Tarzan of the Apes
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Part 4 out of 6
good that sounds! When you're human, Ark, I love you; but
somehow it seems as though you had forgotten how to be
human for the last twenty years."
The professor reached out a thin, trembling old hand
through the darkness until it found his old friend's shoulder.
"Forgive me, Skinny," he said, softly. "It hasn't been quite
twenty years, and God alone knows how hard I have tried to
be `human' for Jane's sake, and yours, too, since He took my
other Jane away."
Another old hand stole up from Mr. Philander's side to
clasp the one that lay upon his shoulder, and no other message
could better have translated the one heart to the other.
They did not speak for some minutes. The lion below them
paced nervously back and forth. The third figure in the tree
was hidden by the dense shadows near the stem. He, too, was
silent--motionless as a graven image.
"You certainly pulled me up into this tree just in time,"
said the professor at last. "I want to thank you. You saved
"But I didn't pull you up here, Professor," said Mr. Philander.
"Bless me! The excitement of the moment quite caused
me to forget that I myself was drawn up here by some outside
agency--there must be someone or something in this tree
"Eh?" ejaculated Professor Porter. "Are you quite positive,
"Most positive, Professor," replied Mr. Philander, "and,"
he added, "I think we should thank the party. He may be
sitting right next to you now, Professor."
"Eh? What's that? Tut, tut, Mr. Philander, tut, tut!" said
Professor Porter, edging cautiously nearer to Mr. Philander.
Just then it occurred to Tarzan of the Apes that Numa had
loitered beneath the tree for a sufficient length of time, so he
raised his young head toward the heavens, and there rang out
upon the terrified ears of the two old men the awful warning
challenge of the anthropoid.
The two friends, huddled trembling in their precarious position
on the limb, saw the great lion halt in his restless pacing as
the blood-curdling cry smote his ears, and then slink
quickly into the jungle, to be instantly lost to view.
"Even the lion trembles in fear," whispered Mr. Philander.
"Most remarkable, most remarkable," murmured Professor
Porter, clutching frantically at Mr. Philander to regain the
balance which the sudden fright had so perilously endangered.
Unfortunately for them both, Mr. Philander's center
of equilibrium was at that very moment hanging upon the
ragged edge of nothing, so that it needed but the gentle
impetus supplied by the additional weight of Professor Porter's
body to topple the devoted secretary from the limb.
For a moment they swayed uncertainly, and then, with
mingled and most unscholarly shrieks, they pitched headlong
from the tree, locked in frenzied embrace.
It was quite some moments ere either moved, for both
were positive that any such attempt would reveal so many
breaks and fractures as to make further progress impossible.
At length Professor Porter made an attempt to move one leg.
To his surprise, it responded to his will as in days gone
by. He now drew up its mate and stretched it forth again.
"Most remarkable, most remarkable," he murmured.
"Thank God, Professor," whispered Mr. Philander, fervently,
"you are not dead, then?"
"Tut, tut, Mr. Philander, tut, tut," cautioned Professor
Porter, "I do not know with accuracy as yet."
With infinite solicitude Professor Porter wiggled his right
arm--joy! It was intact. Breathlessly he waved his left arm
above his prostrate body--it waved!
"Most remarkable, most remarkable," he said.
"To whom are you signaling, Professor?" asked Mr. Philander,
in an excited tone.
Professor Porter deigned to make no response to this
puerile inquiry. Instead he raised his head gently from
the ground, nodding it back and forth a half dozen times.
"Most remarkable," he breathed. "It remains intact."
Mr. Philander had not moved from where he had fallen;
he had not dared the attempt. How indeed could one move
when one's arms and legs and back were broken?
One eye was buried in the soft loam; the other, rolling
sidewise, was fixed in awe upon the strange gyrations of
"How sad!" exclaimed Mr. Philander, half aloud. "Concussion
of the brain, superinducing total mental aberration. How
very sad indeed! and for one still so young!"
Professor Porter rolled over upon his stomach; gingerly he
bowed his back until he resembled a huge tom cat in proximity
to a yelping dog. Then he sat up and felt of various portions
of his anatomy.
"They are all here," he exclaimed. "Most remarkable!"
Whereupon he arose, and, bending a scathing glance upon
the still prostrate form of Mr. Samuel T. Philander, he said:
"Tut, tut, Mr. Philander; this is no time to indulge in slothful
ease. We must be up and doing."
Mr. Philander lifted his other eye out of the mud and
gazed in speechless rage at Professor Porter. Then he
attempted to rise; nor could there have been any more
surprised than he when his efforts were immediately crowned
with marked success.
He was still bursting with rage, however, at the cruel injustice
of Professor Porter's insinuation, and was on the point of
rendering a tart rejoinder when his eyes fell upon a strange
figure standing a few paces away, scrutinizing them intently.
Professor Porter had recovered his shiny silk hat, which he
had brushed carefully upon the sleeve of his coat and replaced
upon his head. When he saw Mr. Philander pointing to something
behind him he turned to behold a giant, naked but for a loin
cloth and a few metal ornaments, standing motionless before him.
"Good evening, sir!" said the professor, lifting his hat.
For reply the giant motioned them to follow him, and set off
up the beach in the direction from which they had recently come.
"I think it the better part of discretion to follow him," said
"Tut, tut, Mr. Philander," returned the professor. "A short
time since you were advancing a most logical argument in
substantiation of your theory that camp lay directly south of us.
I was skeptical, but you finally convinced me; so now I am
positive that toward the south we must travel to reach our
friends. Therefore I shall continue south."
"But, Professor Porter, this man may know better than either
of us. He seems to be indigenous to this part of the
world. Let us at least follow him for a short distance."
"Tut, tut, Mr. Philander," repeated the professor. "I am a
difficult man to convince, but when once convinced my decision
is unalterable. I shall continue in the proper direction, if
I have to circumambulate the continent of Africa to reach
Further argument was interrupted by Tarzan, who, seeing
that these strange men were not following him, had returned
to their side.
Again he beckoned to them; but still they stood in argument.
Presently the ape-man lost patience with their stupid ignorance.
He grasped the frightened Mr. Philander by the shoulder, and
before that worthy gentleman knew whether he was being
killed or merely maimed for life, Tarzan had tied one
end of his rope securely about Mr. Philander's neck.
"Tut, tut, Mr. Philander," remonstrated Professor Porter;
"it is most unbeseeming in you to submit to such indignities."
But scarcely were the words out of his mouth ere he, too,
had been seized and securely bound by the neck with the
same rope. Then Tarzan set off toward the north, leading the
now thoroughly frightened professor and his secretary.
In deathly silence they proceeded for what seemed hours to
the two tired and hopeless old men; but presently as they
topped a little rise of ground they were overjoyed to see the
cabin lying before them, not a hundred yards distant.
Here Tarzan released them, and, pointing toward the little
building, vanished into the jungle beside them.
"Most remarkable, most remarkable!" gasped the professor.
"But you see, Mr. Philander, that I was quite right, as
usual; and but for your stubborn willfulness we should have
escaped a series of most humiliating, not to say dangerous
accidents. Pray allow yourself to be guided by a more mature
and practical mind hereafter when in need of wise counsel."
Mr. Samuel T. Philander was too much relieved at the
happy outcome to their adventure to take umbrage at the
professor's cruel fling. Instead he grasped his friend's
arm and hastened him forward in the direction of the cabin.
It was a much-relieved party of castaways that found itself
once more united. Dawn discovered them still recounting
their various adventures and speculating upon the identity of
the strange guardian and protector they had found on this
Esmeralda was positive that it was none other than an
angel of the Lord, sent down especially to watch over them.
"Had you seen him devour the raw meat of the lion,
Esmeralda," laughed Clayton, "you would have thought
him a very material angel."
"There was nothing heavenly about his voice," said Jane
Porter, with a little shudder at recollection of the awful roar
which had followed the killing of the lioness.
"Nor did it precisely comport with my preconceived ideas
of the dignity of divine messengers," remarked Professor
Porter, "when the--ah--gentleman tied two highly respectable
and erudite scholars neck to neck and dragged them through
the jungle as though they had been cows."
As it was now quite light, the party, none of whom had
eaten or slept since the previous morning, began to bestir
themselves to prepare food.
The mutineers of the Arrow had landed a small supply of
dried meats, canned soups and vegetables, crackers, flour, tea,
and coffee for the five they had marooned, and these were
hurriedly drawn upon to satisfy the craving of long-famished
The next task was to make the cabin habitable, and to this
end it was decided to at once remove the gruesome relics of
the tragedy which had taken place there on some bygone day.
