Versione ebook di Readme.it powered by Softwarehouse.it
The Beasts of Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burroughs
To Joan Burroughs
1 Kidnapped . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
2 Marooned . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
3 Beasts at Bay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
4 Sheeta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
5 Mugambi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
6 A Hideous Crew . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
7 Betrayed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
8 The Dance of Death . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
9 Chivalry or Villainy . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
10 The Swede . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
11 Tambudza . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
12 A Black Scoundrel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
13 Escape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107
14 Alone in the Jungle . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
15 Down the Ugambi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123
16 In the Darkness of the Night . . . . . . . . 132
17 On the Deck of the "Kincaid" . . . . . . . . 140
18 Paulvitch Plots Revenge . . . . . . . . . . . 147
19 The Last of the "Kincaid" . . . . . . . . . . 158
20 Jungle Island Again . . . . . . . . . . . . . 162
21 The Law of the Jungle . . . . . . . . . . . . 172
The entire affair is shrouded in mystery,said D'Arnot.
I have it on the best of authority that neither the police
nor the special agents of the general staff have the faintest
conception of how it was accomplished. All they know,
all that anyone knows, is that Nikolas Rokoff has escaped.
John ClaytonLord Greystoke--he who had been "Tarzan of the Apes"--
sat in silence in the apartments of his friendLieutenant Paul D'Arnot
in Parisgazing meditatively at the toe of his immaculate boot.
His mind revolved many memoriesrecalled by the escape of
his arch-enemy from the French military prison to which he
had been sentenced for life upon the testimony of the ape-man.
He thought of the lengths to which Rokoff had once gone
to compass his deathand he realized that what the man had
already done would doubtless be as nothing by comparison with
what he would wish and plot to do now that he was again free.
Tarzan had recently brought his wife and infant son to London
to escape the discomforts and dangers of the rainy season upon
their vast estate in Uziri--the land of the savage Waziri warriors
whose broad African domains the ape-man had once ruled.
He had run across the Channel for a brief visit with his old friend
but the news of the Russian's escape had already cast a shadow
upon his outingso that though he had but just arrived he was
already contemplating an immediate return to London.
It is not that I fear for myself, Paul,he said at last.
Many times in the past have I thwarted Rokoff's designs
upon my life; but now there are others to consider.
Unless I misjudge the man, he would more quickly strike
at me through my wife or son than directly at me, for he
doubtless realizes that in no other way could he inflict
greater anguish upon me. I must go back to them at once,
and remain with them until Rokoff is recaptured--or dead.
As these two talked in Paristwo other men were talking
together in a little cottage upon the outskirts of London.
Both were darksinister-looking men.
One was beardedbut the otherwhose face wore the pallor
of long confinement within doorshad but a few days' growth
of black beard upon his face. It was he who was speaking.
You must needs shave off that beard of yours, Alexis,
he said to his companion. "With it he would recognize you
on the instant. We must separate here in the hourand when
we meet again upon the deck of the Kincaidlet us hope that
we shall have with us two honoured guests who little anticipate
the pleasant voyage we have planned for them.
In two hours I should be upon my way to Dover with one of them,
and by tomorrow night, if you follow my instructions carefully,
you should arrive with the other, provided, of course,
that he returns to London as quickly as I presume he will.
There should be both profit and pleasure as well as other
good things to reward our effortsmy dear Alexis. Thanks to
the stupidity of the Frenchthey have gone to such lengths
to conceal the fact of my escape for these many days that I
have had ample opportunity to work out every detail of our
little adventure so carefully that there is little chance
of the slightest hitch occurring to mar our prospects.
And now good-byeand good luck!"
Three hours later a messenger mounted the steps to the
apartment of Lieutenant D'Arnot.
A telegram for Lord Greystoke,he said to the servant
who answered his summons. "Is he here?"
The man answered in the affirmativeandsigning for
the messagecarried it within to Tarzanwho was already
preparing to depart for London.
Tarzan tore open the envelopeand as he read his face went white.
Read it, Paul,he saidhanding the slip of paper to D'Arnot.
It has come already.
The Frenchman took the telegram and read:
Jack stolen from the garden through complicity of new servant.
Come at once.--JANE.
As Tarzan leaped from the roadster that had met him at the
station and ran up the steps to his London town house he
was met at the door by a dry-eyed but almost frantic woman.
Quickly Jane Porter Clayton narrated all that she had been
able to learn of the theft of the boy.
The baby's nurse had been wheeling him in the sunshine
on the walk before the house when a closed taxicab drew up
at the corner of the street. The woman had paid but passing
attention to the vehiclemerely noting that it discharged no
passengerbut stood at the kerb with the motor running as though
waiting for a fare from the residence before which it had stopped.
Almost immediately the new housemanCarlhad come
running from the Greystoke housesaying that the girl's
mistress wished to speak with her for a momentand that she
was to leave little Jack in his care until she returned.
The woman said that she entertained not the slightest suspicion
of the man's motives until she had reached the doorway of the house
when it occurred to her to warn him not to turn the carriage so as
to permit the sun to shine in the baby's eyes.
As she turned about to call this to him she was somewhat
surprised to see that he was wheeling the carriage rapidly
toward the cornerand at the same time she saw the door of
the taxicab open and a swarthy face framed for a moment in
Intuitivelythe danger to the child flashed upon herand
with a shriek she dashed down the steps and up the walk
toward the taxicabinto which Carl was now handing the
baby to the swarthy one within.
Just before she reached the vehicleCarl leaped in beside
his confederateslamming the door behind him. At the same
time the chauffeur attempted to start his machinebut it was
evident that something had gone wrongas though the gears
refused to meshand the delay caused by thiswhile he
pushed the lever into reverse and backed the car a few inches
before again attempting to go aheadgave the nurse time to
reach the side of the taxicab.
Leaping to the running-boardshe had attempted to snatch
the baby from the arms of the strangerand herescreaming
and fightingshe had clung to her position even after the
taxicab had got under way; nor was it until the machine had
passed the Greystoke residence at good speed that Carlwith
a heavy blow to her facehad succeeded in knocking her to
Her screams had attracted servants and members of the
families from residences near byas well as from the
Greystoke home. Lady Greystoke had witnessed the girl's brave
battleand had herself tried to reach the rapidly passing
vehiclebut had been too late.
That was all that anyone knewnor did Lady Greystoke
dream of the possible identity of the man at the bottom of
the plot until her husband told her of the escape of Nikolas
Rokoff from the French prison where they had hoped he was
As Tarzan and his wife stood planning the wisest course to pursue
the telephone bell rang in the library at their right. Tarzan quickly
answered the call in person.
Lord Greystoke?asked a man's voice at the other end of the line.
Your son has been stolen,continued the voiceand I alone
may help you to recover him. I am conversant with the plot
of those who took him. In fact, I was a party to it, and was
to share in the reward, but now they are trying to ditch me,
and to be quits with them I will aid you to recover him
on condition that you will not prosecute me for my part in
the crime. What do you say?
If you lead me to where my son is hidden,replied the
ape-manyou need fear nothing from me.
Good,replied the other. "But you must come alone to meet me
for it is enough that I must trust you. I cannot take the
chance of permitting others to learn my identity."
Where and when may I meet you?asked Tarzan.
The other gave the name and location of a public-house
on the water-front at Dover--a place frequented by sailors.
Come,he concludedabout ten o'clock tonight. It would
do no good to arrive earlier. Your son will be safe enough
in the meantime, and I can then lead you secretly to where
he is hidden. But be sure to come alone, and under no
circumstances notify Scotland Yard, for I know you well and
shall be watching for you.
Should any other accompany youor should I see suspicious
characters who might be agents of the policeI shall not meet you
and your last chance of recovering your son will be gone."
Without more words the man rang off.
Tarzan repeated the gist of the conversation to his wife.
She begged to be allowed to accompany himbut he insisted
that it might result in the man's carrying out his threat of
refusing to aid them if Tarzan did not come aloneand so
they partedhe to hasten to Doverand sheostensibly to wait
at home until he should notify her of the outcome of his mission.
Little did either dream of what both were destined to pass
through before they should meet againor the far-distant-but
For ten minutes after the ape-man had left her Jane Clayton walked
restlessly back and forth across the silken rugs of the library.
Her mother heart achedbereft of its firstborn. Her mind was
in an anguish of hopes and fears.
Though her judgment told her that all would be well were
her Tarzan to go alone in accordance with the mysterious
stranger's summonsher intuition would not permit her to
lay aside suspicion of the gravest dangers to both her husband
and her son.
The more she thought of the matterthe more convinced
she became that the recent telephone message might be but
a ruse to keep them inactive until the boy was safely hidden
away or spirited out of England. Or it might be that it had
been simply a bait to lure Tarzan into the hands of the
With the lodgment of this thought she stopped in wideeyed
terror. Instantly it became a conviction. She glanced at
the great clock ticking the minutes in the corner of the library.
It was too late to catch the Dover train that Tarzan was to take.
There was anotherlaterhoweverthat would bring her to
the Channel port in time to reach the address the stranger
had given her husband before the appointed hour.
Summoning her maid and chauffeurshe issued instructions rapidly.
Ten minutes later she was being whisked through the crowded
streets toward the railway station.
It was nine-forty-five that night that Tarzan entered the
squalid "pub" on the water-front in Dover. As he passed
into the evil-smelling room a muffled figure brushed past him
toward the street.
Come, my lord!whispered the stranger.
The ape-man wheeled about and followed the other into the
ill-lit alleywhich custom had dignified with the title
of thoroughfare. Once outsidethe fellow led the way into the
darknessnearer a wharfwhere high-piled balesboxesand
casks cast dense shadows. Here he halted.
Where is the boy?asked Greystoke.
On that small steamer whose lights you can just see yonder,
replied the other.
In the gloom Tarzan was trying to peer into the features of
his companionbut he did not recognize the man as one
whom he had ever before seen. Had he guessed that his guide
was Alexis Paulvitch he would have realized that naught but
treachery lay in the man's heartand that danger lurked in
the path of every move.
He is unguarded now,continued the Russian. "Those who
took him feel perfectly safe from detectionand with
the exception of a couple of members of the crewwhom I
have furnished with enough gin to silence them effectually
for hoursthere is none aboard the Kincaid. We can go
aboardget the childand return without the slightest fear."
Let's be about it, then,he said.
His guide led him to a small boat moored alongside the wharf.
The two men enteredand Paulvitch pulled rapidly toward
the steamer. The black smoke issuing from her funnel did
not at the time make any suggestion to Tarzan's mind. All his
thoughts were occupied with the hope that in a few moments
he would again have his little son in his arms.
At the steamer's side they found a monkey-ladder dangling
close above themand up this the two men crept stealthily.
Once on deck they hastened aft to where the Russian pointed
to a hatch.
The boy is hidden there,he said. "You had better go
down after himas there is less chance that he will cry in
fright than should he find himself in the arms of a stranger.
I will stand on guard here."
So anxious was Tarzan to rescue the child that he gave not
the slightest thought to the strangeness of all the conditions
surrounding the Kincaid. That her deck was desertedthough
she had steam upand from the volume of smoke pouring
from her funnel was all ready to get under way made no
impression upon him.
With the thought that in another instant he would fold that
precious little bundle of humanity in his armsthe ape-man
swung down into the darkness below. Scarcely had he released
his hold upon the edge of the hatch than the heavy
covering fell clattering above him.
Instantly he knew that he was the victim of a plotand that
far from rescuing his son he had himself fallen into the hands
of his enemies. Though he immediately endeavoured to reach
the hatch and lift the coverhe was unable to do so.
Striking a matchhe explored his surroundingsfinding
that a little compartment had been partitioned off from the
main holdwith the hatch above his head the only means of
ingress or egress. It was evident that the room had been
prepared for the very purpose of serving as a cell for himself.
There was nothing in the compartmentand no other occupant.
If the child was on board the Kincaid he was confined elsewhere.
For over twenty yearsfrom infancy to manhoodthe ape-man
had roamed his savage jungle haunts without human companionship
of any nature. He had learned at the most impressionable period
of his life to take his pleasures and his sorrows as the beasts
So it was that he neither raved nor stormed against fate
but instead waited patiently for what might next befall him
though not by any means without an eye to doing the utmost to
succour himself. To this end he examined his prison carefully
tested the heavy planking that formed its wallsand measured
the distance of the hatch above him.
And while he was thus occupied there came suddenly to him
the vibration of machinery and the throbbing of the propeller.
The ship was moving! Where to and to what fate was it carrying him?
And even as these thoughts passed through his mind there
came to his ears above the din of the engines that which
caused him to go cold with apprehension.
Clear and shrill from the deck above him rang the scream
of a frightened woman.
As Tarzan and his guide had disappeared into the shadows
upon the dark wharf the figure of a heavily veiled woman
had hurried down the narrow alley to the entrance of the
drinking-place the two men had just quitted.
Here she paused and looked aboutand then as though
satisfied that she had at last reached the place she sought
she pushed bravely into the interior of the vile den.
A score of half-drunken sailors and wharf-rats looked up at
the unaccustomed sight of a richly gowned woman in their midst.
Rapidly she approached the slovenly barmaid who stared half
in envyhalf in hateat her more fortunate sister.
Have you seen a tall, well-dressed man here, but a minute
since,she askedwho met another and went away with him?
The girl answered in the affirmativebut could not tell
which way the two had gone. A sailor who had approached
to listen to the conversation vouchsafed the information that
a moment before as he had been about to enter the "pub"
he had seen two men leaving it who walked toward the wharf.
Show me the direction they went,cried the woman
slipping a coin into the man's hand.
The fellow led her from the placeand together they walked
quickly toward the wharf and along it until across the water
they saw a small boat just pulling into the shadows of a
There they be,whispered the man.
Ten pounds if you will find a boat and row me to that steamer,
cried the woman.
Quick, then,he repliedfor we gotta go it if we're goin'
to catch the Kincaid afore she sails. She's had steam up
for three hours an' jest been a-waitin' fer that one passenger.
I was a-talkin' to one of her crew 'arf an hour ago.
As he spoke he led the way to the end of the wharf where
he knew another boat lay mooredandlowering the woman
into ithe jumped in after and pushed off. The two were
soon scudding over the water.
At the steamer's side the man demanded his pay and
without waiting to count out the exact amountthe woman
thrust a handful of bank-notes into his outstretched hand.
A single glance at them convinced the fellow that he had been
more than well paid. Then he assisted her up the ladder
holding his skiff close to the ship's side against the chance
that this profitable passenger might wish to be taken ashore later.
But presently the sound of the donkey engine and the rattle
of a steel cable on the hoisting-drum proclaimed the fact that
the Kincaid's anchor was being raisedand a moment later
the waiter heard the propellers revolvingand slowly the little
steamer moved away from him out into the channel.
As he turned to row back to shore he heard a woman's
shriek from the ship's deck.
That's wot I calls rotten luck,he soliloquized. "I might
jest as well of 'ad the whole bloomin' wad."
When Jane Clayton climbed to the deck of the Kincaid she
found the ship apparently deserted. There was no sign of
those she sought nor of any other aboardand so she went
about her search for her husband and the child she hoped
against hope to find there without interruption.
Quickly she hastened to the cabinwhich was half above and
half below deck. As she hurried down the short companion-ladder
into the main cabinon either side of which were the smaller
rooms occupied by the officersshe failed to note the quick
closing of one of the doors before her. She passed the
full length of the main roomand then retracing her steps
stopped before each door to listenfurtively trying each latch.
All was silenceutter silence therein which the throbbing
of her own frightened heart seemed to her overwrought
imagination to fill the ship with its thunderous alarm.
One by one the doors opened before her touchonly to reveal
empty interiors. In her absorption she did not note the
sudden activity upon the vesselthe purring of the engines
the throbbing of the propeller. She had reached the last door
upon the right nowand as she pushed it open she was seized
from within by a powerfuldark-visaged manand drawn
hastily into the stuffyill-smelling interior.
The sudden shock of fright which the unexpected attack
had upon her drew a single piercing scream from her throat;
then the man clapped a hand roughly over the mouth.
Not until we are farther from land, my dear,he said.
Then you may yell your pretty head off.
Lady Greystoke turned to look into the leeringbearded
face so close to hers. The man relaxed the pressure of his
fingers upon her lipsand with a little moan of terror as she
recognized him the girl shrank away from her captor.
Nikolas Rokoff! M. Thuran!she exclaimed.
Your devoted admirer,replied the Russianwith a low bow.
My little boy,she said nextignoring the terms of endearment-"
where is he? Let me have him. How could you be so cruel--even as you--
Nikolas Rokoff--cannot be entirely devoid of mercy and compassion?
Tell me where he is. Is he aboard this ship? Ohpleaseif such a
thing as a heart beats within your breasttake me to my baby!"
If you do as you are bid no harm will befall him,replied Rokoff.
But remember that it is your own fault that you are here.
You came aboard voluntarily, and you may take the consequences.
I little thought,he added to himselfthat any such
good luck as this would come to me.
He went on deck thenlocking the cabin-door upon his prisoner
and for several days she did not see him. The truth of the
matter being that Nikolas Rokoff was so poor a sailor
that the heavy seas the Kincaid encountered from the very
beginning of her voyage sent the Russian to his berth with a
bad attack of sea-sickness.
During this time her only visitor was an uncouth Swede
the Kincaid's unsavoury cookwho brought her meals to her.
His name was Sven Anderssenhis one pride being that his
patronymic was spelt with a double "s."
The man was tall and raw-bonedwith a long yellow
moustachean unwholesome complexionand filthy nails.
The very sight of him with one grimy thumb buried deep in
the lukewarm stewthat seemedfrom the frequency of its
repetitionto constitute the pride of his culinary art
was sufficient to take away the girl's appetite.
His smallblueclose-set eyes never met hers squarely.
There was a shiftiness of his whole appearance that even
found expression in the cat-like manner of his gaitand to it
all a sinister suggestion was added by the long slim knife that
always rested at his waistslipped through the greasy cord
that supported his soiled apron. Ostensibly it was but an
implement of his calling; but the girl could never free herself
of the conviction that it would require less provocation to
witness it put to other and less harmless uses.
His manner toward her was surlyyet she never failed to
meet him with a pleasant smile and a word of thanks when
he brought her food to herthough more often than not she
hurled the bulk of it through the tiny cabin port the moment
that the door closed behind him.
During the days of anguish that followed Jane Clayton's
imprisonmentbut two questions were uppermost in her
mind--the whereabouts of her husband and her son. She fully
believed that the baby was aboard the Kincaidprovided that
he still livedbut whether Tarzan had been permitted to live
after having been lured aboard the evil craft she could not guess.
She knewof coursethe deep hatred that the Russian felt
for the Englishmanand she could think of but one reason
for having him brought aboard the ship--to dispatch him in
comparative safety in revenge for his having thwarted
Rokoff's pet schemesand for having been at last the
means of landing him in a French prison.
Tarzanon his partlay in the darkness of his cellignorant
of the fact that his wife was a prisoner in the cabin almost
above his head.
The same Swede that served Jane brought his meals to him
butthough on several occasions Tarzan had tried to
draw the man into conversationhe had been unsuccessful.
He had hoped to learn through this fellow whether his little
son was aboard the Kincaidbut to every question upon this
or kindred subjects the fellow returned but one reply
Ay tank it blow purty soon purty hard.So after several
attempts Tarzan gave it up.
For weeks that seemed months to the two prisoners the little
steamer forged on they knew not where. Once the Kincaid
stopped to coalonly immediately to take up the seemingly
Rokoff had visited Jane Clayton but once since he had locked
her in the tiny cabin. He had come gaunt and hollow-eyed
from a long siege of sea-sickness. The object of his visit
was to obtain from her her personal cheque for a large sum in
return for a guarantee of her personal safety and return to England.
When you set me down safely in any civilized port,
together with my son and my husband,she repliedI will
pay you in gold twice the amount you ask; but until then you
shall not have a cent, nor the promise of a cent under any
You will give me the cheque I ask,he replied with a snarl
or neither you nor your child nor your husband will ever
again set foot within any port, civilized or otherwise.
I would not trust you,she replied. "What guarantee
have I that you would not take my money and then do as you
pleased with me and mine regardless of your promise?"
I think you will do as I bid,he saidturning to leave
the cabin. "Remember that I have your son--if you chance
to hear the agonized wail of a tortured child it may console
you to reflect that it is because of your stubbornness that
the baby suffers--and that it is your baby."
You would not do it!cried the girl. "You would not-could
not be so fiendishly cruel!"
It is not I that am cruel, but you,he returned
for you permit a paltry sum of money to stand between
your baby and immunity from suffering.
The end of it was that Jane Clayton wrote out a cheque
of large denomination and handed it to Nikolas Rokoff
who left her cabin with a grin of satisfaction upon his lips.
The following day the hatch was removed from Tarzan's cell
and as he looked up he saw Paulvitch's head framed in
the square of light above him.
Come up,commanded the Russian. "But bear in mind
that you will be shot if you make a single move to attack me
or any other aboard the ship."
The ape-man swung himself lightly to the deck. About him
but at a respectful distancestood a half-dozen sailors
armed with rifles and revolvers. Facing him was Paulvitch.
Tarzan looked about for Rokoffwho he felt sure must be
aboardbut there was no sign of him.
Lord Greystoke,commenced the Russianby your continued
and wanton interference with M. Rokoff and his plans
you have at last brought yourself and your family to this
unfortunate extremity. You have only yourself to thank.
As you may imagine, it has cost M. Rokoff a large amount
of money to finance this expedition, and, as you are the sole
cause of it, he naturally looks to you for reimbursement.
FurtherI may say that only by meeting M. Rokoff's just
demands may you avert the most unpleasant consequences to
your wife and childand at the same time retain your own
life and regain your liberty."
What is the amount?asked Tarzan. "And what assurance
have I that you will live up to your end of the agreement?
I have little reason to trust two such scoundrels as you
and Rokoffyou know."
The Russian flushed.
You are in no position to deliver insults,he said.
You have no assurance that we will live up to our agreement
other than my word, but you have before you the assurance that
we can make short work of you if you do not write out the
cheque we demand.
Unless you are a greater fool than I imagineyou should
know that there is nothing that would give us greater pleasure
than to order these men to fire. That we do not is because
we have other plans for punishing you that would be entirely
upset by your death."
Answer one question,said Tarzan. "Is my son on board this ship?"
No,replied Alexis Paulvitchyour son is quite safe elsewhere;
nor will he be killed until you refuse to accede to our fair demands.
If it becomes necessary to kill you, there will be no reason for
not killing the child, since with you gone the one whom we wish
to punish through the boy will be gone, and he will then be to us
only a constant source of danger and embarrassment. You see,
therefore, that you may only save the life of your son by
saving your own, and you can only save your own by giving
us the cheque we ask.
Very well,replied Tarzanfor he knew that he could trust
them to carry out any sinister threat that Paulvitch had made
and there was a bare chance that by conceding their demands
he might save the boy.
That they would permit him to live after he had appended
his name to the cheque never occurred to him as being within
the realms of probability. But he was determined to give them
such a battle as they would never forgetand possibly to take
Paulvitch with him into eternity. He was only sorry that it
was not Rokoff.
He took his pocket cheque-book and fountain-pen from his pocket.
What is the amount?he asked.
Paulvitch named an enormous sum. Tarzan could scarce restrain a smile.
Their very cupidity was to prove the means of their undoing
in the matter of the ransom at least. Purposely he hesitated
and haggled over the amountbut Paulvitch was obdurate.
Finally the ape-man wrote out his cheque for a larger sum
than stood to his credit at the bank.
As he turned to hand the worthless slip of paper to the
Russian his glance chanced to pass across the starboard bow
of the Kincaid. To his surprise he saw that the ship lay within
a few hundred yards of land. Almost down to the water's
edge ran a dense tropical jungleand behind was higher land
clothed in forest.
Paulvitch noted the direction of his gaze.
You are to be set at liberty here,he said.
Tarzan's plan for immediate physical revenge upon the
Russian vanished. He thought the land before him the
mainland of Africaand he knew that should they liberate him
here he could doubtless find his way to civilization with
Paulvitch took the cheque.
Remove your clothing,he said to the ape-man.
Here you will not need it.
Paulvitch pointed to the armed sailors. Then the Englishman
slowly divested himself of his clothing.
A boat was loweredandstill heavily guardedthe ape-man
was rowed ashore. Half an hour later the sailors had returned
to the Kincaidand the steamer was slowly getting under way.
As Tarzan stood upon the narrow strip of beach watching the
departure of the vessel he saw a figure appear at the rail
and call aloud to attract his attention.
The ape-man had been about to read a note that one of
the sailors had handed him as the small boat that bore him
to the shore was on the point of returning to the steamer
but at the hail from the vessel's deck he looked up.
He saw a black-bearded man who laughed at him in derision
as he held high above his head the figure of a little child.
Tarzan half started as though to rush through the surf and
strike out for the already moving steamer; but realizing the
futility of so rash an act he halted at the water's edge.
Thus he stoodhis gaze riveted upon the Kincaid until it
disappeared beyond a projecting promontory of the coast.
From the jungle at his back fierce bloodshot eyes glared
from beneath shaggy overhanging brows upon him.
Little monkeys in the tree-tops chattered and scoldedand from
the distance of the inland forest came the scream of a leopard.
But still John ClaytonLord Greystokestood deaf and
unseeingsuffering the pangs of keen regret for the
opportunity that he had wasted because he had been so
gullible as to place credence in a single statement of
the first lieutenant of his arch-enemy.
I have at least,he thoughtone consolation--the
knowledge that Jane is safe in London. Thank Heaven she,
too, did not fall into the clutches of those villains.
Behind him the hairy thing whose evil eyes had been
watching his as a cat watches a mouse was creeping
stealthily toward him.
Where were the trained senses of the savage ape-man?
Where the acute hearing?
Where the uncanny sense of scent?
Beasts at Bay
Slowly Tarzan unfolded the note the sailor had thrust into
his handand read it. At first it made little impression on
his sorrow-numbed sensesbut finally the full purport of the
hideous plot of revenge unfolded itself before his imagination.
This will explain to you[the note read] "the exact nature
of my intentions relative to your offspring and to you.
You were born an ape. You lived naked in the jungles-to
your own we have returned you; but your son shall rise a
step above his sire. It is the immutable law of evolution.
The father was a beastbut the son shall be a man--he
shall take the next ascending step in the scale of progress.
He shall be no naked beast of the junglebut shall wear a
loincloth and copper ankletsandperchancea ring in his
nosefor he is to be reared by men--a tribe of savage cannibals.
I might have killed you, but that would have curtailed the
full measure of the punishment you have earned at my hands.
Deadyou could not have suffered in the knowledge of
your son's plight; but living and in a place from which you
may not escape to seek or succour your childyou shall suffer
worse than death for all the years of your life in contemplation
of the horrors of your son's existence.
This, then, is to be a part of your punishment for having
dared to pit yourself against
P.S.--The balance of your punishment has to do with
what shall presently befall your wife--that I shall
leave to your imagination."
As he finished readinga slight sound behind him brought
him back with a start to the world of present realities.
Instantly his senses awokeand he was again Tarzan of the Apes.
As he wheeled aboutit was a beast at bayvibrant with
the instinct of self-preservationthat faced a huge bull-ape
that was already charging down upon him.
The two years that had elapsed since Tarzan had come out
of the savage forest with his rescued mate had witnessed
slight diminution of the mighty powers that had made him
the invincible lord of the jungle. His great estates in Uziri
had claimed much of his time and attentionand there he
had found ample field for the practical use and retention of
his almost superhuman powers; but naked and unarmed to do
battle with the shaggybull-necked beast that now confronted
him was a test that the ape-man would scarce have welcomed
at any period of his wild existence.
But there was no alternative other than to meet the ragemaddened
creature with the weapons with which nature had
Over the bull's shoulder Tarzan could see now the heads
and shoulders of perhaps a dozen more of these mighty forerunners
of primitive man.
He knewhoweverthat there was little chance that they
would attack himsince it is not within the reasoning powers
of the anthropoid to be able to weigh or appreciate the value
of concentrated action against an enemy--otherwise they
would long since have become the dominant creatures of
their hauntsso tremendous a power of destruction lies in
their mighty thews and savage fangs.
With a low snarl the beast now hurled himself at Tarzan
but the ape-man had foundamong other things in the haunts
of civilized mancertain methods of scientific warfare that
are unknown to the jungle folk.
Whereasa few years sincehe would have met the brute
rush with brute forcehe now sidestepped his antagonist's
headlong chargeand as the brute hurtled past him swung a
mighty right to the pit of the ape's stomach.
With a howl of mingled rage and anguish the great anthropoid
bent double and sank to the groundthough almost
instantly he was again struggling to his feet.
Before he could regain themhoweverhis white-skinned
foe had wheeled and pounced upon himand in the act there
dropped from the shoulders of the English lord the last shred
of his superficial mantle of civilization.
Once again he was the jungle beast revelling in bloody
conflict with his kind. Once again he was Tarzan
son of Kala the she-ape.
His strongwhite teeth sank into the hairy throat of his
enemy as he sought the pulsing jugular.
Powerful fingers held the mighty fangs from his own flesh
or clenched and beat with the power of a steam-hammer
upon the snarlingfoam-flecked face of his adversary.
In a circle about them the balance of the tribe of apes stood
watching and enjoying the struggle. They muttered low gutturals
of approval as bits of white hide or hairy bloodstained
skin were torn from one contestant or the other. But they
were silent in amazement and expectation when they saw the
mighty white ape wriggle upon the back of their kingand
with steel muscles tensed beneath the armpits of his antagonist
bear down mightily with his open palms upon the back of the
thick bullneckso that the king ape could but shriek in agony
and flounder helplessly about upon the thick mat of jungle grass.
As Tarzan had overcome the huge Terkoz that time years
before when he had been about to set out upon his quest for
human beings of his own kind and colourso now he overcame
this other great ape with the same wrestling hold upon
which he had stumbled by accident during that other combat.
The little audience of fierce anthropoids heard the creaking
of their king's neck mingling with his agonized shrieks
and hideous roaring.
Then there came a sudden cracklike the breaking of a
stout limb before the fury of the wind. The bullet-head
crumpled forward upon its flaccid neck against the great
hairy chest--the roaring and the shrieking ceased.
The little pig-eyes of the onlookers wandered from the still
form of their leader to that of the white ape that was rising
to its feet beside the vanquishedthen back to their king as
though in wonder that he did not arise and slay this
They saw the new-comer place a foot upon the neck of the quiet
figure at his feet andthrowing back his headgive vent to
the wilduncanny challenge of the bull-ape that has made a kill.
Then they knew that their king was dead.
Across the jungle rolled the horrid notes of the victory cry.
The little monkeys in the tree-tops ceased their chattering.
The harsh-voicedbrilliant-plumed birds were still. From afar
came the answering wail of a leopard and the deep roar of a lion.
It was the old Tarzan who turned questioning eyes upon
the little knot of apes before him. It was the old Tarzan who
shook his head as though to toss back a heavy mane that had
fallen before his face--an old habit dating from the days that
his great shock of thickblack hair had fallen about his
shouldersand often tumbled before his eyes when it had meant
life or death to him to have his vision unobstructed.
The ape-man knew that he might expect an immediate
attack on the part of that particular surviving bull-ape who
felt himself best fitted to contend for the kingship of the tribe.
Among his own apes he knew that it was not unusual for an
entire stranger to enter a community andafter having
dispatched the kingassume the leadership of the tribe himself
together with the fallen monarch's mates.
On the other handif he made no attempt to follow them
they might move slowly away from himlater to fight among
themselves for the supremacy. That he could be king of them
if he so chosehe was confident; but he was not sure he cared
to assume the sometimes irksome duties of that position
for he could see no particular advantage to be gained thereby.
One of the younger apesa hugesplendidly muscled brute
was edging threateningly closer to the ape-man. Through his
bared fighting fangs there issued a lowsullen growl.
Tarzan watched his every movestanding rigid as a statue.
To have fallen back a step would have been to precipitate an
immediate charge; to have rushed forward to meet the other
might have had the same resultor it might have put the
bellicose one to flight--it all depended upon the young bull's
stock of courage.
To stand perfectly stillwaitingwas the middle course.
In this event the bull wouldaccording to customapproach
quite close to the object of his attentiongrowling hideously
and baring slavering fangs. Slowly he would circle about the other
as though with a chip upon his shoulder; and this he did
even as Tarzan had foreseen.
It might be a bluff royaloron the other handso unstable is
the mind of an apea passing impulse might hurl the hairy mass
tearing and rendingupon the man without an instant's warning.
As the brute circled him Tarzan turned slowlykeeping
his eyes ever upon the eyes of his antagonist. He had
appraised the young bull as one who had never quite felt equal
to the task of overthrowing his former kingbut who one day
would have done so. Tarzan saw that the beast was of wondrous
proportionsstanding over seven feet upon his shortbowed legs.
His greathairy arms reached almost to the ground even
when he stood erectand his fighting fangsnow quite close
to Tarzan's facewere exceptionally long and sharp. Like the
others of his tribehe differed in several minor essentials
from the apes of Tarzan's boyhood.
At first the ape-man had experienced a thrill of hope at
sight of the shaggy bodies of the anthropoids--a hope that
by some strange freak of fate he had been again returned to
his own tribe; but a closer inspection had convinced him that
these were another species.
As the threatening bull continued his stiff and jerky
circling of the ape-manmuch after the manner that you have
noted among dogs when a strange canine comes among them
it occurred to Tarzan to discover if the language of his own
tribe was identical with that of this other familyand so he
addressed the brute in the language of the tribe of Kerchak.
Who are you,he askedwho threatens Tarzan of the Apes?
The hairy brute looked his surprise.
I am Akut,replied the other in the same simpleprimal
tongue which is so low in the scale of spoken languages that
as Tarzan had surmisedit was identical with that of the tribe
in which the first twenty years of his life had been spent.
I am Akut,said the ape. "Molak is dead. I am king.
Go away or I shall kill you!"
You saw how easily I killed Molak,replied Tarzan. "So I
could kill you if I cared to be king. But Tarzan of the
Apes would not be king of the tribe of Akut. All he wishes
is to live in peace in this country. Let us be friends.
Tarzan of the Apes can help youand you can help Tarzan
of the Apes."
You cannot kill Akut,replied the other. "None is so
great as Akut. Had you not killed MolakAkut would have
done sofor Akut was ready to be king."
For answer the ape-man hurled himself upon the great brute
who during the conversation had slightly relaxed his vigilance.
In the twinkling of an eye the man had seized the wrist of
the great apeand before the other could grapple with him
had whirled him about and leaped upon his broad back.
Down they went togetherbut so well had Tarzan's plan
worked out that before ever they touched the ground he had
gained the same hold upon Akut that had broken Molak's neck.
Slowly he brought the pressure to bearand then as in days
gone by he had given Kerchak the chance to surrender and
liveso now he gave to Akut--in whom he saw a possible
ally of great strength and resource--the option of living in
amity with him or dying as he had just seen his savage and
heretofore invincible king die.
Ka-Goda?whispered Tarzan to the ape beneath him.
It was the same question that he had whispered to Kerchak
and in the language of the apes it meansbroadly
Do you surrender?
Akut thought of the creaking sound he had heard just
before Molak's thick neck had snappedand he shuddered.
He hated to give up the kingshipthoughso again he struggled
to free himself; but a sudden torturing pressure upon his
vertebra brought an agonized "ka-goda!" from his lips.
