Tarzan of the Apes
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Out to Sea
The Savage Home
Life and Death
The White Ape
The Light of Knowledge
The Tree-top Hunter
Man and Man
"King of the Apes"
His Own Kind
At the Mercy of the Jungle
The Forest God
The Jungle Toll
The Call of the Primitive
The Village of Torture
The Search Party
The Outpost of the World
The Height of Civilization
The Giant Again
Out to Sea
I had this story from one who had no business to tell it to me, or to
any other. I may credit the seductive influence of an old vintage upon
the narrator for the beginning of it, and my own skeptical incredulity
during the days that followed for the balance of the strange tale.
When my convivial host discovered that he had told me so much, and that
I was prone to doubtfulness, his foolish pride assumed the task the old
vintage had commenced, and so he unearthed written evidence in the form
of musty manuscript, and dry official records of the British Colonial
Office to support many of the salient features of his remarkable
I do not say the story is true, for I did not witness the happenings
which it portrays, but the fact that in the telling of it to you I have
taken fictitious names for the principal characters quite sufficiently
evidences the sincerity of my own belief that it MAY be true.
The yellow, mildewed pages of the diary of a man long dead, and the
records of the Colonial Office dovetail perfectly with the narrative of
my convivial host, and so I give you the story as I painstakingly
pieced it out from these several various agencies.
If you do not find it credible you will at least be as one with me in
acknowledging that it is unique, remarkable, and interesting.
From the records of the Colonial Office and from the dead man's diary
we learn that a certain young English nobleman, whom we shall call John
Clayton, Lord Greystoke, was commissioned to make a peculiarly delicate
investigation of conditions in a British West Coast African Colony from
whose simple native inhabitants another European power was known to be
recruiting soldiers for its native army, which it used solely for the
forcible collection of rubber and ivory from the savage tribes along
the Congo and the Aruwimi. The natives of the British Colony
complained that many of their young men were enticed away through the
medium of fair and glowing promises, but that few if any ever returned
to their families.
The Englishmen in Africa went even further, saying that these poor
blacks were held in virtual slavery, since after their terms of
enlistment expired their ignorance was imposed upon by their white
officers, and they were told that they had yet several years to serve.
And so the Colonial Office appointed John Clayton to a new post in
British West Africa, but his confidential instructions centered on a
thorough investigation of the unfair treatment of black British
subjects by the officers of a friendly European power. Why he was
sent, is, however, of little moment to this story, for he never made an
investigation, nor, in fact, did he ever reach his destination.
Clayton was the type of Englishman that one likes best to associate
with the noblest monuments of historic achievement upon a thousand
victorious battlefields—a strong, virile man—mentally, morally, and
In stature he was above the average height; his eyes were gray, his
features regular and strong; his carriage that of perfect, robust
health influenced by his years of army training.
Political ambition had caused him to seek transference from the army to
the Colonial Office and so we find him, still young, entrusted with a
delicate and important commission in the service of the Queen.
When he received this appointment he was both elated and appalled. The
preferment seemed to him in the nature of a well-merited reward for
painstaking and intelligent service, and as a stepping stone to posts
of greater importance and responsibility; but, on the other hand, he
had been married to the Hon. Alice Rutherford for scarce a three
months, and it was the thought of taking this fair young girl into the
dangers and isolation of tropical Africa that appalled him.
For her sake he would have refused the appointment, but she would not
have it so. Instead she insisted that he accept, and, indeed, take her
There were mothers and brothers and sisters, and aunts and cousins to
express various opinions on the subject, but as to what they severally
advised history is silent.
We know only that on a bright May morning in 1888, John, Lord
Greystoke, and Lady Alice sailed from Dover on their way to Africa.
A month later they arrived at Freetown where they chartered a small
sailing vessel, the Fuwalda, which was to bear them to their final
And here John, Lord Greystoke, and Lady Alice, his wife, vanished from
the eyes and from the knowledge of men.
Two months after they weighed anchor and cleared from the port of
Freetown a half dozen British war vessels were scouring the south
Atlantic for trace of them or their little vessel, and it was almost
immediately that the wreckage was found upon the shores of St. Helena
which convinced the world that the Fuwalda had gone down with all on
board, and hence the search was stopped ere it had scarce begun; though
hope lingered in longing hearts for many years.
The Fuwalda, a barkentine of about one hundred tons, was a vessel of
the type often seen in coastwise trade in the far southern Atlantic,
their crews composed of the offscourings of the sea—unhanged murderers
and cutthroats of every race and every nation.
The Fuwalda was no exception to the rule. Her officers were swarthy
bullies, hating and hated by their crew. The captain, while a
competent seaman, was a brute in his treatment of his men. He knew, or
at least he used, but two arguments in his dealings with them—a
belaying pin and a revolver—nor is it likely that the motley
aggregation he signed would have understood aught else.
So it was that from the second day out from Freetown John Clayton and
his young wife witnessed scenes upon the deck of the Fuwalda such as
they had believed were never enacted outside the covers of printed
stories of the sea.
It was on the morning of the second day that the first link was forged
in what was destined to form a chain of circumstances ending in a life
for one then unborn such as has never been paralleled in the history of
Two sailors were washing down the decks of the Fuwalda, the first mate
was on duty, and the captain had stopped to speak with John Clayton and
The men were working backwards toward the little party who were facing
away from the sailors. Closer and closer they came, until one of them
was directly behind the captain. In another moment he would have
passed by and this strange narrative would never have been recorded.
But just that instant the officer turned to leave Lord and Lady
Greystoke, and, as he did so, tripped against the sailor and sprawled
headlong upon the deck, overturning the water-pail so that he was
drenched in its dirty contents.
For an instant the scene was ludicrous; but only for an instant. With
a volley of awful oaths, his face suffused with the scarlet of
mortification and rage, the captain regained his feet, and with a
terrific blow felled the sailor to the deck.
The man was small and rather old, so that the brutality of the act was
thus accentuated. The other seaman, however, was neither old nor
small—a huge bear of a man, with fierce black mustachios, and a great
bull neck set between massive shoulders.