Professor Porter and Mr. Philander were deeply interested
in examining the skeletons. The two larger, they stated, had
belonged to a male and female of one of the higher white races.
The smallest skeleton was given but passing attention, as its
location, in the crib, left no doubt as to its having been the
infant offspring of this unhappy couple.
As they were preparing the skeleton of the man for burial,
Clayton discovered a massive ring which had evidently encircled
the man's finger at the time of his death, for one of the
slender bones of the hand still lay within the golden bauble.
Picking it up to examine it, Clayton gave a cry of astonishment,
for the ring bore the crest of the house of Greystoke.
At the same time, Jane discovered the books in the cupboard,
and on opening the fly-leaf of one of them saw the
name, JOHN CLAYTON, LONDON. In a second book which she
hurriedly examined was the single name, GREYSTOKE.
"Why, Mr. Clayton," she cried, "what does this mean?
Here are the names of some of your own people in these books."
"And here," he replied gravely, "is the great ring of the
house of Greystoke which has been lost since my uncle, John
Clayton, the former Lord Greystoke, disappeared, presumably
lost at sea."
"But how do you account for these things being here, in
this savage African jungle?" exclaimed the girl.
"There is but one way to account for it, Miss Porter," said
Clayton. "The late Lord Greystoke was not drowned. He
died here in this cabin and this poor thing upon the floor is
all that is mortal of him."
"Then this must have been Lady Greystoke," said Jane
reverently, indicating the poor mass of bones upon the bed.
"The beautiful Lady Alice," replied Clayton, "of whose many
virtues and remarkable personal charms I often have heard
my mother and father speak. Poor woman," he murmured sadly.
With deep reverence and solemnity the bodies of the late
Lord and Lady Greystoke were buried beside their little
African cabin, and between them was placed the tiny skeleton
of the baby of Kala, the ape.
As Mr. Philander was placing the frail bones of the infant
in a bit of sail cloth, he examined the skull minutely. Then he
called Professor Porter to his side, and the two argued in low
tones for several minutes.
"Most remarkable, most remarkable," said Professor Porter.
"Bless me," said Mr. Philander, "we must acquaint Mr.
Clayton with our discovery at once."
"Tut, tut, Mr. Philander, tut, tut!" remonstrated Professor
Archimedes Q. Porter. "`Let the dead past bury its dead.'"
And so the white-haired old man repeated the burial service
over this strange grave, while his four companions stood
with bowed and uncovered heads about him.
From the trees Tarzan of the Apes watched the solemn
ceremony; but most of all he watched the sweet face and
graceful figure of Jane Porter.
In his savage, untutored breast new emotions were stirring.
He could not fathom them. He wondered why he felt so
great an interest in these people--why he had gone to such
pains to save the three men. But he did not wonder why he
had torn Sabor from the tender flesh of the strange girl.
Surely the men were stupid and ridiculous and cowardly.
Even Manu, the monkey, was more intelligent than they. If
these were creatures of his own kind he was doubtful if his
past pride in blood was warranted.
But the girl, ah--that was a different matter. He did not
reason here. He knew that she was created to be protected,
and that he was created to protect her.
He wondered why they had dug a great hole in the ground
merely to bury dry bones. Surely there was no sense in that;
no one wanted to steal dry bones.
Had there been meat upon them he could have understood,
for thus alone might one keep his meat from Dango, the
hyena, and the other robbers of the jungle.
When the grave had been filled with earth the little party
turned back toward the cabin, and Esmeralda, still weeping
copiously for the two she had never heard of before today,
and who had been dead twenty years, chanced to glance toward
the harbor. Instantly her tears ceased.
"Look at them low down white trash out there!" she shrilled,
pointing toward the Arrow. "They-all's a desecrating
us, right here on this here perverted island."
And, sure enough, the Arrow was being worked toward the
open sea, slowly, through the harbor's entrance.
"They promised to leave us firearms and ammunition,"
said Clayton. "The merciless beasts!"
"It is the work of that fellow they call Snipes, I am sure,"
said Jane. "King was a scoundrel, but he had a little sense of
humanity. If they had not killed him I know that he would
have seen that we were properly provided for before they left
us to our fate."
"I regret that they did not visit us before sailing," said
Professor Porter. "I had proposed requesting them to leave the
treasure with us, as I shall be a ruined man if that is lost."
Jane looked at her father sadly.
"Never mind, dear," she said. "It wouldn't have done any
good, because it is solely for the treasure that they killed
their officers and landed us upon this awful shore."
"Tut, tut, child, tut, tut!" replied Professor Porter. "You
are a good child, but inexperienced in practical matters," and
Professor Porter turned and walked slowly away toward the
jungle, his hands clasped beneath his long coat tails and his
eyes bent upon the ground.
His daughter watched him with a pathetic smile upon her
lips, and then turning to Mr. Philander, she whispered:
"Please don't let him wander off again as he did yesterday.
We depend upon you, you know, to keep a close watch upon him."
"He becomes more difficult to handle each day," replied Mr.
Philander, with a sigh and a shake of his head. "I presume
he is now off to report to the directors of the Zoo that
one of their lions was at large last night. Oh, Miss Jane, you
don't know what I have to contend with."
"Yes, I do, Mr. Philander; but while we all love him, you
alone are best fitted to manage him; for, regardless of what
he may say to you, he respects your great learning, and,
therefore, has immense confidence in your judgment. The
poor dear cannot differentiate between erudition and wisdom."
Mr. Philander, with a mildly puzzled expression on his
face, turned to pursue Professor Porter, and in his mind he
was revolving the question of whether he should feel
complimented or aggrieved at Miss Porter's rather
Tarzan had seen the consternation depicted upon the faces
of the little group as they witnessed the departure of the
Arrow; so, as the ship was a wonderful novelty to him in
addition, he determined to hasten out to the point of land at the
north of the harbor's mouth and obtain a nearer view of the
boat, as well as to learn, if possible, the direction of its flight.
Swinging through the trees with great speed, he reached
the point only a moment after the ship had passed out of the
harbor, so that he obtained an excellent view of the wonders
of this strange, floating house.
There were some twenty men running hither and thither
about the deck, pulling and hauling on ropes.
A light land breeze was blowing, and the ship had been
worked through the harbor's mouth under scant sail, but now that
they had cleared the point every available shred of canvas was
being spread that she might stand out to sea as handily as possible.
Tarzan watched the graceful movements of the ship in rapt
admiration, and longed to be aboard her. Presently his keen
eyes caught the faintest suspicion of smoke on the far northern
horizon, and he wondered over the cause of such a thing
out on the great water.
About the same time the look-out on the Arrow must have
discerned it, for in a few minutes Tarzan saw the sails being
shifted and shortened. The ship came about, and presently he
knew that she was beating back toward land.
A man at the bows was constantly heaving into the sea a
rope to the end of which a small object was fastened. Tarzan
wondered what the purpose of this action might be.
At last the ship came up directly into the wind; the anchor
was lowered; down came the sails. There was great scurrying
about on deck.
A boat was lowered, and in it a great chest was placed.
Then a dozen sailors bent to the oars and pulled rapidly
toward the point where Tarzan crouched in the branches of a tree.
In the stern of the boat, as it drew nearer, Tarzan saw the
It was but a few minutes later that the boat touched the
beach. The men jumped out and lifted the great chest to the
sand. They were on the north side of the point so that their
presence was concealed from those at the cabin.
The men argued angrily for a moment. Then the rat-faced
one, with several companions, ascended the low bluff on
which stood the tree that concealed Tarzan. They looked
about for several minutes.
"Here is a good place," said the rat-faced sailor, indicating
a spot beneath Tarzan's tree.
"It is as good as any," replied one of his companions.
"If they catch us with the treasure aboard it will all be
confiscated anyway. We might as well bury it here on the
chance that some of us will escape the gallows to come
back and enjoy it later."
The rat-faced one now called to the men who had remained
at the boat, and they came slowly up the bank carrying
picks and shovels.
"Hurry, you!" cried Snipes.
"Stow it!" retorted one of the men, in a surly tone. "You're
no admiral, you damned shrimp."
"I'm Cap'n here, though, I'll have you to understand, you
swab," shrieked Snipes, with a volley of frightful oaths.
"Steady, boys," cautioned one of the men who had not
spoken before. "It ain't goin' to get us nothing by fightin'
"Right enough," replied the sailor who had resented
Snipes' autocratic tones; "but it ain't a-goin' to get nobody
nothin' to put on airs in this bloomin' company neither."