Tarzan relaxed his grip a trifle.
You may still be king, Akut,he said. "Tarzan told you
that he did not wish to be king. If any question your right
Tarzan of the Apes will help you in your battles."
The ape-man roseand Akut came slowly to his feet.
Shaking his bullet head and growling angrilyhe waddled toward
his tribelooking first at one and then at another of the
larger bulls who might be expected to challenge his leadership.
But none did so; insteadthey drew away as he approached
and presently the whole pack moved off into the jungle
and Tarzan was left alone once more upon the beach.
The ape-man was sore from the wounds that Molak had
inflicted upon himbut he was inured to physical suffering
and endured it with the calm and fortitude of the wild beasts
that had taught him to lead the jungle life after the manner
of all those that are born to it.
His first needhe realizedwas for weapons of offence and defence
for his encounter with the apesand the distant notes of the savage
voices of Numa the lionand Sheetathe pantherwarned him that
his was to be no life of indolent ease and security.
It was but a return to the old existence of constant bloodshed
and danger--to the hunting and the being hunted. Grim beasts
would stalk himas they had stalked him in the past
and never would there be a momentby savage day or by
cruel nightthat he might not have instant need of such crude
weapons as he could fashion from the materials at hand.
Upon the shore he found an out-cropping of brittleigneous rock.
By dint of much labour he managed to chip off a narrow sliver some
twelve inches long by a quarter of an inch thick. One edge was quite
thin for a few inches near the tip. It was the rudiment of a knife.
With it he went into the junglesearching until he found a
fallen tree of a certain species of hardwood with which he
was familiar. From this he cut a small straight branch
which he pointed at one end.
Then he scooped a smallround hole in the surface of the
prostrate trunk. Into this he crumbled a few bits of dry bark
minutely shreddedafter which he inserted the tip of his
pointed stickandsitting astride the bole of the treespun
the slender rod rapidly between his palms.
After a time a thin smoke rose from the little mass of
tinderand a moment later the whole broke into flame.
Heaping some larger twigs and sticks upon the tiny fire
Tarzan soon had quite a respectable blaze roaring in the
enlarging cavity of the dead tree.
Into this he thrust the blade of his stone knifeand as it
became superheated he would withdraw ittouching a spot
near the thin edge with a drop of moisture. Beneath the
wetted area a little flake of the glassy material would
crack and scale away.
Thusvery slowlythe ape-man commenced the tedious
operation of putting a thin edge upon his primitive hunting-knife.
He did not attempt to accomplish the feat all in one sitting.
At first he was content to achieve a cutting edge of a couple
of incheswith which he cut a longpliable bowa handle
for his knifea stout cudgeland a goodly supply of arrows.
These he cached in a tall tree beside a little stream
and here also he constructed a platform with a roof of
palm-leaves above it.
When all these things had been finished it was growing dusk
and Tarzan felt a strong desire to eat.
He had noted during the brief incursion he had made into
the forest that a short distance up-stream from his tree there
was a much-used watering placewherefrom the trampled
mud of either bankit was evident beasts of all sorts and in
great numbers came to drink. To this spot the hungry ape-man
made his silent way.
Through the upper terrace of the tree-tops he swung with
the grace and ease of a monkey. But for the heavy burden
upon his heart he would have been happy in this return to the
old free life of his boyhood.
Yet even with that burden he fell into the little habits and
manners of his early life that were in reality more a part of
him than the thin veneer of civilization that the past three
years of his association with the white men of the outer world
had spread lightly over him--a veneer that only hid the
crudities of the beast that Tarzan of the Apes had been.
Could his fellow-peers of the House of Lords have seen him
then they would have held up their noble hands in holy horror.
Silently he crouched in the lower branches of a great forest
giant that overhung the trailhis keen eyes and sensitive ears
strained into the distant junglefrom which he knew his dinner
would presently emerge.
Nor had he long to wait.
Scarce had he settled himself to a comfortable position
his lithemuscular legs drawn well up beneath him as the
panther draws his hindquarters in preparation for the spring
than Barathe deercame daintily down to drink.
But more than Bara was coming. Behind the graceful buck
came another which the deer could neither see nor scentbut
whose movements were apparent to Tarzan of the Apes because
of the elevated position of the ape-man's ambush.
He knew not yet exactly the nature of the thing that moved
so stealthily through the jungle a few hundred yards behind
the deer; but he was convinced that it was some great beast
of prey stalking Bara for the selfsame purpose as that which
prompted him to await the fleet animal. Numaperhapsor
In any eventTarzan could see his repast slipping from his
grasp unless Bara moved more rapidly toward the ford than
Even as these thoughts passed through his mind some noise
of the stalker in his rear must have come to the buckfor
with a sudden start he paused for an instanttremblingin
his tracksand then with a swift bound dashed straight for
the river and Tarzan. It was his intention to flee through the
shallow ford and escape upon the opposite side of the river.
Not a hundred yards behind him came Numa.
Tarzan could see him quite plainly now. Below the ape-man
Bara was about to pass. Could he do it? But even as he
asked himself the question the hungry man launched himself
from his perch full upon the back of the startled buck.
In another instant Numa would be upon them bothso if
the ape-man were to dine that nightor ever again
he must act quickly.
Scarcely had he touched the sleek hide of the deer with a
momentum that sent the animal to its knees than he had
grasped a horn in either handand with a single quick wrench
twisted the animal's neck completely rounduntil he felt the
vertebrae snap beneath his grip.
The lion was roaring in rage close behind him as he swung
the deer across his shoulderandgrasping a foreleg between
his strong teethleaped for the nearest of the lower branches
that swung above his head.
With both hands he grasped the limbandat the instant
that Numa sprangdrew himself and his prey out of reach of
the animal's cruel talons.
There was a thud below him as the baffled cat fell back to
earthand then Tarzan of the Apesdrawing his dinner
farther up to the safety of a higher limblooked down with
grinning face into the gleaming yellow eyes of the other wild
beast that glared up at him from beneathand with taunting
insults flaunted the tender carcass of his kill in the face of
him whom he had cheated of it.
With his crude stone knife he cut a juicy steak from the
hindquartersand while the great lion pacedgrowlingback
and forth below himLord Greystoke filled his savage belly
nor ever in the choicest of his exclusive London clubs had a
meal tasted more palatable.
The warm blood of his kill smeared his hands and face
and filled his nostrils with the scent that the savage
carnivora love best.
And when he had finished he left the balance of the carcass
in a high fork of the tree where he had dinedand with Numa
trailing below himstill keen for revengehe made his way
back to his tree-top shelterwhere he slept until the sun was
high the following morning.
The next few days were occupied by Tarzan in completing
his weapons and exploring the jungle. He strung his
bow with tendons from the buck upon which he had dined
his first evening upon the new shoreand though he would
have preferred the gut of Sheeta for the purposehe was
content to wait until opportunity permitted him to kill
one of the great cats.
He also braided a long grass rope--such a rope as he had
used so many years before to tantalize the ill-natured Tublat
and which later had developed into a wondrous effective
weapon in the practised hands of the little ape-boy.
A sheath and handle for his hunting-knife he fashioned
and a quiver for arrowsand from the hide of Bara a belt
and loin-cloth. Then he set out to learn something of the
strange land in which he found himself. That it was not his
old familiar west coast of the African continent he knew from
the fact that it faced east--the rising sun came up out of the
sea before the threshold of the jungle.
But that it was not the east coast of Africa he was equally
positivefor he felt satisfied that the Kincaid had not
passed through the Mediterraneanthe Suez Canaland the Red Sea
nor had she had time to round the Cape of Good Hope. So he was
quite at a loss to know where he might be.
Sometimes he wondered if the ship had crossed the broad
Atlantic to deposit him upon some wild South American
shore; but the presence of Numathe liondecided him that
such could not be the case.
As Tarzan made his lonely way through the jungle paralleling
the shorehe felt strong upon him a desire for companionship
so that gradually he commenced to regret that he had not cast
his lot with the apes. He had seen nothing of them since that
first daywhen the influences of civilization were still
paramount within him.
Now he was more nearly returned to the Tarzan of old
and though he appreciated the fact that there could be
little in common between himself and the great anthropoids
still they were better than no company at all.
Moving leisurelysometimes upon the ground and again
among the lower branches of the treesgathering an occasional
fruit or turning over a fallen log in search of the larger
bugswhich he still found as palatable as of oldTarzan had
covered a mile or more when his attention was attracted by
the scent of Sheeta up-wind ahead of him.
Now Sheetathe pantherwas one of whom Tarzan was exceptionally
glad to fall in withfor he had it in mind not only to utilize
the great cat's strong gut for his bowbut also to fashion
a new quiver and loin-cloth from pieces of his hide.
Sowhereas the ape-man had gone carelessly before
he now became the personification of noiseless stealth.
Swiftly and silently he glided through the forest in the wake
of the savage catnor was the pursuerfor all his noble birth
one whit less savage than the wildfierce thing he stalked.
As he came closer to Sheeta he became aware that the panther
on his part was stalking game of his ownand even as he realized
this fact there came to his nostrilswafted from his right by a
vagrant breezethe strong odour of a company of great apes.
The panther had taken to a large tree as Tarzan came within
sight of himand beyond and below him Tarzan saw the tribe
of Akut lolling in a littlenatural clearing. Some of them
were dozing against the boles of treeswhile others roamed
about turning over bits of bark from beneath which they
transferred the luscious grubs and beetles to their mouths.
Akut was the closest to Sheeta.
The great cat lay crouched upon a thick limbhidden from
the ape's view by dense foliagewaiting patiently until the
anthropoid should come within range of his spring.
Tarzan cautiously gained a position in the same tree with the
panther and a little above him. In his left hand he grasped
his slim stone blade. He would have preferred to use his noose
but the foliage surrounding the huge cat precluded the possibility
of an accurate throw with the rope.
Akut had now wandered quite close beneath the tree wherein
lay the waiting death. Sheeta slowly edged his hind paws
along the branch still further beneath himand then with
a hideous shriek he launched himself toward the great ape.
The barest fraction of a second before his spring another
beast of prey above him leapedits weird and savage cry
mingling with his.
As the startled Akut looked up he saw the panther almost
above himand already upon the panther's back the white
ape that had bested him that day near the great water.
The teeth of the ape-man were buried in the back of Sheeta's
neck and his right arm was round the fierce throatwhile
the left handgrasping a slender piece of stonerose and fell
in mighty blows upon the panther's side behind the left shoulder.
Akut had just time to leap to one side to avoid being
pinioned beneath these battling monsters of the jungle.
With a crash they came to earth at his feet. Sheeta was screaming
snarlingand roaring horribly; but the white ape clung
tenaciously and in silence to the thrashing body of his quarry.
Steadily and remorselessly the stone knife was driven home
through the glossy hide--time and again it drank deepuntil
with a final agonized lunge and shriek the great feline rolled
over upon its side andsave for the spasmodic jerking of its
muscleslay quiet and still in death.
Then the ape-man raised his headas he stood over the
carcass of his killand once again through the jungle rang
his wild and savage victory challenge.
Akut and the apes of Akut stood looking in startled wonder
at the dead body of Sheeta and the lithestraight figure of
the man who had slain him.
Tarzan was the first to speak.
He had saved Akut's life for a purposeandknowing the
limitations of the ape intellecthe also knew that he must
make this purpose plain to the anthropoid if it were to serve
him in the way he hoped.
I am Tarzan of the Apes,he saidMighty hunter. Mighty fighter.
By the great water I spared Akut's life when I might have taken it
and become king of the tribe of Akut. Now I have saved Akut from
death beneath the rending fangs of Sheeta.
When Akut or the tribe of Akut is in dangerlet them
call to Tarzan thus"--and the ape-man raised the hideous
cry with which the tribe of Kerchak had been wont to summon
its absent members in times of peril.
And,he continuedwhen they hear Tarzan call to them,
let them remember what he has done for Akut and come to him
with great speed. Shall it be as Tarzan says?
Huh!assented Akutand from the members of his tribe
there rose a unanimous "Huh."
Thenpresentlythey went to feeding again as though
nothing had happenedand with them fed John Clayton
He noticedhoweverthat Akut kept always close to him
and was often looking at him with a strange wonder in his
little bloodshot eyesand once he did a thing that Tarzan
during all his long years among the apes had never before
seen an ape do--he found a particularly tender morsel and
handed it to Tarzan.
As the tribe huntedthe glistening body of the ape-man
mingled with the brownshaggy hides of his companions.
Oftentimes they brushed together in passingbut the apes
had already taken his presence for grantedso that he was
as much one of them as Akut himself.
If he came too close to a she with a young babythe former
would bare her great fighting fangs and growl ominously
and occasionally a truculent young bull would snarl a warning
if Tarzan approached while the former was eating. But in
those things the treatment was no different from that which
they accorded any other member of the tribe.
Tarzan on his part felt very much at home with these fierce
hairy progenitors of primitive man. He skipped nimbly out
of reach of each threatening female--for such is the way of
apesif they be not in one of their occasional fits of bestial
rage--and he growled back at the truculent young bullsbaring
his canine teeth even as they. Thus easily he fell back into
the way of his early lifenor did it seem that he had
ever tasted association with creatures of his own kind.
For the better part of a week he roamed the jungle with
his new friendspartly because of a desire for companionship
and partially through a well-laid plan to impress himself
indelibly upon their memorieswhich at best are none too long;
for Tarzan from past experience knew that it might serve him
in good stead to have a tribe of these powerful and terrible
beasts at his call.
When he was convinced that he had succeeded to some extent
in fixing his identity upon them he decided to again take up
his exploration. To this end he set out toward the north
early one dayandkeeping parallel with the shore
travelled rapidly until almost nightfall.
When the sun rose the next morning he saw that it lay almost
directly to his right as he stood upon the beach instead
of straight out across the water as heretoforeand so he
reasoned that the shore line had trended toward the west.
All the second day he continued his rapid courseand when
Tarzan of the Apes sought speedhe passed through the middle
terrace of the forest with the rapidity of a squirrel.
That night the sun set straight out across the water opposite
the landand then the ape-man guessed at last the truth that
he had been suspecting.
Rokoff had set him ashore upon an island.
He might have known it! If there was any plan that would
render his position more harrowing he should have known
that such would be the one adopted by the Russianand what
could be more terrible than to leave him to a lifetime of
suspense upon an uninhabited island?
Rokoff doubtless had sailed directly to the mainlandwhere
it would be a comparatively easy thing for him to find the
means of delivering the infant Jack into the hands of the cruel
and savage foster-parentswhoas his note had threatened
would have the upbringing of the child.
Tarzan shuddered as he thought of the cruel suffering the
little one must endure in such a lifeeven though he might
fall into the hands of individuals whose intentions toward
him were of the kindest. The ape-man had had sufficient
experience with the lower savages of Africa to know that even
there may be found the cruder virtues of charity and humanity;
but their lives were at best but a series of terrible privations
Then there was the horrid after-fate that awaited the child
as he grew to manhood. The horrible practices that would
form a part of his life-training would alone be sufficient
to bar him forever from association with those of his own race
and station in life.
A cannibal! His little boy a savage man-eater! It was too
horrible to contemplate.
The filed teeththe slit nosethe little face painted hideously.
Tarzan groaned. Could he but feel the throat of the Russ fiend
beneath his steel fingers!
What tortures of doubt and fear and uncertainty she must
be suffering. He felt that his position was infinitely less
terrible than hersfor he at least knew that one of his
loved ones was safe at homewhile she had no idea of the
whereabouts of either her husband or her son.
It is well for Tarzan that he did not guess the truthfor the
knowledge would have but added a hundredfold to his suffering.
As he moved slowly through the jungle his mind absorbed
by his gloomy thoughtsthere presently came to his ears a
strange scratching sound which he could not translate.
Cautiously he moved in the direction from which it emanated
presently coming upon a huge panther pinned beneath a fallen tree.
As Tarzan approachedthe beast turnedsnarlingtoward him
struggling to extricate itself; but one great limb across
its back and the smaller entangling branches pinioning its
legs prevented it from moving but a few inches in any direction.
The ape-man stood before the helpless cat fitting an arrow
to his bow that he might dispatch the beast that otherwise
must die of starvation; but even as he drew back the shaft a
sudden whim stayed his hand.
Why rob the poor creature of life and libertywhen it would
be so easy a thing to restore both to it! He was sure from
the fact that the panther moved all its limbs in its futile
struggle for freedom that its spine was uninjuredand for
the same reason he knew that none of its limbs were broken.
Relaxing his bowstringhe returned the arrow to the quiver and
throwing the bow about his shoulderstepped closer to
the pinioned beast.
On his lips was the soothingpurring sound that the great
cats themselves made when contented and happy. It was the
nearest approach to a friendly advance that Tarzan could
make in the language of Sheeta.
The panther ceased his snarling and eyed the ape-man closely.
To lift the tree's great weight from the animal it was
necessary to come within reach of those longstrong talons
and when the tree had been removed the man would be totally
at the mercy of the savage beast; but to Tarzan of the Apes
fear was a thing unknown.
Having decidedhe acted promptly.
Unhesitatinglyhe stepped into the tangle of branches close to the
panther's sidestill voicing his friendly and conciliatory purr.
The cat turned his head toward the maneyeing him steadily--questioningly.
The long fangs were baredbut more in preparedness than threat.
Tarzan put a broad shoulder beneath the bole of the tree
and as he did so his bare leg pressed against the cat's silken side
so close was the man to the great beast.
Slowly Tarzan extended his giant thews.
The great tree with its entangling branches rose gradually
from the pantherwhofeeling the encumbering weight diminish
quickly crawled from beneath. Tarzan let the tree fall back to earth
and the two beasts turned to look upon one another.
A grim smile lay upon the ape-man's lipsfor he knew that he had
taken his life in his hands to free this savage jungle fellow;
nor would it have surprised him had the cat sprung upon him
the instant that it had been released.
But it did not do so. Insteadit stood a few paces from the tree
watching the ape-man clamber out of the maze of fallen branches.
Once outsideTarzan was not three paces from the panther.
He might have taken to the higher branches of the trees
upon the opposite sidefor Sheeta cannot climb to the heights
to which the ape-man can go; but somethinga spirit of bravado
perhapsprompted him to approach the panther as though to
discover if any feeling of gratitude would prompt the beast
As he approached the mighty cat the creature stepped
warily to one sideand the ape-man brushed past him within
a foot of the dripping jawsand as he continued on through
the forest the panther followed on behind himas a hound
follows at heel.
For a long time Tarzan could not tell whether the beast
was following out of friendly feelings or merely stalking him
against the time he should be hungry; but finally he was
forced to believe that the former incentive it was that
prompted the animal's action.
Later in the day the scent of a deer sent Tarzan into the trees
and when he had dropped his noose about the animal's neck he
called to Sheetausing a purr similar to that which he had
utilized to pacify the brute's suspicions earlier in the day
but a trifle louder and more shrill.
It was similar to that which he had heard panthers use after
a kill when they had been hunting in pairs.
Almost immediately there was a crashing of the underbrush
close at handand the longlithe body of his strange
companion broke into view.
At sight of the body of Bara and the smell of blood the panther
gave forth a shrill screamand a moment later two beasts were
feeding side by side upon the tender meat of the deer.
For several days this strangely assorted pair roamed
the jungle together.
When one made a kill he called the other
and thus they fed well and often.
On one occasion as they were dining upon the carcass of a boar
that Sheeta had dispatchedNumathe liongrim and terrible
broke through the tangled grasses close beside them.
With an angrywarning roar he sprang forward to chase them
from their kill. Sheeta bounded into a near-by thicket
while Tarzan took to the low branches of an overhanging tree.
Here the ape-man unloosed his grass rope from about his neckand
as Numa stood above the body of the boarchallenging head erect
he dropped the sinuous noose about the maned neck
drawing the stout strands taut with a sudden jerk.
At the same time he called shrilly to Sheetaas he drew the
struggling lion upward until only his hind feet touched the ground.
Quickly he made the rope fast to a stout branchand as
the pantherin answer to his summonsleaped into sight
Tarzan dropped to the earth beside the struggling and
infuriated Numaand with a long sharp knife sprang upon him
at one side even as Sheeta did upon the other.
The panther tore and rent Numa upon the rightwhile the
ape-man struck home with his stone knife upon the other
so that before the mighty clawing of the king of beasts had
succeeded in parting the rope he hung quite dead and harmless
in the noose.
And then upon the jungle air there rose in unison from two savage
throats the victory cry of the bull-ape and the panther
blended into one frightful and uncanny scream.
As the last notes died away in a long-drawnfearsome wail
a score of painted warriorsdrawing their long war-canoe
upon the beachhalted to stare in the direction of the
jungle and to listen.
By the time that Tarzan had travelled entirely about the coast
of the islandand made several trips inland from various points
he was sure that he was the only human being upon it.
Nowhere had he found any sign that men had stopped even
temporarily upon this shorethoughof coursehe knew that
so quickly does the rank vegetation of the tropics erase all
but the most permanent of human monuments that he might
be in error in his deductions.
The day following the killing of NumaTarzan and Sheeta came upon
the tribe of Akut. At sight of the panther the great apes
took to flightbut after a time Tarzan succeeded in recalling them.
It had occurred to him that it would be at least an interesting
experiment to attempt to reconcile these hereditary enemies.
He welcomed anything that would occupy his time and his mind
beyond the filling of his belly and the gloomy thoughts to which
he fell prey the moment that he became idle.
To communicate his plan to the apes was not a particularly
difficult matterthough their narrow and limited vocabulary
was strained in the effort; but to impress upon the little
wicked brain of Sheeta that he was to hunt with and not for
his legitimate prey proved a task almost beyond the powers
of the ape-man.
Tarzanamong his other weaponspossessed a longstout
cudgeland after fastening his rope about the panther's neck
he used this instrument freely upon the snarling beast
endeavouring in this way to impress upon its memory that
it must not attack the greatshaggy manlike creatures that
had approached more closely once they had seen the purpose
of the rope about Sheeta's neck.
That the cat did not turn and rend Tarzan is something of
a miracle which may possibly be accounted for by the fact
that twice when it turned growling upon the ape-man he had
rapped it sharply upon its sensitive noseinculcating in its
mind thereby a most wholesome fear of the cudgel and the
ape-beasts behind it.
It is a question if the original cause of his attachment for
Tarzan was still at all clear in the mind of the panther
though doubtless some subconscious suggestionsuperinduced by
this primary reason and aided and abetted by the habit of the past
few daysdid much to compel the beast to tolerate treatment at his
hands that would have sent it at the throat of any other creature.
Thentoothere was the compelling force of the manmind exerting
its powerful influence over this creature of a lower orderand
after allit may have been this that proved the most potent factor
in Tarzan's supremacy over Sheeta and the other beasts of the jungle
that had from time to time fallen under his domination.
Be that as it mayfor days the manthe pantherand the
great apes roamed their savage haunts side by sidemaking
their kills together and sharing them with one anotherand
of all the fierce and savage band none was more terrible than
the smooth-skinnedpowerful beast that had been but a few
short months before a familiar figure in many a London
Sometimes the beasts separated to follow their own inclinations
for an hour or a dayand it was upon one of these occasions when
the ape-man had wandered through the tree-tops toward the beach
and was stretched in the hot sun upon the sandthat from the low
summit of a near-by promontory a pair of keen eyes discovered him.
For a moment the owner of the eyes looked in astonishment
at the figure of the savage white man basking in the
rays of that hottropic sun; then he turnedmaking a sign to
some one behind him. Presently another pair of eyes were
looking down upon the ape-manand then another and another
until a full score of hideously trappedsavage warriors
were lying upon their bellies along the crest of the ridge
watching the white-skinned stranger.
They were down wind from Tarzanand so their scent was
not carried to himand as his back was turned half toward
them he did not see their cautious advance over the edge of
the promontory and down through the rank grass toward the
sandy beach where he lay.
Big fellows they wereall of themtheir barbaric
headdresses and grotesquely painted facestogether with their
many metal ornaments and gorgeously coloured feathers
adding to their wildfierce appearance.
Once at the foot of the ridgethey came cautiously to their feet
andbent half-doubleadvanced silently upon the unconscious white man
their heavy war-clubs swinging menacingly in their brawny hands.
The mental suffering that Tarzan's sorrowful thoughts induced had the
effect of numbing his keenperceptive facultiesso that the
advancing savages were almost upon him before he became aware
that he was no longer alone upon the beach.
So quicklythoughwere his mind and muscles wont to
react in unison to the slightest alarm that he was upon his
feet and facing his enemieseven as he realized that
something was behind him. As he sprang to his feet the warriors
leaped toward him with raised clubs and savage yellsbut the
foremost went down to sudden death beneath the longstout
stick of the ape-manand then the lithesinewy figure was
among themstriking right and left with a furypowerand
precision that brought panic to the ranks of the blacks.
For a moment they withdrewthose that were left of them
and consulted together at a short distance from the ape-man
who stood with folded armsa half-smile upon his handsome
facewatching them. Presently they advanced upon him once
morethis time wielding their heavy war-spears. They were
between Tarzan and the junglein a little semicircle that
closed in upon him as they advanced.
There seemed to the ape-man but slight chance to escape
the final charge when all the great spears should be hurled
simultaneously at him; but if he had desired to escape
there was no way other than through the ranks of the savages
except the open sea behind him.
His predicament was indeed most serious when an idea
occurred to him that altered his smile to a broad grin.
The warriors were still some little distance away
advancing slowlymakingafter the manner of their kind
a frightful din with their savage yells and the pounding
of their naked feet upon the ground as they leaped up and
down in a fantastic war dance.
Then it was that the ape-man lifted his voice in a series of
wildweird screams that brought the blacks to a sudden
perplexed halt. They looked at one another questioningly
for here was a sound so hideous that their own frightful din
faded into insignificance beside it. No human throat could
have formed those bestial notesthey were sureand yet with
their own eyes they had seen this white man open his mouth
to pour forth his awful cry.
But only for a moment they hesitatedand then with one accord
they again took up their fantastic advance upon their prey;
but even then a sudden crashing in the jungle behind them
brought them once more to a haltand as they turned to look
in the direction of this new noise there broke upon their
startled visions a sight that may well have frozen the blood
of braver men than the Wagambi.
Leaping from the tangled vegetation of the jungle's rim
came a huge pantherwith blazing eyes and bared fangsand
in his wake a score of mightyshaggy apes lumbering rapidly
toward themhalf erect upon their shortbowed legsand
with their long arms reaching to the groundwhere their
horny knuckles bore the weight of their ponderous bodies as
they lurched from side to side in their grotesque advance.
The beasts of Tarzan had come in answer to his call.
Before the Wagambi could recover from their astonishment
the frightful horde was upon them from one side and
Tarzan of the Apes from the other. Heavy spears were hurled
and mighty war-clubs wieldedand though apes went down
never to risesotoowent down the men of Ugambi.
Sheeta's cruel fangs and tearing talons ripped and tore at
the black hides. Akut's mighty yellow tusks found the jugular
of more than one sleek-skinned savageand Tarzan of the Apes
was here and there and everywhereurging on his fierce allies
and taking a heavy toll with his longslim knife.
In a moment the blacks had scattered for their livesbut
of the score that had crept down the grassy sides of the
promontory only a single warrior managed to escape the horde
that had overwhelmed his people.
This one was Mugambichief of the Wagambi of Ugambi
and as he disappeared in the tangled luxuriousness of the
rank growth upon the ridge's summit only the keen eyes of
the ape-man saw the direction of his flight.
Leaving his pack to eat their fill upon the flesh of their
victims--flesh that he could not touch--Tarzan of the Apes
pursued the single survivor of the bloody fray. Just beyond
the ridge he came within sight of the fleeing blackmaking
with headlong leaps for a long war-canoe that was drawn
well up upon the beach above the high tide surf.
Noiseless as the fellow's shadowthe ape-man raced after the
terror-stricken black. In the white man's mind was a new plan
awakened by sight of the war-canoe. If these men had
come to his island from anotheror from the mainland
why not utilize their craft to make his way to the country from
which they had come? Evidently it was an inhabited country
and no doubt had occasional intercourse with the mainland
if it were not itself upon the continent of Africa.
A heavy hand fell upon the shoulder of the escaping Mugambi
before he was aware that he was being pursuedand as he
turned to do battle with his assailant giant fingers closed
about his wrists and he was hurled to earth with a giant
astride him before he could strike a blow in his own defence.
In the language of the West CoastTarzan spoke to the
prostrate man beneath him.
Who are you?he asked.
Mugambi, chief of the Wagambi,replied the black.
I will spare your life,said Tarzanif you will promise
to help me to leave this island. What do you answer?
I will help you,replied Mugambi. "But now that you
have killed all my warriorsI do not know that even I can
leave your countryfor there will be none to wield the paddles
and without paddlers we cannot cross the water."
Tarzan rose and allowed his prisoner to come to his feet.
The fellow was a magnificent specimen of manhood--a black
counterpart in physique of the splendid white man whom he faced.
Come!said the ape-manand started back in the direction
from which they could hear the snarling and growling
of the feasting pack. Mugambi drew back.
They will kill us,he said.
I think not,replied Tarzan. "They are mine."
Still the black hesitatedfearful of the consequences of
approaching the terrible creatures that were dining upon the
bodies of his warriors; but Tarzan forced him to accompany him
and presently the two emerged from the jungle in full view
of the grisly spectacle upon the beach. At sight of the
men the beasts looked up with menacing growlsbut Tarzan
strode in among themdragging the trembling Wagambi with him.
As he had taught the apes to accept Sheetaso he taught
them to adopt Mugambi as welland much more easily; but
Sheeta seemed quite unable to understand that though he had
been called upon to devour Mugambi's warriors he was not
to be allowed to proceed after the same fashion with Mugambi.
Howeverbeing well filledhe contented himself with
walking round the terror-stricken savageemitting low
menacing growls the while he kept his flamingbaleful
eyes riveted upon the black.
Mugambion his partclung closely to Tarzanso that the
ape-man could scarce control his laughter at the pitiable
condition to which the chief's fear had reduced him; but at length
the white took the great cat by the scruff of the neck and
dragging it quite close to the Wagambislapped it sharply
upon the nose each time that it growled at the stranger.
At the sight of the thing--a man mauling with his bare
hands one of the most relentless and fierce of the jungle
carnivora--Mugambi's eyes bulged from their socketsand
from entertaining a sullen respect for the giant white man
who had made him prisonerthe black felt an almost
worshipping awe of Tarzan.
The education of Sheeta progressed so well that in a short
time Mugambi ceased to be the object of his hungry attention
and the black felt a degree more of safety in his society.
To say that Mugambi was entirely happy or at ease in his
new environment would not be to adhere strictly to the truth.
His eyes were constantly rolling apprehensively from side to
side as now one and now another of the fierce pack chanced
to wander near himso that for the most of the time it was
principally the whites that showed.
Together Tarzan and Mugambiwith Sheeta and Akutlay
in wait at the ford for a deerand when at a word from the
ape-man the four of them leaped out upon the affrighted animal
the black was sure that the poor creature died of fright
before ever one of the great beasts touched it.
Mugambi built a fire and cooked his portion of the kill;
but TarzanSheetaand Akut tore theirsrawwith their
sharp teethgrowling among themselves when one ventured
to encroach upon the share of another.
It was notafter allstrange that the white man's ways
should have been so much more nearly related to those of
the beasts than were the savage blacks. We areall of us
creatures of habitand when the seeming necessity for
schooling ourselves in new ways ceases to existwe fall
naturally and easily into the manners and customs which long
usage has implanted ineradicably within us.
Mugambi from childhood had eaten no meat until it had
been cookedwhile Tarzanon the other handhad never
tasted cooked food of any sort until he had grown almost to
manhoodand only within the past three or four years had
he eaten cooked meat. Not only did the habit of a lifetime
prompt him to eat it rawbut the craving of his palate as well;
for to him cooked flesh was spoiled flesh when compared
with the rich and juicy meat of a freshhot kill.
That he couldwith relisheat raw meat that had been
buried by himself weeks beforeand enjoy small rodents and
disgusting grubsseems to us who have been always "civilized"
a revolting fact; but had we learned in childhood to
eat these thingsand had we seen all those about us eat them
they would seem no more sickening to us now than do many
of our greatest daintiesat which a savage African cannibal
would look with repugnance and turn up his nose.
For instancethere is a tribe in the vicinity of Lake Rudolph
that will eat no sheep or cattlethough its next neighbors
do so. Near by is another tribe that eats donkey-meat--a
custom most revolting to the surrounding tribes that do not
eat donkey. So who may say that it is nice to eat snails and
frogs' legs and oystersbut disgusting to feed upon grubs
and beetlesor that a raw oysterhoofhornsand tailis less
revolting than the sweetclean meat of a fresh-killed buck?
The next few days Tarzan devoted to the weaving of a barkcloth
sail with which to equip the canoefor he despaired of being able
to teach the apes to wield the paddlesthough he did manage to get
several of them to embark in the frail craft which he and Mugambi
paddled about inside the reef where the water was quite smooth.
During these trips he had placed paddles in their hands
when they attempted to imitate the movements of him and
Mugambibut so difficult is it for them long to concentrate
upon a thing that he soon saw that it would require weeks of
patient training before they would be able to make any
effective use of these new implementsifin fact
they should ever do so.
There was one exceptionhoweverand he was Akut. Almost from
the first he showed an interest in this new sport that
revealed a much higher plane of intelligence than that
attained by any of his tribe. He seemed to grasp the purpose
of the paddlesand when Tarzan saw that this was so he took
much pains to explain in the meagre language of the anthropoid
how they might be used to the best advantage.
From Mugambi Tarzan learned that the mainland lay but
a short distance from the island. It seemed that the Wagambi
warriors had ventured too far out in their frail craft
and when caught by a heavy tide and a high wind from offshore
they had been driven out of sight of land. After paddling
for a whole nightthinking that they were headed for home
they had seen this land at sunriseandstill taking it for
the mainlandhad hailed it with joynor had Mugambi been
aware that it was an island until Tarzan had told him that
this was the fact.
The Wagambi chief was quite dubious as to the sailfor
he had never seen such a contrivance used. His country lay
far up the broad Ugambi Riverand this was the first occasion
that any of his people had found their way to the ocean.
Tarzanhoweverwas confident that with a good west wind he
could navigate the little craft to the mainland. At any rate
he decidedit would be preferable to perish on the way than to
remain indefinitely upon this evidently uncharted island to
which no ships might ever be expected to come.
And so it was that when the first fair wind rose he embarked
upon his cruiseand with him he took as strange and
fearsome a crew as ever sailed under a savage master.
Mugambi and Akut went with himand Sheetathe panther
and a dozen great males of the tribe of Akut.
A Hideous Crew
The war-canoe with its savage load moved slowly toward the
break in the reef through which it must pass to gain the
open sea. TarzanMugambiand Akut wielded the paddles
for the shore kept the west wind from the little sail.
Sheeta crouched in the bow at the ape-man's feetfor it
had seemed best to Tarzan always to keep the wicked beast
as far from the other members of the party as possible
since it would require little or no provocation to send him
at the throat of any than the white manwhom he evidently
now looked upon as his master.
In the stern was Mugambiand just in front of him squatted
Akutwhile between Akut and Tarzan the twelve hairy apes
sat upon their haunchesblinking dubiously this way and that
and now and then turning their eyes longingly back toward shore.
All went well until the canoe had passed beyond the reef.
