The Beasts of Tarzan
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Part 4 out of 4
jaws agape and fiery eyes blazing at them in the mightiness of his
hate and of his blood lust.
The shots that had been fired at Tarzan missed him, and he would
have been upon Rokoff in another instant had not the great coward
dodged backward between his two henchmen, and, screaming in hysterical
terror, bolted forward toward the forecastle.
For the moment Tarzan's attention was distracted by the two men
before him, so that he could not at the time pursue the Russian.
About him the apes and Mugambi were battling with the balance of
the Russian's party.
Beneath the terrible ferocity of the beasts the men were soon
scampering in all directions--those who still lived to scamper,
for the great fangs of the apes of Akut and the tearing talons of
Sheeta already had found more than a single victim.
Four, however, escaped and disappeared into the forecastle, where
they hoped to barricade themselves against further assault. Here
they found Rokoff, and, enraged at his desertion of them in their
moment of peril, no less than at the uniformly brutal treatment it
had been his wont to accord them, they gloated upon the opportunity
now offered them to revenge themselves in part upon their hated
Despite his prayers and grovelling pleas, therefore, they hurled
him bodily out upon the deck, delivering him to the mercy of the
fearful things from which they had themselves just escaped.
Tarzan saw the man emerge from the forecastle--saw and recognized
his enemy; but another saw him even as soon.
It was Sheeta, and with grinning jaws the mighty beast slunk silently
toward the terror-stricken man.
When Rokoff saw what it was that stalked him his shrieks for help
filled the air, as with trembling knees he stood, as one paralyzed,
before the hideous death that was creeping upon him.
Tarzan took a step toward the Russian, his brain burning with a
raging fire of vengeance. At last he had the murderer of his son
at his mercy. His was the right to avenge.
Once Jane had stayed his hand that time that he sought to take the
law into his own power and mete to Rokoff the death that he had so
long merited; but this time none should stay him.
His fingers clenched and unclenched spasmodically as he approached
the trembling Russ, beastlike and ominous as a brute of prey.
Presently he saw that Sheeta was about to forestall him, robbing
him of the fruits of his great hate.
He called sharply to the panther, and the words, as if they had
broken a hideous spell that had held the Russian, galvanized him
into sudden action. With a scream he turned and fled toward the
After him pounced Sheeta the panther, unmindful of his master's
Tarzan was about to leap after the two when he felt a light touch
upon his arm. Turning, he found Jane at his elbow.
"Do not leave me," she whispered. "I am afraid."
Tarzan glanced behind her.
All about were the hideous apes of Akut. Some, even, were approaching
the young woman with bared fangs and menacing guttural warnings.
The ape-man warned them back. He had forgotten for the moment that
these were but beasts, unable to differentiate his friends and his
foes. Their savage natures were roused by their recent battle with
the sailors, and now all flesh outside the pack was meat to them.
Tarzan turned again toward the Russian, chagrined that he should
have to forgo the pleasure of personal revenge--unless the man
should escape Sheeta. But as he looked he saw that there could
be no hope of that. The fellow had retreated to the end of the
bridge, where he now stood trembling and wide-eyed, facing the
beast that moved slowly toward him.
The panther crawled with belly to the planking, uttering uncanny
mouthings. Rokoff stood as though petrified, his eyes protruding
from their sockets, his mouth agape, and the cold sweat of terror
clammy upon his brow.
Below him, upon the deck, he had seen the great anthropoids, and
so had not dared to seek escape in that direction. In fact, even
now one of the brutes was leaping to seize the bridge-rail and draw
himself up to the Russian's side.
Before him was the panther, silent and crouched.
Rokoff could not move. His knees trembled. His voice broke in
inarticulate shrieks. With a last piercing wail he sank to his
knees--and then Sheeta sprang.
Full upon the man's breast the tawny body hurtled, tumbling the
Russian to his back.
As the great fangs tore at the throat and chest, Jane Clayton turned
away in horror; but not so Tarzan of the Apes. A cold smile of
satisfaction touched his lips. The scar upon his forehead that
had burned scarlet faded to the normal hue of his tanned skin and
Rokoff fought furiously but futilely against the growling, rending
fate that had overtaken him. For all his countless crimes he was
punished in the brief moment of the hideous death that claimed him
at the last.
After his struggles ceased Tarzan approached, at Jane's suggestion,
to wrest the body from the panther and give what remained of
it decent human burial; but the great cat rose snarling above its
kill, threatening even the master it loved in its savage way, so
that rather than kill his friend of the jungle, Tarzan was forced
to relinquish his intentions.
All that night Sheeta, the panther, crouched upon the grisly
thing that had been Nikolas Rokoff. The bridge of the Kincaid was
slippery with blood. Beneath the brilliant tropic moon the great
beast feasted until, when the sun rose the following morning, there
remained of Tarzan's great enemy only gnawed and broken bones.
Of the Russian's party, all were accounted for except Paulvitch.
Four were prisoners in the Kincaid's forecastle. The rest were
With these men Tarzan got up steam upon the vessel, and with the
knowledge of the mate, who happened to be one of those surviving,
he planned to set out in quest of Jungle Island; but as the morning
dawned there came with it a heavy gale from the west which raised
a sea into which the mate of the Kincaid dared not venture. All
that day the ship lay within the shelter of the mouth of the river;
for, though night witnessed a lessening of the wind, it was thought
safer to wait for daylight before attempting the navigation of the
winding channel to the sea.
Upon the deck of the steamer the pack wandered without let or hindrance
by day, for they had soon learned through Tarzan and Mugambi that
they must harm no one upon the Kincaid; but at night they were
Tarzan's joy had been unbounded when he learned from his wife that
the little child who had died in the village of M'ganwazam was not
their son. Who the baby could have been, or what had become of
their own, they could not imagine, and as both Rokoff and Paulvitch
were gone, there was no way of discovering.
There was, however, a certain sense of relief in the knowledge
that they might yet hope. Until positive proof of the baby's death
reached them there was always that to buoy them up.
It seemed quite evident that their little Jack had not been brought
aboard the Kincaid. Anderssen would have known of it had such
been the case, but he had assured Jane time and time again that
the little one he had brought to her cabin the night he aided her
to escape was the only one that had been aboard the Kincaid since
she lay at Dover.
Paulvitch Plots Revenge
As Jane and Tarzan stood upon the vessel's deck recounting to one
another the details of the various adventures through which each
had passed since they had parted in their London home, there glared
at them from beneath scowling brows a hidden watcher upon the shore.
Through the man's brain passed plan after plan whereby he might
thwart the escape of the Englishman and his wife, for so long as
the vital spark remained within the vindictive brain of Alexander
Paulvitch none who had aroused the enmity of the Russian might be
Plan after plan he formed only to discard each either as impracticable, or
unworthy the vengeance his wrongs demanded. So warped by faulty
reasoning was the criminal mind of Rokoff's lieutenant that he
could not grasp the real truth of that which lay between himself
and the ape-man and see that always the fault had been, not with
the English lord, but with himself and his confederate.
And at the rejection of each new scheme Paulvitch arrived always
at the same conclusion--that he could accomplish naught while half
the breadth of the Ugambi separated him from the object of his
But how was he to span the crocodile-infested waters? There was
no canoe nearer than the Mosula village, and Paulvitch was none too
sure that the Kincaid would still be at anchor in the river when
he returned should he take the time to traverse the jungle to the
distant village and return with a canoe. Yet there was no other
way, and so, convinced that thus alone might he hope to reach his
prey, Paulvitch, with a parting scowl at the two figures upon the
Kincaid's deck, turned away from the river.
Hastening through the dense jungle, his mind centred upon his one
fetich--revenge--the Russian forgot even his terror of the savage
world through which he moved.
Baffled and beaten at every turn of Fortune's wheel, reacted upon
time after time by his own malign plotting, the principal victim
of his own criminality, Paulvitch was yet so blind as to imagine
that his greatest happiness lay in a continuation of the plottings
and schemings which had ever brought him and Rokoff to disaster,
and the latter finally to a hideous death.
As the Russian stumbled on through the jungle toward the Mosula
village there presently crystallized within his brain a plan which
seemed more feasible than any that he had as yet considered.