"You fellows dig here," said Snipes, indicating a spot beneath
the tree. "And while you're diggin', Peter kin be a-makin'
of a map of the location so's we kin find it again. You,
Tom, and Bill, take a couple more down and fetch up the chest."
"Wot are you a-goin' to do?" asked he of the previous
altercation. "Just boss?"
"Git busy there," growled Snipes. "You didn't think your
Cap'n was a-goin' to dig with a shovel, did you?"
The men all looked up angrily. None of them liked Snipes,
and this disagreeable show of authority since he had
murdered King, the real head and ringleader of the mutineers,
had only added fuel to the flames of their hatred.
"Do you mean to say that you don't intend to take a shovel,
and lend a hand with this work? Your shoulder's not hurt so
all-fired bad as that," said Tarrant, the sailor who had
"Not by a damned sight," replied Snipes, fingering the butt
of his revolver nervously.
"Then, by God," replied Tarrant, "if you won't take a
shovel you'll take a pickax."
With the words he raised his pick above his head, and, with
a mighty blow, he buried the point in Snipes' brain.
For a moment the men stood silently looking at the result
of their fellow's grim humor. Then one of them spoke.
"Served the skunk jolly well right," he said.
One of the others commenced to ply his pick to the
ground. The soil was soft and he threw aside the pick and
grasped a shovel; then the others joined him. There was no
further comment on the killing, but the men worked in a better
frame of mind than they had since Snipes had assumed command.
When they had a trench of ample size to bury the chest,
Tarrant suggested that they enlarge it and inter Snipes' body
on top of the chest.
"It might 'elp fool any as 'appened to be diggin'
'ereabouts," he explained.
The others saw the cunning of the suggestion, and so the
trench was lengthened to accommodate the corpse, and in the
center a deeper hole was excavated for the box, which was
first wrapped in sailcloth and then lowered to its place, which
brought its top about a foot below the bottom of the grave.
Earth was shovelled in and tramped down about the chest
until the bottom of the grave showed level and uniform.
Two of the men rolled the rat-faced corpse unceremoniously
into the grave, after first stripping it of its weapons and
various other articles which the several members of the party
coveted for their own.
They then filled the grave with earth and tramped upon it
until it would hold no more.
The balance of the loose earth was thrown far and wide,
and a mass of dead undergrowth spread in as natural a manner
as possible over the new-made grave to obliterate all signs
of the ground having been disturbed.
Their work done the sailors returned to the small boat, and
pulled off rapidly toward the Arrow.
The breeze had increased considerably, and as the smoke
upon the horizon was now plainly discernible in considerable
volume, the mutineers lost no time in getting under full sail
and bearing away toward the southwest.
Tarzan, an interested spectator of all that had taken place, sat
speculating on the strange actions of these peculiar creatures.
Men were indeed more foolish and more cruel than the
beasts of the jungle! How fortunate was he who lived in the
peace and security of the great forest!
Tarzan wondered what the chest they had buried contained.
If they did not want it why did they not merely throw
it into the water? That would have been much easier.
Ah, he thought, but they do want it. They have hidden it
here because they intend returning for it later.
Tarzan dropped to the ground and commenced to examine
the earth about the excavation. He was looking to see if these
creatures had dropped anything which he might like to own.
Soon he discovered a spade hidden by the underbrush which
they had laid upon the grave.
He seized it and attempted to use it as he had seen the sailors
do. It was awkward work and hurt his bare feet, but he
persevered until he had partially uncovered the body. This he
dragged from the grave and laid to one side.
Then he continued digging until he had unearthed the chest.
This also he dragged to the side of the corpse. Then he
filled in the smaller hole below the grave, replaced the body
and the earth around and above it, covered it over with
underbrush, and returned to the chest.
Four sailors had sweated beneath the burden of its weight
--Tarzan of the Apes picked it up as though it had been an
empty packing case, and with the spade slung to his back by a
piece of rope, carried it off into the densest part of the jungle.
He could not well negotiate the trees with his awkward burden,
but he kept to the trails, and so made fairly good time.
For several hours he traveled a little north of east until he
came to an impenetrable wall of matted and tangled vegetation.
Then he took to the lower branches, and in another fifteen
minutes he emerged into the amphitheater of the apes, where
they met in council, or to celebrate the rites of the Dum-Dum.
Near the center of the clearing, and not far from the
drum, or altar, he commenced to dig. This was harder work
than turning up the freshly excavated earth at the grave, but
Tarzan of the Apes was persevering and so he kept at his
labor until he was rewarded by seeing a hole sufficiently deep
to receive the chest and effectually hide it from view.
Why had he gone to all this labor without knowing the
value of the contents of the chest?
Tarzan of the Apes had a man's figure and a man's brain,
but he was an ape by training and environment. His brain
told him that the chest contained something valuable, or the
men would not have hidden it. His training had taught him to
imitate whatever was new and unusual, and now the natural
curiosity, which is as common to men as to apes, prompted
him to open the chest and examine its contents.
But the heavy lock and massive iron bands baffled both his
cunning and his immense strength, so that he was compelled
to bury the chest without having his curiosity satisfied.
By the time Tarzan had hunted his way back to the vicinity
of the cabin, feeding as he went, it was quite dark.
Within the little building a light was burning, for Clayton
had found an unopened tin of oil which had stood intact for
twenty years, a part of the supplies left with the Claytons by
Black Michael. The lamps also were still useable, and thus
the interior of the cabin appeared as bright as day to the
He had often wondered at the exact purpose of the lamps.
His reading and the pictures had told him what they were,
but he had no idea of how they could be made to produce
the wondrous sunlight that some of his pictures had
portrayed them as diffusing upon all surrounding objects.
As he approached the window nearest the door he saw that
the cabin had been divided into two rooms by a rough
partition of boughs and sailcloth.
In the front room were the three men; the two older deep
in argument, while the younger, tilted back against the wall
on an improvised stool, was deeply engrossed in reading one
of Tarzan's books.
Tarzan was not particularly interested in the men, however,
so he sought the other window. There was the girl. How
beautiful her features! How delicate her snowy skin!
She was writing at Tarzan's own table beneath the window.
Upon a pile of grasses at the far side of the room lay the
For an hour Tarzan feasted his eyes upon her while she
wrote. How he longed to speak to her, but he dared not
attempt it, for he was convinced that, like the young man, she
would not understand him, and he feared, too, that he might
frighten her away.
At length she arose, leaving her manuscript upon the table.
She went to the bed upon which had been spread several layers
of soft grasses. These she rearranged.
Then she loosened the soft mass of golden hair which
crowned her head. Like a shimmering waterfall turned to
burnished metal by a dying sun it fell about her oval face;
in waving lines, below her waist it tumbled.
Tarzan was spellbound. Then she extinguished the lamp
and all within the cabin was wrapped in Cimmerian darkness.
Still Tarzan watched. Creeping close beneath the window
he waited, listening, for half an hour. At last he was
rewarded by the sounds of the regular breathing within which
Cautiously he intruded his hand between the meshes of the
lattice until his whole arm was within the cabin. Carefully he
felt upon the desk. At last he grasped the manuscript upon
which Jane Porter had been writing, and as cautiously withdrew
his arm and hand, holding the precious treasure.
Tarzan folded the sheets into a small parcel which he
tucked into the quiver with his arrows. Then he melted away
into the jungle as softly and as noiselessly as a shadow.
The Jungle Toll
Early the following morning Tarzan awoke, and his first
thought of the new day, as the last of yesterday, was of
the wonderful writing which lay hidden in his quiver.
Hurriedly he brought it forth, hoping against hope that he
could read what the beautiful white girl had written there
the preceding evening.
At the first glance he suffered a bitter disappointment;
never before had he so yearned for anything as now he did
for the ability to interpret a message from that golden-haired
divinity who had come so suddenly and so unexpectedly into
What did it matter if the message were not intended for
him? It was an expression of her thoughts, and that was
sufficient for Tarzan of the Apes.
And now to be baffled by strange, uncouth characters the
like of which he had never seen before! Why, they even
tipped in the opposite direction from all that he had ever
examined either in printed books or the difficult script of
the few letters he had found.
Even the little bugs of the black book were familiar
friends, though their arrangement meant nothing to him; but
these bugs were new and unheard of.
For twenty minutes he pored over them, when suddenly
they commenced to take familiar though distorted shapes.
Ah, they were his old friends, but badly crippled.
Then he began to make out a word here and a word there.
His heart leaped for joy. He could read it, and he would.