Here the breeze struck the sailsending the rude craft
lunging among the waves that ran higher and higher as
they drew away from the shore.
With the tossing of the boat the apes became panic-stricken.
They first moved uneasily aboutand then commenced grumbling
and whining. With difficulty Akut kept them in hand for a time;
but when a particularly large wave struck the dugout
simultaneously with a little squall of wind their terror
broke all boundsandleaping to their feetthey
all but overturned the boat before Akut and Tarzan together
could quiet them. At last calm was restoredand eventually
the apes became accustomed to the strange antics of their craft
after which no more trouble was experienced with them.
The trip was uneventfulthe wind heldand after ten hours'
steady sailing the black shadows of the coast loomed close
before the straining eyes of the ape-man in the bow. It was
far too dark to distinguish whether they had approached close
to the mouth of the Ugambi or notso Tarzan ran in through
the surf at the closest point to await the dawn.
The dugout turned broadside the instant that its nose
touched the sandand immediately it rolled overwith all its
crew scrambling madly for the shore. The next breaker rolled
them over and overbut eventually they all succeeded in
crawling to safetyand in a moment more their ungainly craft
had been washed up beside them.
The balance of the night the apes sat huddled close to one
another for warmth; while Mugambi built a fire close to them
over which he crouched. Tarzan and Sheetahoweverwere
of a different mindfor neither of them feared the jungle
nightand the insistent craving of their hunger sent them off
into the Stygian blackness of the forest in search of prey.
Side by side they walked when there was room for two abreast.
At other times in single filefirst one and then the
other in advance. It was Tarzan who first caught the scent of
meat--a bull buffalo--and presently the two came stealthily
upon the sleeping beast in the midst of a dense jungle of
reeds close to a river.
Closer and closer they crept toward the unsuspecting beast
Sheeta upon his right side and Tarzan upon his left nearest
the great heart. They had hunted together now for some time
so that they worked in unisonwith only lowpurring sounds
For a moment they lay quite silent near their preyand
then at a sign from the ape-man Sheeta sprang upon the
great backburying his strong teeth in the bull's neck.
Instantly the brute sprang to his feet with a bellow of
pain and rageand at the same instant Tarzan rushed in
upon his left side with the stone knifestriking repeatedly
behind the shoulder.
One of the ape-man's hands clutched the thick maneand
as the bull raced madly through the reeds the thing striking
at his life was dragged beside him. Sheeta but clung
tenaciously to his hold upon the neck and backbiting deep in
an effort to reach the spine.
For several hundred yards the bellowing bull carried his two
savage antagonistsuntil at last the blade found his heart
when with a final bellow that was half-scream he plunged headlong
to the earth. Then Tarzan and Sheeta feasted to repletion.
After the meal the two curled up together in a thicketthe
man's black head pillowed upon the tawny side of the panther.
Shortly after dawn they awoke and ate againand then
returned to the beach that Tarzan might lead the balance of
the pack to the kill.
When the meal was done the brutes were for curling up to sleep
so Tarzan and Mugambi set off in search of the Ugambi River.
They had proceeded scarce a hundred yards when they came
suddenly upon a broad streamwhich the Negro instantly
recognized as that down which he and his warriors
had paddled to the sea upon their ill-starred expedition.
The two now followed the stream down to the oceanfinding
that it emptied into a bay not over a mile from the point upon
the beach at which the canoe had been thrown the night before.
Tarzan was much elated by the discoveryas he knew that
in the vicinity of a large watercourse he should find natives
and from some of these he had little doubt but that he should
obtain news of Rokoff and the childfor he felt reasonably
certain that the Russian would rid himself of the baby as
quickly as possible after having disposed of Tarzan.
He and Mugambi now righted and launched the dugoutthough
it was a most difficult feat in the face of the surf which
rolled continuously in upon the beach; but at last they were
successfuland soon after were paddling up the coast toward
the mouth of the Ugambi. Here they experienced considerable
difficulty in making an entrance against the combined
current and ebb tidebut by taking advantage of eddies close
in to shore they came about dusk to a point nearly opposite
the spot where they had left the pack asleep.
Making the craft fast to an overhanging boughthe two
made their way into the junglepresently coming upon some
of the apes feeding upon fruit a little beyond the reeds where
the buffalo had fallen. Sheeta was not anywhere to be seen
nor did he return that nightso that Tarzan came to believe
that he had wandered away in search of his own kind.
Early the next morning the ape-man led his band down to the river
and as he walked he gave vent to a series of shrill cries.
Presently from a great distance and faintly there came
an answering screamand a half-hour later the lithe form of
Sheeta bounded into view where the others of the pack were
clambering gingerly into the canoe.
The great beastwith arched back and purring like a
contented tabbyrubbed his sides against the ape-manand then
at a word from the latter sprang lightly to his former place in
the bow of the dugout.
When all were in place it was discovered that two of the
apes of Akut were missingand though both the king ape
and Tarzan called to them for the better part of an hourthere
was no responseand finally the boat put off without them.
As it happened that the two missing ones were the very same
who had evinced the least desire to accompany the expedition
from the islandand had suffered the most from fright during
the voyageTarzan was quite sure that they had absented
themselves purposely rather than again enter the canoe.
As the party were putting in for the shore shortly after
noon to search for food a slendernaked savage watched
them for a moment from behind the dense screen of verdure
which lined the river's bankthen he melted away up-stream
before any of those in the canoe discovered him.
Like a deer he bounded along the narrow trail untilfilled
with the excitement of his newshe burst into a native village
several miles above the point at which Tarzan and his pack
had stopped to hunt.
Another white man is coming!he cried to the chief
who squatted before the entrance to his circular hut.
Another white man, and with him are many warriors.
They come in a great war-canoe to kill and rob as did
the black-bearded one who has just left us.
Kaviri leaped to his feet. He had but recently had a taste
of the white man's medicineand his savage heart was filled
with bitterness and hate. In another moment the rumble of
the war-drums rose from the villagecalling in the hunters
from the forest and the tillers from the fields.
Seven war-canoes were launched and manned by paint-daubed
befeathered warriors. Long spears bristled from the rude
battle-shipsas they slid noiselessly over the bosom of the water
propelled by giant muscles rolling beneath glisteningebony hides.
There was no beating of tom-toms nownor blare of native
hornfor Kaviri was a crafty warriorand it was in his mind
to take no chancesif they could be avoided. He would swoop
noiselessly down with his seven canoes upon the single one
of the white manand before the guns of the latter could
inflict much damage upon his people he would have overwhelmed
the enemy by force of numbers.
Kaviri's own canoe went in advance of the others a short
distanceand as it rounded a sharp bend in the river where
the swift current bore it rapidly on its way it came suddenly
upon the thing that Kaviri sought.
So close were the two canoes to one another that the black
had only an opportunity to note the white face in the bow of
the oncoming craft before the two touched and his own men
were upon their feetyelling like mad devils and thrusting
their long spears at the occupants of the other canoe.
But a moment laterwhen Kaviri was able to realize the
nature of the crew that manned the white man's dugouthe
would have given all the beads and iron wire that he
possessed to have been safely within his distant village.
Scarcely had the two craft come together than the frightful apes of
Akut rosegrowling and barkingfrom the bottom of the
canoeandwith longhairy arms far outstretchedgrasped
the menacing spears from the hands of Kaviri's warriors.
The blacks were overcome with terrorbut there was nothing
to do other than to fight. Now came the other war-canoes
rapidly down upon the two craft. Their occupants were eager
to join the battlefor they thought that their foes were white
men and their native porters.
They swarmed about Tarzan's craft; but when they saw the nature
of the enemy all but one turned and paddled swiftly upriver.
That one came too close to the ape-man's craft before
its occupants realized that their fellows were pitted
against demons instead of men. As it touched Tarzan spoke
a few low words to Sheeta and Akutso that before the
attacking warriors could draw away there sprang upon them
with a blood-freezing scream a huge pantherand into the
other end of their canoe clambered a great ape.
At one end the panther wrought fearful havoc with his
mighty talons and longsharp fangswhile Akut at the other
buried his yellow canines in the necks of those that came
within his reachhurling the terror-stricken blacks overboard
as he made his way toward the centre of the canoe.
Kaviri was so busily engaged with the demons that had
entered his own craft that he could offer no assistance to his
warriors in the other. A giant of a white devil had wrested
his spear from him as though hethe mighty Kavirihad been
but a new-born babe. Hairy monsters were overcoming his
fighting menand a black chieftain like himself was fighting
shoulder to shoulder with the hideous pack that opposed him.
Kaviri battled bravely against his antagonistfor he felt
that death had already claimed himand so the least that he
could do would be to sell his life as dearly as possible; but it
was soon evident that his best was quite futile when pitted
against the superhuman brawn and agility of the creature that
at last found his throat and bent him back into the bottom of
Presently Kaviri's head began to whirl--objects became
confused and dim before his eyes--there was a great pain in
his chest as he struggled for the breath of life that the thing
upon him was shutting off for ever. Then he lost consciousness.
When he opened his eyes once more he foundmuch to
his surprisethat he was not dead. He laysecurely bound
in the bottom of his own canoe. A great panther sat upon its
hauncheslooking down upon him.
Kaviri shuddered and closed his eyes againwaiting for
the ferocious creature to spring upon him and put him out of
his misery of terror.
After a momentno rending fangs having buried themselves
in his trembling bodyhe again ventured to open his eyes.
Beyond the panther kneeled the white giant who had
The man was wielding a paddlewhile directly behind him
Kaviri saw some of his own warriors similarly engaged.
Back of them again squatted several of the hairy apes.
Tarzanseeing that the chief had regained consciousness
Your warriors tell me that you are the chief of a
numerous people, and that your name is Kaviri,he said.
Yes,replied the black.
Why did you attack me? I came in peace.
Another white man `came in peace' three moons ago,
replied Kaviri; "and after we had brought him presents of a
goat and cassava and milkhe set upon us with his guns and
killed many of my peopleand then went on his waytaking
all of our goats and many of our young men and women."
I am not as this other white man,replied Tarzan.
I should not have harmed you had you not set upon me.
Tell me, what was the face of this bad white man like? I am
searching for one who has wronged me. Possibly this may
be the very one.
He was a man with a bad face, covered with a great,
black beard, and he was very, very wicked--yes, very
Was there a little white child with him?asked Tarzan
his heart almost stopped as he awaited the black's answer.
No, bwana,replied Kavirithe white child was not
with this man's party--it was with the other party.
Other party!exclaimed Tarzan. "What other party?"
With the party that the very bad white man was pursuing.
There was a white man, woman, and the child, with six
Mosula porters. They passed up the river three days ahead
of the very bad white man. I think that they were running
away from him.
A white manwomanand child! Tarzan was puzzled. The child
must be his little Jack; but who could the woman be--and the man?
Was it possible that one of Rokoff's confederates had conspired
with some woman--who had accompanied the Russian--to steal
the baby from him?
If this was the casethey had doubtless purposed returning
the child to civilization and there either claiming a reward or
holding the little prisoner for ransom.
But now that Rokoff had succeeded in chasing them far inland
up the savage riverthere could be little doubt but
that he would eventually overhaul themunlessas was still
more probablethey should be captured and killed by the
very cannibals farther up the Ugambito whomTarzan was now
convincedit had been Rokoff's intention to deliver the baby.
As he talked to Kaviri the canoes had been moving steadily
up-river toward the chief's village. Kaviri's warriors plied the
paddles in the three canoescasting sidelongterrified glances
at their hideous passengers. Three of the apes of Akut had
been killed in the encounterbut there werewith Akuteight
of the frightful beasts remainingand there was Sheetathe
pantherand Tarzan and Mugambi.
Kaviri's warriors thought that they had never seen so terrible
a crew in all their lives. Momentarily they expected to
be pounced upon and torn asunder by some of their captors;
andin factit was all that Tarzan and Mugambi and Akut
could do to keep the snarlingill-natured brutes from snapping
at the glisteningnaked bodies that brushed against them
now and then with the movements of the paddlerswhose
very fear added incitement to the beasts.
At Kaviri's camp Tarzan paused only long enough to eat
the food that the blacks furnishedand arrange with the
chief for a dozen men to man the paddles of his canoe.
Kaviri was only too glad to comply with any demands that
the ape-man might make if only such compliance would hasten
the departure of the horrid pack; but it was easierhe
discoveredto promise men than to furnish themfor when
his people learned his intentions those that had not already
fled into the jungle proceeded to do so without loss of time
so that when Kaviri turned to point out those who were to
accompany Tarzanhe discovered that he was the only member
of his tribe left within the village.
Tarzan could not repress a smile.
They do not seem anxious to accompany us,he said;
but just remain quietly here, Kaviri, and presently you
shall see your people flocking to your side.
Then the ape-man roseandcalling his pack about him
commanded that Mugambi remain with Kaviriand disappeared
in the jungle with Sheeta and the apes at his heels.
For half an hour the silence of the grim forest was broken
only by the ordinary sounds of the teeming life that but adds
to its lowering loneliness. Kaviri and Mugambi sat alone in
the palisaded villagewaiting.
Presently from a great distance came a hideous sound.
Mugambi recognized the weird challenge of the ape-man.
Immediately from different points of the compass rose a
horrid semicircle of similar shrieks and screamspunctuated
now and again by the blood-curdling cry of a hungry panther.
The two savagesKaviri and Mugambisquatting before
the entrance to Kaviri's hutlooked at one another--
Kaviri with ill-concealed alarm.
What is it?he whispered.
It is Bwana Tarzan and his people,replied Mugambi.
But what they are doing I know not, unless it be that they
are devouring your people who ran away.
Kaviri shuddered and rolled his eyes fearfully toward the jungle.
In all his long life in the savage forest he had never
heard such an awfulfearsome din.
Closer and closer came the soundsand now with them were
mingled the terrified shrieks of women and children and
of men. For twenty long minutes the blood-curdling cries
continueduntil they seemed but a stone's throw from
the palisade. Kaviri rose to fleebut Mugambi seized and
held himfor such had been the command of Tarzan.
A moment later a horde of terrified natives burst from the jungle
racing toward the shelter of their huts. Like frightened sheep
they ranand behind themdriving them as sheep might be driven
came Tarzan and Sheeta and the hideous apes of Akut.
Presently Tarzan stood before Kavirithe old quiet smile upon his lips.
Your people have returned, my brother,he saidand
now you may select those who are to accompany me and
paddle my canoe.
Tremblingly Kaviri tottered to his feetcalling to his people
to come from their huts; but none responded to his summons.
Tell them,suggested Tarzanthat if they do not come
I shall send my people in after them.
Kaviri did as he was bidand in an instant the entire
population of the village came forththeir wide and frightened
eyes rolling from one to another of the savage creatures that
wandered about the village street.
Quickly Kaviri designated a dozen warriors to accompany Tarzan.
The poor fellows went almost white with terror at the
prospect of close contact with the panther and the apes in
the narrow confines of the canoes; but when Kaviri explained
to them that there was no escape--that Bwana Tarzan
would pursue them with his grim horde should they attempt
to run away from the duty--they finally went gloomily down
to the river and took their places in the canoe.
It was with a sigh of relief that their chieftain saw the party
disappear about a headland a short distance up-river.
For three days the strange company continued farther and
farther into the heart of the savage country that lies on either
side of the almost unexplored Ugambi. Three of the twelve
warriors deserted during that time; but as several of the apes
had finally learned the secret of the paddlesTarzan felt no
dismay because of the loss.
As a matter of facthe could have travelled much more
rapidly on shorebut he believed that he could hold his own
wild crew together to better advantage by keeping them to
the boat as much as possible. Twice a day they landed to hunt
and feedand at night they slept upon the bank of the mainland
or on one of the numerous little islands that dotted the river.
Before them the natives fled in alarmso that they found
only deserted villages in their path as they proceeded.
Tarzan was anxious to get in touch with some of the savages
who dwelt upon the river's banksbut so far he had been unable
to do so.
Finally he decided to take to the land himselfleaving his
company to follow after him by boat. He explained to Mugambi
the thing that he had in mindand told Akut to follow
the directions of the black.
I will join you again in a few days,he said. "Now I go
ahead to learn what has become of the very bad white man
whom I seek."
At the next halt Tarzan took to the shoreand was soon
lost to the view of his people.
The first few villages he came to were desertedshowing
that news of the coming of his pack had travelled rapidly;
but toward evening he came upon a distant cluster of thatched
huts surrounded by a rude palisadewithin which were a
couple of hundred natives.
The women were preparing the evening meal as Tarzan of
the Apes poised above them in the branches of a giant tree
which overhung the palisade at one point.
The ape-man was at a loss as to how he might enter into
communication with these people without either frightening
them or arousing their savage love of battle. He had no desire
to fight nowfor he was upon a much more important mission
than that of battling with every chance tribe that he
should happen to meet with.
At last he hit upon a planand after seeing that he was
concealed from the view of those belowhe gave a few hoarse
grunts in imitation of a panther. All eyes immediately turned
upward toward the foliage above.
It was growing darkand they could not penetrate the leafy
screen which shielded the ape-man from their view. The moment
that he had won their attention he raised his voice to
the shriller and more hideous scream of the beast he personated
and thenscarce stirring a leaf in his descentdropped
to the ground once again outside the palisadeandwith the
speed of a deerran quickly round to the village gate.
Here he beat upon the fibre-bound saplings of which the
barrier was constructedshouting to the natives in their own
tongue that he was a friend who wished food and shelter for
Tarzan knew well the nature of the black man. He was
aware that the grunting and screaming of Sheeta in the tree
above them would set their nerves on edgeand that his
pounding upon their gate after dark would still further add
to their terror.
That they did not reply to his hail was no surprisefor
natives are fearful of any voice that comes out of the night
from beyond their palisadesattributing it always to some
demon or other ghostly visitor; but still he continued to call.
Let me in, my friends!he cried. "I am a white man
pursuing the very bad white man who passed this way a few
days ago. I follow to punish him for the sins he has committed
against you and me.
If you doubt my friendship, I will prove it to you by going
into the tree above your village and driving Sheeta back into
the jungle before he leaps among you. If you will not promise
to take me in and treat me as a friend I shall let Sheeta stay
and devour you.
For a moment there was silence. Then the voice of an old
man came out of the quiet of the village street.
If you are indeed a white man and a friend, we will let
you come in; but first you must drive Sheeta away.
Very well,replied Tarzan. "Listenand you shall hear
Sheeta fleeing before me."
The ape-man returned quickly to the treeand this time he
made a great noise as he entered the branchesat the same
time growling ominously after the manner of the pantherso that
those below would believe that the great beast was still there.
When he reached a point well above the village street he
made a great commotionshaking the tree violentlycrying
aloud to the panther to flee or be killedand punctuating his
own voice with the screams and mouthings of an angry beast.
Presently he raced toward the opposite side of the tree and
off into the junglepounding loudly against the boles of trees
as he wentand voicing the panther's diminishing growls as
he drew farther and farther away from the village.
A few minutes later he returned to the village gatecalling
to the natives within.
I have driven Sheeta away,he said. "Now come and
admit me as you promised."
For a time there was the sound of excited discussion within
the palisadebut at length a half-dozen warriors came and
opened the gatespeering anxiously out in evident trepidation
as to the nature of the creature which they should find
waiting there. They were not much relieved at sight of an
almost naked white man; but when Tarzan had reassured
them in quiet tonesprotesting his friendship for them
they opened the barrier a trifle farther and admitted him.
When the gates had been once more secured the self-confidence
of the savages returnedand as Tarzan walked up the village street
toward the chief's hut he was surrounded by a host of curious men
From the chief he learned that Rokoff had passed up the
river a week previousand that he had horns growing from
his foreheadand was accompanied by a thousand devils.
Later the chief said that the very bad white man had remained
a month in his village.
Though none of these statements agreed with Kaviri'sthat
the Russian was but three days gone from the chieftain's
village and that his following was much smaller than now stated
Tarzan was in no manner surprised at the discrepanciesfor
he was quite familiar with the savage mind's strange manner
What he was most interested in knowing was that he was upon
the right trailand that it led toward the interior. In this
circumstance he knew that Rokoff could never escape him.
After several hours of questioning and cross-questioning
the ape-man learned that another party had preceded the
Russian by several days--three whites--a mana woman
and a little man-childwith several Mosulas.
Tarzan explained to the chief that his people would follow
him in a canoeprobably the next dayand that though he
might go on ahead of them the chief was to receive them
kindly and have no fear of themfor Mugambi would see
that they did not harm the chief's peopleif they were
accorded a friendly reception.
And now,he concludedI shall lie down beneath this
tree and sleep. I am very tired. Permit no one to disturb me.
The chief offered him a hutbut Tarzanfrom past experience
of native dwellingspreferred the open airandfurther
he had plans of his own that could be better carried out
if he remained beneath the tree. He gave as his reason a
desire to be close at hand should Sheeta returnand after this
explanation the chief was very glad to permit him to sleep
beneath the tree.
Tarzan had always found that it stood him in good stead
to leave with natives the impression that he was to some
extent possessed of more or less miraculous powers. He might
easily have entered their village without recourse to the
gatesbut he believed that a sudden and unaccountable
disappearance when he was ready to leave them would result
in a more lasting impression upon their childlike mindsand
so as soon as the village was quiet in sleep he roseand
leaping into the branches of the tree above himfaded silently
into the black mystery of the jungle night.
All the balance of that night the ape-man swung rapidly
through the upper and middle terraces of the forest. When the
going was good there he preferred the upper branches of the
giant treesfor then his way was better lighted by the moon;
but so accustomed were all his senses to the grim world of
his birth that it was possible for himeven in the dense
black shadows near the groundto move with ease and rapidity.
You or I walking beneath the arcs of Main Streetor Broadway
or State Streetcould not have moved more surely or with
a tenth the speed of the agile ape-man through the
gloomy mazes that would have baffled us entirely.
At dawn he stopped to feedand then he slept for several
hourstaking up the pursuit again toward noon.
Twice he came upon nativesandthough he had considerable
difficulty in approaching themhe succeeded in each
instance in quieting both their fears and bellicose intentions
toward himand learned from them that he was upon the trail
of the Russian.
Two days laterstill following up the Ugambihe came
upon a large village. The chiefa wicked-looking fellow with
the sharp-filed teeth that often denote the cannibalreceived
him with apparent friendliness.
The ape-man was now thoroughly fatiguedand had determined
to rest for eight or ten hours that he might be fresh
and strong when he caught up with Rokoffas he was sure
he must do within a very short time.
The chief told him that the bearded white man had left his
village only the morning beforeand that doubtless he would
be able to overtake him in a short time. The other party the
chief had not seen or heard ofso he said.
Tarzan did not like the appearance or manner of the fellow
who seemedthough friendly enoughto harbour a certain
contempt for this half-naked white man who came with no
followers and offered no presents; but he needed the rest and
food that the village would afford him with less effort than
the jungleand soas he knew no fear of manbeastor
devilhe curled himself up in the shadow of a hut and was
Scarcely had he left the chief than the latter called two of
his warriorsto whom he whispered a few instructions.
A moment later the sleekblack bodies were racing along the
river pathup-streamtoward the east.
In the village the chief maintained perfect quiet. He would
permit no one to approach the sleeping visitornor any
singingnor loud talking. He was remarkably solicitous
lest his guest be disturbed.
Three hours later several canoes came silently into view
from up the Ugambi. They were being pushed ahead rapidly
by the brawny muscles of their black crews. Upon the bank
before the river stood the chiefhis spear raised in a
horizontal position above his headas though in some
manner of predetermined signal to those within the boats.
And such indeed was the purpose of his attitude--which
meant that the white stranger within his village still
In the bows of two of the canoes were the runners that the
chief had sent forth three hours earlier. It was evident that
they had been dispatched to follow and bring back this party
and that the signal from the bank was one that had been
determined upon before they left the village.
In a few moments the dugouts drew up to the verdure-clad bank.
The native warriors filed outand with them a half-dozen
white men. Sullenugly-looking customers they were
and none more so than the evil-facedblack-bearded man
who commanded them.
Where is the white man your messengers report to be
with you?he asked of the chief.
This way, bwana,replied the native. "Carefully have
I kept silence in the village that he might be still asleep when
you returned. I do not know that he is one who seeks you to
do you harmbut he questioned me closely about your coming
and your goingand his appearance is as that of the one
you describedbut whom you believed safe in the country
which you called Jungle Island.
Had you not told me this tale I should not have recognized
him, and then he might have gone after and slain you.
If he is a friend and no enemy, then no harm has been done,
bwana; but if he proves to be an enemy, I should like very
much to have a rifle and some ammunition.
You have done well,replied the white manand you
shall have the rifle and ammunition whether he be a friend
or enemy, provided that you stand with me.
I shall stand with you, bwana,said the chief
and now come and look upon the stranger, who sleeps
within my village.
So sayinghe turned and led the way toward the hutin the
shadow of which the unconscious Tarzan slept peacefully.
Behind the two men came the remaining whites and a score
of warriors; but the raised forefingers of the chief and
his companion held them all to perfect silence.
As they turned the corner of the hutcautiously and upon
tiptoean ugly smile touched the lips of the white as his eyes
fell upon the giant figure of the sleeping ape-man.
The chief looked at the other inquiringly. The latter nodded
his headto signify that the chief had made no mistake
in his suspicions. Then he turned to those behind him and
pointing to the sleeping manmotioned for them to seize
and bind him.
A moment later a dozen brutes had leaped upon the surprised
Tarzanand so quickly did they work that he was securely
bound before he could make half an effort to escape.
Then they threw him down upon his backand as his eyes
turned toward the crowd that stood nearthey fell upon the
malign face of Nikolas Rokoff.
A sneer curled the Russian's lips. He stepped quite close
Pig!he cried. "Have you not learned sufficient
wisdom to keep away from Nikolas Rokoff?"
Then he kicked the prostrate man full in the face.
That for your welcome,he said.
Tonight, before my Ethiop friends eat you, I shall tell
you what has already befallen your wife and child, and what
further plans I have for their futures.
The Dance of Death
Through the luxurianttangled vegetation of the Stygian
jungle night a great lithe body made its way sinuously
and in utter silence upon its soft padded feet. Only two
blazing points of yellow-green flame shone occasionally with
the reflected light of the equatorial moon that now and again
pierced the softly sighing roof rustling in the night wind.
Occasionally the beast would stop with high-held nose
sniffing searchingly. At other times a quickbrief incursion
into the branches above delayed it momentarily in its steady
journey toward the east. To its sensitive nostrils came the
subtle unseen spoor of many a tender four-footed creature
bringing the slaver of hunger to the crueldrooping jowl.
But steadfastly it kept on its waystrangely ignoring the
cravings of appetite that at another time would have sent
the rollingfur-clad muscles flying at some soft throat.
All that night the creature pursued its lonely wayand the
next day it halted only to make a single killwhich it tore
to fragments and devoured with sullengrumbling rumbles as
though half famished for lack of food.
It was dusk when it approached the palisade that surrounded
a large native village. Like the shadow of a swift and silent
death it circled the villagenose to groundhalting at last
close to the palisadewhere it almost touched the backs
of several huts. Here the beast sniffed for a momentand then
turning its head upon one sidelistened with up-pricked ears.
What it heard was no sound by the standards of human ears
yet to the highly attuned and delicate organs of the beast
a message seemed to be borne to the savage brain. A wondrous
transformation was wrought in the motionless mass of
statuesque bone and muscle that had an instant before stood
as though carved out of the living bronze.
As if it had been poised upon steel springssuddenly released
it rose quickly and silently to the top of the palisade
disappearingstealthily and catlikeinto the dark space
between the wall and the back of an adjacent hut.
In the village street beyond women were preparing many little
fires and fetching cooking-pots filled with waterfor a great
feast was to be celebrated ere the night was many hours older.
About a stout stake near the centre of the circling fires
a little knot of black warriors stood conversingtheir bodies
smeared with white and blue and ochre in broad and grotesque bands.
Great circles of colour were drawn about their eyes and lips
their breasts and abdomensand from their clay-plastered
coiffures rose gay feathers and bits of longstraight wire.
The village was preparing for the feastwhile in a hut at
one side of the scene of the coming orgy the bound victim of
their bestial appetites lay waiting for the end. And such an end!
Tarzan of the Apestensing his mighty musclesstrained
at the bonds that pinioned him; but they had been re-enforced
many times at the instigation of the Russianso that not even
the ape-man's giant brawn could budge them.
Tarzan had looked the Hideous Hunter in the face many a time
and smiled. And he would smile again tonight when he knew
the end was coming quickly; but now his thoughts were not
of himselfbut of those others--the dear ones who must
suffer most because of his passing.
Jane would never know the manner of it. For that he thanked Heaven;
and he was thankful also that she at least was safe in the heart of
the world's greatest city. Safe among kind and loving friends who
would do their best to lighten her misery.
But the boy!
Tarzan writhed at the thought of him. His son! And now
he--the mighty Lord of the Jungle--heTarzanKing of the
Apesthe only one in all the world fitted to find and save the
child from the horrors that Rokoff's evil mind had planned-had
been trapped like a sillydumb creature. He was to die
in a few hoursand with him would go the child's last chance
Rokoff had been in to see and revile and abuse him several
times during the afternoon; but he had been able to wring no
word of remonstrance or murmur of pain from the lips of the
So at last he had given upreserving his particular bit of
exquisite mental torture for the last momentwhenjust
before the savage spears of the cannibals should for ever make
the object of his hatred immune to further sufferingthe
Russian planned to reveal to his enemy the true whereabouts of
his wife whom he thought safe in England.
Dusk had fallen upon the villageand the ape-men could hear
the preparations going forward for the torture and the feast.
The dance of death he could picture in his mind's eye--for
he had seen the thing many times in the past. Now he was
to be the central figurebound to the stake.
The torture of the slow death as the circling warriors cut
him to bits with the fiendish skillthat mutilated without
bringing unconsciousnesshad no terrors for him. He was
inured to suffering and to the sight of blood and to cruel
death; but the desire to live was no less strong within him
and until the last spark of life should flicker and go outhis
whole being would remain quick with hope and determination.
Let them relax their watchfulness but for an instanthe
knew that his cunning mind and giant muscles would find a
way to escape--escape and revenge.
As he laythinking furiously on every possibility of selfsalvation
there came to his sensitive nostrils a faint and a
familiar scent. Instantly every faculty of his mind was upon
the alert. Presently his trained ears caught the sound of the
soundless presence without--behind the hut wherein he lay.
His lips movedand though no sound came forth that might
have been appreciable to a human ear beyond the walls of
his prisonyet he realized that the one beyond would hear.
Already he knew who that one wasfor his nostrils had told
him as plainly as your eyes or mine tell us of the identity of
an old friend whom we come upon in broad daylight.
An instant later he heard the soft sound of a fur-clad
body and padded feet scaling the outer wall behind the
hut and then a tearing at the poles which formed the wall.
Presently through the hole thus made slunk a great beast
pressing its cold muzzle close to his neck.
It was Sheetathe panther.
The beast snuffed round the prostrate manwhining a little.
There was a limit to the interchange of ideas which could
take place between these twoand so Tarzan could not be
sure that Sheeta understood all that he attempted to
communicate to him. That the man was tied and helpless Sheeta
couldof coursesee; but that to the mind of the panther this
would carry any suggestion of harm in so far as his master
was concernedTarzan could not guess.
What had brought the beast to him? The fact that he had
come augured well for what he might accomplish; but when
Tarzan tried to get Sheeta to gnaw his bonds asunder the great
animal could not seem to understand what was expected of him
andinsteadbut licked the wrists and arms of the prisoner.
Presently there came an interruption. Some one was
approaching the hut. Sheeta gave a low growl and slunk into
the blackness of a far corner. Evidently the visitor did not
hear the warning soundfor almost immediately he entered
the hut--a tallnakedsavage warrior.
He came to Tarzan's side and pricked him with a spear.
From the lips of the ape-man came a weirduncanny sound
and in answer to it there leaped from the blackness of the
hut's farthermost corner a bolt of fur-clad death. Full upon
the breast of the painted savage the great beast struck
burying sharp talons in the black flesh and sinking
great yellow fangs in the ebon throat.
There was a fearful scream of anguish and terror from the black
and mingled with it was the hideous challenge of the killing panther.
Then came silence--silence except for the rending of bloody flesh
and the crunching of human bones between mighty jaws.
The noise had brought sudden quiet to the village without.
Then there came the sound of voices in consultation.
High-pitchedfear-filled voicesand deeplow tones of
authorityas the chief spoke. Tarzan and the panther heard
the approaching footsteps of many menand thento Tarzan's
surprisethe great cat rose from across the body of its kill
and slunk noiselessly from the hut through the aperture
through which it had entered.
The man heard the soft scraping of the body as it passed
over the top of the palisadeand then silence. From the
opposite side of the hut he heard the savages approaching
He had little hope that Sheeta would returnfor had the great
cat intended to defend him against all comers it would have
remained by his side as it heard the approaching savages without.
Tarzan knew how strange were the workings of the brains
of the mighty carnivora of the jungle--how fiendishly fearless
they might be in the face of certain deathand again how timid
upon the slightest provocation. There was doubt in his mind
that some note of the approaching blacks vibrating with fear
had struck an answering chord in the nervous system of the panther
sending him slinking through the junglehis tail between his legs.
The man shrugged. Wellwhat of it? He had expected
to dieandafter allwhat might Sheeta have done for him
other than to maul a couple of his enemies before a rifle in
the hands of one of the whites should have dispatched him!
If the cat could have released him! Ah! that would have
resulted in a very different story; but it had proved beyond
the understanding of Sheetaand now the beast was gone
and Tarzan must definitely abandon hope.
The natives were at the entrance to the hut nowpeering
fearfully into the dark interior. Two in advance held lighted
torches in their left hands and ready spears in their right.
They held back timorously against those behindwho were
pushing them forward.
The shrieks of the panther's victimmingled with those of
the great cathad wrought mightily upon their poor nerves
and now the awful silence of the dark interior seemed even
more terribly ominous than had the frightful screaming.
Presently one of those who was being forced unwillingly
within hit upon a happy scheme for learning first the precise
nature of the danger which menaced him from the silent interior.
With a quick movement he flung his lighted torch into the
centre of the hut. Instantly all within was illuminated
for a brief second before the burning brand was dashed out
against the earth floor.
There was the figure of the white prisoner still securely
bound as they had last seen himand in the centre of the hut
another figure equally as motionlessits throat and breasts
horribly torn and mangled.
The sight that met the eyes of the foremost savages
inspired more terror within their superstitious breasts
than would the presence of Sheetafor they saw only the
result of a ferocious attack upon one of their fellows.
Not seeing the causetheir fear-ridden minds were free to
attribute the ghastly work to supernatural causesand with
the thought they turnedscreamingfrom the hutbowling
over those who stood directly behind them in the exuberance
of their terror.
For an hour Tarzan heard only the murmur of excited voices
from the far end of the village. Evidently the savages
were once more attempting to work up their flickering courage
to a point that would permit them to make another invasion
of the hutfor now and then came a savage yellsuch
as the warriors give to bolster up their bravery upon the
field of battle.
But in the end it was two of the whites who first entered
carrying torches and guns. Tarzan was not surprised to
discover that neither of them was Rokoff. He would have
wagered his soul that no power on earth could have tempted
that great coward to face the unknown menace of the hut.
When the natives saw that the white men were not attacked
theytoocrowded into the interiortheir voices hushed with
terror as they looked upon the mutilated corpse of their comrade.