He would come by night to the side of the Kincaid, and once aboard,
would search out the members of the ship's original crew who had
survived the terrors of this frightful expedition, and enlist them
in an attempt to wrest the vessel from Tarzan and his beasts.
In the cabin were arms and ammunition, and hidden in a secret
receptacle in the cabin table was one of those infernal machines,
the construction of which had occupied much of Paulvitch's spare
time when he had stood high in the confidence of the Nihilists of
his native land.
That was before he had sold them out for immunity and gold to the
police of Petrograd. Paulvitch winced as he recalled the denunciation
of him that had fallen from the lips of one of his former comrades
ere the poor devil expiated his political sins at the end of a
But the infernal machine was the thing to think of now. He could
do much with that if he could but get his hands upon it. Within
the little hardwood case hidden in the cabin table rested sufficient
potential destructiveness to wipe out in the fraction of a second
every enemy aboard the Kincaid.
Paulvitch licked his lips in anticipatory joy, and urged his tired
legs to greater speed that he might not be too late to the ship's
anchorage to carry out his designs.
All depended, of course, upon when the Kincaid departed. The
Russian realized that nothing could be accomplished beneath the
light of day. Darkness must shroud his approach to the ship's side,
for should he be sighted by Tarzan or Lady Greystoke he would have
no chance to board the vessel.
The gale that was blowing was, he believed, the cause of the delay
in getting the Kincaid under way, and if it continued to blow until
night then the chances were all in his favour, for he knew that
there was little likelihood of the ape-man attempting to navigate
the tortuous channel of the Ugambi while darkness lay upon the
surface of the water, hiding the many bars and the numerous small
islands which are scattered over the expanse of the river's mouth.
It was well after noon when Paulvitch came to the Mosula village
upon the bank of the tributary of the Ugambi. Here he was received
with suspicion and unfriendliness by the native chief, who, like
all those who came in contact with Rokoff or Paulvitch, had suffered
in some manner from the greed, the cruelty, or the lust of the two
When Paulvitch demanded the use of a canoe the chief grumbled a surly
refusal and ordered the white man from the village. Surrounded by
angry, muttering warriors who seemed to be but waiting some slight
pretext to transfix him with their menacing spears the Russian
could do naught else than withdraw.
A dozen fighting men led him to the edge of the clearing, leaving
him with a warning never to show himself again in the vicinity of
Stifling his anger, Paulvitch slunk into the jungle; but once
beyond the sight of the warriors he paused and listened intently.
He could hear the voices of his escort as the men returned to the
village, and when he was sure that they were not following him he
wormed his way through the bushes to the edge of the river, still
determined some way to obtain a canoe.
Life itself depended upon his reaching the Kincaid and enlisting
the survivors of the ship's crew in his service, for to be abandoned
here amidst the dangers of the African jungle where he had won the
enmity of the natives was, he well knew, practically equivalent to
a sentence of death.
A desire for revenge acted as an almost equally powerful incentive
to spur him into the face of danger to accomplish his design, so
that it was a desperate man that lay hidden in the foliage beside
the little river searching with eager eyes for some sign of a small
canoe which might be easily handled by a single paddle.
Nor had the Russian long to wait before one of the awkward little
skiffs which the Mosula fashion came in sight upon the bosom of
the river. A youth was paddling lazily out into midstream from a
point beside the village. When he reached the channel he allowed
the sluggish current to carry him slowly along while he lolled
indolently in the bottom of his crude canoe.
All ignorant of the unseen enemy upon the river's bank the lad
floated slowly down the stream while Paulvitch followed along the
jungle path a few yards behind him.
A mile below the village the black boy dipped his paddle into the
water and forced his skiff toward the bank. Paulvitch, elated by
the chance which had drawn the youth to the same side of the river
as that along which he followed rather than to the opposite side
where he would have been beyond the stalker's reach, hid in the
brush close beside the point at which it was evident the skiff would
touch the bank of the slow-moving stream, which seemed jealous of
each fleeting instant which drew it nearer to the broad and muddy
Ugambi where it must for ever lose its identity in the larger stream
that would presently cast its waters into the great ocean.
Equally indolent were the motions of the Mosula youth as he drew
his skiff beneath an overhanging limb of a great tree that leaned
down to implant a farewell kiss upon the bosom of the departing
water, caressing with green fronds the soft breast of its languorous
And, snake-like, amidst the concealing foliage lay the malevolent
Russ. Cruel, shifty eyes gloated upon the outlines of the coveted
canoe, and measured the stature of its owner, while the crafty brain
weighed the chances of the white man should physical encounter with
the black become necessary.
Only direct necessity could drive Alexander Paulvitch to personal
conflict; but it was indeed dire necessity which goaded him on to
There was time, just time enough, to reach the Kincaid by nightfall.
Would the black fool never quit his skiff? Paulvitch squirmed
and fidgeted. The lad yawned and stretched. With exasperating
deliberateness he examined the arrows in his quiver, tested his
bow, and looked to the edge upon the hunting-knife in his loin-cloth.
Again he stretched and yawned, glanced up at the river-bank, shrugged
his shoulders, and lay down in the bottom of his canoe for a little
nap before he plunged into the jungle after the prey he had come
forth to hunt.
Paulvitch half rose, and with tensed muscles stood glaring down
upon his unsuspecting victim. The boy's lids drooped and closed.
Presently his breast rose and fell to the deep breaths of slumber.
The time had come!
The Russian crept stealthily nearer. A branch rustled beneath
his weight and the lad stirred in his sleep. Paulvitch drew his
revolver and levelled it upon the black. For a moment he remained
in rigid quiet, and then again the youth relapsed into undisturbed
The white man crept closer. He could not chance a shot until there
was no risk of missing. Presently he leaned close above the Mosula.
The cold steel of the revolver in his hand insinuated itself nearer
and nearer to the breast of the unconscious lad. Now it stopped
but a few inches above the strongly beating heart.
But the pressure of a finger lay between the harmless boy and
eternity. The soft bloom of youth still lay upon the brown cheek,
a smile half parted the beardless lips. Did any qualm of conscience
point its disquieting finger of reproach at the murderer?
To all such was Alexander Paulvitch immune. A sneer curled
his bearded lip as his forefinger closed upon the trigger of his
revolver. There was a loud report. A little hole appeared above
the heart of the sleeping boy, a little hole about which lay a
blackened rim of powder-burned flesh.
The youthful body half rose to a sitting posture. The smiling
lips tensed to the nervous shock of a momentary agony which the
conscious mind never apprehended, and then the dead sank limply
back into that deepest of slumbers from which there is no awakening.
The killer dropped quickly into the skiff beside the killed.
Ruthless hands seized the dead boy heartlessly and raised him to
the low gunwale. A little shove, a splash, some widening ripples
broken by the sudden surge of a dark, hidden body from the slimy
depths, and the coveted canoe was in the sole possession of the
white man--more savage than the youth whose life he had taken.
Casting off the tie rope and seizing the paddle, Paulvitch bent
feverishly to the task of driving the skiff downward toward the
Ugambi at top speed.
Night had fallen when the prow of the bloodstained craft shot
out into the current of the larger stream. Constantly the Russian
strained his eyes into the increasing darkness ahead in vain
endeavour to pierce the black shadows which lay between him and
the anchorage of the Kincaid.
Was the ship still riding there upon the waters of the Ugambi, or
had the ape-man at last persuaded himself of the safety of venturing
forth into the abating storm? As Paulvitch forged ahead with the
current he asked himself these questions, and many more beside,
not the least disquieting of which were those which related to his
future should it chance that the Kincaid had already steamed away,
leaving him to the merciless horrors of the savage wilderness.
In the darkness it seemed to the paddler that he was fairly flying
over the water, and he had become convinced that the ship had left
her moorings and that he had already passed the spot at which she
had lain earlier in the day, when there appeared before him beyond
a projecting point which he had but just rounded the flickering
light from a ship's lantern.
Alexander Paulvitch could scarce restrain an exclamation of triumph.
The Kincaid had not departed! Life and vengeance were not to elude
him after all.
