the slightest doubt about that," she 
answered. " I cannot say that it was a human body 
there was no outcry. It might have been only what I 
thought it was a bundle of refuse. But if Mr. 
Caldwell is not found on board I shall always be posi 
tive that it was he whom I saw fall past my port." 

The captain ordered an immediate and thorough 
search of the entire ship from stem to stern no nook 
or cranny was to be overlooked. Miss Strong remained 
in his cabin, waiting the outcome of the quest. The 
captain asked her many questions, but she could tell 
him nothing about the missing man other than what 
she had herself seen during their brief acquaintance 
on shipboard. For the first time she suddenly realized 
how very little indeed Mr. Caldwell had told her about 
himself or his past life. That he had been born in 
Africa and educated in Paris was about all she knew, 
and this meager information had been the result of her 
surprise that an Englishman should speak English 
with such a marked French accent. 

"Did he ever speak of any enemies?" asked the 
captain. 

"Never." 

"Was he acquainted with any of the other pas 
sengers ? " 

[m] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



"Only as he had been with me through the cir 
cumstance of casual meeting as fellow shipmates." 

"Er was he, in your opinion, Miss Strong, a 
man who drank to excess ? " 

"I do not know that he drank at all he certainly 
had not been drinking up to half an hour before I 
saw that body fall overboard," she answered, " for I 
was with him on deck up to that time." 

" It is very strange," said the captain. " He did not 
look to me like a man who was sub j ect to fainting spells, 
or anything of that sort. And even had he been it is 
scarcely credible that he should have fallen completely 
over the rail had he been taken with an attack while 
leaning upon it he would rather have fallen inside, 
upon the deck. If he is not on board, Miss Strong, 
he was thrown overboard and the fact that you 
heard no outcry would lead to the assumption that he 
was dead before he left the ship's deck murdered." 

The girl shuddered. 

It was a full hour later that the first officer returned 
to report the outcome of the search. 

"Mr. Caldwell is not on board, sir," he said. 

" I fear that there is something more serious than 
accident here, Mr. Brently," said the captain. " I wish 
that you would make a personal and very careful ex 
amination of Mr. Caldwell's effects, to ascertain if 
there is any clew to a motive either for suicide or mur 
der sift the thing to the bottom." 

66 Aye, aye, sir ! " responded Mr. Brently, and left 
to commence his investigation. 
[172] 



THE WRECK OF THE "LADY ALICE" 

Hazel Strong was prostrated. For two days she did 
not leave her cabin, and when she finally ventured on 
deck she was very wan and white, with great, dark 
circles beneath her eyes. Waking or sleeping, it 
seemed that she constantly saw that dark body drop 
ping, swift and silent, into the cold, grim sea. 

Shortly after her first appearance on deck following 
the tragedy, Monsieur Thuran joined her with many 
expressions of kindly solicitude. 

" Oh, but it is terrible, Miss Strong," he said. " I 
cannot rid my mind of it." 

"Nor I," said the girl wearily. "I feel that he 
might have been saved had I but given the alarm." 

"You must not reproach yourself, my dear Miss 
Strong," urged Monsieur Thuran. "It was in no 
way your fault. Another would have done as you 
did. Who would think that because something fell 
into the sea from a ship that it must necessarily be a 
man ? Nor would the outcome have been different had 
you given an alarm. For a while they would have 
doubted your story, thinking it but the nervous hallu 
cination of a woman had you insisted it would have 
been too late to have rescued him by the time the ship 
could have been brought to a stop, and the boats low 
ered and rowed back miles in search of the unknown 
spot where the tragedy had occurred. No, you must 
not censure yourself. You have done more than any 
other of us for poor Mr. Caldwell you were the 
only one to miss him. It was you who instituted the 
search." 

[173] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



The girl could not help but feel grateful to him 
for his kind and encouraging words. He was with her 
often almost constantly for the remainder of the 
voyage and she grew to like him very much indeed. 
Monsieur Thuran had learned that the beautiful Miss 
Strong, of Baltimore, was an American heiress a 
very wealthy girl in her own right, and with future 
prospects that quite took his breath away when he con 
templated them, and since he spent most of his time 
in that delectable pastime it is a wonder that he 
breathed at all. 

It had been Monsieur Thuran's intention to leave 
the ship at the first port they touched after the dis 
appearance of Tarzan. Did he not have in his coat 
pocket the thing he had taken passage upon this very 
boat to obtain? There was nothing more to detain 
him here. He could not return to the Continent fast 
enough, that he might board the first express for St. 
Petersburg. 

But now another idea had obtruded itself, and was 
rapidly crowding his original intentions into the back 
ground. That American fortune was not to be sneezed 
at, nor was its possessor a whit less attractive. 

"Sapristi! but she would cause a sensation in St. 
Petersburg." And he would, too, with the assistance 
of her inheritance. 

After Monsieur Thuran had squandered a few mil 
lion dollars, he discovered that the vocation was so en 
tirely to his liking that he would continue on down to 
Cape Town, where he suddenly decided that he had 
[174] 



THE WRECK OF THE "LADY ALICE" 

pressing engagements that might detain him there for 
some time. 

Miss Strong had told him that she and her mother 
were to visit the latter's brother there they had not 
decided upon the duration of their stay, and it would 
probably run into months. 

She was delighted when she found that Monsieur 
Thuran was to be there also. 

"I hope that we shall be able to continue our ac 
quaintance," she said. " You must call upon mamma 
and me as soon as we are settled." 

Monsieur Thuran was delighted at the prospect, 
and lost no time in saying so. Mrs. Strong was not 
quite so favorably impressed by him as her daughter. 

"I do not know why I should distrust him," she 
said to Hazel one day as they were discussing him. 
" He seems a perfect gentleman in every respect, but 
sometimes there is something about his eyes a fleet 
ing expression which I cannot describe, but which 
when I see it gives me a very uncanny feeling." 

The girl laughed. " You are a silly dear, mamma," 
she said. 

"I suppose so, but I am sorry that we have not 
poor Mr. Caldwell for company instead." 

" And I, too," replied her daughter. 

Monsieur Thuran became a frequent visitor at the 
home of Hazel Strong's uncle in Cape Town. His 
attentions were very marked, but they were so punc 
tiliously arranged to meet the girl's every wish that 
she came to depend upon him more and more. Did 
[175] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



she or her mother or a cousin require an escort was 
there a little friendly service to be rendered, the genial 
and ubiquitous Monsieur Thuran was always avail 
able. Her uncle and his family grew to like him for 
his unfailing courtesy and willingness to be of serv 
ice. Monsieur Thuran was becoming indispensable. 
At length, feeling the moment propitious, he pro 
posed. Miss Strong was startled. She did not know 
what to say. 

" I had never thought that you cared for me in any 
such way," she told him. "I have looked upon you 
always as a very dear friend. I shall not give you my 
answer now. Forget that you have asked me to be 
your wife. Let us go on as we have been then I 
can consider you from an entirely different angle for 
a time. It may be that I shall discover that my feel 
ing for you is more than friendship. I certainly have 
not thought for a moment that I loved you." 

This arrangement was perfectly satisfactory to 
Monsieur Thuran. He deeply regretted that he had 
been hasty, but he had loved her for so long a time, 
and so devotedly, that he thought that every one 
must know it. 

"From the first time that I saw you, Hazel," he 
said, "I have loved you. I am willing to wait, for I 
am certain that so great and pure a love as mine will 
be rewarded. All that I care to know is that you do 
not love another. Will you tell me ? " 

" I have never been in love in my life," she replied, 
and he was quite satisfied. On the way home that night 
[176] 



THE WRECK OF THE "LADY ALICE" 

he purchased a steam yacht, and built a million-dollar 
villa on the Black Sea. 

The next day Hazel Strong enjoyed one of the hap 
piest surprises of her life she ran face to face upon 
Jane Porter as she was coming out of a jeweler's shop. 

"Why, Jane Porter!" she exclaimed. "Where in 
the world did you drop from? Why, I can't believe 
my own eyes." 

" Well, of all things ! " cried the equally astonished 
Jane. " And here I have been wasting whole reams of 
perfectly good imagination picturing you in Balti 
more the very idea!" And she threw her arms 
about her friend once more, and kissed her a dozen 
times. 

By the time mutual explanations had been made 
Hazel knew that Lord Tennington's yacht had put in 
at Cape Town for at least a week's stay, and at the 
end of that time was to continue on her voyage this 
time up the West Coast and so back to England. 
" Where," concluded Jane, " I am to be married." 

" Then you are not married yet ? " asked Hazel. - 

"Not yet," replied Jane, and then, quite irrele 
vantly, "I wish England were a million miles from 
here." 

Visits were exchanged between the yacht and Hazel's 
relatives. Dinners were arranged, and trips into the 
surrounding country to entertain the visitors. Mon 
sieur Thuran was a welcome guest at every function. 
He gave a dinner himself to the men of the party, and 
managed to ingratiate himself in the good will of 
[177] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



Lord Tennington by many little acts of hospitality. 

Monsieur Thuran had heard dropped a hint of 
something which might result from this unexpected 
visit of Lord Tennington's yacht, and he wanted to 
be counted in on it. Once when he was alone with the 
Englishman he took occasion to make it quite plain 
that his engagement to Miss Strong was to be an 
nounced immediately upon their return to America. 
" But not a word of it, my dear Tennington not a 
word of it." 

" Certainly, I quite understand, my dear fellow," 
Tennington had replied. " But you are to be congrat 
ulated ripping girl, don't you know really." 

The next day it came. Mrs. Strong, Hazel, and 
Monsieur Thuran were Lord Tennington's guests 
aboard his yacht. Mrs. Strong had been telling 
them how much she had enjoyed her visit at Cape 
Town, and that she regretted that a letter just re 
ceived from her attorneys in Baltimore had necessi 
tated her cutting her visit shorter than they had 
intended. 

" When do you sail ? " asked Tennington. 

"The first of the week, I think," she replied. 

"Indeed?" exclaimed Monsieur Thuran. "I am 
very fortunate. I, too, have found that I must re 
turn at once, and now I shall have the honor of accom 
panying and serving you." 

"That is nice of you, Monsieur Thuran," replied 
Mrs. Strong. "I am sure that we shall be glad to 
place ourselves under your protection." But in the 
[178] 



THE WRECK OF THE "LADY ALICE" 

bottom of her heart was the wish that they might es 
cape him. Why, she could not have told. 

" By Jove ! " ejaculated Lord Tennington, a moment 
later. " Bully idea, by Jove ! " 

"Yes, Tennington, of course," ventured Clayton; 
"it must be a bully idea if you had it, but what the 
deuce is it? Goin' to steam to China via the south 
pole?" 

"Oh, I say now, Clayton," returned Tennington, 
" you needn't be so rough on a fellow just because you 
didn't happen to suggest this trip yourself you've 
acted a regular bounder ever since we sailed. 

"No, sir," he continued, "it's a bully idea, and 
you'll all say so. It's to take Mrs. Strong and Miss 
Strong, and Thuran, too, if he'll come, as far as Eng 
land with us on the yacht. Now, isn't that a corker? " 

" Forgive me, Tenny, old boy," cried Clayton. " It 
certainly is a corking idea I never should have sus 
pected you of it. You're quite sure it's original, are 
you?" 

"And we'll sail the first of the week, or any other 
time that suits your convenience, Mrs. Strong," con 
cluded the big-hearted Englishman, as though the 
thing were all arranged except the sailing date. 

" Mercy, Lord Tennington, you haven't even given 
us an opportunity to thank you, much less decide 
whether we shall be able to accept your generous in 
vitation," said Mrs. Strong. 

" Why, of course you'll come," responded Tenning 
ton. "We'll make as good time as any passenger 
[179] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



boat, and you'll be fully as comfortable ; and, anyway, 
we all want you, and won't take no for an answer." 

And so it was settled that they should sail the fol 
lowing Monday. 

Two days out the girls were sitting in Hazel's 
cabin, looking at some prints she had had finished in 
Cape Town. They represented all the pictures she 
had taken since she had left America, and the girls 
were both engrossed in them, Jane asking many ques 
tions, and Hazel keeping up a perfect torrent of com 
ment and explanation of the various scenes and people. 

" And here," she said suddenly, " here's a man you 
know. Poor fellow, I have so often intended asking 
you about him, but I never have been able to think of 
it when we were together." She was holding the little 
print so that Jane did not see the face of the man it 
portrayed. 

"His name was John Caldwell," continued Hazel. 
"Do you recall him? He said that he met you in 
America. He is an Englishman." 

" I do not recollect the name," replied Jane. " Let 
me see the picture." 

"The poor fellow was lost overboard on our trip 
down the coast," she said, as she handed the print to 
Jane. 

"Lost over Why, Hazel, Hazel don't tell 

me that he is dead drowned at sea ! Hazel ! Why 
don't you say that you are joking!" And before the 
astonished Miss Strong could catch her Jane Porter 
had slipped to the floor in a swoon. 
[180] 



THE WRECK OF THE "LADY ALICE' 9 

After Hazel had restored her chum to conscious 
ness she sat looking at her for a long time before 
either spoke. 

" I did not know, Jane," said Hazel, in a constrained 
voice, "thai; you knew Mr. Caldwell so intimately 
that his death could prove such a shock to you." 

" John Caldwell ? " questioned Miss Porter. " You 
do not mean to tell me that you do not know who 
this man was, Hazel ? " 

"Why, yes, Jane; I know perfectly well who he 
was his name was John Caldwell ; he was from Lon 
don." 

" Oh, Hazel, I wish I could believe it," moaned the 
girl. "I wish I could believe it, but those features 
are burned so deep into my memory and my heart that 
I should recognize them anywhere in the world from 
among a thousand others, who might appear identical 
to any one but me." 

"What do you mean, Jane?" cried Hazel, now 
thoroughly alarmed. " Who do you think it is ? " 

" I don't think, Hazel. I know that that is a pic 
ture of Tarzan of the Apes. 

"Jane!" 

"I cannot be mistaken. Oh, Hazel, are you sure 
that he is dead ? Can there be no mistake ? " 

"I am afraid not, dear," answered Hazel sadly. 
" I wish I could think that you are mistaken, but now 
a hundred and one little pieces of corroborative evi 
dence occur to me that meant nothing to me while I 
thought that he was John Caldwell, of London. He 
[181] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



said that he had been born in Africa, and educated in 
France." 

" Yes, that would be true," murmured Jane Porter 
dully. 

" The first officer, who searched his luggage, found 
nothing to identify John Caldwell, of London. Prac 
tically all his belongings had been made, or purchased, 
in Paris. Everything that bore an initial was marked 
either with a 4 T' alone, or with <J. C. T. ' We 
thought that he was traveling incognito under his 
first two names the J. C. standing for John 
Caldwell." 

" Tarzan of the Apes took the name Jean C. Tar- 
zan," said Jane, in the same lifeless monotone. " And 
he is dead! Oh, Hazel, it is horrible! He died all 
alone in this terrible ocean ! It is unbelievable that 
that brave heart should have ceased to beat that 
those mighty muscles are quiet and cold forever! 
That he who was the personification of life and health 
and manly strength should be the prey of slimy, 
crawling things, that " But she could go no fur 
ther, and with a little moan she buried her head in 
her arms, and sank sobbing to the floor. 

For days Miss Porter was ill, and would see no one 
except Hazel and the faithful Esmeralda. When at 
last she came on deck all were struck by the sad 
change that had taken place in her. She was no 
longer the alert, vivacious American beauty who had 
charmed and delighted all who came in contact with 
her. Instead she was a very quiet and sad little girl 



THE WRECK OF THE "LADY ALICE" 

with an expression of hopeless wistfulness that 
none but Hazel Strong could interpret. 

The entire party strove their utmost to cheer and 
amuse her, but all to no avail. Occasionally the jolly 
Lord Tennington would wring a wan smile from her, 
but for the most part she sat with wide eyes looking 
out across the sea. 

With Jane Porter's illness one misfortune after an 
other seemed to attack the yacht. First an engine 
broke down, and they drifted for two days while tem 
porary repairs were being made. Then a squall struck 
them unaware, that carried overboard nearly every 
thing above deck that was portable. Later two of the 
seamen fell to fighting in the forecastle, with the re 
sult that one of them was badly wounded with a knife, 
and the other had to be put in irons. Then, to cap the 
climax, the mate fell overboard at night, and was 
drowned before help could reach him. The yacht 
cruised about the spot for ten hours, but no sign of 
the man was seen after he disappeared from the deck 
into the sea. 

Every member of the crew and guests was gloomy 
and depressed after these series of misfortunes. All 
were apprehensive of worse to come, and this was es 
pecially true of the seamen who recalled all sorts of 
terrible omens and warnings that had occurred during 
the early part of the voyage, and which they could 
now clearly translate into the precursors of some grim 
and terrible tragedy to come. 

Nor did the croakers have long to wait. The second 
[188] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



might after the drowning of the mate the little yacht 
was suddenly wracked from stem to stern. About one 
o'clock in the morning there was a terrific impact that 
threw the slumbering guests and crew from berth and 
bunk. A mighty shudder ran through the frail craft ; 
she lay far over to starboard; the engines stopped. 
For a moment she hung there with her decks at an 
angle of forty-five degrees then, with a sullen, rend 
ing sound, she slipped back into the sea and righted. 

Instantly the men rushed upon deck, followed 
closely by the women. Though the night was cloudy, 
there was little wind or sea, nor was it so dark but that 
just off the port bow a black mass could be discerned 
floating low in the water. 

" A derelict," was the terse explanation of the offi 
cer of the watch. 

Presently the engineer hurried on deck in search of 
the captain. 

"That patch we put on the cylinder head's blown 
out, sir," he reported, "and she's makin' water fast 
for'ard on the port bow." 

An instant later a seaman rushed up from below. 

" My Gawd ! " he cried. " Her whole bleedin' bot 
tom's ripped out. She can't float twenty minutes." 

" Shut up ! " roared Tennington. " Ladies, go be 
low and get some of your things together. It may 
not be so bad as that, but we may have to take to the 
boats. It will be safer to be prepared. Go at once, 
please. And, Captain Jerrold, send some competent 
man below, please, to ascertain the exact extent of the 
[184] 



THE WRECK OF THE "LADY ALICE 9 ' 

damage. In the meantime I might suggest that you 
have the boats provisioned." 

The calm, low voice of the owner did much to re 
assure the entire party, and a moment later all were 
occupied with the duties he had suggested. By the 
time the ladies had returned to the deck the rapid pro 
visioning of the boats had been about completed, and 
a moment later the officer who had gone below had re 
turned to report. But his opinion was scarcely needed 
to assure the huddled group of men and women that 
the end of the Lady Alice was at hand. 

"Well, sir?" said the captain, as his officer hesi 
tated. 

" I dislike to frighten the ladies, sir," he said, " but 
she can't float a dozen minutes, in my opinion. There's 
a hole in her you could drive a bally cow through, 
sir." 

For five minutes the Lady Alice had been settling 
rapidly by the bow. Already her stern loomed high in 
the air, and foothold on the deck was of the most pre 
carious nature. She carried four boats, and these 
were all filled and lowered away in safety. As they 
pulled rapidly from the stricken little vessel Jane Por 
ter turned to have one last look at her. Just then 
there came a loud crash and an ominous rumbling 
and pounding from tne heart of the ship her ma 
chinery had broken loose, and was dashing its way 
toward the bow, tearing out partitions and bulkheads 
as it went the stern rose rapidly high above them ; 
for a moment she seemed to pause there a vertical 
[185] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



shaft protruding from the bosom of the ocean, and 
then swiftly she dove headforemost beneath the waves. 

In one of the boats the brave Lord Tennington 
wiped a tear from his eye he had not seen a for 
tune in money go down forever into the sea, but a 
dear, beautiful friend whom he had loved. 

At last the long night broke, and a tropical sun 
smote down upon the rolling water. Jane Porter had 
dropped into a fitful slumber the fierce light of the 
sun upon her upturned face awoke her. She looked 
about her. In the boat with her were three sailors, 
Clayton, and Monsieur Thuran. Then she looked for 
the other boats, but as far as the eye could reach there 
was nothing to break the fearful monotony of that 
waste of waters they were alone in a small boat 
upon the broad Atlantic. 



[186] 




XIV 

BACK TO THE PRIMITIVE 

AS Tarzan struck the water, his first impulse was 
to swim clear of the ship and possible danger 
from her propellers. He knew whom to thank for his 
present predicament, and as he lay in the sea, just 
supporting himself by a gentle movement of his hands, 
his chief emotion was one of chagrin that he had been 
so easily bested by Rokoff . 

He lay thus for some time, watching the receding 
and rapidly diminishing lights of the steamer without 
it ever once occurring to him to call for help. He 
never had called for help in his life, and so it is not 
strange that he did not think of it now. Always had 
he depended upon his own prowess and resourceful 
ness, nor had there ever been since the days of Kala 
any to answer an appeal for succor. When it did 
occur to him it was too late. 

There was, thought Tarzan, a possible one chance 
in a hundred thousand that he might be picked up, 
and an even smaller chance that he would reach land, 
[187] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



so he determined that to combine what slight chances 
there were, he would swim slowly in the direction of 
the coast the ship might have been closer in than 
he had known. 

His strokes were long and easy it would be many 
hours before those giant muscles would commence to 
feel fatigue. As he swam, guided toward the east by 
the stars, he noticed that he felt the weight of his 
shoes, and so he removed them. His trousers went 
next, and he would have removed his coat at the same 
time but for the precious papers in its pocket. To 
reassure himself that he still had them he slipped 
his hand in to feel, but to his consternation they were 
gone. 

Now he knew that something more than revenge had 
prompted Rokoff to pitch him overboard the Rus 
sian had managed to obtain possession of the papers 
Tarzan had wrested from him at Bou Saada. The 
ape-man swore softly, and let his coat and shirt sink 
into the Atlantic. Before many hours he had divested 
himself of his remaining garments, and was swimming 
easily and unencumbered toward the east. 

The first faint evidence of dawn was paling the 
stars ahead of him when the dim outlines of a low- 
lying black mass loomed up directly in his track. A 
few strong strokes brought him to its side it was 
the bottom of a wave-washed derelict. Tarzan 
clambered upon it he would rest there until day 
light at least. He had no intention to remain there 
inactive a prey to hunger and thirst. If he must 
1188] 



BACK TO THE PRIMITIVE 



die he preferred dying in action while making some 
semblance of an attempt to save himself. 

The sea was quiet, so that the wreck had only a 
gently undulating motion, that was soothing to the 
swimmer who had had no sleep for twenty hours. Tar- 
zan of the Apes curled up upon the slimy timbers, and 
was soon asleep. 

The heat of the sun awoke him early in the fore 
noon. His first conscious sensation was of thirst, 
which grew almost to the proportions of suffering with 
full returning consciousness; but a moment later it 
was forgotten in the joy of two almost simultaneous 
discoveries. The first was a mass of wreckage floating 
beside the derelict in the midst of which, bottom up, 
rose and fell an overturned lifeboat; the other was 
the faint, dim line of a far-distant shore showing on 
the horizon in the east. 

Tarzan dove into the water, and swam around the 
wreck to the lifeboat. The cool ocean refreshed him 
almost as much as would a draft of water, so that it 
was with renewed vigor that he brought the smaller 
boat alongside the derelict, and, after many herculean 
efforts, succeeded in dragging it onto the slimy ship's 
bottom. There he righted and examined it the boat 
was quite sound, and a moment later floated upright 
alongside the wreck. Then Tarzan selected several 
pieces of wreckage that might answer him as paddles, 
and presently was making good headway toward the 
far-off shore. 

It was late in the afternoon by the time he came 
[189] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



close enough to distinguish objects on land, or to 
make out the contour of the shore line. Before him 
lay what appeared to be the entrance to a little, land 
locked harbor. The wooded point to the north was 
strangely familiar. Could it be possible that fate had 
thrown him up at the very threshold of his own be 
loved jungle! But as the bow of his boat entered 
the mouth of the harbor the last shred of doubt was 
cleared away, for there before him upon the farther 
shore, under the shadows of his primeval forest, stood 
his own cabin built before his birth by the hand of 
his long-dead father, John Clayton, Lord Greystoke. 

With long sweeps of his giant muscles Tarzan sent 
the little craft speeding toward the beach. Its prow 
had scarcely touched when the ape-man leaped to shore 
his heart beat fast in joy and exultation as each 
long-familiar object came beneath his roving eyes 
the cabin, the beach, the little brook, the dense jungle, 
the black, impenetrable forest. The myriad birds in 
their brilliant plumage the gorgeous tropical 
blooms upon the festooned creepers falling in great 
loops from the giant trees. 

Tarzan of the Apes had come into his own again, 
and that all the world might know it he threw back his 
young head, and gave voice to the fierce, wild chal 
lenge of his tribe. For a moment silence reigned 
upon the jungle, and then, low and weird, came an 
answering challenge it was the deep roar of Numa, 
the lion ; and from a great distance, faintly, the fear 
some answering bellow of a bull ape. 
[190] 



BACK TO THE PRIMITIVE 



Tarzan went to the brook first, and slaked his thirst. 
Then he approached his cabin. The door was still 
closed and latched as he and D'Arnot had left it. He 
raised the latch and entered. Nothing had been dis 
turbed; there were the table, the bed, and the little 
crib built by his father the shelves and cupboards 
just as they had stood for over twenty-three years 
just as he had left them nearly two years before. 

His eyes satisfied, Tarzan's stomach began to call 
aloud for attention the pangs of hunger suggested 
a search for food. There was nothing in the cabin, 
nor had he any weapons ; but upon a wall hung one of 
his old grass ropes. It had been many times broken 
and spliced, so that he had discarded it for a better 
one long before. Tarzan wished that he had a knife. 
Well, unless he was mistaken he should have that and a 
spear and bows and arrows before another sun had 
set the rope would take care of that, and in the 
meantime it must be made to procure food for him. 
He coiled it carefully, and, throwing it about his 
shoulder, went out, closing the door behind him. 

Close to the cabin the jungle commenced, and into 
it Tarzan of the Apes plunged, wary and noiseless 
once more a savage beast hunting its food. For a 
time he kept to the ground, but finally, discovering no 
spoor indicative of near-by meat, he took to the trees. 
With the first dizzy swing from tree to tree all the old 
joy of living swept over him. Vain regrets and dull 
heartache were forgotten. Now was he living. Now, 
indeed, was the true happiness of perfect freedom his. 
[191] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



Who would go back to the stifling, wicked cities of 
civilized man when the mighty reaches of the great 
jungle offered peace and liberty? Not he. 

While it was yet light Tarzan came to a drinking 
place by the side of a jungle river. There was a ford 
there, and for countless ages the beasts of the forest 
had come down to drink at this spot. Here of a night 
might always be found either Sabor or Numa crouch 
ing in the dense foliage of the surrounding jungle 
awaiting an antelope or a water buck for their meal. 
Here came Horta, the boar, to water, and here came 
Tarzan of the Apes to make a kill, for he was very 
empty. 

On a low branch he squatted above the trail. For 
an hour he waited. It was growing dark. A little to 
one side of the ford in the densest thicket he heard 
the faint sound of padded feet, and the brushing of a 
huge body against tall grasses and tangled creepers. 
None other than Tarzan might have heard it, but the 
ape-man heard and translated it was Numa, the 
lion, on the same errand as himself. Tarzan smiled. 

Presently he heard an animal approaching warily 
along the trail toward the drinking place. A moment 
more and it came in view it was Horta, the boar. 
Here was delicious meat and Tarzan's mouth wa 
tered. The grasses where Numa lay were very still 
now ominously still. Horta passed beneath Tar 
zan a few more steps and he would be within the 
radius of Numa's spring. Tarzan could imagine how 
old Numa's eyes were shining how he was already 
[192] 



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sucking in his breath for the awful roar which would 
freeze his prey for the brief instant between the mo 
ment of the spring and the sinking of terrible fangs 
into splintering bones. 

But as Numa gathered himself, a slender rope flew 
through the air from the low branches of a near-by 
tree. A noose settled about Horta's neck. There was 
a frightened grunt, a squeal, and then Numa saw his 
quarry dragged backward up the trail, and, as he 
sprang, Horta, the boar, soared upward beyond his 
clutches into the tree above, and a mocking face looked 
down and laughed into his own. 

Then indeed did Numa roar. Angry, threatening, 
hungry, he paced back and forth beneath the taunting 
ape-man. Now he stopped, and, rising on his hind 
legs against the stem of the tree that held his enemy, 
sharpened his huge claws upon the bark, tearing out 
great pieces that laid bare the white wood beneath. 

And in the meantime Tarzan had dragged the 
struggling Horta to the limb beside him. Sinewy 
fingers completed the work the choking noose had 
commenced. The ape-man had no knife, but nature 
had equipped him with the means of tearing his food 
from the quivering flank of his prey, and gleaming 
teeth sank into the succulent flesh while the raging 
lion looked on from below as another enjoyed the 
dinner that he had thought already his. 

It was quite dark by the time Tarzan had gorged 
himself. Ah, but it had been delicious ! Never had he 
quite accustomed himself to the ruined flesh that civil- 
193] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



ized men had served him, and in the bottom of his 
savage heart there had constantly been the craving 
for the warm meat of the fresh kill, and the rich, red 
blood. 

He wiped his bloody hands upon a bunch of leaves, 
slung the remains of his kill across his shoulder, and 
swung off through the middle terrace of the forest 
toward his cabin, and at the same instant Jane Porter 
and William Cecil Clayton arose from a sumptuous 
dinner upon the Lady Alice, thousands of miles to the 
east, in the Indian Ocean. 