The whites tried in vain to elicit an explanation from
Tarzan; but to all their queries he but shook his heada grim
and knowing smile curving his lips.
At last Rokoff came.
His face grew very white as his eyes rested upon the bloody
thing grinning up at him from the floorthe face set in a
death mask of excruciating horror.
Come!he said to the chief. "Let us get to work and
finish this demon before he has an opportunity to repeat this
thing upon more of your people."
The chief gave orders that Tarzan should be lifted and
carried to the stake; but it was several minutes before he
could prevail upon any of his men to touch the prisoner.
At lasthoweverfour of the younger warriors dragged
Tarzan roughly from the hutand once outside the pall of
terror seemed lifted from the savage hearts.
A score of howling blacks pushed and buffeted the prisoner
down the village street and bound him to the post in the
centre of the circle of little fires and boiling cooking-pots.
When at last he was made fast and seemed quite helpless
and beyond the faintest hope of succourRokoff's shrivelled
wart of courage swelled to its usual proportions when danger
was not present.
He stepped close to the ape-manandseizing a spear from
the hands of one of the savageswas the first to prod the
helpless victim. A little stream of blood trickled down the
giant's smooth skin from the wound in his side; but no murmur
of pain passed his lips.
The smile of contempt upon his face seemed to infuriate
the Russian. With a volley of oaths he leaped at the helpless
captivebeating him upon the face with his clenched fists
and kicking him mercilessly about the legs.
Then he raised the heavy spear to drive it through the
mighty heartand still Tarzan of the Apes smiled
contemptuously upon him.
Before Rokoff could drive the weapon home the chief sprang
upon him and dragged him away from his intended victim.
Stop, white man!he cried. "Rob us of this prisoner and
our death-danceand you yourself may have to take his place."
The threat proved most effective in keeping the Russian
from further assaults upon the prisonerthough he continued
to stand a little apart and hurl taunts at his enemy. He told
Tarzan that he himself was going to eat the ape-man's heart.
He enlarged upon the horrors of the future life of Tarzan's
sonand intimated that his vengeance would reach as well to
You think your wife safe in England,said Rokoff.
Poor fool! She is even now in the hands of one not even of
decent birth, and far from the safety of London and the
protection of her friends. I had not meant to tell you this
until I could bring to you upon Jungle Island proof of her fate.
Now that you are about to die the most unthinkably horrid
death that it is given a white man to die--let this word of
the plight of your wife add to the torments that you must
suffer before the last savage spear-thrust releases you from
The dance had commenced nowand the yells of the circling
warriors drowned Rokoff's further attempts to distress
The leaping savagesthe flickering firelight playing upon
their painted bodiescircled about the victim at the stake.
To Tarzan's memory came a similar scenewhen he had
rescued D'Arnot from a like predicament at the last moment
before the final spear-thrust should have ended his sufferings.
Who was there now to rescue him? In all the world there was
none able to save him from the torture and the death.
The thought that these human fiends would devour him
when the dance was done caused him not a single qualm of
horror or disgust. It did not add to his sufferings as it would
have to those of an ordinary white manfor all his life Tarzan
had seen the beasts of the jungle devour the flesh of their kills.
Had he not himself battled for the grisly forearm of a great
ape at that long-gone Dum-Dumwhen he had slain the fierce
Tublat and won his niche in the respect of the Apes of Kerchak?
The dancers were leaping more closely to him now. The spears
were commencing to find his body in the first torturing pricks
that prefaced the more serious thrusts.
It would not be long now. The ape-man longed for the last
savage lunge that would end his misery.
And thenfar out in the mazes of the weird junglerose a
For an instant the dancers pausedand in the silence of
the interval there rose from the lips of the fast-bound
white man an answering shriekmore fearsome and more terrible
than that of the jungle-beast that had roused it.
For several minutes the blacks hesitated; thenat the urging
of Rokoff and their chiefthey leaped in to finish the
dance and the victim; but ere ever another spear touched the
brown hide a tawny streak of green-eyed hate and ferocity
bounded from the door of the hut in which Tarzan had been
imprisonedand Sheetathe pantherstood snarling beside
For an instant the blacks and the whites stood transfixed
with terror. Their eyes were riveted upon the bared fangs of
the jungle cat.
Only Tarzan of the Apes saw what else there was emerging
from the dark interior of the hut.
Chivalry or Villainy
From her cabin port upon the KincaidJane Clayton had
seen her husband rowed to the verdure-clad shore of Jungle
Islandand then the ship once more proceeded upon its way.
For several days she saw no one other than Sven Anderssen
the Kincaid's taciturn and repellent cook. She asked him
the name of the shore upon which her husband had been set.
Ay tank it blow purty soon purty hard,replied the
Swedeand that was all that she could get out of him.
She had come to the conclusion that he spoke no other
Englishand so she ceased to importune him for information;
but never did she forget to greet him pleasantly or to thank
him for the hideousnauseating meals he brought her.
Three days from the spot where Tarzan had been marooned
the Kincaid came to anchor in the mouth of a great
riverand presently Rokoff came to Jane Clayton's cabin.
We have arrived, my dear,he saidwith a sickening leer.
I have come to offer you safety, liberty, and ease. My heart
has been softened toward you in your suffering, and I would
make amends as best I may.
Your husband was a brute--you know that best who found
him naked in his native jungleroaming wild with the savage
beasts that were his fellows. Now I am a gentlemannot only
born of noble bloodbut raised gently as befits a man of quality.
To you, dear Jane, I offer the love of a cultured man and
association with one of culture and refinement, which you
must have sorely missed in your relations with the poor ape that
through your girlish infatuation you married so thoughtlessly.
I love you, Jane. You have but to say the word and no
further sorrows shall afflict you--even your baby shall be
returned to you unharmed.
Outside the door Sven Anderssen paused with the noonday
meal he had been carrying to Lady Greystoke. Upon the end
of his longstringy neck his little head was cocked to one
sidehis close-set eyes were half closedhis earsso
expressive was his whole attitude of stealthy eavesdropping
seemed truly to be cocked forward--even his longyellow
straggly moustache appeared to assume a sly droop.
As Rokoff closed his appealawaiting the reply he invited
the look of surprise upon Jane Clayton's face turned to one
of disgust. She fairly shuddered in the fellow's face.
I would not have been surprised, M. Rokoff,she said
had you attempted to force me to submit to your evil desires
but that you should be so fatuous as to believe that I
wife of John Claytonwould come to you willinglyeven to
save my lifeI should never have imagined. I have known
you for a scoundrelM. Rokoff; but until now I had not taken
you for a fool."
Rokoff's eyes narrowedand the red of mortification flushed out
the pallor of his face. He took a step toward the girlthreateningly.
We shall see who is the fool at last,he hissedwhen I have
broken you to my will and your plebeian Yankee stubbornness has
cost you all that you hold dear--even the life of your baby--for,
by the bones of St. Peter, I'll forego all that I had planned
for the brat and cut its heart out before your very eyes.
You'll learn what it means to insult Nikolas Rokoff.
Jane Clayton turned wearily away.
What is the use,she saidof expatiating upon the
depths to which your vengeful nature can sink? You cannot
move me either by threats or deeds. My baby cannot judge
yet for himself, but I, his mother, can foresee that should it
have been given him to survive to man's estate he would
willingly sacrifice his life for the honour of his mother.
Love him as I do, I would not purchase his life at such a price.
Did I, he would execrate my memory to the day of his death.
Rokoff was now thoroughly angered because of his failure
to reduce the girl to terror. He felt only hate for herbut it
had come to his diseased mind that if he could force her to
accede to his demands as the price of her life and her child's
the cup of his revenge would be filled to brimming when he
could flaunt the wife of Lord Greystoke in the capitals of
Europe as his mistress.
Again he stepped closer to her. His evil face was convulsed
with rage and desire. Like a wild beast he sprang upon
herand with his strong fingers at her throat forced her
backward upon the berth.
At the same instant the door of the cabin opened noisily.
Rokoff leaped to his feetandturningfaced the Swede cook.
Into the fellow's usually foxy eyes had come an expression
of utter stupidity. His lower jaw drooped in vacuous harmony.
He busied himself in arranging Lady Greystoke's meal
upon the tiny table at one side of her cabin.
The Russian glared at him.
What do you mean,he criedby entering here
without permission? Get out!
The cook turned his watery blue eyes upon Rokoff and
Ay tank it blow purty soon purty hard,he saidand
then he began rearranging the few dishes upon the little table.
Get out of here, or I'll throw you out, you miserable blockhead!
roared Rokofftaking a threatening step toward the Swede.
Anderssen continued to smile foolishly in his direction
but one ham-like paw slid stealthily to the handle of the
longslim knife that protruded from the greasy cord
supporting his soiled apron.
Rokoff saw the move and stopped short in his advance.
Then he turned toward Jane Clayton.
I will give you until tomorrow,he saidto reconsider your
answer to my offer. All will be sent ashore upon one pretext
or another except you and the child, Paulvitch and myself.
Then without interruption you will be able to witness the
death of the baby.
He spoke in French that the cook might not understand
the sinister portent of his words. When he had done he banged
out of the cabin without another look at the man who had
interrupted him in his sorry work.
When he had goneSven Anderssen turned toward Lady
Greystoke--the idiotic expression that had masked his
thoughts had fallen awayand in its place was one of
craft and cunning.
Hay tank Ay ban a fool,he said. "Hay ben the fool.
Ay savvy Franch."
Jane Clayton looked at him in surprise.
You understood all that he said, then?
You bat,he said.
And you heard what was going on in here and came to protect me?
You bane good to me,explained the Swede. "Hay treat me like
darty dog. Ay help youlady. You yust vait--Ay help you.
Ay ban Vast Coast lots times."
But how can you help me, Sven,she askedwhen all
these men will be against us?
Ay tank,said Sven Anderssenit blow purty soon
purty hard,and then he turned and left the cabin.
Though Jane Clayton doubted the cook's ability to be of
any material service to hershe was nevertheless deeply
grateful to him for what he already had done. The feeling
that among these enemies she had one friend brought the
first ray of comfort that had come to lighten the burden of
her miserable apprehensions throughout the long voyage of
She saw no more of Rokoff that daynor of any other until
Sven came with her evening meal. She tried to draw him into
conversation relative to his plans to aid herbut all that she
could get from him was his stereotyped prophecy as to the
future state of the wind. He seemed suddenly to have
relapsed into his wonted state of dense stupidity.
Howeverwhen he was leaving her cabin a little later with
the empty dishes he whispered very lowLeave on your
clothes an' roll up your blankets. Ay come back after you
He would have slipped from the room at oncebut Jane
laid her hand upon his sleeve.
My baby?she asked. "I cannot go without him."
You do wot Ay tal you,said Anderssenscowling.
Ay ban halpin' you, so don't you gat too fonny.
When he had gone Jane Clayton sank down upon her berth
in utter bewilderment. What was she to do? Suspicions as to
the intentions of the Swede swarmed her brain. Might she
not be infinitely worse off if she gave herself into his power
than she already was?
Noshe could be no worse off in company with the devil
himself than with Nikolas Rokofffor the devil at least bore
the reputation of being a gentleman.
She swore a dozen times that she would not leave the Kincaid
without her babyand yet she remained clothed long
past her usual hour for retiringand her blankets were neatly
rolled and bound with stout cordwhen about midnight there
came a stealthy scratching upon the panels of her door.
Swiftly she crossed the room and drew the bolt. Softly the
door swung open to admit the muffled figure of the Swede.
On one arm he carried a bundleevidently his blankets.
His other hand was raised in a gesture commanding silence
a grimy forefinger upon his lips.
He came quite close to her.
Carry this,he said. "Do not make some noise when
you see it. It ban you kid."
Quick hands snatched the bundle from the cookand hungry
mother arms folded the sleeping infant to her breast
while hot tears of joy ran down her cheeks and her whole
frame shook with the emotion of the moment.
Come!said Anderssen. "We got no time to vaste."
He snatched up her bundle of blanketsand outside the
cabin door his own as well. Then he led her to the ship's side
steadied her descent of the monkey-ladderholding the child
for her as she climbed to the waiting boat below. A moment
later he had cut the rope that held the small boat to the
steamer's sideandbending silently to the muffled oars
was pulling toward the black shadows up the Ugambi River.
Anderssen rowed on as though quite sure of his ground
and when after half an hour the moon broke through the
clouds there was revealed upon their left the mouth of a
tributary running into the Ugambi. Up this narrow channel
the Swede turned the prow of the small boat.
Jane Clayton wondered if the man knew where he was bound.
She did not know that in his capacity as cook he had
that day been rowed up this very stream to a little village
where he had bartered with the natives for such provisions
as they had for saleand that he had there arranged the details
of his plan for the adventure upon which they were now
Even though the moon was fullthe surface of the small
river was quite dark. The giant trees overhung its narrow
banksmeeting in a great arch above the centre of the river.
Spanish moss dropped from the gracefully bending limbs
and enormous creepers clambered in riotous profusion from
the ground to the loftiest branchfalling in curving loops
almost to the water's placid breast.
Now and then the river's surface would be suddenly broken
ahead of them by a huge crocodilestartled by the splashing
of the oarsorsnorting and blowinga family of hippos would
dive from a sandy bar to the coolsafe depths of the bottom.
From the dense jungles upon either side came the weird
night cries of the carnivora--the maniacal voice of the hyena
the coughing grunt of the pantherthe deep and awful roar
of the lion. And with them strangeuncanny notes that the
girl could not ascribe to any particular night prowler--more
terrible because of their mystery.
Huddled in the stern of the boat she sat with her baby
strained close to her bosomand because of that little tender
helpless thing she was happier tonight than she had been for
many a sorrow-ridden day.
Even though she knew not to what fate she was goingor
how soon that fate might overtake herstill was she happy
and thankful for the momenthowever briefthat she might
press her baby tightly in her arms. She could scarce wait
for the coming of the day that she might look again upon the
bright face of her littleblack-eyed Jack.
Again and again she tried to strain her eyes through the
blackness of the jungle night to have but a tiny peep at those
beloved featuresbut only the dim outline of the baby face
rewarded her efforts. Then once more she would cuddle the
warmlittle bundle close to her throbbing heart.
It must have been close to three o'clock in the morning
that Anderssen brought the boat's nose to the shore before a
clearing where could be dimly seen in the waning moonlight
a cluster of native huts encircled by a thorn boma.
At the village gate they were admitted by a native woman
the wife of the chief whom Anderssen had paid to assist him.
She took them to the chief's hutbut Anderssen said that they
would sleep without upon the groundand soher duty having
been completedshe left them to their own devices.
The Swedeafter explaining in his gruff way that the huts
were doubtless filthy and vermin-riddenspread Jane's
blankets on the ground for herand at a little distance
unrolled his own and lay down to sleep.
It was some time before the girl could find a comfortable
position upon the hard groundbut at lastthe baby in the
hollow of her armshe dropped asleep from utter exhaustion.
When she awoke it was broad daylight.
About her were clustered a score of curious natives-mostly
menfor among the aborigines it is the male who
owns this characteristic in its most exaggerated form.
Instinctively Jane Clayton drew the baby more closely to her
though she soon saw that the blacks were far from intending
her or the child any harm.
In factone of them offered her a gourd of milk--a filthy
smoke-begrimed gourdwith the ancient rind of long-curdled
milk caked in layers within its neck; but the spirit of the giver
touched her deeplyand her face lightened for a moment with
one of those almost forgotten smiles of radiance that had
helped to make her beauty famous both in Baltimore and London.
She took the gourd in one handand rather than cause the
giver pain raised it to her lipsthough for the life of her she
could scarce restrain the qualm of nausea that surged through
her as the malodorous thing approached her nostrils.
It was Anderssen who came to her rescueand taking the
gourd from herdrank a portion himselfand then returned
it to the native with a gift of blue beads.
The sun was shining brightly nowand though the baby
still sleptJane could scarce restrain her impatient desire to
have at least a brief glance at the beloved face. The natives
had withdrawn at a command from their chiefwho now
stood talking with Anderssena little apart from her.
As she debated the wisdom of risking disturbing the child's
slumber by lifting the blanket that now protected its face
from the sunshe noted that the cook conversed with the
chief in the language of the Negro.
What a remarkable man the fellow wasindeed! She had
thought him ignorant and stupid but a short day beforeand
nowwithin the past twenty-four hoursshe had learned that
he spoke not only English but French as welland the primitive
dialect of the West Coast.
She had thought him shiftycrueland untrustworthyyet
in so far as she had reason to believe he had proved himself
in every way the contrary since the day before. It scarce
seemed credible that he could be serving her from motives
purely chivalrous. There must be something deeper in his
intentions and plans than he had yet disclosed.
She wonderedand when she looked at him--at his close-set
shifty eyes and repulsive featuresshe shudderedfor she
was convinced that no lofty characteristics could be hid
behind so foul an exterior.
As she was thinking of these things the while she debated
the wisdom of uncovering the baby's facethere came a little
grunt from the wee bundle in her lapand then a gurgling
coo that set her heart in raptures.
The baby was awake! Now she might feast her eyes upon him.
Quickly she snatched the blanket from before the infant's
face; Anderssen was looking at her as she did so.
He saw her stagger to her feetholding the baby at arm's
length from herher eyes glued in horror upon the little
chubby face and twinkling eyes.
Then he heard her piteous cry as her knees gave beneath
herand she sank to the ground in a swoon.
As the warriorsclustered thick about Tarzan and Sheeta
realized that it was a flesh-and-blood panther that had
interrupted their dance of deaththey took heart a trifle
for in the face of all those circling spears even the
mighty Sheeta would be doomed.
Rokoff was urging the chief to have his spearmen launch
their missilesand the black was upon the instant of issuing
the commandwhen his eyes strayed beyond Tarzan
following the gaze of the ape-man.
With a yell of terror the chief turned and fled toward the
village gateand as his people looked to see the cause of his
frightthey too took to their heels--for therelumbering down
upon themtheir huge forms exaggerated by the play of
moonlight and camp firecame the hideous apes of Akut.
The instant the natives turned to flee the ape-man's savage
cry rang out above the shrieks of the blacksand in answer
to it Sheeta and the apes leaped growling after the fugitives.
Some of the warriors turned to battle with their enraged
antagonistsbut before the fiendish ferocity of the fierce beasts
they went down to bloody death.
Others were dragged down in their flightand it was not
until the village was empty and the last of the blacks had
disappeared into the bush that Tarzan was able to recall his
savage pack to his side. Then it was that he discovered to his
chagrin that he could not make one of themnot even the
comparatively intelligent Akutunderstand that he wished to
be freed from the bonds that held him to the stake.
In timeof coursethe idea would filter through their thick
skullsbut in the meanwhile many things might happen--the
blacks might return in force to regain their village; the whites
might readily pick them all off with their rifles from the
surrounding trees; he might even starve to death before the dull-
witted apes realized that he wished them to gnaw through his bonds.
As for Sheeta--the great cat understood even less than the
apes; but yet Tarzan could not but marvel at the remarkable
characteristics this beast had evidenced. That it felt real
affection for him there seemed little doubtfor now that the
blacks were disposed of it walked slowly back and forth
about the stakerubbing its sides against the ape-man's legs
and purring like a contented tabby. That it had gone of its
own volition to bring the balance of the pack to his rescue
Tarzan could not doubt. His Sheeta was indeed a jewel among beasts.
Mugambi's absence worried the ape-man not a little.
He attempted to learn from Akut what had become of the black
fearing that the beastsfreed from the restraint of Tarzan's
presencemight have fallen upon the man and devoured him;
but to all his questions the great ape but pointed back in the
direction from which they had come out of the jungle.
The night passed with Tarzan still fast bound to the stake
and shortly after dawn his fears were realized in the discovery
of naked black figures moving stealthily just within the edge of
the jungle about the village. The blacks were returning.
With daylight their courage would be equal to the demands
of a charge upon the handful of beasts that had routed them
from their rightful abodes. The result of the encounter seemed
foregone if the savages could curb their superstitious terror
for against their overwhelming numberstheir long spears
and poisoned arrowsthe panther and the apes could not be
expected to survive a really determined attack.
That the blacks were preparing for a charge became apparent
a few moments laterwhen they commenced to show
themselves in force upon the edge of the clearingdancing
and jumping about as they waved their spears and shouted
taunts and fierce warcries toward the village.
These manoeuvres Tarzan knew would continue until the blacks
had worked themselves into a state of hysterical courage
sufficient to sustain them for a short charge toward the
villageand even though he doubted that they would reach it
at the first attempthe believed that at the second or the third
they would swarm through the gatewaywhen the outcome
could not be aught than the extermination of Tarzan's bold
but unarmed and undisciplineddefenders.
Even as he had guessedthe first charge carried the howling
warriors but a short distance into the open--a shrillweird
challenge from the ape-man being all that was necessary to
send them scurrying back to the bush. For half an hour they
pranced and yelled their courage to the sticking-pointand
again essayed a charge.
This time they came quite to the village gatebut when
Sheeta and the hideous apes leaped among them they turned
screaming in terrorand again fled to the jungle.
Again was the dancing and shouting repeated. This time
Tarzan felt no doubt they would enter the village and
complete the work that a handful of determined white men would
have carried to a successful conclusion at the first attempt.
To have rescue come so close only to be thwarted because
he could not make his poorsavage friends understand
precisely what he wanted of them was most irritatingbut he
could not find it in his heart to place blame upon them.
They had done their bestand now he was sure they would doubtless
remain to die with him in a fruitless effort to defend him.
The blacks were already preparing for the charge. A few
individuals had advanced a short distance toward the village
and were exhorting the others to follow them. In a moment
the whole savage horde would be racing across the clearing.
Tarzan thought only of the little child somewhere in this
cruelrelentless wilderness. His heart ached for the son that
he might no longer seek to save--that and the realization of
Jane's suffering were all that weighed upon his brave spirit
in these that he thought his last moments of life. Succourall
that he could hope forhad come to him in the instant of his
extremity--and failed. There was nothing further for which
The blacks were half-way across the clearing when Tarzan's
attention was attracted by the actions of one of the apes.
The beast was glaring toward one of the huts. Tarzan followed
his gaze. To his infinite relief and delight he saw the
stalwart form of Mugambi racing toward him.
The huge black was panting heavily as though from strenuous
physical exertion and nervous excitement. He rushed
to Tarzan's sideand as the first of the savages reached the
village gate the native's knife severed the last of the cords
that bound Tarzan to the stake.
In the street lay the corpses of the savages that had fallen
before the pack the night before. From one of these Tarzan
seized a spear and knob stickand with Mugambi at his side
and the snarling pack about himhe met the natives as they
poured through the gate.
Fierce and terrible was the battle that ensuedbut at last the
savages were routedmore by terrorperhapsat sight of a
black man and a white fighting in company with a panther and
the huge fierce apes of Akutthan because of their inability
to overcome the relatively small force that opposed them.
One prisoner fell into the hands of Tarzanand him the
ape-man questioned in an effort to learn what had become of
Rokoff and his party. Promised his liberty in return for the
informationthe black told all he knew concerning the movements
of the Russian.
It seemed that early in the morning their chief had attempted
to prevail upon the whites to return with him to the
village and with their guns destroy the ferocious pack that
had taken possession of itbut Rokoff appeared to entertain
even more fears of the giant white man and his strange
companions than even the blacks themselves.
Upon no conditions would he consent to returning even
within sight of the village. Insteadhe took his party
hurriedly to the riverwhere they stole a number of canoes the
blacks had hidden there. The last that had been seen of them
they had been paddling strongly up-streamtheir porters from
Kaviri's village wielding the blades.
So once more Tarzan of the Apes with his hideous pack
took up his search for the ape-man's son and the pursuit of
For weary days they followed through an almost uninhabited
countryonly to learn at last that they were upon the
wrong trail. The little band had been reduced by threefor
three of Akut's apes had fallen in the fighting at the village.
Nowwith Akutthere were five great apesand Sheeta was
there--and Mugambi and Tarzan.
The ape-man no longer heard rumors even of the three
who had preceded Rokoff--the white man and woman and
the child. Who the man and woman were he could not guess
but that the child was his was enough to keep him hot upon
the trail. He was sure that Rokoff would be following this
trioand so he felt confident that so long as he could keep
upon the Russian's trail he would be winning so much nearer
to the time he might snatch his son from the dangers and
horrors that menaced him.
In retracing their way after losing Rokoff's trail Tarzan
picked it up again at a point where the Russian had left the
river and taken to the brush in a northerly direction. He could
only account for this change on the ground that the child had
been carried away from the river by the two who now had
possession of it.
Nowhere along the wayhowevercould he gain definite information
that might assure him positively that the child was ahead of him.
Not a single native they questioned had seen or heard of this
other partythough nearly all had had direct experience with
the Russian or had talked with others who had.
It was with difficulty that Tarzan could find means to communicate
with the nativesas the moment their eyes fell upon his companions
they fled precipitately into the bush. His only alternative was
to go ahead of his pack and waylay an occasional warrior whom
he found alone in the jungle.
One day as he was thus engagedtracking an unsuspecting
savagehe came upon the fellow in the act of hurling a spear
at a wounded white man who crouched in a clump of bush at the
trail's side. The white was one whom Tarzan had often seen
and whom he recognized at once.
Deep in his memory was implanted those repulsive features--the
close-set eyesthe shifty expressionthe drooping yellow moustache.
Instantly it occurred to the ape-man that this fellow had
not been among those who had accompanied Rokoff at the
village where Tarzan had been a prisoner. He had seen them all
and this fellow had not been there. There could be but one
explanation--he it was who had fled ahead of the Russian with
the woman and the child--and the woman had been Jane Clayton.
He was sure now of the meaning of Rokoff's words.
The ape-man's face went white as he looked upon the pasty
vice-marked countenance of the Swede. Across Tarzan's forehead
stood out the broad band of scarlet that marked the scar where
years beforeTerkoz had torn a great strip of the ape-man's
scalp from his skull in the fierce battle in which Tarzan had
sustained his fitness to the kingship of the apes of Kerchak.
The man was his prey--the black should not have him
and with the thought he leaped upon the warriorstriking
down the spear before it could reach its mark. The black
whipping out his knifeturned to do battle with this new
enemywhile the Swedelying in the bushwitnessed a duel
the like of which he had never dreamed to see--a half-naked
white man battling with a half-naked blackhand to hand
with the crude weapons of primeval man at firstand then
with hands and teeth like the primordial brutes from whose
loins their forebears sprung.
For a time Anderssen did not recognize the whiteand when
at last it dawned upon him that he had seen this giant before
his eyes went wide in surprise that this growlingrending beast
could ever have been the well-groomed English gentleman who had
been a prisoner aboard the Kincaid.
An English nobleman! He had learned the identity of the
Kincaid's prisoners from Lady Greystoke during their flight
up the Ugambi. Beforein common with the other members of
the crew of the steamerhe had not known who the two might be.
The fight was over. Tarzan had been compelled to kill his antagonist
as the fellow would not surrender.
The Swede saw the white man leap to his feet beside the corpse
of his foeand placing one foot upon the broken neck lift
his voice in the hideous challenge of the victorious bull-ape.
Anderssen shuddered. Then Tarzan turned toward him.
His face was cold and crueland in the grey eyes the
Swede read murder.
Where is my wife?growled the ape-man. "Where is the child?"
Anderssen tried to replybut a sudden fit of coughing choked him.
There was an arrow entirely through his chestand as he coughed the
blood from his wounded lung poured suddenly from his mouth and nostrils.
Tarzan stood waiting for the paroxysm to pass. Like a
bronze image--coldhardand relentless--he stood over the
helpless manwaiting to wring such information from him
as he neededand then to kill.
Presently the coughing and haemorrhage ceasedand again
the wounded man tried to speak. Tarzan knelt near the faintly
The wife and child!he repeated. "Where are they?"
Anderssen pointed up the trail.
The Russian--he got them,he whispered.
How did you come here?continued Tarzan. "Why are you not with Rokoff?"
They catch us,replied Anderssenin a voice so low
that the ape-man could just distinguish the words.
They catch us. Ay fight, but my men they all run away.
Then they get me when Ay ban vounded. Rokoff he say leave
me here for the hyenas. That vas vorse than to kill.
He tak your vife and kid.
What were you doing with them--where were you taking them?
asked Tarzanand then fiercelyleaping close to the
fellow with fierce eyes blazing with the passion of hate and
vengeance that he had with difficulty controlledWhat harm
did you do to my wife or child? Speak quick before I kill you!
Make your peace with God! Tell me the worst, or I will
tear you to pieces with my hands and teeth. You have seen
that I can do it!
A look of wide-eyed surprise overspread Anderssen's face.
Why,he whisperedAy did not hurt them. Ay tried
to save them from that Russian. Your vife was kind to me on
the Kincaid, and Ay hear that little baby cry sometimes.
Ay got a vife an' kid for my own by Christiania an' Ay couldn't
bear for to see them separated an' in Rokoff's hands any more.
That vas all. Do Ay look like Ay ban here to hurt them?
he continued after a pausepointing to the arrow protruding
from his breast.
There was something in the man's tone and expression that
convinced Tarzan of the truth of his assertions. More weighty
than anything else was the fact that Anderssen evidently seemed
more hurt than frightened. He knew he was going to die
so Tarzan's threats had little effect upon him; but it was
quite apparent that he wished the Englishman to know the
truth and not to wrong him by harbouring the belief that his
words and manner indicated that he had entertained.
The ape-man instantly dropped to his knees beside the Swede.
I am sorry,he said very simply. "I had looked for none
but knaves in company with Rokoff. I see that I was wrong.
That is past nowand we will drop it for the more important
matter of getting you to a place of comfort and looking after
your wounds. We must have you on your feet again as soon
The Swedesmilingshook his head.
You go on an' look for the vife an' kid,he said.
Ay ban as gude as dead already; but--he hesitated--"Ay hate
to think of the hyenas. Von't you finish up this job?"
Tarzan shuddered. A moment ago he had been upon the point
of killing this man. Now he could no more have taken his life
than he could have taken the life of any of his best friends.
He lifted the Swede's head in his arms to change and ease his position.
Again came a fit of coughing and the terrible haemorrhage.
After it was over Anderssen lay with closed eyes.
Tarzan thought that he was deaduntil he suddenly raised
his eyes to those of the ape-mansighedand spoke--in a
very lowweak whisper.
Ay tank it blow purty soon purty hard!he saidand died.
Tarzan scooped a shallow grave for the Kincaid's cook
beneath whose repulsive exterior had beaten the heart of
a chivalrous gentleman. That was all he could do in the cruel
jungle for the man who had given his life in the service of
his little son and his wife.
Then Tarzan took up again the pursuit of Rokoff. Now that
he was positive that the woman ahead of him was indeed
Janeand that she had again fallen into the hands of the
Russianit seemed that with all the incredible speed of his
fleet and agile muscles he moved at but a snail's pace.
It was with difficulty that he kept the trailfor there were
many paths through the jungle at this point--crossing and
crisscrossingforking and branching in all directionsand over
them all had passed natives innumerablecoming and going.
The spoor of the white men was obliterated by that of the
native carriers who had followed themand over all was the
spoor of other natives and of wild beasts.
It was most perplexing; yet Tarzan kept on assiduously
checking his sense of sight against his sense of smellthat he
might more surely keep to the right trail. Butwith all his
carenight found him at a point where he was positive that
he was on the wrong trail entirely.
He knew that the pack would follow his spoorand so he
had been careful to make it as distinct as possiblebrushing
often against the vines and creepers that walled the junglepath
and in other ways leaving his scent-spoor plainly discernible.
As darkness settled a heavy rain set inand there was
nothing for the baffled ape-man to do but wait in the partial
shelter of a huge tree until morning; but the coming of dawn
brought no cessation of the torrential downpour.
For a week the sun was obscured by heavy cloudswhile
violent rain and wind storms obliterated the last remnants of
the spoor Tarzan constantly though vainly sought.
During all this time he saw no signs of nativesnor of his
own packthe members of which he feared had lost his trail
during the terrific storm. As the country was strange to him
he had been unable to judge his course accuratelysince he had had
neither sun by day nor moon nor stars by night to guide him.
When the sun at last broke through the clouds in the
fore- noon of the seventh dayit looked down upon
an almost frantic ape-man.
For the first time in his lifeTarzan of the Apes had been
lost in the jungle. That the experience should have befallen
him at such a time seemed cruel beyond expression. Somewhere in
this savage land his wife and son lay in the clutches of the
What hideous trials might they not have undergone during
those seven awful days that nature had thwarted him in his
endeavours to locate them? Tarzan knew the Russianin
whose power they wereso well that he could not doubt but
that the manfilled with rage that Jane had once escaped
himand knowing that Tarzan might be close upon his trail
would wreak without further loss of time whatever vengeance
his polluted mind might be able to conceive.
But now that the sun shone once morethe ape-man was still
at a loss as to what direction to take. He knew that Rokoff
had left the river in pursuit of Anderssenbut whether he
would continue inland or return to the Ugambi was a question.
The ape-man had seen that the river at the point he had left
it was growing narrow and swiftso that he judged that
it could not be navigable even for canoes to any great
distance farther toward its source. Howeverif Rokoff had
not returned to the riverin what direction had he proceeded?
From the direction of Anderssen's flight with Jane and the
child Tarzan was convinced that the man had purposed
attempting the tremendous feat of crossing the continent to
Zanzibar; but whether Rokoff would dare so dangerous a
journey or not was a question.
Fear might drive him to the attempt now that he knew the
manner of horrible pack that was upon his trailand that
Tarzan of the Apes was following him to wreak upon him
the vengeance that he deserved.
At last the ape-man determined to continue toward the
northeast in the general direction of German East Africa until
he came upon natives from whom he might gain information
as to Rokoff's whereabouts.
The second day following the cessation of the rain Tarzan
came upon a native village the inhabitants of which fled into
the bush the instant their eyes fell upon him. Tarzannot to
be thwarted in any such manner as thispursued themand
after a brief chase caught up with a young warrior. The fellow
was so badly frightened that he was unable to defend
himselfdropping his weapons and falling upon the ground
wide-eyed and screaming as he gazed on his captor.
It was with considerable difficulty that the ape-man quieted
the fellow's fears sufficiently to obtain a coherent statement
from him as to the cause of his uncalled-for terror.
From him Tarzan learnedby dint of much coaxingthat
a party of whites had passed through the village several
days before. These men had told them of a terrible white
devil that pursued themwarning the natives against it and
the frightful pack of demons that accompanied it.
The black had recognized Tarzan as the white devil from
the descriptions given by the whites and their black servants.
Behind him he had expected to see a horde of demons disguised
as apes and panthers.
In this Tarzan saw the cunning hand of Rokoff. The Russian
was attempting to make travel as difficult as possible for
him by turning the natives against him in superstitious fear.
The native further told Tarzan that the white man who had
led the recent expedition had promised them a fabulous reward
if they would kill the white devil. This they had fully
intended doing should the opportunity present itself; but the
moment they had seen Tarzan their blood had turned to water
as the porters of the white men had told them would be the case.
Finding the ape-man made no attempt to harm himthe native
at last recovered his grasp upon his courageandat Tarzan's
suggestionaccompanied the white devil back to the village
calling as he went for his fellows to return alsoas "the
white devil has promised to do you no harm if you come back
right away and answer his questions."
One by one the blacks straggled into the villagebut that
their fears were not entirely allayed was evident from the
amount of white that showed about the eyes of the majority
of them as they cast constant and apprehensive sidelong
glances at the ape-man.