In another half hour he was progressing rapidly, and, but
for an exceptional word now and again, he found it very
Here is what he read:
WEST COAST OF AFRICA, ABOUT 10X DEGREES SOUTH
LATITUDE. (So Mr. Clayton says.)
February 3 (?), 1909.
It seems foolish to write you a letter that you may never
see, but I simply must tell somebody of our awful experiences
since we sailed from Europe on the ill-fated Arrow.
If we never return to civilization, as now seems only too
likely, this will at least prove a brief record of the events
which led up to our final fate, whatever it may be.
As you know, we were supposed to have set out upon a
scientific expedition to the Congo. Papa was presumed to
entertain some wondrous theory of an unthinkably ancient
civilization, the remains of which lay buried somewhere in the
Congo valley. But after we were well under sail the truth
It seems that an old bookworm who has a book and curio
shop in Baltimore discovered between the leaves of a very old
Spanish manuscript a letter written in 1550 detailing the
adventures of a crew of mutineers of a Spanish galleon bound
from Spain to South America with a vast treasure of "doubloons"
and "pieces of eight," I suppose, for they certainly
sound weird and piraty.
The writer had been one of the crew, and the letter was to
his son, who was, at the very time the letter was written,
master of a Spanish merchantman.
Many years had elapsed since the events the letter narrated
had transpired, and the old man had become a respected citizen
of an obscure Spanish town, but the love of gold was still
so strong upon him that he risked all to acquaint his son with
the means of attaining fabulous wealth for them both.
The writer told how when but a week out from Spain the crew
had mutinied and murdered every officer and man who opposed
them; but they defeated their own ends by this very act, for
there was none left competent to navigate a ship at sea.
They were blown hither and thither for two months, until
sick and dying of scurvy, starvation, and thirst, they had
been wrecked on a small islet.
The galleon was washed high upon the beach where she
went to pieces; but not before the survivors, who numbered
but ten souls, had rescued one of the great chests of treasure.
This they buried well up on the island, and for three years
they lived there in constant hope of being rescued.
One by one they sickened and died, until only one man
was left, the writer of the letter.
The men had built a boat from the wreckage of the galleon,
but having no idea where the island was located they
had not dared to put to sea.
When all were dead except himself, however, the awful
loneliness so weighed upon the mind of the sole survivor that
he could endure it no longer, and choosing to risk death upon
the open sea rather than madness on the lonely isle, he set
sail in his little boat after nearly a year of solitude.
Fortunately he sailed due north, and within a week was in
the track of the Spanish merchantmen plying between the
West Indies and Spain, and was picked up by one of these
vessels homeward bound.
The story he told was merely one of shipwreck in which all
but a few had perished, the balance, except himself, dying
after they reached the island. He did not mention the mutiny
or the chest of buried treasure.
The master of the merchantman assured him that from the
position at which they had picked him up, and the prevailing
winds for the past week he could have been on no other island
than one of the Cape Verde group, which lie off the
West Coast of Africa in about 16x or 17x north latitude.
His letter described the island minutely, as well as the
location of the treasure, and was accompanied by the crudest,
funniest little old map you ever saw; with trees and rocks all
marked by scrawly X's to show the exact spot where the
treasure had been buried.
When papa explained the real nature of the expedition, my
heart sank, for I know so well how visionary and impractical
the poor dear has always been that I feared that he had again
been duped; especially when he told me he had paid a thousand
dollars for the letter and map.
To add to my distress, I learned that he had borrowed ten
thousand dollars more from Robert Canler, and had given his
notes for the amount.
Mr. Canler had asked for no security, and you know,
dearie, what that will mean for me if papa cannot meet
them. Oh, how I detest that man!
We all tried to look on the bright side of things, but Mr.
Philander, and Mr. Clayton--he joined us in London just for
the adventure--both felt as skeptical as I.
Well, to make a long story short, we found the island and
the treasure--a great iron-bound oak chest, wrapped in many
layers of oiled sailcloth, and as strong and firm as when it
had been buried nearly two hundred years ago.
It was SIMPLY FILLED with gold coin, and was so heavy that
four men bent underneath its weight.
The horrid thing seems to bring nothing but murder and
misfortune to those who have anything to do with it, for
three days after we sailed from the Cape Verde Islands our
own crew mutinied and killed every one of their officers.
Oh, it was the most terrifying experience one could
imagine--I cannot even write of it.
They were going to kill us too, but one of them, the leader,
named King, would not let them, and so they sailed south
along the coast to a lonely spot where they found a good
harbor, and here they landed and have left us.
They sailed away with the treasure to-day, but Mr. Clayton
says they will meet with a fate similar to the mutineers of the
ancient galleon, because King, the only man aboard who
knew aught of navigation, was murdered on the beach by one
of the men the day we landed.
I wish you could know Mr. Clayton; he is the dearest fellow
imaginable, and unless I am mistaken he has fallen very
much in love with me.
He is the only son of Lord Greystoke, and some day will inherit
the title and estates. In addition, he is wealthy in his own
right, but the fact that he is going to be an English Lord
makes me very sad--you know what my sentiments have always
been relative to American girls who married titled foreigners.
Oh, if he were only a plain American gentleman!
But it isn't his fault, poor fellow, and in everything except
birth he would do credit to my country, and that is the greatest
compliment I know how to pay any man.
We have had the most weird experiences since we were
landed here. Papa and Mr. Philander lost in the jungle,
and chased by a real lion.
Mr. Clayton lost, and attacked twice by wild beasts.
Esmeralda and I cornered in an old cabin by a perfectly awful
man-eating lioness. Oh, it was simply "terrifical," as Esmeralda
But the strangest part of it all is the wonderful creature
who rescued us. I have not seen him, but Mr. Clayton and
papa and Mr. Philander have, and they say that he is a
perfectly god-like white man tanned to a dusky brown, with the
strength of a wild elephant, the agility of a monkey, and the
bravery of a lion.
He speaks no English and vanishes as quickly and as
mysteriously after he has performed some valorous deed, as
though he were a disembodied spirit.
Then we have another weird neighbor, who printed a
beautiful sign in English and tacked it on the door of his
cabin, which we have preempted, warning us to destroy none
of his belongings, and signing himself "Tarzan of the Apes."
We have never seen him, though we think he is about, for
one of the sailors, who was going to shoot Mr. Clayton in the
back, received a spear in his shoulder from some unseen
hand in the jungle.
The sailors left us but a meager supply of food, so, as we
have only a single revolver with but three cartridges left in it,
we do not know how we can procure meat, though Mr. Philander
says that we can exist indefinitely on the wild fruit and
nuts which abound in the jungle.
I am very tired now, so I shall go to my funny bed of
grasses which Mr. Clayton gathered for me, but will add to
this from day to day as things happen.
TO HAZEL STRONG, BALTIMORE, MD.
Tarzan sat in a brown study for a long time after he finished
reading the letter. It was filled with so many new and
wonderful things that his brain was in a whirl as he attempted
to digest them all.
So they did not know that he was Tarzan of the Apes. He
would tell them.
In his tree he had constructed a rude shelter of leaves and
boughs, beneath which, protected from the rain, he had
placed the few treasures brought from the cabin. Among
these were some pencils.
He took one, and beneath Jane Porter's signature he wrote:
I am Tarzan of the Apes
He thought that would be sufficient. Later he would return
the letter to the cabin.
In the matter of food, thought Tarzan, they had no need to
worry--he would provide, and he did.
The next morning Jane found her missing letter in the
exact spot from which it had disappeared two nights before.
She was mystified; but when she saw the printed words beneath
her signature, she felt a cold, clammy chill run up her
spine. She showed the letter, or rather the last sheet
with the signature, to Clayton.
"And to think," she said, "that uncanny thing was probably
watching me all the time that I was writing--oo! It makes me
shudder just to think of it."
"But he must be friendly," reassured Clayton, "for he has
returned your letter, nor did he offer to harm you, and unless
I am mistaken he left a very substantial memento of his
friendship outside the cabin door last night, for I just found
the carcass of a wild boar there as I came out."
From then on scarcely a day passed that did not bring its
offering of game or other food. Sometimes it was a young
deer, again a quantity of strange, cooked food--cassava
cakes pilfered from the village of Mbonga--or a boar, or
leopard, and once a lion.
Tarzan derived the greatest pleasure of his life in hunting
meat for these strangers. It seemed to him that no pleasure
on earth could compare with laboring for the welfare and
protection of the beautiful white girl.
Some day he would venture into the camp in daylight and
talk with these people through the medium of the little bugs
which were familiar to them and to Tarzan.