As he saw his mate go down he crouched, and, with a low snarl, sprang
upon the captain crushing him to his knees with a single mighty blow.
From scarlet the officer's face went white, for this was mutiny; and
mutiny he had met and subdued before in his brutal career. Without
waiting to rise he whipped a revolver from his pocket, firing point
blank at the great mountain of muscle towering before him; but, quick
as he was, John Clayton was almost as quick, so that the bullet which
was intended for the sailor's heart lodged in the sailor's leg instead,
for Lord Greystoke had struck down the captain's arm as he had seen the
weapon flash in the sun.
Words passed between Clayton and the captain, the former making it
plain that he was disgusted with the brutality displayed toward the
crew, nor would he countenance anything further of the kind while he
and Lady Greystoke remained passengers.
The captain was on the point of making an angry reply, but, thinking
better of it, turned on his heel and black and scowling, strode aft.
He did not care to antagonize an English official, for the Queen's
mighty arm wielded a punitive instrument which he could appreciate, and
which he feared—England's far-reaching navy.
The two sailors picked themselves up, the older man assisting his
wounded comrade to rise. The big fellow, who was known among his mates
as Black Michael, tried his leg gingerly, and, finding that it bore his
weight, turned to Clayton with a word of gruff thanks.
Though the fellow's tone was surly, his words were evidently well
meant. Ere he had scarce finished his little speech he had turned and
was limping off toward the forecastle with the very apparent intention
of forestalling any further conversation.
They did not see him again for several days, nor did the captain accord
them more than the surliest of grunts when he was forced to speak to
They took their meals in his cabin, as they had before the unfortunate
occurrence; but the captain was careful to see that his duties never
permitted him to eat at the same time.
The other officers were coarse, illiterate fellows, but little above
the villainous crew they bullied, and were only too glad to avoid
social intercourse with the polished English noble and his lady, so
that the Claytons were left very much to themselves.
This in itself accorded perfectly with their desires, but it also
rather isolated them from the life of the little ship so that they were
unable to keep in touch with the daily happenings which were to
culminate so soon in bloody tragedy.
There was in the whole atmosphere of the craft that undefinable
something which presages disaster. Outwardly, to the knowledge of the
Claytons, all went on as before upon the little vessel; but that there
was an undertow leading them toward some unknown danger both felt,
though they did not speak of it to each other.
On the second day after the wounding of Black Michael, Clayton came on
deck just in time to see the limp body of one of the crew being carried
below by four of his fellows while the first mate, a heavy belaying pin
in his hand, stood glowering at the little party of sullen sailors.
Clayton asked no questions—he did not need to—and the following day,
as the great lines of a British battleship grew out of the distant
horizon, he half determined to demand that he and Lady Alice be put
aboard her, for his fears were steadily increasing that nothing but
harm could result from remaining on the lowering, sullen Fuwalda.
Toward noon they were within speaking distance of the British vessel,
but when Clayton had nearly decided to ask the captain to put them
aboard her, the obvious ridiculousness of such a request became
suddenly apparent. What reason could he give the officer commanding
her majesty's ship for desiring to go back in the direction from which
he had just come!
What if he told them that two insubordinate seamen had been roughly
handled by their officers? They would but laugh in their sleeves and
attribute his reason for wishing to leave the ship to but one
John Clayton, Lord Greystoke, did not ask to be transferred to the
British man-of-war. Late in the afternoon he saw her upper works fade
below the far horizon, but not before he learned that which confirmed
his greatest fears, and caused him to curse the false pride which had
restrained him from seeking safety for his young wife a few short hours
before, when safety was within reach—a safety which was now gone
It was mid-afternoon that brought the little old sailor, who had been
felled by the captain a few days before, to where Clayton and his wife
stood by the ship's side watching the ever diminishing outlines of the
great battleship. The old fellow was polishing brasses, and as he came
edging along until close to Clayton he said, in an undertone:
"'Ell's to pay, sir, on this 'ere craft, an' mark my word for it, sir.
'Ell's to pay."
"What do you mean, my good fellow?" asked Clayton.
"Wy, hasn't ye seen wats goin' on? Hasn't ye 'eard that devil's spawn
of a capting an' is mates knockin' the bloomin' lights outen 'arf the
"Two busted 'eads yeste'day, an' three to-day. Black Michael's as good
as new agin an' 'e's not the bully to stand fer it, not 'e; an' mark my
word for it, sir."
"You mean, my man, that the crew contemplates mutiny?" asked Clayton.
"Mutiny!" exclaimed the old fellow. "Mutiny! They means murder, sir,
an' mark my word for it, sir."
"Hit's comin', sir; hit's comin' but I'm not a-sayin' wen, an' I've
said too damned much now, but ye was a good sort t'other day an' I
thought it no more'n right to warn ye. But keep a still tongue in yer
'ead an' when ye 'ear shootin' git below an' stay there.
"That's all, only keep a still tongue in yer 'ead, or they'll put a
pill between yer ribs, an' mark my word for it, sir," and the old
fellow went on with his polishing, which carried him away from where
the Claytons were standing.
"Deuced cheerful outlook, Alice," said Clayton.
"You should warn the captain at once, John. Possibly the trouble may
yet be averted," she said.
"I suppose I should, but yet from purely selfish motives I am almost
prompted to 'keep a still tongue in my 'ead.' Whatever they do now they
will spare us in recognition of my stand for this fellow Black Michael,
but should they find that I had betrayed them there would be no mercy
shown us, Alice."
"You have but one duty, John, and that lies in the interest of vested
authority. If you do not warn the captain you are as much a party to
whatever follows as though you had helped to plot and carry it out with
your own head and hands."
"You do not understand, dear," replied Clayton. "It is of you I am
thinking—there lies my first duty. The captain has brought this
condition upon himself, so why then should I risk subjecting my wife to
unthinkable horrors in a probably futile attempt to save him from his
own brutal folly? You have no conception, dear, of what would follow
were this pack of cutthroats to gain control of the Fuwalda."