He stopped paddling the moment that he descried the gleaming beacon
of hope ahead of him. Silently he drifted down the muddy waters
of the Ugambi, occasionally dipping his paddle's blade gently into
the current that he might guide his primitive craft to the vessel's
As he approached more closely the dark bulk of a ship loomed before
him out of the blackness of the night. No sound came from the
vessel's deck. Paulvitch drifted, unseen, close to the Kincaid's
side. Only the momentary scraping of his canoe's nose against the
ship's planking broke the silence of the night.
Trembling with nervous excitement, the Russian remained motionless
for several minutes; but there was no sound from the great bulk
above him to indicate that his coming had been noted.
Stealthily he worked his craft forward until the stays of the
bowsprit were directly above him. He could just reach them. To
make his canoe fast there was the work of but a minute or two, and
then the man raised himself quietly aloft.
A moment later he dropped softly to the deck. Thoughts of the
hideous pack which tenanted the ship induced cold tremors along
the spine of the cowardly prowler; but life itself depended upon
the success of his venture, and so he was enabled to steel himself
to the frightful chances which lay before him.
No sound or sign of watch appeared upon the ship's deck. Paulvitch
crept stealthily toward the forecastle. All was silence. The
hatch was raised, and as the man peered downward he saw one of the
Kincaid's crew reading by the light of the smoky lantern depending
from the ceiling of the crew's quarters.
Paulvitch knew the man well, a surly cut-throat upon whom he figured
strongly in the carrying out of the plan which he had conceived.
Gently the Russ lowered himself through the aperture to the rounds
of the ladder which led into the forecastle.
He kept his eyes turned upon the reading man, ready to warn him to
silence the moment that the fellow discovered him; but so deeply
immersed was the sailor in the magazine that the Russian came,
unobserved, to the forecastle floor.
There he turned and whispered the reader's name. The man raised
his eyes from the magazine--eyes that went wide for a moment as
they fell upon the familiar countenance of Rokoff's lieutenant,
only to narrow instantly in a scowl of disapproval.
"The devil!" he ejaculated. "Where did you come from? We all
thought you were done for and gone where you ought to have gone a
long time ago. His lordship will be mighty pleased to see you."
Paulvitch crossed to the sailor's side. A friendly smile lay on
the Russian's lips, and his right hand was extended in greeting,
as though the other might have been a dear and long lost friend.
The sailor ignored the proffered hand, nor did he return the other's
"I've come to help you," explained Paulvitch. "I'm going to help
you get rid of the Englishman and his beasts--then there will be
no danger from the law when we get back to civilization. We can
sneak in on them while they sleep--that is Greystoke, his wife,
and that black scoundrel, Mugambi. Afterward it will be a simple
matter to clean up the beasts. Where are they?"
"They're below," replied the sailor; "but just let me tell you
something, Paulvitch. You haven't got no more show to turn us men
against the Englishman than nothing. We had all we wanted of you
and that other beast. He's dead, an' if I don't miss my guess a
whole lot you'll be dead too before long. You two treated us like
dogs, and if you think we got any love for you you better forget
"You mean to say that you're going to turn against me?" demanded
The other nodded, and then after a momentary pause, during which
an idea seemed to have occurred to him, he spoke again.
"Unless," he said, "you can make it worth my while to let you go
before the Englishman finds you here."
"You wouldn't turn me away in the jungle, would you?" asked Paulvitch.
"Why, I'd die there in a week."
"You'd have a chance there," replied the sailor. "Here, you wouldn't
have no chance. Why, if I woke up my maties here they'd probably
cut your heart out of you before the Englishman got a chance at
you at all. It's mighty lucky for you that I'm the one to be awake
now and not none of the others."
"You're crazy," cried Paulvitch. "Don't you know that the Englishman
will have you all hanged when he gets you back where the law can
get hold of you?"
"No, he won't do nothing of the kind," replied the sailor. "He's
told us as much, for he says that there wasn't nobody to blame but
you and Rokoff--the rest of us was just tools. See?"
For half an hour the Russian pleaded or threatened as the mood
seized him. Sometimes he was upon the verge of tears, and again
he was promising his listener either fabulous rewards or condign
punishment; but the other was obdurate. [condign: of equal value]
He made it plain to the Russian that there were but two plans open
to him--either he must consent to being turned over immediately
to Lord Greystoke, or he must pay to the sailor, as a price for
permission to quit the Kincaid unmolested, every cent of money and
article of value upon his person and in his cabin.
"And you'll have to make up your mind mighty quick," growled the
man, "for I want to turn in. Come now, choose--his lordship or
"You'll be sorry for this," grumbled the Russian.
"Shut up," admonished the sailor. "If you get funny I may change
my mind, and keep you here after all."
Now Paulvitch had no intention of permitting himself to fall into
the hands of Tarzan of the Apes if he could possibly avoid it,
and while the terrors of the jungle appalled him they were, to his
mind, infinitely preferable to the certain death which he knew he
merited and for which he might look at the hands of the ape-man.
"Is anyone sleeping in my cabin?" he asked.
The sailor shook his head. "No," he said; "Lord and Lady Greystoke
have the captain's cabin. The mate is in his own, and there ain't
no one in yours."
"I'll go and get my valuables for you," said Paulvitch.
"I'll go with you to see that you don't try any funny business,"
said the sailor, and he followed the Russian up the ladder to the
At the cabin entrance the sailor halted to watch, permitting
Paulvitch to go alone to his cabin. Here he gathered together his
few belongings that were to buy him the uncertain safety of escape,
and as he stood for a moment beside the little table on which he
had piled them he searched his brain for some feasible plan either
to ensure his safety or to bring revenge upon his enemies.
And presently as he thought there recurred to his memory the little
black box which lay hidden in a secret receptacle beneath a false
top upon the table where his hand rested.
The Russian's face lighted to a sinister gleam of malevolent
satisfaction as he stooped and felt beneath the table top. A
moment later he withdrew from its hiding-place the thing he sought.
He had lighted the lantern swinging from the beams overhead that
he might see to collect his belongings, and now he held the black
box well in the rays of the lamplight, while he fingered at the
clasp that fastened its lid.
The lifted cover revealed two compartments within the box. In one
was a mechanism which resembled the works of a small clock. There
also was a little battery of two dry cells. A wire ran from the
clockwork to one of the poles of the battery, and from the other
pole through the partition into the other compartment, a second
wire returning directly to the clockwork.
Whatever lay within the second compartment was not visible, for a
cover lay over it and appeared to be sealed in place by asphaltum.
In the bottom of the box, beside the clockwork, lay a key, and this
Paulvitch now withdrew and fitted to the winding stem.
Gently he turned the key, muffling the noise of the winding operation
by throwing a couple of articles of clothing over the box. All the
time he listened intently for any sound which might indicate that
the sailor or another were approaching his cabin; but none came to
interrupt his work.
When the winding was completed the Russian set a pointer upon a small
dial at the side of the clockwork, then he replaced the cover upon
the black box, and returned the entire machine to its hiding-place
in the table.
A sinister smile curled the man's bearded lips as he gathered up
his valuables, blew out the lamp, and stepped from his cabin to
the side of the waiting sailor.
"Here are my things," said the Russian; "now let me go."
"I'll first take a look in your pockets," replied the sailor. "You
might have overlooked some trifling thing that won't be of no use
to you in the jungle, but that'll come in mighty handy to a poor
sailorman in London. Ah! just as I feared," he ejaculated an instant
later as he withdrew a roll of bank-notes from Paulvitch's inside
The Russian scowled, muttering an imprecation; but nothing could
be gained by argument, and so he did his best to reconcile himself
to his loss in the knowledge that the sailor would never reach
London to enjoy the fruits of his thievery.
It was with difficulty that Paulvitch restrained a consuming desire
to taunt the man with a suggestion of the fate that would presently
overtake him and the other members of the Kincaid's company; but
fearing to arouse the fellow's suspicions, he crossed the deck and
lowered himself in silence into his canoe.
A minute or two later he was paddling toward the shore to be
swallowed up in the darkness of the jungle night, and the terrors
of a hideous existence from which, could he have had even a slight
foreknowledge of what awaited him in the long years to come, he
would have fled to the certain death of the open sea rather than
The sailor, having made sure that Paulvitch had departed, returned
to the forecastle, where he hid away his booty and turned into his
bunk, while in the cabin that had belonged to the Russian there
ticked on and on through the silences of the night the little
mechanism in the small black box which held for the unconscious
sleepers upon the ill-starred Kincaid the coming vengeance of the
The Last of the "Kincaid"
Shortly after the break of day Tarzan was on deck noting the condition
of the weather. The wind had abated. The sky was cloudless.