But he found it difficult to overcome the timidity of the
wild thing of the forest, and so day followed day without
seeing a fulfillment of his good intentions.
The party in the camp, emboldened by familiarity, wandered
farther and yet farther into the jungle in search of nuts
Scarcely a day passed that did not find Professor Porter
straying in his preoccupied indifference toward the jaws of
death. Mr. Samuel T. Philander, never what one might call
robust, was worn to the shadow of a shadow through the
ceaseless worry and mental distraction resultant from his
Herculean efforts to safeguard the professor.
A month passed. Tarzan had finally determined to visit the
camp by daylight.
It was early afternoon. Clayton had wandered to the point
at the harbor's mouth to look for passing vessels. Here he
kept a great mass of wood, high piled, ready to be ignited as
a signal should a steamer or a sail top the far horizon.
Professor Porter was wandering along the beach south of
the camp with Mr. Philander at his elbow, urging him to turn
his steps back before the two became again the sport of some
The others gone, Jane and Esmeralda had wandered into the
jungle to gather fruit, and in their search were led farther
and farther from the cabin.
Tarzan waited in silence before the door of the little house
until they should return. His thoughts were of the beautiful
white girl. They were always of her now. He wondered if she
would fear him, and the thought all but caused him to relinquish
He was rapidly becoming impatient for her return, that he
might feast his eyes upon her and be near her, perhaps touch
her. The ape-man knew no god, but he was as near to
worshipping his divinity as mortal man ever comes to worship.
While he waited he passed the time printing a message to
her; whether he intended giving it to her he himself could not
have told, but he took infinite pleasure in seeing his thoughts
expressed in print--in which he was not so uncivilized after
all. He wrote:
I am Tarzan of the Apes. I want you. I am yours. You are
mine. We live here together always in my house. I will bring
you the best of fruits, the tenderest deer, the finest meats that
roam the jungle. I will hunt for you. I am the greatest of the
jungle fighters. I will fight for you. I am the mightiest of the
jungle fighters. You are Jane Porter, I saw it in your letter.
When you see this you will know that it is for you and that
Tarzan of the Apes loves you.
As he stood, straight as a young Indian, by the door, waiting
after he had finished the message, there came to his keen
ears a familiar sound. It was the passing of a great ape
through the lower branches of the forest.
For an instant he listened intently, and then from the jungle
came the agonized scream of a woman, and Tarzan of the
Apes, dropping his first love letter upon the ground, shot like
a panther into the forest.
Clayton, also, heard the scream, and Professor Porter and
Mr. Philander, and in a few minutes they came panting to
the cabin, calling out to each other a volley of excited
questions as they approached. A glance within confirmed
their worst fears.
Jane and Esmeralda were not there.
Instantly, Clayton, followed by the two old men, plunged
into the jungle, calling the girl's name aloud. For half an
hour they stumbled on, until Clayton, by merest chance,
came upon the prostrate form of Esmeralda.
He stopped beside her, feeling for her pulse and then
listening for her heartbeats. She lived. He shook her.
"Esmeralda!" he shrieked in her ear. "Esmeralda! For God's
sake, where is Miss Porter? What has happened? Esmeralda!"
Slowly Esmeralda opened her eyes. She saw Clayton. She
saw the jungle about her.
"Oh, Gaberelle!" she screamed, and fainted again.
By this time Professor Porter and Mr. Philander had come up.
"What shall we do, Mr. Clayton?" asked the old professor.
"Where shall we look? God could not have been so cruel as
to take my little girl away from me now."
"We must arouse Esmeralda first," replied Clayton. "She
can tell us what has happened. Esmeralda!" he cried again,
shaking the black woman roughly by the shoulder.
"O Gaberelle, I want to die!" cried the poor woman, but
with eyes fast closed. "Let me die, dear Lord, don't let
me see that awful face again."
"Come, come, Esmeralda," cried Clayton.
"The Lord isn't here; it's Mr. Clayton. Open your eyes."
Esmeralda did as she was bade.
"O Gaberelle! Thank the Lord," she said.
"Where's Miss Porter? What happened?" questioned Clayton.
"Ain't Miss Jane here?" cried Esmeralda, sitting up with
wonderful celerity for one of her bulk. "Oh, Lord, now I
remember! It must have took her away," and the Negress
commenced to sob, and wail her lamentations.
"What took her away?" cried Professor Porter.
"A great big giant all covered with hair."
"A gorilla, Esmeralda?" questioned Mr. Philander, and the
three men scarcely breathed as he voiced the horrible thought.
"I thought it was the devil; but I guess it must have been
one of them gorilephants. Oh, my poor baby, my poor little
honey," and again Esmeralda broke into uncontrollable sobbing.
Clayton immediately began to look about for tracks, but he
could find nothing save a confusion of trampled grasses in
the close vicinity, and his woodcraft was too meager for the
translation of what he did see.
All the balance of the day they sought through the jungle;
but as night drew on they were forced to give up in despair
and hopelessness, for they did not even know in what
direction the thing had borne Jane.
It was long after dark ere they reached the cabin, and a sad
and grief-stricken party it was that sat silently within the
Professor Porter finally broke the silence. His tones were
no longer those of the erudite pedant theorizing upon the
abstract and the unknowable; but those of the man of action--
determined, but tinged also by a note of indescribable
hopelessness and grief which wrung an answering pang from
"I shall lie down now," said the old man, "and try to sleep.
Early to-morrow, as soon as it is light, I shall take what food
I can carry and continue the search until I have found Jane. I
will not return without her."
His companions did not reply at once. Each was immersed
in his own sorrowful thoughts, and each knew, as did the old
professor, what the last words meant--Professor Porter
would never return from the jungle.
At length Clayton arose and laid his hand gently upon
Professor Porter's bent old shoulder.
"I shall go with you, of course," he said.
"I knew that you would offer--that you would wish to go,
Mr. Clayton; but you must not. Jane is beyond human
assistance now. What was once my dear little girl shall
not lie alone and friendless in the awful jungle.
"The same vines and leaves will cover us, the same rains beat
upon us; and when the spirit of her mother is abroad, it will
find us together in death, as it has always found us in life.
"No; it is I alone who may go, for she was my daughter--
all that was left on earth for me to love."
"I shall go with you," said Clayton simply.
The old man looked up, regarding the strong, handsome face
of William Cecil Clayton intently. Perhaps he read there the
love that lay in the heart beneath--the love for his daughter.
He had been too preoccupied with his own scholarly
thoughts in the past to consider the little occurrences, the
chance words, which would have indicated to a more practical
man that these young people were being drawn more and
more closely to one another. Now they came back to him,
one by one.
"As you wish," he said.
"You may count on me, also," said Mr. Philander.
"No, my dear old friend," said Professor Porter. "We may not
all go. It would be cruelly wicked to leave poor Esmeralda here
alone, and three of us would be no more successful than one.
"There be enough dead things in the cruel forest as it is.
Come--let us try to sleep a little."
The Call of the Primitive
From the time Tarzan left the tribe of great anthropoids in
which he had been raised, it was torn by continual strife
and discord. Terkoz proved a cruel and capricious king, so
that, one by one, many of the older and weaker apes, upon whom
he was particularly prone to vent his brutish nature, took their
families and sought the quiet and safety of the far interior.
But at last those who remained were driven to desperation
by the continued truculence of Terkoz, and it so happened
that one of them recalled the parting admonition of Tarzan:
"If you have a chief who is cruel, do not do as the other
apes do, and attempt, any one of you, to pit yourself against
him alone. But, instead, let two or three or four of you attack
him together. Then, if you will do this, no chief will dare to
be other than he should be, for four of you can kill any chief
who may ever be over you."
And the ape who recalled this wise counsel repeated it to
several of his fellows, so that when Terkoz returned to the
tribe that day he found a warm reception awaiting him.
There were no formalities. As Terkoz reached the group,
five huge, hairy beasts sprang upon him.
At heart he was an arrant coward, which is the way with
bullies among apes as well as among men; so he did not remain
to fight and die, but tore himself away from them as quickly
as he could and fled into the sheltering boughs of the forest.
Two more attempts he made to rejoin the tribe, but on
each occasion he was set upon and driven away. At last he
gave it up, and turned, foaming with rage and hatred, into
For several days he wandered aimlessly, nursing his spite and
looking for some weak thing on which to vent his pent anger.
It was in this state of mind that the horrible, man-like
beast, swinging from tree to tree, came suddenly upon two
women in the jungle.
