Tarzan of the Apes
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Part 3 out of 6
who sought for trouble with the great anthropoids.
And in London another Lord Greystoke was speaking to
HIS kind in the House of Lords, but none trembled at the
sound of his soft voice.
Sabor proved unsavory eating even to Tarzan of the Apes,
but hunger served as a most efficacious disguise to toughness
and rank taste, and ere long, with well-filled stomach, the
ape-man was ready to sleep again. First, however, he must
remove the hide, for it was as much for this as for any other
purpose that he had desired to destroy Sabor.
Deftly he removed the great pelt, for he had practiced
often on smaller animals. When the task was finished he
carried his trophy to the fork of a high tree, and there,
curling himself securely in a crotch, he fell into deep and
What with loss of sleep, arduous exercise, and a full belly,
Tarzan of the Apes slept the sun around, awakening about
noon of the following day. He straightway repaired to the
carcass of Sabor, but was angered to find the bones picked
clean by other hungry denizens of the jungle.
Half an hour's leisurely progress through the forest
brought to sight a young deer, and before the little creature
knew that an enemy was near a tiny arrow had lodged in its neck.
So quickly the virus worked that at the end of a dozen
leaps the deer plunged headlong into the undergrowth, dead.
Again did Tarzan feast well, but this time he did not sleep.
Instead, he hastened on toward the point where he had left
the tribe, and when he had found them proudly exhibited the
skin of Sabor, the lioness.
"Look!" he cried, "Apes of Kerchak. See what Tarzan, the
mighty killer, has done. Who else among you has ever killed
one of Numa's people? Tarzan is mightiest amongst you for
Tarzan is no ape. Tarzan is--" But here he stopped, for in the
language of the anthropoids there was no word for man, and
Tarzan could only write the word in English; he could not
The tribe had gathered about to look upon the proof of his
wondrous prowess, and to listen to his words.
Only Kerchak hung back, nursing his hatred and his rage.
Suddenly something snapped in the wicked little brain of
the anthropoid. With a frightful roar the great beast sprang
among the assemblage.
Biting, and striking with his huge hands, he killed and
maimed a dozen ere the balance could escape to the upper
terraces of the forest.
Frothing and shrieking in the insanity of his fury, Kerchak
looked about for the object of his greatest hatred, and there,
upon a near-by limb, he saw him sitting.
"Come down, Tarzan, great killer," cried Kerchak. "Come
down and feel the fangs of a greater! Do mighty fighters fly
to the trees at the first approach of danger?" And then Kerchak
emitted the volleying challenge of his kind.
Quietly Tarzan dropped to the ground. Breathlessly the
tribe watched from their lofty perches as Kerchak, still
roaring, charged the relatively puny figure.
Nearly seven feet stood Kerchak on his short legs. His
enormous shoulders were bunched and rounded with huge
muscles. The back of his short neck was as a single lump of
iron sinew which bulged beyond the base of his skull, so that
his head seemed like a small ball protruding from a huge
mountain of flesh.
His back-drawn, snarling lips exposed his great fighting
fangs, and his little, wicked, blood-shot eyes gleamed in
horrid reflection of his madness.
Awaiting him stood Tarzan, himself a mighty muscled animal,
but his six feet of height and his great rolling sinews
seemed pitifully inadequate to the ordeal which awaited them.
His bow and arrows lay some distance away where he had
dropped them while showing Sabor's hide to his fellow apes,
so that he confronted Kerchak now with only his hunting
knife and his superior intellect to offset the ferocious
strength of his enemy.
As his antagonist came roaring toward him, Lord Greystoke
tore his long knife from its sheath, and with an answering
challenge as horrid and bloodcurdling as that of the beast
he faced, rushed swiftly to meet the attack. He was too
shrewd to allow those long hairy arms to encircle him, and
just as their bodies were about to crash together, Tarzan of
the Apes grasped one of the huge wrists of his assailant, and,
springing lightly to one side, drove his knife to the hilt into
Kerchak's body, below the heart.
Before he could wrench the blade free again, the bull's
quick lunge to seize him in those awful arms had torn the
weapon from Tarzan's grasp.
Kerchak aimed a terrific blow at the ape-man's head with the
flat of his hand, a blow which, had it landed, might easily
have crushed in the side of Tarzan's skull.
The man was too quick, and, ducking beneath it, himself
delivered a mighty one, with clenched fist, in the pit of
The ape was staggered, and what with the mortal wound in
his side had almost collapsed, when, with one mighty effort
he rallied for an instant--just long enough to enable him to
wrest his arm free from Tarzan's grasp and close in a terrific
clinch with his wiry opponent.
Straining the ape-man close to him, his great jaws sought
Tarzan's throat, but the young lord's sinewy fingers were at
Kerchak's own before the cruel fangs could close on the sleek
Thus they struggled, the one to crush out his opponent's
life with those awful teeth, the other to close forever the
windpipe beneath his strong grasp while he held the snarling
mouth from him.
The greater strength of the ape was slowly prevailing, and
the teeth of the straining beast were scarce an inch from
Tarzan's throat when, with a shuddering tremor, the great body
stiffened for an instant and then sank limply to the ground.
Kerchak was dead.
Withdrawing the knife that had so often rendered him
master of far mightier muscles than his own, Tarzan of the
Apes placed his foot upon the neck of his vanquished enemy,
and once again, loud through the forest rang the fierce, wild
cry of the conqueror.
And thus came the young Lord Greystoke into the kingship of the Apes.
There was one of the tribe of Tarzan who questioned his
authority, and that was Terkoz, the son of Tublat, but he
so feared the keen knife and the deadly arrows of his new
lord that he confined the manifestation of his objections to
petty disobediences and irritating mannerisms; Tarzan knew,
however, that he but waited his opportunity to wrest the
kingship from him by some sudden stroke of treachery, and
so he was ever on his guard against surprise.
For months the life of the little band went on much as it
had before, except that Tarzan's greater intelligence and his
ability as a hunter were the means of providing for them
more bountifully than ever before. Most of them, therefore,
were more than content with the change in rulers.
Tarzan led them by night to the fields of the black men,
and there, warned by their chief's superior wisdom, they ate
only what they required, nor ever did they destroy what they
could not eat, as is the way of Manu, the monkey, and of
So, while the blacks were wroth at the continued pilfering
of their fields, they were not discouraged in their efforts to
cultivate the land, as would have been the case had Tarzan
permitted his people to lay waste the plantation wantonly.
During this period Tarzan paid many nocturnal visits to the
village, where he often renewed his supply of arrows. He
soon noticed the food always standing at the foot of the tree
which was his avenue into the palisade, and after a little, he
commenced to eat whatever the blacks put there.
When the awe-struck savages saw that the food disappeared
overnight they were filled with consternation and dread,
for it was one thing to put food out to propitiate a god
or a devil, but quite another thing to have the spirit really
come into the village and eat it. Such a thing was unheard of,
and it clouded their superstitious minds with all manner of
Nor was this all. The periodic disappearance of their
arrows, and the strange pranks perpetrated by unseen hands,
had wrought them to such a state that life had become a
veritable burden in their new home, and now it was that Mbonga
and his head men began to talk of abandoning the village and
seeking a site farther on in the jungle.
Presently the black warriors began to strike farther and
farther south into the heart of the forest when they went to
hunt, looking for a site for a new village.
More often was the tribe of Tarzan disturbed by these
wandering huntsmen. Now was the quiet, fierce solitude of
the primeval forest broken by new, strange cries. No longer
was there safety for bird or beast. Man had come.
Other animals passed up and down the jungle by day and
by night--fierce, cruel beasts--but their weaker neighbors
only fled from their immediate vicinity to return again when
the danger was past.
With man it is different. When he comes many of the larger
animals instinctively leave the district entirely, seldom
if ever to return; and thus it has always been with the great
anthropoids. They flee man as man flees a pestilence.
For a short time the tribe of Tarzan lingered in the vicinity
of the beach because their new chief hated the thought of
leaving the treasured contents of the little cabin forever. But
when one day a member of the tribe discovered the blacks in
great numbers on the banks of a little stream that had been
their watering place for generations, and in the act of clearing
a space in the jungle and erecting many huts, the apes would
remain no longer; and so Tarzan led them inland for many
marches to a spot as yet undefiled by the foot of a human being.
Once every moon Tarzan would go swinging rapidly back
through the swaying branches to have a day with his books,
and to replenish his supply of arrows. This latter task was
becoming more and more difficult, for the blacks had taken to
hiding their supply away at night in granaries and living huts.
This necessitated watching by day on Tarzan's part to
discover where the arrows were being concealed.
Twice had he entered huts at night while the inmates lay
sleeping upon their mats, and stolen the arrows from the very
sides of the warriors. But this method he realized to be too
fraught with danger, and so he commenced picking up solitary
hunters with his long, deadly noose, stripping them of weapons
and ornaments and dropping their bodies from a high tree into
the village street during the still watches of the night.