Beneath Tarzan walked Numa, the lion, and when 
the ape-man deigned to glance downward he caught 
occasional glimpses of the baleful green eyes follow 
ing through the darkness. Numa did not roar now 
instead, he moved stealthily, like the shadow of a great 
cat; but yet he took no step that did not reach the 
sensitive ears of the ape-man. 

Tarzan wondered if he would stalk him to his cabin 
door. He hoped not, for that would mean a night's 
sleep curled in the crotch of a tree, and he much pre 
ferred the bed of grasses within his own abode. But 
he knew just the tree and the most comfortable crotch, 
if necessity demanded that he sleep out. A hundred 
times in the past some great jungle cat had followed 
him home, and compelled him to seek shelter in this 
same tree, until another mood or the rising sun had 
sent his enemy away. 

But presently Numa gave up the chase and, with a 
series of blood-curdling moans and roars, turned 
[194] 



BACK TO THE PRIMITIVE 



angrily back in search of another and an easier dinner. 
So Tarzan came to his cabin unattended, and a few 
moments later was curled up in the mildewed remnants 
of what had once been a bed of grasses. Thus easily 
did Monsieur Jean C. Tarzan slough the thin skin of 
his artificial civilization, and sink happy and con 
tented into the deep sleep of the wild beast that has 
fed to repletion. Yet a woman's "yes" would have 
bound him to that other life forever, and made the 
thought of this savage existence repulsive. 

Tarzan slept late into the following forenoon, for 
he had been very tired from the labors and exertion of 
the long night and day upon the ocean, and the jungle 
jaunt that had brought into play muscles that he had 
scarce used for nearly two years. When he awoke he 
ran to the brook first to drink. Then he took a plunge 
into the sea, swimming about for a quarter of an hour. 
Afterward he returned to his cabin, and breakfasted 
off the flesh of Horta. This done, he buried the 
balance of the carcass in the soft earth outside the 
cabin, for his evening meal. 

Once more he took his rope and vanished into the 
jungle. This time he hunted nobler quarry man; 
although had you asked him his own opinion he could 
have named a dozen other denizens of the jungle 
which he considered far the superiors in nobility of 
the men he hunted. Today Tarzan was in quest of 
weapons. He wondered if the women and children 
had remained in Mbonga's village after the punitive 
expedition from the French cruiser had massacred all 
[195] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



the warriors in revenge for D'Arnot's supposed death. 
He hoped that he should find warriors there, for he 
knew not how long a quest he should have to make 
were the village deserted. 

The ape-man traveled swiftly through the forest, and 
about noon came to the site of the village, but to his 
disappointment found that the jungle had overgrown 
the plantain fields and that the thatched huts had fallen 
in decay. There was no sign of man. He clambered 
about among the ruins for half an hour, hoping that 
he might discover some forgotten weapon, but his 
search was without fruit, and so he took up his quest 
once more, following up the stream, which flowed from 
a southeasterly direction. He knew that near fresh 
water he would be most likely to find another settle 
ment. 

As he traveled he hunted as he had hunted with his 
ape people in the past, as Kala had taught him to 
hunt, turning over rotted logs to find some toothsome 
vermin, running high into the trees to rob a bird's 
nest, or pouncing upon a tiny rodent with the quick 
ness of a cat. There were other things that he ate, 
too, but the less detailed the account of an ape's diet, 
the better and Tarzan was again an ape, the same 
fierce, brutal anthropoid that Kala had taught him to 
be, and that he had been for the first twenty years of 
his life. 

Occasionally he smiled as he recalled some friend 
who might even at the moment be sitting placid and 
immaculate within the precincts of his select Parisian 
[196] 



BACK TO THE PRIMITIVE 



club just as Tarzan had sat but a few months 
before; and then he would stop, as though turned 
suddenly to stone as the gentle breeze carried to his 
trained nostrils the scent of some new prey or a 
formidable enemy. 

That night he slept far inland from his cabin, 
securely wedged into the crotch of a giant tree, sway 
ing a hundred feet above the ground. He had eaten 
heartily again this time from the flesh of Bara, the 
deer, who had fallen prey to his quick noose. 

Early the next morning he resumed his journey, 
always following the course of the stream. For three 
days he continued his quest, until he had come to a 
part of the jungle in which he never before had been. 
Occasionally upon the higher ground the forest was 
much thinner, and in the far distance through the trees 
he could see ranges of mighty mountains, with wide 
plains in the foreground. Here, in the open spaces, 
were new game countless antelope and vast herds of 
zebra. Tarzan was entranced he would make a 
long visit to this new world. 

On the morning of the fourth day his nostrils were 
suddenly surprised by a faint new scent. It was the 
scent of man, but yet a long way off. The ape-man 
thrilled with pleasure. Every sense was on the alert 
as with crafty stealth he moved quickly through the 
trees, up-wind, in the direction of his prey. Presently 
he came upon it a lone warrior treading softly 
through the jungle. 

Tarzan followed close above his quarry, waiting for 
[197] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



a clearer space in which to hurl his rope. As he 
stalked the unconscious man, new thoughts presented 
themselves to the ape-man thoughts born of the 
refining influences of civilization, and of its cruelties. 
It came to him that seldom if ever did civilized man 
kill a fellow being without some pretext, however 
slight. It was true that Tarzan wished this man's 
weapons and ornaments, but was it necessary to take 
his life to obtain them ? 

The longer he thought about it, the more repugnant 
became the thought of taking human life needlessly; 
and thus it happened that while he was trying to de 
cide just what to do, they had come to a little clearing, 
at the far side of which lay a palisaded village of 
beehive huts. 

As the warrior merged from the forest, Tarzan 
caught a fleeting glimpse of a tawny hide worming 
its way through the matted jungle grasses in his 
wake it was Numa, the lion. He, too, was stalking 
the black man. With the instant that Tarzan realized 
the native's danger his attitude toward his erstwhile 
prey altered completely now he was a fellow man 
threatened by a common enemy. 

Numa was about to charge there was little time 
in which to compare various methods or weigh the 
probable results of any. And then a number of things 
happened, almost simultaneously the lion sprang 
from his ambush toward the retreating black Tarzan 
cried out in warning and the black turned just in 
time to see Numa halted in mid-flight by a slender 
[198] 



BACK TO THE PRIMITIVE 



strand of grass rope, the noosed end of which had 
fallen cleanly about his neck. 

The ape-man had acted so quickly that he had been 
unable to prepare himself to withstand the strain and 
shock of Numa's great weight upon the rope, and so 
it was that though the rope stopped the beast before 
his mighty talons could fasten themselves in the flesh 
of the black, the strain overbalanced Tarzan, who 
came tumbling to the ground not six paces from the 
infuriated animal. Like lightning Numa turned upon 
this new enemy, and, defenseless as he was, Tarzan of 
the Apes was nearer to death that instant than he ever 
before had been. It was the black who saved him. 
The warrior realized in an instant that he owed his 
life to this strange white man, and he also saw that 
only a miracle could save his preserver from those 
fierce yellow fangs that had been so near to his own 
flesh. 

With the quickness of thought his spear arm flew 
back, and then shot forward with all the force of the 
sinewy muscles that rolled beneath the shimmering 
ebon hide. True to its mark the iron-shod weapon 
flew, transfixing Numa's sleek carcass from the right 
groin to beneath the left shoulder. With a hideous 
scream of rage and pain the brute turned again upon 
the black. A dozen paces he had gone when Tarzan's 
rope brought him to a stand once more then he 
wheeled again upon the ape-man, only to feel the 
painful prick of a barbed arrow as it sank half its 
length in his quivering flesh. Again he stopped, and 
[199] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



by this time Tarzan had run twice around the stem of 
a great tree with his rope, and made the end fast. 

The black saw the trick, and grinned, but Tarzan 
knew that Numa must be quickly finished before those 
mighty teeth had found and parted the slender cord 
that held him. It was a matter of but an instant to 
reach the black's side and drag his long knife from its 
scabbard. Then he signed the warrior to continue to 
shoot arrows into the great beast while he attempted 
to close in upon him with the knife ; so as one tanta 
lized upon one side, the other sneaked cautiously 
in upon the other. Numa was furious. He raised 
his voice in a perfect frenzy of shrieks, growls, and 
hideous moans, the while he reared upon his hind legs 
in futile attempt to reach first one and then the other 
of his tormentors. 

But at length the agile ape-man saw his chance, and 
rushed in upon the beast's left side behind the mighty 
shoulder. A giant arm encircled tlae tawny throat, and 
a long blade sank once, true as a die, into the fierce 
heart. Then Tarzan arose, and the black man and 
the white looked into each other's eyes across the body 
of their kill and the black made the sign of peace 
and friendship, and Tarzan of the Apes answered it in 
kind. 



[200] 




XV 

FROM APE TO SAVAGE 

^ I A HE noise of their battle with Numa had drawn 
-*- an excited horde of savages from the nearby 
village, and a moment after the lion's death the two 
men were surrounded by lithe, ebon warriors, gesticu 
lating and jabbering a thousand questions that 
drowned each ventured reply. 

And then the women came, and the children eager, 
curious, and, at sight of Tarzan, more questioning 
than ever. The ape-man's new friend finally suc 
ceeded in making himself heard, and when he had done 
talking the men and women of the village vied with 
one another in doing honor to the strange creature 
who had saved their fellow and battled single-handed 
with fierce Numa. 

At last they led him back to their village, where they 

brought him gifts of fowl, and goats, and cooked 

food. When he pointed to their weapons the warriors 

hastened to fetch spear, shield, arrows, and a bow. 

[201] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



His friend of the encounter presented him with the 
knife with which he had killed Numa. There was 
nothing in all the village he could not have had for 
the asking. 

How much easier this was, thought Tarzan, than 
murder and robbery to supply his wants. How close 
he had been to killing this man whom he never had 
seen before, and who now was manifesting by every 
primitive means at his command friendship and affec 
tion for his would-be slayer. Tarzan of the Apes was 
ashamed. Hereafter he would at least wait until he 
knew men deserved it before he thought of killing 
them. 

The idea recalled Rokoff to his mind. He wished 
that he might have the Russian to himself in the dark 
jungle for a few minutes. There was a man who 
deserved killing if ever any one did. And if he could 
have seen Rokoff at that moment as he assiduously 
bent every endeavor to the pleasant task of ingra 
tiating himself into the affections of the beautiful 
Miss Strong, he would have longed more than ever to 
mete out to the man the fate he deserved. 

Tarzan's first night with the savages was devoted to 
a wild orgy in his honor. There was feasting, for the 
hunters had brought in an antelope and a zebra as 
trophies of their skill, and gallons of the weak native 
beer were consumed. As the warriors danced in the 
firelight, Tarzan was again impressed by the symmetry 
of their figures and the regularity of their features 
the flat noses and thick lips of the typical West Coast 
[202] 



FROM APE TO SAVAGE 



savage were entirely missing. In repose the faces of 
the men were intelligent and dignified, those of the 
women ofttimes prepossessing. 

It was during this dance that the ape-man first 
noticed that some of the men and many of the women 
wore ornaments of gold principally anklets and 
armlets of great weight, apparently beaten out of the 
solid metal. When he expressed a wish to examine one 
of these, the owner removed it from her person and 
insisted, through the medium of signs, that Tarzan 
accept it as a gift. A close scrutiny of the bauble 
convinced the ape-man that the article was of virgin 
gold, and he was surprised, for it was the first time 
that he had ever seen golden ornaments among the 
savages of Africa, other than the trifling baubles those 
near the coast had purchased or stolen from Euro 
peans. He tried to ask them from whence the metal 
came, but he could not make them understand. 

When the dance was done Tarzan signified his inten 
tion to leave them, but they almost implored him to 
accept the hospitality of a great hut which the chief 
set apart for his sole use. He tried to explain that 
he would return in the morning, but they could not 
understand. When he finally walked away from them 
toward the side of the village opposite the gate, they 
were still further mystified as to his intentions. 

Tarzan, however, knew just what he was about. In 

the past he had had experience with the rodents and 

vermin that infest every native village, and, while he 

was not overscrupulous about such matters, he much 

[203] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



preferred the fresh air of the swaying trees to the 
fetid atmosphere of a hut. 

The natives followed him to where a great tree 
overhung the palisade, and as Tarzan leaped for a 
lower branch and disappeared into the foliage above, 
precisely after the manner of Manu, the monkey, there 
were loud exclamations of surprise and astonishment. 
For half an hour they called to him to return, but as 
he did not answer them they at last desisted, and sought 
the sleeping-mats within their huts. 

Tarzan went back into the forest a short dis 
tance until he had found a tree suited to his primi 
tive requirements, and then, curling himself in a 
great crotch, he fell immediately into a deep 
sleep. 

The following morning he dropped into the village 
street as suddenly as he had disappeared the preceding 
night. For a moment the natives were startled and 
afraid, but when they recognized their guest of the 
night before they welcomed him with shouts and laugh 
ter. That day he accompanied a party of warriors to 
the nearby plains on a great hunt, and so dexterous 
did they find this white man with their own crude 
weapons that another bond of respect and admiration 
was thereby wrought. 

For weeks Tarzan lived with his savage friends, 
hunting buffalo, antelope, and zebra for meat, and 
elephant for ivory. Quickly he learned their simple 
speech, their native customs, and the ethics of their 
wild, primitive tribal life. He found that they were 
[204] 



FROM APE TO SAVAGE 



not cannibals that they looked with loathing and 
contempt upon men who ate men. 

Busuli, the warrior whom he had stalked to the 
village, told him many of the tribal legends how, 
many years before, his people had come many long 
marches from the north; how once they had been 
great and powerful tribe; and how the slave raiders 
had wrought such havoc among them with their death- 
dealing guns that they had been reduced to a mere 
remnant of their former numbers and power. 

" They hunted us down as one hunts a fierce beast," 
said Busuli. "There was no mercy in them. When 
it was not slaves they sought it was ivory, but usually it 
was both. Our men were killed and our women driven 
away like sheep. We fought against them for many 
years, but our arrows and spears could not prevail 
against the sticks which spit fire and lead and death to 
many times the distance that our mightiest warrior 
could place an arrow. At last, when my father was 
a young man, the Arabs came again, but our warriors 
saw them a long way off, and Chowambi, who was 
chief then, told his people to gather up their belong 
ings and come away with him that he would lead 
them far to the south until they found a spot to which 
the Arab raiders did not come. 

"And they did as he bid, carrying all their belong 
ings, including many tusks of ivory. For months they 
wandered, suffering untold hardships and privations, 
for much of the way was through dense jungle, and 
across mighty mountains, but finally they came to this 
[205] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



spot, and although they sent parties farther on to 
search for an even better location, none has ever been 
found." 

"And the raiders have never found you here?" 
asked Tarzan. 

"About a year ago a small party of Arabs and 
Manyuema stumbled upon us, but we drove them off, 
killing many. For days we followed them, stalking 
them for the wild beasts they are, picking them off 
one by one, until but a handful remained, but these 
escaped us." 

As Busuli talked he fingered a heavy gold armlet 
that encircled the glossy hide of his left arm. 
Tarzan's eyes had been upon the ornament, but his 
thoughts were elsewhere. Presently he recalled the 
question he had tried to ask when he first came to the 
tribe the question he could not at that time make 
them understand. For weeks he had forgotten so 
trivial a thing as gold, for he had been for the time a 
truly primeval man with no thought beyond today. 
But of a sudden the sight of gold awakened the sleep 
ing civilization that was in him, and with it came the 
lust for wealth. That lesson Tarzan had learned well in 
his brief experience of the ways of civilized man. He 
knew that gold meant power and pleasure. He pointed 
to the bauble. 

" From whence came the yellow metal, Busuli ? " he 
asked. 

The black pointed toward the southeast. 

" A moon's march away maybe more," he replied. 
[206] 



FROM APE TO SAVAGE 



"Have you been there?" asked Tarzan. 

" No, but some of our people were there years ago, 
when my father was yet a young man. One of the 
parties that searched farther for a location for the 
tribe when first they settled here came upon a strange 
people who wore many ornaments of yellow metal. 
Their spears were tipped with it, as were their arrows,, 
and they cooked in vessels made all of solid metal like 
my armlet. 

"They lived in a great village in huts that were 
built of stone and surrounded by a great wall. They 
were very fierce, rushing out and falling upon our 
warriors before ever they learned that their errand 
was a peaceful one. Our men were few in number, but 
they held their own at the top of a little rocky hill, 
until the fierce people went back at sunset into their 
wicked city. Then our warriors came down from their 
hill, and, after taking many ornaments of yellow metal 
from the bodies of those they had slain, they marched 
back out of the valley, nor have any of us ever 
returned. 

"They are wicked people neither white like you 
nor black like me, but covered with hair as is Bol- 
gani, the gorilla. Yes, they are very bad people 
indeed, and Chowambi was glad to get out of their 
country." 

"And are none of those alive who were with Chow 
ambi, and saw these strange people and their wonderful 
city? " asked Tarzan. 

"Waziri, our chief, was there," replied BusulL 
[207] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



" He was a very young man then, but he accompanied 
Chowambi, who was his father." 

So that night Tarzan asked Waziri about it, and 
Waziri, who was now an old man, said that it was a 
long march, but that the way was not difficult to follow. 
He remembered it well. 

"For ten days we followed this river which runs 
beside our village. Up toward its source we traveled 
until on the tenth day we came to a little spring far 
up upon the side of a lofty mountain range. In this 
little spring our river is born. The next day we 
crossed over the top of the mountain, and upon the 
other side we came to a tiny rivulet which we followed 
down into a great forest. For many days we traveled 
along the winding banks of the rivulet that had now 
become a river, until we came to a greater river, into 
which it emptied, and which ran down the center of a 
mighty valley. 

"Then we followed this large river toward its 
source, hoping to come to more open land. After 
twenty days of marching from the time we had crossed 
the mountains and passed out of our own country we 
came again to another range of mountains. Up their 
side we followed the great river, that had now dwin 
dled to a tiny rivulet, until we came to a little cave 
near the mountain-top. In this cave was the mother 
of the river. 

" I remember that we camped there that night, and 
that it was very cold, for the mountains were high. 
The next day we decided to ascend to the top of the 
[208] 



FROM APE TO SAVAGE 



mountains, and see what the country upon the other 
side looked like, and if it seemed no better than that 
which he had so far traversed we would return to our 
village and tell them that they had already found the 
best place in all the world to live. 

"And so we clambered up the face of the rocky 
cliffs until we reached the summit, and there from a 
flat mountain-top we saw, not far beneath us, a shallow 
valley, very narrow ; and upon the far side of it was a 
great village of stone, much of which had fallen and 
crumbled into decay." 

The balance of Waziri's story was practically the 
same as that which Busuli had told. 

" I should like to go there and see this strange city," 
said Tarzan, "and get some of their yellow metal 
from its fierce inhabitants." 

"It is a long march," replied Waziri, "and I am 
an old man, but if you will wait until the rainy season 
is over and the rivers have gone down I will take some 
of my warriors and go with you." 

And Tarzan had to be contented with that arrange 
ment, though he would have liked it well enough to 
have set off the next morning he was as impatient 
as a child. Really Tarzan of the Apes was but a 
child, or a primeval man, which is the same thing in 
a way. 

The next day but one a small party of hunters 

returned to the village from the south to report a 

large herd of elephant some miles away. By climbing 

trees they had had a fairly good view of the herd, 

[209] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



which they described as numbering several large tusk 
ers, a great many cows and calves, and full-grown bulls 
whose ivory would be worth having. 

The balance of the day and evening was filled with 
preparation for a great hunt spears were over 
hauled, quivers were replenished, bows were restrung ; 
and all the while the village witch doctor passed 
through the busy throngs disposing of various charms 
and amulets designed to protect the possessor from 
hurt, or bring him good fortune in the morrow's hunt. 

At dawn the hunters were off. There w r ere fifty 
sleek, black warriors, and in their midst, lithe and 
active as a young forest god, strode Tarzan of the 
Apes, his brown skin contrasting oddly with the ebony 
of his companions. Except for color he was one of 
them. His ornaments and weapons were the same as 
theirs he spoke their language he laughed and 
joked with them, and leaped and shouted in the brief 
wild dance that preceded their departure from the 
village, to all intent and purpose a savage among 
savages. Nor, had he questioned himself, is it to be 
doubted that he would have admitted that he was far 
more closely allied to these people and their life than 
to the Parisian friends whose ways, apelike, he had 
successfully mimicked for a few short months. 

But he did think of D'Arnot, and a grin of amuse 
ment showed his strong white teeth as he pictured the 
immaculate Frenchman's expression could he by some 
means see Tarzan as he was that minute. Poor Paul, 
who had prided himself on having eradicated from his 
[210] 



FROM APE TO SAVAGE 



friend the last traces of wild savagery. " How quickly 
have I fallen ! " thought Tarzan ; but in his heart he 
did not consider it a fall rather, he pitied the poor 
creatures of Paris, penned up like prisoners in their 
silly clothes, and watched by policemen all their poor 
lives, that they might do nothing that was not entirely 
artificial and tiresome. 

A two hours' march brought them close to the 
vicinity in which the elephants had been seen the pre 
vious day. From there on they moved very quietly 
indeed searching for the spoor of the great beasts. 
At length they found the well-marked trail along 
which the herd had passed not many hours before. In 
single file they followed it for about half an hour. 
It was Tarzan who first raised his hand in signal that 
the quarry was at hand his sensitive nose had warned 
him that the elephants were not far ahead of them. 

The blacks were skeptical when he told them how he 
knew. 

" Come with me," said Tarzan, " and we shall see." 

With the agility of a squirrel he sprang into a tree 
and ran nimbly to the top. One of the blacks followed 
more slowly and carefully. When he had reached a 
lofty limb beside the ape-man the latter pointed to the 
south, and there, some few hundred yards away, the 
black saw a number of huge black backs swaying back 
and forth above the top of the lofty jungle grasses. 
He pointed the direction to the watchers below, indi 
cating with his fingers the number of beasts he could 
count. 

[211] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



Immediately the hunters started toward the ele 
phants. The black in the tree hastened down, but 
Tarzan stalked, after his own fashion, along the leafy 
way of the middle terrace. 

It is no child's play to hunt wild elephants with the 
crude weapons of primitive man. Tarzan knew that 
few native tribes ever attempted it, and the fact that 
his tribe did so gave him no little pride already he 
was commencing to think of himself as a member of 
the little community. 

As Tarzan moved silently through the trees he saw 
the warriors below creeping in a half circle upon the 
still unsuspecting elephants. Finally they were within 
sight of the great beasts. Now they singled out two 
large tuskers, and at a signal the fifty men rose from 
the ground where they had lain concealed, and hurled 
their heavy war spears at the two marked beasts. 
There was not a single miss; twenty-five spears were 
embedded in the sides of each of the giant animals. 
One never moved from the spot where it stood when 
the avalanche of spears struck it, for two, perfectly 
aimed, had penetrated its heart, and it lunged forward 
upon its knees, rolling to the ground without a 
struggle. 

The other, standing nearly head-on toward the 
hunters, had not proved so good a mark, and though 
every spear struck not one entered the great heart. 
For a moment the huge bull stood trumpeting in rage 
and pain, casting about with its little eyes for the 
author of its hurt. The blacks had faded into the 



FROM APE TO SAVAGE 



jungle before the weak eyes of the monster had fallen 
upon any of them, but now he caught the sound of 
their retreat, and, amid a terrific crashing of under 
brush and branches, he charged in the direction of the 
noise. 

It so happened that chance sent him in the direction 
of Busuli, whom he was overtaking so rapidly that it 
was as though the black were standing still instead of 
racing at full speed to escape the certain death which 
pursued him. Tarzan had witnessed the entire per 
formance from the branches of a nearby tree, and now 
that he saw his friend's peril he raced toward the 
infuriated beast with loud cries, hoping to distract 
him. 

But it had been as well had he saved his breath, for 
the brute was deaf and blind to all else save the par 
ticular object of his rage that raced futilely before 
him. And now Tarzan saw that only a miracle could 
save Busuli, and with the same unconcern with which 
he had once hunted this very man he hurled himself 
into the path of the elephant to save the black war 
rior's life. 

He still grasped his spear, and while Tantor was 
yet six or eight paces behind his prey, a sinewy white 
warrior dropped as from the heavens, almost directly 
in his path. With a vicious lunge the elephant 
swerved to the right to dispose of this temerarious 
foeman who dared intervene between himself and his 
intended victim; but he had not reckoned on the 
lightning quickness that could galvanize those steel 
[213] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



muscles into action so marvelously swift as to baffle 
even a. keener eyesight than Tantor's. 

And so it happened that before the elephant realized 
that his new enemy had leaped from his path Tarzan 
had driven his iron-shod spear from behind the massive 
shoulder straight into the fierce heart, and the colossal 
pachyderm had toppled to his death at the feet of the 
ape-man. 

Busuli had not beheld the manner of his deliverance, 
but Waziri, the old chief, had seen, and several of the 
other warriors, and they hailed Tarzan with delight 
as they swarmed about him and his great kill. When 
he leaped upon the mighty carcass, and gave voice to 
the weird challenge with which he announced a great 
victory, the blacks shrank back in fear, for to them it 
marked the brutal Bolgani, whom they feared fully as 
much as they feared Numa, the lion ; but with a fear 
with which was mixed a certain uncanny awe of the 
manlike thing to which they attributed supernatural 
powers. 

But when Tarzan lowered his raised head and smiled 
upon them they were reassured, though they did not 
understand. Nor did they ever fully understand this 
strange creature who ran through the trees as quickly 
as Manu, yet was even more at home upon the ground 
than themselves ; who was except as to color like unto 
themselves, yet as powerful as ten of them, and single- 
handed a match for the fiercest denizens of the fierce 
jungle. 

When the remainder of the warriors had gathered, 
[214] 



FROM APE TO SAVAGE 



the hunt was again taken up and the stalking of the 
retreating herd once more begun; but they had cov 
ered a bare hundred yards when from behind them, 
at a great distance, sounded faintly a strange popping. 
For an instant they stood like a group of statuary, 
intently listening. Then Tarzan spoke. 

" Guns ! " he said. " The village is being attacked." 
"Come!" cried Waziri.- "The Arab raiders have 
returned with their cannibal slaves for our ivory and 
our women ! " 



/ 




XVI 

THE IVORY RAIDERS 

TT 7AZIRFS warriors marched at a rapid trot 
* * through the jungle in the direction of the 
village. For a few minutes the sharp cracking of 
guns ahead warned them to haste, but finally the re 
ports dwindled to an occasional shot, presently ceasing 
altogether. Nor was this less ominous than the rattle 
of musketry, for it suggested but a single solution to 
the little band of rescuers that the illy garrisoned 
village had already succumbed to the onslaught of a 
superior force. 

The returning hunters had covered a little more 
than three miles of the five that had separated them 
from the village when they met the first of the fugi 
tives who had escaped the bullets and clutches of the 
foe. There were a dozen women, youths, and girls in 
the party, and so excited were they that they could 
scarce make themselves understood as they tried to 
relate to Waziri the calamity that had befallen hi 
people. 

[216] 



THE IVORY RAIDERS 



" They are as many as the leaves of the forest," 
cried one of the women, in attempting to explain the 
enemy's force. "There are many Arabs and count 
less Manyuema, and they all have guns. They crept 
close to the village before we knew that they were 
about, and then, with many shouts, they rushed in 
upon us, shooting down men, and women, and children. 
Those of us who could fled in all directions into the 
jungle, but more were killed. I do not know whether 
they took any prisoners or not they seemed only 
bent upon killing us all. The Manyuema called us 
many names, saying that they would eat us all before 
they left our country that this was our punishment 
for killing their friends last year. I did not hear 
much, for I ran away quickly." 

The march toward the village was now resumed, 
more slowly and with greater stealth, for Waziri knew 
that it was too late to rescue their only mission 
could be one of revenge. Inside the next mile a 
hundred more fugitives were met. There were many 
men among these, and so the fighting strength of the 
party was augmented. 

Now a dozen warriors were sent creeping ahead to 
reconnoiter. Waziri remained with the main body, 
which advanced in a thin line that spread in a great 
crescent through the forest. By the chief's side 
walked Tarzan. 

Presently one of the scouts returned. He had come 
within sight of the village. 

" They are all within the palisade," he whispered. 
[217] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



"Good!" said Waziri. "We shall rush in upon 
them and slay them all," and he made ready to send 
word along the line that they were to halt at the edge 
of the clearing until they saw him rush toward the 
village then all were to follow. 

"Wait!" cautioned Tarzan. "If there are even 
fifty guns within the palisade we shall be repulsed and 
slaughtered. Let me go alone through the trees, so 
that I may look down upon them from above, and see 
just how many there be, and what chance we might 
have were we to charge. It were foolish to lose a 
single man needlessly if there be no hope of success. 
I have an idea that we can accomplish more by cunning 
than by force. Will you wait, Waziri ? " 

" Yes," said the old chief. " Go ! " 

So Tarzan sprang into the trees and disappeared 
in the direction of the village. He moved more cau 
tiously than was his wont, for he knew that men with 
guns could reach him quite as easily in the treetops as 
on the ground. And when Tarzan of the Apes elected 
to adopt stealth, no creature in all the jungle could 
move so silently or so completely efface himself from 
the sight of an enemy. 

In five minutes he had wormed his way to the great 
tree that overhung the palisade at one end of the 
village, and from his point of vantage looked down 
upon the savage horde beneath. He counted fifty 
Arabs and estimated that there were five times as many 
Manyuema. The latter were gorging themselves upon 
food and, under the very noses of their white masters, 



THE IVORY RAIDERS 



preparing the gruesome feast which is the piece 
de resistance that follows a victory in which the 
bodies of their slain enemies fall into their horrid 
hands. 