He was right above them when he discovered them. The
first intimation Jane Porter had of his presence was when the
great hairy body dropped to the earth beside her, and she saw
the awful face and the snarling, hideous mouth thrust within
a foot of her.
One piercing scream escaped her lips as the brute hand
clutched her arm. Then she was dragged toward those awful
fangs which yawned at her throat. But ere they touched that
fair skin another mood claimed the anthropoid.
The tribe had kept his women. He must find others to replace
them. This hairless white ape would be the first of his new
household, and so he threw her roughly across his broad, hairy
shoulders and leaped back into the trees, bearing Jane away.
Esmeralda's scream of terror had mingled once with that
of Jane, and then, as was Esmeralda's manner under stress of
emergency which required presence of mind, she swooned.
But Jane did not once lose consciousness. It is true that
that awful face, pressing close to hers, and the stench of the
foul breath beating upon her nostrils, paralyzed her with terror;
but her brain was clear, and she comprehended all that transpired.
With what seemed to her marvelous rapidity the brute bore her
through the forest, but still she did not cry out or struggle.
The sudden advent of the ape had confused her to such an extent
that she thought now that he was bearing her toward the beach.
For this reason she conserved her energies and her voice
until she could see that they had approached near enough to
the camp to attract the succor she craved.
She could not have known it, but she was being borne farther
and farther into the impenetrable jungle.
The scream that had brought Clayton and the two older
men stumbling through the undergrowth had led Tarzan of the
Apes straight to where Esmeralda lay, but it was not
Esmeralda in whom his interest centered, though pausing
over her he saw that she was unhurt.
For a moment he scrutinized the ground below and the
trees above, until the ape that was in him by virtue of
training and environment, combined with the intelligence that was
his by right of birth, told his wondrous woodcraft the whole
story as plainly as though he had seen the thing happen with
his own eyes.
And then he was gone again into the swaying trees, following
the high-flung spoor which no other human eye could
have detected, much less translated.
At boughs' ends, where the anthropoid swings from one tree
to another, there is most to mark the trail, but least to
point the direction of the quarry; for there the pressure is
downward always, toward the small end of the branch, whether
the ape be leaving or entering a tree. Nearer the center of
the tree, where the signs of passage are fainter, the direction
is plainly marked.
Here, on this branch, a caterpillar has been crushed by the
fugitive's great foot, and Tarzan knows instinctively where
that same foot would touch in the next stride. Here he looks
to find a tiny particle of the demolished larva, ofttimes not
more than a speck of moisture.
Again, a minute bit of bark has been upturned by the
scraping hand, and the direction of the break indicates the
direction of the passage. Or some great limb, or the stem of the
tree itself has been brushed by the hairy body, and a tiny
shred of hair tells him by the direction from which it is
wedged beneath the bark that he is on the right trail.
Nor does he need to check his speed to catch these seemingly
faint records of the fleeing beast.
To Tarzan they stand out boldly against all the myriad
other scars and bruises and signs upon the leafy way. But
strongest of all is the scent, for Tarzan is pursuing up the
wind, and his trained nostrils are as sensitive as a hound's.
There are those who believe that the lower orders are
specially endowed by nature with better olfactory nerves
than man, but it is merely a matter of development.
Man's survival does not hinge so greatly upon the perfection
of his senses. His power to reason has relieved them of
many of their duties, and so they have, to some extent,
atrophied, as have the muscles which move the ears and scalp,
merely from disuse.
The muscles are there, about the ears and beneath the scalp,
and so are the nerves which transmit sensations to the brain,
but they are under-developed because they are not needed.
Not so with Tarzan of the Apes. From early infancy his
survival had depended upon acuteness of eyesight, hearing,
smell, touch, and taste far more than upon the more slowly
developed organ of reason.
The least developed of all in Tarzan was the sense of taste,
for he could eat luscious fruits, or raw flesh, long buried
with almost equal appreciation; but in that he differed but
slightly from more civilized epicures.
Almost silently the ape-man sped on in the track of Terkoz
and his prey, but the sound of his approach reached the ears
of the fleeing beast and spurred it on to greater speed.
Three miles were covered before Tarzan overtook them, and
then Terkoz, seeing that further flight was futile, dropped
to the ground in a small open glade, that he might turn and
fight for his prize or be free to escape unhampered if he saw
that the pursuer was more than a match for him.
He still grasped Jane in one great arm as Tarzan bounded
like a leopard into the arena which nature had provided for
this primeval-like battle.
When Terkoz saw that it was Tarzan who pursued him, he
jumped to the conclusion that this was Tarzan's woman, since
they were of the same kind--white and hairless--and so he
rejoiced at this opportunity for double revenge upon his
To Jane the strange apparition of this god-like man was as
wine to sick nerves.
From the description which Clayton and her father and
Mr. Philander had given her, she knew that it must be the
same wonderful creature who had saved them, and she saw in
him only a protector and a friend.
But as Terkoz pushed her roughly aside to meet Tarzan's
charge, and she saw the great proportions of the ape and the
mighty muscles and the fierce fangs, her heart quailed. How
could any vanquish such a mighty antagonist?
Like two charging bulls they came together, and like two
wolves sought each other's throat. Against the long canines of
the ape was pitted the thin blade of the man's knife.
Jane--her lithe, young form flattened against the trunk of
a great tree, her hands tight pressed against her rising and
falling bosom, and her eyes wide with mingled horror,
fascination, fear, and admiration--watched the primordial ape
battle with the primeval man for possession of a woman--for her.
As the great muscles of the man's back and shoulders knotted
beneath the tension of his efforts, and the huge biceps
and forearm held at bay those mighty tusks, the veil of
centuries of civilization and culture was swept from the
blurred vision of the Baltimore girl.
When the long knife drank deep a dozen times of Terkoz'
heart's blood, and the great carcass rolled lifeless upon
the ground, it was a primeval woman who sprang forward with
outstretched arms toward the primeval man who had fought
for her and won her.
He did what no red-blooded man needs lessons in doing.
He took his woman in his arms and smothered her upturned,
panting lips with kisses.
For a moment Jane lay there with half-closed eyes. For a
moment--the first in her young life--she knew the meaning
But as suddenly as the veil had been withdrawn it dropped
again, and an outraged conscience suffused her face with its
scarlet mantle, and a mortified woman thrust Tarzan of the
Apes from her and buried her face in her hands.
Tarzan had been surprised when he had found the girl he had
learned to love after a vague and abstract manner a willing
prisoner in his arms. Now he was surprised that she repulsed him.
He came close to her once more and took hold of her arm.
She turned upon him like a tigress, striking his great breast
with her tiny hands.
Tarzan could not understand it.
A moment ago and it had been his intention to hasten Jane
back to her people, but that little moment was lost now in the
dim and distant past of things which were but can never be again,
and with it the good intentions had gone to join the impossible.
Since then Tarzan of the Apes had felt a warm, lithe form
close pressed to his. Hot, sweet breath against his cheek and
mouth had fanned a new flame to life within his breast, and
perfect lips had clung to his in burning kisses that had seared
a deep brand into his soul--a brand which marked a new Tarzan.
Again he laid his hand upon her arm. Again she repulsed
him. And then Tarzan of the Apes did just what his first
ancestor would have done.
He took his woman in his arms and carried her into the jungle.
Early the following morning the four within the little cabin
by the beach were awakened by the booming of a cannon.
Clayton was the first to rush out, and there, beyond the
harbor's mouth, he saw two vessels lying at anchor.
One was the Arrow and the other a small French cruiser.
The sides of the latter were crowded with men gazing shoreward,
and it was evident to Clayton, as to the others who had now
joined him, that the gun which they had heard had been fired
to attract their attention if they still remained at the cabin.
Both vessels lay at a considerable distance from shore, and
it was doubtful if their glasses would locate the waving hats
of the little party far in between the harbor's points.
Esmeralda had removed her red apron and was waving it
frantically above her head; but Clayton, still fearing that even
this might not be seen, hurried off toward the northern point
where lay his signal pyre ready for the match.
It seemed an age to him, as to those who waited breathlessly
behind, ere he reached the great pile of dry branches
As he broke from the dense wood and came in sight of the
vessels again, he was filled with consternation to see that the
Arrow was making sail and that the cruiser was already
Quickly lighting the pyre in a dozen places, he hurried to
the extreme point of the promontory, where he stripped off
his shirt, and, tying it to a fallen branch, stood waving it back
and forth above him.