These various escapades again so terrorized the blacks that,
had it not been for the monthly respite between Tarzan's
visits, in which they had opportunity to renew hope that each
fresh incursion would prove the last, they soon would have
abandoned their new village.
The blacks had not as yet come upon Tarzan's cabin on
the distant beach, but the ape-man lived in constant dread
that, while he was away with the tribe, they would discover
and despoil his treasure. So it came that he spent more and
more time in the vicinity of his father's last home, and less
and less with the tribe. Presently the members of his little
community began to suffer on account of his neglect, for
disputes and quarrels constantly arose which only the king
might settle peaceably.
At last some of the older apes spoke to Tarzan on the subject,
and for a month thereafter he remained constantly with
The duties of kingship among the anthropoids are not
many or arduous.
In the afternoon comes Thaka, possibly, to complain that
old Mungo has stolen his new wife. Then must Tarzan summon
all before him, and if he finds that the wife prefers her
new lord he commands that matters remain as they are, or
possibly that Mungo give Thaka one of his daughters in exchange.
Whatever his decision, the apes accept it as final, and
return to their occupations satisfied.
Then comes Tana, shrieking and holding tight her side
from which blood is streaming. Gunto, her husband, has
cruelly bitten her! And Gunto, summoned, says that Tana is
lazy and will not bring him nuts and beetles, or scratch his
back for him.
So Tarzan scolds them both and threatens Gunto with a
taste of the death-bearing slivers if he abuses Tana further,
and Tana, for her part, is compelled to promise better
attention to her wifely duties.
And so it goes, little family differences for the most part,
which, if left unsettled would result finally in greater
factional strife, and the eventual dismemberment of the tribe.
But Tarzan tired of it, as he found that kingship meant the
curtailment of his liberty. He longed for the little cabin and
the sun-kissed sea--for the cool interior of the well-built
house, and for the never-ending wonders of the many books.
As he had grown older, he found that he had grown away
from his people. Their interests and his were far removed.
They had not kept pace with him, nor could they understand
aught of the many strange and wonderful dreams that passed
through the active brain of their human king. So limited was
their vocabulary that Tarzan could not even talk with them
of the many new truths, and the great fields of thought that
his reading had opened up before his longing eyes, or make
known ambitions which stirred his soul.
Among the tribe he no longer had friends as of old. A little
child may find companionship in many strange and simple
creatures, but to a grown man there must be some semblance
of equality in intellect as the basis for agreeable association.
Had Kala lived, Tarzan would have sacrificed all else to
remain near her, but now that she was dead, and the playful
friends of his childhood grown into fierce and surly brutes he
felt that he much preferred the peace and solitude of his
cabin to the irksome duties of leadership amongst a horde of
The hatred and jealousy of Terkoz, son of Tublat, did
much to counteract the effect of Tarzan's desire to renounce
his kingship among the apes, for, stubborn young Englishman
that he was, he could not bring himself to retreat in the face
of so malignant an enemy.
That Terkoz would be chosen leader in his stead he knew
full well, for time and again the ferocious brute had
established his claim to physical supremacy over the
few bull apes who had dared resent his savage bullying.
Tarzan would have liked to subdue the ugly beast without
recourse to knife or arrows. So much had his great strength
and agility increased in the period following his maturity that
he had come to believe that he might master the redoubtable
Terkoz in a hand to hand fight were it not for the terrible
advantage the anthropoid's huge fighting fangs gave him
over the poorly armed Tarzan.
The entire matter was taken out of Tarzan's hands one day
by force of circumstances, and his future left open to him, so
that he might go or stay without any stain upon his savage
It happened thus:
The tribe was feeding quietly, spread over a considerable
area, when a great screaming arose some distance east of
where Tarzan lay upon his belly beside a limpid brook,
attempting to catch an elusive fish in his quick, brown hands.
With one accord the tribe swung rapidly toward the frightened
cries, and there found Terkoz holding an old female by
the hair and beating her unmercifully with his great hands.
As Tarzan approached he raised his hand aloft for Terkoz
to desist, for the female was not his, but belonged to a poor
old ape whose fighting days were long over, and who, therefore,
could not protect his family.
Terkoz knew that it was against the laws of his kind to
strike this woman of another, but being a bully, he had taken
advantage of the weakness of the female's husband to chastise
her because she had refused to give up to him a tender
young rodent she had captured.
When Terkoz saw Tarzan approaching without his arrows,
he continued to belabor the poor woman in a studied effort to
affront his hated chieftain.
Tarzan did not repeat his warning signal, but instead
rushed bodily upon the waiting Terkoz.
Never had the ape-man fought so terrible a battle since
that long-gone day when Bolgani, the great king gorilla had
so horribly manhandled him ere the new-found knife had, by
accident, pricked the savage heart.
Tarzan's knife on the present occasion but barely offset the
gleaming fangs of Terkoz, and what little advantage the ape
had over the man in brute strength was almost balanced by
the latter's wonderful quickness and agility.
In the sum total of their points, however, the anthropoid
had a shade the better of the battle, and had there been no
other personal attribute to influence the final outcome,
Tarzan of the Apes, the young Lord Greystoke, would have died
as he had lived--an unknown savage beast in equatorial Africa.
But there was that which had raised him far above his fellows
of the jungle--that little spark which spells the whole
vast difference between man and brute--Reason. This it was
which saved him from death beneath the iron muscles and
tearing fangs of Terkoz.
Scarcely had they fought a dozen seconds ere they were
rolling upon the ground, striking, tearing and rending--two
great savage beasts battling to the death.
Terkoz had a dozen knife wounds on head and breast, and
Tarzan was torn and bleeding--his scalp in one place half
torn from his head so that a great piece hung down over one
eye, obstructing his vision.
But so far the young Englishman had been able to keep
those horrible fangs from his jugular and now, as they fought
less fiercely for a moment, to regain their breath, Tarzan
formed a cunning plan. He would work his way to the other's
back and, clinging there with tooth and nail, drive his knife
home until Terkoz was no more.
The maneuver was accomplished more easily than he had
hoped, for the stupid beast, not knowing what Tarzan was
attempting, made no particular effort to prevent the
accomplishment of the design.
But when, finally, he realized that his antagonist was
fastened to him where his teeth and fists alike were useless
against him, Terkoz hurled himself about upon the ground so
violently that Tarzan could but cling desperately to the
leaping, turning, twisting body, and ere he had struck a
blow the knife was hurled from his hand by a heavy impact
against the earth, and Tarzan found himself defenseless.
During the rollings and squirmings of the next few minutes,
Tarzan's hold was loosened a dozen times until finally
an accidental circumstance of those swift and everchanging
evolutions gave him a new hold with his right hand, which he
realized was absolutely unassailable.
His arm was passed beneath Terkoz's arm from behind
and his hand and forearm encircled the back of Terkoz's
neck. It was the half-Nelson of modern wrestling which the
untaught ape-man had stumbled upon, but superior reason
showed him in an instant the value of the thing he had
discovered. It was the difference to him between life and death.
And so he struggled to encompass a similar hold with the
left hand, and in a few moments Terkoz's bull neck was
creaking beneath a full-Nelson.
There was no more lunging about now. The two lay perfectly
still upon the ground, Tarzan upon Terkoz's back. Slowly the
bullet head of the ape was being forced lower and
lower upon his chest.
Tarzan knew what the result would be. In an instant the
neck would break. Then there came to Terkoz's rescue the
same thing that had put him in these sore straits--a man's
"If I kill him," thought Tarzan, "what advantage will it be
to me? Will it not rob the tribe of a great fighter? And if
Terkoz be dead, he will know nothing of my supremacy,
while alive he will ever be an example to the other apes."
"KA-GODA?" hissed Tarzan in Terkoz's ear, which, in ape
tongue, means, freely translated: "Do you surrender?"
For a moment there was no reply, and Tarzan added a few
more ounces of pressure, which elicited a horrified shriek
of pain from the great beast.
"KA-GODA?" repeated Tarzan.
"KA-GODA!" cried Terkoz.
"Listen," said Tarzan, easing up a trifle, but not releasing
his hold. "I am Tarzan, King of the Apes, mighty hunter,
mighty fighter. In all the jungle there is none so great.
"You have said: `KA-GODA' to me. All the tribe have heard.
Quarrel no more with your king or your people, for next
time I shall kill you. Do you understand?"
"HUH," assented Terkoz.
"And you are satisfied?"
"HUH," said the ape.
Tarzan let him up, and in a few minutes all were back at
their vocations, as though naught had occurred to mar the
tranquility of their primeval forest haunts.
But deep in the minds of the apes was rooted the conviction
that Tarzan was a mighty fighter and a strange creature.
Strange because he had had it in his power to kill his enemy,
but had allowed him to live--unharmed.