"Duty is duty, John, and no amount of sophistries may change it. I
would be a poor wife for an English lord were I to be responsible for
his shirking a plain duty. I realize the danger which must follow, but
I can face it with you."
"Have it as you will then, Alice," he answered, smiling. "Maybe we are
borrowing trouble. While I do not like the looks of things on board
this ship, they may not be so bad after all, for it is possible that
the 'Ancient Mariner' was but voicing the desires of his wicked old
heart rather than speaking of real facts.
"Mutiny on the high sea may have been common a hundred years ago, but
in this good year 1888 it is the least likely of happenings.
"But there goes the captain to his cabin now. If I am going to warn
him I might as well get the beastly job over for I have little stomach
to talk with the brute at all."
So saying he strolled carelessly in the direction of the companionway
through which the captain had passed, and a moment later was knocking
at his door.
"Come in," growled the deep tones of that surly officer.
And when Clayton had entered, and closed the door behind him:
"I have come to report the gist of a conversation I heard to-day,
because I feel that, while there may be nothing to it, it is as well
that you be forearmed. In short, the men contemplate mutiny and
"It's a lie!" roared the captain. "And if you have been interfering
again with the discipline of this ship, or meddling in affairs that
don't concern you you can take the consequences, and be damned. I
don't care whether you are an English lord or not. I'm captain of this
here ship, and from now on you keep your meddling nose out of my
The captain had worked himself up to such a frenzy of rage that he was
fairly purple of face, and he shrieked the last words at the top of his
voice, emphasizing his remarks by a loud thumping of the table with one
huge fist, and shaking the other in Clayton's face.
Greystoke never turned a hair, but stood eying the excited man with
"Captain Billings," he drawled finally, "if you will pardon my candor,
I might remark that you are something of an ass."
Whereupon he turned and left the captain with the same indifferent ease
that was habitual with him, and which was more surely calculated to
raise the ire of a man of Billings' class than a torrent of invective.
So, whereas the captain might easily have been brought to regret his
hasty speech had Clayton attempted to conciliate him, his temper was
now irrevocably set in the mold in which Clayton had left it, and the
last chance of their working together for their common good was gone.
"Well, Alice," said Clayton, as he rejoined his wife, "I might have
saved my breath. The fellow proved most ungrateful. Fairly jumped at
me like a mad dog.
"He and his blasted old ship may hang, for aught I care; and until we
are safely off the thing I shall spend my energies in looking after our
own welfare. And I rather fancy the first step to that end should be
to go to our cabin and look over my revolvers. I am sorry now that we
packed the larger guns and the ammunition with the stuff below."
They found their quarters in a bad state of disorder. Clothing from
their open boxes and bags strewed the little apartment, and even their
beds had been torn to pieces.
"Evidently someone was more anxious about our belongings than we," said
Clayton. "Let's have a look around, Alice, and see what's missing."
A thorough search revealed the fact that nothing had been taken but
Clayton's two revolvers and the small supply of ammunition he had saved
out for them.
"Those are the very things I most wish they had left us," said Clayton,
"and the fact that they wished for them and them alone is most
"What are we to do, John?" asked his wife. "Perhaps you were right in
that our best chance lies in maintaining a neutral position.
"If the officers are able to prevent a mutiny, we have nothing to fear,
while if the mutineers are victorious our one slim hope lies in not
having attempted to thwart or antagonize them."
"Right you are, Alice. We'll keep in the middle of the road."
As they started to straighten up their cabin, Clayton and his wife
simultaneously noticed the corner of a piece of paper protruding from
beneath the door of their quarters. As Clayton stooped to reach for it
he was amazed to see it move further into the room, and then he
realized that it was being pushed inward by someone from without.
Quickly and silently he stepped toward the door, but, as he reached for
the knob to throw it open, his wife's hand fell upon his wrist.
"No, John," she whispered. "They do not wish to be seen, and so we
cannot afford to see them. Do not forget that we are keeping to the
middle of the road."
Clayton smiled and dropped his hand to his side. Thus they stood
watching the little bit of white paper until it finally remained at
rest upon the floor just inside the door.
Then Clayton stooped and picked it up. It was a bit of grimy, white
paper roughly folded into a ragged square. Opening it they found a
crude message printed almost illegibly, and with many evidences of an
Translated, it was a warning to the Claytons to refrain from reporting
the loss of the revolvers, or from repeating what the old sailor had
told them—to refrain on pain of death.
"I rather imagine we'll be good," said Clayton with a rueful smile.
"About all we can do is to sit tight and wait for whatever may come."
The Savage Home
Nor did they have long to wait, for the next morning as Clayton was
emerging on deck for his accustomed walk before breakfast, a shot rang
out, and then another, and another.
The sight which met his eyes confirmed his worst fears. Facing the
little knot of officers was the entire motley crew of the Fuwalda, and
at their head stood Black Michael.
At the first volley from the officers the men ran for shelter, and from
points of vantage behind masts, wheel-house and cabin they returned the
fire of the five men who represented the hated authority of the ship.
Two of their number had gone down before the captain's revolver. They
lay where they had fallen between the combatants. But then the first
mate lunged forward upon his face, and at a cry of command from Black
Michael the mutineers charged the remaining four. The crew had been
able to muster but six firearms, so most of them were armed with boat
hooks, axes, hatchets and crowbars.
The captain had emptied his revolver and was reloading as the charge
was made. The second mate's gun had jammed, and so there were but two
weapons opposed to the mutineers as they bore down upon the officers,
who now started to give back before the infuriated rush of their men.
Both sides were cursing and swearing in a frightful manner, which,
together with the reports of the firearms and the screams and groans of
the wounded, turned the deck of the Fuwalda to the likeness of a
Before the officers had taken a dozen backward steps the men were upon
them. An ax in the hands of a burly Negro cleft the captain from
forehead to chin, and an instant later the others were down: dead or
wounded from dozens of blows and bullet wounds.