Every condition seemed ideal for the commencement of the return
voyage to Jungle Island, where the beasts were to be left. And
The ape-man aroused the mate and gave instructions that the Kincaid
sail at the earliest possible moment. The remaining members of
the crew, safe in Lord Greystoke's assurance that they would not be
prosecuted for their share in the villainies of the two Russians,
hastened with cheerful alacrity to their several duties.
The beasts, liberated from the confinement of the hold, wandered
about the deck, not a little to the discomfiture of the crew in
whose minds there remained a still vivid picture of the savagery
of the beasts in conflict with those who had gone to their deaths
beneath the fangs and talons which even now seemed itching for the
soft flesh of further prey.
Beneath the watchful eyes of Tarzan and Mugambi, however, Sheeta
and the apes of Akut curbed their desires, so that the men worked
about the deck amongst them in far greater security than they
At last the Kincaid slipped down the Ugambi and ran out upon the
shimmering waters of the Atlantic. Tarzan and Jane Clayton watched
the verdure-clad shore-line receding in the ship's wake, and for
once the ape-man left his native soil without one single pang of
No ship that sailed the seven seas could have borne him away from
Africa to resume his search for his lost boy with half the speed
that the Englishman would have desired, and the slow-moving Kincaid
seemed scarce to move at all to the impatient mind of the bereaved
Yet the vessel made progress even when she seemed to be standing
still, and presently the low hills of Jungle Island became distinctly
visible upon the western horizon ahead.
In the cabin of Alexander Paulvitch the thing within the black box
ticked, ticked, ticked, with apparently unending monotony; but yet,
second by second, a little arm which protruded from the periphery
of one of its wheels came nearer and nearer to another little arm
which projected from the hand which Paulvitch had set at a certain
point upon the dial beside the clockwork. When those two arms
touched one another the ticking of the mechanism would cease--for
Jane and Tarzan stood upon the bridge looking out toward Jungle
Island. The men were forward, also watching the land grow upward
out of the ocean. The beasts had sought the shade of the galley,
where they were curled up in sleep. All was quiet and peace upon
the ship, and upon the waters.
Suddenly, without warning, the cabin roof shot up into the air,
a cloud of dense smoke puffed far above the Kincaid, there was a
terrific explosion which shook the vessel from stem to stern.
Instantly pandemonium broke loose upon the deck. The apes of
Akut, terrified by the sound, ran hither and thither, snarling and
growling. Sheeta leaped here and there, screaming out his startled
terror in hideous cries that sent the ice of fear straight to the
hearts of the Kincaid's crew.
Mugambi, too, was trembling. Only Tarzan of the Apes and his wife
retained their composure. Scarce had the debris settled than the
ape-man was among the beasts, quieting their fears, talking to them
in low, pacific tones, stroking their shaggy bodies, and assuring
them, as only he could, that the immediate danger was over.
An examination of the wreckage showed that their greatest danger, now,
lay in fire, for the flames were licking hungrily at the splintered
wood of the wrecked cabin, and had already found a foothold upon
the lower deck through a great jagged hole which the explosion had
By a miracle no member of the ship's company had been injured by
the blast, the origin of which remained for ever a total mystery
to all but one--the sailor who knew that Paulvitch had been aboard
the Kincaid and in his cabin the previous night. He guessed the
truth; but discretion sealed his lips. It would, doubtless, fare
none too well for the man who had permitted the arch enemy of them
all aboard the ship in the watches of the night, where later he
might set an infernal machine to blow them all to kingdom come.
No, the man decided that he would keep this knowledge to himself.
As the flames gained headway it became apparent to Tarzan
that whatever had caused the explosion had scattered some highly
inflammable substance upon the surrounding woodwork, for the water
which they poured in from the pump seemed rather to spread than to
extinguish the blaze.
Fifteen minutes after the explosion great, black clouds of smoke
were rising from the hold of the doomed vessel. The flames had
reached the engine-room, and the ship no longer moved toward the
shore. Her fate was as certain as though the waters had already
closed above her charred and smoking remains.
"It is useless to remain aboard her longer," remarked the ape-man
to the mate. "There is no telling but there may be other explosions,
and as we cannot hope to save her, the safest thing which we can
do is to take to the boats without further loss of time and make
Nor was there other alternative. Only the sailors could bring
away any belongings, for the fire, which had not yet reached the
forecastle, had consumed all in the vicinity of the cabin which
the explosion had not destroyed.
Two boats were lowered, and as there was no sea the landing was
made with infinite ease. Eager and anxious, the beasts of Tarzan
sniffed the familiar air of their native island as the small boats
drew in toward the beach, and scarce had their keels grated upon
the sand than Sheeta and the apes of Akut were over the bows and
racing swiftly toward the jungle. A half-sad smile curved the
lips of the ape-man as he watched them go.
"Good-bye, my friends," he murmured. "You have been good and
faithful allies, and I shall miss you."
"They will return, will they not, dear?" asked Jane Clayton, at
"They may and they may not," replied the ape-man. "They have been
ill at ease since they were forced to accept so many human beings
into their confidence. Mugambi and I alone affected them less,
for he and I are, at best, but half human. You, however, and the
members of the crew are far too civilized for my beasts--it is
you whom they are fleeing. Doubtless they feel that they cannot
trust themselves in the close vicinity of so much perfectly good
food without the danger that they may help themselves to a mouthful
some time by mistake."
Jane laughed. "I think they are just trying to escape you," she
retorted. "You are always making them stop something which they
see no reason why they should not do. Like little children they
are doubtless delighted at this opportunity to flee from the zone
of parental discipline. If they come back, though, I hope they
won't come by night."
"Or come hungry, eh?" laughed Tarzan.
For two hours after landing the little party stood watching the
burning ship which they had abandoned. Then there came faintly to
them from across the water the sound of a second explosion. The
Kincaid settled rapidly almost immediatel thereafter, and sank
within a few minutes.
The cause of the second explosion was less a mystery than that of
the first, the mate attributing it to the bursting of the boilers
when the flames had finally reached them; but what had caused the
first explosion was a subject of considerable speculation among
the stranded company.
Jungle Island Again
The first consideration of the party was to locate fresh water and
make camp, for all knew that their term of existence upon Jungle
Island might be drawn out to months, or even years.
Tarzan knew the nearest water, and to this he immediately led the
party. Here the men fell to work to construct shelters and rude
furniture while Tarzan went into the jungle after meat, leaving the
faithful Mugambi and the Mosula woman to guard Jane, whose safety
he would never trust to any member of the Kincaid's cut-throat
Lady Greystoke suffered far greater anguish than any other of
the castaways, for the blow to her hopes and her already cruelly
lacerated mother-heart lay not in her own privations but in the
knowledge that she might now never be able to learn the fate of her
first-born or do aught to discover his whereabouts, or ameliorate
his condition--a condition which imagination naturally pictured in
the most frightful forms.
For two weeks the party divided the time amongst the various duties
which had been allotted to each. A daylight watch was maintained
from sunrise to sunset upon a bluff near the camp--a jutting shoulder
of rock which overlooked the sea. Here, ready for instant lighting,
was gathered a huge pile of dry branches, while from a lofty pole
which they had set in the ground there floated an improvised distress
signal fashioned from a red undershirt which belonged to the mate
of the Kincaid.
But never a speck upon the horizon that might be sail or smoke
rewarded the tired eyes that in their endless, hopeless vigil
strained daily out across the vast expanse of ocean.
It was Tarzan who suggested, finally, that they attempt to construct
a vessel that would bear them back to the mainland. He alone
could show them how to fashion rude tools, and when the idea had
taken root in the minds of the men they were eager to commence
But as time went on and the Herculean nature of their task became
more and more apparent they fell to grumbling, and to quarrelling
among themselves, so that to the other dangers were now added
dissension and suspicion.