That afternoon as the tribe came together, as was their
wont before darkness settled on the jungle, Tarzan, his
wounds washed in the waters of the stream, called the old
males about him.
"You have seen again to-day that Tarzan of the Apes is
the greatest among you," he said.
"HUH," they replied with one voice, "Tarzan is great."
"Tarzan," he continued, "is not an ape. He is not like his
people. His ways are not their ways, and so Tarzan is going
back to the lair of his own kind by the waters of the great
lake which has no farther shore. You must choose another to
rule you, for Tarzan will not return."
And thus young Lord Greystoke took the first step toward
the goal which he had set--the finding of other white men
His Own Kind
The following morning, Tarzan, lame and sore from the
wounds of his battle with Terkoz, set out toward the west
and the seacoast.
He traveled very slowly, sleeping in the jungle at night,
and reaching his cabin late the following morning.
For several days he moved about but little, only enough to
gather what fruits and nuts he required to satisfy the demands
In ten days he was quite sound again, except for a terrible,
half-healed scar, which, starting above his left eye ran across
the top of his head, ending at the right ear. It was the mark
left by Terkoz when he had torn the scalp away.
During his convalescence Tarzan tried to fashion a mantle
from the skin of Sabor, which had lain all this time in the
cabin. But he found the hide had dried as stiff as a board,
and as he knew naught of tanning, he was forced to abandon
his cherished plan.
Then he determined to filch what few garments he could
from one of the black men of Mbonga's village, for Tarzan
of the Apes had decided to mark his evolution from the
lower orders in every possible manner, and nothing seemed to
him a more distinguishing badge of manhood than ornaments
To this end, therefore, he collected the various arm and leg
ornaments he had taken from the black warriors who had
succumbed to his swift and silent noose, and donned them all
after the way he had seen them worn.
About his neck hung the golden chain from which depended
the diamond encrusted locket of his mother, the Lady
Alice. At his back was a quiver of arrows slung from a
leathern shoulder belt, another piece of loot from some
About his waist was a belt of tiny strips of rawhide
fashioned by himself as a support for the home-made scabbard in
which hung his father's hunting knife. The long bow which
had been Kulonga's hung over his left shoulder.
The young Lord Greystoke was indeed a strange and war-like
figure, his mass of black hair falling to his shoulders
behind and cut with his hunting knife to a rude bang upon
his forehead, that it might not fall before his eyes.
His straight and perfect figure, muscled as the best of the
ancient Roman gladiators must have been muscled, and yet
with the soft and sinuous curves of a Greek god, told at a
glance the wondrous combination of enormous strength with
suppleness and speed.
A personification, was Tarzan of the Apes, of the primitive
man, the hunter, the warrior.
With the noble poise of his handsome head upon those broad
shoulders, and the fire of life and intelligence in those
fine, clear eyes, he might readily have typified some demigod
of a wild and warlike bygone people of his ancient forest.
But of these things Tarzan did not think. He was worried
because he had not clothing to indicate to all the jungle folks
that he was a man and not an ape, and grave doubt often
entered his mind as to whether he might not yet become an ape.
Was not hair commencing to grow upon his face? All the
apes had hair upon theirs but the black men were entirely
hairless, with very few exceptions.
True, he had seen pictures in his books of men with great
masses of hair upon lip and cheek and chin, but, nevertheless,
Tarzan was afraid. Almost daily he whetted his keen knife
and scraped and whittled at his young beard to eradicate this
degrading emblem of apehood.
And so he learned to shave--rudely and painfully, it is
true--but, nevertheless, effectively.
When he felt quite strong again, after his bloody battle
with Terkoz, Tarzan set off one morning towards Mbonga's
village. He was moving carelessly along a winding jungle
trail, instead of making his progress through the trees, when
suddenly he came face to face with a black warrior.
The look of surprise on the savage face was almost comical,
and before Tarzan could unsling his bow the fellow had
turned and fled down the path crying out in alarm as though
to others before him.
Tarzan took to the trees in pursuit, and in a few moments
came in view of the men desperately striving to escape.
There were three of them, and they were racing madly in
single file through the dense undergrowth.
Tarzan easily distanced them, nor did they see his silent
passage above their heads, nor note the crouching figure
squatted upon a low branch ahead of them beneath which the
trail led them.
Tarzan let the first two pass beneath him, but as the third
came swiftly on, the quiet noose dropped about the black
throat. A quick jerk drew it taut.
There was an agonized scream from the victim, and his
fellows turned to see his struggling body rise as by magic
slowly into the dense foliage of the trees above.
With frightened shrieks they wheeled once more and plunged
on in their efforts to escape.
Tarzan dispatched his prisoner quickly and silently; removed
the weapons and ornaments, and--oh, the greatest joy
of all--a handsome deerskin breechcloth, which he quickly
transferred to his own person.
Now indeed was he dressed as a man should be. None
there was who could now doubt his high origin. How he
should have liked to have returned to the tribe to parade
before their envious gaze this wondrous finery.
Taking the body across his shoulder, he moved more
slowly through the trees toward the little palisaded village,
for he again needed arrows.
As he approached quite close to the enclosure he saw an
excited group surrounding the two fugitives, who, trembling
with fright and exhaustion, were scarce able to recount the
uncanny details of their adventure.
Mirando, they said, who had been ahead of them a short
distance, had suddenly come screaming toward them, crying
that a terrible white and naked warrior was pursuing him.
The three of them had hurried toward the village as rapidly
as their legs would carry them.
Again Mirando's shrill cry of mortal terror had caused
them to look back, and there they had seen the most horrible
sight--their companion's body flying upwards into the trees,
his arms and legs beating the air and his tongue protruding
from his open mouth. No other sound did he utter nor was
there any creature in sight about him.
The villagers were worked up into a state of fear bordering
on panic, but wise old Mbonga affected to feel considerable
skepticism regarding the tale, and attributed the whole
fabrication to their fright in the face of some real danger.
"You tell us this great story," he said, "because you do not
dare to speak the truth. You do not dare admit that when the
lion sprang upon Mirando you ran away and left him. You
Scarcely had Mbonga ceased speaking when a great crashing
of branches in the trees above them caused the blacks to
look up in renewed terror. The sight that met their eyes made
even wise old Mbonga shudder, for there, turning and twisting
in the air, came the dead body of Mirando, to sprawl with a
sickening reverberation upon the ground at their feet.
With one accord the blacks took to their heels; nor did
they stop until the last of them was lost in the dense
shadows of the surrounding jungle.
Again Tarzan came down into the village and renewed his
supply of arrows and ate of the offering of food which the
blacks had made to appease his wrath.
Before he left he carried the body of Mirando to the gate
of the village, and propped it up against the palisade in such
a way that the dead face seemed to be peering around the
edge of the gatepost down the path which led to the jungle.
Then Tarzan returned, hunting, always hunting, to the
cabin by the beach.
It took a dozen attempts on the part of the thoroughly
frightened blacks to reenter their village, past the horrible,
grinning face of their dead fellow, and when they found the
food and arrows gone they knew, what they had only too well
feared, that Mirando had seen the evil spirit of the jungle.
That now seemed to them the logical explanation. Only
those who saw this terrible god of the jungle died; for was it
not true that none left alive in the village had ever seen him?
Therefore, those who had died at his hands must have seen
him and paid the penalty with their lives.
As long as they supplied him with arrows and food he
would not harm them unless they looked upon him, so it was
ordered by Mbonga that in addition to the food offering there
should also be laid out an offering of arrows for this Munan-
go-Keewati, and this was done from then on.
If you ever chance to pass that far off African village you
will still see before a tiny thatched hut, built just without the
village, a little iron pot in which is a quantity of food, and
beside it a quiver of well-daubed arrows.
When Tarzan came in sight of the beach where stood his
cabin, a strange and unusual spectacle met his vision.
On the placid waters of the landlocked harbor floated a
great ship, and on the beach a small boat was drawn up.
But, most wonderful of all, a number of white men like
himself were moving about between the beach and his cabin.
Tarzan saw that in many ways they were like the men of his
picture books. He crept closer through the trees until he
was quite close above them.
There were ten men, swarthy, sun-tanned, villainous looking
fellows. Now they had congregated by the boat and were
talking in loud, angry tones, with much gesticulating and
shaking of fists.
Presently one of them, a little, mean-faced, black-bearded
fellow with a countenance which reminded Tarzan of Pamba,
the rat, laid his hand upon the shoulder of a giant who stood
next him, and with whom all the others had been arguing and
The little man pointed inland, so that the giant was forced
to turn away from the others to look in the direction
indicated. As he turned, the little, mean-faced man drew a
revolver from his belt and shot the giant in the back.
The big fellow threw his hands above his head, his knees
bent beneath him, and without a sound he tumbled forward
upon the beach, dead.
The report of the weapon, the first that Tarzan had ever
heard, filled him with wonderment, but even this unaccustomed
sound could not startle his healthy nerves into even a
semblance of panic.