The ape-man saw that to charge that wild horde, 
armed as they were with guns, and barricaded behind 
the locked gates of the village, would be a futile task, 
and so he returned to Waziri and advised him to wait ; 
that he, Tarzan, had a better plan. 

But a moment before one of the fugitives had re 
lated to Waziri the story of the atrocious murder of 
the old chief's wife, and so crazed with rage was the 
old man that he cast discretion to the winds. Calling 
his warriors about him, he commanded them to charge, 
and, with brandishing spears and savage yells, the little 
force of scarcely more than a hundred dashed madly 
toward the village gates. Before the clearing had 
been half crossed the Arabs opened up a withering fire 
from behind the palisade. 

With the first volley Waziri fell. The speed of the 
chargers slackened. Another volley brought down a 
half dozen more. A few reached the barred gates, only 
to be shot in their tracks, without the ghost of a 
chance to gain the inside of the palisade, and then the 
whole attack crumpled, and the remaining warriors 
scampered back into the forest. 

As they ran the raiders opened the gates, rushing 

after them, to complete the day's work with the utter 

extermination of the tribe. Tarzan had been among 

the last to turn back toward the forest, and now, as he 

[219] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



ran slowly, he turned from time to time to speed a 
well-aimed arrow into the body of a pursuer. 

Once within the jungle, he found a little knot of 
determined blacks waiting to give battle to the on 
coming horde, but Tarzan cried to them to scatter, 
keeping out of harm's way until they could gather in 
force after dark. 

66 Do as I tell you," he urged, " and I will lead you 
to victory over these enemies of yours. Scatter through 
the forest, picking up as many stragglers as you can 
find, and at night, if you think that you have been 
followed, come by roundabout ways to the spot where 
we killed the elephants today. Then I will explain 
my plan, and you will find that it is good. You cannot 
hope to pit your puny strength and simple weapons 
against the numbers and the guns of the Arabs and 
the Manyuema." 

They finally assented. "When you scatter," ex 
plained Tarzan, in conclusion, "your foes will have 
to scatter to follow you, and so it may happen that 
if you are watchful you can drop many a Manyuema 
with your arrows from behind some great trees." 

They had barely time to hasten away farther into 
the forest before the first of the raiders had crossed 
the clearing and entered it in pursuit of them. 

Tarzan ran a short distance along the ground be 
fore he took to the trees. Then he raced quickly to 
the upper terrace, there doubling on his tracks and 
making his way rapidly back toward the village. Here 
he found that every Arab and Manyuema had joined 
[220] 



THE IVORY RAIDERS 



in the pursuit, leaving the village deserted except for 
the chained prisoners and a single guard. 

The sentry stood at the open gate, looking in the 
direction of the forest, so that he did not see the agile 
giant that dropped to the ground at the far end of 
the village street. With drawn bow the ape-man crept 
stealthily toward his unsuspecting victim. The prison 
ers had already discovered him, and with wide eyes 
filled with wonder and with hope they watched their 
would-be rescuer. Now he halted not ten paces from 
the unconscious Manyuema. The shaft was drawn 
back its full length at the height of the keen gray eye 
that sighted along its polished surface. There was a 
sudden twang as the brown fingers released their hold, 
and without a sound the raider sank forward upon his 
face, a wooden shaft transfixing his heart and pro 
truding a foot from his black chest. 

Then Tarzan turned his attention to the fifty women 
and youths chained neck to neck on the long slave 
chain. There was no releasing of the ancient padlocks 
in the time that was left him, so the ape-man called to 
them to follow him as they were, and, snatching the 
gun and cartridge belt from the dead sentry, he led 
the now happy band out through the village gate and 
into the forest upon the far side of the clearing. 

It was a slow and arduous march, for the slave chain 
was new to these people, and there were many delays 
as one of their number would stumble and fall, drag 
ging others down with her. Then, too, Tarzan had 
been forced to make a wide detour to avoid any possi- 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



bility of meeting with returning raiders. He was 
partially guided by occasional shots which indicated 
that the Arab horde was still in touch with the villag 
ers; but he knew that if they would but follow his 
advice there would be but few casualties other than on 
the side of the marauders. 

Toward dusk the firing ceased entirely, and Tarzan 
knew that the Arabs had all returned to the village. 
He could scarce repress a smile of triumph as he 
thought of their rage on discovering that their guard 
had been killed and their prisoners taken away. Tar 
zan had wished that he might have taken some of the 
great store of ivory the village contained, solely for 
the purpose of still further augmenting the wrath of 
his enemies ; but he knew that that was not necessary 
for its salvation, since he already had a plan mapped 
out which would effectually prevent the Arabs leaving 
the country with a single tusk. And it would have 
been cruel to have needlessly burdened these poor, 
overwrought women with the extra weight of the 
heavy ivory. 

It was after midnight when Tarzan, with his slow- 
moving caravan, approached the spot where the 
elephants lay. Long before they reached it they had 
been guided by the huge fire the natives had built in 
the center of a hastily improvised boma, partially for 
warmth and partially to keep off chance lions. 

When they had come close to the encampment 
Tarzan called aloud to let them know that friends 
were coming. It was a joyous reception the little 



THE IVORY RAIDERS 



party received when the blacks within the boma saw 
the long file of fettered friends and relatives enter the 
firelight. These had all been given up as lost forever, 
as had Tarzan as well, so that the happy blacks would 
have remained awake all night to feast on elephant 
meat and celebrate the return of their fellows, had not 
Tarzan insisted that they take what sleep they could, 
against the work of the coming day. 

At that, sleep was no easy matter, for the women 
who had lost their men or their children in the day's 
massacre and battle made night hideous with their con 
tinued wailing and howling. Finally, however, Tar 
zan succeeded in silencing them, on the plea that their 
noise would attract the Arabs to their hiding-place, 
when all would be slaughtered. 

When dawn came Tarzan explained his plan of 
battle to the warriors, and without demur one and all 
agreed that it was the safest and surest way in which 
to rid themselves of their unwelcome visitors and be 
revenged for the murder of their fellows. 

First the women and children, with a guard of some 
twenty old warriors and youths, were started south 
ward, to be entirely out of the zone of danger. They 
had instructions to erect temporary shelter and con 
struct a protecting boma of thorn bush ; for the plan 
of campaign which Tarzan had chosen was one which 
might stretch out over many days, or even weeks, 
during which time the warriors would not return to 
the new camp. 

Two hours after daylight a thin circle of black 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



warriors surrounded the village. At intervals one was 
perched high in the branches of a tree which could 
overlook the palisade. Presently a Manyuema within 
the village fell, pierced by a single arrow. There had 
been no sound of attack none of the hideous war- 
cries or vainglorious waving of menacing spears that 
ordinarily marks the attack of savages just a silent 
messenger of death from out of the silent forest. 

The Arabs and their followers were thrown into a 
fine rage at this unprecedented occurrence. They ran 
for the gates, to wreak dire vengeance upon the fool 
hardy perpetrator of the outrage ; but they suddenly 
realized that they did not know which way to turn to 
find the foe. As they stood debating, with many angry 
shouts and much gesticulating, one of the Arabs sank 
silently to the ground in their very midst a thin 
arrow protruding from his heart. 

Tarzan had placed the finest marksmen of the tribe 
in the surrounding trees, with directions never to reveal 
themselves while the enemy was faced in their direc 
tion. As a black released his messenger of death he 
would slink behind the sheltering stem of the tree 
he had selected, nor would he again aim until a watch 
ful eye told him that none was looking toward his tree. 

Three times the Arabs started across the clearing in 
the direction from which they thought the arrows 
came, but each time another arrow would come from 
behind to take its toll from among their number. 
Then they would turn and charge in a new direction. 
Finally they set out upon a determined search of the 



THE IVORY RAIDERS 



forest, but the blacks melted before them, so that they 
saw no sign of an enemy. 

But above them lurked a grim figure in the dense 
foliage of the mighty trees it was Tarzan of the 
Apes, hovering over them as if he had been the shadow 
of death. Presently a Manyuema forged ahead of 
his companions; there was none to see from what 
direction death came, and so it came quickly, and a 
moment later those behind stumbled over the dead 
body of their comrade the inevitable arrow piercing 
the still heart. 

It does not take a great deal of this manner of 
warfare to get upon the nerves of white men, and so 
it is little to be wondered at that the Manyuema were 
soon panic-stricken. Did one forge ahead an arrow 
found his heart; did one lag behind he never again 
was seen alive ; did one stumble to one side, even for a 
bare moment from the sight of his fellows, he did not 
return and always when they came upon the bodies 
of their dead they found those terrible arrows driven 
with the accuracy of superhuman power straight 
through the victim's heart. But worse than all else 
was the hideous fact that not once during the morning 
had they seen or heard the slightest sign of an enemy 
other than the pitiless arrows. 

When finally they returned to the village it was no 
better. Every now and then, at varying intervals that 
were maddening in the terrible suspense they caused, 
a man would plunge forward dead. The blacks be 
sought their white masters to leave this terrible place, 
[225] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



but the Arabs feared to take up the march through 
the grim and hostile forest beset by this new and 
terrible enemy while laden with the great store of 
ivory they had found within the village; but, worse 
yet, they hated to leave the ivory behind. 

Finally the entire expedition took refuge within 
the thatched huts here, at least, they would be free 
from the arrows. Tarzan, from the tree above the 
village, had marked the hut into which the chief Arabs 
had gone, and, balancing himself upon an overhang 
ing limb, he drove his heavy spear with all the force 
of his giant muscles through the thatched roof. A 
howl of pain told him that it had found a mark. With 
this parting salute to convince them that there was no 
safety for them anywhere within the country, Tarzan 
returned to the forest, collected his warriors, and 
withdrew a mile to the south to rest and eat. He 
kept sentries in several trees that commanded a view 
of the trail toward the village, but there was no 
pursuit. 

An inspection of his force showed not a single 
casualty not even a minor wound; while rough 
estimates of the enemies' loss convinced the blacks 
that no fewer than twenty had fallen before their 
arrows. They were wild with elation, and were for 
finishing the day in one glorious rush upon the village, 
during which they would slaughter the last of their 
foemen. They were even picturing the various tor 
tures they would inflict, and gloating over the suffer 
ing of the Manyuema, for whom they entertained a 
[226] 



THE IVORY RAIDERS 



peculiar hatred, when Tarzan put his foot down flatly 
upon the plan. 

" You are crazy ! " he cried. " I have shown you 
the only way to fight these people. Already you have 
killed twenty of them without the loss of a single 
warrior, whereas, yesterday, following your own 
tactics, which you would now renew, you lost at 
least a dozen, and killed not a single Arab or 
Manyuema. You will fight just as I tell you to fight, 
or I shall leave you and go back to my own 
country." 

They were frightened when he threatened this, and 
promised to obey him scrupulously if he would but 
promise not to desert them. 

"Very well," he said. "We shall return to the 
elephant boma for the night. I have a plan to give 
the Arabs a little taste of what they may expect if 
they remain in our country, but I shall need no help. 
Come ! If they suffer no more for the balance of the 
day they will feel reassured, and the relapse into fear 
will be even more nerve-racking than as though we 
continued to frighten them all afternoon." 

So they marched back to their camp of the previous 
night, and, lighting great fires, ate and recounted the 
adventures of the day until long after dark. Tarzan 
slept until midnight, then he arose and crept into the 
Cimmerian blackness of the forest. An hour later he 
came to the edge of the clearing before the village. 
There was a camp-fire burning within the palisade. 
The ape-man crept across the clearing until he stood 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



before the barred gates. Through the interstices he 
saw a lone sentry sitting before the fire. 

Quietly Tarzan went to the tree at the end of the 
village street. He climbed softly to his place, and 
fitted an arrow to his bow. For several minutes he 
tried to sight fairly upon the sentry, but the waving 
branches and flickering firelight convinced him that 
the danger of a miss was too great he must touch 
the heart full in the center to bring the quiet and 
sudden death his plan required. 

He had brought, besides his bow, arrows, and rope, 
the gun he had taken the previous day from the other 
sentry he had killed. Caching all these in a con 
venient crotch of the tree, he dropped lightly to the 
ground within the palisade, armed only with his long 
knife. The sentry's back was toward him. Like a cat 
Tarzan crept upon the dozing man. He was within 
two paces of him now another instant and the knife 
would slide silently into the fellow's heart. 

Tarzan crouched for a spring, for that is ever the 
quickest and surest attack of the jungle beast when 
the man, warned, by some subtle sense, sprang to his 
fet and faced the ape-man. 



[228] 




XVII 

THE WHITE CHIEF OF THE WAZIEI 

WHEN the eyes of the black Manyuema savage 
fell upon the strange apparition that confronted 
him with menacing knife they went wide in horror. 
He forgot the gun within his hands; he even forgot 
to cry out his one thought was to escape this fear 
some-looking white savage, this giant of a man upon 
whose massive rolling muscles and mighty chest the 
flickering firelight played. 

But before he could turn Tarzan was upon him, and 
then the sentry thought to scream for aid, but it was 
too late. A great hand was upon his windpipe, and 
he was being borne to the earth. He battled furiously 
but futilely with the grim tenacity of a bulldog 
those awful fingers were clinging to his throat. Swiftly 
and surely life was being choked from him. His eyes 
bulged, his tongue protruded, his face turned to a 
ghastly purplish hue there was a convulsive tremor 
[229] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



of the stiffening muscles, and the Manyuema sentry 
lay quite still. 

The ape-man threw the body across one of his broad 
shoulders and, gathering up the fellow's gun, trotted 
silently up the sleeping village street toward the tree 
that gave him such easy ingress to the palisaded vil 
lage. He bore the dead sentry into the midst of the 
leafy maze above. 

First he stripped the body of cartridge belt and 
such ornaments as he craved, wedging it into a con 
venient crotch while his nimble fingers ran over it in 
search of the loot he could not plainly see in the dark. 
When he had finished he took the gun that had be 
longed to the man, and walked far out upon a limb, 
from the end of which he could obtain a better view 
of the huts. Drawing a careful bead on the beehive 
structure in which he knew the chief Arabs to be, he 
pulled the trigger. Almost instantly there was an 
answering groan. Tarzan smiled. He had made an 
other lucky hit. 

Following the shot there was a moment's silence in 
the camp, and then Manyuema and Arab came pouring 
from the huts like a swarm of angry hornets ; but if 
the truth were known they were even more frightened 
than they were angry. The strain of tl>e preceding 
day had wrought upon the fears of both black and 
white, and now this single shot in the night conjured 
all manner of terrible conjectures in their terrified 
minds. 

When they discovered that their sentry had dis- 
[230] 



THE WHITE CHIEF OF THE WAZIRI 

appeared, their fears were in no way allayed, and, as 
though to bolster their courage by warlike actions, 
they began to fire rapidly at the barred gates of the 
village, although no enemy was in sight. Tarzan took 
advantage of the deafening roar of this fusillade to 
fire into the mob beneath him. 

No one heard his shot above the din of rattling 
musketry in the street, but some who were standing 
close saw one of their number crumple suddenly to 
the earth. When they leaned over him he was dead. 
They were panic-stricken, and it took all the brutal 
authority of the Arabs to keep the Manyuema from 
rushing helter-skelter into the jungle anywhere to 
escape from this terrible village. 

After a time they commenced to quiet down, and as 
no further mysterious deaths occurred among them 
they took heart again. But it was a short-lived 
respite, for just as they had concluded that they would 
not be disturbed again Tarzan gave voice to a weird 
moan, and as the raiders looked up in the direction 
from which the sound seemed to come, the ape-man, 
who stood swinging the dead body of the sentry gently 
to and fro, suddenly shot the corpse far out above 
their heads. 

With howls of alarm the throng broke in all direc 
tions to escape this new and terrible creature who 
seemed to be springing upon them. To their fear- 
distorted imaginations the body of the sentry, falling 
with wide-sprawled arms and legs, assumed the like 
ness of a great beast of prey. In their anxiety to 
[231] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



escape, many of the blacks scaled the palisade, while 
others tore down the bars from the gates and rushed 
madly across the clearing toward the jungle. 

For a time no one turned back toward the thing 
that had frightened them, but Tarzan knew that they 
would in a moment, and when they discovered that it 
was but the dead body of their sentry, while they 
would doubtless be still further terrified, he had a 
rather definite idea as to what they would do, and so 
he faded silently away toward the south, taking the 
moonlit upper terrace back toward the camp of the 
Waziri. 

Presently one of the Arabs turned and saw that the 
thing that had leaped from the tree upon them lay 
still and quiet where it had fallen in the center of the 
village street. Cautiously he crept back toward it 
until he saw that it was but a man. A moment later 
he was beside the figure, and in another had recognized 
it as the corpse of the Manyuema who had stood on 
guard at the village gate. 

His companions rapidly gathered around at his call, 
and after a moment's excited conversation they did 
precisely what Tarzan had reasoned they would. Rais 
ing their guns to their shoulders, they poured volley 
after volley into the tree from which the corpse had 
been thrown had Tarzan remained there he would 
have been riddled by a hundred bullets. 

When the Arabs and Manyuema discovered that 
the only marks of violence upon the body of their 
dead comrade were giant finger prints upon his swollen 



THE WHITE CHIEF OF THE WAZIRI 

throat they were again thrown into deeper apprehen 
sion and despair. That they were not even safe within 
a palisaded village at night came as a distinct shock to 
them. That an enemy could enter into the midst of 
their camp and kill their sentry with bare hands seemed 
outside the bounds of reason, and so the superstitions 
Manyuema commenced to attribute their ill luck to 
supernatural causes ; nor were the whites able to offer 
any better explanation. 

With at least fifty of their number flying through 
the black jungle, and without the slightest knowledge 
of when their uncanny foemen might resume the 
cold-blooded slaughter they had commenced, it was 
a desperate band of cutthroats that waited sleep- 
lessly for the dawn. Only on the promise of the 
Arabs that they would leave the village at daybreak, 
and hasten onward toward their own land, would 
the remaining Manyuema consent to stay at the 
village a moment longer. Not even fear of their 
cruel masters was sufficient to overcome this new 
terror. 

And so it was that when Tarzan and his warriors 
returned to the attack the next morning they found 
the raiders prepared to march out of the village. The 
Manyuema were laden with stolen ivory. As Tarzan 
saw it he grinned, for he knew that they would not 
carry it far. Then he saw something which caused 
him anxiety a number of the Manyuema were 
lighting torches in the remnant of the camp-fire. 
They were about to fire the village. 
[233] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



Tarzan was perched in a tall tree some hundred 
yards from the palisade. Making a trumpet of his 
hands, he called loudly in the Arab tongue : " Do not 
fire the huts, or we shall kill you all ! Do not fire the 
huts, or we shall kill you all ! " 

A dozen times he repeated it. The Manyuema hesi 
tated, then one of them flung his torch into the camp- 
fire. The others were about to do the same when an 
Arab sprung upon them with a stick, beating them 
toward the huts. Tarzan could see that he was com 
manding them to fire the little thatched dwellings. 
Then he stood erect upon the swaying branch a hun 
dred feet above the ground, and, raising one of the 
Arab guns to his shoulder, took careful aim and fired. 
With the report the Arab who was urging on his men 
to burn the village fell in his tracks, and the Man 
yuema threw away their torches and fled from the 
village. The last Tarzan saw of them they were 
racing toward the jungle, while their former masters 
knelt upon the ground and fired at them. 

But however angry the Arabs might have been at 
the insubordination of their slaves, they were at least 
convinced that it would be the better part of wisdom 
to forego the pleasure of firing the village that had 
given them two such nasty receptions. In their hearts, 
however, they swore to return again with such force 
as would enable them to sweep the entire country for 
miles around, until no vestige of human life remained. 

They had looked in vain for the owner of the voice 
which had frightened off the men who had been de- 



THE WHITE CHIEF OF THE WAZIRI 

tailed to put the torch to the huts, but not even the 
keenest eye among them had been able to locate him. 
They had seen the puff of smoke from the tree follow 
ing the shot that brought down the Arab, but, though 
a volley had immediately been loosed into its foliage, 
there had been no indication that it had been effective. 

Tarzan was too intelligent to be caught in any such 
trap, and so the report of his shot had scarcely died 
away before the ape-man was on the ground and racing 
for another tree a hundred yards away. Here he 
again found a suitable perch from which he could 
watch the preparations of the raiders. It occurred to 
him that he might have considerable more fun with 
them, so again he called to them through his impro 
vised trumpet. 

"Leave the ivory!" he cried. "Leave the ivory! 
Dead men have no use for ivory ! " 

Some of the Manyuema started to lay down their 
loads, but this was altogether too much for the avari 
cious Arabs. With loud shouts and curses they aimed 
their guns full upon the bearers, threatening instant 
death to any who might lay down his load. They 
could give up firing the village, but the thought of 
abandoning this enormous fortune in ivory was quite 
beyond their conception better death than that. 

And so they marched out of the village of the 
Waziri, and on the shoulders of their slaves was the 
ivory ransom of a score of kings. Toward the north 
they marched, back toward their savage settlement in 
the wild and unknown country which lies back from 
[235] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



the Kongo in the uttermost depths of The Great 
Forest, and on either side of them traveled an invisible 
and relentless foe. 

Under Tarzan's guidance the black Waziri warriors 
stationed themselves along the trail on either side in 
the densest underbrush. They stood at far intervals, 
and, as the column passed, a single arrow or a heavy 
spear, well aimed, would pierce a Manyuema or an 
Arab. Then the Waziri would melt into the distance 
and run ahead to take his stand farther on. They did 
not strike unless success were sure and the danger of 
detection almost nothing, and so the arrows and the 
spears were few and far between, but so persistent 
and inevitable that the slow-moving column of heavy- 
laden raiders was in a constant state of panic panic 
at the pierced body of the comrade who had just 
fallen panic at the uncertainty of who the next 
would be to fall, and when. 

It was with the greatest difficulty that the Arabs 
prevented their men a dozen times from throwing away 
their burdens and fleeing like frightened rabbits up 
the trail toward the north. And so the day wore on 
a frightful nightmare of a day for the raiders a day 
of weary but well-repaid work for the Waziri. At 
night the Arabs constructed a rude boma in a little 
clearing by a river, and went into camp. 

At intervals during the night a rifle would bark 

close above their heads, and one of the dozen sentries 

which they now had posted would tumble to the 

ground. Such a condition was insupportable, for 

[236] 



THE WHITE CHIEF OF THE WAZIRI 

they saw that by means of these hideous tactics they 
would be completely wiped out, one by one, without 
inflicting a single death upon their enemy. But yet, 
with the persistent avariciousness of the white man, 
the Arabs clung to their loot, and when morning 
came forced the demoralized Manyuema to take up 
their burdens of death and stagger on into the 
jungle. 

For three days the withering column kept up its 
frightful march. Each hour was marked by its deadly 
arrow or cruel spear. The nights were made hideous 
by the barking of the invisible gun that made sentry 
duty equivalent to a death sentence. 

On the morning of the fourth day the Arabs were 
compelled to shoot two of their blacks before they 
could compel the balance to take up the hated ivory, 
and as they did so a voice rang out, clear and strong, 
from the jungle: "Today you die, oh, Manyuema, 
Unless you lay down the ivory. Fall upon your cruel 
masters and kill them! You have guns, why do you 
not use them? Kill the Arabs, and we will not harm 
you. We will take you back to our village and feed 
you, and lead you out of our country in safety and 
in peace. Lay down the ivory, and fall upon your 
masters we will help you. Else you die ! " 

As the voice died down the raiders stood as though 
turned to stone. The Arabs eyed their Manyuema 
slaves ; the slaves looked first at one of their fellows, 
and then at another they were but waiting for some 
one to take the initiative. There were some thirty 
[237] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



Arabs left, and about one hundred and fifty blacks. 
AH were armed even those who were acting as por 
ters had their rifles slung across their backs. 

The Arabs drew together. The sheik ordered the 
Manyuema to take up the march, and as he spoke he 
cocked his rifle and raised it. But at the same instant 
one of the blacks threw down his load, and, snatching 
his rifle from his back, fired point-blank at the group 
of whites. In an instant the camp was a cursing, 
howling mass of demons, fighting with guns and 
knives and pistols. The Arabs stood together, and 
defended their lives valiantly, but with the rain of 
lead that poured upon them from their own slaves, 
and the shower of arrows and spears which now leaped 
from the surrounding jungle aimed solely at them, 
there was little question from the first what the out 
come would be. In ten minutes from the time the 
first porter had thrown down his load the last of the 
Arabs lay dead. 

When the firing had ceased Tarzan spoke again to 
the Manyuema: 

" Take up our ivory, and return it to our village, 
from whence you stole it. We shall not harm you." 

For a moment the Manyuema hesitated. They had 
no stomach to retrace that difficult three days' trail. 
They talked together in low whispers, and one turned 
toward the jungle, calling aloud to the voice that had 
spoken to them from out of the foliage. 

" How do we know that when you have us in your 
village you will not kill us all? " he asked. 
[238] 



THE WHITE CHIEF OF THE WAZIRI 

" You do not know," replied Tarzan, " other than 
that we have promised not to harm you if you will 
return our ivory to us. But this you do know, that 
it lies within our power to kill you all if you do not 
return as we direct, and are we not more likely to do 
so if you anger us than if you do as we bid ? " 

" Who are you that speaks the tongue of our Arab 
masters ? " cried the Manyuema spokesman. " Let us 
see you, and then we shall give you our answer." 

Tarzan stepped out of the jungle a dozen paces 
from them. 

"Look!" he said. When they saw that he was 
white they were filled with awe, for never had they 
seen a white savage before, and at his great muscles 
and giant frame they were struck with wonder and ad 
miration. 

"You may trust me," said Tarzan. "So long as 
you do as I tell you, and harm none of my people, we 
shall do you no hurt. Will you take up our ivory 
and return in peace to our village, or shall we follow 
along your trail toward the north as we have followed 
for the past three days ? " 

The recollection of the horrid days that had just 
passed was the thing that finally decided the Man 
yuema, and so, after a short conference, they took 
up their burdens and set off to retrace their steps 
toward the village of the Waziri. 

At the end of the third day they marched into the 
village gate, and were greeted by the survivors of 
the recent massacre, to whom Tarzan had sent a mes- 
[239] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



eenger in their temporary camp to the south on the 
day that the raiders had quitted the village, telling 
them that they might return in safety. 

It took all the mastery and persuasion that Tarzan 
possessed to prevent the Waziri falling on the Man- 
yuema tooth and nail, and tearing them to pieces, but 
when he had explained that he had given his word that 
they would not be molested if they carried the ivory 
back to the spot from which they had stolen it, and 
had further impressed upon his people that they owed 
their entire victory to him, they finally acceded to his 
demands, and allowed the cannibals to rest in peace 
within their palisade. 

That night the village warriors held a big palaver 
to celebrate their victories, and to choose a new chief. 
Since old Waziri's death Tarzan had been directing 
the warriors in battle, and the temporary command 
had been tacitly conceded to him. There had been 
no time to choose a new chief from among their own 
number, and, in fact, so remarkably successful had 
they been under the ape-man's generalship that they 
had had no wish to delegate the supreme authority to 
another for fear that what they already had gained 
might be lost. They had so recently seen the results 
of running counter to this savage white man's advice 
in the disastrous charge ordered by Waziri, in which 
he himself had died, that it had not been difficult for 
them to accept Tarzan's authority as final. 

The principal warriors sat in a circle about a small 
fire to discuss the relative merits of whomever might 
[240] 



THE WHITE CHIEF OF THE WAZIRI 

be suggested as old Waziri's successor. It was Busuli 
who spoke first : 

" Since Waziri is dead, leaving no son, there is but 
one among us whom we know from experience is fitted 
to make us a good king. There is only one who has 
proved that he can successfully lead us against the 
guns of the white man, and bring us easy victory 
without the loss of a single life. There is only one, 
and that is the white man who has led us for the past 
few days," and Busuli sprang to his feet, and with 
uplifted spear and half-bent, crouching body com 
menced to dance slowly about Tarzan, chanting in 
time to his steps: "Waziri, king of the Waziri; 
Waziri, killer of Arabs ; Waziri, king of the Waziri." 

One by one the other warriors signified their ac 
ceptance of Tarzan as their king by joining in the 
solemn dance. The women came and squatted about 
the rim of the circle, beating upon tom-toms, clapping 
their hands in time to the steps of the dancers, and 
joining in the chant of the warriors. In the center 
of the circle sat Tarzan of the Apes Waziri, king 
of the Waziri, for, like his predecessor, he was to take 
the name of his tribe as his own. 

Faster and faster grew the pace of the dancers, 
louder and louder their wild and savage shouts. The 
women rose and fell in unison, shrieking now at the 
tops of their voices. The spears were brandishing 
fiercely, and as the dancers stooped down and beat 
their shields upon the hard-tramped earth of the vil 
lage street the whole sight was as terribly primeval 
[241] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



and savage as though it were being staged in the dim 
dawn of humanity, countless ages in the past. 

As the excitement waxed the ape-man sprang to his 
feet and joined in the wild ceremony. In the center of 
the circle of glittering black bodies he leaped and 
roared and shook his heavy spear in the same mad 
abandon that enthralled his fellow savages. The last 
remnant of his civilization was forgotten he was a 
primitive man to the fullest now ; reveling in the free 
dom of the fierce, wild life he loved, gloating in his 
kingship among these wild blacks. 