Short and grisly had been the work of the mutineers of the Fuwalda, and
through it all John Clayton had stood leaning carelessly beside the
companionway puffing meditatively upon his pipe as though he had been
but watching an indifferent cricket match.
As the last officer went down he thought it was time that he returned
to his wife lest some members of the crew find her alone below.
Though outwardly calm and indifferent, Clayton was inwardly
apprehensive and wrought up, for he feared for his wife's safety at the
hands of these ignorant, half-brutes into whose hands fate had so
remorselessly thrown them.
As he turned to descend the ladder he was surprised to see his wife
standing on the steps almost at his side.
"How long have you been here, Alice?"
"Since the beginning," she replied. "How awful, John. Oh, how awful!
What can we hope for at the hands of such as those?"
"Breakfast, I hope," he answered, smiling bravely in an attempt to
allay her fears.
"At least," he added, "I'm going to ask them. Come with me, Alice. We
must not let them think we expect any but courteous treatment."
The men had by this time surrounded the dead and wounded officers, and
without either partiality or compassion proceeded to throw both living
and dead over the sides of the vessel. With equal heartlessness they
disposed of their own dead and dying.
Presently one of the crew spied the approaching Claytons, and with a
cry of: "Here's two more for the fishes," rushed toward them with
But Black Michael was even quicker, so that the fellow went down with a
bullet in his back before he had taken a half dozen steps.
With a loud roar, Black Michael attracted the attention of the others,
and, pointing to Lord and Lady Greystoke, cried:
"These here are my friends, and they are to be left alone. D'ye
"I'm captain of this ship now, an' what I says goes," he added, turning
to Clayton. "Just keep to yourselves, and nobody'll harm ye," and he
looked threateningly on his fellows.
The Claytons heeded Black Michael's instructions so well that they saw
but little of the crew and knew nothing of the plans the men were
Occasionally they heard faint echoes of brawls and quarreling among the
mutineers, and on two occasions the vicious bark of firearms rang out
on the still air. But Black Michael was a fit leader for this band of
cutthroats, and, withal held them in fair subjection to his rule.
On the fifth day following the murder of the ship's officers, land was
sighted by the lookout. Whether island or mainland, Black Michael did
not know, but he announced to Clayton that if investigation showed that
the place was habitable he and Lady Greystoke were to be put ashore
with their belongings.
"You'll be all right there for a few months," he explained, "and by
that time we'll have been able to make an inhabited coast somewhere and
scatter a bit. Then I'll see that yer gover'ment's notified where you
be an' they'll soon send a man-o'war to fetch ye off.
"It would be a hard matter to land you in civilization without a lot o'
questions being asked, an' none o' us here has any very convincin'
answers up our sleeves."
Clayton remonstrated against the inhumanity of landing them upon an
unknown shore to be left to the mercies of savage beasts, and,
possibly, still more savage men.
But his words were of no avail, and only tended to anger Black Michael,
so he was forced to desist and make the best he could of a bad
About three o'clock in the afternoon they came about off a beautiful
wooded shore opposite the mouth of what appeared to be a land-locked
Black Michael sent a small boat filled with men to sound the entrance
in an effort to determine if the Fuwalda could be safely worked through
In about an hour they returned and reported deep water through the
passage as well as far into the little basin.
Before dark the barkentine lay peacefully at anchor upon the bosom of
the still, mirror-like surface of the harbor.
The surrounding shores were beautiful with semitropical verdure, while
in the distance the country rose from the ocean in hill and tableland,
almost uniformly clothed by primeval forest.
No signs of habitation were visible, but that the land might easily
support human life was evidenced by the abundant bird and animal life
of which the watchers on the Fuwalda's deck caught occasional glimpses,
as well as by the shimmer of a little river which emptied into the
harbor, insuring fresh water in plenitude.
As darkness settled upon the earth, Clayton and Lady Alice still stood
by the ship's rail in silent contemplation of their future abode. From
the dark shadows of the mighty forest came the wild calls of savage
beasts—the deep roar of the lion, and, occasionally, the shrill scream
of a panther.
The woman shrank closer to the man in terror-stricken anticipation of
the horrors lying in wait for them in the awful blackness of the nights
to come, when they should be alone upon that wild and lonely shore.
Later in the evening Black Michael joined them long enough to instruct
them to make their preparations for landing on the morrow. They tried
to persuade him to take them to some more hospitable coast near enough
to civilization so that they might hope to fall into friendly hands.
But no pleas, or threats, or promises of reward could move him.
"I am the only man aboard who would not rather see ye both safely dead,
and, while I know that's the sensible way to make sure of our own
necks, yet Black Michael's not the man to forget a favor. Ye saved my
life once, and in return I'm goin' to spare yours, but that's all I can
"The men won't stand for any more, and if we don't get ye landed pretty
quick they may even change their minds about giving ye that much show.
I'll put all yer stuff ashore with ye as well as cookin' utensils an'
some old sails for tents, an' enough grub to last ye until ye can find
fruit and game.
"With yer guns for protection, ye ought to be able to live here easy
enough until help comes. When I get safely hid away I'll see to it
that the British gover'ment learns about where ye be; for the life of
me I couldn't tell 'em exactly where, for I don't know myself. But
they'll find ye all right."
After he had left them they went silently below, each wrapped in gloomy
Clayton did not believe that Black Michael had the slightest intention
of notifying the British government of their whereabouts, nor was he
any too sure but that some treachery was contemplated for the following
day when they should be on shore with the sailors who would have to
accompany them with their belongings.
Once out of Black Michael's sight any of the men might strike them
down, and still leave Black Michael's conscience clear.
And even should they escape that fate was it not but to be faced with
far graver dangers? Alone, he might hope to survive for years; for he
was a strong, athletic man.
But what of Alice, and that other little life so soon to be launched
amidst the hardships and grave dangers of a primeval world?
The man shuddered as he meditated upon the awful gravity, the fearful
helplessness, of their situation. But it was a merciful Providence
which prevented him from foreseeing the hideous reality which awaited
them in the grim depths of that gloomy wood.