The conduct of the white strangers it was that caused him
the greatest perturbation. He puckered his brows into a
frown of deep thought. It was well, thought he, that he had
not given way to his first impulse to rush forward and greet
these white men as brothers.
They were evidently no different from the black men--no
more civilized than the apes--no less cruel than Sabor.
For a moment the others stood looking at the little, mean-
faced man and the giant lying dead upon the beach.
Then one of them laughed and slapped the little man upon
the back. There was much more talk and gesticulating, but
Presently they launched the boat and all jumped into it and
rowed away toward the great ship, where Tarzan could see
other figures moving about upon the deck.
When they had clambered aboard, Tarzan dropped to earth
behind a great tree and crept to his cabin, keeping it
always between himself and the ship.
Slipping in at the door he found that everything had been
ransacked. His books and pencils strewed the floor. His weapons
and shields and other little store of treasures were littered about.
As he saw what had been done a great wave of anger
surged through him, and the new made scar upon his forehead
stood suddenly out, a bar of inflamed crimson against
his tawny hide.
Quickly he ran to the cupboard and searched in the far recess
of the lower shelf. Ah! He breathed a sigh of relief as he
drew out the little tin box, and, opening it, found his greatest
The photograph of the smiling, strong-faced young man,
and the little black puzzle book were safe.
What was that?
His quick ear had caught a faint but unfamiliar sound.
Running to the window Tarzan looked toward the harbor,
and there he saw that a boat was being lowered from the
great ship beside the one already in the water. Soon he saw
many people clambering over the sides of the larger vessel and
dropping into the boats. They were coming back in full force.
For a moment longer Tarzan watched while a number of
boxes and bundles were lowered into the waiting boats, then,
as they shoved off from the ship's side, the ape-man snatched
up a piece of paper, and with a pencil printed on it for a few
moments until it bore several lines of strong, well-made,
almost letter-perfect characters.
This notice he stuck upon the door with a small sharp
splinter of wood. Then gathering up his precious tin box, his
arrows, and as many bows and spears as he could carry, he
hastened through the door and disappeared into the forest.
When the two boats were beached upon the silvery sand it
was a strange assortment of humanity that clambered ashore.
Some twenty souls in all there were, fifteen of them rough
and villainous appearing seamen.
The others of the party were of different stamp.
One was an elderly man, with white hair and large rimmed
spectacles. His slightly stooped shoulders were draped in an
ill-fitting, though immaculate, frock coat, and a shiny silk hat
added to the incongruity of his garb in an African jungle.
The second member of the party to land was a tall young man
in white ducks, while directly behind came another elderly
man with a very high forehead and a fussy, excitable manner.
After these came a huge Negress clothed like Solomon as to
colors. Her great eyes rolled in evident terror, first toward
the jungle and then toward the cursing band of sailors who
were removing the bales and boxes from the boats.
The last member of the party to disembark was a girl of
about nineteen, and it was the young man who stood at the
boat's prow to lift her high and dry upon land. She gave him a
brave and pretty smile of thanks, but no words passed between them.
In silence the party advanced toward the cabin. It was evident
that whatever their intentions, all had been decided upon
before they left the ship; and so they came to the door, the
sailors carrying the boxes and bales, followed by the five who
were of so different a class. The men put down their burdens,
and then one caught sight of the notice which Tarzan had posted.
"Ho, mates!" he cried. "What's here? This sign was not
posted an hour ago or I'll eat the cook."
The others gathered about, craning their necks over the
shoulders of those before them, but as few of them could
read at all, and then only after the most laborious fashion,
one finally turned to the little old man of the top hat and
"Hi, perfesser," he called, "step for'rd and read the
Thus addressed, the old man came slowly to where the
sailors stood, followed by the other members of his party.
Adjusting his spectacles he looked for a moment at the
placard and then, turning away, strolled off muttering to
himself: "Most remarkable--most remarkable!"
"Hi, old fossil," cried the man who had first called on him
for assistance, "did je think we wanted of you to read the
bloomin' notis to yourself? Come back here and read it out
loud, you old barnacle."
The old man stopped and, turning back, said: "Oh, yes,
my dear sir, a thousand pardons. It was quite thoughtless of
me, yes--very thoughtless. Most remarkable--most remarkable!"
Again he faced the notice and read it through, and doubtless
would have turned off again to ruminate upon it had not
the sailor grasped him roughly by the collar and howled into
"Read it out loud, you blithering old idiot."
"Ah, yes indeed, yes indeed," replied the professor softly,
and adjusting his spectacles once more he read aloud:
THIS IS THE HOUSE OF TARZAN, THE
KILLER OF BEASTS AND MANY BLACK
MEN. DO NOT HARM THE THINGS WHICH
ARE TARZAN'S. TARZAN WATCHES.
TARZAN OF THE APES.
"Who the devil is Tarzan?" cried the sailor who had before spoken.
"He evidently speaks English," said the young man.
"But what does `Tarzan of the Apes' mean?" cried the girl.
"I do not know, Miss Porter," replied the young man, "unless
we have discovered a runaway simian from the London
Zoo who has brought back a European education to his jungle
home. What do you make of it, Professor Porter?" he
added, turning to the old man.
Professor Archimedes Q. Porter adjusted his spectacles.
"Ah, yes, indeed; yes indeed--most remarkable, most
remarkable!" said the professor; "but I can add nothing further
to what I have already remarked in elucidation of this truly
momentous occurrence," and the professor turned slowly in
the direction of the jungle.
"But, papa," cried the girl, "you haven't said anything
about it yet."
"Tut, tut, child; tut, tut," responded Professor Porter, in a
kindly and indulgent tone, "do not trouble your pretty head
with such weighty and abstruse problems," and again he wandered
slowly off in still another direction, his eyes bent upon
the ground at his feet, his hands clasped behind him beneath
the flowing tails of his coat.
"I reckon the daffy old bounder don't know no more'n we
do about it," growled the rat-faced sailor.
"Keep a civil tongue in your head," cried the young man,
his face paling in anger, at the insulting tone of the sailor.
"You've murdered our officers and robbed us. We are absolutely
in your power, but you'll treat Professor Porter and
Miss Porter with respect or I'll break that vile neck of yours
with my bare hands--guns or no guns," and the young fellow
stepped so close to the rat-faced sailor that the latter, though
he bore two revolvers and a villainous looking knife in his
belt, slunk back abashed.
"You damned coward," cried the young man. "You'd never
dare shoot a man until his back was turned. You don't
dare shoot me even then," and he deliberately turned his
back full upon the sailor and walked nonchalantly away as
if to put him to the test.
The sailor's hand crept slyly to the butt of one of his
revolvers; his wicked eyes glared vengefully at the retreating
form of the young Englishman. The gaze of his fellows was upon
him, but still he hesitated. At heart he was even a greater
coward than Mr. William Cecil Clayton had imagined.
Two keen eyes had watched every move of the party from
the foliage of a nearby tree. Tarzan had seen the surprise
caused by his notice, and while he could understand nothing
of the spoken language of these strange people their gestures
and facial expressions told him much.
The act of the little rat-faced sailor in killing one of his
comrades had aroused a strong dislike in Tarzan, and now
that he saw him quarreling with the fine-looking young man
his animosity was still further stirred.
Tarzan had never seen the effects of a firearm before,
though his books had taught him something of them, but
when he saw the rat-faced one fingering the butt of his
revolver he thought of the scene he had witnessed so short
a time before, and naturally expected to see the young man
murdered as had been the huge sailor earlier in the day.
So Tarzan fitted a poisoned arrow to his bow and drew a
bead upon the rat-faced sailor, but the foliage was so thick
that he soon saw the arrow would be deflected by the leaves
or some small branch, and instead he launched a heavy spear
from his lofty perch.
Clayton had taken but a dozen steps. The rat-faced sailor
had half drawn his revolver; the other sailors stood watching
the scene intently.
Professor Porter had already disappeared into the jungle,
whither he was being followed by the fussy Samuel T.
Philander, his secretary and assistant.
Esmeralda, the Negress, was busy sorting her mistress' baggage
from the pile of bales and boxes beside the cabin, and
Miss Porter had turned away to follow Clayton, when something
caused her to turn again toward the sailor.
And then three things happened almost simultaneously.
The sailor jerked out his weapon and leveled it at Clayton's
back, Miss Porter screamed a warning, and a long, metal-
shod spear shot like a bolt from above and passed entirely
through the right shoulder of the rat-faced man.
The revolver exploded harmlessly in the air, and the seaman
crumpled up with a scream of pain and terror.
Clayton turned and rushed back toward the scene. The
sailors stood in a frightened group, with drawn weapons,
peering into the jungle. The wounded man writhed and
shrieked upon the ground.
Clayton, unseen by any, picked up the fallen revolver and
slipped it inside his shirt, then he joined the sailors in
gazing, mystified, into the jungle.