Ah, if Olga de Coude had but seen him then could 
she have recognized the well-dressed, quiet young man 
whose well-bred face and irreproachable manners had 
so captivated her but a few short months ago? And 
Jane Porter! Would she have still loved this savage 
warrior chieftain, dancing naked among his naked 
savage subjects? And D'Arnot! Could D'Arnot 
have believed that this was the same man he had in 
troduced into half a dozen of the most select clubs of 
Paris ? What would his fellow peers in the House of 
Lords have said had one pointed to this dancing giant, 
with his barbaric headdress and his metal ornaments, 
and said: "There., my lords, is John Clayton, Lord 
Greystoke." 

And so Tarzan of the Apes came into a real king 
ship among men slowly but surely was he following 
the evolution of his ancestors, for had he not started 
at the very bottom? 




XVIII 

THE LOTTERY OF DEATH 

JANE Porter had been the first of those in the life 
boat to awaken the morning after the wreck of the 
Lady Alice. The other members of the party were 
asleep upon the thwarts or huddled in cramped posi 
tions in the bottom of the boat. 

When the girl realized that they had become sep 
arated from the other boats she was filled with alarm. 
The sense of utter loneliness and helplessness which 
the vast expanse of deserted ocean aroused in her was 
so depressing that, from the first, contemplation of 
the future held not the slightest ray of promise for 
her. She was confident that they were lost lost be 
yond possibility of succor. 

Presently Clayton awoke. It was several minutes 
before he could gather his senses sufficiently to realize 
where he was, or recall the disaster of the previous 
night. Finally his bewildered eyes fell upon the girl. 

"Jane!" he cried. "Thank God that we are to 
gether!" 

[243] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



"Look," said the girl dully, indicating the horizon 
with an apathetic gesture. " We are all alone." 

Clayton scanned the water in every direction. 

"Where can they be?" he cried. "They cannot 
have gone down, for there has been n sea, and they 
were afloat after the yacht sank I saw them all." 

He awoke the other members of the party, and ex 
plained their plight. 

"It is just as well that the boats are scattered, sir," 
said one of the sailors. " They are all provisioned, so 
that they do not need each other on that score, and 
should a storm blow up they could be of no service to 
one another even if they were together, but scattered 
about the ocean there is a much better chance that 
one at least will be picked up, and then a search will 
be at once started for the others. Were we together 
there would be but one chance of rescue, where now 
there may be four." 

They saw the wisdom of his philosophy, and were 
cheered by it, but their joy was short-lived, for when 
it was decided that they should row steadily toward 
the east and the continent, it was discovered that the 
sailors who had been at the only two oars with which 
the boat had been provided had fallen asleep at their 
work, and allowed both to slip into the sea, nor were 
they in sight anywhere upon the water. 

During the angry words and recriminations which 
followed the sailors nearly came to blows, but Clayton 
succeeded in quieting them; though a moment later 
Monsieur Thuran almost precipitated another row by 



THE LOTTERY OF DEATH 



making a nasty remark about the stupidity of all Eng 
lishmen, and especially English sailors. 

"Come, come, mates," spoke up one of the men, 
Tompkins, who had taken no part in the altercation, 
" shootin' hoff hour bloomin' mugs won't get us noth- 
in'. Has Spider 'ere said afore, we'll hall bloody well 
be picked hup, hanyway, sez 'e, so wot's the use o' 
squabblin'? Let's heat, sez I." 

" That's not a bad idea," said Monsieur Thuran, and 
then, turning to the third sailor, Wilson, he said: 
" Pass one of those tins aft, my good man." 

"Fetch it yerself," retorted Wilson sullenly. "I 

ain't a-takin' no orders from no furriner you 

ain't captain o' this ship yet." 

The result was that Clayton himself had to get the 
tin, and them another angry altercation ensued when 
one of the sailors accused Clayton and Monsieur 
Thuran of conspiring to control the provisions so that 
they could have the lion's share. 

"Some one should take command of this boat," 
spoke up Jane Porter, thoroughly disgusted with the 
disgraceful wrangling that had marked the very open 
ing of a forced companionship that might last for 
many days. "It is terrible enough to be alone in a 
frail boat on the Atlantic, without having the added 
misery and danger of constant bickering and brawling 
among the members of our party. You men should 
elect a leader, and then abide by his decisions in all 
matters. There is greater need for strict discipline 
here than there is upon a well-ordered ship." 
[245] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



She had hoped before she voiced her sentiments that 
it would not be necessary for her to enter into the 
transaction at all, for she believed that Clayton was 
amply able to cope with every emergency, but she had 
to admit that so far at least he had shown no greater 
promise of successfully handling the situation than 
any of the others, though he had at least refrained 
from adding in any way to the unpleasantness, even 
going so far as to give up the tin to the sailors when 
they objected to its being opened by him. 

The girl's words temporarily quieted the men, and 
finally it was decided that the two kegs of water and 
the four tins of food should be divided into two parts, 
one-half going forward to the three sailors to do with 
as they saw best, and the balance aft to the three pas 
sengers. 

Thus was the little company divided into two camps, 
and when the provisions had been apportioned each 
immediately set to work to open and distribute food 
and water. The sailors were the first to get one of the 
tins of "food" open, and their curses of rage and 
disappointment caused Clayton to ask what the trouble 
might be. 

"Trouble!" shrieked Spider. "Trouble! It's worse 

than trouble it's death! This tin is full of 

coal oil ! " 

Hastily now Clayton and Monsieur Thuran tore 
open one of theirs, only to learn the hideous truth that 
it also contained, not food, but coal oil. One after 
another the four tins on board were opened. And as 



THfi LOTTERY OF DEATH 



the contents of each became known howls of anger an 
nounced the grim truth there was not an ounce of 
food upon the boat. 

"Well, thank Gawd it wasn't the water," cried 
Tompkins. "Hit's easier to get halong without 
food than hit his without water. We can heat hour 
shoes if worse comes to worst, but we couldn't drink 
'em." 

As he spoke Wilson had been boring a hole in one 
of the water kegs, and as Spider held a tin cup he 
tilted the keg to pour a draft of the precious fluid. A 
thin stream of blackish, dry particles filtered slowly 
through the tiny aperture into the bottom of the cup. 
With a groan Wilson dropped the keg, and sat staring 
at the dry stuff in the cup, speechless with horror. 

" The kegs are filled with gunpowder," said Spider, 
in a low tone, turning to those aft. And so it proved 
when the last had been opened. 

" Coal oil and gunpowder ! " cried Monsieur Thuran. 
"Sapristi! What a diet for shipwrecked mariners!" 

With the full knowledge that there was neither food 
nor water on board, the pangs of hunger and thirst 
became immediately aggravated, and so on the first 
day of their tragic adventure real suffering com 
menced in grim earnest, and the full horrors of ship 
wreck were upon them. 

As the days passed conditions became horrible. Ach 
ing eyes scanned the horizon day and night until the 
weak and weary watchers would sink exhausted to the 
bottom of the boat, and there wrest in dream-distudbed 
[247] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



slumber a moment's respite from the horrors of the 
waking reality. 

The sailors, goaded by the remorseless pangs of 
hunger, had eaten their leather belts, their shoes, the 
sweatbands from their caps, although both Clayton 
and Monsieur Thuran had done their best to convince 
them that these would only add to the suffering they 
were enduring. 

Weak and hopeless, the entire party lay beneath the 
pitiless tropic sun, with parched lips and swollen 
tongues, waiting for the death they were beginning to 
crave. The intense suffering of the first few days 
had become deadened for the three passengers who 
had eaten nothing, but the agony of the sailors was 
pitiful, as their weak and impoverished jstomachs 
attempted to cope with the bits of leather with 
which they had filled them. Tompkins was the first 
to succumb. Just a week from the day the Lady 
Alice went down the sailor died horribly in frightful 
convulsions. 

For hours his contorted and hideous features lay 
grinning back at those in the stern of the little boat, 
until Jane Porter could endure the sight no longer. 

"Can you not drop his body overboard, William?" 
she asked. 

Clayton rose and staggered toward the corpse. The 
two remaining sailors eyed him with a strange, baleful 
light in their sunken orbs. Futilely the Englishman 
tried to lift the corpse over the side of the boat, but 
his strength was not equal to the task. 



THE LOTTERY OF DEATH 



" Lend me a hand here, please," he said to Wilson, 
who lay nearest him. 

"Wot do you want to throw 'im over for?" ques 
tioned the sailor, in a querulous voice. 

" We've got to before we're too weak to do it," re 
plied Clayton. " He'd be awful by tomorrow, after a 
day under that broiling sun." 

" Better leave well enough alone," grumbled Wilson. 
" We may need him before tomorrow." 

Slowly the meaning of the man's words percolated 
into Clayton's understanding. At last he realized the 
fellow's reason for objecting to the disposal of the 
dead man. 

"God!" whispered Clayton, in a horrified tone. 
"You don't mean " 

"W'y not?" growled Wilson. "Hain't we gotta 
live? He's dead," he added, jerking his thumb in the 
direction of the corpse. " He won't care." 

"Come here, Thuran," said Clayton, turning to 
ward the Russian. " We'll have something worse than 
death aboard us if we don't get rid of this body before 
dark." 

Wilson staggered up menacingly to prevent the 
contemplated act, but when his comrade, Spider, took 
sides with Clayton and Monsieur Thuran he gave up, 
and sat eying the corpse hungrily as the three men, 
by combining their efforts, succeeded in rolling it over 
board. 

All the balance of the day Wilson sat glaring at 
Clayton, in his eyes the gleam of insanity. Toward 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



evening, as the sun was sinking into the sea, he com 
menced to chuckle and mumble to himself, but his eyes 
never left Clayton. 

After it became quite dark Clayton could still feel 
those terrible eyes upon him. He dared not sleep, 
and yet so exhausted was he that it was a constant fight 
to retain consciousness. After what seemed an eternity 
of suffering his head dropped upon a thwart, and he 
slept. How long he was unconscious he did not know 
he was awakened by a shuffling noise quite close to 
him. The moon had risen, and as he opened his startled 
eyes he saw Wilson creeping stealthily toward him, 
his mouth open and his swollen tongue hanging out. 

The slight noise had awakened Jane Porter at the 
same time, and as she saw the hideous tableau she gave 
a shrill cry of alarm, and at the same instant the sailor 
lurched forward and fell upon Clayton. Like a wild 
beast his teeth sought the throat of his intended 
prey, but Clayton, weak though he was, still found 
sufficient strength to hold the maniac's mouth from 
him. 

At Jane Porter's scream Monsieur Thuran and 
Spider awoke. On seeing the cause of her alarm, both 
men crawled to Clayton's rescue, and between the three 
of them were able to subdue Wilson and hurl him to 
the bottom of the boat. For a few minutes he lay 
there chattering and laughing, and then, with an awful 
scream, and before any of his companions could pre 
vent, he staggered to his feet and leaped overboard. 

The reaction from the terrific strain of excitement 
[250] 



THE LOTTERY OF DEATH 



left the weak survivors trembling and prostrated. 
Spider broke down and wept; Jane Porter prayed; 
Clayton swore softly to himself; Monsieur Thuran 
sat with his head in his hands, thinking. The result 
of his cogitation developed the following morning in 
a proposition he made to Spider and Clayton. 

" Gentlemen," said Monsieur Thuran, " you see the 
fate that awaits us all unless we are picked up within 
a day or two. That there is little hope of that is evi 
denced by the fact that during all the days we have 
drifted we have seen no sail, nor the faintest smudge of 
smoke upon the horizon. 

" There might be a chance if we had food, but with 
out food there is none. There remains for us, then, 
but one of two alternatives, and we must choose at 
once. Either we must all die together within a few 
days, or one must be sacrificed that the others may live. 
Do you quite clearly grasp my meaning? " 

Jane Porter, who had overheard, was horrified. If 
the proposition had come from the poor, ignorant 
sailor, she might possibly have not been so surprised ; 
but that it should come from one who posed as a man 
of culture and refinement, from a gentleman, she could 
scarcely credit. 

" It is better that we die together, then," said Clay 
ton. 

"That is for the majority to decide," replied Mon 
sieur Thuran. "As only one of us three will be the 
object of sacrifice, we shall decide. Miss Porter is not 
interested, since she will be in no danger." 
[251] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



"How shall we know who is to be first?" asked 
Spider. 

"It may be fairly fixed by lot," replied Monsieur 
Thuran. " I have a number of franc pieces in my 
pocket. We can choose a certain date from among 
them the one to draw this date first from beneath a 
piece of cloth will be the first." 

"I shall have nothing to do with any such diabol 
ical plan," muttered Clayton ; " even yet land may be 
sighted or a ship appear in time." 

"You will do as the majority decide, or you will 
be * the first ' without the formality of drawing lots," 
said Monsieur Thuran threateningly. " Come, let us 
vote on the plan ; I for one am in favor of it. How 
about you, Spider?" 

" And I," replied the sailor. 

"It is the will of the majority," announced Mon 
sieur Thuran, "and now let us lose no time in draw 
ing lots. It is as fair for one as for another. That 
three may live, one of us must die perhaps a few hours 
sooner than otherwise." 

Then he began his preparations for the lottery of 
death, while Jane Porter sat wide-eyed and horrified at 
thought of the thing that she was about to witness. 
Monsieur Thuran spread his coat upon the bottom of 
the boat, and then from a handful of money he se 
lected six franc pieces. The other two men bent close 
above him as he inspected them. Finally he handed 
them all to Clayton. 

"Look at them carefully," he said. "The oldest 



THE LOTTERY OF DEATH 



date is eighteen-seventy-five, and there is only one of 
that year." 

Clayton and the sailor inspected each coin. To 
them there seemed not the slightest difference that 
could be detected other than the dates. They were 
quite satisfied. Had they known that Monsieur Thu- 
ran's past experience as a card sharp had trained his 
sense of touch to so fine a point that he could almost 
differentiate between cards by the mere feel of them, 
they would scarcely have felt that the plan was so en 
tirely fair. The 1875 piece was a hair thinner than 
the other coins, but neither Clayton nor Spider could 
have detected it without the aid of a micrometer. 

"In what order shall we draw?" asked Monsieur 
Thuran, knowing from past experience that the ma 
jority of men always prefer last chance in a lottery 
where the single prize is some distasteful thing 
there is always the chance and the hope that another 
will draw it first. Monsieur Thuran, for reasons of 
his own, preferred to draw first if the drawing should 
happen to require a second adventure beneath the 
coat. 

And so when Spider elected to draw last he gra 
ciously offered to take the first chance himself. His 
hand was under the coat for but a moment, yet those 
quick, deft fingers had felt of each coin, and found 
and discarded the fatal piece. When he brought forth 
his hand it contained an 1888 franc piece. Then 
Clayton drew. Jane Porter leaned forward with a 
tense and horrified expression on her face as the hand 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



of the man she was to marry groped about beneath the 
coat. Presently he withdrew it, a franc piece lying in 
the palm. For an instant he dared not look, but Mon 
sieur Thuran, who had leaned nearer to see the date, 
exclaimed that he was safe. 

Jane Porter sank weak and trembling against the 
side of the boat. She felt sick and dizzy. And now, 
if Spider should not draw the 1875 piece she must 
endure the whole horrid thing again. 

The sailor already had his hand beneath the coat. 
Great beads of sweat were standing upon his brow. He 
trembled as though with a fit of ague. Aloud he 
cursed himself for having taken the last draw, for now 
his chances for escape were but three to one, whereas 
Monsieur Thuran's had been five to one, and Clayton's 
four to one. 

The Russian was very patient, and did not hurry 
the man, for he knew that he himself was quite safe 
whether the 1875 piece came out this time or not. 
When the sailor withdrew his hand and looked at the 
piece of money within, he dropped fainting to the bot 
tom of the boat. Both Clayton and Monsieur Thuran 
hastened weakly to examine the coin, which had rolled 
from the man's hand and lay beside him. It was not 
dated 1875. The reaction from the state of fear he 
had been in had overcome Spider quite as effectually as 
though he had drawn the fated piece. 

But now the whole proceeding must be gone through 
again. Once more the Russian drew forth a harmless 
coin. Jane Porter closed her eyes as Clayton reached 
[254] 



THE LOTTERY OF DEATH 



beneath the coat. Spider bent, wide-eyed, toward the 
hand that was to decide his fate, for whatever luck was 
Clayton's on this last draw, the opposite would be 
Spider's. 

Then William Cecil Clayton, Lord Greystoke, re 
moved his hand from beneath the coat, and with a coin 
tight pressed within his palm where none might see it, 
he looked at Jane Porter. He did not dare open his 
hand. 

" Quick ! " hissed Spider. " My Gawd, let's see it." 

Clayton opened his fingers. Spider was the first to 
see the date, and ere any knew what his intention was 
he raised himself to his feet, and lunged over the side 
of the boat, to disappear forever into the green depths 
beneath the coin had not been the 1875 piece. 

The strain had exhausted those who remained to 
such an extent that they lay half unconscious for the 
balance of the day, nor was the subject referred to 
again for several days. Horrible days of increasing 
weakness and hopelessness. At length Monsieur Thu- 
ran crawled to where Clayton lay. 

" We must draw once more before we are too weak 
even to eat," he whispered. 

Clayton was in such a state that he was scarcely 
master of his own will. Jane Porter had not spoken 
for three days. He knew that she was dying. Hor 
rible as the thought was, he hoped that the sacrifice 
of either Thuran or himself might be the means of 
giving her renewed strength, and so he immediately 
agreed to the Russian's proposal. 
[253] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



They drew under the same plan as before, but there 
could be but one result Clayton drew the 1875 piece. 

" When shall it be? " he asked Thuran. 

The Russian had already drawn a pocketknif e from 
his trousers, and was weakly attempting to open it. 

"Now," he muttered, and his greedy eyes gloated 
upon the Englishman. 

" Can't you wait until dark ? " asked Clayton. " Miss 
Porter must not see this thing done. We were to have 
been married, you know." 

A look of disappointment came over Monsieur Thu- 
ran's face. 

"Very well," he replied hesitatingly. "It will not 
be long until night. I have waited for many days 
I can wait a few hours longer." 

"Thank you, my friend," murmured Clayton. 
" Now I shall go to her side and remain with her until 
it is time. I would like to have an hour or two with 
her before I die." 

When Clayton reached the girl's side she was un 
conscious he knew that she was dying, and he was 
glad that she should not have to see or know the awful 
tragedy that was shortly to be enacted. He took her 
hand and raised it to his cracked and swollen lips. For 
a long time he lay caressing the emaciated, clawlike 
thing that had once been the beautiful, shapely white 
hand of the young Baltimore belle. 

It was quite dark before he knew it, but he was re 
called to himself by a voice out of the night. It was 
the Russian calling him to his doom. 
[256] 



THE LOTTERY OF DEATH 



"I am coming, Monsieur Thuran," he hastened to 
reply. 

Thrice he attempted to turn himself upon his hands 
and knees, that he might crawl back to his death, but 
in the few hours that he had lain there he had become 
too weak to return to Thuran's side. 

" You will have to come to me, monsieur," he called 
weakly. "I have not sufficient strength to gain my 
hands and knees." 

" Sapristi! " muttered Monsieur Thuran. " You are 
attempting to cheat me out of my winnings." 

Clayton heard the man shuffling about in the bot 
tom of the boat. Finally there was a despairing groan. 
" I cannot crawl," he heard the Russian wail. " It is 
too late. You have tricked me, you dirty English 
dog." 

"I have not tricked you, monsieur," replied Clay 
ton. "I have done my best to rise, but I shall try 
again, and if you will try possibly each of us can 
crawl halfway, and then you shall have your 'win 
nings.' " 

Again Clayton exerted his remaining strength to 
the utmost, and he heard Thuran apparently doing 
the same. Nearly an hour later the Englishman suc 
ceeded in raising himself to his hands and knees, but 
at the first forward movement he pitched upon his 
face. 

A moment later he heard an exclamation of relief 
from Monsieur Thuran. 

" I am coming," whispered the Russian. 
[257] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



Again Clayton essayed to stagger on to meet his 
fate, but once more he pitched headlong to the boat's 
bottom, nor, try as he would, could he again rise. His 
last effort caused him to roll over on his back, and there 
he lay looking up at the stars, while behind him, com 
ing ever nearer and nearer, he could hear the laborious 
shuffling, and the stertorous breathing of the Russian. 

It seemed that he must have lain thus an hour wait 
ing for the thing to crawl out of the dark and end his 
misery. It was quite close now, but there were longer 
and longer pauses between its efforts to advance, and 
each forward movement seemed to the waiting Eng 
lishman to be almost imperceptible. 

Finally he knew that Thuran was quite close beside 
him. He heard a cackling laugh, something touched 
his face, and he lost consciousness. 



[858] 




XIX 

THE CITY OF GOLD 

^T^HE very night that Tarzan of the Ape* became 
"* chief of the Waziri the woman he loved lay dying 
in a tiny boat two hundred miles west of him upon 
the Atlantic. As he danced among his naked fellow 
savages, the firelight gleaming against his great, 
rolling muscles, the personification of physical perfec 
tion and strength, the woman who loved him lay thin 
and emaciated in the last coma that precedes death by 
thirst and starvation. 

The week following the induction of Tarzan into 
the kingship of the Waziri was occupied in escorting 
the Manyuema of the Arab raiders to the northern 
boundary of Waziri in accordance with the promise 
which Tarzan had made them. Before he left them 
he exacted a pledge from them that they would not 
lead any expeditions against the Waziri in the future, 
nor was it a difficult promise to obtain. They had 
had sufficient experience with the fighting tactics of the 
[259] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



new Waziri chief not to have the slightest desire to 
accompany another predatory force within the bound 
aries of his domain. 

Almost immediately upon his return to the village 
Tarzan commenced making preparations for leading 
an expedition in search of the ruined city of gold 
which old Waziri had described to him. He selected 
fifty of the sturdiest warriors of his tribe, choosing 
only men who seemed anxious to accompany him on the 
arduous march, and share the dangers of a new and 
hostile country. 

The fabulous wealth of the fabled city had been 
almost constantly in his mind since Waziri had re 
counted the strange adventures of the former expedi 
tion which had stumbled upon the vast ruins by chance. 
The lure of adventure may have been quite as power 
ful a factor in urging Tarzan of the Apes to under 
take the journey as the lure of gold, but the lure of 
gold was there, too, for he had learned among civilized 
man something of the miracles that may be wrought 
by the possessor of the magic yellow metal. What he 
would do with a golden fortune in the heart of savage 
Africa it had not occurred to him to consider it 
would be enough to possess the power to work won 
ders, even though he never had an opportunity to 
employ it. 

So one glorious tropical morning Waziri, chief of 

the Waziri, set out at the head of fifty clean-limbed 

ebon warriors in quest of adventure and of riches. 

They followed the course which old Waziri had de- 

[260] 



THE CITY OF GOLD 



scribed to Tarzan. For days they marched up one 
river, across a low divide; down another river; up a 
third, until at the end of the twenty-fifth day they 
camped upon a mountainside, from the summit of 
which they hoped to catch their first view of the mar 
velous city of treasure. 

Early the next morning they were climbing the 
almost perpendicular crags which formed the last, but 
greatest, natural barrier between them and their des 
tination. It was nearly noon before Tarzan, who 
headed the thin line of climbing warriors, scrambled 
over the top of the last cliff and stood upon the little 
flat table-land of the mountaintop. 

On either hand towered mighty peaks thousands of 
feet higher than the pass through which they were en 
tering the forbidden valley. Behind him stretched 
the wooded valley across which they had marched for 
many days, and at the opposite side the low range 
which marked the boundary of their own country. 

But before him was the view that centered his at 
tention. Here lay a desolate valley a shallow, nar 
row valley dotted with stunted trees and covered with 
many great bowlders. And on the far side of the valley 
lay what appeared to be a mighty city, its great walls, 
its lofty spires, its turrets, minarets, and domes show 
ing red and yellow in the sunlight. Tarzan was yet 
too far away to note the marks of ruin to him it 
appeared a wonderful city of magnificent beauty, and 
in imagination he peopled its broad avenues and its 
huge temples with a throng of happy, active people. 
[261] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



For an hour the little expedition rested upon the 
mountaintop, and then Tarzan led them down into the 
valley below. There was no trail, but the way was 
less arduous than the ascent of the opposite face of 
the mountain had been. Once in the valley their 
progress was rapid, so that it was still light when 
they halted before the towering walls of the ancient 
city. 

The outer wall was fifty feet in height where it had 
not fallen into ruin, but nowhere as far as they could 
see had more than ten or twenty feet of the upper 
courses fallen away. It was still a formidable defense. 
On several occasions Tarzan had thought that he dis 
cerned things moving behind the ruined portions of 
the wall near to them, as though creatures were watch 
ing them from behind the bulwarks of the ancient pile. 
And often he felt the sensation of unseen eyes upon 
him, but not once could he be sure that it was more 
than imagination. 

That night they camped outside the city. Once, at 
midnight, they were awakened by a shrill scream from 
beyond the great wall. It was very high at first, de 
scending gradually until it ended in a series of dismal 
moans. It had a strange effect upon the blacks, almost 
paralyzing them with terror while it lasted, and it was 
an hour before the camp settled down to sleep once 
more. In the morning the effects of it were still visible 
in the fearful, sidelong glances that the Waziri con 
tinually cast at the massive and forbidding structure 
which loomed above them. 



THE CITY OF GOLD 



It required considerable encouragement and urging 
on Tarzan's part to prevent the blacks from abandon 
ing the venture on the spot and hastening back across 
the valley toward the cliffs they had scaled the day be 
fore. But at length, by dint of commands, and 
threats that he would enter the city alone, they agreed 
to accompany him. 

For fifteen minutes they marched along the face 
of the wall before they discovered a means of ingress. 
Then they came to a narrow cleft about twenty inches 
wide. Within, a flight of concrete steps, worn hollow 
by centuries of use, rose before them, to disappear at 
a sharp turning of the passage a few yards ahead. 

Into this narrow alley Tarzan made his way, turning 
his giant shoulders sideways that they might enter at 
all. Behind him trailed his black warriors. At the 
turn in the cleft the stairs ended, and the path was 
level ; but it wound and twisted in a serpentine fashion, 
until suddenly at a sharp angle it debouched upon a 
narrow court, across which loomed an inner wall 
equally as high as the outer. This inner wall was set 
with little round towers alternating along its entire 
summit with pointed monoliths. In places these had 
fallen, and the wall was ruined, but it was in a much 
better state of preservation than the outer wall. 

Another narrow passage led through this wall, and 
at its end Tarzan and his warriors found themselves 
in a broad avenue, on the opposite side of which 
crumbling edifices of hewn granite loomed dark and 
forbidding. Upon the crumbled debris along the face 
[263] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



of the buildings trees had grown, and vines wound in 
and out of the hollow, staring windows ; but the build 
ing directly opposite them seemed less overgrown than 
the others, and in a much better state of preservation. 
It was a massive pile, surmounted by an enormous 
dome. At either side of its great entrance stood rows 
of tall pillars, each capped by a huge, grotesque bird 
carved from the solid rock of the monoliths. 

As the ape-man and his companions stood gazing 
in varying degrees of wonderment at this ancient city 
in the midst of savage Africa, several of them became 
aware of movement within the structure at which they 
were looking. Dim, shadowy shapes appeared to be 
moving about in the semidarkness of the interior. 
There was nothing tangible that the eye could grasp 
only an uncanny suggestion of life where it seemed 
that there should be no life, for living things seemed 
out of place in this weird, dead city of the long-dead 
past. 

Tarzan recalled something that he had read in the 
library at Paris of a lost race of white men that native 
legend described as living in the heart of Africa. He 
wondered if he were not looking upon the ruins of 
the civilization that this strange people had wrought 
amid the savage surroundings of their strange and 
savage home. Could it be possible that even now a 
remnant of that lost race inhabited the ruined gran 
deur that had once been their progenitors ? Again he 
became conscious of a stealthy movement within the 
great temple before him. 

[264] 



THE CITY OF GOLD 



" Come ! " he said, to his Waziri. " Let us have a 
look at what lies behind those ruined walls." 

His men were loath to follow him, but when they 
saw that he was bravely entering the frowning portal 
they trailed a few paces behind in a huddled group 
that seemed the personification of nervous terror. A 
single shriek such as they had heard the night before 
would have been sufficient to have sent them all racing 
madly for the narrow cleft that led through the great 
walls to the outer world. 

As Tarzan entered the building he was distinctly 
aware of many eyes upon him. There was a rustling 
in the shadows of a near-by corridor, and he could 
have sworn that he saw a human hand withdrawn 
from an embrasure that opened above him into the 
domelike rotunda in which he found himself. 

The floor of the chamber was of concrete, the walls 
of smooth granite, upon which strange figures of men 
and beasts were carved. In places tablets of yellow 
metal had been set in the solid masonry of the walls. 

When he approached closer to one pf these tablets 
he saw that it was of gold, and bore many heiro- 
glyphics. Beyond this first chamber there were others, 
and back of them the building branched out into 
enormous wings. Tarzan passed through several of 
these chambers, finding many evidences of the fab 
ulous wealth of the original builders. In one room 
were seven pillars of solid gold, and in another the 
floor itself was of the precious metal. And all the 
while that he explored, his blacks huddled close to- 
[265] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



gether at his back, and strange shapes hovered upon 
either hand and before them and behind, yet never 
close enough that any might say that they were not 
alone. 

The strain, however, was telling upon the nerves of 
the Waziri. They begged Tarzan to return to the 
sunlight. They said that no good could come of such 
an expedition, for the ruins were haunted by the 
spirits of the dead who had once inhabited them. 

" They are watching us, O king," whispered Busuli. 
"They are waiting until they have led us into the 
innermost recesses of their stronghold, and then they 
will fall upon us and tear us to pieces with their 
teeth. That is the way with spirits. My mother's 
uncle, who is a great witch doctor, has told me all 
about it many times." 