More than before did Tarzan now fear to leave Jane among the half
brutes of the Kincaid's crew; but hunting he must do, for none other
could so surely go forth and return with meat as he. Sometimes
Mugambi spelled him at the hunting; but the black's spear and arrows
were never so sure of results as the rope and knife of the ape-man.
Finally the men shirked their work, going off into the jungle by
twos to explore and to hunt. All this time the camp had had no
sight of Sheeta, or Akut and the other great apes, though Tarzan
had sometimes met them in the jungle as he hunted.
And as matters tended from bad to worse in the camp of the castaways
upon the east coast of Jungle Island, another camp came into being
upon the north coast.
Here, in a little cove, lay a small schooner, the Cowrie, whose
decks had but a few days since run red with the blood of her officers
and the loyal members of her crew, for the Cowrie had fallen upon
bad days when it had shipped such men as Gust and Momulla the Maori
and that arch-fiend Kai Shang of Fachan.
There were others, too, ten of them all told, the scum of the
South Sea ports; but Gust and Momulla and Kai Shang were the brains
and cunning of the company. It was they who had instigated the
mutiny that they might seize and divide the catch of pearls which
constituted the wealth of the Cowrie's cargo.
It was Kai Shang who had murdered the captain as he lay asleep in
his berth, and it had been Momulla the Maori who had led the attack
upon the officer of the watch.
Gust, after his own peculiar habit, had found means to delegate to
the others the actual taking of life. Not that Gust entertained
any scruples on the subject, other than those which induced in
him a rare regard for his own personal safety. There is always
a certain element of risk to the assassin, for victims of deadly
assault are seldom prone to die quietly and considerately. There
is always a certain element of risk to go so far as to dispute the
issue with the murderer. It was this chance of dispute which Gust
preferred to forgo.
But now that the work was done the Swede aspired to the position
of highest command among the mutineers. He had even gone so far as
to appropriate and wear certain articles belonging to the murdered
captain of the Cowrie--articles of apparel which bore upon them
the badges and insignia of authority.
Kai Shang was peeved. He had no love for authority, and certainly
not the slightest intention of submitting to the domination of an
ordinary Swede sailor.
The seeds of discontent were, therefore, already planted in the
camp of the mutineers of the Cowrie at the north edge of Jungle
Island. But Kai Shang realized that he must act with circumspection,
for Gust alone of the motley horde possessed sufficient knowledge
of navigation to get them out of the South Atlantic and around the
cape into more congenial waters where they might find a market for
their ill-gotten wealth, and no questions asked.
The day before they sighted Jungle Island and discovered the little
land-locked harbour upon the bosom of which the Cowrie now rode
quietly at anchor, the watch had discovered the smoke and funnels
of a warship upon the southern horizon.
The chance of being spoken and investigated by a man-of-war appealed
not at all to any of them, so they put into hiding for a few days
until the danger should have passed.
And now Gust did not wish to venture out to sea again. There
was no telling, he insisted, but that the ship they had seen was
actually searching for them. Kai Shang pointed out that such could
not be the case since it was impossible for any human being other
than themselves to have knowledge of what had transpired aboard
But Gust was not to be persuaded. In his wicked heart he nursed a
scheme whereby he might increase his share of the booty by something
like one hundred per cent. He alone could sail the Cowrie, therefore
the others could not leave Jungle Island without him; but what was
there to prevent Gust, with just sufficient men to man the schooner,
slipping away from Kai Shang, Momulla the Maori, and some half of
the crew when opportunity presented?
It was for this opportunity that Gust waited. Some day there
would come a moment when Kai Shang, Momulla, and three or four of
the others would be absent from camp, exploring or hunting. The
Swede racked his brain for some plan whereby he might successfully
lure from the sight of the anchored ship those whom he had determined
To this end he organized hunting party after hunting party, but always
the devil of perversity seemed to enter the soul of Kai Shang, so
that wily celestial would never hunt except in the company of Gust
One day Kai Shang spoke secretly with Momulla the Maori, pouring into
the brown ear of his companion the suspicions which he harboured
concerning the Swede. Momulla was for going immediately and running
a long knife through the heart of the traitor.
It is true that Kai Shang had no other evidence than the natural
cunning of his own knavish soul--but he imagined in the intentions
of Gust what he himself would have been glad to accomplish had the
means lain at hand.
But he dared not let Momulla slay the Swede, upon whom they depended
to guide them to their destination. They decided, however, that
it would do no harm to attempt to frighten Gust into acceding to
their demands, and with this purpose in mind the Maori sought out
the self-constituted commander of the party.
When he broached the subject of immediate departure Gust again
raised his former objection--that the warship might very probably
be patrolling the sea directly in their southern path, waiting for
them to make the attempt to reach other waters.
Momulla scoffed at the fears of his fellow, pointing out that as
no one aboard any warship knew of their mutiny there could be no
reason why they should be suspected.
"Ah!" exclaimed Gust, "there is where you are wrong. There is
where you are lucky that you have an educated man like me to tell
you what to do. You are an ignorant savage, Momulla, and so you
know nothing of wireless."
The Maori leaped to his feet and laid his hand upon the hilt of
"I am no savage," he shouted.
"I was only joking," the Swede hastened to explain. "We are old
friends, Momulla; we cannot afford to quarrel, at least not while
old Kai Shang is plotting to steal all the pearls from us. If
he could find a man to navigate the Cowrie he would leave us in a
minute. All his talk about getting away from here is just because
he has some scheme in his head to get rid of us."
"But the wireless," asked Momulla. "What has the wireless to do
with our remaining here?"
"Oh yes," replied Gust, scratching his head. He was wondering if
the Maori were really so ignorant as to believe the preposterous lie
he was about to unload upon him. "Oh yes! You see every warship
is equipped with what they call a wireless apparatus. It lets
them talk to other ships hundreds of miles away, and it lets them
listen to all that is said on these other ships. Now, you see,
when you fellows were shooting up the Cowrie you did a whole lot
of loud talking, and there isn't any doubt but that that warship
was a-lyin' off south of us listenin' to it all. Of course they
might not have learned the name of the ship, but they heard enough
to know that the crew of some ship was mutinying and killin' her
officers. So you see they'll be waiting to search every ship they
sight for a long time to come, and they may not be far away now."
When he had ceased speaking the Swede strove to assume an air of
composure that his listener might not have his suspicions aroused
as to the truth of the statements that had just been made.
Momulla sat for some time in silence, eyeing Gust. At last he
"You are a great liar," he said. "If you don't get us on our way
by tomorrow you'll never have another chance to lie, for I heard
two of the men saying that they'd like to run a knife into you and
that if you kept them in this hole any longer they'd do it."
"Go and ask Kai Shang if there is not a wireless," replied Gust.
"He will tell you that there is such a thing and that vessels can
talk to one another across hundreds of miles of water. Then say
to the two men who wish to kill me that if they do so they will
never live to spend their share of the swag, for only I can get
you safely to any port."
So Momulla went to Kai Shang and asked him if there was such an
apparatus as a wireless by means of which ships could talk with
each other at great distances, and Kai Shang told him that there
Momulla was puzzled; but still he wished to leave the island, and
was willing to take his chances on the open sea rather than to
remain longer in the monotony of the camp.
"If we only had someone else who could navigate a ship!" wailed
That afternoon Momulla went hunting with two other Maoris. They
hunted toward the south, and had not gone far from camp when they
were surprised by the sound of voices ahead of them in the jungle.
They knew that none of their own men had preceded them, and as all
were convinced that the island was uninhabited, they were inclined
to flee in terror on the hypothesis that the place was haunted--possibly
by the ghosts of the murdered officers and men of the Cowrie.
But Momulla was even more curious than he was superstitious, and
so he quelled his natural desire to flee from the supernatural.
Motioning his companions to follow his example, he dropped to his
hands and knees, crawling forward stealthily and with quakings of
heart through the jungle in the direction from which came the voices
of the unseen speakers.