"Who could it have been?" whispered Jane Porter, and the
young man turned to see her standing, wide-eyed and
wondering, close beside him.
"I dare say Tarzan of the Apes is watching us all right," he
answered, in a dubious tone. "I wonder, now, who that spear
was intended for. If for Snipes, then our ape friend is a
"By jove, where are your father and Mr. Philander?
There's someone or something in that jungle, and it's armed,
whatever it is. Ho! Professor! Mr. Philander!" young Clayton
shouted. There was no response.
"What's to be done, Miss Porter?" continued the young
man, his face clouded by a frown of worry and indecision.
"I can't leave you here alone with these cutthroats, and
you certainly can't venture into the jungle with me; yet
someone must go in search of your father. He is more than
apt to wandering off aimlessly, regardless of danger or
direction, and Mr. Philander is only a trifle less impractical
than he. You will pardon my bluntness, but our lives are
all in jeopardy here, and when we get your father back
something must be done to impress upon him the dangers to
which he exposes you as well as himself by his absent-mindedness."
"I quite agree with you," replied the girl, "and I am not
offended at all. Dear old papa would sacrifice his life for me
without an instant's hesitation, provided one could keep his
mind on so frivolous a matter for an entire instant. There is
only one way to keep him in safety, and that is to chain him
to a tree. The poor dear is SO impractical."
"I have it!" suddenly exclaimed Clayton. "You can use a
revolver, can't you?"
"I have one. With it you and Esmeralda will be comparatively
safe in this cabin while I am searching for your father
and Mr. Philander. Come, call the woman and I will hurry
on. They can't have gone far."
Jane did as he suggested and when he saw the door close
safely behind them Clayton turned toward the jungle.
Some of the sailors were drawing the spear from their
wounded comrade and, as Clayton approached, he asked if
he could borrow a revolver from one of them while he
searched the jungle for the professor.
The rat-faced one, finding he was not dead, had regained
his composure, and with a volley of oaths directed at Clayton
refused in the name of his fellows to allow the young man
This man, Snipes, had assumed the role of chief since he
had killed their former leader, and so little time had elapsed
that none of his companions had as yet questioned his authority.
Clayton's only response was a shrug of the shoulders, but
as he left them he picked up the spear which had transfixed
Snipes, and thus primitively armed, the son of the then Lord
Greystoke strode into the dense jungle.
Every few moments he called aloud the names of the wanderers.
The watchers in the cabin by the beach heard the sound of his
voice growing ever fainter and fainter, until at last it was
swallowed up by the myriad noises of the primeval wood.
When Professor Archimedes Q. Porter and his assistant,
Samuel T. Philander, after much insistence on the part of the
latter, had finally turned their steps toward camp, they were
as completely lost in the wild and tangled labyrinth of the
matted jungle as two human beings well could be, though
they did not know it.
It was by the merest caprice of fortune that they headed
toward the west coast of Africa, instead of toward Zanzibar
on the opposite side of the dark continent.
When in a short time they reached the beach, only to find
no camp in sight, Philander was positive that they were north
of their proper destination, while, as a matter of fact they
were about two hundred yards south of it.
It never occurred to either of these impractical theorists to
call aloud on the chance of attracting their friends' attention.
Instead, with all the assurance that deductive reasoning from
a wrong premise induces in one, Mr. Samuel T. Philander
grasped Professor Archimedes Q. Porter firmly by the arm
and hurried the weakly protesting old gentleman off in the
direction of Cape Town, fifteen hundred miles to the south.
When Jane and Esmeralda found themselves safely behind
the cabin door the Negress's first thought was to barricade
the portal from the inside. With this idea in mind she turned
to search for some means of putting it into execution; but her
first view of the interior of the cabin brought a shriek of
terror to her lips, and like a frightened child the huge woman
ran to bury her face on her mistress' shoulder.
Jane, turning at the cry, saw the cause of it lying prone
upon the floor before them--the whitened skeleton of a man.
A further glance revealed a second skeleton upon the bed.
"What horrible place are we in?" murmured the awe-struck
girl. But there was no panic in her fright.
At last, disengaging herself from the frantic clutch of the still
shrieking Esmeralda, Jane crossed the room to look into the little
cradle, knowing what she should see there even before the tiny
skeleton disclosed itself in all its pitiful and pathetic frailty.
What an awful tragedy these poor mute bones proclaimed!
The girl shuddered at thought of the eventualities which
might lie before herself and her friends in this ill-fated
cabin, the haunt of mysterious, perhaps hostile, beings.
Quickly, with an impatient stamp of her little foot, she
endeavored to shake off the gloomy forebodings, and turning to
Esmeralda bade her cease her wailing.
"Stop, Esmeralda, stop it this minute!" she cried. "You are
only making it worse."
She ended lamely, a little quiver in her own voice as she
thought of the three men, upon whom she depended for
protection, wandering in the depth of that awful forest.
Soon the girl found that the door was equipped with a
heavy wooden bar upon the inside, and after several efforts
the combined strength of the two enabled them to slip it into
place, the first time in twenty years.
Then they sat down upon a bench with their arms about
one another, and waited.
At the Mercy of the Jungle
After Clayton had plunged into the jungle, the sailors
--mutineers of the Arrow--fell into a discussion of their
next step; but on one point all were agreed--that they should
hasten to put off to the anchored Arrow, where they could at
least be safe from the spears of their unseen foe. And so,
while Jane Porter and Esmeralda were barricading themselves
within the cabin, the cowardly crew of cutthroats were pulling
rapidly for their ship in the two boats that had brought them ashore.
So much had Tarzan seen that day that his head was in a
whirl of wonder. But the most wonderful sight of all, to him,
was the face of the beautiful white girl.
Here at last was one of his own kind; of that he was positive.
And the young man and the two old men; they, too,
were much as he had pictured his own people to be.
But doubtless they were as ferocious and cruel as other
men he had seen. The fact that they alone of all the party
were unarmed might account for the fact that they had killed
no one. They might be very different if provided with weapons.
Tarzan had seen the young man pick up the fallen revolver
of the wounded Snipes and hide it away in his breast; and he
had also seen him slip it cautiously to the girl as she entered
the cabin door.
He did not understand anything of the motives behind all
that he had seen; but, somehow, intuitively he liked the
young man and the two old men, and for the girl he had a
strange longing which he scarcely understood. As for the big
black woman, she was evidently connected in some way to
the girl, and so he liked her, also.
For the sailors, and especially Snipes, he had developed a
great hatred. He knew by their threatening gestures and by
the expression upon their evil faces that they were enemies
of the others of the party, and so he decided to watch closely.
Tarzan wondered why the men had gone into the jungle,
nor did it ever occur to him that one could become lost in
that maze of undergrowth which to him was as simple as is the
main street of your own home town to you.
When he saw the sailors row away toward the ship, and
knew that the girl and her companion were safe in his cabin,
Tarzan decided to follow the young man into the jungle and
learn what his errand might be. He swung off rapidly in the
direction taken by Clayton, and in a short time heard faintly
in the distance the now only occasional calls of the Englishman
to his friends.
Presently Tarzan came up with the white man, who, almost
fagged, was leaning against a tree wiping the perspiration
from his forehead. The ape-man, hiding safe behind a
screen of foliage, sat watching this new specimen of his own
At intervals Clayton called aloud and finally it came to
Tarzan that he was searching for the old man.
Tarzan was on the point of going off to look for them himself,
when he caught the yellow glint of a sleek hide moving
cautiously through the jungle toward Clayton.
It was Sheeta, the leopard. Now, Tarzan heard the soft
bending of grasses and wondered why the young white man
was not warned. Could it be he had failed to note the loud
warning? Never before had Tarzan known Sheeta to be so clumsy.
No, the white man did not hear. Sheeta was crouching for
the spring, and then, shrill and horrible, there rose from the
stillness of the jungle the awful cry of the challenging ape,
and Sheeta turned, crashing into the underbrush.
Clayton came to his feet with a start. His blood ran cold.
Never in all his life had so fearful a sound smote upon his
ears. He was no coward; but if ever man felt the icy fingers
of fear upon his heart, William Cecil Clayton, eldest son of
Lord Greystoke of England, did that day in the fastness of
the African jungle.
The noise of some great body crashing through the underbrush
so close beside him, and the sound of that bloodcurdling
shriek from above, tested Clayton's courage to the limit;
but he could not know that it was to that very voice he owed
his life, nor that the creature who hurled it forth was his own
cousin--the real Lord Greystoke.
The afternoon was drawing to a close, and Clayton,
disheartened and discouraged, was in a terrible quandary as to
the proper course to pursue; whether to keep on in search of
Professor Porter, at the almost certain risk of his own death
in the jungle by night, or to return to the cabin where he
might at least serve to protect Jane from the perils which
confronted her on all sides.
He did not wish to return to camp without her father; still
more, he shrank from the thought of leaving her alone and
unprotected in the hands of the mutineers of the Arrow,
or to the hundred unknown dangers of the jungle.