The chief was among the first to return to the villageand
as it was he that Tarzan was most anxious to interviewhe
lost no time in entering into a palaver with the black.
The fellow was short and stoutwith an unusually low and
degraded countenance and apelike arms. His whole expression
Only the superstitious terror engendered in him by the
stories poured into his ears by the whites and blacks of the
Russian's party kept him from leaping upon Tarzan with his
warriors and slaying him forthwithfor he and his people
were inveterate maneaters. But the fear that he might indeed
be a deviland that out there in the jungle behind him his
fierce demons waited to do his biddingkept M'ganwazam
from putting his desires into action.
Tarzan questioned the fellow closelyand by comparing
his statements with those of the young warrior he had first
talked with he learned that Rokoff and his safari were in
terror-stricken retreat in the direction of the far East Coast.
Many of the Russian's porters had already deserted him.
In that very village he had hanged five for theft and
attempted desertion. Judginghoweverfrom what the Waganwazam
had learned from those of the Russian's blacks who were not
too far gone in terror of the brutal Rokoff to fear even to
speak of their plansit was apparent that he would not travel
any great distance before the last of his porterscooks
tent-boysgun-bearersaskariand even his headman
would have turned back into the bushleaving him to
the mercy of the merciless jungle.
M'ganwazam denied that there had been any white woman
or child with the party of whites; but even as he spoke Tarzan
was convinced that he lied. Several times the ape-man approached
the subject from different anglesbut never was he successful
in surprising the wily cannibal into a direct contradiction of
his original statement that there had been no women or children
with the party.
Tarzan demanded food of the chiefand after considerable haggling
on the part of the monarch succeeded in obtaining a meal.
He then tried to draw out others of the tribeespecially the
young man whom he had captured in the bushbut M'ganwazam's
presence sealed their lips.
At lastconvinced that these people knew a great deal
more than they had told him concerning the whereabouts of
the Russian and the fate of Jane and the childTarzan
determined to remain overnight among them in the hope of
discovering something further of importance.
When he had stated his decision to the chief he was rather
surprised to note the sudden change in the fellow's attitude
toward him. From apparent dislike and suspicion M'ganwazam
became a most eager and solicitous host.
Nothing would do but that the ape-man should occupy the
best hut in the villagefrom which M'ganwazam's oldest
wife was forthwith summarily ejectedwhile the chief took up
his temporary abode in the hut of one of his younger consorts.
Had Tarzan chanced to recall the fact that a princely reward had
been offered the blacks if they should succeed in killing him
he might have more quickly interpreted M'ganwazam's sudden
change in front.
To have the white giant sleeping peacefully in one of his own
huts would greatly facilitate the matter of earning the reward
and so the chief was urgent in his suggestions that Tarzan
doubtless being very much fatigued after his travels
should retire early to the comforts of the anything but
As much as the ape-man detested the thought of sleeping
within a native huthe had determined to do so this night
on the chance that he might be able to induce one of the
younger men to sit and chat with him before the fire that
burned in the centre of the smoke-filled dwellingand from
him draw the truths he sought. So Tarzan accepted the
invitation of old M'ganwazaminsistinghoweverthat he much
preferred sharing a hut with some of the younger men rather
than driving the chief's old wife out in the cold.
The toothless old hag grinned her appreciation of this suggestion
and as the plan still better suited the chief's scheme
in that it would permit him to surround Tarzan with a gang
of picked assassinshe readily assentedso that presently
Tarzan had been installed in a hut close to the village gate.
As there was to be a dance that night in honour of a band
of recently returned huntersTarzan was left alone in the hut
the young menas M'ganwazam explainedhaving to take part
in the festivities.
As soon as the ape-man was safely installed in the trap
M'Ganwazam called about him the young warriors whom he
had selected to spend the night with the white devil!
None of them was overly enthusiastic about the plansince
deep in their superstitious hearts lay an exaggerated fear
of the strange white giant; but the word of M'ganwazam was
law among his peopleso not one dared refuse the duty he
was called upon to perform.
As M'ganwazam unfolded his plan in whispers to the savages
squatting about him the oldtoothless hagto whom Tarzan
had saved her hut for the nighthovered about the conspirators
ostensibly to replenish the supply of firewood for the blaze
about which the men satbut really to drink in as much of
their conversation as possible.
Tarzan had slept for perhaps an hour or two despite the
savage din of the revellers when his keen senses came suddenly
alert to a suspiciously stealthy movement in the hut in
which he lay. The fire had died down to a little heap of
glowing emberswhich accentuated rather than relieved the
darkness that shrouded the interior of the evil-smelling
dwellingyet the trained senses of the ape-man warned him
of another presence creeping almost silently toward him
through the gloom.
He doubted that it was one of his hut mates returning from
the festivitiesfor he still heard the wild cries of the dancers
and the din of the tom-toms in the village street without.
Who could it be that took such pains to conceal his approach?
As the presence came within reach of him the ape-man bounded
lightly to the opposite side of the huthis spear poised
ready at his side.
Who is it,he askedthat creeps upon Tarzan of the
Apes, like a hungry lion out of the darkness?
Silence, bwana!replied an old cracked voice. "It is
Tambudza--she whose hut you would not takeand thus drive
an old woman out into the cold night."
What does Tambudza want of Tarzan of the Apes?asked the ape-man.
You were kind to me to whom none is now kind, and I have come
to warn you in payment of your kindness,answered the old hag.
Warn me of what?
M'ganwazam has chosen the young men who are to sleep in the
hut with you,replied Tambudza. "I was near as he talked
with themand heard him issuing his instructions to them.
When the dance is run well into the morning they are
to come to the hut.
If you are awake they are to pretend that they have come
to sleep, but if you sleep it is M'ganwazam's command that
you be killed. If you are not then asleep they will wait quietly
beside you until you do sleep, and then they will all fall upon
you together and slay you. M'ganwazam is determined to
win the reward the white man has offered.
I had forgotten the reward,said Tarzanhalf to himself
and then he addedHow may M'ganwazam hope to collect
the reward now that the white men who are my enemies
have left his country and gone he knows not where?
Oh, they have not gone far,replied Tambudza.
M'ganwazam knows where they camp. His runners could
quickly overtake them--they move slowly.
Where are they?asked Tarzan.
Do you wish to come to them?asked Tambudza in way of reply.
I cannot tell you where they lie so that you could come
to the place yourself, but I could lead you to them, bwana.
In their interest in the conversation neither of the speakers
had noticed the little figure which crept into the darkness of
the hut behind themnor did they see it when it slunk
noiselessly out again.
It was little Buulaoothe chief's son by one of his younger
wives--a vindictivedegenerate little rascal who hated Tambudza
and was ever seeking opportunities to spy upon her and report her
slightest breach of custom to his father.
Come, then,said Tarzan quicklylet us be on our way.
This Buulaoo did not hearfor he was already legging it up
the village street to where his hideous sire guzzled native
beerand watched the evolutions of the frantic dancers
leaping high in the air and cavorting wildly in their
So it happened that as Tarzan and Tambudza sneaked warily
from the village and melted into the Stygian darkness of
the jungle two lithe runners took their way in the same
directionthough by another trail.
When they had come sufficiently far from the village to
make it safe for them to speak above a whisperTarzan asked
the old woman if she had seen aught of a white woman and
a little child.
Yes, bwana,replied Tambudzathere was a woman
with them and a little child--a little white piccaninny.
It died here in our village of the fever and they buried it!
A Black Scoundrel
When Jane Clayton regained consciousness she saw Anderssen
standing over herholding the baby in his arms. As her eyes
rested upon them an expression of misery and horror
overspread her countenance.
What is the matter?he asked. "You ban sick?"
Where is my baby?she criedignoring his questions.
Anderssen held out the chubby infantbut she shook her head.
It is not mine,she said. "You knew that it was not mine.
You are a devil like the Russian."
Anderssen's blue eyes stretched in surprise.
Not yours!he exclaimed. "You tole me the kid aboard
the Kincaid ban your kid."
Not this one,replied Jane dully. "The other. Where is the other?
There must have been two. I did not know about this one."
There vasn't no other kid. Ay tank this ban yours. Ay am very sorry.
Anderssen fidgeted aboutstanding first on one foot and then upon
the other. It was perfectly evident to Jane that he was honest in
his protestations of ignorance of the true identity of the child.
Presently the baby commenced to crowand bounce up and
down in the Swede's armsat the same time leaning forward
with little hands out-reaching toward the young woman.
She could not withstand the appealand with a low cry
she sprang to her feet and gathered the baby to her breast.
For a few minutes she wept silentlyher face buried in the
baby's soiled little dress. The first shock of disappointment
that the tiny thing had not been her beloved Jack was giving
way to a great hope that after all some miracle had occurred
to snatch her baby from Rokoff's hands at the last instant
before the Kincaid sailed from England.
Thentoothere was the mute appeal of this wee waif alone
and unloved in the midst of the horrors of the savage jungle.
It was this thought more than any other that had sent her
mother's heart out to the innocent babewhile still she
suffered from disappointment that she had been deceived in
Have you no idea whose child this is?she asked Anderssen.
The man shook his head.
Not now,he said. "If he ain't ban your kidAy don' know whose
kid he do ban. Rokoff said it was yours. Ay tank he tank sotoo.
What do we do with it now? Ay can't go back to the Kincaid.
Rokoff would have me shot; but you can go back. Ay take you to the sea,
and then some of these black men they take you to the ship--eh?
No! no!cried Jane. "Not for the world. I would rather die
than fall into the hands of that man again. Nolet us go on
and take this poor little creature with us. If God is willing
we shall be saved in one way or another."
So they again took up their flight through the wilderness
taking with them a half-dozen of the Mosulas to carry
provisions and the tents that Anderssen had smuggled aboard
the small boat in preparation for the attempted escape.
The days and nights of torture that the young woman suffered
were so merged into one longunbroken nightmare of
hideousness that she soon lost all track of time. Whether they
had been wandering for days or years she could not tell.
The one bright spot in that eternity of fear and suffering was the
little child whose tiny hands had long since fastened their
softly groping fingers firmly about her heart.
In a way the little thing took the place and filled the aching
void that the theft of her own baby had left. It could never be
the sameof coursebut yetday by dayshe found her
mother-loveenveloping the waif more closely until she
sometimes sat with closed eyes lost in the sweet imagining
that the little bundle of humanity at her breast was truly her own.
For some time their progress inland was extremely slow.
Word came to them from time to time through natives passing
from the coast on hunting excursions that Rokoff had not
yet guessed the direction of their flight. Thisand the desire
to make the journey as light as possible for the gently bred
womankept Anderssen to a slow advance of short and easy
marches with many rests.
The Swede insisted upon carrying the child while they
travelledand in countless other ways did what he could to
help Jane Clayton conserve her strength. He had been terribly
chagrined on discovering the mistake he had made in the
identity of the babybut once the young woman became
convinced that his motives were truly chivalrous she would not
permit him longer to upbraid himself for the error that he
could not by any means have avoided.
At the close of each day's march Anderssen saw to the
erection of a comfortable shelter for Jane and the child.
Her tent was always pitched in the most favourable location.
The thorn boma round it was the strongest and most
impregnable that the Mosula could construct.
Her food was the best that their limited stores and the rifle
of the Swede could providebut the thing that touched her
heart the closest was the gentle consideration and courtesy
which the man always accorded her.
That such nobility of character could lie beneath so repulsive
an exterior never ceased to be a source of wonder and
amazement to heruntil at last the innate chivalry of the man
and his unfailing kindliness and sympathy transformed his
appearance in so far as Jane was concerned until she saw
only the sweetness of his character mirrored in his countenance.
They had commenced to make a little better progress when
word reached them that Rokoff was but a few marches behind
themand that he had at last discovered the direction of
their flight. It was then that Anderssen took to the river
purchasing a canoe from a chief whose village lay a short
distance from the Ugambi upon the bank of a tributary.
Thereafter the little party of fugitives fled up the broad
Ugambiand so rapid had their flight become that they no
longer received word of their pursuers. At the end of canoe
navigation upon the riverthey abandoned their canoe and
took to the jungle. Here progress became at once arduous
The second day after leaving the Ugambi the baby fell ill
with fever. Anderssen knew what the outcome must bebut
he had not the heart to tell Jane Clayton the truthfor he had
seen that the young woman had come to love the child almost
as passionately as though it had been her own flesh and blood.
As the baby's condition precluded farther advanceAnderssen
withdrew a little from the main trail he had been following
and built a camp in a natural clearing on the bank
of a little river.
Here Jane devoted her every moment to caring for the tiny
suffererand as though her sorrow and anxiety were not all
that she could beara further blow came with the sudden
announcement of one of the Mosula porters who had been foraging
in the jungle adjacent that Rokoff and his party were camped
quite close to themand were evidently upon their trail to this
little nook which all had thought so excellent a hiding-place.
This information could mean but one thingand that they must
break camp and fly onward regardless of the baby's condition.
Jane Clayton knew the traits of the Russian well enough
to be positive that he would separate her from the child
the moment that he recaptured themand she knew that
separation would mean the immediate death of the baby.
As they stumbled forward through the tangled vegetation
along an old and almost overgrown game trail the Mosula
porters deserted them one by one.
The men had been staunch enough in their devotion and loyalty
as long as they were in no danger of being overtaken by the
Russian and his party. They had heardhoweverso much of
the atrocious disposition of Rokoff that they had grown to
hold him in mortal terrorand now that they knew he was close
upon them their timid hearts would fortify them no longer
and as quickly as possible they deserted the three whites.
Yet on and on went Anderssen and the girl. The Swede
went aheadto hew a way through the brush where the path
was entirely overgrownso that on this march it was
necessary that the young woman carry the child.
All day they marched. Late in the afternoon they realized
that they had failed. Close behind them they heard the noise
of a large safari advancing along the trail which they had
cleared for their pursuers.
When it became quite evident that they must be overtaken
in a short time Anderssen hid Jane behind a large tree
covering her and the child with brush.
There is a village about a mile farther on,he said to her.
The Mosula told me its location before they deserted us.
Ay try to lead the Russian off your trail, then you go on
to the village. Ay tank the chief ban friendly to white men--
the Mosula tal me he ban. Anyhow, that was all we can do.
After while you get chief to tak you down by the Mosula
village at the sea againan' after a while a ship is sure to put
into the mouth of the Ugambi. Then you be all right. Gude-by an'
gude luck to youlady!"
But where are you going, Sven?asked Jane. "Why can't
you hide here and go back to the sea with me?"
Ay gotta tal the Russian you ban dead, so that he don't
luke for you no more,and Anderssen grinned.
Why can't you join me then after you have told him that?
insisted the girl.
Anderssen shook his head.
Ay don't tank Ay join anybody any more after Ay tal the
Russian you ban dead,he said.
You don't mean that you think he will kill you?asked Jane
and yet in her heart she knew that that was exactly what the
great scoundrel would do in revenge for his having been
thwarted by the Swede. Anderssen did not replyother than
to warn her to silence and point toward the path along which
they had just come.
I don't care,whispered Jane Clayton. "I shall not let
you die to save me if I can prevent it in any way. Give me
your revolver. I can use thatand together we may be able
to hold them off until we can find some means of escape."
It won't work, lady,replied Anderssen. "They would
only get us bothand then Ay couldn't do you no good at all.
Think of the kidladyand what it would be for you both to
fall into Rokoff's hands again. For his sake you must do what
Ay say. Heretake my rifle and ammunition; you may need them."
He shoved the gun and bandoleer into the shelter beside Jane.
Then he was gone.
She watched him as he returned along the path to meet the
oncoming safari of the Russian. Soon a turn in the trail hid
him from view.
Her first impulse was to follow. With the rifle she might
be of assistance to himandfurthershe could not bear the
terrible thought of being left alone at the mercy of the fearful
jungle without a single friend to aid her.
She started to crawl from her shelter with the intention of
running after Anderssen as fast as she could. As she drew
the baby close to her she glanced down into its little face.
How red it was! How unnatural the little thing looked.
She raised the cheek to hers. It was fiery hot with fever!
With a little gasp of terror Jane Clayton rose to her feet
in the jungle path. The rifle and bandoleer lay forgotten in
the shelter beside her. Anderssen was forgottenand Rokoff
and her great peril.
All that rioted through her fear-mad brain was the fearful
fact that this littlehelpless child was stricken with the
terrible jungle-feverand that she was helpless to do aught to
allay its sufferings--sufferings that were sure to coming during
ensuing intervals of partial consciousness.
Her one thought was to find some one who could help her--some woman
who had had children of her own--and with the thought came recollection
of the friendly village of which Anderssen had spoken. If she could
but reach it--in time!
There was no time to be lost. Like a startled antelope she
turned and fled up the trail in the direction Anderssen
From far behind came the sudden shouting of menthe sound of shots
and then silence. She knew that Anderssen had met the Russian.
A half-hour later she stumbledexhaustedinto a little
thatched village. Instantly she was surrounded by men
womenand children. Eagercuriousexcited natives plied
her with a hundred questionsno one of which she could
understand or answer.
All that she could do was to point tearfully at the baby
now wailing piteously in her armsand repeat over and over
The blacks did not understand her wordsbut they saw the
cause of her troubleand soon a young woman had pulled
her into a hut and with several others was doing her poor
best to quiet the child and allay its agony.
The witch doctor came and built a little fire before the
infantupon which he boiled some strange concoction in a
small earthen potmaking weird passes above it and mumbling
strangemonotonous chants. Presently he dipped a zebra's
tail into the brewand with further mutterings and incantations
sprinkled a few drops of the liquid over the baby's face.
After he had gone the women sat about and moaned and
wailed until Jane thought that she should go mad; but
knowing that they were doing it all out of the kindness
of their heartsshe endured the frightful waking nightmare
of those awful hours in dumb and patient suffering.
It must have been well toward midnight that she became
conscious of a sudden commotion in the village. She heard
the voices of the natives raised in controversybut she could
not understand the words.
Presently she heard footsteps approaching the hut in which
she squatted before a bright fire with the baby on her lap.
The little thing lay very still nowits lidshalf-raised
showed the pupils horribly upturned.
Jane Clayton looked into the little face with fear-haunted eyes.
It was not her baby--not her flesh and blood--but how close
how dear the tinyhelpless thing had become to her.
Her heartbereft of its ownhad gone out to this poor
littlenameless waifand lavished upon it all the love
that had been denied her during the longbitter weeks
of her captivity aboard the Kincaid.
She saw that the end was nearand though she was terrified
at contemplation of her lossstill she hoped that it would
come quickly now and end the sufferings of the little victim.
The footsteps she had heard without the hut now halted
before the door. There was a whispered colloquyand a
moment later M'ganwazamchief of the tribeentered. She had
seen but little of himas the women had taken her in hand
almost as soon as she had entered the village.
M'ganwazamshe now sawwas an evil-appearing savage
with every mark of brutal degeneracy writ large upon his
bestial countenance. To Jane Clayton he looked more gorilla
than human. He tried to converse with herbut without success
and finally he called to some one without.
In answer to his summons another Negro entered--a man
of very different appearance from M'ganwazam--so different
in factthat Jane Clayton immediately decided that he was
of another tribe. This man acted as interpreterand almost
from the first question that M'ganwazam put to herJane felt
an intuitive conviction that the savage was attempting to
draw information from her for some ulterior motive.
She thought it strange that the fellow should so suddenly
have become interested in her plansand especially in her
intended destination when her journey had been interrupted
at his village.
Seeing no reason for withholding the informationshe told
him the truth; but when he asked if she expected to meet her
husband at the end of the tripshe shook her head negatively.
Then he told her the purpose of his visittalking through
I have just learned,he saidfrom some men who live
by the side of the great water, that your husband followed
you up the Ugambi for several marches, when he was at last
set upon by natives and killed. Therefore I have told you this
that you might not waste your time in a long journey if you
expected to meet your husband at the end of it; but instead
could turn and retrace your steps to the coast.
Jane thanked M'ganwazam for his kindnessthough her heart
was numb with suffering at this new blow. She who had
suffered so much was at last beyond reach of the keenest
of misery's pangsfor her senses were numbed and calloused.
With bowed head she sat staring with unseeing eyes upon
the face of the baby in her lap. M'ganwazam had left the hut.
Sometime later she heard a noise at the entrance--another
had entered. One of the women sitting opposite her threw a
faggot upon the dying embers of the fire between them.
With a sudden flare it burst into renewed flamelighting
up the hut's interior as though by magic.
The flame disclosed to Jane Clayton's horrified gaze that the baby
was quite dead. How long it had been so she could not guess.
A choking lump rose to her throather head drooped in
silent misery upon the little bundle that she had caught
suddenly to her breast.
For a moment the silence of the hut was unbroken.
Then the native woman broke into a hideous wail.
A man coughed close before Jane Clayton and spoke her name.
With a start she raised her eyes to look into the sardonic
countenance of Nikolas Rokoff.
For a moment Rokoff stood sneering down upon Jane Clayton
then his eyes fell to the little bundle in her lap. Jane had
drawn one corner of the blanket over the child's faceso that
to one who did not know the truth it seemed but to be sleeping.
You have gone to a great deal of unnecessary trouble,said Rokoff
to bring the child to this village. If you had attended to your
own affairs I should have brought it here myself.
You would have been spared the dangers and fatigue of the journey.
But I suppose I must thank you for relieving me of the inconvenience
of having to care for a young infant on the march.
This is the village to which the child was destined from
the first. M'ganwazam will rear him carefully, making a good
cannibal of him, and if you ever chance to return to civilization
it will doubtless afford you much food for thought as you compare
the luxuries and comforts of your life with the details of the life
your son is living in the village of the Waganwazam.
Again I thank you for bringing him here for meand now I must ask you
to surrender him to methat I may turn him over to his foster parents."
As he concluded Rokoff held out his hands for the childa nasty grin of
vindictiveness upon his lips.
To his surprise Jane Clayton rose andwithout a word of protest
laid the little bundle in his arms.
Here is the child,she said. "Thank God he is beyond
your power to harm."
Grasping the import of her wordsRokoff snatched the blanket
from the child's face to seek confirmation of his fears.
Jane Clayton watched his expression closely.
She had been puzzled for days for an answer to the question
of Rokoff's knowledge of the child's identity. If she had
been in doubt before the last shred of that doubt was wiped
away as she witnessed the terrible anger of the Russian as he
looked upon the dead face of the baby and realized that at
the last moment his dearest wish for vengeance had been
thwarted by a higher power.
Almost throwing the body of the child back into Jane Clayton's arms
Rokoff stamped up and down the hutpounding the air with his
clenched fists and cursing terribly. At last he halted in front
of the young womanbringing his face down close to hers.
You are laughing at me,he shrieked. "You think that
you have beaten me--eh? I'll show youas I have shown the
miserable ape you call `husband' what it means to interfere
with the plans of Nikolas Rokoff.
You have robbed me of the child. I cannot make him the
son of a cannibal chief, but--and he paused as though to
let the full meaning of his threat sink deep--"I can make the
mother the wife of a cannibaland that I shall do--after I
have finished with her myself."
If he had thought to wring from Jane Clayton any
sign of terror he failed miserably. She was beyond that.
Her brain and nerves were numb to suffering and shock.
To his surprise a faintalmost happy smile touched her lips.
She was thinking with thankful heart that this poor little
corpse was not that of her own wee Jackand that--best of all--
Rokoff evidently did not know the truth.
She would have liked to have flaunted the fact in his face
but she dared not. If he continued to believe that the child
had been hersso much safer would be the real Jack wherever
he might be. She hadof courseno knowledge of the whereabouts
of her little son--she did not knoweventhat he still
livedand yet there was the chance that he might.
It was more than possible that without Rokoff's knowledge
this child had been substituted for hers by one of the Russian's
confederatesand that even now her son might be safe
with friends in Londonwhere there were manyboth able
and willingto have paid any ransom which the traitorous
conspirator might have asked for the safe release of Lord
She had thought it all out a hundred times since she had
discovered that the baby which Anderssen had placed in her
arms that night upon the Kincaid was not her ownand it had
been a constant and gnawing source of happiness to her to
dream the whole fantasy through in its every detail.
Nothe Russian must never know that this was not her baby.
She realized that her position was hopeless--with Anderssen
and her husband dead there was no one in all the world with
a desire to succour her who knew where she might be found.
Rokoff's threatshe realizedwas no idle one. That he
would door attempt to doall that he had promisedshe
was perfectly sure; but at the worst it meant but a little earlier
release from the hideous anguish that she had been enduring.
She must find some way to take her own life before the Russian
could harm her further.
Just now she wanted time--time to think and prepare herself
for the end. She felt that she could not take the last
awful step until she had exhausted every possibility of escape.
She did not care to live unless she might find her way
back to her own childbut slight as such a hope appeared
she would not admit its impossibility until the last moment
had comeand she faced the fearful reality of choosing between
the final alternatives--Nikolas Rokoff on one hand and
self-destruction upon the other.
Go away!she said to the Russian. "Go away and leave me
in peace with my dead. Have you not brought sufficient misery
and anguish upon me without attempting to harm me further?
What wrong have I ever done you that you should persist
in persecuting me?"
You are suffering for the sins of the monkey you chose
when you might have had the love of a gentleman--of Nikolas
Rokoff,he replied. "But where is the use in discussing
the matter? We shall bury the child hereand you will
return with me at once to my own camp. Tomorrow I shall
bring you back and turn you over to your new husband--the
lovely M'ganwazam. Come!"
He reached out for the child. Janewho was on her feet
nowturned away from him.
I shall bury the body,she said. "Send some men to dig
a grave outside the village."
Rokoff was anxious to have the thing over and get back to
his camp with his victim. He thought he saw in her apathy a
resignation to her fate. Stepping outside the huthe motioned
her to follow himand a moment laterwith his menhe
escorted Jane beyond the villagewhere beneath a great tree
the blacks scooped a shallow grave.
Wrapping the tiny body in a blanketJane laid it tenderly
in the black holeandturning her head that she might not
see the mouldy earth falling upon the pitiful little bundle
she breathed a prayer beside the grave of the nameless waif
that had won its way to the innermost recesses of her heart.
Thendry-eyed but sufferingshe rose and followed the Russian
through the Stygian blackness of the junglealong the winding
leafy corridor that led from the village of M'ganwazamthe
black cannibalto the camp of Nikolas Rokoffthe white fiend.
Beside themin the impenetrable thickets that fringed the path
rising to arch above it and shut out the moonthe girl could
hear the stealthymuffled footfalls of great beastsand ever
round about them rose the deafening roars of hunting lions
until the earth trembled to the mighty sound.
The porters lighted torches now and waved them upon either
hand to frighten off the beasts of prey. Rokoff urged
them to greater speedand from the quavering note in his
voice Jane Clayton knew that he was weak from terror.
The sounds of the jungle night recalled most vividly the
days and nights that she had spent in a similar jungle with
her forest god--with the fearless and unconquerable Tarzan
of the Apes. Then there had been no thoughts of terror
though the jungle noises were new to herand the roar of a
lion had seemed the most awe-inspiring sound upon the great earth.
How different would it be now if she knew that he was
somewhere there in the wildernessseeking her! Thenindeed
would there be that for which to liveand every reason
to believe that succour was close at hand--but he was dead!
It was incredible that it should be so.
There seemed no place in death for that great body and
those mighty thews. Had Rokoff been the one to tell her of
her lord's passing she would have known that he lied.
There could be no reasonshe thoughtwhy M'ganwazam should
have deceived her. She did not know that the Russian had
talked with the savage a few minutes before the chief had
come to her with his tale.
At last they reached the rude boma that Rokoff's porters
had thrown up round the Russian's camp. Here they found
all in turmoil. She did not know what it was all about
but she saw that Rokoff was very angryand from bits of
conversation which she could translate she gleaned that there
had been further desertions while he had been absentand that
the deserters had taken the bulk of his food and ammunition.
When he had done venting his rage upon those who remained
he returned to where Jane stood under guard of a couple
of his white sailors. He grasped her roughly by the arm
and started to drag her toward his tent. The girl struggled
and fought to free herselfwhile the two sailors stood by
laughing at the rare treat.
Rokoff did not hesitate to use rough methods when he found
that he was to have difficulty in carrying out his designs.
Repeatedly he struck Jane Clayton in the faceuntil at
lasthalf-consciousshe was dragged within his tent.
Rokoff's boy had lighted the Russian's lampand now at
a word from his master he made himself scarce. Jane had
sunk to the floor in the middle of the enclosure. Slowly her
numbed senses were returning to her and she was commencing
to think very fast indeed. Quickly her eyes ran round the
interior of the tenttaking in every detail of its equipment
Now the Russian was lifting her to her feet and attempting
to drag her to the camp cot that stood at one side of the tent.
At his belt hung a heavy revolver. Jane Clayton's eyes riveted
themselves upon it. Her palm itched to grasp the huge butt.
She feigned again to swoonbut through her half-closed lids
she waited her opportunity.
It came just as Rokoff was lifting her upon the cot. A noise
at the tent door behind him brought his head quickly about
and away from the girl. The butt of the gun was not an inch
from her hand. With a singlelightning-like move she
snatched the weapon from its holsterand at the same instant
Rokoff turned back toward herrealizing his peril.
She did not dare fire for fear the shot would bring his
people about himand with Rokoff dead she would fall into
hands no better than his and to a fate probably even worse
than he alone could have imagined. The memory of the two brutes
who stood and laughed as Rokoff struck her was still vivid.
As the rage and fear-filled countenance of the Slav turned
toward her Jane Clayton raised the heavy revolver high above
the pasty face and with all her strength dealt the man a terrific
blow between the eyes.
Without a sound he sanklimp and unconsciousto the ground.
A moment later the girl stood beside him--for a moment at
least free from the menace of his lust.
Outside the tent she again heard the noise that had distracted
Rokoff's attention. What it was she did not knowbutfearing
the return of the servant and the discovery of her deed
she stepped quickly to the camp table upon which burned the
oil lamp and extinguished the smudgyevil-smelling flame.
In the total darkness of the interior she paused for a moment to
collect her wits and plan for the next step in her venture for freedom.
About her was a camp of enemies. Beyond these foes a black
wilderness of savage jungle peopled by hideous beasts of prey
and still more hideous human beasts.
There was little or no chance that she could survive even a few
days of the constant dangers that would confront her there;
but the knowledge that she had already passed through
so many perils unscathedand that somewhere out in the
faraway world a little child was doubtless at that very moment
crying for herfilled her with determination to make
the effort to accomplish the seemingly impossible and cross
that awful land of horror in search of the sea and the remote
chance of succour she might find there.
Rokoff's tent stood almost exactly in the centre of the boma.
Surrounding it were the tents and shelters of his white
companions and the natives of his safari. To pass through
these and find egress through the boma seemed a task too
fraught with insurmountable obstacles to warrant even the
slightest considerationand yet there was no other way.
To remain in the tent until she should be discovered would
be to set at naught all that she had risked to gain her freedom
and so with stealthy step and every sense alert she approached
the back of the tent to set out upon the first stage
of her adventure.
Groping along the rear of the canvas wallshe found that
there was no opening there. Quickly she returned to the side
of the unconscious Russian. In his belt her groping fingers
came upon the hilt of a long hunting-knifeand with this she
cut a hole in the back wall of the tent.
Silently she stepped without. To her immense relief she
saw that the camp was apparently asleep. In the dim and
flickering light of the dying fires she saw but a single sentry
and he was dozing upon his haunches at the opposite side of
Keeping the tent between him and herselfshe crossed
between the small shelters of the native porters to the
boma wall beyond.
Outsidein the darkness of the tangled jungleshe could
hear the roaring of lionsthe laughing of hyenasand the
countlessnameless noises of the midnight jungle.
For a moment she hesitatedtrembling. The thought of the
prowling beasts out there in the darkness was appalling.
Thenwith a sudden brave toss of her headshe attacked the
thorny boma wall with her delicate hands. Torn and bleeding
though they wereshe worked on breathlessly until she had
made an opening through which she could worm her body
and at last she stood outside the enclosure.
Behind her lay a fate worse than deathat the hands of
Before her lay an almost certain fate--but it was only death--
suddenmercifuland honourable death.
Without a tremor and without regret she darted away from the camp
and a moment later the mysterious jungle had closed about her.
Alone in the Jungle
Tambudzaleading Tarzan of the Apes toward the camp of
the Russianmoved very slowly along the winding jungle
pathfor she was old and her legs stiff with rheumatism.
So it was that the runners dispatched by M'ganwazam to warn
Rokoff that the white giant was in his village and that he
would be slain that night reached the Russian's camp before
Tarzan and his ancient guide had covered half the distance.
The guides found the white man's camp in a turmoil.
Rokoff had that morning been discovered stunned and bleeding
within his tent. When he had recovered his senses and realized
that Jane Clayton had escapedhis rage was boundless.
Rushing about the camp with his riflehe had sought to
shoot down the native sentries who had allowed the young
woman to elude their vigilancebut several of the other
whitesrealizing that they were already in a precarious
position owing to the numerous desertions that Rokoff's
cruelty had brought aboutseized and disarmed him.
Then came the messengers from M'ganwazambut scarce
had they told their story and Rokoff was preparing to depart
with them for their village when other runnerspanting from
the exertions of their swift flight through the junglerushed
breathless into the firelightcrying that the great white giant
had escaped from M'ganwazam and was already on his way
to wreak vengeance against his enemies.
Instantly confusion reigned within the encircling boma.
The blacks belonging to Rokoff's safari were terror-stricken at the
thought of the proximity of the white giant who hunted through
the jungle with a fierce pack of apes and panthers at his heels.
Before the whites realized what had happened the superstitious
fears of the natives had sent them scurrying into the bush--
their own carriers as well as the messengers from M'ganwazam-but
even in their haste they had not neglected to take with them
every article of value upon which they could lay their hands.
Thus Rokoff and the seven white sailors found themselves
deserted and robbed in the midst of a wilderness.
The Russianfollowing his usual customberated his companions
laying all the blame upon their shoulders for the events which
had led up to the almost hopeless condition in which they now
found themselves; but the sailors were in no mood to brook
his insults and his cursing.
In the midst of this tirade one of them drew a revolver and fired
point-blank at the Russian. The fellow's aim was poorbut
his act so terrified Rokoff that he turned and fled for his tent.
As he ran his eyes chanced to pass beyond the boma to the
edge of the forestand there he caught a glimpse of that
which sent his craven heart cold with a fear that almost
expunged his terror of the seven men at his backwho by this
time were all firing in hate and revenge at his retreating figure.
What he saw was the giant figure of an almost naked white
man emerging from the bush.
Darting into his tentthe Russian did not halt in his flight
but kept right on through the rear walltaking advantage of
the long slit that Jane Clayton had made the night before.
The terror-stricken Muscovite scurried like a hunted rabbit
through the hole that still gaped in the boma's wall at the
point where his own prey had escapedand as Tarzan approached
the camp upon the opposite side Rokoff disappeared into the
jungle in the wake of Jane Clayton.
As the ape-man entered the boma with old Tambudza at his elbow
the seven sailorsrecognizing himturned and fled in the
opposite direction. Tarzan saw that Rokoff was not among them
and so he let them go their way--his business was with the Russian
whom he expected to find in his tent. As to the sailorshe was
sure that the jungle would exact from them expiation for their
villainiesnordoubtlesswas he wrongfor his were the last
white man's eyes to rest upon any of them.