Presently, at the edge of a little clearing, he halted, and there he
breathed a deep sigh of relief, for plainly before him he saw two
flesh-and-blood men sitting upon a fallen log and talking earnestly
One was Schneider, mate of the Kincaid, and the other was a seaman
"I think we can do it, Schmidt," Schneider was saying. "A good
canoe wouldn't be hard to build, and three of us could paddle it to
the mainland in a day if the wind was right and the sea reasonably
calm. There ain't no use waiting for the men to build a big enough
boat to take the whole party, for they're sore now and sick of
working like slaves all day long. It ain't none of our business
anyway to save the Englishman. Let him look out for himself,
says I." He paused for a moment, and then eyeing the other to note
the effect of his next words, he continued, "But we might take the
woman. It would be a shame to leave a nice-lookin' piece like she
is in such a Gott-forsaken hole as this here island."
Schmidt looked up and grinned.
"So that's how she's blowin', is it?" he asked. "Why didn't you
say so in the first place? Wot's in it for me if I help you?"
"She ought to pay us well to get her back to civilization," explained
Schneider, "an' I tell you what I'll do. I'll just whack up with
the two men that helps me. I'll take half an' they can divide the
other half--you an' whoever the other bloke is. I'm sick of this
place, an' the sooner I get out of it the better I'll like it.
What do you say?"
"Suits me," replied Schmidt. "I wouldn't know how to reach the
mainland myself, an' know that none o' the other fellows would,
so's you're the only one that knows anything of navigation you're
the fellow I'll tie to."
Momulla the Maori pricked up his ears. He had a smattering of every
tongue that is spoken upon the seas, and more than a few times had
he sailed on English ships, so that he understood fairly well all
that had passed between Schneider and Schmidt since he had stumbled
He rose to his feet and stepped into the clearing. Schneider and
his companion started as nervously as though a ghost had risen
before them. Schneider reached for his revolver. Momulla raised
his right hand, palm forward, as a sign of his pacific intentions.
"I am a friend," he said. "I heard you; but do not fear that I
will reveal what you have said. I can help you, and you can help
me." He was addressing Schneider. "You can navigate a ship, but
you have no ship. We have a ship, but no one to navigate it. If
you will come with us and ask no questions we will let you take
the ship where you will after you have landed us at a certain port,
the name of which we will give you later. You can take the woman
of whom you speak, and we will ask no questions either. Is it a
Schneider desired more information, and got as much as Momulla
thought best to give him. Then the Maori suggested that they speak
with Kai Shang. The two members of the Kincaid's company followed
Momulla and his fellows to a point in the jungle close by the camp
of the mutineers. Here Momulla hid them while he went in search
of Kai Shang, first admonishing his Maori companions to stand guard
over the two sailors lest they change their minds and attempt to
escape. Schneider and Schmidt were virtually prisoners, though
they did not know it.
Presently Momulla returned with Kai Shang, to whom he had briefly
narrated the details of the stroke of good fortune that had come
to them. The Chinaman spoke at length with Schneider, until,
notwithstanding his natural suspicion of the sincerity of all men,
he became quite convinced that Schneider was quite as much a rogue
as himself and that the fellow was anxious to leave the island.
These two premises accepted there could be little doubt that Schneider
would prove trustworthy in so far as accepting the command of the
Cowrie was concerned; after that Kai Shang knew that he could find
means to coerce the man into submission to his further wishes.
When Schneider and Schmidt left them and set out in the direction
of their own camp, it was with feelings of far greater relief
than they had experienced in many a day. Now at last they saw a
feasible plan for leaving the island upon a seaworthy craft. There
would be no more hard labour at ship-building, and no risking their
lives upon a crudely built makeshift that would be quite as likely
to go to the bottom as it would to reach the mainland.
Also, they were to have assistance in capturing the woman, or
rather women, for when Momulla had learned that there was a black
woman in the other camp he had insisted that she be brought along
as well as the white woman.
As Kai Shang and Momulla entered their camp, it was with a realization
that they no longer needed Gust. They marched straight to the
tent in which they might expect to find him at that hour of the
day, for though it would have been more comfortable for the entire
party to remain aboard the ship, they had mutually decided that
it would be safer for all concerned were they to pitch their camp
Each knew that in the heart of the others was sufficient treachery
to make it unsafe for any member of the party to go ashore leaving
the others in possession of the Cowrie, so not more than two or
three men at a time were ever permitted aboard the vessel unless
all the balance of the company was there too.
As the two crossed toward Gust's tent the Maori felt the edge of
his long knife with one grimy, calloused thumb. The Swede would
have felt far from comfortable could he have seen this significant
action, or read what was passing amid the convolutions of the brown
man's cruel brain.
Now it happened that Gust was at that moment in the tent occupied
by the cook, and this tent stood but a few feet from his own. So
that he heard the approach of Kai Shang and Momulla, though he did
not, of course, dream that it had any special significance for him.
Chance had it, though, that he glanced out of the doorway of the
cook's tent at the very moment that Kai Shang and Momulla approached
the entrance to his, and he thought that he noted a stealthiness
in their movements that comported poorly with amicable or friendly
intentions, and then, just as they two slunk within the interior,
Gust caught a glimpse of the long knife which Momulla the Maori
was then carrying behind his back.
The Swede's eyes opened wide, and a funny little sensation assailed
the roots of his hairs. Also he turned almost white beneath his
tan. Quite precipitately he left the cook's tent. He was not one
who required a detailed exposition of intentions that were quite
all too obvious.
As surely as though he had heard them plotting, he knew that Kai
Shang and Momulla had come to take his life. The knowledge that
he alone could navigate the Cowrie had, up to now, been sufficient
assurance of his safety; but quite evidently something had occurred
of which he had no knowledge that would make it quite worth the
while of his co-conspirators to eliminate him.
Without a pause Gust darted across the beach and into the jungle.
He was afraid of the jungle; uncanny noises that were indeed frightful
came forth from its recesses--the tangled mazes of the mysterious
country back of the beach.
But if Gust was afraid of the jungle he was far more afraid of Kai
Shang and Momulla. The dangers of the jungle were more or less
problematical, while the danger that menaced him at the hands of
his companions was a perfectly well-known quantity, which might be
expressed in terms of a few inches of cold steel, or the coil of
a light rope. He had seen Kai Shang garrotte a man at Pai-sha in
a dark alleyway back of Loo Kotai's place. He feared the rope,
therefore, more than he did the knife of the Maori; but he feared
them both too much to remain within reach of either. Therefore he
chose the pitiless jungle.
The Law of the Jungle
In Tarzan's camp, by dint of threats and promised rewards, the
ape-man had finally succeeded in getting the hull of a large skiff
almost completed. Much of the work he and Mugambi had done with
their own hands in addition to furnishing the camp with meat.
Schneider, the mate, had been doing considerable grumbling, and
had at last openly deserted the work and gone off into the jungle
with Schmidt to hunt. He said that he wanted a rest, and Tarzan,
rather than add to the unpleasantness which already made camp life
almost unendurable, had permitted the two men to depart without a
Upon the following day, however, Schneider affected a feeling of
remorse for his action, and set to work with a will upon the skiff.
Schmidt also worked good-naturedly, and Lord Greystoke congratulated
himself that at last the men had awakened to the necessity for the
labour which was being asked of them and to their obligations to
the balance of the party.
It was with a feeling of greater relief than he had experienced for
many a day that he set out that noon to hunt deep in the jungle for
a herd of small deer which Schneider reported that he and Schmidt
had seen there the day before.
The direction in which Schneider had reported seeing the deer was
toward the south-west, and to that point the ape-man swung easily
through the tangled verdure of the forest.
And as he went there approached from the north a half-dozen
ill-featured men who went stealthily through the jungle as go men
bent upon the commission of a wicked act.
They thought that they travelled unseen; but behind them, almost
from the moment they quitted their own camp, a tall man crept upon
their trail. In the man's eyes were hate and fear, and a great
curiosity. Why went Kai Shang and Momulla and the others thus
stealthily toward the south? What did they expect to find there?
Gust shook his low-browed head in perplexity. But he would know.
He would follow them and learn their plans, and then if he could
thwart them he would--that went without question.
At first he had thought that they searched for him; but finally
his better judgment assured him that such could not be the case,
since they had accomplished all they really desired by chasing him
out of camp. Never would Kai Shang or Momulla go to such pains to
slay him or another unless it would put money into their pockets,
and as Gust had no money it was evident that they were searching
for someone else.
Presently the party he trailed came to a halt. Its members concealed
themselves in the foliage bordering the game trail along which they
had come. Gust, that he might the better observe, clambered into
the branches of a tree to the rear of them, being careful that the
leafy fronds hid him from the view of his erstwhile mates.