But still the vessels continued to stand out; and he had
given up all hope, when the great column of smoke, rising
above the forest in one dense vertical shaft, attracted the
attention of a lookout aboard the cruiser, and instantly a
dozen glasses were leveled on the beach.
Presently Clayton saw the two ships come about again; and
while the Arrow lay drifting quietly on the ocean, the
cruiser steamed slowly back toward shore.
At some distance away she stopped, and a boat was lowered
and dispatched toward the beach.
As it was drawn up a young officer stepped out.
"Monsieur Clayton, I presume?" he asked.
"Thank God, you have come!" was Clayton's reply. "And
it may be that it is not too late even now."
"What do you mean, Monsieur?" asked the officer.
Clayton told of the abduction of Jane Porter and the need
of armed men to aid in the search for her.
"MON DIEU!" exclaimed the officer, sadly. "Yesterday and
it would not have been too late. Today and it may be better
that the poor lady were never found. It is horrible, Monsieur.
It is too horrible."
Other boats had now put off from the cruiser, and Clayton,
having pointed out the harbor's entrance to the officer,
entered the boat with him and its nose was turned toward the
little landlocked bay, into which the other craft followed.
Soon the entire party had landed where stood Professor
Porter, Mr. Philander and the weeping Esmeralda.
Among the officers in the last boats to put off from the
cruiser was the commander of the vessel; and when he had
heard the story of Jane's abduction, he generously called
for volunteers to accompany Professor Porter and Clayton
in their search.
Not an officer or a man was there of those brave and
sympathetic Frenchmen who did not quickly beg leave to
be one of the expedition.
The commander selected twenty men and two officers,
Lieutenant D'Arnot and Lieutenant Charpentier. A boat was
dispatched to the cruiser for provisions, ammunition, and
carbines; the men were already armed with revolvers.
Then, to Clayton's inquiries as to how they had happened
to anchor off shore and fire a signal gun, the commander,
Captain Dufranne, explained that a month before they had
sighted the Arrow bearing southwest under considerable
canvas, and that when they had signaled her to come about she
had but crowded on more sail.
They had kept her hull-up until sunset, firing several shots
after her, but the next morning she was nowhere to be seen.
They had then continued to cruise up and down the coast for
several weeks, and had about forgotten the incident of the
recent chase, when, early one morning a few days before the
lookout had described a vessel laboring in the trough of a
heavy sea and evidently entirely out of control.
As they steamed nearer to the derelict they were surprised
to note that it was the same vessel that had run from them a
few weeks earlier. Her forestaysail and mizzen spanker were
set as though an effort had been made to hold her head up
into the wind, but the sheets had parted, and the sails were
tearing to ribbons in the half gale of wind.
In the high sea that was running it was a difficult and
dangerous task to attempt to put a prize crew aboard her; and as
no signs of life had been seen above deck, it was decided to
stand by until the wind and sea abated; but just then a figure
was seen clinging to the rail and feebly waving a mute signal
of despair toward them.
Immediately a boat's crew was ordered out and an attempt
was successfully made to board the Arrow.
The sight that met the Frenchmen's eyes as they clambered
over the ship's side was appalling.
A dozen dead and dying men rolled hither and thither upon
the pitching deck, the living intermingled with the dead.
Two of the corpses appeared to have been partially devoured
as though by wolves.
The prize crew soon had the vessel under proper sail once
more and the living members of the ill-starred company
carried below to their hammocks.
The dead were wrapped in tarpaulins and lashed on deck
to be identified by their comrades before being consigned to
None of the living was conscious when the Frenchmen
reached the Arrow's deck. Even the poor devil who had
waved the single despairing signal of distress had lapsed into
unconsciousness before he had learned whether it had availed
It did not take the French officer long to learn what had
caused the terrible condition aboard; for when water and
brandy were sought to restore the men, it was found that
there was none, nor even food of any description.
He immediately signalled to the cruiser to send water,
medicine, and provisions, and another boat made the perilous
trip to the Arrow.
When restoratives had been applied several of the men regained
consciousness, and then the whole story was told. That part of
it we know up to the sailing of the Arrow after the murder
of Snipes, and the burial of his body above the treasure chest.
It seems that the pursuit by the cruiser had so terrorized
the mutineers that they had continued out across the Atlantic
for several days after losing her; but on discovering the
meager supply of water and provisions aboard, they had
turned back toward the east.
With no one on board who understood navigation, discussions
soon arose as to their whereabouts; and as three days'
sailing to the east did not raise land, they bore off to the
north, fearing that the high north winds that had prevailed
had driven them south of the southern extremity of Africa.
They kept on a north-northeasterly course for two days,
when they were overtaken by a calm which lasted for nearly
a week. Their water was gone, and in another day they would
be without food.
Conditions changed rapidly from bad to worse. One man
went mad and leaped overboard. Soon another opened his
veins and drank his own blood.
When he died they threw him overboard also, though there
were those among them who wanted to keep the corpse on board.
Hunger was changing them from human beasts to wild beasts.
Two days before they had been picked up by the cruiser
they had become too weak to handle the vessel, and that
same day three men died. On the following morning it was
seen that one of the corpses had been partially devoured.
All that day the men lay glaring at each other like beasts
of prey, and the following morning two of the corpses lay
almost entirely stripped of flesh.
The men were but little stronger for their ghoulish repast,
for the want of water was by far the greatest agony with
which they had to contend. And then the cruiser had come.
When those who could had recovered, the entire story had
been told to the French commander; but the men were too
ignorant to be able to tell him at just what point on the coast
the professor and his party had been marooned, so the cruiser
had steamed slowly along within sight of land, firing occasional
signal guns and scanning every inch of the beach with glasses.
They had anchored by night so as not to neglect a particle
of the shore line, and it had happened that the preceding
night had brought them off the very beach where lay the
little camp they sought.
The signal guns of the afternoon before had not been
heard by those on shore, it was presumed, because they had
doubtless been in the thick of the jungle searching for Jane
Porter, where the noise of their own crashing through the
underbrush would have drowned the report of a far distant gun.
By the time the two parties had narrated their several
adventures, the cruiser's boat had returned with supplies
and arms for the expedition.
Within a few minutes the little body of sailors and the two
French officers, together with Professor Porter and Clayton,
set off upon their hopeless and ill-fated quest into the
When Jane realized that she was being borne away a captive
by the strange forest creature who had rescued her from
the clutches of the ape she struggled desperately to escape,
but the strong arms that held her as easily as though she
had been but a day-old babe only pressed a little more tightly.
So presently she gave up the futile effort and lay quietly,
looking through half-closed lids at the faces of the man who
strode easily through the tangled undergrowth with her.
The face above her was one of extraordinary beauty.
A perfect type of the strongly masculine, unmarred by
dissipation, or brutal or degrading passions. For, though Tarzan
of the Apes was a killer of men and of beasts, he killed as the
hunter kills, dispassionately, except on those rare occasions
when he had killed for hate--though not the brooding, malevolent
hate which marks the features of its own with hideous lines.
When Tarzan killed he more often smiled than scowled,
and smiles are the foundation of beauty.
One thing the girl had noticed particularly when she had
seen Tarzan rushing upon Terkoz--the vivid scarlet band
upon his forehead, from above the left eye to the scalp; but
now as she scanned his features she noticed that it was gone,
and only a thin white line marked the spot where it had been.
As she lay more quietly in his arms Tarzan slightly relaxed
his grip upon her.
Once he looked down into her eyes and smiled, and the
girl had to close her own to shut out the vision of that
handsome, winning face.
Presently Tarzan took to the trees, and Jane, wondering
that she felt no fear, began to realize that in many respects
she had never felt more secure in her whole life than now as
she lay in the arms of this strong, wild creature, being borne,
God alone knew where or to what fate, deeper and deeper
into the savage fastness of the untamed forest.
When, with closed eyes, she commenced to speculate upon
the future, and terrifying fears were conjured by a vivid
imagination, she had but to raise her lids and look upon that
noble face so close to hers to dissipate the last remnant of
No, he could never harm her; of that she was convinced
when she translated the fine features and the frank, brave
eyes above her into the chivalry which they proclaimed.
On and on they went through what seemed to Jane a solid
mass of verdure, yet ever there appeared to open before this
forest god a passage, as by magic, which closed behind them
as they passed.
Scarce a branch scraped against her, yet above and below,
before and behind, the view presented naught but a solid
mass of inextricably interwoven branches and creepers.
As Tarzan moved steadily onward his mind was occupied
with many strange and new thoughts. Here was a problem
the like of which he had never encountered, and he felt
rather than reasoned that he must meet it as a man and not
as an ape.