Early next morning their numerous chests and boxes were hoisted on deck
and lowered to waiting small boats for transportation to shore.
There was a great quantity and variety of stuff, as the Claytons had
expected a possible five to eight years' residence in their new home.
Thus, in addition to the many necessities they had brought, there were
also many luxuries.
Black Michael was determined that nothing belonging to the Claytons
should be left on board. Whether out of compassion for them, or in
furtherance of his own self-interests, it would be difficult to say.
There was no question but that the presence of property of a missing
British official upon a suspicious vessel would have been a difficult
thing to explain in any civilized port in the world.
So zealous was he in his efforts to carry out his intentions that he
insisted upon the return of Clayton's revolvers to him by the sailors
in whose possession they were.
Into the small boats were also loaded salt meats and biscuit, with a
small supply of potatoes and beans, matches, and cooking vessels, a
chest of tools, and the old sails which Black Michael had promised them.
As though himself fearing the very thing which Clayton had suspected,
Black Michael accompanied them to shore, and was the last to leave them
when the small boats, having filled the ship's casks with fresh water,
were pushed out toward the waiting Fuwalda.
As the boats moved slowly over the smooth waters of the bay, Clayton
and his wife stood silently watching their departure—in the breasts of
both a feeling of impending disaster and utter hopelessness.
And behind them, over the edge of a low ridge, other eyes
watched—close set, wicked eyes, gleaming beneath shaggy brows.
As the Fuwalda passed through the narrow entrance to the harbor and out
of sight behind a projecting point, Lady Alice threw her arms about
Clayton's neck and burst into uncontrolled sobs.
Bravely had she faced the dangers of the mutiny; with heroic fortitude
she had looked into the terrible future; but now that the horror of
absolute solitude was upon them, her overwrought nerves gave way, and
the reaction came.
He did not attempt to check her tears. It were better that nature have
her way in relieving these long-pent emotions, and it was many minutes
before the girl—little more than a child she was—could again gain
mastery of herself.
"Oh, John," she cried at last, "the horror of it. What are we to do?
What are we to do?"
"There is but one thing to do, Alice," and he spoke as quietly as
though they were sitting in their snug living room at home, "and that
is work. Work must be our salvation. We must not give ourselves time
to think, for in that direction lies madness.
"We must work and wait. I am sure that relief will come, and come
quickly, when once it is apparent that the Fuwalda has been lost, even
though Black Michael does not keep his word to us."
"But John, if it were only you and I," she sobbed, "we could endure it
I know; but—"
"Yes, dear," he answered, gently, "I have been thinking of that, also;
but we must face it, as we must face whatever comes, bravely and with
the utmost confidence in our ability to cope with circumstances
whatever they may be.
"Hundreds of thousands of years ago our ancestors of the dim and
distant past faced the same problems which we must face, possibly in
these same primeval forests. That we are here today evidences their
"What they did may we not do? And even better, for are we not armed
with ages of superior knowledge, and have we not the means of
protection, defense, and sustenance which science has given us, but of
which they were totally ignorant? What they accomplished, Alice, with
instruments and weapons of stone and bone, surely that may we
"Ah, John, I wish that I might be a man with a man's philosophy, but I
am but a woman, seeing with my heart rather than my head, and all that
I can see is too horrible, too unthinkable to put into words.
"I only hope you are right, John. I will do my best to be a brave
primeval woman, a fit mate for the primeval man."
Clayton's first thought was to arrange a sleeping shelter for the
night; something which might serve to protect them from prowling beasts
He opened the box containing his rifles and ammunition, that they might
both be armed against possible attack while at work, and then together
they sought a location for their first night's sleeping place.
A hundred yards from the beach was a little level spot, fairly free of
trees; here they decided eventually to build a permanent house, but for
the time being they both thought it best to construct a little platform
in the trees out of reach of the larger of the savage beasts in whose
realm they were.
To this end Clayton selected four trees which formed a rectangle about
eight feet square, and cutting long branches from other trees he
constructed a framework around them, about ten feet from the ground,
fastening the ends of the branches securely to the trees by means of
rope, a quantity of which Black Michael had furnished him from the hold
of the Fuwalda.
Across this framework Clayton placed other smaller branches quite close
together. This platform he paved with the huge fronds of elephant's
ear which grew in profusion about them, and over the fronds he laid a
great sail folded into several thicknesses.
Seven feet higher he constructed a similar, though lighter platform to
serve as roof, and from the sides of this he suspended the balance of
his sailcloth for walls.
When completed he had a rather snug little nest, to which he carried
their blankets and some of the lighter luggage.
It was now late in the afternoon, and the balance of the daylight hours
were devoted to the building of a rude ladder by means of which Lady
Alice could mount to her new home.
All during the day the forest about them had been filled with excited
birds of brilliant plumage, and dancing, chattering monkeys, who
watched these new arrivals and their wonderful nest building operations
with every mark of keenest interest and fascination.
Notwithstanding that both Clayton and his wife kept a sharp lookout
they saw nothing of larger animals, though on two occasions they had
seen their little simian neighbors come screaming and chattering from
the near-by ridge, casting frightened glances back over their little
shoulders, and evincing as plainly as though by speech that they were
fleeing some terrible thing which lay concealed there.
Just before dusk Clayton finished his ladder, and, filling a great
basin with water from the near-by stream, the two mounted to the
comparative safety of their aerial chamber.
As it was quite warm, Clayton had left the side curtains thrown back
over the roof, and as they sat, like Turks, upon their blankets, Lady
Alice, straining her eyes into the darkening shadows of the wood,
suddenly reached out and grasped Clayton's arms.
"John," she whispered, "look! What is it, a man?"
As Clayton turned his eyes in the direction she indicated, he saw
silhouetted dimly against the shadows beyond, a great figure standing
upright upon the ridge.
For a moment it stood as though listening and then turned slowly, and
melted into the shadows of the jungle.
"What is it, John?"
"I do not know, Alice," he answered gravely, "it is too dark to see so
far, and it may have been but a shadow cast by the rising moon."