Tarzan laughed. " Run back into the sunlight, my 
children," he said. "I will join you when I have 
searched this old ruin from top to bottom, and found 
the gold, or found that there is none. At least we 
may take the tablets from the walls, though the pillars 
are too heavy for us to handle; but there should be 
great storerooms filled with gold gold that we can 
carry away upon our backs with ease. Run on now, 
out into the fresh air where you may breath easier." 

Some of the warriors started to obey their chief 
with alacrity, but Busuli and several others hesitated 
to leave him hesitated between love and loyalty for 
their king, and superstitious fear of the unknown. 
And then, quite unexpectedly, that occurred which de- 
[266] 



THE CITY OF GOLD 



cided the question without the necessity for further 
discussion. Out of the silence of the ruined temple 
there rang, close to their ears, the same hideous shriek 
they had heard the previous night, and with horrified 
cries the black warriors turned and fled through the 
empty halls of the age-old edifice. 

Behind them stood Tarzan of the Apes where they 
had left him, a grim smile upon his lips waiting for 
the enemy he fully expected was about to pounce upon 
him. But again silence reigned, except for the faint 
suggestion of the sound of naked feet moving stealth 
ily in near-by places. 

Then Tarzan wheeled and passed on into the depths 
of the temple. From room to room he went, until he 
came to one at which a rude, barred door still stood, 
and as he put his shoulder against it to push it in, 
again the shriek of warning rang out almost beside 
him. It was evident that he was being warned to re 
frain from desecrating this particular room. Or could 
it be that within lay the secret to the treasure stores? 

At any rate, the very fact that the strange, invisible 
guardians of this weird place had some reason for wish 
ing him not to enter this particular chamber was suffi 
cient to treble Tarzan's desire to do so, and though 
the shrieking was repeated continuously, he kept his 
shoulder to the door until it gave before his giant 
strength to swing open upon creaking wooden hinges. 

Within all was black as the tomb. There was no 
window to let in the faintest ray of light, and as the 
corridor upon which it opened was itself in semi-dark- 
[267] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



ness, even the open door shed no relieving rays within. 
Feeling before him upon the floor with the butt of his 
spear, Tarzan entered the Stygian gloom. Suddenly 
the door behind him closed, and at the same time hands 
clutched him from every direction out of the dark 
ness. 

The ape-man fought with all the savage fury of 
self-preservation backed by the herculean strength 
that was his. But though he felt his blows land, and 
his teeth sink into soft flesh, there seemed always two 
new hands to take the place of those that he fought 
off. At last they dragged him down, and slowly, very 
slowly, they overcame him by the mere weight of their 
numbers. And then they bound him his hands be 
hind his back and his feet trussed up to meet them. 

He had heard no sound except the heavy breathing 
of his antagonists, and the noise of the battle. He 
knew not what manner of creatures had captured him, 
but that they were human seemed evident from the fact 
that they had bound him. 

Presently they lifted him from the floor, and half 
dragging, half pushing him, they brought him out of 
the black chamber through another doorway into an 
inner courtyard of the temple. Here he saw his cap 
tors. There must have been a hundred of them 
short, stocky men, with great beards that covered their 
faces and fell upon their hairy breasts. 

The thick, matted hair upon their heads grew low 
over their receding brows, and hung about their 
shoulders and their backs. Their crooked legs were 
[268] 



THE CITY OF GOLD 



short and heavy, their arms long and muscular. About 
their loins they wore the skins of leopards and of 
lions, and great necklaces of the claws of these same 
animals depended upon their breasts. Massive circlets 
of virgin gold adorned their arms and legs. For 
weapons they carried heavy, knotted bludgeons, and 
in the belts that confined their single garments each 
had a long, wicked-looking knife. 

But the feature of them that made the most start 
ling impression upon their prisoner was their white 
skins neither in color nor feature was there a trace 
of the negroid about them. Yet, with their receding 
foreheads, wicked little close-set eyes, and yellow 
fangs, they were far from prepossessing in appear 
ance. 

During the fight within the dark chamber, and 
while they had been dragging Tarzan to the inner 
court, no word had been spoken, but now several of 
them exchanged grunting, monosyllabic conversation 
in a language unfamiliar to the ape-man, and pres 
ently they left him lying upon the concrete floor while 
they trooped off on their short legs into another part 
of the temple beyond the court. 

As Tarzan lay there upon his back he saw that the 
temple entirely surrounded the little inclosure, and that 
on all sides its lofty walls rose high above him. At the 
top a little patch of blue sky was visible, and, in one 
direction, through an embrasure, he could see foliage, 
but whether it was beyond or within the temple he 
did not know. 

[269] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



About the court, from the ground to the top of the 
temple, were series of open galleries, and now and 
then the captive caught glimpses of bright eyes gleam 
ing from beneath masses of tumbling hair, peering 
down upon him from above. 

The ape-man gently tested the strength of the 
bonds that held him, and while he could not be sure 
it seemed that they were of insufficient strength to 
withstand the strain of his mighty muscles when the 
time came to make a break for freedom; but he did 
not dare to put them to the crucial test until darkness 
had fallen, or he felt that no spying eyes were upon 
him. 

He had lain within the court for several hours be 
fore the first rays of sunlight penetrated the vertical 
shaft ; almost simultaneously he heard the pattering of 
bare feet in the corridors about him, and a moment 
later saw the galleries above fill with crafty faces as a 
score or more entered the courtyard. 

For a moment every eye was bent upon the noon 
day sun, and then in unison the people in the galleries 
and those in the court below took up the refrain of a 
low, weird chant. Presently those about Tarzan be 
gan to dance to the cadence of their solemn song. 
They circled him slowly, resembling in their manner 
of dancing a number of clumsy, shuffling bears ; but 
as yet they did not look at him, keeping their little 
eyes fixed upon the sun. 

For ten minutes or more they kept up their monot 
onous chant and steps, and then suddenly, and in per- 
[270] 



THE CITY OF GOLD 



feet unison, they turned toward their victim with up 
raised bludgeons and emitting fearful howls, the while 
they contorted their features into the most diabolical 
expressions, they rushed upon him. 

At the same instant a female figure dashed into 
the midst of the bloodthirsty horde, and, with a blud 
geon similar to their own, except that it was wrought 
from gold, beat back the advancing men. 



[271] 




LA 



T?OR a moment Tarzan thought that by some 
strange freak of fate a miracle had saved him, 
but when he realized the ease with which the girl had, 
single-handed, beaten off twenty gorilla-like males, and 
an instant later, as he saw them again take up their 
dance about him while she addressed them in a sing 
song monotone, which bore every evidence of rote, he 
came to the conclusion that it was all but a part of 
the ceremony of which he was the central figure. 

After a moment or two the girl drew a knife from 
her girdle, and, leaning over Tarzan, cut the bonds 
from his legs. Then, as the men stopped their dance, 
and approached, she motioned to him to rise. Placing 
the rope that had been about his legs around his neck, 
she led him across the courtyard, the men following 
in twos. 

Through winding corridors she led, farther and 
farther into the remoter precincts of the temple, until 



LA 



they came to a great chamber in the center of which 
stood an altar. Then it was that Tarzan translated 
the strange ceremony that had preceded his introduc 
tion into this holy of holies. 

He had fallen into the hands of descendants of the 
ancient sun worshippers. His seeming rescue by a 
votaress of the high priestess of the sun had been but 
a part of the mimicry of their heathen ceremony 
the sun looking down upon him through the opening 
at the top of the court had claimed him as his own, 
and the priestess had come from the inner temple to 
save him from the polluting hands of worldlings 
to save him as a human offering to their flaming 
deity. 

And had he needed further assurance as to the cor 
rectness of his theory he had only to cast his eyes 
upon the brownish-red stains that caked the stone altar 
and covered the floor in its immediate vicinity, or to 
the human skulls which grinned from countless niches 
in the towering walls. 

The priestess led the victim to the altar steps. 
Again the galleries above filled with watchers, while 
from an arched doorway at the east end of the cham 
ber a procession of females filed slowly into the room. 
They wore, like the men, only skins of wild animals 
caught about their waists with rawhide belts or chains 
of gold; but the black masses of their hair were 
incrusted with golden headgear composed of many 
circular and oval pieces of gold ingeniously held 
together to form a metal cap from which depended, 
[273] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



at each side of the head, long strings of oval pieces 
falling to the waist. 

The females were more symmetrically proportioned 
than the males, their features were much more perfect, 
the shapes of their heads and their large, soft, black 
eyes denoting far greater intelligence and humanity 
than was possessed by their lords and masters. 

Each priestess bore two golden cups, and as they 
formed in line along one side of the altar the men 
formed opposite them, advancing and taking each a 
cup from the female opposite. Then the chant began 
once more, and presently from a dark passageway be 
yond the altar another female emerged from the cav 
ernous depths beneath the chamber. 

The high priestess, thought Tarzan. She was a 
young woman with a rather intelligent and shapely 
face. Her ornaments were similar to those worn by 
her votaries, but much more elaborate, many being set 
with diamonds. Her bare arms and legs were almost 
concealed by the massive, be jeweled ornaments which 
covered them, while her single leopard skin was sup 
ported by a close-fitting girdle of golden rings set in 
strange designs tvith innumerable small diamonds. In 
the girdle she carried a long, jeweled knife, and in her 
hand a slender wand in lieu of a bludgeon. 

As she advanced to the opposite side of the altar she 
halted, and the chanting ceased. The priests and 
priestesses knelt before her, while with wand extended 
above them she recited a long and tiresome prayer. 
Her voice wag soft and musical Tarzan could scarce 
[274] 



LA 



realize that its possessor in a moment more would be 
transformed by the fanatical ecstasy of religious zeal 
into a wild-eyed and bloodthirsty executioner, who, 
with dripping knife, would be the first to drink her 
victim's red, warm blood from the little golden cup 
that stood upon the altar. 

As she finished her prayer she let her eyes rest for 
the first time upon Tarzan. With every indication of 
considerable curiosity she examined him from head to 
foot. Then she addressed him, and when she had fin 
ished stood waiting, as thought she expected a reply. 

" I do not understand your language," said Tarzan. 
" Possibly we may speak together in another tongue ? " 
But she could not understand him, though he tried 
French, English, Arab, Waziri, and, as a last resort, 
the mongrel tongue of the West Coast. 

She shook her head, and it seemed that there was a 
note of weariness in her voice as she motioned to the 
priests to continue with the rites. These now circled 
in a repetition of their idiotic dance, which was ter 
minated finally at a command from the priestess, who 
had stood throughout, still looking intently upon 
Tarzan. 

At her signal the priests rushed upon the ape-man, 
and, lifting him bodily, laid him upon his back across 
the altar, his head hanging over one edge, his legs 
over the opposite. Then they and the priestesses 
formed in two lines, with their little golden cups in 
readiness to capture a share of the victim's lifeblood 
after the sacrificial knife had accomplished its work. 
[275] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



In the line of priests an altercation arose as to who 
should have first place. A burly brute with all the 
refined intelligence of a gorilla stamped upon his 
bestial face was attempting to push a smaller man to 
second place, but the smaller one appealed to the high 
priestess, who in a cold, peremptory voice sent the 
larger to the extreme end of the line. Tarzan could 
hear him growling and rumbling as he went slowly to 
the inferior station. 

Then the priestess, standing above him, began re 
citing what Tarzan took to be an invocation, the while 
she slowly raised her thin, sharp knife aloft. It seemed 
ages to the ape-man before her arm ceased its upward 
progress and the knife halted high above his unpro 
tected breast. 

Then it started downward, slowly at first, but as the 
incantation increased in rapidity, with greater speed. 
At the end of the line Tarzan could still hear the 
grumbling of the disgruntled priest. The man's voice 
rose louder and louder. A priestess near him spoke in 
sharp tones of rebuke. The knife was quite near to 
Tarzan's breast now, but it halted for an instant as 
the high priestess raised her eyes to shoot her swift 
displeasure at the instigator of this sacrilegious in 
terruption. 

There was a sudden commotion in the direction of 
the disputants, and Tarzan rolled his head in their 
direction in time to see the burly brute of a priest leap 
upon the woman opposite him, dashing out her brains 
with a single blow of his heavy cudgel. Then that 
[276] " 



LA 



happened which Tarzan had witnessed a hundred times 
before among the wild denizens of his own savage 
jungle. He had seen the thing fall upon Kerchak, 
and Tublat, and Terkoz; upon a dozen of the other 
mighty bull apes of his tribe; and upon Tantor, the 
elephant; there was scarce any of the males of the 
forest that did not at times fall prey to it. The priest 
went mad, and with his heavy bludgeon ran amuck 
among his fellows. 

His screams of rage were frightful as he dashed 
hither and thither, dealing terrific blows with his giant 
weapon, or sinking his yellow fangs into the flesh of 
some luckless victim. And during it the priestess stood 
with poised knife above Tarzan, her eyes fixed in hor 
ror upon the maniacal thing that was dealing out 
death and destruction to her votaries. 

Presently the room was emptied except for the dead 
and dying on the floor, the victim upon the altar, the 
high priestess, and the madman. As the cunning 
eyes of the latter fell upon the woman they lighted 
with a new and sudden lust. Slowly he crept toward 
her, and now he spoke; but this time there fell upon 
Tarzan's surprised ears a language he could under 
stand ; the last one that he would ever have thought of 
employing in attempting to converse with human be 
ings the low guttural barking of the tribe of great 
anthropoids his own mother tongue. And the 
woman answered the man in the same language. 

He was threatening she attempting to reason 
with him, for it was quite evident that she saw that he 
[277] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



was past her authority. The brute was quite close 
now creeping with clawlike hands extended toward 
her around the end of the altar. 

Tarzan strained at the bonds which held his arms 
pinioned behind him. The woman did not see she 
had forgotten her prey in the horror of the danger 
that threatened herself. As the brute leaped past 
Tarzan to clutch his victim, the ape-man gave one 
superhuman wrench at the thongs that held him. The 
effort sent him rolling from the altar to the stone floor 
on the opposite side from that on which the priestess 
stood ; but as he sprang to his feet the thongs dropped 
from his freed arms, and at the same time he realized 
that he was alone in the inner temple the high priest 
ess and the mad priest had disappeared. 

And then a muffled scream came from the cavernous 
mouth of the dark hole beyond the sacrificial altar 
through which the priestess had entered the temple. 
Without even a thought for his own safety, or the 
possibility for escape which this rapid series of for 
tuitous circumstances had thrust upon him, Tarzan of 
the Apes answered the call of the woman in danger. 
With a lithe bound he was at the gaping entrance to 
the subterranean chamber, and a moment later was 
running down a flight of age-old concrete steps that 
led he knew not where. 

The faint light that filtered in from above showed 
him a large, low-ceiled vault from which several door 
ways led off into inky darkness, but there was no need 
to thread an unknown way, for there before him lay 
[278] 



LA 



the objects of his search the mad brute had the girl 
upon the floor, and gorilla-like fingers were clutching 
frantically at her throat as she struggled to escape 
the fury of the awful thing upon her. 

As Tarzan's heavy hand fell upon his shoulder the 
priest dropped his victim, and turned upon her would- 
be rescuer. With foam-flecked lips and bared fangs 
the mad sun-worshiper battled with the tenfold power 
of the maniac. In the blood lust of his fury the crea 
ture had undergone a sudden reversion to type, 
which left him a wild beast, forgetful of the dagger 
that projected from his belt thinking only of 
nature's weapons with which his brute prototype had 
battled. 

But if he could use his teeth and hands to advan 
tage, he found one even better versed in the school of 
savage warfare to which he had reverted, for Tarzan 
of the Apes closed with him, and they fell to the floor 
tearing and rending at one another like two bull apes ; 
while the primitive priestess stood flattened against 
the wall, watching with wide, fear-fascinated eyes the 
growling, snapping beasts at her feet. 

At last she saw the stranger close one mighty hand 
upon the throat of his antagonist, and as he forced 
the bruteman's head far back rain blow after blow 
upon the upturned face. A moment later he threw 
the still thing from him, and, arising, shook himself 
like a great lion. He placed a foot upon the car 
cass before him, and raised his head to give the victory 
cry of his kind, but as his eyes fell upon the opening 
[279] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



above him leading into the temple of human sacrifice 
he thought better of his intended act. 

The girl, who had been half paralyzed by fear as 
the two men fought, had just commenced to give 
thought to her probable fate now that, though released 
from the clutches of a madman, she had fallen into the 
hands of one whom but a moment before she had been 
upon the point of killing. She looked about for some 
means of escape. The black mouth of a diverging 
corridor was near at hand, but as she turned to dart 
into it the ape-man's eyes fell upon her, and with a 
quick leap he was at her side, and a restraining hand 
was laid upon her arm. 

" Wait ! " said Tarzan of the Apes, in the language 
of the tribe of Kerchak. 

The girl looked at him in astonishment. 

"Who are you," she whispered, "who speaks the 
language of the first man ? " 

"I am Tarzan of the Apes," he answered in the 
vernacular of the anthropoids. 

" What do you want of me? " she continued. " For 
what purpose did you save me from Tha ? " 

"I could not see a woman murdered?" It was a 
half question that answered her. 

" But what do you intend to do with me now ? " she 
continued. 

" Nothing," he replied, " but you can do something 
for me you can lead me out of this place to free 
dom." He made the suggestion without the slight 
est thought that she would accede. He felt quite sure 
[280] 



LA 



that the sacrifice would go on from the point where it 
had been interrupted if the high priestess had her way, 
though he was equally positive that they would find 
Tarzan of the Apes unbound and with a long dagger 
in his hand a much less tractable victim than Tarzan 
disarmed and bound. 

The girl stood looking at him for a long moment 
before she spoke. 

66 You are a very wonderful man," she said. " You 
are such a man as I have seen in my daydreams ever 
since I was a little girl. You are such a man as I 
imagine the forbears of my people must have been 
the great race of people who built this mighty city in 
the heart of a savage world that they might wrest 
from the bowels of the earth the fabulous wealth for 
which they had sacrificed their far-distant civilization. 

"I cannot understand why you came to my rescue 
in the first place, and now I cannot understand why, 
having me within your power, you do not wish to be 
revenged upon me for having sentenced you to death 
for having almost put you to death with my own 
hand." 

"I presume," replied the ape-man, "that you but 
followed the teachings of your religion. I cannot 
blame you for that, no matter what I may think of 
your creed. But who are you what people have I 
fallen among?" 

" I am La, high priestess of the Temple of the Sun, 
in the city of Opar. We are descendants of a people 
who came to this savage world more than ten thou- 
[281] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



sand years ago in search of gold. Their cities 
stretched from a great sea under the rising sun to a 
great sea into which the sun descends at night to cool 
his flaming brow. They were very rich and very 
powerful, but they lived only a few months of the 
year in their magnificent palaces here; the rest of 
the time they spent in their native land, far, far to 
the north. 

66 Many ships went back and forth between this new 
world and the old. During the rainy season there 
were but few of the inhabitants remained here, only 
those who superintended the working of the mines by 
the black slaves, and the merchants who had to stay 
to supply their wants, and the soldiers who guarded 
the cities and the mines. 

" It was at one of these times that the great calam 
ity occurred. When the time came for the teeming 
thousands to return none came. For weeks the people 
waited. Then they sent out a great galley to learn 
why no one came from the mother country, but though 
they sailed about for many months, they were unable 
to find any trace of the mighty land that had for 
countless ages borne their ancient civilization it had 
sunk into the sea. 

"From that day dated the downfall of my people. 
Disheartened and unhappy, they soon became a prey 
to the black hordes of the north and the black hordes 
of the south. One by one the cities were deserted or 
overcome. The last remnant was finally forced to take 
shelter within this mighty mountain fortress. Slowly 
[282] 



LA 



we have dwindled in power, in civilization, in intellect, 
in numbers, until now we are no more than a small 
tribe of savages apes. 

" In fact, the apes live with us, and have for many 
ages. We call them the first men we speak their 
language quite as much as we do our own ; only in the 
rituals of the temple do we make any attempt to re 
tain our mother tongue. In time it will be forgotten, 
and we will speak only the language of the apes ; in 
time we will no longer banish those of our people who 
mate with apes, and so in time we shall descend to the 
very beasts from which ages ago our progenitors may 
have sprung." 

"But why are you more human than the others?'* 
asked the man. 

"For some reason the women have not reverted to 
savagery so rapidly as the men. It may be because 
only the lower types of men remained here at the time 
of the great catastrophe, while the temples were filled 
with the noblest daughters of the race. My strain has 
remained clearer than the rest because for countless 
ages my foremothers were high priestesses the sac 
red office descends from mother to daughter. Our hus 
bands are chosen for us from the noblest in the land. 
The most perfect man, mentally and physically, is se 
lected to be the husband of the high priestess." 

"From what I saw of the gentlemen above," said 
Tarzan, with a grin, "there should be little trouble 
ia choosing from among them." 

The girl looked at him quizzically for a moment. 
[283] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



"Do not be sacrilegious," she said. "They are 
very holy men they are priests." 

"Then there are others who are better to look 
upon ? " he asked. 

" The others are all more ugly than the priests," 
she replied. 

Tarzan shuddered at her fate, for even in the dim 
light of the vault he was impressed by her beauty. 

"But how about myself?" he asked suddenly. 
" Are you going to lead me to liberty ? " 

"You have been chosen by The Flaming God as 
his own," she answered solemnly. " Not even I have 
the power to save you should they find you again. 
But I do not intend that they shall find you. You 
risked your life to save mine. I may do no less for 
you. It will be no easy matter it may require days ; 
but in the end I think that I can lead you beyond the 
walls. Come, they will look here for me presently, 
and if they find us together we shall both be lost 
they would kill me did they think that I had proved 
false to my god." 

" You must not take the risk, then," he said quickly. 
"I will return to the temple, and if I can fight my 
way to freedom there will be no suspicion thrown upon 
you." 

But she would not have it so, and finally persuaded 
him to follow her, saying that they had already re 
mained in the vault too long to prevent suspicion from 
falling upon her even if they returned to the temple. 

"I will hide you. and then return alone," she said, 
[284] 



LA 



"telling them that I was long unconscious after you 
killed Tha, and that I do not know whither you es 
caped." 

And so she led him through winding corridors of 
gloom, until finally they came to a small chamber into 
which a little light filtered through a stone grating in 
the ceiling. 

"This is the Chamber of the Dead," she said. 
"None will think of searching here for you they 
would not dare. I will return after it is dark. By 
that time I may have found a plan to effect your es 
cape." 

She was gone, and Tarzan of the Apes was left 
alone in the Chamber of the Dead, beneath the long- 
dead city of Opar. 



[885] 




XXI 

THE CASTAWAYS 

LAYTON dreamed that he was drinking his fill of 
water, pure, delightful drafts of fresh water. 
With a start he gained consciousness to find himself 
wet through by torrents of rain that were falling 
upon his body and his upturned face. A heavy trop 
ical shower was beating down upon them. He opened 
his mouth and drank. Presently he was so revived and 
strengthened that he was enabled to raise himself upon 
his hands. Across his legs lay Monsieur Thuran. A 
few feet aft Jane Porter was huddled in a pitiful little 
heap in the bottom of the boat she was quite still. 
Clayton knew that she was dead. 

After infinite labor he released himself from Thu- 
ran's pinioning body, and with renewed strength 
crawled toward the girl. He raised her head from the 
rough boards of the boat's bottom. There might be 
life in that poor, starved frame even yet. He could 
not quite abandon all hope, and so he seized a water- 
[286] 



THE CASTAWAYS 



soaked rag and squeezed the precious drops between 
the swollen lips of the hideous thing that had but a 
few short days before glowed with the resplendent life 
of happy youth and glorious beauty. 

For some time there was no sign of returning ani 
mation, but at last his efforts were rewarded by a slight 
tremor of the half -closed lids. He chafed the thin 
hands, and forced a few more drops of water into the 
parched throat. The girl opened her eyes, looking 
up at him for a long time before she could recall her 
surroundings. 

" Water ? " she whispered. " Are we saved ? " 

"It is raining," he explained. "We may at least 
drink. Already it has revived us both." 

" Monsieur Thuran? " she asked. " He did not kill 
you. Is he dead ? " 

"I do not know," replied Clayton. "If he lives 

and this rain revives him " But he stopped 

there, remembering too late that he must not add 
further to the horrors which the girl already had 
endured. 

But she guessed what he would have said. 

" Where is he? " she asked. 

Clayton nodded his head toward the prostrate form 
of the Russian. For a time neither spoke. 

"I will see if I can revive him," said Clayton at 
length. 

"No," she whispered, extending a detaining hand 
toward him. " Do not do that he will kill you when 
the water has given him strength. If he is dying, let 
[287] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



him die. Do not leave me alone in this boat with that 
beast." 

Clayton hesitated. His honor demanded that he at 
tempt to revive Thuran, and there was the possibility, 
too, that the Russian was beyond human aid. It was 
not dishonorable to hope so. As he sat fighting out 
his battle he presently raised his eyes from the body 
of the man, and as they passed above the gunwale of 
the boat he staggered weakly to his feet with a little 
cry of joy. 

"Land, Jane!" he almost shouted through his 
cracked lips. " Thank God, land ! " 

The girl looked, too, and there, not a hundred yards 
away, she saw a yellow beach, and, beyond, the lux 
urious foliage of a tropical jungle. 

"Now you may revive him," said Jane Porter, 
for she, too, had been haunted with the pangs of 
conscience which had resulted from her decision to 
prevent Clayton from offering succor to their com 
panion. 

It required the better part of half an hour before 
the Russian evinced sufficient symptoms of returning 
consciousness to open his eyes, and it was some time 
later before they could bring him to a realization of 
their good fortune. By this time the boat was scrap 
ing gently upon the sandy bottom. 

Between the refreshing water that he had drunk 

and the stimulus of renewed hope, Clayton found 

strength to stagger through the shallow water to the 

shore with a line made fast to the boat's bow. This 

[288] 



THE CASTAWAYS 



he fastened to a small tree which grew at the top of a 
low bank, for the tide was at flood, and he feared that 
the boat might carry them all out to sea again with 
the ebb, since it was quite likely that it would be be 
yond his strength to get Jane Porter to the shore for 
several hours. 

Next he managed to stagger and crawl toward the 
near-by jungle, where he had seen evidences of profu 
sion of tropical fruit. His former experience in the 
jungle of Tarzan of the Apes had taught him which 
of the many growing things were edible, and after 
nearly an hour of absence he returned to the beach 
with a little armful of food. 

The rain had ceased, and the hot sun was beating 
down so mercilessly upon her that Jane Porter insisted 
on making an immediate attempt to gain the land. 
Still further invigorated by the food Clayton had 
brought, the three were able to reach the half shade of 
the small tree to which their boat was moored. Here, 
thoroughly exhausted, they threw themselves down to 
rest, sleeping until dark. 

For a month they lived upon the beach in compar 
ative safety. As their strength returned the two men 
constructed a rude shelter in the branches of a tree, 
high enough from the ground to insure safety from 
the larger beasts of prey. By day they gathered 
fruits and trapped small rodents; at night they lay 
cowering within their frail shelter while savage den 
izens of the jungle made hideous the hours of dark 
ness. 

[289] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



They slept upon litters of jungle grasses, and for 
covering at night Jane Porter had only an old ulster 
that belonged to Clayton, the same garment that he 
had worn upon that memorable trip to the Wisconsin 
woods. Clayton had erected a frail partition of 
boughs to divide their arboreal shelter into two rooms 
one for the girl and the other for Monsieur Thu- 
ran and himself. 

From the first the Russian had exhibited every trait 
of his true character selfishness, boorishness, ar 
rogance, cowardice, and lust. Twice had he and Clay 
ton come to blows because of Thuran's attitude to 
ward the girl. Clayton dared not leave her alone with 
him for an instant. The existence of the Englishman 
and his fiancee was one continual nightmare of horror, 
and yet they lived on in hope of ultimate rescue. 

Jane Porter's thoughts often reverted to her other 
experience on this savage shore. Ah, if the invincible 
forest god of that dead past were but with them now. 
No longer would there be aught to fear from prowl 
ing beasts, or from the bestial Russian. She could not 
well refrain from comparing the scant protection af 
forded her by Clayton with what she might have ex 
pected had Tarzan of the Apes been for a single in 
stant confronted by the sinister and menacing atti 
tude of Monsieur Thuran. Once, when Clayton had 
gone to the little stream for water, and Thuran had 
spoken coarsely to her, she voiced her thoughts. 

"It is well for you, Monsieur Thuran," she said, 
"that the poor Monsieur Tarzan who was lost from 
[290] 



THE CASTAWAYS 



the ship that brought you and Miss Strong to Cape 
Town is not here now." 

"You knew the pig?" asked Thuran, with a sneer. 

"I knew the man," she replied. "The only real 
man, I think, that I have ever known." 

There was something in her tone of voice that led 
the Russian to attribute to her a deeper feeling for 
his enemy than friendship, and he grasped at the 
suggestion to be further revenged upon the man 
whom he supposed dead by besmirching his memory 
to the girl. 

" He was worse than a pig," he cried. " He was a 
poltroon and a coward. To save himself from the 
righteous wrath of the husband of a woman he had 
wronged, he perjured his soul in an attempt to place 
the blame entirely upon her. Not succeeding in this, 
he ran away from France to escape meeting the hus 
band upon the field of honor. That is why he was on 
board the ship that bore Miss Strong and myself to 
Cape Town. I know whereof I speak, for the woman 
in the case is my sister. Something more I know that 
I have never told another your brave Monsieur Tar- 
zan leaped overboard in an agony of fear because I 
recognized him, and insisted that he make reparation 
to me the following morning we could have fought 
with knives in my stateroom." 