Possibly, too, he thought, the professor and Philander
might have returned to camp. Yes, that was more than likely.
At least he would return and see, before he continued what
seemed to be a most fruitless quest. And so he started,
stumbling back through the thick and matted underbrush in the
direction that he thought the cabin lay.
To Tarzan's surprise the young man was heading further
into the jungle in the general direction of Mbonga's village,
and the shrewd young ape-man was convinced that he was lost.
To Tarzan this was scarcely incomprehensible; his judgment
told him that no man would venture toward the village of the
cruel blacks armed only with a spear which, from the awkward
way in which he carried it, was evidently an unaccustomed
weapon to this white man. Nor was he following the
trail of the old men. That, they had crossed and left long
since, though it had been fresh and plain before Tarzan's eyes.
Tarzan was perplexed. The fierce jungle would make easy
prey of this unprotected stranger in a very short time if he
were not guided quickly to the beach.
Yes, there was Numa, the lion, even now, stalking the
white man a dozen paces to the right.
Clayton heard the great body paralleling his course, and
now there rose upon the evening air the beast's thunderous
roar. The man stopped with upraised spear and faced the
brush from which issued the awful sound. The shadows were
deepening, darkness was settling in.
God! To die here alone, beneath the fangs of wild beasts;
to be torn and rended; to feel the hot breath of the brute on
his face as the great paw crushed down up his breast!
For a moment all was still. Clayton stood rigid, with raised
spear. Presently a faint rustling of the bush apprised him of
the stealthy creeping of the thing behind. It was gathering for
the spring. At last he saw it, not twenty feet away--the long,
lithe, muscular body and tawny head of a huge black-maned lion.
The beast was upon its belly, moving forward very slowly.
As its eyes met Clayton's it stopped, and deliberately,
cautiously gathered its hind quarters behind it.
In agony the man watched, fearful to launch his spear,
powerless to fly.
He heard a noise in the tree above him. Some new danger,
he thought, but he dared not take his eyes from the yellow
green orbs before him. There was a sharp twang as of a broken
banjo-string, and at the same instant an arrow appeared
in the yellow hide of the crouching lion.
With a roar of pain and anger the beast sprang; but, somehow,
Clayton stumbled to one side, and as he turned again to
face the infuriated king of beasts, he was appalled at the sight
which confronted him. Almost simultaneously with the lion's
turning to renew the attack a half-naked giant dropped from
the tree above squarely on the brute's back.
With lightning speed an arm that was banded layers of iron
muscle encircled the huge neck, and the great beast was
raised from behind, roaring and pawing the air--raised as
easily as Clayton would have lifted a pet dog.
The scene he witnessed there in the twilight depths of the
African jungle was burned forever into the Englishman's brain.
The man before him was the embodiment of physical perfection
and giant strength; yet it was not upon these he depended
in his battle with the great cat, for mighty as were his
muscles, they were as nothing by comparison with Numa's.
To his agility, to his brain and to his long keen knife he
owed his supremacy.
His right arm encircled the lion's neck, while the left hand
plunged the knife time and again into the unprotected side
behind the left shoulder. The infuriated beast, pulled up and
backwards until he stood upon his hind legs, struggled
impotently in this unnatural position.
Had the battle been of a few seconds' longer duration the
outcome might have been different, but it was all accomplished
so quickly that the lion had scarce time to recover from the
confusion of its surprise ere it sank lifeless to the ground.
Then the strange figure which had vanquished it stood
erect upon the carcass, and throwing back the wild and
handsome head, gave out the fearsome cry which a few moments
earlier had so startled Clayton.
Before him he saw the figure of a young man, naked except
for a loin cloth and a few barbaric ornaments about
arms and legs; on the breast a priceless diamond locket
gleaming against a smooth brown skin.
The hunting knife had been returned to its homely sheath,
and the man was gathering up his bow and quiver from
where he had tossed them when he leaped to attack the lion.
Clayton spoke to the stranger in English, thanking him for
his brave rescue and complimenting him on the wondrous
strength and dexterity he had displayed, but the only answer
was a steady stare and a faint shrug of the mighty shoulders,
which might betoken either disparagement of the service
rendered, or ignorance of Clayton's language.
When the bow and quiver had been slung to his back the
wild man, for such Clayton now thought him, once more
drew his knife and deftly carved a dozen large strips of meat
from the lion's carcass. Then, squatting upon his haunches,
he proceeded to eat, first motioning Clayton to join him.
The strong white teeth sank into the raw and dripping flesh
in apparent relish of the meal, but Clayton could not bring
himself to share the uncooked meat with his strange host;
instead he watched him, and presently there dawned upon him
the conviction that this was Tarzan of the Apes, whose notice
he had seen posted upon the cabin door that morning.
If so he must speak English.
Again Clayton attempted speech with the ape-man; but the
replies, now vocal, were in a strange tongue, which resembled
the chattering of monkeys mingled with the growling of some
No, this could not be Tarzan of the Apes, for it was very
evident that he was an utter stranger to English.
When Tarzan had completed his repast he rose and, pointing
a very different direction from that which Clayton had
been pursuing, started off through the jungle toward the point
he had indicated.
Clayton, bewildered and confused, hesitated to follow him,
for he thought he was but being led more deeply into the
mazes of the forest; but the ape-man, seeing him disinclined
to follow, returned, and, grasping him by the coat, dragged
him along until he was convinced that Clayton understood what
was required of him. Then he left him to follow voluntarily.
The Englishman, finally concluding that he was a prisoner,
saw no alternative open but to accompany his captor, and
thus they traveled slowly through the jungle while the sable
mantle of the impenetrable forest night fell about them, and
the stealthy footfalls of padded paws mingled with the breaking
of twigs and the wild calls of the savage life that Clayton
felt closing in upon him.
Suddenly Clayton heard the faint report of a firearm--a
single shot, and then silence.
In the cabin by the beach two thoroughly terrified women
clung to each other as they crouched upon the low bench in
the gathering darkness.
The Negress sobbed hysterically, bemoaning the evil day
that had witnessed her departure from her dear Maryland,
while the white girl, dry eyed and outwardly calm, was torn
by inward fears and forebodings. She feared not more for
herself than for the three men whom she knew to be wandering
in the abysmal depths of the savage jungle, from which
she now heard issuing the almost incessant shrieks and roars,
barkings and growlings of its terrifying and fearsome denizens
as they sought their prey.
And now there came the sound of a heavy body brushing
against the side of the cabin. She could hear the great padded
paws upon the ground outside. For an instant, all was silence;
even the bedlam of the forest died to a faint murmur. Then
she distinctly heard the beast outside sniffing at the door, not
two feet from where she crouched. Instinctively the girl
shuddered, and shrank closer to the black woman.
"Hush!" she whispered. "Hush, Esmeralda," for the
woman's sobs and groans seemed to have attracted the thing
that stalked there just beyond the thin wall.
A gentle scratching sound was heard on the door. The
brute tried to force an entrance; but presently this ceased,
and again she heard the great pads creeping stealthily around
the cabin. Again they stopped--beneath the window on
which the terrified eyes of the girl now glued themselves.
"God!" she murmured, for now, silhouetted against the
moonlit sky beyond, she saw framed in the tiny square of the
latticed window the head of a huge lioness. The gleaming
eyes were fixed upon her in intent ferocity.
"Look, Esmeralda!" she whispered. "For God's sake, what
shall we do? Look! Quick! The window!"
Esmeralda, cowering still closer to her mistress, took one
frightened glance toward the little square of moonlight, just
as the lioness emitted a low, savage snarl.
The sight that met the poor woman's eyes was too much
for the already overstrung nerves.
"Oh, Gaberelle!" she shrieked, and slid to the floor an inert
and senseless mass.
For what seemed an eternity the great brute stood with its
forepaws upon the sill, glaring into the little room. Presently
it tried the strength of the lattice with its great talons.
The girl had almost ceased to breathe, when, to her relief,
the head disappeared and she heard the brute's footsteps leaving
the window. But now they came to the door again, and
once more the scratching commenced; this time with increasing
force until the great beast was tearing at the massive panels
in a perfect frenzy of eagerness to seize its defenseless victims.
Could Jane have known the immense strength of that door,
built piece by piece, she would have felt less fear of the
lioness reaching her by this avenue.
Little did John Clayton imagine when he fashioned that
crude but mighty portal that one day, twenty years later, it
would shield a fair American girl, then unborn, from the
teeth and talons of a man-eater.
For fully twenty minutes the brute alternately sniffed and
tore at the door, occasionally giving voice to a wild, savage
cry of baffled rage. At length, however, she gave up the
attempt, and Jane heard her returning toward the window,
beneath which she paused for an instant, and then launched
her great weight against the timeworn lattice.
The girl heard the wooden rods groan beneath the impact; but
they held, and the huge body dropped back to the ground below.