"No, John, if it was not a man it was some huge and grotesque mockery
of man. Oh, I am afraid."
He gathered her in his arms, whispering words of courage and love into
Soon after, he lowered the curtain walls, tying them securely to the
trees so that, except for a little opening toward the beach, they were
As it was now pitch dark within their tiny aerie they lay down upon
their blankets to try to gain, through sleep, a brief respite of
Clayton lay facing the opening at the front, a rifle and a brace of
revolvers at his hand.
Scarcely had they closed their eyes than the terrifying cry of a
panther rang out from the jungle behind them. Closer and closer it
came until they could hear the great beast directly beneath them. For
an hour or more they heard it sniffing and clawing at the trees which
supported their platform, but at last it roamed away across the beach,
where Clayton could see it clearly in the brilliant moonlight—a great,
handsome beast, the largest he had ever seen.
During the long hours of darkness they caught but fitful snatches of
sleep, for the night noises of a great jungle teeming with myriad
animal life kept their overwrought nerves on edge, so that a hundred
times they were startled to wakefulness by piercing screams, or the
stealthy moving of great bodies beneath them.
Life and Death
Morning found them but little, if at all refreshed, though it was with
a feeling of intense relief that they saw the day dawn.
As soon as they had made their meager breakfast of salt pork, coffee
and biscuit, Clayton commenced work upon their house, for he realized
that they could hope for no safety and no peace of mind at night until
four strong walls effectually barred the jungle life from them.
The task was an arduous one and required the better part of a month,
though he built but one small room. He constructed his cabin of small
logs about six inches in diameter, stopping the chinks with clay which
he found at the depth of a few feet beneath the surface soil.
At one end he built a fireplace of small stones from the beach. These
also he set in clay and when the house had been entirely completed he
applied a coating of the clay to the entire outside surface to the
thickness of four inches.
In the window opening he set small branches about an inch in diameter
both vertically and horizontally, and so woven that they formed a
substantial grating that could withstand the strength of a powerful
animal. Thus they obtained air and proper ventilation without fear of
lessening the safety of their cabin.
The A-shaped roof was thatched with small branches laid close together
and over these long jungle grass and palm fronds, with a final coating
The door he built of pieces of the packing-boxes which had held their
belongings, nailing one piece upon another, the grain of contiguous
layers running transversely, until he had a solid body some three
inches thick and of such great strength that they were both moved to
laughter as they gazed upon it.
Here the greatest difficulty confronted Clayton, for he had no means
whereby to hang his massive door now that he had built it. After two
days' work, however, he succeeded in fashioning two massive hardwood
hinges, and with these he hung the door so that it opened and closed
The stuccoing and other final touches were added after they moved into
the house, which they had done as soon as the roof was on, piling their
boxes before the door at night and thus having a comparatively safe and
The building of a bed, chairs, table, and shelves was a relatively easy
matter, so that by the end of the second month they were well settled,
and, but for the constant dread of attack by wild beasts and the ever
growing loneliness, they were not uncomfortable or unhappy.
At night great beasts snarled and roared about their tiny cabin, but,
so accustomed may one become to oft repeated noises, that soon they
paid little attention to them, sleeping soundly the whole night through.
Thrice had they caught fleeting glimpses of great man-like figures like
that of the first night, but never at sufficiently close range to know
positively whether the half-seen forms were those of man or brute.
The brilliant birds and the little monkeys had become accustomed to
their new acquaintances, and as they had evidently never seen human
beings before they presently, after their first fright had worn off,
approached closer and closer, impelled by that strange curiosity which
dominates the wild creatures of the forest and the jungle and the
plain, so that within the first month several of the birds had gone so
far as even to accept morsels of food from the friendly hands of the
One afternoon, while Clayton was working upon an addition to their
cabin, for he contemplated building several more rooms, a number of
their grotesque little friends came shrieking and scolding through the
trees from the direction of the ridge. Ever as they fled they cast
fearful glances back of them, and finally they stopped near Clayton
jabbering excitedly to him as though to warn him of approaching danger.
At last he saw it, the thing the little monkeys so feared—the
man-brute of which the Claytons had caught occasional fleeting glimpses.
It was approaching through the jungle in a semi-erect position, now and
then placing the backs of its closed fists upon the ground—a great
anthropoid ape, and, as it advanced, it emitted deep guttural growls
and an occasional low barking sound.
Clayton was at some distance from the cabin, having come to fell a
particularly perfect tree for his building operations. Grown careless
from months of continued safety, during which time he had seen no
dangerous animals during the daylight hours, he had left his rifles and
revolvers all within the little cabin, and now that he saw the great
ape crashing through the underbrush directly toward him, and from a
direction which practically cut him off from escape, he felt a vague
little shiver play up and down his spine.
He knew that, armed only with an ax, his chances with this ferocious
monster were small indeed—and Alice; O God, he thought, what will
become of Alice?
There was yet a slight chance of reaching the cabin. He turned and ran
toward it, shouting an alarm to his wife to run in and close the great
door in case the ape cut off his retreat.
Lady Greystoke had been sitting a little way from the cabin, and when
she heard his cry she looked up to see the ape springing with almost
incredible swiftness, for so large and awkward an animal, in an effort
to head off Clayton.
With a low cry she sprang toward the cabin, and, as she entered, gave a
backward glance which filled her soul with terror, for the brute had
intercepted her husband, who now stood at bay grasping his ax with both
hands ready to swing it upon the infuriated animal when he should make
his final charge.
"Close and bolt the door, Alice," cried Clayton. "I can finish this
fellow with my ax."
But he knew he was facing a horrible death, and so did she.
The ape was a great bull, weighing probably three hundred pounds. His
nasty, close-set eyes gleamed hatred from beneath his shaggy brows,
while his great canine fangs were bared in a horrid snarl as he paused
a moment before his prey.
Over the brute's shoulder Clayton could see the doorway of his cabin,
not twenty paces distant, and a great wave of horror and fear swept
over him as he saw his young wife emerge, armed with one of his rifles.