Finding Rokoff's tent emptyTarzan was about to set out
in search of the Russian when Tambudza suggested to him
that the departure of the white man could only have resulted
from word reaching him from M'ganwazam that Tarzan was
in his village.
He has doubtless hastened there,argued the old woman.
If you would find him let us return at once.
Tarzan himself thought that this would probably prove to
be the factso he did not waste time in an endeavour to locate
the Russian's trailbutinsteadset out briskly for the village
of M'ganwazamleaving Tambudza to plod slowly in his wake.
His one hope was that Jane was still safe and with Rokoff.
If this was the caseit would be but a matter of an hour or
more before he should be able to wrest her from the Russian.
He knew now that M'ganwazam was treacherous and that
he might have to fight to regain possession of his wife.
He wished that MugambiSheetaAkutand the balance of the
pack were with himfor he realized that single-handed it
would be no child's play to bring Jane safely from the clutches
of two such scoundrels as Rokoff and the wily M'ganwazam.
To his surprise he found no sign of either Rokoff or Jane
in the villageand as he could not trust the word of the chief
he wasted no time in futile inquiry. So sudden and unexpected
had been his returnand so quickly had he vanished into the jungle
after learning that those he sought were not among the Waganwazam
that old M'ganwazam had no time to prevent his going.
Swinging through the treeshe hastened back to the deserted camp
he had so recently leftfor herehe knewwas the logical place
to take up the trail of Rokoff and Jane.
Arrived at the bomahe circled carefully about the outside
of the enclosure untilopposite a break in the thorny wall
he came to indications that something had recently passed
into the jungle. His acute sense of smell told him that both
of those he sought had fled from the camp in this direction
and a moment later he had taken up the trail and was following
the faint spoor.
Far ahead of him a terror-stricken young woman was slinking
along a narrow game-trailfearful that the next moment
would bring her face to face with some savage beast or equally
savage man. As she ran onhoping against hope that she had
hit upon the direction that would lead her eventually to the
great rivershe came suddenly upon a familiar spot.
At one side of the trailbeneath a giant treelay a little
heap of loosely piled brush--to her dying day that little spot
of jungle would be indelibly impressed upon her memory.
It was where Anderssen had hidden her--where he had given
up his life in the vain effort to save her from Rokoff.
At sight of it she recalled the rifle and ammunition that
the man had thrust upon her at the last moment. Until now
she had forgotten them entirely. Still clutched in her hand
was the revolver she had snatched from Rokoff's beltbut
that could contain at most not over six cartridges--not enough
to furnish her with food and protection both on the long
journey to the sea.
With bated breath she groped beneath the little mound
scarce daring to hope that the treasure remained where she
had left it; butto her infinite relief and joyher hand came
at once upon the barrel of the heavy weapon and then upon
the bandoleer of cartridges.
As she threw the latter about her shoulder and felt the weight
of the big game-gun in her hand a sudden sense of security
suffused her. It was with new hope and a feeling almost of
assured success that she again set forward upon her journey.
That night she slept in the crotch of a treeas Tarzan had
so often told her that he was accustomed to doingand early
the next morning was upon her way again. Late in the afternoon
as she was about to cross a little clearingshe was startled
at the sight of a huge ape coming from the jungle upon the
The wind was blowing directly across the clearing between
themand Jane lost no time in putting herself downwind
from the huge creature. Then she hid in a clump of heavy
bush and watchedholding the rifle ready for instant use.
To her consternation she saw that the apes were pausing in the
centre of the clearing. They came together in a little knot
where they stood looking backwardas though in expectation
of the coming of others of their tribe.
Jane wished that they would go onfor she knew that at
any moment some littleeddying gust of wind might carry
her scent down to their nostrilsand then what would the
protection of her rifle amount to in the face of those gigantic
muscles and mighty fangs?
Her eyes moved back and forth between the apes and the edge
of the jungle toward which they were gazing until at last
she perceived the object of their halt and the thing that
they awaited. They were being stalked.
Of this she was positiveas she saw the lithesinewy form
of a panther glide noiselessly from the jungle at the point at
which the apes had emerged but a moment before.
Quickly the beast trotted across the clearing toward
the anthropoids. Jane wondered at their apparent apathy
and a moment later her wonder turned to amazement as she saw
the great cat come quite close to the apeswho appeared
entirely unconcerned by its presenceandsquatting down
in their midstfell assiduously to the business of preening
which occupies most of the waking hours of the cat family.
If the young woman was surprised by the sight of these natural
enemies fraternizingit was with emotions little short of fear
for her own sanity that she presently saw a tallmuscular warrior
enter the clearing and join the group of savage beasts assembled there.
At first sight of the man she had been positive that he would
be torn to piecesand she had half risen from her shelter
raising her rifle to her shoulder to do what she could to
avert the man's terrible fate.
Now she saw that he seemed actually conversing with the beasts-issuing
orders to them.
Presently the entire company filed on across the clearing
and disappeared in the jungle upon the opposite side.
With a gasp of mingled incredulity and relief Jane Clayton
staggered to her feet and fled on away from the terrible horde
that had just passed herwhile a half-mile behind her another
individualfollowing the same trail as shelay frozen with
terror behind an ant-hill as the hideous band passed quite
close to him.
This one was Rokoff; but he had recognized the members
of the awful aggregation as allies of Tarzan of the Apes.
No soonerthereforehad the beasts passed him than he rose and
raced through the jungle as fast as he could goin order that
he might put as much distance as possible between himself
and these frightful beasts.
So it happened that as Jane Clayton came to the bank of the river
down which she hoped to float to the ocean and eventual rescue
Nikolas Rokoff was but a short distance in her rear.
Upon the bank the girl saw a great dugout drawn half-way
from the water and tied securely to a near-by tree.
Thisshe feltwould solve the question of transportation
to the sea could she but launch the hugeunwieldy craft.
Unfastening the rope that had moored it to the treeJane
pushed frantically upon the bow of the heavy canoebut for
all the results that were apparent she might as well have been
attempting to shove the earth out of its orbit.
She was about winded when it occurred to her to try working
the dugout into the stream by loading the stern with ballast
and then rocking the bow back and forth along the bank
until the craft eventually worked itself into the river.
There were no stones or rocks availablebut along the
shore she found quantities of driftwood deposited by the river
at a slightly higher stage. These she gathered and piled far
in the stern of the boatuntil at lastto her immense relief
she saw the bow rise gently from the mud of the bank and
the stern drift slowly with the current until it again lodged a
few feet farther down-stream.
Jane found that by running back and forth between the
bow and stern she could alternately raise and lower each end
of the boat as she shifted her weight from one end to the
otherwith the result that each time she leaped to the stern
the canoe moved a few inches farther into the river.
As the success of her plan approached more closely to
fruition she became so wrapped in her efforts that she failed
to note the figure of a man standing beneath a huge tree at
the edge of the jungle from which he had just emerged.
He watched her and her labours with a cruel and malicious
grin upon his swarthy countenance.
The boat at last became so nearly free of the retarding
mud and of the bank that Jane felt positive that she could
pole it off into deeper water with one of the paddles which
lay in the bottom of the rude craft. With this end in view she
seized upon one of these implements and had just plunged it
into the river bottom close to the shore when her eyes
happened to rise to the edge of the jungle.
As her gaze fell upon the figure of the man a little cry of
terror rose to her lips. It was Rokoff.
He was running toward her now and shouting to her to
wait or he would shoot--though he was entirely unarmed it
was difficult to discover just how he intended making good
Jane Clayton knew nothing of the various misfortunes that
had befallen the Russian since she had escaped from his tent
so she believed that his followers must be close at hand.
Howevershe had no intention of falling again into the
man's clutches. She would rather die at once than that that
should happen to her. Another minute and the boat would be free.
Once in the current of the river she would be beyond Rokoff's
power to stop herfor there was no other boat upon
the shoreand no manand certainly not the cowardly Rokoff
would dare to attempt to swim the crocodile-infested
water in an effort to overtake her.
Rokoffon his partwas bent more upon escape than aught else.
He would gladly have forgone any designs he might have
had upon Jane Clayton would she but permit him to share
this means of escape that she had discovered. He would
promise anything if she would let him come aboard the dugout
but he did not think that it was necessary to do so.
He saw that he could easily reach the bow of the boat
before it cleared the shoreand then it would not be
necessary to make promises of any sort. Not that Rokoff would
have felt the slightest compunction in ignoring any promises
he might have made the girlbut he disliked the idea of having
to sue for favour with one who had so recently assaulted
and escaped him.
Already he was gloating over the days and nights of revenge
that would be his while the heavy dugout drifted its
slow way to the ocean.
Jane Claytonworking furiously to shove the boat beyond
his reachsuddenly realized that she was to be successful
for with a little lurch the dugout swung quickly into the
currentjust as the Russian reached out to place his hand
upon its bow.
His fingers did not miss their goal by a half-dozen inches.
The girl almost collapsed with the reaction from the terrific
mentalphysicaland nervous strain under which she had
been labouring for the past few minutes. Butthank Heaven
at last she was safe!
Even as she breathed a silent prayer of thanksgivingshe
saw a sudden expression of triumph lighten the features of
the cursing Russianand at the same instant he dropped
suddenly to the groundgrasping firmly upon something which
wriggled through the mud toward the water.
Jane Clayton crouchedwide-eyed and horror-strickenin
the bottom of the boat as she realized that at the last instant
success had been turned to failureand that she was indeed
again in the power of the malignant Rokoff.
For the thing that the man had seen and grasped was the
end of the trailing rope with which the dugout had been
moored to the tree.
Down the Ugambi
Halfway between the Ugambi and the village of the Waganwazam
Tarzan came upon the pack moving slowly along his old spoor.
Mugambi could scarce believe that the trail of the Russian
and the mate of his savage master had passed so close to
that of the pack.
It seemed incredible that two human beings should have
come so close to them without having been detected by some
of the marvellously keen and alert beasts; but Tarzan pointed
out the spoor of the two he trailedand at certain points the
black could see that the man and the woman must have been
in hiding as the pack passed themwatching every move of
the ferocious creatures.
It had been apparent to Tarzan from the first that Jane and
Rokoff were not travelling together. The spoor showed
distinctly that the young woman had been a considerable distance
ahead of the Russian at firstthough the farther the ape-man
continued along the trail the more obvious it became that the
man was rapidly overhauling his quarry.
At first there had been the spoor of wild beasts over the
footprints of Jane Claytonwhile upon the top of all Rokoff's
spoor showed that he had passed over the trail after the animals
had left their records upon the ground. But later there
were fewer and fewer animal imprints occurring between
those of Jane's and the Russian's feetuntil as he approached
the river the ape-man became aware that Rokoff could not
have been more than a few hundred yards behind the girl.
He felt they must be close ahead of him nowandwith a
little thrill of expectationhe leaped rapidly forward ahead
of the pack. Swinging swiftly through the treeshe came out
upon the river-bank at the very point at which Rokoff had
overhauled Jane as she endeavoured to launch the cumbersome dugout.
In the mud along the bank the ape-man saw the footprints
of the two he soughtbut there was neither boat nor people
there when he arrivednorat first glanceany sign of
It was plain that they had shoved off a native canoe and
embarked upon the bosom of the streamand as the ape-man's
eye ran swiftly down the course of the river beneath the
shadows of the overarching trees he saw in the distance
just as it rounded a bend that shut it off from his view
a drifting dugout in the stern of which was the figure of a man.
Just as the pack came in sight of the river they saw their
agile leader racing down the river's bankleaping from hummock
to hummock of the swampy ground that spread between them and
a little promontory which rose just where the river curved
inward from their sight.
To follow him it was necessary for the heavycumbersome
apes to make a wide detourand Sheetatoowho hated water.
Mugambi followed after them as rapidly as he could
in the wake of the great white master.
A half-hour of rapid travelling across the swampy neck of
land and over the rising promontory brought Tarzanby a
short cutto the inward bend of the winding riverand there
before him upon the bosom of the stream he saw the dugout
and in its stern Nikolas Rokoff.
Jane was not with the Russian.
At sight of his enemy the broad scar upon the ape-man's
brow burned scarletand there rose to his lips the hideous
bestial challenge of the bull-ape.
Rokoff shuddered as the weird and terrible alarm fell upon
his ears. Cowering in the bottom of the boathis teeth
chattering in terrorhe watched the man he feared above all
other creatures upon the face of the earth as he ran quickly
to the edge of the water.
Even though the Russian knew that he was safe from his enemy
the very sight of him threw him into a frenzy of trembling cowardice
which became frantic hysteria as he saw the white giant dive fearlessly
into the forbidding waters of the tropical river.
With steadypowerful strokes the ape-man forged out into
the stream toward the drifting dugout. Now Rokoff seized
one of the paddles lying in the bottom of the craftand
with terrorwide eyes still glued upon the living death that
pursued himstruck out madly in an effort to augment the speed
of the unwieldy canoe.
And from the opposite bank a sinister rippleunseen by
either manmoving steadily toward the half-naked swimmer.
Tarzan had reached the stern of the craft at last. One hand
upstretched grasped the gunwale. Rokoff sat frozen with fear
unable to move a hand or foothis eyes riveted upon the face
of his Nemesis.
Then a sudden commotion in the water behind the swimmer caught
his attention. He saw the rippleand he knew what caused it.
At the same instant Tarzan felt mighty jaws close upon his
right leg. He tried to struggle free and raise himself over the
side of the boat. His efforts would have succeeded had not
this unexpected interruption galvanized the malign brain of
the Russian into instant action with its sudden promise of
deliverance and revenge.
Like a venomous snake the man leaped toward the stern of the boat
and with a single swift blow struck Tarzan across the head with
the heavy paddle. The ape-man's fingers slipped from their hold
upon the gunwale.
There was a short struggle at the surfaceand then a swirl of waters
a little eddyand a burst of bubbles soon smoothed out by the flowing
current marked for the instant the spot where Tarzan of the Apes
Lord of the Jungledisappeared from the sight of men beneath the
gloomy waters of the dark and forbidding Ugambi.
Weak from terrorRokoff sank shuddering into the bottom of the dugout.
For a moment he could not realize the good fortune that had befallen him--
all that he could see was the figure of a silentstruggling white man
disappearing beneath the surface of the river to unthinkable death in
the slimy mud of the bottom.
Slowly all that it meant to him filtered into the mind of the
Russianand then a cruel smile of relief and triumph touched
his lips; but it was short-livedfor just as he was
congratulating himself that he was now comparatively safe to
proceed upon his way to the coast unmolesteda mighty
pandemonium rose from the river-bank close by.
As his eyes sought the authors of the frightful sound he
saw standing upon the shoreglaring at him with hate-filled
eyesa devil-faced panther surrounded by the hideous apes
of Akutand in the forefront of them a giant black warrior
who shook his fist at himthreatening him with terrible death.
The nightmare of that flight down the Ugambi with the hideous horde
racing after him by day and by nightnow abreast of himnow lost
in the mazes of the jungle far behind for hours and once for a whole day
only to reappear again upon his trail grimrelentlessand terrible
reduced the Russian from a strong and robust man to an emaciated
white-hairedfear-gibbering thing before ever the bay and the ocean
broke upon his hopeless vision.
Past populous villages he had fled. Time and again warriors
had put out in their canoes to intercept himbut each
time the hideous horde had swept into view to send the
terrified natives shrieking back to the shore to lose
themselves in the jungle.
Nowhere in his flight had he seen aught of Jane Clayton.
Not once had his eyes rested upon her since that moment at
the river's brim his hand had closed upon the rope attached
to the bow of her dugout and he had believed her safely in
his power againonly to be thwarted an instant later as the
girl snatched up a heavy express rifle from the bottom of the
craft and levelled it full at his breast.
Quickly he had dropped the rope then and seen her float away
beyond his reachbut a moment later he had been racing up-stream
toward a little tributary in the mouth of which was hidden the canoe
in which he and his party had come thus far upon their journey
in pursuit of the girl and Anderssen.
What had become of her?
There seemed little doubt in the Russian's mindhowever
but that she had been captured by warriors from one of the
several villages she would have been compelled to pass on
her way down to the sea. Wellhe was at least rid of most
of his human enemies.
But at that he would gladly have had them all back in the land
of the living could he thus have been freed from the menace of
the frightful creatures who pursued him with awful relentlessness
screaming and growling at him every time they came within sight of him.
The one that filled him with the greatest terror was the panther--the
flaming-eyeddevil-faced panther whose grinning jaws gaped wide at him
by dayand whose fiery orbs gleamed wickedly out across the water
from the Cimmerian blackness of the jungle nights.
The sight of the mouth of the Ugambi filled Rokoff with
renewed hopefor thereupon the yellow waters of the bay
floated the Kincaid at anchor. He had sent the little steamer
away to coal while he had gone up the riverleaving Paulvitch
in charge of herand he could have cried aloud in his relief
as he saw that she had returned in time to save him.
Frantically he alternately paddled furiously toward her and
rose to his feet waving his paddle and crying aloud in an
attempt to attract the attention of those on board. But loud
as he screamed his cries awakened no answering challenge
from the deck of the silent craft.
Upon the shore behind him a hurried backward glance revealed
the presence of the snarling pack. Even nowhe thought
these manlike devils might yet find a way to reach him even
upon the deck of the steamer unless there were those there
to repel them with firearms.
What could have happened to those he had left upon the
Kincaid? Where was Paulvitch? Could it be that the vessel
was desertedand thatafter allhe was doomed to be overtaken
by the terrible fate that he had been flying from through
all these hideous days and nights? He shivered as might one
upon whose brow death has already laid his clammy finger.
Yet he did not cease to paddle frantically toward the steamer
and at lastafter what seemed an eternitythe bow of the dugout
bumped against the timbers of the Kincaid. Over the ship's side
hung a monkey-ladderbut as the Russian grasped it to ascend
to the deck he heard a warning challenge from aboveand
looking upgazed into the coldrelentless muzzle of a rifle.
After Jane Claytonwith rifle levelled at the breast of Rokoff
had succeeded in holding him off until the dugout in
which she had taken refuge had drifted out upon the bosom
of the Ugambi beyond the man's reachshe had lost no time
in paddling to the swiftest sweep of the channelnor did she
for long days and weary nights cease to hold her craft to the
most rapidly moving part of the riverexcept when during
the hottest hours of the day she had been wont to drift as the
current would take herlying prone in the bottom of the canoe
her face sheltered from the sun with a great palm leaf.
Thus only did she gain rest upon the voyage; at other times
she continually sought to augment the movement of the craft
by wielding the heavy paddle.
Rokoffon the other handhad used little or no intelligence
in his flight along the Ugambiso that more often than not
his craft had drifted in the slow-going eddiesfor he habitually
hugged the bank farthest from that along which the hideous horde
pursued and menaced him.
Thus it was thatthough he had put out upon the river but
a short time subsequent to the girlyet she had reached the
bay fully two hours ahead of him. When she had first seen
the anchored ship upon the quiet waterJane Clayton's heart
had beat fast with hope and thanksgivingbut as she drew
closer to the craft and saw that it was the Kincaid
her pleasure gave place to the gravest misgivings.
It was too latehoweverto turn backfor the current that
carried her toward the ship was much too strong for her muscles.
She could not have forced the heavy dugout upstream against it
and all that was left her was to attempt either to make the
shore without being seen by those upon the deck of the Kincaid
or to throw herself upon their mercy--otherwise she must be
swept out to sea.
She knew that the shore held little hope of life for heras
she had no knowledge of the location of the friendly Mosula
village to which Anderssen had taken her through the darkness
of the night of their escape from the Kincaid.
With Rokoff away from the steamer it might be possible
that by offering those in charge a large reward they could be
induced to carry her to the nearest civilized port. It was
worth risking--if she could make the steamer at all.
The current was bearing her swiftly down the riverand
she found that only by dint of the utmost exertion could she
direct the awkward craft toward the vicinity of the Kincaid.
Having reached the decision to board the steamershe now
looked to it for aidbut to her surprise the decks appeared to
be empty and she saw no sign of life aboard the ship.
The dugout was drawing closer and closer to the bow of
the vesseland yet no hail came over the side from any
lookout aboard. In a moment moreJane realizedshe would be
swept beyond the steamerand thenunless they lowered a
boat to rescue hershe would be carried far out to sea by the
current and the swift ebb tide that was running.
The young woman called loudly for assistancebut there
was no reply other than the shrill scream of some savage
beast upon the jungle-shrouded shore. Frantically Jane
wielded the paddle in an effort to carry her craft close
alongside the steamer.
For a moment it seemed that she should miss her goal by
but a few feetbut at the last moment the canoe swung close
beneath the steamer's bow and Jane barely managed to grasp
the anchor chain.
Heroically she clung to the heavy iron linksalmost dragged
from the canoe by the strain of the current upon her craft.
Beyond her she saw a monkey-ladder dangling over the
steamer's side. To release her hold upon the chain and chance
clambering to the ladder as her canoe was swept beneath it
seemed beyond the pale of possibilityyet to remain clinging
to the anchor chain appeared equally as futile.
Finally her glance chanced to fall upon the rope in the bow
of the dugoutandmaking one end of this fast to the chain
she succeeded in drifting the canoe slowly down until it lay
directly beneath the ladder. A moment laterher rifle slung
about her shouldersshe had clambered safely to the deserted deck.
Her first task was to explore the shipand this she didher
rifle ready for instant use should she meet with any human
menace aboard the Kincaid. She was not long in discovering
the cause of the apparently deserted condition of the steamer
for in the forecastle she found the sailorswho had evidently
been left to guard the shipdeep in drunken slumber.
With a shudder of disgust she clambered aboveand to the
best of her ability closed and made fast the hatch above the
heads of the sleeping guard. Next she sought the galley and
foodandhaving appeased her hungershe took her place
on deckdetermined that none should board the Kincaid
without first having agreed to her demands.
For an hour or so nothing appeared upon the surface of
the river to cause her alarmbut thenabout a bend upstream
she saw a canoe appear in which sat a single figure. It had
not proceeded far in her direction before she recognized the
occupant as Rokoffand when the fellow attempted to board
he found a rifle staring him in the face.
When the Russian discovered who it was that repelled his
advance he became furiouscursing and threatening in a most
horrible manner; butfinding that these tactics failed to
frighten or move the girlhe at last fell to pleading and promising.
Jane had but a single reply for his every propositionand
that was that nothing would ever persuade her to permit Rokoff
upon the same vessel with her. That she would put her
threats into action and shoot him should he persist in his
endeavour to board the ship he was convinced.
Soas there was no other alternativethe great coward
dropped back into his dugout andat imminent risk of being
swept to seafinally succeeded in making the shore far down
the bay and upon the opposite side from that on which the
horde of beasts stood snarling and roaring.
Jane Clayton knew that the fellow could not alone and
unaided bring his heavy craft back up-stream to the
Kincaidand so she had no further fear of an attack by him.
The hideous crew upon the shore she thought she recognized as
the same that had passed her in the jungle far up the Ugambi
several days beforefor it seemed quite beyond reason that
there should be more than one such a strangely assorted pack;
but what had brought them down-stream to the mouth of the
river she could not imagine.
Toward the day's close the girl was suddenly alarmed by
the shouting of the Russian from the opposite bank of the
streamand a moment laterfollowing the direction of his
gazeshe was terrified to see a ship's boat approaching from
up-streamin whichshe felt assuredthere could be only
members of the Kincaid's missing crew--only heartless
ruffians and enemies.
In the Darkness of the Night
When Tarzan of the Apes realized that he was in the
grip of the great jaws of a crocodile he did notas an
ordinary man might have donegive up all hope and resign
himself to his fate.
Insteadhe filled his lungs with air before the huge reptile
dragged him beneath the surfaceand thenwith all the might
of his great musclesfought bitterly for freedom. But out of
his native element the ape-man was too greatly handicapped
to do more than excite the monster to greater speed as it
dragged its prey swiftly through the water.
Tarzan's lungs were bursting for a breath of pure fresh air.
He knew that he could survive but a moment moreand in
the last paroxysm of his suffering he did what he could to
avenge his own death.
His body trailed out beside the slimy carcass of his captor
and into the tough armour the ape-man attempted to plunge
his stone knife as he was borne to the creature's horrid den.
His efforts but served to accelerate the speed of the crocodile
and just as the ape-man realized that he had reached the limit
of his endurance he felt his body dragged to a muddy bed and
his nostrils rise above the water's surface. All about him
was the blackness of the pit--the silence of the grave.
For a moment Tarzan of the Apes lay gasping for breath
upon the slimyevil-smelling bed to which the animal had
borne him. Close at his side he could feel the coldhard
plates of the creatures coat rising and falling as though with
spasmodic efforts to breathe.
For several minutes the two lay thusand then a sudden
convulsion of the giant carcass at the man's sidea tremor
and a stiffening brought Tarzan to his knees beside the crocodile.
To his utter amazement he found that the beast was dead.
The slim knife had found a vulnerable spot in the scaly armour.
Staggering to his feetthe ape-man groped about the reeking
oozy den. He found that he was imprisoned in a subterranean
chamber amply large enough to have accommodated a dozen or
more of the huge animals such as the one that had
dragged him thither.
He realized that he was in the creature's hidden nest far
under the bank of the streamand that doubtless the only
means of ingress or egress lay through the submerged opening
through which the crocodile had brought him.
His first thoughtof coursewas of escapebut that he
could make his way to the surface of the river beyond and
then to the shore seemed highly improbable. There might be
turns and windings in the neck of the passageormost to
be fearedhe might meet another of the slimy inhabitants of
the retreat upon his journey outward.
Even should he reach the river in safetythere was still the
danger of his being again attacked before he could effect a
safe landing. Still there was no alternativeandfilling his
lungs with the close and reeking air of the chamberTarzan
of the Apes dived into the dark and watery hole which he
could not see but had felt out and found with his feet and legs.
The leg which had been held within the jaws of the crocodile
was badly laceratedbut the bone had not been broken
nor were the muscles or tendons sufficiently injured to render
it useless. It gave him excruciating painthat was all.
But Tarzan of the Apes was accustomed to painand gave
it no further thought when he found that the use of his legs
was not greatly impaired by the sharp teeth of the monster.
Rapidly he crawled and swam through the passage which
inclined downward and finally upward to open at last into
the river bottom but a few feet from the shore line. As the
ape-man reached the surface he saw the heads of two great
crocodiles but a short distance from him. They were making
rapidly in his directionand with a superhuman effort the
man struck out for the overhanging branches of a near-by tree.
Nor was he a moment too soonfor scarcely had he drawn
himself to the safety of the limb than two gaping mouths
snapped venomously below him. For a few minutes Tarzan
rested in the tree that had proved the means of his salvation.
His eyes scanned the river as far down-stream as the tortuous
channel would permitbut there was no sign of the Russian
or his dugout.
When he had rested and bound up his wounded leg he started
on in pursuit of the drifting canoe. He found himself
upon the opposite of the river to that at which he had
entered the streambut as his quarry was upon the bosom
of the water it made little difference to the ape-man
upon which side he took up the pursuit.
To his intense chagrin he soon found that his leg was more
badly injured than he had thoughtand that its condition
seriously impeded his progress. It was only with the greatest
difficulty that he could proceed faster than a walk upon the
groundand in the trees he discovered that it not only impeded
his progressbut rendered travelling distinctly dangerous.
From the old negressTambudzaTarzan had gathered a suggestion
that now filled his mind with doubts and misgivings. When the
old woman had told him of the child's death she had also added
that the white womanthough grief-strickenhad confided to her
that the baby was not hers.
Tarzan could see no reason for believing that Jane could
have found it advisable to deny her identity or that of the
child; the only explanation that he could put upon the matter
was thatafter allthe white woman who had accompanied
his son and the Swede into the jungle fastness of the interior
had not been Jane at all.
The more he gave thought to the problemthe more firmly
convinced he became that his son was dead and his wife still
safe in Londonand in ignorance of the terrible fate that had
overtaken her first-born.
After allthenhis interpretation of Rokoff's sinister taunt
had been erroneousand he had been bearing the burden of a
double apprehension needlessly--at least so thought the ape-man.
From this belief he garnered some slight surcease from the
numbing grief that the death of his little son had thrust upon him.
And such a death! Even the savage beast that was the real
Tarzaninured to the sufferings and horrors of the grim jungle
shuddered as he contemplated the hideous fate that had
overtaken the innocent child.
As he made his way painfully towards the coasthe let his
mind dwell so constantly upon the frightful crimes which the
Russian had perpetrated against his loved ones that the great
scar upon his forehead stood out almost continuously in the
vivid scarlet that marked the man's most relentless and bestial
moods of rage. At times he startled even himself and sent the
lesser creatures of the wild jungle scampering to their hiding
places as involuntary roars and growls rumbled from his throat.
Could he but lay his hand upon the Russian!
Twice upon the way to the coast bellicose natives ran
threateningly from their villages to bar his further progress
but when the awful cry of the bull-ape thundered upon their
affrighted earsand the great white giant charged bellowing
upon themthey had turned and fled into the bushnor ventured
thence until he had safely passed.
Though his progress seemed tantalizingly slow to the ape-man
whose idea of speed had been gained by such standards as the
lesser apes attainhe madeas a matter of factalmost as
rapid progress as the drifting canoe that bore Rokoff on
ahead of himso that he came to the bay and within sight of
the ocean just after darkness had fallen upon the same day that
Jane Clayton and the Russian ended their flights from the interior.
The darkness lowered so heavily upon the black river and
the encircling jungle that Tarzaneven with eyes accustomed
to much use after darkcould make out nothing a few yards
from him. His idea was to search the shore that night for
signs of the Russian and the woman who he was certain must
have preceded Rokoff down the Ugambi. That the Kincaid
or other ship lay at anchor but a hundred yards from him he
did not dreamfor no light showed on board the steamer.
Even as he commenced his search his attention was suddenly
attracted by a noise that he had not at first perceived-the
stealthy dip of paddles in the water some distance from
the shoreand about opposite the point at which he stood.
Motionless as a statue he stood listening to the faint sound.
Presently it ceasedto be followed by a shuffling noise that
the ape-man's trained ears could interpret as resulting from
but a single cause--the scraping of leather-shod feet upon the
rounds of a ship's monkey-ladder. And yetas far as he could
seethere was no ship there--nor might there be one within
a thousand miles.
As he stood thuspeering out into the darkness of the
cloud-enshrouded nightthere came to him from across the
waterlike a slap in the faceso sudden and unexpected was
itthe sharp staccato of an exchange of shots and then the
scream of a woman.
Wounded though he wasand with the memory of his recent
horrible experience still strong upon himTarzan of the Apes
did not hesitate as the notes of that frightened cry rose shrill
and piercing upon the still night air. With a bound he cleared
the intervening bush--there was a splash as the water closed
about him--and thenwith powerful strokeshe swam out
into the impenetrable night with no guide save the memory
of an illusive cryand for company the hideous denizens
of an equatorial river.
The boat that had attracted Jane's attention as she stood
guard upon the deck of the Kincaid had been perceived by
Rokoff upon one bank and Mugambi and the horde upon the other.
The cries of the Russian had brought the dugout first to him
and thenafter a conferenceit had been turned toward the
Kincaidbut before ever it covered half the distance between
the shore and the steamer a rifle had spoken from the latter's
deck and one of the sailors in the bow of the canoe had crumpled
and fallen into the water.
After that they went more slowlyand presentlywhen Jane's rifle
had found another member of the partythe canoe withdrew to the shore
where it lay as long as daylight lasted.
The savagesnarling pack upon the opposite shore had been
directed in their pursuit by the black warriorMugambi
chief of the Wagambi. Only he knew which might be foe and
which friend of their lost master.
Could they have reached either the canoe or the Kincaid
they would have made short work of any whom they found
therebut the gulf of black water intervening shut them off
from farther advance as effectually as though it had been the
broad ocean that separated them from their prey.
Mugambi knew something of the occurrences which had led up to
the landing of Tarzan upon Jungle Island and the pursuit of
the whites up the Ugambi. He knew that his savage master
sought his wife and child who had been stolen by the wicked
white man whom they had followed far into the interior and
now back to the sea.
He believed also that this same man had killed the great
white giant whom he had come to respect and love as he had
never loved the greatest chiefs of his own people. And so in
the wild breast of Mugambi burned an iron resolve to win to
the side of the wicked one and wreak vengeance upon him
for the murder of the ape-man.
But when he saw the canoe come down the river and take in Rokoff
when he saw it make for the Kincaidhe realized that only by
possessing himself of a canoe could he hope to transport the beasts
of the pack within striking distance of the enemy.
So it happened that even before Jane Clayton fired the first shot into
Rokoff's canoe the beasts of Tarzan had disappeared into the jungle.
After the Russian and his partywhich consisted of Paulvitch
and the several men he had left upon the Kincaid to attend
to the matter of coalinghad retreated before her fire
Jane realized that it would be but a temporary respite from
their attentions which she had gainedand with the conviction
came a determination to make a bold and final stroke for
freedom from the menacing threat of Rokoff's evil purpose.
With this idea in view she opened negotiations with the two
sailors she had imprisoned in the forecastleand having
forced their consent to her plansupon pain of death should
they attempt disloyaltyshe released them just as darkness
closed about the ship.
With ready revolver to compel obedienceshe let them up
one by onesearching them carefully for concealed weapons
as they stood with hands elevated above their heads. Once
satisfied that they were unarmedshe set them to work cutting
the cable which held the Kincaid to her anchoragefor her bold
plan was nothing less than to set the steamer adrift and float
with her out into the open seathere to trust to the mercy
of the elementswhich she was confident would be no more
merciless than Nikolas Rokoff should he again capture her.
There wastoothe chance that the Kincaid might be sighted
by some passing shipand as she was well stocked with
provisions and water--the men had assured her of this fact-and
as the season of storm was well overshe had every
reason to hope for the eventual success of her plan.
The night was deeply overcastheavy clouds riding
low above the jungle and the water--only to the west
where the broad ocean spread beyond the river's mouth
was there a suggestion of lessening gloom.
It was a perfect night for the purposes of the work in hand.
Her enemies could not see the activity aboard the ship nor
mark her course as the swift current bore her outward into
the ocean. Before daylight broke the ebb-tide would have
carried the Kincaid well into the Benguela current which
flows northward along the coast of Africaandas a south
wind was prevailingJane hoped to be out of sight of the
mouth of the Ugambi before Rokoff could become aware of
the departure of the steamer.
Standing over the labouring seamenthe young woman
breathed a sigh of relief as the last strand of the cable parted
and she knew that the vessel was on its way out of the maw
of the savage Ugambi.
With her two prisoners still beneath the coercing influence
of her rifleshe ordered them upon deck with the intention
of again imprisoning them in the forecastle; but at length she
permitted herself to be influenced by their promises of loyalty
and the arguments which they put forth that they could be of
service to herand permitted them to remain above.
For a few minutes the Kincaid drifted rapidly with the current
and thenwith a grinding jarshe stopped in midstream.
The ship had run upon a low-lying bar that splits the channel
about a quarter of a mile from the sea.
For a moment she hung thereand thenswinging round until
her bow pointed toward the shoreshe broke adrift once more.
At the same instantjust as Jane Clayton was congratulating
herself that the ship was once more freethere fell upon
her ears from a point up the river about where the Kincaid
had been anchored the rattle of musketry and a woman's
The sailors heard the shots with certain conviction that
they announced the coming of their employerand as they
had no relish for the plan that would consign them to the
deck of a drifting derelictthey whispered together a hurried
plan to overcome the young woman and hail Rokoff and their
companions to their rescue.