Again and again the lioness repeated these tactics, until
finally the horrified prisoner within saw a portion of the
lattice give way, and in an instant one great paw and the head
of the animal were thrust within the room.
Slowly the powerful neck and shoulders spread the bars
apart, and the lithe body protruded farther and farther into
As in a trance, the girl rose, her hand upon her breast,
wide eyes staring horror-stricken into the snarling face of the
beast scarce ten feet from her. At her feet lay the prostrate
form of the Negress. If she could but arouse her, their combined
efforts might possibly avail to beat back the fierce and
Jane stooped to grasp the black woman by the shoulder.
Roughly she shook her.
"Esmeralda! Esmeralda!" she cried. "Help me, or we are lost."
Esmeralda opened her eyes. The first object they
encountered was the dripping fangs of the hungry lioness.
With a horrified scream the poor woman rose to her hands and
knees, and in this position scurried across the room, shrieking:
"O Gaberelle! O Gaberelle!" at the top of her lungs.
Esmeralda weighed some two hundred and eighty pounds,
and her extreme haste, added to her extreme corpulency,
produced a most amazing result when Esmeralda elected to
travel on all fours.
For a moment the lioness remained quiet with intense gaze
directed upon the flitting Esmeralda, whose goal appeared to
be the cupboard, into which she attempted to propel her huge
bulk; but as the shelves were but nine or ten inches apart, she
only succeeded in getting her head in; whereupon, with a final
screech, which paled the jungle noises into insignificance, she
fainted once again.
With the subsidence of Esmeralda the lioness renewed her
efforts to wriggle her huge bulk through the weakening lattice.
The girl, standing pale and rigid against the farther wall,
sought with ever-increasing terror for some loophole of escape.
Suddenly her hand, tight-pressed against her bosom, felt
the hard outline of the revolver that Clayton had left with
her earlier in the day.
Quickly she snatched it from its hiding-place, and, leveling
it full at the lioness's face, pulled the trigger.
There was a flash of flame, the roar of the discharge, and
an answering roar of pain and anger from the beast.
Jane Porter saw the great form disappear from the window,
and then she, too, fainted, the revolver falling at her side.
But Sabor was not killed. The bullet had but inflicted a
painful wound in one of the great shoulders. It was the
surprise at the blinding flash and the deafening roar that had
caused her hasty but temporary retreat.
In another instant she was back at the lattice, and with
renewed fury was clawing at the aperture, but with lessened
effect, since the wounded member was almost useless.
She saw her prey--the two women--lying senseless upon
the floor. There was no longer any resistance to be overcome.
Her meat lay before her, and Sabor had only to worm her
way through the lattice to claim it.
Slowly she forced her great bulk, inch by inch, through the
opening. Now her head was through, now one great forearm
Carefully she drew up the wounded member to insinuate it
gently beyond the tight pressing bars.
A moment more and both shoulders through, the long,
sinuous body and the narrow hips would glide quickly after.
It was on this sight that Jane Porter again opened her eyes.
The Forest God
When Clayton heard the report of the firearm he fell into
an agony of fear and apprehension. He knew that one of
the sailors might be the author of it; but the fact that he
had left the revolver with Jane, together with the overwrought
condition of his nerves, made him morbidly positive
that she was threatened with some great danger. Perhaps
even now she was attempting to defend herself against some
savage man or beast.
What were the thoughts of his strange captor or guide
Clayton could only vaguely conjecture; but that he had heard
the shot, and was in some manner affected by it was quite
evident, for he quickened his pace so appreciably that Clayton,
stumbling blindly in his wake, was down a dozen times
in as many minutes in a vain effort to keep pace with him,
and soon was left hopelessly behind.
Fearing that he would again be irretrievably lost, he called
aloud to the wild man ahead of him, and in a moment had the
satisfaction of seeing him drop lightly to his side from the
For a moment Tarzan looked at the young man closely, as
though undecided as to just what was best to do; then,
stooping down before Clayton, he motioned him to grasp him
about the neck, and, with the white man upon his back,
Tarzan took to the trees.
The next few minutes the young Englishman never forgot.
High into bending and swaying branches he was borne with
what seemed to him incredible swiftness, while Tarzan chafed
at the slowness of his progress.
From one lofty branch the agile creature swung with Clayton
through a dizzy arc to a neighboring tree; then for a hundred
yards maybe the sure feet threaded a maze of interwoven limbs,
balancing like a tightrope walker high above the black depths
of verdure beneath.
From the first sensation of chilling fear Clayton passed to
one of keen admiration and envy of those giant muscles and
that wondrous instinct or knowledge which guided this forest
god through the inky blackness of the night as easily and safely
as Clayton would have strolled a London street at high noon.
Occasionally they would enter a spot where the foliage
above was less dense, and the bright rays of the moon lit up
before Clayton's wondering eyes the strange path they were
At such times the man fairly caught his breath at sight of
the horrid depths below them, for Tarzan took the easiest
way, which often led over a hundred feet above the earth.
And yet with all his seeming speed, Tarzan was in reality
feeling his way with comparative slowness, searching
constantly for limbs of adequate strength for the maintenance
of this double weight.
Presently they came to the clearing before the beach.
Tarzan's quick ears had heard the strange sounds of Sabor's
efforts to force her way through the lattice, and it seemed to
Clayton that they dropped a straight hundred feet to earth, so
quickly did Tarzan descend. Yet when they struck the ground
it was with scarce a jar; and as Clayton released his hold on
the ape-man he saw him dart like a squirrel for the opposite
side of the cabin.
The Englishman sprang quickly after him just in time to
see the hind quarters of some huge animal about to disappear
through the window of the cabin.
As Jane opened her eyes to a realization of the imminent
peril which threatened her, her brave young heart gave up at
last its final vestige of hope. But then to her surprise she saw
the huge animal being slowly drawn back through the window,
and in the moonlight beyond she saw the heads and
shoulders of two men.
As Clayton rounded the corner of the cabin to behold the
animal disappearing within, it was also to see the ape-man
seize the long tail in both hands, and, bracing himself with
his feet against the side of the cabin, throw all his mighty
strength into the effort to draw the beast out of the interior.
Clayton was quick to lend a hand, but the ape-man jabbered
to him in a commanding and peremptory tone something
which Clayton knew to be orders, though he could not
At last, under their combined efforts, the great body was
slowly dragged farther and farther outside the window, and
then there came to Clayton's mind a dawning conception of
the rash bravery of his companion's act.
For a naked man to drag a shrieking, clawing man-eater
forth from a window by the tail to save a strange white girl,
was indeed the last word in heroism.
Insofar as Clayton was concerned it was a very different
matter, since the girl was not only of his own kind and race,
but was the one woman in all the world whom he loved.
Though he knew that the lioness would make short work
of both of them, he pulled with a will to keep it from Jane
Porter. And then he recalled the battle between this man and
the great, black-maned lion which he had witnessed a short
time before, and he commenced to feel more assurance.
Tarzan was still issuing orders which Clayton could not understand.
He was trying to tell the stupid white man to plunge his
poisoned arrows into Sabor's back and sides, and to reach the
savage heart with the long, thin hunting knife that hung at
Tarzan's hip; but the man would not understand, and Tarzan
did not dare release his hold to do the things himself, for he
knew that the puny white man never could hold mighty
Sabor alone, for an instant.
Slowly the lioness was emerging from the window. At last
her shoulders were out.
And then Clayton saw an incredible thing. Tarzan, racking
his brains for some means to cope single-handed with the
infuriated beast, had suddenly recalled his battle with Terkoz;
and as the great shoulders came clear of the window, so that
the lioness hung upon the sill only by her forepaws, Tarzan
suddenly released his hold upon the brute.
With the quickness of a striking rattler he launched himself
full upon Sabor's back, his strong young arms seeking and
gaining a full-Nelson upon the beast, as he had learned it that
other day during his bloody, wrestling victory over Terkoz.
With a roar the lioness turned completely over upon her
back, falling full upon her enemy; but the black-haired giant
only closed tighter his hold.
Pawing and tearing at earth and air, Sabor rolled and
threw herself this way and that in an effort to dislodge this
strange antagonist; but ever tighter and tighter drew the iron
bands that were forcing her head lower and lower upon her
Higher crept the steel forearms of the ape-man about the back
of Sabor's neck. Weaker and weaker became the lioness's efforts.
At last Clayton saw the immense muscles of Tarzan's
shoulders and biceps leap into corded knots beneath the silver
moonlight. There was a long sustained and supreme effort on
the ape-man's part--and the vertebrae of Sabor's neck parted
with a sharp snap.
In an instant Tarzan was upon his feet, and for the second
time that day Clayton heard the bull ape's savage roar of
victory. Then he heard Jane's agonized cry:
"Cecil--Mr. Clayton! Oh, what is it? What is it?"