Jane Porter laughed. "You do not for a moment 
imagine that one who has known both Monsieur Tar- 
zan and you could ever believe such an impossible 
tale?" 

[291] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



" Then why did he travel under an assumed name? " 
asked Monsieur Thuran. 

"I do not believe you," she cried, but nevertheless 
the seed of suspicion was sown, for she knew that 
Hazel Strong had known her forest god only as John 
Caldwell, of London. 

A scant five miles north of their rude shelter, all un 
known to them, and practically as remote as though 
separated by thousands of miles of impenetrable 
jungle, lay the snug little cabin of Tarzan of the 
Apes. While farther up the coast, a few miles be 
yond the cabin, in crude but well-built shelters, lived 
a little party of eighteen souls the occupants of 
the three boats from the Lady Alice from which Clay 
ton's boat had become separated. 

Over a smooth sea they had rowed to the mainland 
in less than three days. None of the horrors of 
shipwreck had been theirs, and though depressed 
by sorrow, and suffering from the shock of the 
catastrophe and the unaccustomed hardships of their 
new existence there was none much the worse for the 
experience. 

All were buoyed by the hope that the fourth boat 
had been, picked up, and that a thorough search of 
the coast would be quickly made. As all the firearms 
and ammunition on the yacht had been placed in Lord 
Tennington's boat, the parf;y was well equipped for 
defense, and for hunting the larger game for food. 

Professor Archimedes Q. Porter was their only im-< 
mediate anxiety. Fully assured in his own mind that 



THE CASTAWAYS 



his daughter had been picked up by a passing steamer, 
he gave over the last vestige of apprehension concern 
ing her welfare, and devoted his giant intellect solely 
to the consideration of those momentous and abstruse 
scientific problems which he considered the only proper 
food for thought in one of his erudition. His mind 
appeared blank to the influence of all extraneous mat 
ters. 

" Never," said the exhausted Mr. Samuel T. Philan 
der, to Lord Tennington, "never has Professor Por 
ter been more difficult er I might say, impossible. 
Why, only this morning, after I had been forced to 
relinquish my surveillance for a brief half hour he 
was entirely missing upon my return. And, bless me, 
sir, where do you imagine I discovered him? A half 
mile out in the ocean, sir, in one of the lifeboats, row 
ing away for dear life. I do not know how he at 
tained even that magnificent distance from shore, for 
he had but a single oar, with which he was blissfully 
rowing about in circles. 

" When one of the sailors had taken me out to him 
in another boat the professor became quite indignant 
at my suggestion that we return at once to land. 
'Why, Mr. Philander,' he said, 'I am surprised that 
you, sir, a man of letters yourself, should have the 
temerity so to interrupt the progress of science. I 
had about deduced from certain astronomic phenom 
ena I have had under minute observation during the 
past several tropic nights an entirely new nebular hy 
pothesis which will unquestionably startle the scientific 
[293] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



world. I wish to consult a very excellent monograph 
on Laplace's hypothesis, which I understand is in a 
certain private collection in New York City. Your 
interference, Mr. Philander, will result in an irrepar 
able delay, for I was just rowing over to obtain this 
pamphlet.' And it was with the greatest difficulty that 
I persuaded him to return to shore, without resorting 
to force," concluded Mr. Philander. 

Miss Strong and her mother were very brave under 
the strain of almost constant apprehension of the at 
tacks of savage beasts. Nor were they quite able to 
accept so readily as the others the theory that Jane, 
Clayton, and Monsieur Thuran had been picked up 
safely. 

Jane Porter's Esmeralda was in a constant state of 
tears at the cruel fate which had separated her from 
her "po' li'le honey." 

Lord Tennington's great-hearted good nature never 
deserted him for a moment. He was still the jovial 
host, seeking always for the comfort and pleasure of 
his guests. With the men of his yacht he remained 
the just but firm commander there was never any 
more question in the jungle than there had been on 
board the Lady Alice as to who was the final authority 
in all questions of importance, and in all emergencies 
requiring cool and intelligent leadership. 

Could this well-organized and comparatively secure 

party of castaways have seen the ragged, fear-haunted 

trio a few miles south of them they would scarcely 

have recognized in them the formerly immaculate mem- 

[294] 



THE CASTAWAYS 



bers of the little company that had laughed and played 
upon the Lady Alice. 

Clayton and Monsieur Thuran were almost naked, 
so torn had their clothes been by the thorn bushes and 
tangled vegetation of the matted jungle through 
which they had been compelled to force their way in 
search of their ever more difficult food supply. 

Jane Porter had of course not been subjected to 
these strenuous expeditions, but her apparel was, nev 
ertheless, in a sad state of disrepair. 

Clayton, for lack of any better occupation, had 
carefully saved the skin of every animal they had 
killed. By stretching them upon the stems of trees, 
and diligently scraping them, he had managed to save 
them in a fair condition, and now that his clothes were 
threatening to cover his nakedness no longer, he com 
menced to fashion a rude garment of them, using a 
sharp thorn for a needle, and bits of tough grass and 
animal tendons in lieu of thread. 

The result when completed was a sleeveless garment 
which fell nearly to his knees. As it was made up of 
numerous small pelts of different species of rodents, it 
presented a rather strange and wonderful appearance, 
which, together with the vile stench which permeated 
it, rendered it anything other than a desirable addi 
tion to a wardrobe. But the time came when for the 
sake of decency he was compelled to don it, and even 
the misery of their condition could not prevent Jane 
Porter from laughing heartily at sight of him. 

Later, Thuran also found it necessary to construct 
[295] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



a similar primitive garment, so that, with their bare 
legs and heavily bearded faces, they looked not unlike 
reincarnations of two prehistoric progenitors of the 
human race. Thuran acted like one. 

Nearly two months of this existence had passed 
when the first great calamity befell them. It was 
prefaced by an adventure which came near terminat 
ing abruptly the sufferings of two of them terminat 
ing them in the grim and horrible manner of the 
jungle, forever. 

Thuran, down with an attack of jungle fever, lay 
in the shelter among the branches of their tree of 
refuge. Clayton had been into the jungle a few hun 
dred yards in search of food. As he returned Jane 
Porter walked to meet him. Behind the man, cunning 
and crafty, crept an old and mangy lion. For three 
days his ancient thews and sinews had proved insuf 
ficient for the task of providing his cavernous belly 
with meat. For months he had eaten less and less fre 
quently, and farther and farther had he roamed from 
his accustomed haunts in search of easier prey. At 
last he had found nature's weakest and most defense 
less creature in a moment more Numa would dine. 

Clayton, all unconscious of the lurking death be 
hind him, strode out into the open toward Jane. He 
had reached her side, a hundred feet from the tangled 
edge of jungle when past his shoulder the girl saw the 
tawny head and the wicked yellow eyes as the grasses 
parted, and the huge beast, nose to ground, stepped 
softly into view. 

[296] 



THE CASTAWAYS 



So frozen with horror was she that she could utter 
no sound, but the fixed and terrified gaze of her fear- 
widened eyes spoke as plainly to Clayton as words. 
A quick glance behind him revealed the hopelessness 
of their situation. The lion was scarce thirty paces 
from them, and they were equally as far from the shel 
ter. The man was armed with a stout stick as effica 
cious against a hungry lion, he realized, as a toy 
pop-gun charged with a tethered cork. 

Numa, ravenous with hunger, had long since learned 
the futility of roaring and moaning as he searched for 
prey, but now that it was as surely his as though 
already he had felt the soft flesh beneath his still 
mighty paw, he opened his huge jaws, and gave vent 
to his long-pent rage in a series of deafening roars 
that made the air tremble. 

"Run, Jane!" cried Clayton. "Quick! Run for 
the shelter!" But her paralyzed muscles refused to 
respond, and she stood mute and rigid, staring with 
ghastly countenance at the living death creeping 
toward them. 

Thuran, at the sound of that awful roar, had come 
to the opening of the shelter, and as he saw the tab 
leau below him he hopped up and down, shrieking to 
them in Russian. 

" Run ! Run ! " he cried. " Run, or I shall be left 
all alone in this horrible place," and then he broke 
down and commenced to weep. 

For a moment this new voice distracted the atten 
tion of the lion, who halted to cast an inquiring glance 

[297] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



in the direction of the tree. Clayton could endure the 
strain no longer. Turning his back upon the beast, 
he buried his head in his arms and waited. 

The girl looked at him in horror. Why did he not 
do something? If he must die, why not die like a 
man bravely ; beating at that terrible face with his 
puny stick, no matter how futile it might be. Would 
Tarzan of the Apes have done thus? Would he not 
at least have gone down to his death fighting hero 
ically to the last? 

Now the lion was crouching for the spring that 
would end their young lives beneath cruel, rending, 
yellow fangs. Jane Porter sank to her knees in 
prayer, closing her eyes to shut out the last hideous 
instant. Thuran, weak from fever, fainted. 

Seconds dragged into minutes, long minutes into 
an eternity, and yet the beast did not spring. Clay 
ton was almost unconscious from the prolonged agony 
of fright his knees trembled a moment more and 
he would collapse. 

Jane Porter could endure it no longer. She opened 
her eyes. Could she be dreaming? 

" William," she whispered ; " look ! 

Clayton mastered himself sufficiently to raise his 
head and turn toward the lion. An ejaculation of sur 
prise burst from his lips. At their very feet the beast 
lay crumpled in death. A heavy war spear protruded 
from the tawny hide. It had entered the great back 
above the right shoulder, and, passing entirely through 
the body, had pierced the savage heart. 
[298] 



THE CASTAWAYS 



Jane Porter had risen to her feet; as Clayton 
turned back to her she staggered in weakness. He 
put out his arms to save her from falling, and then 
drew her close to him pressing her head against his 
shoulder, he stooped to kiss her in thanksgiving. 

Gently the girl pushed him away. 

"Please do not do that, William," she said. "I 
have lived a thousand years in the past brief moments. 
I have learned in the face of death how to live. I do 
not wish to hurt you more than is necessary; but I 
can no longer bear to live out the impossible position 
I have attempted because of a false sense of loyalty 
to an impulsive promise I made you. 

"The last few seconds of my life have taught me 
that it would be hideous to attempt further to deceive 
myself and you, or to entertain for an instant longer 
the possibility of ever becoming your wife, should we 
regain civilization." 

"Why, Jane," he cried, "what do you mean? 
What has our providential rescue to do with altering 
your feelings toward me? You are but unstrung 
tomorrow you will be yourself again." 

" I am more nearly myself this minute than I have 
been for over a year," she replied. " The thing that 
has just happened has again forced to my memory 
the fact that the bravest man that ever lived honored 
me with his love. Until it was too late I did not 
realize that I returned it, and so I sent him away. He 
is dead now, and I shall never marry. I certainly 
could not wed another less brave than he without har- 
[299] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



boring constantly a feeling of contempt for the rel 
ative cowardice of my husband. Do you understand 
me?" 

"Yes," he answered, with bowed head, his face 
mantling with the flush of shame. 

And it was the next day that the great calamity 
befell. 



[300] 




xxn 

THE TREASURE VAULTS OF OPAR 

TT was quite dark before La, the high priestess, re- 
* turned to the Chamber of the Dead with food and 
drink for Tarzan. She bore no light, feeling with 
her hands along the crumbling walls until she gained 
the chamber. Through the stone grating above, a 
tropic moon served dimly to illuminate the interior. 

Tarzan, crouching in the shadows at the far side of 
the room as the first sound of approaching footsteps 
reached him, came forth to meet the girl as he recog 
nized that it was she. 

" They are furious," were her first words. " Never 
before has a human sacrifice escaped the altar. Al 
ready fifty have gone forth to track you down. They 
have searched the temple all save this single room.'* 

" Why do they fear to come here ? " he asked. 

" It is the Chamber of the Dead. Here the dead re 
turn to worship. See this ancient altar? It is here 
that the dead sacrifice the living if they find a vic- 
[301] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



tim here. That is the reason our people shun this 
chamber. Were one to enter he knows that the waiting 
dead would seize him for their sacrifice." 

"But you? "he asked. 

"I am high priestess I alone am safe from the 
dead. It is I who at rare intervals bring them a 
human sacrifice from the world above. I alone may 
enter here in safety." 

" Why have they not seized me ? " he asked, humor 
ing her grotesque belief. 

She looked at him quizzically for a moment. Then 
she replied : 

" It is the duty of a high priestess to instruct, to in 
terpret according to the creed that others, wiser 
than herself, have laid down; but there is nothing in 
the creed which says that she must believe. The more 
one knows of one's religion the less one believes no 
one living knows more of mine than I." 

"Then your only fear in aiding me to escape is 
that your fellow mortals may discover your duplic 
ity?" 

"That is all the dead are dead; they cannot 
harm or help. We must therefore depend entirely 
upon ourselves, and the sooner we act the better it will 
be. I had difficulty in eluding their vigilance but now 
in bringing you this morsel of food. To attempt to 
repeat the thing daily would be the height of folly. 
Come, let us see how far we may go toward liberty 
before I must return." 

She led him back to the chamber beneath the altar 
[302] 



THE TREASURE VAULTS OF OPAR 

room. Here she turned into one of the several cor 
ridors leading from it. In the darkness Tarzan could 
not see which one. For ten minutes they groped 
slowly along a winding passage, until at length they 
came to a closed door. Here he heard her fumbling 
with a key, and presently came the sound of a metal 
bolt grating against metal. The door swung in on 
scraping hinges, and they entered. 

"You will be safe here until tomorrow night," she 
said. 

Then she went out, and, closing the door, locked it 
behind her. 

Where Tarzan stood it was dark as Erebus. Not 
even his trained eyes could penetrate the utter black 
ness. Cautiously he moved forward until his out 
stretched hand touched a wall, then very slowly he 
traveled around the four walls of the chamber. 

Apparently it was about twenty feet square. The 
floor was of concrete, the walls of the dry masonry 
that marked the method of construction above ground. 
Small pieces of granite of various sizes were ingen 
iously laid together without mortar to construct these 
ancient foundations. 

The first time around the walls Tarzan thought he 
detected a strange phenomenon for a room with no 
windows and but a single door. Again he crept care 
fully around close to the wall. No, he could not be 
mistaken! He paused before the center of the wall 
opposite the door. For a moment he stood quite 
motionless, then he moved a few feet to one side. 
[303] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



Again he returned, only to move a few feet to the 
other side. 

Once more he made the entire circuit of the room, 
feeling carefully every foot of the walls. Finally he 
stopped again before the particular section that had 
aroused his curiosity. There was no doubt of it ! A 
distinct draft of fresh air was blowing into the cham 
ber through the interstices of the masonry at that 
particular point and nowhere else. 

Tarzan tested several pieces of the granite which 
made up the wall at this spot, and finally was re 
warded by finding one which lifted out readily. It 
was about ten inches wide, with a face some three by 
six inches showing within the chamber. One by one 
the ape-man lifted out similarly shaped stones. The 
wall at this point was constructed entirely, it seemed, 
of these almost perfect slabs. In a short, time he had 
removed some dozen,' when he reached in to test the 
next layer of masonry. To his surprise, he felt noth 
ing behind the masonry he had removed as far as his 
long arm could reach. 

It was a matter of but a few minutes to remove 
enough of the wall to permit his body to pass through 
the aperture. Directly ahead of him he thought he 
discerned a faint glow scarcely more than a less 
impenetrable darkness. Cautiously he moved forward 
on hands and knees, until at about fifteen feet, or the 
average thickness of the foundation walls, the floor 
ended abruptly in a sudden drop. As far out as he 
could reach he felt nothing, nor could he find the 
[304] 



THE TREASURE VAULTS OF OPAR 

bottom of the black abyss that yawned before him, 
though, clinging to the edge of the floor, he lowered 
his body into the darkness to its full length. 

Finally it occurred to him to look up, and there 
above him he saw through a round opening a tiny 
circular patch of starry sky. Feeling up along the 
sides of the shaft as far as he could reach, the ape- 
man discovered that so much of the wall as he could 
feel converged toward the center of the shaft as it 
rose. This fact precluded possibility of escape in 
that direction. 

As he sat speculating on the nature and uses of this 
strange passage and its terminal shaft, the moon 
topped the opening above, letting a flood of soft, 
silvery light into the shadowy place. Instantly the 
nature of the shaft became apparent to Tarzan, for 
far below him he saw the shimmering surface of water. 
He had come upon an ancient well but what was the 
purpose of the connection between the well and the 
dungeon in which he had been hidden ? 

As the moon crossed the opening of the shaft its 
light flooded the whole interior, and then Tarzan saw 
directly across from him another opening in the oppo 
site wall. He wondered if this might not be the mouth 
of a passage leading to possible escape. It would be 
worth investigating, at least, and this he determined 
to do. 

Quickly returning to the wall he had demolished to 
explore what lay beyond it, he carried the stones into 
the passageway and replaced them from that side. 
[305] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



The deep deposits of dust which he had noticed upon 
the blocks as he had first removed them from the wall 
had convinced him that even if the present occupants 
of the ancient pile had knowledge of this hidden 
passage they had made no use of it for perhaps 
generations. 

The wall replaced, Tarzan turned to the shaft, 
which was some fifteen feet wide at this point. To 
leap across the intervening space was a small matter 
to the ape-man, and a moment later he was proceed 
ing along a narrow tunnel, moving cautiously for 
fear of being precipitated into another shaft such as 
he had just crossed. 

He had advanced some hundred feet when he came 
to a flight of steps leading downward into Stygian 
gloom. Some twenty feet below, the level floor of 
the tunnel recommenced, and shortly afterward his 
progress was stopped by a heavy wooden door which 
was secured by massive wooden bars upon the side 
of Tarzan's approach. This fact suggested to the 
ape-man that he might surely be in a passageway 
leading to the outer world, for the bolts, barring 
progress from the opposite side, tended to substan 
tiate this hypothesis, unless it were merely a prison to 
which it led. 

Along the tops of the bars were deep layers of 
dust a further indication that the passage had lain 
long unused. As he pushed the massive obstacle aside, 
its great hinges shrieked out in weird protest against 
this unaccustomed disturbance. For a moment Tar- 
[306] 



THE TREASURE VAULTS OF OPAR 

zan paused to listen for any responsive note which 
might indicate that the unusual night noise had 
alarmed the inmates of the temple; but as he heard 
nothing he advanced beyond the doorway. 

Carefully feeling about, he found himself within a 
large chamber, along the walls of which, and down 
the length of the floor, were piled many tiers of metal 
ingots of an odd though uniform shape. To his 
groping hands they felt not unlike double-headed 
bootjacks. The ingots were quite heavy, and but for 
the enormous number of them he would have been 
positive that they were gold ; but the thought of the 
fabulous wealth these thousands of pounds of metal 
would have represented were they in reality gold, 
almost convinced him that they must be of some baser 
metal. 

At the far end of the chamber he discovered another 
barred door, and again the bars upon the inside re 
newed the hope that he was traversing an ancient and 
forgotten passageway to liberty. Beyond the door 
the passage ran straight as a war spear, and it soon 
became evident to the ape-man that it had already led 
him beyond the outer walls of the temple. If he but 
knew the direction it was leading him ! If toward the 
west, then he must also be beyond the city's outer 
walls. 

With increasing hopes he forged ahead as rapidly 

as he dared, until at the end of half an hour he came 

to another flight of steps leading upward. At the 

bottom this flight was of concrete, but as he ascended 

[307] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



his naked feet felt a sudden change in the substance 
they were treading. The steps of concrete had given 
place to steps of granite. Feeling with his hands, the 
ape-man discovered that these latter were evidently 
hewed from rock, for there was no crack to indicate a 
joint. 

For a hundred feet the steps wound spirally up, 
until at a sudden turning Tarzan came into a narrow 
cleft between two rocky walls. Above him shone the 
starry sky, and before him a steep incline replaced 
the steps that had terminated at its foot. Up this 
pathway Tarzan hastened, and at its upper end came 
out upon the rough top of a huge granite bowlder. 

A mile away lay the ruined city of Opar, its domes 
and turrets bathed in the soft light of the equatorial 
moon. Tarzan dropped his eyes to the ingot he had 
brought away with him. For a moment he examined 
it by the moon's bright rays, then he raised his head 
to look out upon the ancient piles of crumbling 
grandeur in the distance. 

" Opar," he mused, " Opar, the enchanted city of a 
dead and forgotten past. The city of the beauties 
and the beasts. City of horrors and death; but 
city of fabulous riches." The ingot was of virgin 
gold. 

The bowlder on which Tarzan found himself lay 
well out in the plain between the city and the distant 
cliffs he and his black warriors had scaled the morning 
previous. To descend its rough and precipitous face 
was a task of infinite labor and considerable peril even 
[308] 



THE TREASURE VAULTS OF OPAR 

to the ape-man ; but at last he felt the soft soil of the 
valley beneath his feet, and without a backward glance 
at Opar he turned his face toward the guardian cliffs, 
and at a rapid trot set off across the valley. 

The sun was just rising as he gained the summit 
of the flat mountain at the valley's western boundary. 
Far beneath him he saw smoke arising above the tree- 
tops of the forest at the base of the foothills. 

" Man," he murmured. "And there were fifty who 
went forth to track me down. Can it be they ? " 

Swiftly he descended the face of the cliff, and, 
dropping into a narrow ravine which led down to the 
far forest, he hastened onward in the direction of the 
smoke. Striking the forest's edge about a quarter 
of a mile from the point at which the slender column 
arose into the still air, he took to the trees. Cautiously 
he approached until there suddenly burst upon his 
view a rude boma, in the center of which, squatted 
about their tiny fires, sat his fifty black Waziri. He 
called to them in their own tongue : 

"Arise, my children, and greet thy king ! " 

With exclamations of surprise and fear the war 
riors leaped to their feet, scarcely knowing whether 
to flee or not. Then Tarzan dropped lightly from 
an overhanging branch into their midst. When they 
realized that it was indeed their chief in the flesh, and 
no materialized spirit, they went mad with joy. 

"We were cowards, oh, Waziri," cried Basuli. 
" We ran away and left you to your fate ; but when 
our panic was over we swore to return and save you, 
[309] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



or at least take revenge upon your murderers. We 
were but now preparing to scale the heights once more 
and cross the desolate valley to the terrible city." 

" Have you seen fifty frightful men pass down from 
the cliffs into this forest, my children ? " asked Tarzan. 

"Yes, Waziri," replied Basuli. "They passed us 
late yesterday, as we were about to turn back after 
you. They had no woodcraft. We heard them coming 
for a mile before we saw them, and as we had other 
business in hand we withdrew into the forest and let 
them pass. They were waddling rapidly along upon 
short legs, and now and then one would go upon all 
fours like Bolgani, the gorilla. They were indeed 
fifty frightful men, Waziri." 

When Tarzan had related his adventures and told 
them of the yellow metal he had found, not one de 
murred when he outlined a plan to return by night 
and bring away what they could carry of the vast 
treasure; and so it was that as dusk fell across the 
desolate valley of Opar fifty ebon warriors trailed at 
a smart trot over the dry and dusty ground toward 
the giant bowlder that loomed before the city. 

If it had seemed a difficult task to descend the face 
of the bowlder, Tarzan soon found that it would be 
next to impossible to get his fifty warriors to the 
summit. Finally the feat was accomplished by dint 
of herculean efforts upon the part of the ape-man. 
Ten spears were fastened end to end, and with one 
end of this remarkable chain attached to his waist, 
Tarzan at last succeeded in reaching the summit. 
[310] 



THE TREASURE VAULTS OF OPAR 

Once there, he drew up one of his blacks, and 
in this way the entire party was finally landed in 
safety upon the bowlder's top. Immediately Tarzan 
led them to the treasure chamber, where to each waa 
allotted a load of two ingots, for each about eighty 
pounds. 

By midnight the entire party stood once more at 
the foot of the bowlder, but with their heavy loads it 
was mid-forenoon ere they reached the summit of the 
cliffs. From there on the homeward journey was slow, 
as these proud fighting men were unaccustomed to the 
duties of porters. But they bore their burdens un 
complainingly, and at the end of thirty days entered 
their own country. 

Here, instead of continuing on toward the north 
west and their village, Tarzan guided them almost 
directly west, until on the morning of the thirty-third 
day he bade them break camp and return to their own 
village, leaving the gold where they had stacked it the 
previous night. 

" And you, Waziri ? " they asked. 

"I shall remain here for a few days, my children," 
he replied. "Now hasten back to thy wives and 
children." 

When they had gone Tarzan gathered up two of 
the ingots and, springing into a tree, ran lightly above 
the tangled and impenetrable mass of undergrowth for 
a couple of hundred yards, to emerge suddenly upon a 
circular clearing about which the giants of the jungle 
forest towered like a guardian host. In the center o 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



this natural amphitheater, was a little flat-topped 
mound of hard earth. 

Hundreds of times before had Tarzan been to this 
secluded spot, which was so densely surrounded by 
thorn bushes and tangled vines and creepers of huge 
girth that not even Sheeta, the leopard, could worm 
his sinuous way within, nor Tantor, with his giant 
strength, force the barriers which protected the coun 
cil chamber of the great apes from all but the harmless 
denizens of the savage jungle. 

Fifty trips Tarzan made before he had deposited 
all the ingots within the precincts of the amphitheater. 
Then from the hollow of an ancient, lightning-blasted 
tree he produced the very spade with which he had 
uncovered the chest of Professor Archimedes Q. Porter 
which he had once, apelike, buried in this selfsame 
spot. With this he dug a long trench, into which he 
laid the fortune that his blacks had carried from the 
forgotten treasure vaults of the city of Opar. 

That night he slept within the amphitheater, and 
early the next morning set out to revisit his cabin 
before returning to his Waziri. Finding things as 
he had left them, he went forth into the jungle to 
hunt, intending to bring his prey to the cabin where 
he might feast in comfort, spending the night upon a 
comfortable couch. 

For five miles toward the south he roamed, toward 

the banks of a fair-sized river that flowed into the sea 

about six miles from his cabin. He had gone inland 

about half a mile when there came suddenly to his 

[312] 



THE TREASURE VAULTS OF OPAR 

trained nostrils the one scent that sets the whole 
savage jungle aquiver Tarzan smelled man. 

The wind was blowing off the ocean, so Tarzan 
knew that the authors of the scent were west of him. 
Mixed with the man scent was the scent of Numa. 
Man and lion. "I had better hasten," thought the 
ape-man, for he had recognized the scent of whites. 
"Numa may be a-hunting." 

When he came through the trees to the edge of the 
jungle he saw a woman kneeling in prayer, and before 
her stood a wild, primitive-looking white man, his face 
buried in his arms. Behind the man a mangy lion 
was advancing slowly toward this easy prey. The 
man's face was averted ; the woman's bowed in prayer. 
He could not see the features of either. 

Already Numa was about to spring. There was 
not a second to spare. Tarzan could not even unsling 
his bow and fit an arrow in time to send one of his 
deadly poisoned shafts into the yellow hide. He was 
too far away to reach the beast in time with his knife. 
There was but a single hope a lone alternative. And 
with the quickness of thought the ape-man acted. 

A brawny arm flew back for the briefest fraction 
of an instant a huge spear poised above the giant's 
shoulder and then the mighty arm shot out, and 
swift death tore through the intervening leaves to 
bury itself in the heart of the leaping lion. Without 
a sound he rolled over at the very feet of his intended 
victims dead. 

For a moment neither the man nor the woman 
[313] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



moved. Then the latter opened her eyes to look with 
wonder upon the dead beast behind her companion. 
As that beautiful head went up Tarzan of the Apes 
gave a gasp of incredulous astonishment. Was he 
mad? It could not be the woman he loved! But, 
indeed, it was none other. 

And the woman rose, and the man took her in his 
arms to kiss her, and of a sudden the ape-man saw 
red through a bloody mist of murder, and the old 
scar upon his forehead burned scarlet against his 
brown hide. 

There was a terrible expression upon his savage 
face as he fitted a poisoned shaft to his bow. An ugly 
light gleamed in those gray eyes as he sighted full at 
the back of the unsuspecting man beneath him. 

For an instant he glanced along the polished shaft, 
drawing the bowstring far back, that the arrow might 
pierce through the heart for which it was aimed. 

But he did not release the fatal messenger. Slowly 
the point of the arrow drooped; the scar upon the. 
brown forehead faded; the bowstring relaxed; and 
Tarzan of the Apes, with bowed head, turned sadly 
into the jungle toward the village of the Waziri. 



[314] 




XXIII 

THE FIFTY FRIGHTFUL MEN 

T7OR several long minutes Jane Porter and William 
* Cecil Clayton stood silently looking at the dead 
body of the beast whose prey they had so narrowly 
escaped becoming. 

The girl was the first to speak again after her out 
break of impulsive avowal. 

" Who could it have been ? " she whispered. 

"God knows!" was the man's only reply. 

"If it is a friend, why does he not show himself? " 
continued Jane. "Wouldn't it be well to call out to 
him, and at least thank him ? " 

Mechanically Clayton did her bidding, but there 
was no response. 

Jane Porter shuddered. "The mysterious jungle," 
she murmured. "The terrible jungle. It renders 
even the manifestations of friendship terrifying." 

" We had best return to the shelter," said Clayton. 
"You will be at least a little safer there. I am no 
protection whatever," he added bitterly. 
[315] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



"Do not say that, William," she hastened to 
urge, acutely sorry for the wound her words had 
caused. "You have done the best you could. You 
have been noble, and self-sacrificing, and brave. It 
is no fault of yours that you are not a superman. 
There is only one other man I have ever known who 
could have done more than you. My words were 
ill chosen in the excitement of the reaction I did 
not wish to wound you. All that I wish is that we 
may both understand once and for all that I can 
never marry you that such a marriage would be 
wicked." 