He had not long to wait before he saw a strange white man approach
carefully along the trail from the south.
At sight of the newcomer Momulla and Kai Shang arose from their
places of concealment and greeted him. Gust could not overhear
what passed between them. Then the man returned in the direction
from which he had come.
He was Schneider. Nearing his camp he circled to the opposite side
of it, and presently came running in breathlessly. Excitedly he
hastened to Mugambi.
"Quick!" he cried. "Those apes of yours have caught Schmidt and
will kill him if we do not hasten to his aid. You alone can call
them off. Take Jones and Sullivan--you may need help--and get to
him as quick as you can. Follow the game trail south for about
a mile. I will remain here. I am too spent with running to go
back with you," and the mate of the Kincaid threw himself upon the
ground, panting as though he was almost done for.
Mugambi hesitated. He had been left to guard the two women. He
did not know what to do, and then Jane Clayton, who had heard
Schneider's story, added her pleas to those of the mate.
"Do not delay," she urged. "We shall be all right here. Mr.
Schneider will remain with us. Go, Mugambi. The poor fellow must
Schmidt, who lay hidden in a bush at the edge of the camp, grinned.
Mugambi, heeding the commands of his mistress, though still doubtful
of the wisdom of his action, started off toward the south, with
Jones and Sullivan at his heels.
No sooner had he disappeared than Schmidt rose and darted north
into the jungle, and a few minutes later the face of Kai Shang of
Fachan appeared at the edge of the clearing. Schneider saw the
Chinaman, and motioned to him that the coast was clear.
Jane Clayton and the Mosula woman were sitting at the opening of
the former's tent, their backs toward the approaching ruffians.
The first intimation that either had of the presence of strangers
in camp was the sudden appearance of a half-dozen ragged villains
"Come!" said Kai Shang, motioning that the two arise and follow
Jane Clayton sprang to her feet and looked about for Schneider,
only to see him standing behind the newcomers, a grin upon his
face. At his side stood Schmidt. Instantly she saw that she had
been made the victim of a plot.
"What is the meaning of this?" she asked, addressing the mate.
"It means that we have found a ship and that we can now escape from
Jungle Island," replied the man.
"Why did you send Mugambi and the others into the jungle?" she
"They are not coming with us--only you and I, and the Mosula woman."
"Come!" repeated Kai Shang, and seized Jane Clayton's wrist.
One of the Maoris grasped the black woman by the arm, and when she
would have screamed struck her across the mouth.
Mugambi raced through the jungle toward the south. Jones and
Sullivan trailed far behind. For a mile he continued upon his way
to the relief of Schmidt, but no signs saw he of the missing man
or of any of the apes of Akut.
At last he halted and called aloud the summons which he and Tarzan
had used to hail the great anthropoids. There was no response.
Jones and Sullivan came up with the black warrior as the latter
stood voicing his weird call. For another half-mile the black
searched, calling occasionally.
Finally the truth flashed upon him, and then, like a frightened
deer, he wheeled and dashed back toward camp. Arriving there, it
was but a moment before full confirmation of his fears was impressed
upon him. Lady Greystoke and the Mosula woman were gone. So,
likewise, was Schneider.
When Jones and Sullivan joined Mugambi he would have killed them
in his anger, thinking them parties to the plot; but they finally
succeeded in partially convincing him that they had known nothing
As they stood speculating upon the probable whereabouts of the
women and their abductor, and the purpose which Schneider had in
mind in taking them from camp, Tarzan of the Apes swung from the
branches of a tree and crossed the clearing toward them.
His keen eyes detected at once that something was radically wrong,
and when he had heard Mugambi's story his jaws clicked angrily
together as he knitted his brows in thought.
What could the mate hope to accomplish by taking Jane Clayton from
a camp upon a small island from which there was no escape from the
vengeance of Tarzan? The ape-man could not believe the fellow such
a fool, and then a slight realization of the truth dawned upon him.
Schneider would not have committed such an act unless he had been
reasonably sure that there was a way by which he could quit Jungle
Island with his prisoners. But why had he taken the black woman
as well? There must have been others, one of whom wanted the dusky
"Come," said Tarzan, "there is but one thing to do now, and that
is to follow the trail."
As he finished speaking a tall, ungainly figure emerged from the
jungle north of the camp. He came straight toward the four men. He
was an entire stranger to all of them, not one of whom had dreamed
that another human being than those of their own camp dwelt upon
the unfriendly shores of Jungle Island.
It was Gust. He came directly to the point.
"Your women were stolen," he said. "If you want ever to see them
again, come quickly and follow me. If we do not hurry the Cowrie
will be standing out to sea by the time we reach her anchorage."
"Who are you?" asked Tarzan. "What do you know of the theft of my
wife and the black woman?"
"I heard Kai Shang and Momulla the Maori plot with two men of your
camp. They had chased me from our camp, and would have killed me.
Now I will get even with them. Come!"
Gust led the four men of the Kincaid's camp at a rapid trot through
the jungle toward the north. Would they come to the sea in time?
But a few more minutes would answer the question.
And when at last the little party did break through the last of the
screening foliage, and the harbour and the ocean lay before them,
they realized that fate had been most cruelly unkind, for the Cowrie
was already under sail and moving slowly out of the mouth of the
harbour into the open sea.
What were they to do? Tarzan's broad chest rose and fell to the
force of his pent emotions. The last blow seemed to have fallen,
and if ever in all his life Tarzan of the Apes had had occasion to
abandon hope it was now that he saw the ship bearing his wife to
some frightful fate moving gracefully over the rippling water, so
very near and yet so hideously far away.
In silence he stood watching the vessel. He saw it turn toward
the east and finally disappear around a headland on its way he knew
not whither. Then he dropped upon his haunches and buried his face
in his hands.
It was after dark that the five men returned to the camp on the
east shore. The night was hot and sultry. No slightest breeze
ruffled the foliage of the trees or rippled the mirror-like surface
of the ocean. Only a gentle swell rolled softly in upon the beach.
Never had Tarzan seen the great Atlantic so ominously at peace.
He was standing at the edge of the beach gazing out to sea
in the direction of the mainland, his mind filled with sorrow and
hopelessness, when from the jungle close behind the camp came the
uncanny wail of a panther.
There was a familiar note in the weird cry, and almost mechanically
Tarzan turned his head and answered. A moment later the tawny
figure of Sheeta slunk out into the half-light of the beach. There
was no moon, but the sky was brilliant with stars. Silently the
savage brute came to the side of the man. It had been long since
Tarzan had seen his old fighting companion, but the soft purr was
sufficient to assure him that the animal still recalled the bonds
which had united them in the past.
The ape-man let his fingers fall upon the beast's coat, and as
Sheeta pressed close against his leg he caressed and fondled the
wicked head while his eyes continued to search the blackness of
Presently he started. What was that? He strained his eyes into
the night. Then he turned and called aloud to the men smoking
upon their blankets in the camp. They came running to his side;
but Gust hesitated when he saw the nature of Tarzan's companion.
"Look!" cried Tarzan. "A light! A ship's light! It must be
the Cowrie. They are becalmed." And then with an exclamation of
renewed hope, "We can reach them! The skiff will carry us easily."
Gust demurred. "They are well armed," he warned. "We could not
take the ship--just five of us."
"There are six now," replied Tarzan, pointing to Sheeta, "and we
can have more still in a half-hour. Sheeta is the equivalent of
twenty men, and the few others I can bring will add full a hundred
to our fighting strength. You do not know them."
The ape-man turned and raised his head toward the jungle, while
there pealed from his lips, time after time, the fearsome cry of
the bull-ape who would summon his fellows.
Presently from the jungle came an answering cry, and then another
and another. Gust shuddered. Among what sort of creatures had
fate thrown him? Were not Kai Shang and Momulla to be preferred
to this great white giant who stroked a panther and called to the
beasts of the jungle?
In a few minutes the apes of Akut came crashing through the
underbrush and out upon the beach, while in the meantime the five
men had been struggling with the unwieldy bulk of the skiff's hull.