She had always been afraid of firearms, and would never touch them, but
now she rushed toward the ape with the fearlessness of a lioness
protecting its young.
"Back, Alice," shouted Clayton, "for God's sake, go back."
But she would not heed, and just then the ape charged, so that Clayton
could say no more.
The man swung his ax with all his mighty strength, but the powerful
brute seized it in those terrible hands, and tearing it from Clayton's
grasp hurled it far to one side.
With an ugly snarl he closed upon his defenseless victim, but ere his
fangs had reached the throat they thirsted for, there was a sharp
report and a bullet entered the ape's back between his shoulders.
Throwing Clayton to the ground the beast turned upon his new enemy.
There before him stood the terrified girl vainly trying to fire another
bullet into the animal's body; but she did not understand the mechanism
of the firearm, and the hammer fell futilely upon an empty cartridge.
Almost simultaneously Clayton regained his feet, and without thought of
the utter hopelessness of it, he rushed forward to drag the ape from
his wife's prostrate form.
With little or no effort he succeeded, and the great bulk rolled
inertly upon the turf before him—the ape was dead. The bullet had
done its work.
A hasty examination of his wife revealed no marks upon her, and Clayton
decided that the huge brute had died the instant he had sprung toward
Gently he lifted his wife's still unconscious form, and bore her to the
little cabin, but it was fully two hours before she regained
Her first words filled Clayton with vague apprehension. For some time
after regaining her senses, Alice gazed wonderingly about the interior
of the little cabin, and then, with a satisfied sigh, said:
"O, John, it is so good to be really home! I have had an awful dream,
dear. I thought we were no longer in London, but in some horrible
place where great beasts attacked us."
"There, there, Alice," he said, stroking her forehead, "try to sleep
again, and do not worry your head about bad dreams."
That night a little son was born in the tiny cabin beside the primeval
forest, while a leopard screamed before the door, and the deep notes of
a lion's roar sounded from beyond the ridge.
Lady Greystoke never recovered from the shock of the great ape's
attack, and, though she lived for a year after her baby was born, she
was never again outside the cabin, nor did she ever fully realize that
she was not in England.
Sometimes she would question Clayton as to the strange noises of the
nights; the absence of servants and friends, and the strange rudeness
of the furnishings within her room, but, though he made no effort to
deceive her, never could she grasp the meaning of it all.
In other ways she was quite rational, and the joy and happiness she
took in the possession of her little son and the constant attentions of
her husband made that year a very happy one for her, the happiest of
her young life.
That it would have been beset by worries and apprehension had she been
in full command of her mental faculties Clayton well knew; so that
while he suffered terribly to see her so, there were times when he was
almost glad, for her sake, that she could not understand.
Long since had he given up any hope of rescue, except through accident.
With unremitting zeal he had worked to beautify the interior of the
Skins of lion and panther covered the floor. Cupboards and bookcases
lined the walls. Odd vases made by his own hand from the clay of the
region held beautiful tropical flowers. Curtains of grass and bamboo
covered the windows, and, most arduous task of all, with his meager
assortment of tools he had fashioned lumber to neatly seal the walls
and ceiling and lay a smooth floor within the cabin.
That he had been able to turn his hands at all to such unaccustomed
labor was a source of mild wonder to him. But he loved the work
because it was for her and the tiny life that had come to cheer them,
though adding a hundredfold to his responsibilities and to the
terribleness of their situation.
During the year that followed, Clayton was several times attacked by
the great apes which now seemed to continually infest the vicinity of
the cabin; but as he never again ventured outside without both rifle
and revolvers he had little fear of the huge beasts.
He had strengthened the window protections and fitted a unique wooden
lock to the cabin door, so that when he hunted for game and fruits, as
it was constantly necessary for him to do to insure sustenance, he had
no fear that any animal could break into the little home.
At first he shot much of the game from the cabin windows, but toward
the end the animals learned to fear the strange lair from whence issued
the terrifying thunder of his rifle.
In his leisure Clayton read, often aloud to his wife, from the store of
books he had brought for their new home. Among these were many for
little children—picture books, primers, readers—for they had known
that their little child would be old enough for such before they might
hope to return to England.
At other times Clayton wrote in his diary, which he had always been
accustomed to keep in French, and in which he recorded the details of
their strange life. This book he kept locked in a little metal box.
A year from the day her little son was born Lady Alice passed quietly
away in the night. So peaceful was her end that it was hours before
Clayton could awake to a realization that his wife was dead.
The horror of the situation came to him very slowly, and it is doubtful
that he ever fully realized the enormity of his sorrow and the fearful
responsibility that had devolved upon him with the care of that wee
thing, his son, still a nursing babe.
The last entry in his diary was made the morning following her death,
and there he recites the sad details in a matter-of-fact way that adds
to the pathos of it; for it breathes a tired apathy born of long sorrow
and hopelessness, which even this cruel blow could scarcely awake to
My little son is crying for nourishment—O Alice, Alice, what shall I
And as John Clayton wrote the last words his hand was destined ever to
pen, he dropped his head wearily upon his outstretched arms where they
rested upon the table he had built for her who lay still and cold in
the bed beside him.
For a long time no sound broke the deathlike stillness of the jungle
midday save the piteous wailing of the tiny man-child.
In the forest of the table-land a mile back from the ocean old Kerchak
the Ape was on a rampage of rage among his people.
The younger and lighter members of his tribe scampered to the higher
branches of the great trees to escape his wrath; risking their lives
upon branches that scarce supported their weight rather than face old
Kerchak in one of his fits of uncontrolled anger.
The other males scattered in all directions, but not before the
infuriated brute had felt the vertebra of one snap between his great,
A luckless young female slipped from an insecure hold upon a high
branch and came crashing to the ground almost at Kerchak's feet.