"I think I understand," he replied. "Let us not 
speak of it again at least until we are back in 
civilization." 

The next day Thuran was worse. Almost con 
stantly he was in a state of delirium. They could do 
nothing to relieve him, nor was Clayton over-anxious 
to attempt anything. On the girl's account he feared 
the Russian in the bottom of his heart he hoped the 
man would die. The thought that something might 
befall him that would leave her entirely at the mercy 
of this beast caused him greater anxiety than the 
probability that almost certain death awaited her 
should she be left entirely alone upon the outskirts of 
the cruel forest. 

The Englishman had extracted the heavy spear 

from the body of the lion, so that when he went into 

the forest to hunt that morning he had a feeling of 

much greater security than at any time since they had 

[316] 



THE FIFTY FRIGHTFUL MEN 

been cast upon the savage shore. The result was that 
he penetrated farther from the shelter than ever before. 

To escape as far as possible from the mad ravings 
of the fever-stricken Russian, Jane Porter had de 
scended from the shelter to the foot of the tree she 
dared not venture farther. Here, beside the crude 
ladder Clayton had constructed for her, she sat look 
ing out to sea, in the always surviving hope that a 
vessel might be sighted. 

Her back was toward the jungle, and so she did 
not see the grasses part, or the savage face that 
peered from between. Little, bloodshot, close-set eyes 
scanned her intently, roving from time to time about 
the open beach for indications of the presence of 
others than herself. 

Presently another head appeared, and then another 
and another. The man in the shelter commenced to 
rave again, and the heads disappeared as silently and 
as suddenly as they had come. But soon they were 
thrust forth once more, as the girl gave no sign of 
perturbation at the continued wailing of the man 
above. 

One by one grotesque forms emerged from the jungle 
to creep stealthily upon the unsuspecting woman. A 
faint rustling of the grasses attracted her attention. 
She turned, and at the sight that confronted her 
staggered to her feet with a little shriek of fear. 
Then they closed upon her with a rush. Lifting her 
bodily in his long, gorilla-like arms, one of the crea 
tures turned and bore her into the jungle. A filthy 
[317] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



paw covered her mouth to stifle her screams. Added 
to the weeks of torture she had already undergone, 
the shock was more than she could withstand. Shat 
tered nerves collapsed, and she lost consciousness. 

When she regained her senses she found herself in 
the thick of the primeval forest. It was night. A 
huge fire burned brightly in the little clearing in which 
she lay. About it squatted fifty frightful men. Their 
heads and faces were covered with matted hair. 
Their long arms rested upon the bent knees of their 
short, crooked legs. They were gnawing, like beasts, 
upon unclean food. A pot boiled upon the edge of 
the fire, and out of it one of the creatures would 
occasionally drag a hunk of meat with a sharpened 
stick. 

When they discovered that their captive had re 
gained consciousness, a piece of this repulsive stew 
was tossed to her from the foul hand of a nearby 
feaster. It rolled close to her side, but she only closed 
her eyes as a qualm of nausea surged through her. 

For many days they traveled through the dense 
forest. The girl, footsore and exhausted, was half 
dragged, half pushed through the long, hot, tedious 
days. Occasionally, when she would stumble and fall, 
she was cuffed and kicked by the nearest of the fright 
ful men. Long before they reached their journey's 
end her shoes had been discarded the soles entirely 
gone. Her clothes were torn to mere shreds and tat 
ters, and through the pitiful rags her once white and 
tender skin showed raw and bleeding from contact 
[318] 



THE FIFTY FRIGHTFUL MEN 

with the thousand pitiless thorns and brambles through 
which she had been dragged. 

The last two days of the journey found her in such 
utter exhaustion that no amount of kicking and abuse 
could force her to her poor, bleeding feet. Outraged 
nature had reached the limit of endurance, and the 
girl was physically powerless to raise herself even to 
her knees. 

As the beasts surrounded her, chattering threaten 
ingly the while they goaded her with their cudgels and 
beat and kicked her with their fists and feet, she lay 
with closed eyes, praying for the merciful death that 
she knew alone could give her surcease from suffering ; 
but it did not come, and presently the fifty frightful 
men realized that their victim was no longer able to 
walk, and so they picked her up and carried her the 
balance of the journey. 

Late one afternoon she saw the ruined walls of a 
mighty city looming before them, but so weak and 
sick was she that it inspired not the faintest shadow 
of interest. Wherever they were bearing her, there 
could be but one end to her captivity among these 
fierce half brutes. 

At last they passed through two great walls and 
came to the ruined city within. Into a crumbling pile 
they bore her, and here she was surrounded by hun 
dreds more of the same creatures that had brought 
her; but among them were females who looked less 
horrible. At sight of them the first faint hope that 
she had entertained came to mitigate her misery. But 
[319] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



it was short-lived, for the women offered her no sym 
pathy, though, on the other hand, neither did they 
abuse her. 

After she had been inspected to the entire satisfac 
tion of the inmates of the building she was borne to 
a dark chamber in the vaults beneath, and here upon 
the bare floor she was left, with a metal bowl of water 
and another of food. 

For a week she saw only some of the women whose 
duty it was to bring her food and water. Slowly her 
strength was returning soon she would be in fit 
condition to offer as a sacrifice to The Flaming God. 
Fortunate indeed it was that she could not know the 
fate for which she was destined. 

As Tarzan of the Apes moved slowly through the 
jungle after casting the spear that saved Clayton and 
Jane Porter from the fangs of Numa, his mind was 
filled with all the sorrow that belongs to a freshly 
opened heart wound. 

He was glad that he had stayed his hand in time 
to prevent the consummation of the thing that in the 
first mad wave of jealous wrath he had contemplated. 
Only the fraction of a second had stood between 
Clayton and death at the hands of the ape-man. In 
the short moment that had elapsed after he had recog 
nized the girl and her companion and the relaxing of 
the taut muscles that held the poisoned shaft directed 
at the Englishman's heart, Tarzan had been swayed 
by the swift and savage impulses of brute life. 
[320] 



THE FIFTY FRIGHTFUL MEN 

He had seen the woman he craved his woman 
his mate in the arms of another. There had been 
but one course open to him, according to the fierce 
jungle code that guided him in this other existence; 
but just before it had become too late the softer senti 
ments of his inherent chivalry had risen above the 
flaming fires of his passion and saved him. A thou 
sand times he gave thanks that they had triumphed 
before his fingers had released that polished arrow. 

As he contemplated his return to the Waziri the 
idea became repugnant. He did not wish to see a 
human being again. At least he would range alone 
through the jungle for a time, until the sharp edge 
of his sorrow had become blunted. Like his fellow 
beasts, he preferred to suffer in silence and alone. 

That night he slept again in the amphitheater of 
the apes, and for several days he hunted from there, 
returning at night. On the afternoon of the third 
day he returned early. He had lain stretched upon 
the soft grass of the circular clearing for but a few 
moments when he heard far to the south a familiar 
sound. It was the passing through the jungle of a 
band of great apes he could not mistake that. For 
several minutes he lay listening. They were coming 
in the direction of the amphitheater. 

Tarzan arose lazily and stretched himself. His 
keen ears followed every movement of the advancing 
tribe. They were upwind, and presently he caught 
their scent, though he had not needed this added 
evidence to assure him that he was right. 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



As they came closer to the amphitheater Tarzan of 
the Apes melted into the branches upon the other side 
of the arena. There he waited to inspect the new 
comers. Nor had he long to wait. 

Presently a fierce, hairy face appeared among the 
lower branches opposite him. The cruel little eyes 
took in the clearing at a glance, then there was a 
chattered report returned to those behind. Tarzan 
could hear the words. The scout was telling the other 
members of the tribe that the coast was clear and that 
they might enter the amphitheater in safety. 

First the leader dropped lightly upon the soft 
carpet of the grassy floor, and then, one by one, 
nearly a hundred anthropoids followed him. There 
were the huge adults and several young. A few 
nursing babes clung close to the shaggy necks of their 
savage mothers. 

Tarzan recognized many members of the tribe. It 
was the same into which he had come as a tiny babe. 
Many of the adults had been little apes during his 
boyhood. He had frolicked and played about this 
very jungle with them during their brief childhood. 
He wondered if they would remember him the 
memory of some apes is not overlong, and two years 
may be an eternity to them. 

From the talk which he overheard he learned that 
they had come to choose a new king their late chief 
had fallen a hundred feet beneath a broken limb to 
an untimely end. 

Tarzan walked to the end of an overhanging limb 



THE FIFTY FRIGHTFUL MEN 

in plain view of them. The quick eyes of a female 
caught sight of him first. With a barking guttural 
she called the attention of the others. Several huge 
bulls stood erect to get a better view of the intruder. 
With bared fangs and bristling necks they advanced 
slowly toward him, with deep-throated, ominous growls. 

"Karnath, I am Tarzan of the Apes," said the 
ape-man in the vernacular of the tribe. " You remem 
ber me. Together we teased Numa when we were still 
little apes, throwing sticks and nuts at him from the 
safety of high branches." 

The brute he had addressed stopped with a look of 
half-comprehending, dull wonderment upon his savage 
face. 

"And Magor," continued Tarzan, addressing an 
other, " do you not recall your former king he who 
slew the mighty Kerchak? Look at me! Am I 
not the same Tarzan mighty hunter invincible 
fighter that you all knew for many seasons ? " 

The apes all crowded forward now, but more in 
curiosity than threatening. They muttered among 
themselves for a few moments. 

"What do you want among us now?" asked 
Karnath. 

"Only peace," answered the ape-man. 

Again the apes conferred. At length Karnath 
spoke again. 

"Come in peace, then, Tarzan of the Apes," he 
said. 

And so Tarzan of the Apes dropped lightly to the 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



turf into the midst of the fierce and hideous horde 
he had completed the cycle of evolution, and had 
returned to be once again a brute among brutes. 

There were no greetings such as would have taken 
place among men after a separation of two years. 
The majority of the apes went on about the little 
activities that the advent of the ape-man had inter 
rupted, paying no further attention to him than as 
though he had not been gone from the tribe at all. 

One or two young bulls who had not been old 
enough to remember him sidled up on all fours to 
sniff at him, and one bared his fangs and growled 
threateningly he wished to put Tarzan immediately 
into his proper place. Had Tarzan backed off, growl 
ing, the young bull would quite probably have been 
satisfied, but always after Tarzan's station among his 
fellow apes would have been beneath that of the bull 
which had made him step aside. 

But Tarzan of the Apes did not back off. Instead, 
he swung his giant palm with all the force of his 
mighty muscles, and, catching the young bull along 
side the head, sent him sprawling across the turf. The 
ape was up and at him again in a second, and this 
time they closed with tearing fingers and rending 
fangs or at least that had been the intention of the 
young bull ; but scarcely had they gone down, growl 
ing and snapping, than the ape-man's fingers found 
the throat of his antagonist. 

Presently the young bull ceased to struggle, and 
lay quite still. Then Tarzan released his hold and 
[324] 



THE FIFTY FRIGHTFUL MEN 

arose he did not wish to kill, only to teach the 
young ape, and others who might be watching, that 
Tarzan of the Apes was still master. 

The lesson served its purpose the young apes 
kept out of his way, as young apes should when their 
betters were about, and the old bulls made no attempt 
to encroach upon his prerogatives. For several days 
the she-apes with young remained suspicious of him, 
and when he ventured too near rushed upon him with 
wide mouths and hideous roars. Then Tarzan dis 
creetly skipped out of harm's way, for that also is a 
custom among the apes only mad bulls will attack 
a mother. But after a while even they became accus 
tomed to him. 

He hunted with them as in days gone by, and when 
they found that his superior reason guided him to 
the best food sources, and that his cunning rope 
ensnared toothsome game that they seldom if ever 
tasted, they came again to look up to him as they 
had in the past after he had become their king. And 
so it was that before they left the amphitheater to 
return to their wanderings they had once more chosen 
him as their leader. 

The ape-man felt quite contented with his new lot. 
He was not happy that he never could be again, 
but he was at least as far from everything that might 
remind him of his past misery as he could be. Long 
since he had given up every intention of returning 
to civilization, and now he had decided to see no more 
his black friends of the Waziri. He had forsworn 

[325] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



humanity forever. He had started life an ape as 
an ape he would die. 

He could not, however, erase from his memory the 
fact that the woman he loved was within a short 
journey of the stamping-ground of his tribe; nor 
could he banish the haunting fear that she might be 
constantly in danger. That she was illy protected he 
had seen in the brief instant that had witnessed Clay 
ton's inefficiency. The more Tarzan thought of it, 
the more keenly his conscience pricked him. 

Finally he caine to loathe himself for permitting 
his own selfish sorrow and jealousy to stand between 
Jane Porter and safety. As the days passed the thing 
preyed more and more upon his mind, and he had 
about determined to return to the coast and place 
himself on guard over Jane Porter and Clayton, when 
news reached him that altered all his plans and sent 
him dashing madly toward the east in reckless dis 
regard of accident and death. 

Before Tarzan had returned to the tribe, a certain 
young bull, not being able to secure a mate from 
among his own people, had, according to custom, fared 
forth through the wild jungle, like some knight-errant 
of old, to win a fair lady from some neighboring 
community. 

He had but just returned with his bride, and was 
narrating his adventures quickly before he should 
forget them. Among other things he told of seeing a 
great tribe of strange-looking apes. 

" They were all hairy-faced bulls but one," he said, 
[326] 



THE FIFTY FRIGHTFUL MEN 

"and that one was a she, lighter in color even than 
this stranger," and he chucked a thumb at Tarzan. 

The ape-man was all attention in an instant. He 
asked questions as rapidly as the slow-witted anthro 
poid could answer them. 

"Were the bulls short, with crooked legs?" 

"They were." 

"Did they wear the skins of Numa and Sheeta 
about their loins, and carry sticks and knives?" 

"They did." 

"And were there many yellow rings about their 
arms and legs?" 

"Yes." 

"And the she one was she small and slender, 
and very white ? " 

"Yes." 

" Did she seem to be one of the tribe, or was she a 
prisoner ? " 

"They dragged her along sometimes by an 
arm sometimes by the long hair that grew upon 
her head ; and always they kicked and beat her. Oh, 
but it was great fun to watch them." 

"God!" muttered Tarzan. 

" Where were they when you saw them, and which 
way were they going?" continued the ape-man. 

"They were beside the second water back there," 
and he pointed to the south. " When they passed me 
they were going toward the morning, upward along 
the edge of the water." 

"When was this?" asked Tarzan. 
[327] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



" Half a moon since." 

Without another word the ape-man sprang into the 
trees and fled like a disembodied spirit eastward in the 
direction of the forgotten city of Opar. 



[328] 




XXIV 

HOW TAEZAN CAME AGAIN TO OPAR 

WHEN Clayton returned to the shelter and found 
Jane Porter was missing, he became frantic with 
fear and grief. He found Monsieur Thuran quite 
rational, the fever having left him with the surprising 
suddenness which is one of its peculiarities. The 
Russian, weak and exhausted, still lay upon his bed of 
grasses within the shelter. 

When Clayton asked him about the girl he seemed 
surprised to know that she was not there. 

" I have heard nothing unusual," he said. " But 
then I have been unconscious much of the time." 

Had it not been for the man's very evident weak 
ness, Clayton should have suspected him of having 
sinister knowledge of the girl's whereabouts; but he 
could see that Thuran lacked sufficient vitality even 
to descend, unaided, from the shelter. He could not, 
in his present physical condition, have harmed the 
[329] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



girl, nor could he have climbed the rude ladder back to 
the shelter. 

Until dark the Englishman searched the nearby 
jungle for a trace of the missing one or a sign of 
the trail of her abductor. But though the spoor left 
by the fifty frightful men, unversed in woodcraft as 
they were, would have been as plain to the densest 
denizen of the jungle as a city street to the English 
man, yet he crossed and recrossed it twenty times 
without observing the slightest indication that many 
men had passed that way but a few short hours since. 

As he searched, Clayton continued to call the girl's 
name aloud, but the only result of this was to attract 
Numa, the lion. Fortunately the man saw the shadowy 
form worming its way toward him in time to climb 
into the branches of a tree before the beast was close 
enough to reach him. This put an end to his search 
for the balance of the afternoon, as the lion paced 
back and forth beneath him until dark. 

Even after the beast had left, Clayton dared not 
descend into the awful blackness beneath him, and so 
he spent a terrifying and hideous night in the tree. 
The next morning he returned to the beach, relin 
quishing the last hope of succoring Jane Porter. 

During the week that followed, Monsieur Thuran 
rapidly regained his strength, lying in the shelter 
while Clayton hunted food for both. The men never 
spoke except as necessity demanded. Clayton now 
occupied the section of the shelter which had been 
reserved for Jane Porter, and only saw the Russian 
[330] 



HOW TARZAN CAME AGAIN TO OPAR 

when he took food or water to him, or performed the 
other kindly offices which common humanity required. 

When Thuran was again able to descend in search 
of food, Clayton was stricken with fever. For days 
he lay tossing in delirium and suffering, but not once 
did the Russian come near him. Food the English 
man could not have eaten, but his craving for water 
amounted practically to torture. Between the recur 
rent attacks of delirium, weak though he was, he 
managed to reach the brook once a day and fill a tiny 
can that had been among the few appointments of the 
lifeboat. 

Thuran watched him on these occasions with an 
expression of malignant pleasure he seemed really 
to enjoy the suffering of the man who, despite the 
just contempt in which he held him, had ministered to 
him to the best of his ability while he lay suffering the 
same agonies. 

At last Clayton became so weak that he was no 
longer able to descend from the shelter. For a day 
he suffered for water without appealing to the Rus 
sian, but finally, unable to endure it longer, he asked 
Thuran to fetch him a drink. 

The Russian came to the entrance to Clayton's 
room, a dish of water in his hand. A nasty grin 
contorted his features. 

" Here is water," he said. " But first let me remind 
you that you maligned me before the girl that you 
kept her to yourself, and would not share her with 
me" 

[331] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



Clayton interrupted him. " Stop ! " he cried. 
"Stop! What manner of cur are you that you tra 
duce the character of a good woman whom we believe 
dead ! God ! I was a fool ever to let you live you 
are not fit to live even in this vile land." 

" Here is your water," said the Russian. "All you 
will get," and he raised the basin to his lips and 
drank; what was left he threw out upon the ground 
below. Then he turned and left the sick man. 

Clayton rolled over, and, burying his face in his 
arms, gave up the battle. 

The next day Thuran determined to set out toward 
the north along the coast, for he knew that eventually 
he must come to the habitations of civilized men at 
least he could be no worse off than he was here, and, 
furthermore, the ravings of the dying Englishman 
were getting on his nerves. 

So he stole Clayton's spear and set off upon his 
journey. He would have killed the sick man before 
he left had it not occurred to him that it would really 
have been a kindness to do so. 

That same day he came to a little cabin by the 
beach, and his heart filled with renewed hope as he 
saw this evidence of the proximity of civilization, 
for he thought it but the outpost of a nearby settle 
ment. Had he known to whom it belonged, and that 
its owner was at that very moment but a few miles 
inland, Nikolas Rokoff would have fled the place as 
he would a pestilence. But he did not know, and so 
he remained for a few days to enjoy the security and 
J332] 



HOW TARZAN CAME AGAIN TO OPAR 

comparative comforts of the cabin. Then he took up 
his northward journey once more. 

In Lord Tennington's camp preparations were 
going forward to build permanent quarters, and then 
to send out an expedition of a few men to the north 
in search of relief. 

As the days had passed without bringing the 
longed-for succor, hope that Jane Porter, Clayton, 
and Monsieur Thuran had been rescued began to die. 
No one spoke of the matter longer to Professor 
Porter, and he was so immersed in his scientific dream 
ing that he was not aware of the elapse of time. 

Occasionally he would remark that within a few 
days they should certainly see a steamer drop anchor 
off their shore, and that then they should all be re 
united happily. Sometimes he spoke of it as a train, 
and wondered if it were being delayed by snowstorms. 

"If I didn't know the dear old fellow so well by 
now," Tennington remarked to Miss Strong, "I 
should be quite certain that he was er not quite 
right, don't you know." 

" If it were not so pathetic it would be ridiculous," 
said the girl, sadly. " I, who have known him all my 
life, know how he worships Jane ; but to others it must 
seem that he is perfectly callous to her fate. It is 
only that he is so absolutely impractical that he cannot 
conceive of so real a thing as death unless nearly 
certain proof of it is thrust upon him." 

" You'd never guess what he was about yesterday," 
continued Tennington. " I was coming in alone from 
[333] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



a little hunt when I met him walking rapidly along 
the game trail that I was following back to camp. 
His hands were clasped beneath the tails of his long 
black coat, and his top hat was set firmly down upon 
his head, as with eyes bent upon the ground he 
hastened on, probably to some sudden death had I not 
intercepted him. 

" * Why, where in the world are you bound, pro 
fessor?' I asked him. *I am going into town, Lord 
Tennington,' he said, as seriously as possible, 'to 
complain to the postmaster about the rural free de 
livery service we are suffering from here. Why, sir, I 
haven't had a piece of mail in weeks. There should 
be several letters for me from Jane. The matter must 
be reported to Washington at once.' 

"And would you believe it, Miss Strong," continued 
Tennington, "I had the very deuce of a job to con 
vince the old fellow that there was not only no rural 
free delivery, but no town, and that he was not even 
on the same continent as Washington, nor in the same 
hemisphere. 

" When he did realize he commenced to worry about 
his daughter I think it is the first time that he really 
has appreciated our position here, or the fact that 
Miss Porter may not have been rescued." 

" I hate to think about it," said the girl, " and yet 
I can think of nothing else than the absent members 
of our party." 

"Let us hope for the best," replied Tennington. 
"You yourself have set us each a splendid example 
[334] 



HOW TARZAN CAME AGAIN TO OPAR 

of bravery, for in a way your loss has been the 
greatest." 

" Yes," she replied ; " I could have loved Jane 
Porter no more had she been my own sister." 

Tennington did not show the surprise he felt. That 
was not at all what he meant. He had been much 
with this fair daughter of Maryland since the wreck 
of the Lady Alice, and it had recently come to him 
that he had grown much more fond of her than would 
prove good for the peace of his mind, for he recalled 
almost constantly now the confidence which Mon 
sieur Thuran had imparted to him that he and Miss 
Strong were engaged. He wondered if, after all, 
Thuran had been quite accurate in his statement. He 
had never seen the slightest indication on the girl's 
part of more than ordinary friendship. 

"And then in Monsieur Thuran's loss, if they are 
lost, you would suffer a severe bereavement," he 
ventured. 

She looked up at him quickly. " Monsieur Thuran 
had become a very dear friend," she said. "I liked 
him very much, though I have known him but a short 
time." 

"Then you were not engaged to marry him?" he 
blurted out. 

" Heavens, no ! " she cried. " I did not care for him 
at all in that way." 

There was something that Lord Tennington wanted 
to say to Hazel Strong he wanted very badly to 
say it, and to say it at once ; but somehow the words 
[335] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



stuck in his throat. He started lamely a couple of 
times, cleared his throat, became red in the face, 
and finally ended by remarking that he hoped the 
cabins would be finished before the rainy season 
commenced. 

But, though he did not know it, he had conveyed 
to the girl the very message he intended, and it left 
her happy happier than she had ever before been in 
all her life. 

Just then further conversation was interrupted by 
the sight of a strange and terrible-looking figure 
which emerged from the jungle just south of the 
camp. Tennington and the girl saw it at the same time. 
The Englishman reached for his revolver, but when 
the half-naked, bearded creature called his name aloud 
and came running toward them he dropped his hand 
and advanced to meet it. 

None would have recognized in the filthy, emaciated 
creature, covered by a single garment of small skins, 
the immaculate Monsieur Thuran the party had last 
seen upon the deck of the Lady Alice. 

Before the other members of the little community 
were apprised of his presence Tennington and Miss 
Strong questioned him regarding the other occupants 
of the missing boat. 

" They are all dead," replied Thuran. " The three 
sailors died before we made land. Miss Porter was 
carried off into the jungle by some wild animal while 
I was lying delirious with fever. Clayton died of the 
same fever but a few days since. And to think that 

[336] 



HOW TARZAN CAME AGAIN TO OPAR 

all this time we have been separated by but a few 
miles scarcely a day's march. It is terrible!" 

How long Jane Porter lay in the darkness of the 
vault beneath the temple in the ancient city of Opar 
she did not know. For a time she was delirious with 
fever, but after this passed she commenced slowly to 
regain her strength. Every day the woman who 
brought her food beckoned to her to arise, but for 
many days the girl could only shake her head to 
indicate that she was too weak. 

But eventually she was able to gain her feet, 
and then to stagger a few steps by supporting herself 
with one hand upon the wall. Her captors now 
watched her with increasing interest. The day 
was approaching, and the victim was gaining in 
strength. 

Presently the day came, and a young woman whom 
Jane Porter had not seen before came with several 
others to her dungeon. Here some sort of ceremony 
was performed that it was of a religious nature the 
girl was sure, and so she took new heart, and rejoiced 
that she had fallen among people upon whom the 
refining and softening influences of religion evidently 
had fallen. They would treat her humanely of that 
she was now quite sure. 

And so when they led her from her dungeon, 
through long, dark corridors, and up a flight of 
concrete steps to a brilliant courtyard, she went will 
ingly, even gladly for was she not among the 
[337] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



servants of God? It might be, of course, that their 
interpretation of the supreme being differed from her 
own, but that they owned a god was sufficient evidence 
to her that they were kind and good. 

But when she saw a stone altar in the center of the 
courtyard, and dark-brown stains upon it and the 
nearby concrete of the floor, she began to wonder 
and to doubt. And as they stooped and bound her 
ankles, and secured her wrists behind her, her doubts 
were turned to fear. A moment later, as she was 
lifted and placed supine across the altar's top, hope 
left her entirely, and she trembled in an agony of 
fright. 

During the grotesque dance of the votaries which 
followed, she lay frozen in horror, nor did she require 
the sight of the thin blade in the hands of the high 
priestess as it rose slowly above her to enlighten her 
further as to her doom. 

As the hand began its descent, Jane Porter closed 
her eyes and sent up a silent prayer to the Maker she 
was so soon to face then she succumbed to the strain 
upon her tired nerves, and swooned. 

Day and night Tarzan of the Apes raced through 
the primeval forest toward the ruined city in which 
he was positive the woman he loved lay either a prisoner 
or dead. 

In a day and a night he covered the same distance 
that the fifty frightful men had taken the better part 
of a week to traverse, for Tarzan of the Apes traveled 
[338] 



HOW TARZAN CAME AGAIN TO OPAR 

along the middle terrace high above the tangled ob 
stacles that impede progress upon the ground. 

The story the young bull ape had told made it clear 
to him that the girl captive had been Jane Porter, for 
there was not another small white "she" in all the 
jungle. The "bulls" he had recognized from the 
ape's crude description as the grotesque parodies upon 
humanity who inhabit the ruins of Opar. And the 
girl's fate he could picture as plainly as though he 
were an eyewitness to it. When they would lay her 
across that grim altar he could not guess, but that 
her dear, frail body would eventually find its way there 
he was confident. 

But finally, after what seemed long ages to the 
impatient ape-man, he topped the barrier cliffs that 
hemmed the desolate valley, and below him lay the 
grim and awful ruins of the now hideous city of Opar. 
At a rapid trot he started across the dry and dusty, 
bowlder-strewn ground toward the goal of his desires. 

Would he be in time to rescue? He hoped against 
hope. At least he could be revenged, and in his wrath 
it seemed to him that he was equal to the task of 
wiping out the entire population of that terrible city. 
It was nearly noon when he reached the great bowlder 
at the top of which terminated the secret passage to 
the pits beneath the city. Like a cat he scaled the 
precipitous sides of the frowning granite kopje. A 
moment later he was running through the darkness 
of the long, straight tunnel that led to the treasure 
vault. Through this he passed, then on and on until 
[339] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



at last he came to the well-like shaft upon the opposite 
side of which lay the dungeon with the false wall. 

As he paused a moment upon the brink of the well 
a faint sound came to him through the opening above. 
His quick ears caught and translated it it was the 
dance of death that preceded a sacrifice, and the sing 
song ritual of the high priestess. He could even 
recognize the woman's voice. 

Could it be that the ceremony marked the very 
thing he had so hastened to prevent! A wave of 
horror swept over him. Was he, after all, to be just 
a moment too late? Like a frightened deer he leaped 
across the narrow chasm to the continuation of the 
passage beyond. At the false wall he tore like one 
possessed to demolish the barrier that confronted 
him with giant muscles he forced the opening, 
thrusting his head and shoulders through the first 
small hole he made, and carrying the balance of the 
wall with him, to clatter resoundingly upon the cement 
floor of the dungeon. 

With a single leap he cleared the length of the 
chamber and threw himself against the ancient door. 
But here he stopped. The mighty bars upon the other 
side were proof even against such muscles as his. It 
needed but a moment's effort to convince him of the 
futility of endeavoring to force that impregnable bar 
rier. There was but one other way, and that led 
back through the long tunnels to the bowlder a mile 
beyond the city's walls, and then back across the open 
as he had come to the city first with his Waziri. 
[340] 



HOW TARZAN CAME AGAIN TO OPAR 

He realized that to retrace his steps and enter the 
city from above ground would mean that he would be 
too late to save the girl, if it were indeed she who lay 
upon the sacrificial altar above him. But there seemed 
no other way, and so he turned and ran swiftly back 
into the passageway beyond the broken wall. At the 
well he heard again the monotonous voice of the high 
priestess, and, as he glanced aloft, the opening, twenty 
feet above, seemed so near that he was tempted to leap 
for it in a mad endeavor to reach the inner courtyard 
that lay so near. 