It seemed that fate would play into their handsfor with
the reports of the guns Jane Clayton's attention had been
distracted from her unwilling assistantsand instead of
keeping one eye upon them as she had intended doingshe ran
to the bow of the Kincaid to peer through the darkness toward
the source of the disturbance upon the river's bosom.
Seeing that she was off her guardthe two sailors crept
stealthily upon her from behind.
The scraping upon the deck of the shoes of one of them
startled the girl to a sudden appreciation of her danger
but the warning had come too late.
As she turnedboth men leaped upon her and bore her
to the deckand as she went down beneath them she saw
outlined against the lesser gloom of the oceanthe figure of
another man clamber over the side of the Kincaid.
After all her pains her heroic struggle for freedom had failed.
With a stifled sob she gave up the unequal battle.
On the Deck of the "Kincaid"
When Mugambi had turned back into the jungle with the pack
he had a definite purpose in view. It was to obtain a
dugout wherewith to transport the beasts of Tarzan to the
side of the Kincaid. Nor was he long in coming upon the
object which he sought.
Just at dusk he found a canoe moored to the bank of a
small tributary of the Ugambi at a point where he had
felt certain that he should find one.
Without loss of time he piled his hideous fellows into the
craft and shoved out into the stream. So quickly had they
taken possession of the canoe that the warrior had not noticed
that it was already occupied. The huddled figure sleeping in
the bottom had entirely escaped his observation in the darkness
of the night that had now fallen.
But no sooner were they afloat than a savage growling
from one of the apes directly ahead of him in the dugout
attracted his attention to a shivering and cowering figure
that trembled between him and the great anthropoid. To Mugambi's
astonishment he saw that it was a native woman. With difficulty
he kept the ape from her throatand after a time succeeded
in quelling her fears.
It seemed that she had been fleeing from marriage with an
old man she loathed and had taken refuge for the night in the
canoe she had found upon the river's edge.
Mugambi did not wish her presencebut there she was
and rather than lose time by returning her to the shore
the black permitted her to remain on board the canoe.
As quickly as his awkward companions could paddle the
dugout down-stream toward the Ugambi and the Kincaid they
moved through the darkness. It was with difficulty that
Mugambi could make out the shadowy form of the steamerbut
as he had it between himself and the ocean it was much more
apparent than to one upon either shore of the river.
As he approached it he was amazed to note that it seemed
to be receding from himand finally he was convinced that
the vessel was moving down-stream. Just as he was about to
urge his creatures to renewed efforts to overtake the steamer
the outline of another canoe burst suddenly into view not
three yards from the bow of his own craft.
At the same instant the occupants of the stranger discovered
the proximity of Mugambi's hordebut they did not at first
recognize the nature of the fearful crew. A man in the
bow of the oncoming boat challenged them just as the two
dugouts were about to touch.
For answer came the menacing growl of a pantherand the
fellow found himself gazing into the flaming eyes of Sheeta
who had raised himself with his forepaws upon the bow of the
boatready to leap in upon the occupants of the other craft.
Instantly Rokoff realized the peril that confronted him and
his fellows. He gave a quick command to fire upon the occupants
of the other canoeand it was this volley and the scream of the
terrified native woman in the canoe with Mugambi that both
Tarzan and Jane had heard.
Before the slower and less skilled paddlers in Mugambi's
canoe could press their advantage and effect a boarding of
the enemy the latter had turned swiftly down-stream and were
paddling for their lives in the direction of the Kincaid
which was now visible to them.
The vessel after striking upon the bar had swung loose again
into a slow-moving eddywhich returns up-stream close to the
southern shore of the Ugambi only to circle out once more and
join the downward flow a hundred yards or so farther up.
Thus the Kincaid was returning Jane Clayton directly into
the hands of her enemies.
It so happened that as Tarzan sprang into the river the
vessel was not visible to himand as he swam out into the
night he had no idea that a ship drifted so close at hand.
He was guided by the sounds which he could hear coming from
the two canoes.
As he swam he had vivid recollections of the last occasion
upon which he had swum in the waters of the Ugambiand
with them a sudden shudder shook the frame of the giant.
Butthough he twice felt something brush his legs from
the slimy depths below himnothing seized himand of a
sudden he quite forgot about crocodiles in the astonishment
of seeing a dark mass loom suddenly before him where he
had still expected to find the open river.
So close was it that a few strokes brought him up to the
thingwhen to his amazement his outstretched hand came in
contact with a ship's side.
As the agile ape-man clambered over the vessel's rail there
came to his sensitive ears the sound of a struggle at the
opposite side of the deck.
Noiselessly he sped across the intervening space.
The moon had risen nowandthough the sky was still
banked with cloudsa lesser darkness enveloped the scene
than that which had blotted out all sight earlier in
the night. His keen eyesthereforesaw the figures
of two men grappling with a woman.
That it was the woman who had accompanied Anderssen
toward the interior he did not knowthough he suspected as
muchas he was now quite certain that this was the deck of
the Kincaid upon which chance had led him.
But he wasted little time in idle speculation. There was a
woman in danger of harm from two ruffianswhich was enough
excuse for the ape-man to project his giant thews into the
conflict without further investigation.
The first that either of the sailors knew that there was a
new force at work upon the ship was the falling of a mighty
hand upon a shoulder of each. As if they had been in the grip
of a fly-wheelthey were jerked suddenly from their prey.
What means this?asked a low voice in their ears.
They were given no time to replyhoweverfor at the sound
of that voice the young woman had sprung to her feet and
with a little cry of joy leaped toward their assailant.
The ape-man hurled the two sailors across the deckwhere
they rolledstunned and terrifiedinto the scuppers upon the
opposite sideand with an exclamation of incredulity gathered
the girl into his arms.
Briefhoweverwere the moments for their greeting.
Scarcely had they recognized one another than the clouds
above them parted to show the figures of a half-dozen men
clambering over the side of the Kincaid to the steamer's deck.
Foremost among them was the Russian. As the brilliant
rays of the equatorial moon lighted the deckand he realized
that the man before him was Lord Greystokehe screamed
hysterical commands to his followers to fire upon the two.
Tarzan pushed Jane behind the cabin near which they had
been standingand with a quick bound started for Rokoff.
The men behind the Russianat least two of themraised
their rifles and fired at the charging ape-man; but those
behind them were otherwise engaged--for up the monkeyladder
in their rear was thronging a hideous horde.
First came five snarling apeshugemanlike beasts
with bared fangs and slavering jaws; and after them a
giant black warriorhis long spear gleaming in the moonlight.
Behind him again scrambled another creatureand of all the
horrid horde it was this they most feared--Sheetathe panther
with gleaming jaws agape and fiery eyes blazing at them
in the mightiness of his hate and of his blood lust.
The shots that had been fired at Tarzan missed himand he
would have been upon Rokoff in another instant had not the
great coward dodged backward between his two henchmenand
screaming in hysterical terrorbolted forward toward
For the moment Tarzan's attention was distracted by the
two men before himso that he could not at the time pursue
the Russian. About him the apes and Mugambi were battling
with the balance of the Russian's party.
Beneath the terrible ferocity of the beasts the men were soon
scampering in all directions--those who still lived to scamper
for the great fangs of the apes of Akut and the tearing talons
of Sheeta already had found more than a single victim.
Fourhoweverescaped and disappeared into the forecastle
where they hoped to barricade themselves against further assault.
Here they found Rokoffandenraged at his desertion of them
in their moment of perilno less than at the uniformly
brutal treatment it had been his wont to accord them
they gloated upon the opportunity now offered them to
revenge themselves in part upon their hated employer.
Despite his prayers and grovelling pleasthereforethey
hurled him bodily out upon the deckdelivering him to the
mercy of the fearful things from which they had themselves
Tarzan saw the man emerge from the forecastle--saw and
recognized his enemy; but another saw him even as soon.
It was Sheetaand with grinning jaws the mighty beast
slunk silently toward the terror-stricken man.
When Rokoff saw what it was that stalked him his shrieks for
help filled the airas with trembling knees he stoodas one
paralyzedbefore the hideous death that was creeping upon him.
Tarzan took a step toward the Russianhis brain burning
with a raging fire of vengeance. At last he had the murderer
of his son at his mercy. His was the right to avenge.
Once Jane had stayed his hand that time that he sought to take
the law into his own power and mete to Rokoff the death that
he had so long merited; but this time none should stay him.
His fingers clenched and unclenched spasmodically as he approached
the trembling Russbeastlike and ominous as a brute of prey.
Presently he saw that Sheeta was about to forestall him
robbing him of the fruits of his great hate.
He called sharply to the pantherand the wordsas if
they had broken a hideous spell that had held the Russian
galvanized him into sudden action. With a scream he turned
and fled toward the bridge.
After him pounced Sheeta the pantherunmindful of his
master's warning voice.
Tarzan was about to leap after the two when he felt a light
touch upon his arm. Turninghe found Jane at his elbow.
Do not leave me,she whispered. "I am afraid."
Tarzan glanced behind her.
All about were the hideous apes of Akut. Someeven
were approaching the young woman with bared fangs and
menacing guttural warnings.
The ape-man warned them back. He had forgotten for the
moment that these were but beastsunable to differentiate
his friends and his foes. Their savage natures were roused by
their recent battle with the sailorsand now all flesh outside
the pack was meat to them.
Tarzan turned again toward the Russianchagrined that
he should have to forgo the pleasure of personal revenge-
unless the man should escape Sheeta. But as he looked he saw
that there could be no hope of that. The fellow had retreated
to the end of the bridgewhere he now stood trembling and
wide-eyedfacing the beast that moved slowly toward him.
The panther crawled with belly to the plankinguttering
uncanny mouthings. Rokoff stood as though petrified
his eyes protruding from their socketshis mouth agape
and the cold sweat of terror clammy upon his brow.
Below himupon the deckhe had seen the great anthropoids
and so had not dared to seek escape in that direction.
In facteven now one of the brutes was leaping to seize the
bridge-rail and draw himself up to the Russian's side.
Before him was the panthersilent and crouched.
Rokoff could not move. His knees trembled. His voice
broke in inarticulate shrieks. With a last piercing wail he
sank to his knees--and then Sheeta sprang.
Full upon the man's breast the tawny body hurtled
tumbling the Russian to his back.
As the great fangs tore at the throat and chestJane Clayton
turned away in horror; but not so Tarzan of the Apes. A cold
smile of satisfaction touched his lips. The scar upon his
forehead that had burned scarlet faded to the normal hue of his
tanned skin and disappeared.
Rokoff fought furiously but futilely against the growling
rending fate that had overtaken him. For all his countless
crimes he was punished in the brief moment of the hideous
death that claimed him at the last.
After his struggles ceased Tarzan approachedat Jane's
suggestionto wrest the body from the panther and give what
remained of it decent human burial; but the great cat rose
snarling above its killthreatening even the master it loved
in its savage wayso that rather than kill his friend of the
jungleTarzan was forced to relinquish his intentions.
All that night Sheetathe panthercrouched upon the grisly
thing that had been Nikolas Rokoff. The bridge of the
Kincaid was slippery with blood. Beneath the brilliant
tropic moon the great beast feasted untilwhen the sun rose
the following morningthere remained of Tarzan's great enemy
only gnawed and broken bones.
Of the Russian's partyall were accounted for except Paulvitch.
Four were prisoners in the Kincaid's forecastle. The rest were dead.
With these men Tarzan got up steam upon the vesseland with
the knowledge of the matewho happened to be one of those surviving
he planned to set out in quest of Jungle Island; but as the morning
dawned there came with it a heavy gale from the west which raised
a sea into which the mate of the Kincaid dared not venture.
All that day the ship lay within the shelter of the mouth of the river;
forthough night witnessed a lessening of the windit was thought
safer to wait for daylight before attempting the navigation of
the winding channel to the sea.
Upon the deck of the steamer the pack wandered without
let or hindrance by dayfor they had soon learned through
Tarzan and Mugambi that they must harm no one upon the
Kincaid; but at night they were confined below.
Tarzan's joy had been unbounded when he learned from
his wife that the little child who had died in the village of
M'ganwazam was not their son. Who the baby could have
beenor what had become of their ownthey could not imagine
and as both Rokoff and Paulvitch were gonethere was
no way of discovering.
There washowevera certain sense of relief in the knowledge
that they might yet hope. Until positive proof of the baby's
death reached them there was always that to buoy them up.
It seemed quite evident that their little Jack had not been
brought aboard the Kincaid. Anderssen would have known
of it had such been the casebut he had assured Jane time
and time again that the little one he had brought to her cabin
the night he aided her to escape was the only one that had
been aboard the Kincaid since she lay at Dover.
Paulvitch Plots Revenge
As Jane and Tarzan stood upon the vessel's deck recounting
to one another the details of the various adventures
through which each had passed since they had parted in their
London homethere glared at them from beneath scowling
brows a hidden watcher upon the shore.
Through the man's brain passed plan after plan whereby
he might thwart the escape of the Englishman and his wife
for so long as the vital spark remained within the vindictive
brain of Alexander Paulvitch none who had aroused the enmity
of the Russian might be entirely safe.
Plan after plan he formed only to discard each either as
impracticableor unworthy the vengeance his wrongs demanded.
So warped by faulty reasoning was the criminal mind of
Rokoff's lieutenant that he could not grasp the real
truth of that which lay between himself and the ape-man and
see that always the fault had beennot with the English lord
but with himself and his confederate.
And at the rejection of each new scheme Paulvitch arrived
always at the same conclusion--that he could accomplish
naught while half the breadth of the Ugambi separated him
from the object of his hatred.
But how was he to span the crocodile-infested waters?
There was no canoe nearer than the Mosula villageand
Paulvitch was none too sure that the Kincaid would still be
at anchor in the river when he returned should he take the
time to traverse the jungle to the distant village and return
with a canoe. Yet there was no other wayand soconvinced
that thus alone might he hope to reach his preyPaulvitch
with a parting scowl at the two figures upon the Kincaid's
deckturned away from the river.
Hastening through the dense junglehis mind centred upon
his one fetich--revenge--the Russian forgot even his terror
of the savage world through which he moved.
Baffled and beaten at every turn of Fortune's wheel
reacted upon time after time by his own malign plotting
the principal victim of his own criminalityPaulvitch
was yet so blind as to imagine that his greatest happiness
lay in a continuation of the plottings and schemings which
had ever brought him and Rokoff to disasterand the latter
finally to a hideous death.
As the Russian stumbled on through the jungle toward the Mosula
village there presently crystallized within his brain a plan
which seemed more feasible than any that he had as yet considered.
He would come by night to the side of the Kincaidand
once aboardwould search out the members of the ship's
original crew who had survived the terrors of this frightful
expeditionand enlist them in an attempt to wrest the vessel
from Tarzan and his beasts.
In the cabin were arms and ammunitionand hidden in a
secret receptacle in the cabin table was one of those infernal
machinesthe construction of which had occupied much of
Paulvitch's spare time when he had stood high in the
confidence of the Nihilists of his native land.
That was before he had sold them out for immunity and
gold to the police of Petrograd. Paulvitch winced as he
recalled the denunciation of him that had fallen from the lips
of one of his former comrades ere the poor devil expiated his
political sins at the end of a hempen rope.
But the infernal machine was the thing to think of now.
He could do much with that if he could but get his hands
upon it. Within the little hardwood case hidden in the cabin
table rested sufficient potential destructiveness to wipe out
in the fraction of a second every enemy aboard the Kincaid.
Paulvitch licked his lips in anticipatory joyand urged his
tired legs to greater speed that he might not be too late to the
ship's anchorage to carry out his designs.
All dependedof courseupon when the Kincaid departed.
The Russian realized that nothing could be accomplished
beneath the light of day. Darkness must shroud his approach
to the ship's sidefor should he be sighted by Tarzan or Lady
Greystoke he would have no chance to board the vessel.
The gale that was blowing washe believedthe cause of
the delay in getting the Kincaid under wayand if it
continued to blow until night then the chances were all in
his favourfor he knew that there was little likelihood
of the ape-man attempting to navigate the tortuous channel
of the Ugambi while darkness lay upon the surface of the water
hiding the many bars and the numerous small islands which are
scattered over the expanse of the river's mouth.
It was well after noon when Paulvitch came to the Mosula
village upon the bank of the tributary of the Ugambi.
Here he was received with suspicion and unfriendliness by the
native chiefwholike all those who came in contact with
Rokoff or Paulvitchhad suffered in some manner from the
greedthe crueltyor the lust of the two Muscovites.
When Paulvitch demanded the use of a canoe the chief
grumbled a surly refusal and ordered the white man from
the village. Surrounded by angrymuttering warriors who
seemed to be but waiting some slight pretext to transfix him
with their menacing spears the Russian could do naught else
A dozen fighting men led him to the edge of the clearing
leaving him with a warning never to show himself again in
the vicinity of their village.
Stifling his angerPaulvitch slunk into the jungle; but once
beyond the sight of the warriors he paused and listened intently.
He could hear the voices of his escort as the men returned
to the villageand when he was sure that they were
not following him he wormed his way through the bushes to
the edge of the riverstill determined some way to obtain a canoe.
Life itself depended upon his reaching the Kincaid and
enlisting the survivors of the ship's crew in his service
for to be abandoned here amidst the dangers of the African jungle
where he had won the enmity of the natives washe well knew
practically equivalent to a sentence of death.
A desire for revenge acted as an almost equally powerful
incentive to spur him into the face of danger to accomplish
his designso that it was a desperate man that lay hidden in
the foliage beside the little river searching with eager eyes
for some sign of a small canoe which might be easily handled
by a single paddle.
Nor had the Russian long to wait before one of the awkward
little skiffs which the Mosula fashion came in sight
upon the bosom of the river. A youth was paddling lazily out
into midstream from a point beside the village. When he
reached the channel he allowed the sluggish current to carry
him slowly along while he lolled indolently in the bottom of
his crude canoe.
All ignorant of the unseen enemy upon the river's bank
the lad floated slowly down the stream while Paulvitch
followed along the jungle path a few yards behind him.
A mile below the village the black boy dipped his paddle
into the water and forced his skiff toward the bank.
Paulvitchelated by the chance which had drawn the youth to
the same side of the river as that along which he followed
rather than to the opposite side where he would have been
beyond the stalker's reachhid in the brush close beside
the point at which it was evident the skiff would touch the
bank of the slow-moving streamwhich seemed jealous of each
fleeting instant which drew it nearer to the broad and muddy
Ugambi where it must for ever lose its identity in the larger
stream that would presently cast its waters into the great ocean.
Equally indolent were the motions of the Mosula youth as
he drew his skiff beneath an overhanging limb of a great tree
that leaned down to implant a farewell kiss upon the bosom
of the departing watercaressing with green fronds the soft
breast of its languorous love.
Andsnake-likeamidst the concealing foliage lay the
malevolent Russ. Cruelshifty eyes gloated upon the outlines
of the coveted canoeand measured the stature of its owner
while the crafty brain weighed the chances of the white man
should physical encounter with the black become necessary.
Only direct necessity could drive Alexander Paulvitch to
personal conflict; but it was indeed dire necessity which
goaded him on to action now.
There was timejust time enoughto reach the Kincaid
by nightfall. Would the black fool never quit his skiff?
Paulvitch squirmed and fidgeted. The lad yawned and stretched.
With exasperating deliberateness he examined the arrows in his
quivertested his bowand looked to the edge upon the
hunting-knife in his loin-cloth.
Again he stretched and yawnedglanced up at the river-bank
shrugged his shouldersand lay down in the bottom of his canoe
for a little nap before he plunged into the jungle after the prey
he had come forth to hunt.
Paulvitch half roseand with tensed muscles stood glaring
down upon his unsuspecting victim. The boy's lids drooped
and closed. Presently his breast rose and fell to the deep
breaths of slumber. The time had come!
The Russian crept stealthily nearer. A branch rustled beneath
his weight and the lad stirred in his sleep. Paulvitch drew
his revolver and levelled it upon the black. For a moment he
remained in rigid quietand then again the youth relapsed
into undisturbed slumber.
The white man crept closer. He could not chance a shot
until there was no risk of missing. Presently he leaned close
above the Mosula. The cold steel of the revolver in his hand
insinuated itself nearer and nearer to the breast of the
unconscious lad. Now it stopped but a few inches above
the strongly beating heart.
But the pressure of a finger lay between the harmless boy
and eternity. The soft bloom of youth still lay upon the brown
cheeka smile half parted the beardless lips. Did any qualm of
conscience point its disquieting finger of reproach at the murderer?
To all such was Alexander Paulvitch immune. A sneer curled
his bearded lip as his forefinger closed upon the trigger
of his revolver. There was a loud report. A little hole
appeared above the heart of the sleeping boya little hole
about which lay a blackened rim of powder-burned flesh.
The youthful body half rose to a sitting posture. The smiling
lips tensed to the nervous shock of a momentary agony
which the conscious mind never apprehendedand then the
dead sank limply back into that deepest of slumbers from
which there is no awakening.
The killer dropped quickly into the skiff beside the killed.
Ruthless hands seized the dead boy heartlessly and raised
him to the low gunwale. A little shovea splashsome widening
ripples broken by the sudden surge of a darkhidden body from
the slimy depthsand the coveted canoe was in the sole
possession of the white man--more savage than the youth
whose life he had taken.
Casting off the tie rope and seizing the paddle
Paulvitch bent feverishly to the task of driving
the skiff downward toward the Ugambi at top speed.
Night had fallen when the prow of the bloodstained craft
shot out into the current of the larger stream. Constantly the
Russian strained his eyes into the increasing darkness ahead
in vain endeavour to pierce the black shadows which lay between
him and the anchorage of the Kincaid.
Was the ship still riding there upon the waters of the
Ugambior had the ape-man at last persuaded himself of the
safety of venturing forth into the abating storm? As Paulvitch
forged ahead with the current he asked himself these questions
and many more besidenot the least disquieting of which were
those which related to his future should it chance that the
Kincaid had already steamed awayleaving him to the
merciless horrors of the savage wilderness.
In the darkness it seemed to the paddler that he was fairly
flying over the waterand he had become convinced that the
ship had left her moorings and that he had already passed the
spot at which she had lain earlier in the daywhen there
appeared before him beyond a projecting point which he had
but just rounded the flickering light from a ship's lantern.
Alexander Paulvitch could scarce restrain an exclamation of triumph.
The Kincaid had not departed! Life and vengeance were not to elude
him after all.
He stopped paddling the moment that he descried the gleaming beacon
of hope ahead of him. Silently he drifted down the muddy waters
of the Ugambioccasionally dipping his paddle's blade gently
into the current that he might guide his primitive craft
to the vessel's side.
As he approached more closely the dark bulk of a ship
loomed before him out of the blackness of the night.
No sound came from the vessel's deck. Paulvitch drifted
unseenclose to the Kincaid's side. Only the momentary
scraping of his canoe's nose against the ship's planking broke
the silence of the night.
Trembling with nervous excitementthe Russian remained
motionless for several minutes; but there was no sound from the
great bulk above him to indicate that his coming had been noted.
Stealthily he worked his craft forward until the stays of the
bowsprit were directly above him. He could just reach them.
To make his canoe fast there was the work of but a minute
or twoand then the man raised himself quietly aloft.
A moment later he dropped softly to the deck. Thoughts of
the hideous pack which tenanted the ship induced cold
tremors along the spine of the cowardly prowler; but life
itself depended upon the success of his ventureand so he
was enabled to steel himself to the frightful chances which
lay before him.
No sound or sign of watch appeared upon the ship's deck.
Paulvitch crept stealthily toward the forecastle.
All was silence. The hatch was raisedand as the man
peered downward he saw one of the Kincaid's crew reading
by the light of the smoky lantern depending from the ceiling
of the crew's quarters.
Paulvitch knew the man wella surly cut-throat upon whom
he figured strongly in the carrying out of the plan which he
had conceived. Gently the Russ lowered himself through the
aperture to the rounds of the ladder which led into the forecastle.
He kept his eyes turned upon the reading manready to
warn him to silence the moment that the fellow discovered
him; but so deeply immersed was the sailor in the magazine
that the Russian cameunobservedto the forecastle floor.
There he turned and whispered the reader's name. The man
raised his eyes from the magazine--eyes that went wide
for a moment as they fell upon the familiar countenance of
Rokoff's lieutenantonly to narrow instantly in a scowl
The devil!he ejaculated. "Where did you come from?
We all thought you were done for and gone where you ought
to have gone a long time ago. His lordship will be mighty
pleased to see you."
Paulvitch crossed to the sailor's side. A friendly smile lay
on the Russian's lipsand his right hand was extended in
greetingas though the other might have been a dear and
long lost friend. The sailor ignored the proffered hand
nor did he return the other's smile.
I've come to help you,explained Paulvitch. "I'm going to
help you get rid of the Englishman and his beasts--then there
will be no danger from the law when we get back to civilization.
We can sneak in on them while they sleep--that is Greystoke
his wifeand that black scoundrelMugambi. Afterward it will
be a simple matter to clean up the beasts. Where are they?"
They're below,replied the sailor; "but just let me tell
you somethingPaulvitch. You haven't got no more show to
turn us men against the Englishman than nothing. We had
all we wanted of you and that other beast. He's deadan' if
I don't miss my guess a whole lot you'll be dead too before long.
You two treated us like dogsand if you think we got any love
for you you better forget it."
You mean to say that you're going to turn against me?
The other noddedand then after a momentary pause
during which an idea seemed to have occurred to him
he spoke again.
Unless,he saidyou can make it worth my while to
let you go before the Englishman finds you here.
You wouldn't turn me away in the jungle, would you?
asked Paulvitch. "WhyI'd die there in a week."
You'd have a chance there,replied the sailor. "Here
you wouldn't have no chance. Whyif I woke up my maties here
they'd probably cut your heart out of you before the Englishman
got a chance at you at all. It's mighty lucky for you that
I'm the one to be awake now and not none of the others."
You're crazy,cried Paulvitch. "Don't you know that
the Englishman will have you all hanged when he gets you
back where the law can get hold of you?"
No, he won't do nothing of the kind,replied the sailor.
He's told us as much, for he says that there wasn't nobody to
blame but you and Rokoff--the rest of us was just tools. See?
For half an hour the Russian pleaded or threatened as the
mood seized him. Sometimes he was upon the verge of tears
and again he was promising his listener either fabulous
rewards or condign punishment; but the other was obdurate.
[condign: of equal value]
He made it plain to the Russian that there were but two plans
open to him--either he must consent to being turned over
immediately to Lord Greystokeor he must pay to the sailor
as a price for permission to quit the Kincaid unmolested
every cent of money and article of value upon his person
and in his cabin.
And you'll have to make up your mind mighty quick,
growled the manfor I want to turn in. Come now, choose-his
lordship or the jungle?
You'll be sorry for this,grumbled the Russian.
Shut up,admonished the sailor. "If you get funny I
may change my mindand keep you here after all."
Now Paulvitch had no intention of permitting himself to
fall into the hands of Tarzan of the Apes if he could possibly
avoid itand while the terrors of the jungle appalled him they
wereto his mindinfinitely preferable to the certain death
which he knew he merited and for which he might look at
the hands of the ape-man.
Is anyone sleeping in my cabin?he asked.
The sailor shook his head. "No he said; Lord and Lady
Greystoke have the captain's cabin. The mate is in his own
and there ain't no one in yours."
I'll go and get my valuables for you,said Paulvitch.
I'll go with you to see that you don't try any funny business,
said the sailorand he followed the Russian up the ladder to the deck.
At the cabin entrance the sailor halted to watchpermitting
Paulvitch to go alone to his cabin. Here he gathered together
his few belongings that were to buy him the uncertain safety
of escapeand as he stood for a moment beside the little
table on which he had piled them he searched his brain for
some feasible plan either to ensure his safety or to bring
revenge upon his enemies.
And presently as he thought there recurred to his memory
the little black box which lay hidden in a secret receptacle
beneath a false top upon the table where his hand rested.
The Russian's face lighted to a sinister gleam of malevolent
satisfaction as he stooped and felt beneath the table top.
A moment later he withdrew from its hiding-place the thing
he sought. He had lighted the lantern swinging from the
beams overhead that he might see to collect his belongings
and now he held the black box well in the rays of the lamplight
while he fingered at the clasp that fastened its lid.
The lifted cover revealed two compartments within the box.
In one was a mechanism which resembled the works of a
small clock. There also was a little battery of two dry cells.
A wire ran from the clockwork to one of the poles of the
batteryand from the other pole through the partition into
the other compartmenta second wire returning directly to
Whatever lay within the second compartment was not visible
for a cover lay over it and appeared to be sealed in place
by asphaltum. In the bottom of the boxbeside the clockwork
lay a keyand this Paulvitch now withdrew and fitted
to the winding stem.
Gently he turned the keymuffling the noise of the winding
operation by throwing a couple of articles of clothing over
the box. All the time he listened intently for any sound which
might indicate that the sailor or another were approaching
his cabin; but none came to interrupt his work.
When the winding was completed the Russian set a pointer
upon a small dial at the side of the clockworkthen he
replaced the cover upon the black boxand returned the
entire machine to its hiding-place in the table.
A sinister smile curled the man's bearded lips as he gathered
up his valuablesblew out the lampand stepped from his cabin
to the side of the waiting sailor.
Here are my things,said the Russian; "now let me go."
I'll first take a look in your pockets,replied the sailor.
You might have overlooked some trifling thing that won't
be of no use to you in the jungle, but that'll come in mighty
handy to a poor sailorman in London. Ah! just as I feared,
he ejaculated an instant later as he withdrew a roll of banknotes
from Paulvitch's inside coat pocket.
The Russian scowledmuttering an imprecation; but nothing
could be gained by argumentand so he did his best to
reconcile himself to his loss in the knowledge that the sailor
would never reach London to enjoy the fruits of his thievery.
It was with difficulty that Paulvitch restrained a consuming
desire to taunt the man with a suggestion of the fate that
would presently overtake him and the other members of the
Kincaid's company; but fearing to arouse the fellow's
suspicionshe crossed the deck and lowered himself in silence
into his canoe.
A minute or two later he was paddling toward the shore to
be swallowed up in the darkness of the jungle nightand the
terrors of a hideous existence from whichcould he have had
even a slight foreknowledge of what awaited him in the long
years to comehe would have fled to the certain death of the
open sea rather than endure it.
The sailorhaving made sure that Paulvitch had departed
returned to the forecastlewhere he hid away his booty and
turned into his bunkwhile in the cabin that had belonged to
the Russian there ticked on and on through the silences of
the night the little mechanism in the small black box which
held for the unconscious sleepers upon the ill-starred Kincaid
the coming vengeance of the thwarted Russian.
The Last of the "Kincaid"
Shortly after the break of day Tarzan was on deck noting
the condition of the weather. The wind had abated.
The sky was cloudless. Every condition seemed ideal for
the commencement of the return voyage to Jungle Island
where the beasts were to be left. And then--home!
The ape-man aroused the mate and gave instructions that
the Kincaid sail at the earliest possible moment.
The remaining members of the crewsafe in Lord Greystoke's
assurance that they would not be prosecuted for their share in
the villainies of the two Russianshastened with cheerful
alacrity to their several duties.
The beastsliberated from the confinement of the hold
wandered about the decknot a little to the discomfiture of
the crew in whose minds there remained a still vivid picture
of the savagery of the beasts in conflict with those who had
gone to their deaths beneath the fangs and talons which even
now seemed itching for the soft flesh of further prey.
Beneath the watchful eyes of Tarzan and Mugambihowever
Sheeta and the apes of Akut curbed their desiresso that
the men worked about the deck amongst them in far greater
security than they imagined.
At last the Kincaid slipped down the Ugambi and ran out
upon the shimmering waters of the Atlantic. Tarzan and Jane
Clayton watched the verdure-clad shore-line receding in the
ship's wakeand for once the ape-man left his native soil
without one single pang of regret.
No ship that sailed the seven seas could have borne him
away from Africa to resume his search for his lost boy with
half the speed that the Englishman would have desiredand
the slow-moving Kincaid seemed scarce to move at all to the
impatient mind of the bereaved father.
Yet the vessel made progress even when she seemed to be
standing stilland presently the low hills of Jungle Island
became distinctly visible upon the western horizon ahead.
In the cabin of Alexander Paulvitch the thing within the
black box tickedtickedtickedwith apparently unending
monotony; but yetsecond by seconda little arm which
protruded from the periphery of one of its wheels came nearer
and nearer to another little arm which projected from the
hand which Paulvitch had set at a certain point upon the dial
beside the clockwork. When those two arms touched one
another the ticking of the mechanism would cease--for ever.
Jane and Tarzan stood upon the bridge looking out toward
Jungle Island. The men were forwardalso watching the land
grow upward out of the ocean. The beasts had sought the
shade of the galleywhere they were curled up in sleep.
All was quiet and peace upon the shipand upon the waters.
Suddenlywithout warningthe cabin roof shot up into the air
a cloud of dense smoke puffed far above the Kincaid
there was a terrific explosion which shook the vessel
from stem to stern.
Instantly pandemonium broke loose upon the deck. The apes
of Akutterrified by the soundran hither and thither
snarling and growling. Sheeta leaped here and there
screaming out his startled terror in hideous cries that sent
the ice of fear straight to the hearts of the Kincaid's crew.
Mugambitoowas trembling. Only Tarzan of the Apes and
his wife retained their composure. Scarce had the debris
settled than the ape-man was among the beastsquieting their
fearstalking to them in lowpacific tonesstroking their
shaggy bodiesand assuring themas only he couldthat the
immediate danger was over.
An examination of the wreckage showed that their greatest danger
nowlay in firefor the flames were licking hungrily at the
splintered wood of the wrecked cabinand had already found
a foothold upon the lower deck through a great jagged hole
which the explosion had opened.
By a miracle no member of the ship's company had been injured
by the blastthe origin of which remained for ever a total
mystery to all but one--the sailor who knew that Paulvitch had
been aboard the Kincaid and in his cabin the previous night.
He guessed the truth; but discretion sealed his lips. It would
doubtlessfare none too well for the man who had permitted
the arch enemy of them all aboard the ship in the watches
of the nightwhere later he might set an infernal machine
to blow them all to kingdom come. Nothe man decided that
he would keep this knowledge to himself.
As the flames gained headway it became apparent to Tarzan
that whatever had caused the explosion had scattered
some highly inflammable substance upon the surrounding
woodworkfor the water which they poured in from the pump
seemed rather to spread than to extinguish the blaze.
Fifteen minutes after the explosion greatblack clouds of
smoke were rising from the hold of the doomed vessel.
The flames had reached the engine-roomand the ship no longer
moved toward the shore. Her fate was as certain as though the
waters had already closed above her charred and smoking remains.
It is useless to remain aboard her longer,remarked the
ape-man to the mate. "There is no telling but there may be
other explosionsand as we cannot hope to save herthe
safest thing which we can do is to take to the boats without
further loss of time and make land."
Nor was there other alternative. Only the sailors could
bring away any belongingsfor the firewhich had not yet
reached the forecastlehad consumed all in the vicinity of
the cabin which the explosion had not destroyed.
Two boats were loweredand as there was no sea the landing
was made with infinite ease. Eager and anxiousthe beasts
of Tarzan sniffed the familiar air of their native island as
the small boats drew in toward the beachand scarce had their
keels grated upon the sand than Sheeta and the apes of Akut
were over the bows and racing swiftly toward the jungle.