The free movement through the middle terrace, which was the
route he had followed for the most part, had helped to cool
the ardor of the first fierce passion of his new found love.
Now he discovered himself speculating upon the fate
which would have fallen to the girl had he not rescued her
He knew why the ape had not killed her, and he commenced
to compare his intentions with those of Terkoz.
True, it was the order of the jungle for the male to take his
mate by force; but could Tarzan be guided by the laws of the
beasts? Was not Tarzan a Man? But what did men do? He
was puzzled; for he did not know.
He wished that he might ask the girl, and then it came to
him that she had already answered him in the futile struggle
she had made to escape and to repulse him.
But now they had come to their destination, and Tarzan of
the Apes with Jane in his strong arms, swung lightly to the
turf of the arena where the great apes held their councils
and danced the wild orgy of the Dum-Dum.
Though they had come many miles, it was still but
midafternoon, and the amphitheater was bathed in the half
light which filtered through the maze of encircling foliage.
The green turf looked soft and cool and inviting. The myriad
noises of the jungle seemed far distant and hushed to a
mere echo of blurred sounds, rising and falling like the surf
upon a remote shore.
A feeling of dreamy peacefulness stole over Jane as she
sank down upon the grass where Tarzan had placed her, and
as she looked up at his great figure towering above her, there
was added a strange sense of perfect security.
As she watched him from beneath half-closed lids, Tarzan
crossed the little circular clearing toward the trees upon the
further side. She noted the graceful majesty of his carriage,
the perfect symmetry of his magnificent figure and the poise
of his well-shaped head upon his broad shoulders.
What a perfect creature! There could be naught of cruelty
or baseness beneath that godlike exterior. Never, she thought
had such a man strode the earth since God created the first in
his own image.
With a bound Tarzan sprang into the trees and disappeared.
Jane wondered where he had gone. Had he left her
there to her fate in the lonely jungle?
She glanced nervously about. Every vine and bush seemed but the
lurking-place of some huge and horrible beast waiting to bury
gleaming fangs into her soft flesh. Every sound she magnified
into the stealthy creeping of a sinuous and malignant body.
How different now that he had left her!
For a few minutes that seemed hours to the frightened girl,
she sat with tense nerves waiting for the spring of the
crouching thing that was to end her misery of apprehension.
She almost prayed for the cruel teeth that would give her
unconsciousness and surcease from the agony of fear.
She heard a sudden, slight sound behind her. With a cry
she sprang to her feet and turned to face her end.
There stood Tarzan, his arms filled with ripe and luscious fruit.
Jane reeled and would have fallen, had not Tarzan, dropping
his burden, caught her in his arms. She did not lose
consciousness, but she clung tightly to him, shuddering and
trembling like a frightened deer.
Tarzan of the Apes stroked her soft hair and tried to comfort
and quiet her as Kala had him, when, as a little ape, he had
been frightened by Sabor, the lioness, or Histah, the snake.
Once he pressed his lips lightly upon her forehead, and she
did not move, but closed her eyes and sighed.
She could not analyze her feelings, nor did she wish to attempt
it. She was satisfied to feel the safety of those strong
arms, and to leave her future to fate; for the last few hours
had taught her to trust this strange wild creature of the forest
as she would have trusted but few of the men of her acquaintance.
As she thought of the strangeness of it, there commenced
to dawn upon her the realization that she had, possibly,
learned something else which she had never really known
before--love. She wondered and then she smiled.
And still smiling, she pushed Tarzan gently away; and
looking at him with a half-smiling, half-quizzical expression
that made her face wholly entrancing, she pointed to the fruit
upon the ground, and seated herself upon the edge of the
earthen drum of the anthropoids, for hunger was asserting itself.
Tarzan quickly gathered up the fruit, and, bringing it, laid
it at her feet; and then he, too, sat upon the drum beside her,
and with his knife opened and prepared the various fruits for
Together and in silence they ate, occasionally stealing sly
glances at one another, until finally Jane broke into a merry
laugh in which Tarzan joined.
"I wish you spoke English," said the girl.
Tarzan shook his head, and an expression of wistful and
pathetic longing sobered his laughing eyes.
Then Jane tried speaking to him in French, and then in
German; but she had to laugh at her own blundering attempt
at the latter tongue.
"Anyway," she said to him in English, "you understand my
German as well as they did in Berlin."
Tarzan had long since reached a decision as to what his
future procedure should be. He had had time to recollect all
that he had read of the ways of men and women in the books
at the cabin. He would act as he imagined the men in the
books would have acted were they in his place.
Again he rose and went into the trees, but first he tried to
explain by means of signs that he would return shortly, and
he did so well that Jane understood and was not afraid when
he had gone.
Only a feeling of loneliness came over her and she watched
the point where he had disappeared, with longing eyes, awaiting
his return. As before, she was appraised of his presence
by a soft sound behind her, and turned to see him coming
across the turf with a great armful of branches.
Then he went back again into the jungle and in a few minutes
reappeared with a quantity of soft grasses and ferns.
Two more trips he made until he had quite a pile of material
Then he spread the ferns and grasses upon the ground in a
soft flat bed, and above it leaned many branches together so
that they met a few feet over its center. Upon these he spread
layers of huge leaves of the great elephant's ear, and with
more branches and more leaves he closed one end of the little
shelter he had built.
Then they sat down together again upon the edge of the
drum and tried to talk by signs.
The magnificent diamond locket which hung about Tarzan's
neck, had been a source of much wonderment to Jane.
She pointed to it now, and Tarzan removed it and handed the
pretty bauble to her.
She saw that it was the work of a skilled artisan and that
the diamonds were of great brilliancy and superbly set, but
the cutting of them denoted that they were of a former day.
She noticed too that the locket opened, and, pressing the
hidden clasp, she saw the two halves spring apart to reveal in
either section an ivory miniature.
One was of a beautiful woman and the other might have
been a likeness of the man who sat beside her, except for a
subtle difference of expression that was scarcely definable.
She looked up at Tarzan to find him leaning toward her
gazing on the miniatures with an expression of astonishment.
He reached out his hand for the locket and took it away
from her, examining the likenesses within with unmistakable
signs of surprise and new interest. His manner clearly
denoted that he had never before seen them, nor imagined that
the locket opened.
This fact caused Jane to indulge in further speculation, and
it taxed her imagination to picture how this beautiful ornament
came into the possession of a wild and savage creature
of the unexplored jungles of Africa.
Still more wonderful was how it contained the likeness of
one who might be a brother, or, more likely, the father of
this woodland demi-god who was even ignorant of the fact
that the locket opened.
Tarzan was still gazing with fixity at the two faces.
Presently he removed the quiver from his shoulder, and
emptying the arrows upon the ground reached into the bottom of
the bag-like receptacle and drew forth a flat object wrapped
in many soft leaves and tied with bits of long grass.
Carefully he unwrapped it, removing layer after layer of
leaves until at length he held a photograph in his hand.
Pointing to the miniature of the man within the locket he
handed the photograph to Jane, holding the open locket beside it.
The photograph only served to puzzle the girl still more, for
it was evidently another likeness of the same man whose picture
rested in the locket beside that of the beautiful young woman.
Tarzan was looking at her with an expression of puzzled
bewilderment in his eyes as she glanced up at him. He
seemed to be framing a question with his lips.
The girl pointed to the photograph and then to the miniature
and then to him, as though to indicate that she thought
the likenesses were of him, but he only shook his head, and
then shrugging his great shoulders, he took the photograph
from her and having carefully rewrapped it, placed it again
in the bottom of his quiver.
For a few moments he sat in silence, his eyes bent upon
the ground, while Jane held the little locket in her hand,
turning it over and over in an endeavor to find some further
clue that might lead to the identity of its original owner.
At length a simple explanation occurred to her.
The locket had belonged to Lord Greystoke, and the
likenesses were of himself and Lady Alice.
This wild creature had simply found it in the cabin by the beach.
How stupid of her not to have thought of that solution before.
But to account for the strange likeness between Lord
Greystoke and this forest god--that was quite beyond her,
and it is not strange that she could not imagine that this
naked savage was indeed an English nobleman.
At length Tarzan looked up to watch the girl as she examined
the locket. He could not fathom the meaning of the
faces within, but he could read the interest and fascination
upon the face of the live young creature by his side.
She noticed that he was watching her and thinking that he
wished his ornament again she held it out to him. He took it
from her and taking the chain in his two hands he placed it
about her neck, smiling at her expression of surprise at his
Jane shook her head vehemently and would have removed the
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