If he could but get one end of his grass rope caught 
upon some projection at the top of that tantalizing 
aperture ! In the instant's pause and thought an idea 
occurred to him. He would attempt it. Turning 
back to the tumbled wall, he seized one of the large, 
flat slabs that had composed it. Hastily making one 
end of his rope fast to the piece of granite, he re 
turned to the shaft, and, coiling the balance of the 
rope on the floor beside him, the ape-man took the 
heavy slab in both hands, and, swinging it several 
times to get the distance and the direction fixed, he let 
the weight fly up at a slight angle, so that, instead 
of falling straight back into the shaft again, it grazed 
the far edge, tumbling over into the court beyond. 

Tarzan dragged for a moment upon the slack end 
of the rope until he felt that the stone was lodged 
with fair security at the shaft's top, then he swung 
out over the black depths beneath. The moment his 
full weight came upon the rope he felt it slip from 
[341] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



above. He waited there in awful suspense as it 
dropped in little jerks, inch by inch. The stone was 
being dragged up the outside of the masonry sur 
rounding the top of the shaft would it catch at the 
very edge, or would his weight drag it over to fall 
upon him as he hurtled into the unknown depths below ? 



[342] 



XXV 

THROUGH THE FOREST PRIMEVAL 

T?OR a brief, sickening moment Tarzan felt the 
*- slipping of the rope to which he clung, and heard 
the scraping of the block of stone against the masonry 
above. 

Then of a sudden the rope was still the stone 
had cauglit at the very edge. Gingerly the ape-man 
clambered up the frail rope. In a moment his head 
was above the edge of the shaft. The court was 
empty. The inhabitants of Opar were viewing the 
sacrifice. Tarzan could hear the voice of La from the 
nearby sacrificial court. The dance had ceased. It 
must be almost time for the knife to fall ; but even as 
he thought these things he was running rapidly 
toward the sound of the high priestess' voice. 

Fate guided him to the very doorway of the great 
roofless chamber. Between him and the altar was the 
long row of priests and priestesses, awaiting with 
[343] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



their golden cups the spilling of the warm blood of 
their victim. 

La's hand was descending slowly toward the bosom 
of the frail, quiet figure that lay stretched upon the 
hard stone. Tarzan gave a gasp that was almost a 
sob as he recognized the features of the girl he loved. 
And then the scar upon his forehead turned to a 
flaming band of scarlet, a red mist floated before his 
eyes, and, with the awful roar of the bull ape gone 
mad, he sprang like a huge lion into the midst of the 
votaries. 

Seizing a cudgel from the nearest priest, he laid 
about him like a veritable demon as he forged his 
rapid way toward the altar. The hand of La had 
paused at the first noise of interruption. When she 
saw who the author of it was she went white. She 
had never been able to fathom the secret of the strange 
white man's escape from the dungeon in which she 
had locked him. She had not intended that he should 
ever leave Opar, for she had looked upon his giant 
frame and handsome face with the eyes of a woman 
and not those of a priestess. 

In her clever mind she had concocted a story of 
wonderful revelation from the lips of the flaming god 
himself, in which she had been ordered to receive this 
white stranger as a messenger from him to his people 
on earth. That would satisfy the people of Opar, she 
knew. The man would be satisfied, she felt quite sure, 
to remain and be her husband rather than to return to 
the sacrificial altar. 



THROUGH THE FOREST PRIMEVAL 

But when she had gone to explain her plan to him 
he had disappeared, though the door had been tightly 
locked as she had left it. And now he had returned 
materialized from thin air and was killing her priests 
as though they had been sheep. For the moment she 
forgot her victim, and before she could gather her 
wits together again the huge white man was standing 
before her, the woman who had lain upon the altar m 
his arms. 

"One side, La," he cried. "You saved me once, 
and so I would not harm you ; but do not interfere or 
attempt to follow, or I shall have to kill you also." 

As he spoke he stepped past her toward the entrance 
to the subterranean vaults. 

"Who is she?" asked the high priestess, pointing 
at the unconscious woman. 

" She is mine," said Tarzan of the Apes. 

For a moment the girl of Opar stood wide-eyed and 
staring. Then a look of hopeless misery suffused 
her eyes tears welled into them, and with a little 
cry she sank to the cold floor, just as a swarm of 
frightful men dashed past her to leap upon the 
ape-man. 

But Tarzan of the Apes was not there when they 
reached out to seize him. With a light bound he 
had disappeared into the passage leading to the pits 
below, and when his pursuers came more cautiously 
after they found the chamber empty, but they laughed 
and jabbered to one another, for they knew that there 
was no exit from the pits other than the one through 
[345] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



which he had entered. If he came out at all he must 
come this way, and they would wait and watch for him 
above. 

And so Tarzan of the Apes, carrying the uncon 
scious Jane Porter, came through the pits of Opar 
beneath the temple of The Flaming God without 
pursuit. But when the men of Opar had talked fur 
ther about the matter, they recalled to mind that this 
very man had escaped once before into the pits, and, 
though they had watched the entrance he had not come 
forth; and yet today he had come upon them from 
the outside. They would again send fifty men out 
into the valley to find and capture this desecrater of 
their temple. 

After Tarzan reached the shaft beyond the broken 
wall, he felt so positive of the successful issue of his 
flight that he stopped to replace the tumbled stones, 
for he was not anxious that any of the inmates should 
discover this forgotten passage, and through it come 
upon the treasure chamber. It was in his mind to 
return again to Opar and bear away a still greater 
fortune than he had already buried in the amphitheater 
of the apes. 

On through the passageways he trotted, past the 
first door and through the treasure vault; past the 
second door and into the long, straight tunnel that 
led to the lofty hidden exit beyond the city. Jane 
Porter was still unconscious. 

At the crest of the great bowlder he halted to cast 
a backward glance toward the city. Coming across 
[346] 



THROUGH THE FOREST PRIMEVAL 

the plain he saw a band of the hideous men of Opar. 
For a moment he hesitated. Should he descend and 
make a race for the distant cliffs, or should he hide 
here until night? And then a glance at the girl's 
white face determined him. He could not keep her 
here and permit her enemies to get between them and 
liberty. For aught he knew they might have been 
followed through the tunnels, and to have foes before 
and behind would result in almost certain capture, 
since he could not fight his way through the enemy 
burdened as he was with the unconscious girl. 

To descend the steep face of the bowlder with Jane 
Porter was no easy task, but by binding her across his 
shoulders with the grass rope he succeeded in reaching 
the ground in safety before the Oparians arrived at 
the great rock. As the descent had been made upon 
the side away from the city, the searching party saw 
nothing of it, nor did they dream that their prey was 
so close before them. 

By keeping the kopje between them and their pur 
suers, Tarzan of the Apes managed to cover nearly 
a mile before the men of Opar rounded the granite 
sentinel and saw the fugitive before them. With loud 
cries of savage delight, they broke into a mad run, 
thinking doubtless that they would soon overhaul the 
burdened runner; but they both underestimated the 
powers of the ape-man and overestimated the possi 
bilities of their own short, crooked legs. 

By maintaining an easy trot, Tarzan kept the dis 
tance between them always the same. Occasionally he 
[347] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



would glance at the face so near his own. Had it 
not been for the faint beating of the heart pressed so 
close against his own, he would not have known that 
she was alive, so white and drawn was the poor, tired 
face. 

And thus they came to the flat-topped mountain 
and the barrier cliffs. During the last mile Tarzan 
had let himself out, running like a deer that he might 
have ample time to descend the face of the cliffs be 
fore the Oparians could reach the summit and hurl 
rocks down upon them. And so it was that he was 
half a mile down the mountainside ere the fierce little 
men came panting to the edge. 

With cries of rage and disappointment they ranged 
along the cliff top shaking their cudgels, and dancing 
up and down in a perfect passion of anger. But this 
time they did not pursue beyond the boundary of 
their own country. Whether it was because they re 
called the futility of their former long and irksome 
search, or after witnessing the ease with which the 
ape-man swung along before them, and the last burst 
of speed, they realized the utter hopelessness of fur 
ther pursuit, it is difficult to say; but as Tarzan 
reached the woods that began at the base of the foot 
hills which skirted the barrier cliffs they turned their 
faces once more toward Opar. 

Just within the forest's edge, where he could yet 

watch the cliff tops, Tarzan laid his burden upon the 

grass, and going to the near-by rivulet brought water 

with which he bathed her face and hands; but even 

[348] 



THROUGH THE FOREST PRIMEVAL 

this did not revive her, and, greatly worried, he gath 
ered the girl into his strong arms once more and hur 
ried on toward the west. 

Late in the afternoon Jane Porter regained con 
sciousness. She did not open her eyes at once she 
was trying to recall the scenes that she had last wit 
nessed. Ah, she remembered now. The altar, the 
terrible priestess, the descending knife. She gave 
a little shudder, for she thought that either this was 
death or that the knife had buried itself in her heart 
and she was experiencing the brief delirium preceding 
death. 

And when finally she mustered courage to open her 
eyes, the sight that met them confirmed her fears, for 
she saw that she was being borne through a leafy para 
dise in the arms of her dead love. " If this be death," 
she murmured, " thank God that I am dead." 

" You spoke, Jane ! " cried Tarzan. " You are re 
gaining consciousness ! " 

"Yes, Tarzan of the Apes," she replied, and for 
the first time in months a smile of peace and happiness 
lighted her face. 

"Thank God!" cried the ape-man, coming to the 
ground in a little grassy clearing beside the stream. 
" I was in time, after all." 

" In time ? What do you mean ? " she questioned. 

"In time to save you from death upon the altar, 
dear," he replied. "Do you not remember?" 

"Save me from death!" she asked, in a puzzled 
tone. " Are we not both dead, my Tarzan ? " 
[349] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



He had placed her upon the grass by now, her back 
resting against the stem of a huge tree. At her ques 
tion he stepped back where he could the better see her 
face. 

" Dead ! " he repeated, and then he laughed. " You 
are not, Jane; and if you will return to the city of 
Opar and ask them who dwell there they will tell you 
that I was not dead a few short hours ago. No, dear, 
we are both very much alive." 

"But both Hazel and Monsieur Thuran told me 
that you had fallen into the ocean many miles 
from land," she urged, as though trying to convince 
him that he must indeed be dead. "They said that 
there was no question but that it must have been you, 
and less that you could have survived or been picked 
up." 

"How can I convince you that I am no spirit?" 
he asked, with a laugh. " It was I whom the delight 
ful Monsieur Thuran pushed overboard, but I did not 
drown I will tell you all about it after a while 
and here I am very much the same wild man you first 
knew, Jane Porter." 

The girl rose slowly to her feet and caine toward 
him. 

" I cannot even yet believe it," she murmured. " It 
cannot be that such happiness can be true after all 
the hideous things that I have passed through these 
awful months since the Lady Alice went down." 

She came close to him and laid a hand, soft and 
trembling, upon his arm. 

[350] 



THROUGH THE FOREST PRIMEVAL 

"It must be that I am dreaming, and that I shall 
awaken in a moment to see that awful knife descending 
toward my heart kiss me, dear, just once before I 
lose my dream forever." 

Tarzan of the Apes needed no second invitation. 
He took the girl he loved in his strong arms, and kissed 
her not once, but a hundred times, until she lay there 
panting for breath ; yet when he stopped she put her 
arms about his neck and drew his lips down to hers 
once more. 

" Am I alive and a reality, or am I but a dream ? " 
he asked. 

"If you are not alive, my man," she answered, "I 
pray that I may die thus before I awaken to the ter 
rible realities of my last waking moments." 

For a while both were silent gazing into each 
others' eyes as though each still questioned the reality 
of the wonderful happiness that had come to them. 
The past, with all its hideous disappointments and 
horrors, was forgotten the future did not belong to 
them ; but the present ah, it was theirs ; none could 
take it from them. It was the girl who first broke the 
sweet silence. 

"Where are we going, dear?" she asked. "What 
are we going to do?" 

" Where would you like best to go ? " he asked. 
" What would you like best to do ? " 

"To go where you go, my man; to do whatever 
seems best to you," she answered. 

" But Clayton ? " he asked. For a moment he had 
[351] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



forgotten that there existed upon the earth other than 
they two. "We have forgotten your husband." 

" I am not married, Tarzan of the Apes," she cried. 
"Nor am I longer promised in marriage. The day 
before those awful creatures captured me I spoke to 
Mr. Clayton of my love for you, and he understood 
then that I could not keep the wicked promise that I 
had made. It was after we had been miraculously 
saved from an attacking lion." She paused suddenly 
and looked up at him, a questioning light in her eyes. 
" Tarzan of the Apes," she cried, " it was you who did 
that thing? It could have been no other." 

He dropped his eyes, for he was ashamed. 

"How could you have gone away and left me?" 
she cried reproachfully. 

" Don't, Jane ! " he pleaded. " Please don't ! You 
cannot know how I have suffered since for the cruelty 
of that act, or how I suffered then, first in jealous 
rage, and then in bitter resentment against the fate 
that I had not deserved. I went back to the apes after 
that, Jane, intending never again to see a human be 
ing." He told her then of his life since he had re 
turned to the jungle of how he had dropped like a 
plummet from a civilized Parisian to a savage Waziri 
warrior, and from there back to the brute that he had 
been raised. 

She asked him many questions, and at last fearfully 
of the things that Monsieur Thuran had told her of 
the woman in Paris. He narrated ever} 7 detail of his 
civilized life to her, omitting nothing, for he felt no 

[352] 



THROUGH THE FOREST PRIMEVAL 

shame, since his heart always had been true to her. 
When he had finished he sat looking at her, as though 
waiting for her judgment, and his sentence. 

"I knew that he was not speaking the truth," she 
said. " Oh, what a horrible creature he is ! " 

" You are not angry with me, then ? " he asked. 

And her reply, though apparently most irrelevant, 
was truly feminine. 

"Is Olga de Coude very beautiful?" she asked. 

And Tarzan laughed and kissed her again. " Not 
one-tenth so beautiful as you, dear," he said. 

She gave a contented little sigh, and let her head 
rest against his shoulder. He knew that he was for 
given. 

That night Tarzan built a snug little bower high 
among the swaying branches of a giant tree, and there 
the tired girl slept, while in a crotch beneath her the 
ape-man curled, ready, even in sleep, to protect her. 

It took them many days to make the long journey 
to the coast. Where the way was easy they walked 
hand in hand beneath the arching bows of the mighty 
forest, as might in a far-gone past have walked their 
primeval forbears. When the underbrush was tangled 
he took her in his great arms, and bore her lightly 
through the trees, and the days were all too short, for 
they were very happy. Had it not been for their 
anxiety to reach and succor Clayton they would have 
drawn out the sweet pleasure of that wonderful jour 
ney indefinitely. 

On the last day before they reached the coast Tar- 
[353] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



zan caught the scent of men ahead of them the scent 
of black men. He told the girl, and cautioned her to 
maintain silence. "There are few friends in the 
jungle," he remarked dryly. 

In half an hour they came stealthily upon a small 
party of black warriors filing toward the west. As 
Tarzan saw them he gave a cry of delight it was a 
band of his own Waziri. Busuli was there, and others 
who had accompanied him to Opar. At sight of him 
they danced and cried out in exuberant joy. For 
weeks they had been searching for him, they told him. 

The blacks exhibited considerable wonderment at 
the presence of the white girl with him, and when they 
found that she was to be his woman they vied with one 
another to do her honor. With the happy Waziri 
laughing and dancing about them they came to the 
rude shelter by the shore. 

There was no sign of life, and no response to their 
calls. Tarzan clambered quickly to the interior of 
the little tree hut, only to emerge a moment later with 
an empty tin. Throwing it down to Busuli, he told 
him to fetch water, and then he beckoned Jane Porter 
to come up. 

Together they leaned over the emaciated thing that 
once had been an English nobleman. Tears came to 
the girl's eyes as she saw the poor, sunken cheeks and 
hollow eyes, and the lines of suffering upon the once 
young and handsome face. 

" He still lives," said Tarzan. " We will do all that 
can be done for him, but I fear that we are too late." 
[354] 



THROUGH THE FOREST PRIMEVAL 

When Busuli had brought the water Tarzan forced 
a few drops between the cracked and swollen lips. He 
wetted the hot forehead and bathed the pitiful limbs. 

Presently Clayton opened his eyes. A faint, shad 
owy smile lighted his countenance as he saw the girl 
leaning over him. At sight of Tarzan the expression 
changed to one of wonderment. 

"It's all right, old fellow," said the ape-man. 
" We've found you in time. Everything will be all 
right now, and we'll have you on your feet again be 
fore you know it." 

The Englishman shook his head weakly. " It's too 
late," he whispered. " But it's just as well. I'd rather 
die." 

" Where is Monsieur Thuran ? " asked the girl. 

" He left me after the fever got bad. He is a devil. 
When I begged for the water that I was too weak to 
get he drank before me, threw the rest out, and laughed 
in my face." At the thought of it the man was sud 
denly animated by a spark of vitality. He raised 
himself upon one elbow. "Yes," he almost shouted; 
" I will live. I will live long enough to find and kill 
that beast!" But the brief effort left him weaker 
than before, and he sank back again upon the rotting 
grasses that, with his old ulster, had been the bed of 
Jane Porter. 

"Don't worry about Thuran," said Tarzan of the 
Apes, laying a reassuring hand on Clayton's forehead. 
"He belongs to me, and I shall get him in the end, 
never fear." 

[355] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



For a long time Clayton lay very still. Several 
times Tarzan had to put his ear quite close to the 
sunken chest to catch the faint beating of the worn- 
out heart. Toward evening he aroused again for a 
brief moment. 

"Jane," he whispered. The girl bent her head 
closer to catch the faint message. " I have wronged 
you and him," he nodded weakly toward the ape- 
man. " I loved you so it is a poor excuse to offer 
for injuring you; but I could not bear to think of 
giving you up. I do not ask your forgiveness. I 
only wish to do now the thing I should have done over 
a year ago." He fumbled in the pocket of the ulster 
beneath him for something that he had discovered 
there while he lay between the paroxysms of fever. 
Presently he found it a crumpled bit of yellow 
paper. He handed it to the girl, and as she took it 
his arm fell limply across his chest, his head dropped 
back, and with a little gasp he stiffened and was still. 
Then Tarzan of the Apes drew a fold of the ulster 
across the upturned face. 

For a moment they remained kneeling there, the 
girl's lips moving in silent prayer, and as they rose 
and stood on either side of the now peaceful form, 
tears came to the ape-man's eyes, for through the 
anguish that his own heart had suffered he had 
learned compassion for the suffering of others. 

Through her own tears the girl read the message 
upon the bit of faded yellow paper, and as she read 
her eyes went very wide. Twice she read those start- 
[356] 



THROUGH THE FOREST PRIMEVAL 

ling words before she could fully comprehend their 
meaning. 

Finger prints prove you Greystoke. Congratulations. 

D'ARNOT. 

She handed the paper to Tarzan. "And he has 
known it all this time," she said, "and did not tell 
you?" 

"I knew it first, Jane," replied the man. "I did 
not know that he knew it at all. I must have dropped 
this message that night in the waiting room. It was 
there that I received it." 

"And afterward you told us that your mother was 
a she-ape, and that you had never known your 
father?" she asked incredulously. 

"The title and the estates meant nothing to me 
without you, dear," he replied. " And if I had taken 
them away from him I should have been robbing the 
woman I love don't you understand, Jane?" It 
was as though he attempted to excuse a fault. 

She extended her arms toward him across the body 
of the dead man, and took his hands in hers. 

" And I would have thrown away a love like that ! " 
she said. 



[857] 




XXVI 

THE PASSING OF THE APE-MAN 

next morning they set out upon the short 
journey to Tarzan's cabin. Four Waziri bore the 
body of the dead Englishman. It had been the ape- 
man's suggestion that Clayton be buried beside the for 
mer Lord Greystoke near the edge of the jungle 
against the cabin that the older man had built. 

Jane Porter was glad that it was to be so, and in 
her heart of hearts she wondered at the marvelous 
fineness of character of this wondrous man, who, 
though raised by brutes and among brutes, had the 
true chivalry and tenderness which one only associates 
with the refinements of the highest civilization. 

They had proceeded some three miles of the five that 
had separated them from Tarzan's own beach when 
the Waziri who were ahead stopped suddenly, point 
ing in amazement at a strange figure approaching 
them along the beach. It was a man with a shiny silk 
hat, who walked slowly with bent head, and hands 
[358] 



THE PASSING OF THE APE-MAN 

clasped behind him underneath the tails of his long, 
black coat. 

At sight of him Jane Porter uttered a little cry of 
surprise and joy, and ran quickly ahead to meet him. 
At the sound of her voice the old man looked up, and 
when he saw who it was confronting him he, too, cried 
out in relief and happiness. As Professor Archimedes 
Q. Porter folded his daughter in his arms tears 
streamed down his seamed old face, and it was several 
minutes before he could control himself sufficiently to 
speak. 

When a moment later he recognized Tarzan it was 
with difficulty that they could convince him that his 
sorrow had not unbalanced his mind, for with the other 
members of the party he had been so thoroughly con 
vinced that the ape-man was dead it was a problem to 
reconcile the conviction with the very lifelike appear 
ance of Jane's "forest god." The old man was 
deeply touched at the news of Clayton's death. 

"I cannot understand it," he said. "Monsieur 
Thuran assured us that Clayton passed away many 
days ago." 

"Thuran is with you?" asked Tarzan. 

" Yes ; he but recently found us and led us to your 
cabin. We were camped but a short distance north of 
it. Bless me, but he will be delighted to see you 
both." 

" And surprised," commented Tarzan. 

A short time later the strange party came to the 
clearing in which stood the ape-man's cabin. It was 
[359] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



filled with people coming and going, and almost the 
first whom Tarzan saw was D'Arnot. 

"Paul!" he cried. "In the name of sanity what 
are you doing here? Or are we all insane? " 

It was quickly explained, however, as were many 
other seemingly strange things. D'Arnot's ship had 
been cruising along the coast, on patrol duty, when at 
the lieutenant's suggestion they had anchored off the 
little landlocked harbor to have another look at the 
cabin and the jungle in which many of the officers 
and men had taken part in exciting adventures two 
years before. On landing they had found Lord Ten- 
nington's party, and arrangements were being made 
to take them all on board the following morning, and 
carry them back to civilization. 

Hazel Strong and her mother, Esmeralda, and Mr. 
Samuel T. Philander were almost overcome by happi 
ness at Jane Porter's safe return. Her escape seemed 
to them little short of miraculous, and it was the con 
sensus of opinion that it could have been achieved by 
no other man than Tarzan of the Apes. They loaded 
the uncomfortable ape-man with eulogies and atten 
tions until he wished himself back in the amphitheater 
of the apes. 

All were interested in his savage Waziri, and many 
were the gifts the black men received from these 
friends of their king, but when they learned that he 
might sail away from them upon the great canoe that 
lay at anchor a mile off shore they became very sad. 

As yet the newcomers had seen nothing of Lord 
[360] 



THE PASSING OF THE APE-MAN 

Tennington and Monsieur Thuran. They had gone 
out for fresh meat early in the day, and had not yet 
returned. 

"How surprised this man, whose name you say is 
Rokoff, will be to see you," said Jane Porter to Tar- 
zan. 

" His surprise will be short-lived," replied the ape- 
man grimly, and there was that in his tone that made 
her look up into his face in alarm. What she read 
there evidently confirmed her fears, for she put her 
hand upon his arm, and pleaded with him to leave the 
Russian to the laws of France. 

"In the heart of the jungle, dear," she said, "with 
no other form of right or justice to appeal to other 
than your own mighty muscles, you would be war 
ranted in executing upon this man the sentence he de 
serves ; but with the strong arm of a civilized govern 
ment at your disposal it would be murder to kill him 
now. Even your friends would have to submit to 
your arrest, or if you resisted it you would plunge 
us all into misery and unhappiness again. I cannot 
bear to lose you again, my Tarzan. Promise me that 
you will but turn him over to Captain Duf ranne, and 
let the law take its course the beast is not worth 
risking our happiness for." 

He saw the wisdom of her appeal, and promised. A 
half hour later Rokoff and Tennington emerged from 
the jungle. They were walking side by side. Ten- 
nington was the first to note the presence of strangers 
in the camp. He saw the black warriors palavering 
[361] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



with the sailors from the cruiser, and then he saw a 
lithe, brown giant talking with Lieutenant D'Arnot 
and Captain Dufranne. 

"Who is that, I wonder," said Tennington to Ro- 
koff , and as the Russian raised his eyes and met those 
of the ape-man full upon him, he staggered and went 
white. 

"Sapristi!" he cried, and before Tennington 
realized what he intended he had thrown his gun to 
his shoulder, and aiming point-blank at Tarzan pulled 
the trigger. But the Englishman was close to him 
so close that his hand reached the leveled barrel a frac 
tion of a second before the hammer fell upon the cart 
ridge, and the bullet that was intended for Tarzan's 
heart whirred harmlessly above his head. 

Before the Russian could fire again the ape-man 
was upon him and had wrested the firearm from his 
grasp. Captain Dufranne, Lieutenant D'Arnot, and a 
dozen sailors had rushed up at the sound of the shot, 
and now Tarzan turned the Russian over to them with 
out a word. He had explained the matter to the 
French commander before Rokoff arrived, and the of 
ficer gave immediate orders to place the Russian in 
irons and confine him on board the cruiser. 

Just before the guard escorted the prisoner into the 
small boat that was to transport him to his temporary 
prison Tarzan asked permission to search him, and to 
his delight found the stolen papers concealed upon 
his person. 

The shot had brought Jane Porter and the others 
[362] 



THE PASSING OF THE APE-MAN 

from the cabin, and a moment after the excitement 
had died down she greeted the surprised Lord Ten- 
nington. Tarzan joined them after he had taken the 
papers from Rokoff, and, as he approached, Jane 
Porter introduced him to Tennington. 

"John Clayton, Lord Greystoke, my lord," she 
said. 

The Englishman looked his astonishment in spite of 
his most herculean efforts to appear courteous, and it 
required many repetitions of the strange story of the 
ape-man as told by himself, Jane Porter, and Lieuten 
ant D'Arnot to convince Lord Tennington that they 
were not all quite mad. 

At sunset they buried William Cecil Clayton beside 
the jungle graves of his uncle and his aunt, the former 
Lord and Lady Greystoke. And it was at Tarzan's 
request that three volleys were fired over the last rest 
ing place of " a brave man, who met his death bravely." 

Professor Porter, who in his younger days had been 
ordained a minister, conducted the simple services for 
the dead. About the grave, with bowed heads, stood 
as strange a company of mourners as the sun ever 
looked down upon. There were French officers and 
sailors, two English lords, Americans, and a score of 
savage African braves. 

Following the funeral Tarzan asked Captain Du- 
franne to delay the sailing of the cruiser a couple of 
days while he went inland a few miles to fetch his " be 
longings," and the officer gladly granted the favor. 

Late the next afternoon Tarzan and his Waziri re- 
[363] 



THE RETURN OF TARZAN 



turned with the first load of " belongings," and when 
the party saw the ancient ingots of virgin gold they 
swarmed upon the ape-man with a thousand ques 
tions ; but he was smilingly obdurate to their appeals 
he declined to give them the slightest clew as to the 
source of his immense treasure. " There are a thou 
sand that I left behind," he explained, "for every 
one that I brought away, and when these are spent 
I may wish to return for more." 

The next day he returned to camp with the balance 
of his ingots, and when they were stored on board the 
cruiser Captain Dufranne said he felt like the com 
mander of an old-time Spanish galleon returning from 
the treasure cities of the Aztecs. " I don't know what 
minute my crew will cut my throat, and take over the 
ship," he added. 

The next morning, as they were preparing to em 
bark upon the cruiser, Tarzan ventured a suggestion 
to Jane Porter. 

"Wild beasts are supposed to be devoid of senti 
ment," he said, "but nevertheless I should like to be 
married in the cabin where I was born, beside the 
graves of my mother and my father, and surrounded 
by the savage jungle that always has been my home." 

"Would it be quite regular, dear?" she asked. 
" For if it would I know of no other place in which I 
should rather be married to my forest god than be 
neath the shade of his primeval forest." 

And when they spoke of it to the others they were 
assured that it would be quite regular, and a most 
[364] 



THE PASSING OF THE APE-MAN 

splendid termination of a remarkable romance. So 
the entire party assembled within the little cabin and 
about the door to witness the second ceremony that 
Professor Porter was to solemnize within three days. 

D'Arnot was to be best man, and Hazel Strong 
bridesmaid, until Tennington upset all the arrange 
ments by another of his marvelous " ideas." 

" If Mrs. Strong is agreeable," he said, taking the 
bridesmaid's hand in his, " Hazel and I think it would 
be ripping to make it a double wedding." 

The next day they sailed, and as the cruiser steamed 
slowly out to sea a tall man, immaculate in white 
flannel, and a graceful girl leaned against her rail ta 
watch the receding shore line upon which danced 
twenty naked, black warriors of the Waziri, waving 
their war spears above their savage heads, and shout 
ing farewells to their departing king. 

" I should hate to think that I am looking upon the 
jungle for the last time, dear," he said, " were it not 
that I know that I am going to a new world of happi 
ness with you forever," and, bending down, Tarzan of 
the Apes kissed his mate upon her lips. 

THE END. 



[365] 



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