A half-sad smile curved the lips of the ape-man as he
watched them go.
Good-bye, my friends,he murmured. "You have been
good and faithful alliesand I shall miss you."
They will return, will they not, dear?asked Jane Claytonat his side.
They may and they may not,replied the ape-man.
They have been ill at ease since they were forced to accept
so many human beings into their confidence. Mugambi and
I alone affected them less, for he and I are, at best,
but half human. You, however, and the members of the crew are
far too civilized for my beasts--it is you whom they are fleeing.
Doubtless they feel that they cannot trust themselves in the
close vicinity of so much perfectly good food without the
danger that they may help themselves to a mouthful some
time by mistake.
Jane laughed. "I think they are just trying to escape you
she retorted. You are always making them stop something
which they see no reason why they should not do. Like little
children they are doubtless delighted at this opportunity to
flee from the zone of parental discipline. If they come back
thoughI hope they won't come by night."
Or come hungry, eh?laughed Tarzan.
For two hours after landing the little party stood watching the
burning ship which they had abandoned. Then there came faintly
to them from across the water the sound of a second explosion.
The Kincaid settled rapidly almost immediatel thereafter
and sank within a few minutes.
The cause of the second explosion was less a mystery than
that of the firstthe mate attributing it to the bursting of the
boilers when the flames had finally reached them; but what
had caused the first explosion was a subject of considerable
speculation among the stranded company.
Jungle Island Again
The first consideration of the party was to locate fresh
water and make campfor all knew that their term of
existence upon Jungle Island might be drawn out to months
or even years.
Tarzan knew the nearest waterand to this he immediately
led the party. Here the men fell to work to construct shelters
and rude furniture while Tarzan went into the jungle after
meatleaving the faithful Mugambi and the Mosula woman
to guard Janewhose safety he would never trust to any
member of the Kincaid's cut-throat crew.
Lady Greystoke suffered far greater anguish than any other
of the castawaysfor the blow to her hopes and her already
cruelly lacerated mother-heart lay not in her own privations
but in the knowledge that she might now never be able to
learn the fate of her first-born or do aught to discover his
whereaboutsor ameliorate his condition--a condition which
imagination naturally pictured in the most frightful forms.
For two weeks the party divided the time amongst the
various duties which had been allotted to each. A daylight
watch was maintained from sunrise to sunset upon a bluff
near the camp--a jutting shoulder of rock which overlooked
the sea. Hereready for instant lightingwas gathered a huge
pile of dry brancheswhile from a lofty pole which they had
set in the ground there floated an improvised distress signal
fashioned from a red undershirt which belonged to the mate
of the Kincaid.
But never a speck upon the horizon that might be sail or
smoke rewarded the tired eyes that in their endlesshopeless
vigil strained daily out across the vast expanse of ocean.
It was Tarzan who suggestedfinallythat they attempt to
construct a vessel that would bear them back to the mainland.
He alone could show them how to fashion rude toolsand
when the idea had taken root in the minds of the men they
were eager to commence their labours.
But as time went on and the Herculean nature of their task
became more and more apparent they fell to grumblingand
to quarrelling among themselvesso that to the other dangers
were now added dissension and suspicion.
More than before did Tarzan now fear to leave Jane among
the half brutes of the Kincaid's crew; but hunting he must
dofor none other could so surely go forth and return with
meat as he. Sometimes Mugambi spelled him at the hunting;
but the black's spear and arrows were never so sure of results
as the rope and knife of the ape-man.
Finally the men shirked their workgoing off into the
jungle by twos to explore and to hunt. All this time the camp
had had no sight of Sheetaor Akut and the other great apes
though Tarzan had sometimes met them in the jungle as he hunted.
And as matters tended from bad to worse in the camp of
the castaways upon the east coast of Jungle Islandanother
camp came into being upon the north coast.
Herein a little covelay a small schoonerthe Cowrie
whose decks had but a few days since run red with the blood
of her officers and the loyal members of her crewfor the
Cowrie had fallen upon bad days when it had shipped such
men as Gust and Momulla the Maori and that arch-fiend
Kai Shang of Fachan.
There were otherstooten of them all toldthe scum of
the South Sea ports; but Gust and Momulla and Kai Shang
were the brains and cunning of the company. It was they who
had instigated the mutiny that they might seize and divide
the catch of pearls which constituted the wealth of the
It was Kai Shang who had murdered the captain as he lay
asleep in his berthand it had been Momulla the Maori who
had led the attack upon the officer of the watch.
Gustafter his own peculiar habithad found means to
delegate to the others the actual taking of life. Not that
Gust entertained any scruples on the subjectother than those
which induced in him a rare regard for his own personal safety.
There is always a certain element of risk to the assassin
for victims of deadly assault are seldom prone to die quietly
and considerately. There is always a certain element of risk
to go so far as to dispute the issue with the murderer.
It was this chance of dispute which Gust preferred to forgo.
But now that the work was done the Swede aspired to the
position of highest command among the mutineers. He had
even gone so far as to appropriate and wear certain articles
belonging to the murdered captain of the Cowrie--articles of
apparel which bore upon them the badges and insignia of authority.
Kai Shang was peeved. He had no love for authorityand
certainly not the slightest intention of submitting to the
domination of an ordinary Swede sailor.
The seeds of discontent werethereforealready planted in the camp
of the mutineers of the Cowrie at the north edge of Jungle Island.
But Kai Shang realized that he must act with circumspection
for Gust alone of the motley horde possessed sufficient
knowledge of navigation to get them out of the South Atlantic
and around the cape into more congenial waters where they might
find a market for their ill-gotten wealthand no questions asked.
The day before they sighted Jungle Island and discovered
the little land-locked harbour upon the bosom of which the
Cowrie now rode quietly at anchorthe watch had discovered
the smoke and funnels of a warship upon the southern horizon.
The chance of being spoken and investigated by a man-of-war
appealed not at all to any of themso they put into hiding
for a few days until the danger should have passed.
And now Gust did not wish to venture out to sea again.
There was no tellinghe insistedbut that the ship they had
seen was actually searching for them. Kai Shang pointed out
that such could not be the case since it was impossible for
any human being other than themselves to have knowledge
of what had transpired aboard the Cowrie.
But Gust was not to be persuaded. In his wicked heart he
nursed a scheme whereby he might increase his share of the
booty by something like one hundred per cent. He alone
could sail the Cowrietherefore the others could not leave
Jungle Island without him; but what was there to prevent
Gustwith just sufficient men to man the schoonerslipping
away from Kai ShangMomulla the Maoriand some half
of the crew when opportunity presented?
It was for this opportunity that Gust waited. Some day
there would come a moment when Kai ShangMomullaand
three or four of the others would be absent from camp
exploring or hunting. The Swede racked his brain for some plan
whereby he might successfully lure from the sight of the
anchored ship those whom he had determined to abandon.
To this end he organized hunting party after hunting party
but always the devil of perversity seemed to enter the soul of
Kai Shangso that wily celestial would never hunt except
in the company of Gust himself.
One day Kai Shang spoke secretly with Momulla the Maori
pouring into the brown ear of his companion the suspicions
which he harboured concerning the Swede. Momulla was for
going immediately and running a long knife through
the heart of the traitor.
It is true that Kai Shang had no other evidence than the
natural cunning of his own knavish soul--but he imagined
in the intentions of Gust what he himself would have been
glad to accomplish had the means lain at hand.
But he dared not let Momulla slay the Swedeupon whom
they depended to guide them to their destination.
They decidedhoweverthat it would do no harm to attempt to
frighten Gust into acceding to their demandsand with this
purpose in mind the Maori sought out the self-constituted
commander of the party.
When he broached the subject of immediate departure
Gust again raised his former objection--that the warship
might very probably be patrolling the sea directly in their
southern pathwaiting for them to make the attempt to reach
Momulla scoffed at the fears of his fellowpointing out
that as no one aboard any warship knew of their mutiny there
could be no reason why they should be suspected.
Ah!exclaimed Gustthere is where you are wrong.
There is where you are lucky that you have an educated man
like me to tell you what to do. You are an ignorant savage,
Momulla, and so you know nothing of wireless.
The Maori leaped to his feet and laid his hand upon the
hilt of his knife.
I am no savage,he shouted.
I was only joking,the Swede hastened to explain. "We are
old friendsMomulla; we cannot afford to quarrelat least
not while old Kai Shang is plotting to steal all the pearls
from us. If he could find a man to navigate the Cowrie he
would leave us in a minute. All his talk about getting away
from here is just because he has some scheme in his head to
get rid of us."
But the wireless,asked Momulla. "What has the wireless
to do with our remaining here?"
Oh yes,replied Gustscratching his head. He was wondering
if the Maori were really so ignorant as to believe the
preposterous lie he was about to unload upon him. "Oh yes!
You see every warship is equipped with what they call a
wireless apparatus. It lets them talk to other ships hundreds
of miles awayand it lets them listen to all that is said on
these other ships. Nowyou seewhen you fellows were
shooting up the Cowrie you did a whole lot of loud talkingand
there isn't any doubt but that that warship was a-lyin' off south
of us listenin' to it all. Of course they might not have learned
the name of the shipbut they heard enough to know that the
crew of some ship was mutinying and killin' her officers. So you
see they'll be waiting to search every ship they sight for a
long time to comeand they may not be far away now."
When he had ceased speaking the Swede strove to assume
an air of composure that his listener might not have his
suspicions aroused as to the truth of the statements that
had just been made.
Momulla sat for some time in silenceeyeing Gust. At last
You are a great liar,he said. "If you don't get us on
our way by tomorrow you'll never have another chance to lie
for I heard two of the men saying that they'd like to run
a knife into you and that if you kept them in this hole any
longer they'd do it."
Go and ask Kai Shang if there is not a wireless,replied Gust.
He will tell you that there is such a thing and that vessels
can talk to one another across hundreds of miles of water.
Then say to the two men who wish to kill me that if they
do so they will never live to spend their share of the
swag, for only I can get you safely to any port.
So Momulla went to Kai Shang and asked him if there was
such an apparatus as a wireless by means of which ships
could talk with each other at great distancesand Kai Shang
told him that there was.
Momulla was puzzled; but still he wished to leave the
islandand was willing to take his chances on the open sea
rather than to remain longer in the monotony of the camp.
If we only had someone else who could navigate a ship!
wailed Kai Shang.
That afternoon Momulla went hunting with two other Maoris.
They hunted toward the southand had not gone far
from camp when they were surprised by the sound of voices
ahead of them in the jungle.
They knew that none of their own men had preceded them
and as all were convinced that the island was uninhabited
they were inclined to flee in terror on the hypothesis that the
place was haunted--possibly by the ghosts of the murdered
officers and men of the Cowrie.
But Momulla was even more curious than he was superstitious
and so he quelled his natural desire to flee from the supernatural.
Motioning his companions to follow his examplehe dropped
to his hands and kneescrawling forward stealthily and
with quakings of heart through the jungle in the direction
from which came the voices of the unseen speakers.
Presentlyat the edge of a little clearinghe haltedand
there he breathed a deep sigh of relieffor plainly before him
he saw two flesh-and-blood men sitting upon a fallen log and
talking earnestly together.
One was Schneidermate of the Kincaidand the other
was a seaman named Schmidt.
I think we can do it, Schmidt,Schneider was saying.
A good canoe wouldn't be hard to build, and three of us
could paddle it to the mainland in a day if the wind was right
and the sea reasonably calm. There ain't no use waiting for
the men to build a big enough boat to take the whole party,
for they're sore now and sick of working like slaves all day long.
It ain't none of our business anyway to save the Englishman.
Let him look out for himself, says I.He paused for a moment
and then eyeing the other to note the effect of his next words
he continuedBut we might take the woman. It would be a shame
to leave a nice-lookin' piece like she is in such a
Gott-forsaken hole as this here island.
Schmidt looked up and grinned.
So that's how she's blowin', is it?he asked. "Why didn't
you say so in the first place? Wot's in it for me if I help you?"
She ought to pay us well to get her back to civilization,
explained Schneideran' I tell you what I'll do. I'll just
whack up with the two men that helps me. I'll take half an'
they can divide the other half--you an' whoever the other
bloke is. I'm sick of this place, an' the sooner I get
out of it the better I'll like it. What do you say?
Suits me,replied Schmidt. "I wouldn't know how to
reach the mainland myselfan' know that none o' the other
fellows wouldso's you're the only one that knows anything
of navigation you're the fellow I'll tie to."
Momulla the Maori pricked up his ears. He had a smattering
of every tongue that is spoken upon the seasand more
than a few times had he sailed on English shipsso that he
understood fairly well all that had passed between Schneider
and Schmidt since he had stumbled upon them.
He rose to his feet and stepped into the clearing. Schneider and
his companion started as nervously as though a ghost had risen
before them. Schneider reached for his revolver. Momulla raised
his right handpalm forwardas a sign of his pacific intentions.
I am a friend,he said. "I heard you; but do not fear
that I will reveal what you have said. I can help youand you
can help me." He was addressing Schneider. "You can navigate
a shipbut you have no ship. We have a shipbut no one to
navigate it. If you will come with us and ask no questions
we will let you take the ship where you will after you
have landed us at a certain portthe name of which we will
give you later. You can take the woman of whom you speak
and we will ask no questions either. Is it a bargain?"
Schneider desired more informationand got as much as
Momulla thought best to give him. Then the Maori suggested
that they speak with Kai Shang. The two members of the
Kincaid's company followed Momulla and his fellows to a
point in the jungle close by the camp of the mutineers.
Here Momulla hid them while he went in search of Kai Shang
first admonishing his Maori companions to stand guard over
the two sailors lest they change their minds and attempt
to escape. Schneider and Schmidt were virtually prisoners
though they did not know it.
Presently Momulla returned with Kai Shangto whom he
had briefly narrated the details of the stroke of good fortune
that had come to them. The Chinaman spoke at length with
Schneideruntilnotwithstanding his natural suspicion of
the sincerity of all menhe became quite convinced that
Schneider was quite as much a rogue as himself and that the
fellow was anxious to leave the island.
These two premises accepted there could be little doubt
that Schneider would prove trustworthy in so far as accepting
the command of the Cowrie was concerned; after that Kai
Shang knew that he could find means to coerce the man into
submission to his further wishes.
When Schneider and Schmidt left them and set out in the
direction of their own campit was with feelings of far
greater relief than they had experienced in many a day.
Now at last they saw a feasible plan for leaving the island
upon a seaworthy craft. There would be no more hard labour
at ship-buildingand no risking their lives upon a crudely
built makeshift that would be quite as likely to go to the
bottom as it would to reach the mainland.
Alsothey were to have assistance in capturing the woman
or rather womenfor when Momulla had learned that there
was a black woman in the other camp he had insisted that
she be brought along as well as the white woman.
As Kai Shang and Momulla entered their campit was
with a realization that they no longer needed Gust.
They marched straight to the tent in which they might expect to
find him at that hour of the dayfor though it would have
been more comfortable for the entire party to remain aboard
the shipthey had mutually decided that it would be safer for
all concerned were they to pitch their camp ashore.
Each knew that in the heart of the others was sufficient
treachery to make it unsafe for any member of the party to
go ashore leaving the others in possession of the Cowrieso
not more than two or three men at a time were ever permitted
aboard the vessel unless all the balance of the company
was there too.
As the two crossed toward Gust's tent the Maori felt the
edge of his long knife with one grimycalloused thumb.
The Swede would have felt far from comfortable could he have
seen this significant actionor read what was passing amid
the convolutions of the brown man's cruel brain.
Now it happened that Gust was at that moment in the tent
occupied by the cookand this tent stood but a few feet
from his own. So that he heard the approach of Kai Shang
and Momullathough he did notof coursedream that it
had any special significance for him.
Chance had itthoughthat he glanced out of the doorway
of the cook's tent at the very moment that Kai Shang and
Momulla approached the entrance to hisand he thought that
he noted a stealthiness in their movements that comported
poorly with amicable or friendly intentionsand thenjust as
they two slunk within the interiorGust caught a glimpse of
the long knife which Momulla the Maori was then carrying
behind his back.
The Swede's eyes opened wideand a funny little sensation
assailed the roots of his hairs. Also he turned almost white
beneath his tan. Quite precipitately he left the cook's tent.
He was not one who required a detailed exposition of intentions
that were quite all too obvious.
As surely as though he had heard them plottinghe knew
that Kai Shang and Momulla had come to take his life.
The knowledge that he alone could navigate the Cowrie had
up to nowbeen sufficient assurance of his safety; but quite
evidently something had occurred of which he had no knowledge
that would make it quite worth the while of his co-conspirators
to eliminate him.
Without a pause Gust darted across the beach and into the jungle.
He was afraid of the jungle; uncanny noises that were
indeed frightful came forth from its recesses--the tangled
mazes of the mysterious country back of the beach.
But if Gust was afraid of the jungle he was far more afraid
of Kai Shang and Momulla. The dangers of the jungle were
more or less problematicalwhile the danger that menaced
him at the hands of his companions was a perfectly wellknown
quantitywhich might be expressed in terms of a few
inches of cold steelor the coil of a light rope. He had seen
Kai Shang garrotte a man at Pai-sha in a dark alleyway back
of Loo Kotai's place. He feared the ropethereforemore
than he did the knife of the Maori; but he feared them both
too much to remain within reach of either. Therefore he chose
the pitiless jungle.
The Law of the Jungle
In Tarzan's campby dint of threats and promised rewards
the ape-man had finally succeeded in getting the hull of a
large skiff almost completed. Much of the work he and
Mugambi had done with their own hands in addition to
furnishing the camp with meat.
Schneiderthe matehad been doing considerable grumbling
and had at last openly deserted the work and gone off
into the jungle with Schmidt to hunt. He said that he wanted
a restand Tarzanrather than add to the unpleasantness
which already made camp life almost unendurablehad permitted
the two men to depart without a remonstrance.
Upon the following dayhoweverSchneider affected a feeling
of remorse for his actionand set to work with a will upon
the skiff. Schmidt also worked good-naturedlyand Lord
Greystoke congratulated himself that at last the men had
awakened to the necessity for the labour which was being asked of
them and to their obligations to the balance of the party.
It was with a feeling of greater relief than he had experienced
for many a day that he set out that noon to hunt deep in the
jungle for a herd of small deer which Schneider reported
that he and Schmidt had seen there the day before.
The direction in which Schneider had reported seeing the
deer was toward the south-westand to that point the ape-man
swung easily through the tangled verdure of the forest.
And as he went there approached from the north a half-dozen
ill-featured men who went stealthily through the jungle
as go men bent upon the commission of a wicked act.
They thought that they travelled unseen; but behind them
almost from the moment they quitted their own campa tall
man crept upon their trail. In the man's eyes were hate and
fearand a great curiosity. Why went Kai Shang and Momulla
and the others thus stealthily toward the south? What did
they expect to find there? Gust shook his low-browed
head in perplexity. But he would know. He would follow
them and learn their plansand then if he could thwart them
he would--that went without question.
At first he had thought that they searched for him; but
finally his better judgment assured him that such could not
be the casesince they had accomplished all they really
desired by chasing him out of camp. Never would Kai Shang
or Momulla go to such pains to slay him or another unless it
would put money into their pocketsand as Gust had no
money it was evident that they were searching for someone else.
Presently the party he trailed came to a halt. Its members
concealed themselves in the foliage bordering the game trail
along which they had come. Gustthat he might the better
observeclambered into the branches of a tree to the rear of
thembeing careful that the leafy fronds hid him from the
view of his erstwhile mates.
He had not long to wait before he saw a strange white man
approach carefully along the trail from the south.
At sight of the newcomer Momulla and Kai Shang arose
from their places of concealment and greeted him. Gust could
not overhear what passed between them. Then the man returned
in the direction from which he had come.
He was Schneider. Nearing his camp he circled to the
opposite side of itand presently came running in breathlessly.
Excitedly he hastened to Mugambi.
Quick!he cried. "Those apes of yours have caught Schmidt
and will kill him if we do not hasten to his aid. You alone
can call them off. Take Jones and Sullivan--you may need
help--and get to him as quick as you can. Follow the game
trail south for about a mile. I will remain here. I am
too spent with running to go back with you and the mate
of the Kincaid threw himself upon the ground, panting as
though he was almost done for.
Mugambi hesitated. He had been left to guard the two women.
He did not know what to do, and then Jane Clayton,
who had heard Schneider's story, added her pleas to
those of the mate.
Do not delay she urged. We shall be all right here.
Mr. Schneider will remain with us. GoMugambi. The poor
fellow must be saved."
Schmidtwho lay hidden in a bush at the edge of the campgrinned.
Mugambiheeding the commands of his mistressthough still doubtful
of the wisdom of his actionstarted off toward the southwith Jones
and Sullivan at his heels.
No sooner had he disappeared than Schmidt rose and darted north
into the jungleand a few minutes later the face of Kai Shang
of Fachan appeared at the edge of the clearing. Schneider saw
the Chinamanand motioned to him that the coast was clear.
Jane Clayton and the Mosula woman were sitting at the
opening of the former's tenttheir backs toward the
approaching ruffians. The first intimation that either
had of the presence of strangers in camp was the sudden
appearance of a half-dozen ragged villains about them.
Come!said Kai Shangmotioning that the two arise
and follow him.
Jane Clayton sprang to her feet and looked about for Schneider
only to see him standing behind the newcomersa grin upon his face.
At his side stood Schmidt. Instantly she saw that she had been made
the victim of a plot.
What is the meaning of this?she askedaddressing the mate.
It means that we have found a ship and that we can now
escape from Jungle Island,replied the man.
Why did you send Mugambi and the others into the jungle?she inquired.
They are not coming with us--only you and I, and the Mosula woman.
Come!repeated Kai Shangand seized Jane Clayton's wrist.
One of the Maoris grasped the black woman by the arm
and when she would have screamed struck her across the mouth.
Mugambi raced through the jungle toward the south. Jones and
Sullivan trailed far behind. For a mile he continued upon
his way to the relief of Schmidtbut no signs saw he of the
missing man or of any of the apes of Akut.
At last he halted and called aloud the summons which he and
Tarzan had used to hail the great anthropoids. There was
no response. Jones and Sullivan came up with the black warrior
as the latter stood voicing his weird call. For another
half-mile the black searchedcalling occasionally.
Finally the truth flashed upon himand thenlike a
frightened deerhe wheeled and dashed back toward camp.
Arriving thereit was but a moment before full confirmation
of his fears was impressed upon him. Lady Greystoke and the
Mosula woman were gone. Solikewisewas Schneider.
When Jones and Sullivan joined Mugambi he would have killed
them in his angerthinking them parties to the plot;
but they finally succeeded in partially convincing him that
they had known nothing of it.
As they stood speculating upon the probable whereabouts
of the women and their abductorand the purpose which
Schneider had in mind in taking them from campTarzan of
the Apes swung from the branches of a tree and crossed the
clearing toward them.
His keen eyes detected at once that something was radically
wrongand when he had heard Mugambi's story his jaws clicked
angrily together as he knitted his brows in thought.
What could the mate hope to accomplish by taking Jane
Clayton from a camp upon a small island from which there
was no escape from the vengeance of Tarzan? The ape-man
could not believe the fellow such a fooland then a slight
realization of the truth dawned upon him.
Schneider would not have committed such an act unless he
had been reasonably sure that there was a way by which
he could quit Jungle Island with his prisoners. But why had he
taken the black woman as well? There must have been others
one of whom wanted the dusky female.
Come,said Tarzanthere is but one thing to do now,
and that is to follow the trail.
As he finished speaking a tallungainly figure emerged
from the jungle north of the camp. He came straight toward
the four men. He was an entire stranger to all of them
not one of whom had dreamed that another human being than
those of their own camp dwelt upon the unfriendly shores
of Jungle Island.
It was Gust. He came directly to the point.
Your women were stolen,he said. "If you want ever
to see them againcome quickly and follow me. If we do not
hurry the Cowrie will be standing out to sea by the time we
reach her anchorage."
Who are you?asked Tarzan. "What do you know of
the theft of my wife and the black woman?"
I heard Kai Shang and Momulla the Maori plot with two
men of your camp. They had chased me from our camp, and
would have killed me. Now I will get even with them. Come!
Gust led the four men of the Kincaid's camp at a rapid trot
through the jungle toward the north. Would they come to the
sea in time? But a few more minutes would answer the question.
And when at last the little party did break through the last
of the screening foliageand the harbour and the ocean lay
before themthey realized that fate had been most cruelly
unkindfor the Cowrie was already under sail and moving
slowly out of the mouth of the harbour into the open sea.
What were they to do? Tarzan's broad chest rose and fell
to the force of his pent emotions. The last blow seemed to
have fallenand if ever in all his life Tarzan of the Apes had
had occasion to abandon hope it was now that he saw the ship
bearing his wife to some frightful fate moving gracefully over
the rippling waterso very near and yet so hideously far away.
In silence he stood watching the vessel. He saw it turn
toward the east and finally disappear around a headland on
its way he knew not whither. Then he dropped upon his
haunches and buried his face in his hands.
It was after dark that the five men returned to the camp on
the east shore. The night was hot and sultry. No slightest
breeze ruffled the foliage of the trees or rippled the mirrorlike
surface of the ocean. Only a gentle swell rolled softly in
upon the beach.
Never had Tarzan seen the great Atlantic so ominously at peace.
He was standing at the edge of the beach gazing out to sea
in the direction of the mainlandhis mind filled with
sorrow and hopelessnesswhen from the jungle close behind
the camp came the uncanny wail of a panther.
There was a familiar note in the weird cryand almost
mechanically Tarzan turned his head and answered. A moment
later the tawny figure of Sheeta slunk out into the half-light of
the beach. There was no moonbut the sky was brilliant with stars.
Silently the savage brute came to the side of the man. It had been
long since Tarzan had seen his old fighting companionbut the soft
purr was sufficient to assure him that the animal still recalled
the bonds which had united them in the past.
The ape-man let his fingers fall upon the beast's coat
and as Sheeta pressed close against his leg he caressed and
fondled the wicked head while his eyes continued to search
the blackness of the waters.
Presently he started. What was that? He strained his eyes
into the night. Then he turned and called aloud to the men
smoking upon their blankets in the camp. They came running
to his side; but Gust hesitated when he saw the nature of
Look!cried Tarzan. "A light! A ship's light! It must
be the Cowrie. They are becalmed." And then with an
exclamation of renewed hopeWe can reach them!
The skiff will carry us easily.
Gust demurred. "They are well armed he warned. We
could not take the ship--just five of us."
There are six now,replied Tarzanpointing to Sheeta
and we can have more still in a half-hour. Sheeta is the
equivalent of twenty men, and the few others I can bring will
add full a hundred to our fighting strength. You do not know them.
The ape-man turned and raised his head toward the jungle
while there pealed from his lipstime after time
the fearsome cry of the bull-ape who would summon his fellows.
Presently from the jungle came an answering cryand then
another and another. Gust shuddered. Among what sort of
creatures had fate thrown him? Were not Kai Shang and Momulla
to be preferred to this great white giant who stroked a
panther and called to the beasts of the jungle?
In a few minutes the apes of Akut came crashing through
the underbrush and out upon the beachwhile in the meantime
the five men had been struggling with the unwieldy bulk
of the skiff's hull.
By dint of Herculean efforts they had managed to get it to
the water's edge. The oars from the two small boats of the
Kincaidwhich had been washed away by an off-shore wind
the very night that the party had landedhad been in use to
support the canvas of the sailcloth tents. These were hastily
requisitionedand by the time Akut and his followers came
down to the water all was ready for embarkation.
Once again the hideous crew entered the service of their
masterand without question took up their places in the skiff.
The four menfor Gust could not be prevailed upon to accompany
the partyfell to the oarsusing them paddle-wisewhile some
of the apes followed their exampleand presently the ungainly
skiff was moving quietly out to sea in the direction of the
light which rose and fell gently with the swell.
A sleepy sailor kept a poor vigil upon the Cowrie's deck
while in the cabin below Schneider paced up and down arguing
with Jane Clayton. The woman had found a revolver in a table
drawer in the room in which she had been lockedand now she
kept the mate of the Kincaid at bay with the weapon.
The Mosula woman kneeled behind herwhile Schneider paced
up and down before the doorthreatening and pleading and
promisingbut all to no avail. Presently from the deck
above came a shout of warning and a shot. For an instant
Jane Clayton relaxed her vigilanceand turned her eyes toward
the cabin skylight. Simultaneously Schneider was upon her.
The first intimation the watch had that there was another
craft within a thousand miles of the Cowrie came when he
saw the head and shoulders of a man poked over the ship's side.
Instantly the fellow sprang to his feet with a cry and
levelled his revolver at the intruder. It was his cry and the
subsequent report of the revolver which threw Jane Clayton
off her guard.
Upon deck the quiet of fancied security soon gave place
to the wildest pandemonium. The crew of the Cowrie rushed
above armed with revolverscutlassesand the long knives
that many of them habitually wore; but the alarm had come
too late. Already the beasts of Tarzan were upon the ship's
deckwith Tarzan and the two men of the Kincaid's crew.
In the face of the frightful beasts the courage of the mutineers
wavered and broke. Those with revolvers fired a few scattering
shots and then raced for some place of supposed safety.
Into the shrouds went some; but the apes of Akut were
more at home there than they.
Screaming with terror the Maoris were dragged from their
lofty perches. The beastsuncontrolled by Tarzan who had
gone in search of Janeloosed in the full fury of their savage
natures upon the unhappy wretches who fell into their clutches.
Sheetain the meanwhilehad felt his great fangs sink into
but a singular jugular. For a moment he mauled the corpse
and then he spied Kai Shang darting down the companionway
toward his cabin.
With a shrill scream Sheeta was after him--a scream which
awoke an almost equally uncanny cry in the throat of the
But Kai Shang reached his cabin a fraction of a second
ahead of the pantherand leaping within slammed the door-just
too late. Sheeta's great body hurtled against it before
the catch engagedand a moment later Kai Shang was gibbering
and shrieking in the back of an upper berth.
Lightly Sheeta sprang after his victimand presently the
wicked days of Kai Shang of Fachan were endedand Sheeta
was gorging himself upon tough and stringy flesh.
A moment scarcely had elapsed after Schneider leaped
upon Jane Clayton and wrenched the revolver from her hand
when the door of the cabin opened and a tall and half-naked
white man stood framed within the portal.
Silently he leaped across the cabin. Schneider felt sinewy
fingers at his throat. He turned his head to see who had
attacked himand his eyes went wide when he saw the face of
the ape-man close above his own.
Grimly the fingers tightened upon the mate's throat. He tried
to screamto pleadbut no sound came forth. His eyes
protruded as he struggled for freedomfor breathfor life.
Jane Clayton seized her husband's hands and tried to drag them
from the throat of the dying man; but Tarzan only shook his head.
Not again,he said quietly. "Before have I permitted
scoundrels to liveonly to suffer and to have you suffer for
my mercy. This time we shall make sure of one scoundrel-sure
that he will never again harm us or another and with
a sudden wrench he twisted the neck of the perfidious mate
until there was a sharp crack, and the man's body lay limp
and motionless in the ape-man's grasp. With a gesture of
disgust Tarzan tossed the corpse aside. Then he returned to
the deck, followed by Jane and the Mosula woman.
The battle there was over. Schmidt and Momulla and two
others alone remained alive of all the company of the Cowrie,
for they had found sanctuary in the forecastle. The others
had died, horribly, and as they deserved, beneath the fangs
and talons of the beasts of Tarzan, and in the morning the
sun rose on a grisly sight upon the deck of the unhappy
Cowrie; but this time the blood which stained her white
planking was the blood of the guilty and not of the innocent.
Tarzan brought forth the men who had hidden in the forecastle,
and without promises of immunity from punishment forced them
to help work the vessel--the only alternative was immediate death.
A stiff breeze had risen with the sun, and with canvas
spread the Cowrie set in toward Jungle Island, where a few
hours later, Tarzan picked up Gust and bid farewell to Sheeta
and the apes of Akut, for here he set the beasts ashore to
pursue the wild and natural life they loved so well; nor did
they lose a moment's time in disappearing into the cool depths
of their beloved jungle.
That they knew that Tarzan was to leave them may be doubted-except
possibly in the case of the more intelligent Akut,
who alone of all the others remained upon the beach as the
small boat drew away toward the schooner, carrying his savage
lord and master from him.
And as long as their eyes could span the distance, Jane and
Tarzan, standing upon the deck, saw the lonely figure of
the shaggy anthropoid motionless upon the surf-beaten sands
of Jungle Island.
It was three days later that the Cowrie fell in with H.M.
sloop-of-war Shorewater, through whose wireless Lord Greystoke
soon got in communication with London. Thus he learned that
which filled his and his wife's heart with joy and thanksgiving-little
Jack was safe at Lord Greystoke's town house.
It was not until they reached London that they learned the
details of the remarkable chain of circumstances that had
preserved the infant unharmed.
It developed that Rokoff, fearing to take the child aboard the
Kincaid by day, had hidden it in a low den where nameless infants
were harboured, intending to carry it to the steamer after dark.
His confederate and chief lieutenant, Paulvitch, true to the
long years of teaching of his wily master, had at last
succumbed to the treachery and greed that had always marked
his superior, and, lured by the thoughts of the immense ransom
that he might win by returning the child unharmed, had
divulged the secret of its parentage to the woman who
maintained the foundling asylum. Through her he had arranged
for the substitution of another infant, knowing full well that
never until it was too late would Rokoff suspect the trick that
had been played upon him.
The woman had promised to keep the child until Paulvitch
returned to England; but she, in turn, had been tempted to
betray her trust by the lure of gold, and so had opened
negotiations with Lord Greystoke's solicitors for the return
of the child.
Esmeralda, the old Negro nurse whose absence on a vacation
in America at the time of the abduction of little Jack
had been attributed by her as the cause of the calamity,
had returned and positively identified the infant.
The ransom had been paid, and within ten days of the date
of his kidnapping the future Lord Greystoke, none the worse
for his experience, had been returned to his father's home.
And so that last and greatest of Nikolas Rokoff's many
rascalities had not only miserably miscarried through the
treachery he had taught his only friend, but it had resulted
in the arch-villain's death, and given to Lord and Lady Greystoke
a peace of mind that neither could ever have felt so long as
the vital spark remained in the body of the Russian and his
malign mind was free to formulate new atrocities against them.
Rokoff was dead, and while the fate of Paulvitch was unknown,
they had every reason to believe that he had succumbed to the
dangers of the jungle where last they had seen him--the
malicious tool of his master.
And thus, in so far as they might know, they were to be
freed for ever from the menace of these two men--the only
enemies which Tarzan of the Apes ever had had occasion to
fear, because they struck at him cowardly blows, through
those he loved.
It was a happy family party that were reunited in Greystoke
House the day that Lord Greystoke and his lady landed upon
English soil from the deck of the Shorewater.
Accompanying them were Mugambi and the Mosula
woman whom he had found in the bottom of the canoe that
night upon the bank of the little tributary of the Ugambi.
The woman had preferred to cling to her new lord and master
rather than return to the marriage she had tried to escape.
Tarzan had proposed to them that they might find a home
upon his vast African estates in the land of the Waziri, where
they were to be sent as soon as opportunity presented itself.
Possibly we shall see them all there amid the savage romance
of the grim jungle and the great plains where Tarzan
of the Apes loves best to be.