Running quickly to the cabin door, Clayton called out that all
was right, and shouted to her to open the door. As quickly as
she could she raised the great bar and fairly dragged Clayton within.
"What was that awful noise?" she whispered, shrinking
close to him.
"It was the cry of the kill from the throat of the man who
has just saved your life, Miss Porter. Wait, I will fetch
him so you may thank him."
The frightened girl would not be left alone, so she
accompanied Clayton to the side of the cabin where lay
the dead body of the lioness.
Tarzan of the Apes was gone.
Clayton called several times, but there was no reply, and so
the two returned to the greater safety of the interior.
"What a frightful sound!" cried Jane, "I shudder at the
mere thought of it. Do not tell me that a human throat
voiced that hideous and fearsome shriek."
"But it did, Miss Porter," replied Clayton; "or at least if
not a human throat that of a forest god."
And then he told her of his experiences with this strange
creature--of how twice the wild man had saved his life--of
the wondrous strength, and agility, and bravery--of the
brown skin and the handsome face.
"I cannot make it out at all," he concluded. "At first I
thought he might be Tarzan of the Apes; but he neither
speaks nor understands English, so that theory is untenable."
"Well, whatever he may be," cried the girl, "we owe him
our lives, and may God bless him and keep him in safety in
his wild and savage jungle!"
"Amen," said Clayton, fervently.
"For the good Lord's sake, ain't I dead?"
The two turned to see Esmeralda sitting upright upon the
floor, her great eyes rolling from side to side as though she
could not believe their testimony as to her whereabouts.
And now, for Jane Porter, the reaction came, and she threw
herself upon the bench, sobbing with hysterical laughter.
Several miles south of the cabin, upon a strip of sandy
beach, stood two old men, arguing.
Before them stretched the broad Atlantic. At their backs
was the Dark Continent. Close around them loomed the
impenetrable blackness of the jungle.
Savage beasts roared and growled; noises, hideous and
weird, assailed their ears. They had wandered for miles in
search of their camp, but always in the wrong direction. They
were as hopelessly lost as though they suddenly had been
transported to another world.
At such a time, indeed, every fiber of their combined
intellects must have been concentrated upon the vital
question of the minute--the life-and-death question to
them of retracing their steps to camp.
Samuel T. Philander was speaking.
"But, my dear professor," he was saying, "I still maintain
that but for the victories of Ferdinand and Isabella over the
fifteenth-century Moors in Spain the world would be today a
thousand years in advance of where we now find ourselves.
The Moors were essentially a tolerant, broad-minded, liberal
race of agriculturists, artisans and merchants--the very type
of people that has made possible such civilization as we find
today in America and Europe--while the Spaniards--"
"Tut, tut, dear Mr. Philander," interrupted Professor Porter;
"their religion positively precluded the possibilities you
suggest. Moslemism was, is, and always will be, a blight on
that scientific progress which has marked--"
"Bless me! Professor," interjected Mr. Philander, who had
turned his gaze toward the jungle, "there seems to be someone
Professor Archimedes Q. Porter turned in the direction
indicated by the nearsighted Mr. Philander.
"Tut, tut, Mr. Philander," he chided. "How often must I
urge you to seek that absolute concentration of your mental
faculties which alone may permit you to bring to bear the
highest powers of intellectuality upon the momentous problems
which naturally fall to the lot of great minds? And now
I find you guilty of a most flagrant breach of courtesy in
interrupting my learned discourse to call attention to a mere
quadruped of the genus FELIS. As I was saying, Mr.--"
"Heavens, Professor, a lion?" cried Mr. Philander, straining
his weak eyes toward the dim figure outlined against the
dark tropical underbrush.
"Yes, yes, Mr. Philander, if you insist upon employing
slang in your discourse, a `lion.' But as I was saying--"
"Bless me, Professor," again interrupted Mr. Philander;
"permit me to suggest that doubtless the Moors who were
conquered in the fifteenth century will continue in that most
regrettable condition for the time being at least, even though
we postpone discussion of that world calamity until we may
attain the enchanting view of yon FELIS CARNIVORA which
distance proverbially is credited with lending."
In the meantime the lion had approached with quiet dignity
to within ten paces of the two men, where he stood curiously
The moonlight flooded the beach, and the strange group
stood out in bold relief against the yellow sand.
"Most reprehensible, most reprehensible," exclaimed Professor
Porter, with a faint trace of irritation in his voice.
"Never, Mr. Philander, never before in my life have I known
one of these animals to be permitted to roam at large from
its cage. I shall most certainly report this outrageous breach
of ethics to the directors of the adjacent zoological garden."
"Quite right, Professor," agreed Mr. Philander, "and the
sooner it is done the better. Let us start now."
Seizing the professor by the arm, Mr. Philander set off in
the direction that would put the greatest distance between
themselves and the lion.
They had proceeded but a short distance when a backward
glance revealed to the horrified gaze of Mr. Philander that
the lion was following them. He tightened his grip upon the
protesting professor and increased his speed.
"As I was saying, Mr. Philander," repeated Professor Porter.
Mr. Philander took another hasty glance rearward. The lion
also had quickened his gait, and was doggedly maintaining an
unvarying distance behind them.
"He is following us!" gasped Mr. Philander, breaking into a run.
"Tut, tut, Mr. Philander," remonstrated the professor, "this
unseemly haste is most unbecoming to men of letters. What
will our friends think of us, who may chance to be upon the
street and witness our frivolous antics? Pray let us proceed
with more decorum."
Mr. Philander stole another observation astern.
The lion was bounding along in easy leaps scarce five paces behind.
Mr. Philander dropped the professor's arm, and broke into
a mad orgy of speed that would have done credit to any
varsity track team.
"As I was saying, Mr. Philander--" screamed Professor
Porter, as, metaphorically speaking, he himself "threw her
into high." He, too, had caught a fleeting backward glimpse
of cruel yellow eyes and half open mouth within startling
proximity of his person.
With streaming coat tails and shiny silk hat Professor
Archimedes Q. Porter fled through the moonlight close upon
the heels of Mr. Samuel T. Philander.
Before them a point of the jungle ran out toward a narrow
promontory, and it was for the heaven of the trees he saw
there that Mr. Samuel T. Philander directed his prodigious
leaps and bounds; while from the shadows of this same spot
peered two keen eyes in interested appreciation of the race.
It was Tarzan of the Apes who watched, with face a-grin,
this odd game of follow-the-leader.
He knew the two men were safe enough from attack in so
far as the lion was concerned. The very fact that Numa had
foregone such easy prey at all convinced the wise forest craft
of Tarzan that Numa's belly already was full.
The lion might stalk them until hungry again; but the
chances were that if not angered he would soon tire of the
sport, and slink away to his jungle lair.
Really, the one great danger was that one of the men
might stumble and fall, and then the yellow devil would be
upon him in a moment and the joy of the kill would be too
great a temptation to withstand.
So Tarzan swung quickly to a lower limb in line with the
approaching fugitives; and as Mr. Samuel T. Philander came
panting and blowing beneath him, already too spent to struggle
up to the safety of the limb, Tarzan reached down and,
grasping him by the collar of his coat, yanked him to the
limb by his side.
Another moment brought the professor within the sphere
of the friendly grip, and he, too, was drawn upward to safety
just as the baffled Numa, with a roar, leaped to recover his
For a moment the two men clung panting to the great
branch, while Tarzan squatted with his back to the stem of
the tree, watching them with mingled curiosity and amusement.
It was the professor who first broke the silence.
"I am deeply pained, Mr. Philander, that you should have
evinced such a paucity of manly courage in the presence of
one of the lower orders, and by your crass timidity have
caused me to exert myself to such an unaccustomed degree in
order that I might resume my discourse. As I was saying, Mr.
Philander, when you interrupted me, the Moors--"
"Professor Archimedes Q. Porter," broke in Mr. Philander,
in icy tones, "the time has arrived when patience becomes a
crime and mayhem appears garbed in the mantle of virtue.
You have accused me of cowardice. You have insinuated that
you ran only to overtake me, not to escape the clutches of
the lion. Have a care, Professor Archimedes Q. Porter! I am
a desperate man. Goaded by long-suffering patience the
worm will turn."
"Tut, tut, Mr. Philander, tut, tut!" cautioned Professor
Porter; "you forget yourself."
"I forget nothing as yet, Professor Archimedes Q. Porter; but,
believe me, sir, I am tottering on the verge of forgetfulness
as to your exalted position in the world of science, and
your gray hairs."
The professor sat in silence for a few minutes, and the
darkness hid the grim smile that wreathed his wrinkled
countenance. Presently he spoke.
"Look here, Skinny Philander," he said, in belligerent tones,
"if you are lookin' for a scrap, peel off your coat and come
on down on the ground, and I'll punch your head just as I
did sixty years ago in the alley back of Porky Evans' barn."
"Ark!" gasped the astonished Mr. Philander. "Lordy, how
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