By dint of Herculean efforts they had managed to get it to the
water's edge. The oars from the two small boats of the Kincaid,
which had been washed away by an off-shore wind the very night
that the party had landed, had been in use to support the canvas of
the sailcloth tents. These were hastily requisitioned, and by the
time Akut and his followers came down to the water all was ready
Once again the hideous crew entered the service of their master,
and without question took up their places in the skiff. The four
men, for Gust could not be prevailed upon to accompany the party,
fell to the oars, using them paddle-wise, while some of the apes
followed their example, and presently the ungainly skiff was moving
quietly out to sea in the direction of the light which rose and
fell gently with the swell.
A sleepy sailor kept a poor vigil upon the Cowrie's deck, while
in the cabin below Schneider paced up and down arguing with Jane
Clayton. The woman had found a revolver in a table drawer in the
room in which she had been locked, and now she kept the mate of
the Kincaid at bay with the weapon.
The Mosula woman kneeled behind her, while Schneider paced up and
down before the door, threatening and pleading and promising, but
all to no avail. Presently from the deck above came a shout of
warning and a shot. For an instant Jane Clayton relaxed her vigilance,
and turned her eyes toward the cabin skylight. Simultaneously
Schneider was upon her.
The first intimation the watch had that there was another craft
within a thousand miles of the Cowrie came when he saw the head
and shoulders of a man poked over the ship's side. Instantly
the fellow sprang to his feet with a cry and levelled his revolver
at the intruder. It was his cry and the subsequent report of the
revolver which threw Jane Clayton off her guard.
Upon deck the quiet of fancied security soon gave place to the
wildest pandemonium. The crew of the Cowrie rushed above armed
with revolvers, cutlasses, and the long knives that many of them
habitually wore; but the alarm had come too late. Already the
beasts of Tarzan were upon the ship's deck, with Tarzan and the
two men of the Kincaid's crew.
In the face of the frightful beasts the courage of the mutineers
wavered and broke. Those with revolvers fired a few scattering
shots and then raced for some place of supposed safety. Into the
shrouds went some; but the apes of Akut were more at home there
Screaming with terror the Maoris were dragged from their lofty
perches. The beasts, uncontrolled by Tarzan who had gone in search
of Jane, loosed in the full fury of their savage natures upon the
unhappy wretches who fell into their clutches.
Sheeta, in the meanwhile, had felt his great fangs sink into but a
singular jugular. For a moment he mauled the corpse, and then he
spied Kai Shang darting down the companionway toward his cabin.
With a shrill scream Sheeta was after him--a scream which awoke
an almost equally uncanny cry in the throat of the terror-stricken
But Kai Shang reached his cabin a fraction of a second ahead of
the panther, and leaping within slammed the door--just too late.
Sheeta's great body hurtled against it before the catch engaged,
and a moment later Kai Shang was gibbering and shrieking in the
back of an upper berth.
Lightly Sheeta sprang after his victim, and presently the wicked
days of Kai Shang of Fachan were ended, and Sheeta was gorging
himself upon tough and stringy flesh.
A moment scarcely had elapsed after Schneider leaped upon Jane
Clayton and wrenched the revolver from her hand, when the door of
the cabin opened and a tall and half-naked white man stood framed
within the portal.
Silently he leaped across the cabin. Schneider felt sinewy fingers
at his throat. He turned his head to see who had attacked him,
and his eyes went wide when he saw the face of the ape-man close
above his own.
Grimly the fingers tightened upon the mate's throat. He tried to
scream, to plead, but no sound came forth. His eyes protruded as
he struggled for freedom, for breath, for life.
Jane Clayton seized her husband's hands and tried to drag them from
the throat of the dying man; but Tarzan only shook his head.
"Not again," he said quietly. "Before have I permitted scoundrels
to live, only to suffer and to have you suffer for my mercy. This
time we shall make sure of one scoundrel--sure that he will never
again harm us or another," and with a sudden wrench he twisted the
neck of the perfidious mate until there was a sharp crack, and the
man's body lay limp and motionless in the ape-man's grasp. With a
gesture of disgust Tarzan tossed the corpse aside. Then he returned
to the deck, followed by Jane and the Mosula woman.
The battle there was over. Schmidt and Momulla and two others
alone remained alive of all the company of the Cowrie, for they had
found sanctuary in the forecastle. The others had died, horribly,
and as they deserved, beneath the fangs and talons of the beasts
of Tarzan, and in the morning the sun rose on a grisly sight upon
the deck of the unhappy Cowrie; but this time the blood which
stained her white planking was the blood of the guilty and not of
Tarzan brought forth the men who had hidden in the forecastle, and
without promises of immunity from punishment forced them to help
work the vessel--the only alternative was immediate death.
A stiff breeze had risen with the sun, and with canvas spread the
Cowrie set in toward Jungle Island, where a few hours later, Tarzan
picked up Gust and bid farewell to Sheeta and the apes of Akut, for
here he set the beasts ashore to pursue the wild and natural life
they loved so well; nor did they lose a moment's time in disappearing
into the cool depths of their beloved jungle.
That they knew that Tarzan was to leave them may be doubted--except
possibly in the case of the more intelligent Akut, who alone of
all the others remained upon the beach as the small boat drew away
toward the schooner, carrying his savage lord and master from him.
And as long as their eyes could span the distance, Jane and Tarzan,
standing upon the deck, saw the lonely figure of the shaggy anthropoid
motionless upon the surf-beaten sands of Jungle Island.
It was three days later that the Cowrie fell in with H.M. sloop-of-war
Shorewater, through whose wireless Lord Greystoke soon got in
communication with London. Thus he learned that which filled his
and his wife's heart with joy and thanksgiving--little Jack was
safe at Lord Greystoke's town house.
It was not until they reached London that they learned the details
of the remarkable chain of circumstances that had preserved the
It developed that Rokoff, fearing to take the child aboard the
Kincaid by day, had hidden it in a low den where nameless infants
were harboured, intending to carry it to the steamer after dark.
His confederate and chief lieutenant, Paulvitch, true to the long
years of teaching of his wily master, had at last succumbed to
the treachery and greed that had always marked his superior, and,
lured by the thoughts of the immense ransom that he might win
by returning the child unharmed, had divulged the secret of its
parentage to the woman who maintained the foundling asylum. Through
her he had arranged for the substitution of another infant, knowing
full well that never until it was too late would Rokoff suspect
the trick that had been played upon him.
The woman had promised to keep the child until Paulvitch returned
to England; but she, in turn, had been tempted to betray her trust
by the lure of gold, and so had opened negotiations with Lord
Greystoke's solicitors for the return of the child.
Esmeralda, the old Negro nurse whose absence on a vacation in America
at the time of the abduction of little Jack had been attributed
by her as the cause of the calamity, had returned and positively
identified the infant.
The ransom had been paid, and within ten days of the date of
his kidnapping the future Lord Greystoke, none the worse for his
experience, had been returned to his father's home.
And so that last and greatest of Nikolas Rokoff's many rascalities
had not only miserably miscarried through the treachery he had
taught his only friend, but it had resulted in the arch-villain's
death, and given to Lord and Lady Greystoke a peace of mind that
neither could ever have felt so long as the vital spark remained in
the body of the Russian and his malign mind was free to formulate
new atrocities against them.
Rokoff was dead, and while the fate of Paulvitch was unknown, they
had every reason to believe that he had succumbed to the dangers
of the jungle where last they had seen him--the malicious tool of
And thus, in so far as they might know, they were to be freed for
ever from the menace of these two men--the only enemies which Tarzan
of the Apes ever had had occasion to fear, because they struck at
him cowardly blows, through those he loved.
It was a happy family party that were reunited in Greystoke House
the day that Lord Greystoke and his lady landed upon English soil
from the deck of the Shorewater.
Accompanying them were Mugambi and the Mosula woman whom he had
found in the bottom of the canoe that night upon the bank of the
little tributary of the Ugambi.
The woman had preferred to cling to her new lord and master rather
than return to the marriage she had tried to escape.
Tarzan had proposed to them that they might find a home upon his
vast African estates in the land of the Waziri, where they were to
be sent as soon as opportunity presented itself.
Possibly we shall see them all there amid the savage romance of
the grim jungle and the great plains where Tarzan of the Apes loves
best to be.
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