With a wild scream he was upon her, tearing a great piece from her side
with his mighty teeth, and striking her viciously upon her head and
shoulders with a broken tree limb until her skull was crushed to a
And then he spied Kala, who, returning from a search for food with her
young babe, was ignorant of the state of the mighty male's temper until
suddenly the shrill warnings of her fellows caused her to scamper madly
But Kerchak was close upon her, so close that he had almost grasped her
ankle had she not made a furious leap far into space from one tree to
another—a perilous chance which apes seldom if ever take, unless so
closely pursued by danger that there is no alternative.
She made the leap successfully, but as she grasped the limb of the
further tree the sudden jar loosened the hold of the tiny babe where it
clung frantically to her neck, and she saw the little thing hurled,
turning and twisting, to the ground thirty feet below.
With a low cry of dismay Kala rushed headlong to its side, thoughtless
now of the danger from Kerchak; but when she gathered the wee, mangled
form to her bosom life had left it.
With low moans, she sat cuddling the body to her; nor did Kerchak
attempt to molest her. With the death of the babe his fit of
demoniacal rage passed as suddenly as it had seized him.
Kerchak was a huge king ape, weighing perhaps three hundred and fifty
pounds. His forehead was extremely low and receding, his eyes
bloodshot, small and close set to his coarse, flat nose; his ears large
and thin, but smaller than most of his kind.
His awful temper and his mighty strength made him supreme among the
little tribe into which he had been born some twenty years before.
Now that he was in his prime, there was no simian in all the mighty
forest through which he roved that dared contest his right to rule, nor
did the other and larger animals molest him.
Old Tantor, the elephant, alone of all the wild savage life, feared him
not—and he alone did Kerchak fear. When Tantor trumpeted, the great
ape scurried with his fellows high among the trees of the second
The tribe of anthropoids over which Kerchak ruled with an iron hand and
bared fangs, numbered some six or eight families, each family
consisting of an adult male with his females and their young, numbering
in all some sixty or seventy apes.
Kala was the youngest mate of a male called Tublat, meaning broken
nose, and the child she had seen dashed to death was her first; for she
was but nine or ten years old.
Notwithstanding her youth, she was large and powerful—a splendid,
clean-limbed animal, with a round, high forehead, which denoted more
intelligence than most of her kind possessed. So, also, she had a
great capacity for mother love and mother sorrow.
But she was still an ape, a huge, fierce, terrible beast of a species
closely allied to the gorilla, yet more intelligent; which, with the
strength of their cousin, made her kind the most fearsome of those
awe-inspiring progenitors of man.
When the tribe saw that Kerchak's rage had ceased they came slowly down
from their arboreal retreats and pursued again the various occupations
which he had interrupted.
The young played and frolicked about among the trees and bushes. Some
of the adults lay prone upon the soft mat of dead and decaying
vegetation which covered the ground, while others turned over pieces of
fallen branches and clods of earth in search of the small bugs and
reptiles which formed a part of their food.
Others, again, searched the surrounding trees for fruit, nuts, small
birds, and eggs.
They had passed an hour or so thus when Kerchak called them together,
and, with a word of command to them to follow him, set off toward the
They traveled for the most part upon the ground, where it was open,
following the path of the great elephants whose comings and goings
break the only roads through those tangled mazes of bush, vine,
creeper, and tree. When they walked it was with a rolling, awkward
motion, placing the knuckles of their closed hands upon the ground and
swinging their ungainly bodies forward.
But when the way was through the lower trees they moved more swiftly,
swinging from branch to branch with the agility of their smaller
cousins, the monkeys. And all the way Kala carried her little dead
baby hugged closely to her breast.
It was shortly after noon when they reached a ridge overlooking the
beach where below them lay the tiny cottage which was Kerchak's goal.
He had seen many of his kind go to their deaths before the loud noise
made by the little black stick in the hands of the strange white ape
who lived in that wonderful lair, and Kerchak had made up his brute
mind to own that death-dealing contrivance, and to explore the interior
of the mysterious den.
He wanted, very, very much, to feel his teeth sink into the neck of the
queer animal that he had learned to hate and fear, and because of this,
he came often with his tribe to reconnoiter, waiting for a time when
the white ape should be off his guard.
Of late they had quit attacking, or even showing themselves; for every
time they had done so in the past the little stick had roared out its
terrible message of death to some member of the tribe.
Today there was no sign of the man about, and from where they watched
they could see that the cabin door was open. Slowly, cautiously, and
noiselessly they crept through the jungle toward the little cabin.
There were no growls, no fierce screams of rage—the little black stick
had taught them to come quietly lest they awaken it.
On, on they came until Kerchak himself slunk stealthily to the very
door and peered within. Behind him were two males, and then Kala,
closely straining the little dead form to her breast.
Inside the den they saw the strange white ape lying half across a
table, his head buried in his arms; and on the bed lay a figure covered
by a sailcloth, while from a tiny rustic cradle came the plaintive
wailing of a babe.
Noiselessly Kerchak entered, crouching for the charge; and then John
Clayton rose with a sudden start and faced them.
The sight that met his eyes must have frozen him with horror, for
there, within the door, stood three great bull apes, while behind them
crowded many more; how many he never knew, for his revolvers were
hanging on the far wall beside his rifle, and Kerchak was charging.
When the king ape released the limp form which had been John Clayton,
Lord Greystoke, he turned his attention toward the little cradle; but
Kala was there before him, and when he would have grasped the child she
snatched it herself, and before he could intercept her she had bolted
through the door and taken refuge in a high tree.
As she took up the little live baby of Alice Clayton she dropped the
dead body of her own into the empty cradle; for the wail of the living
had answered the call of universal motherhood within her wild breast
which the dead could not still.
High up among the branches of a mighty tree she hugged the shrieking
infant to her bosom, and soon the instinct that was as dominant in this
fierce female as it had been in the breast of his tender and beautiful
mother—the instinct of mother love—reached out to the tiny
man-child's half-formed understanding, and he became quiet.
Then hunger closed the gap between them, and the son of an English lord
and an English lady nursed at the breast of Kala, the great ape.
In the meantime the beasts within the cabin were warily examining the
contents of this strange lair.
Once satisfied that Clayton was dead, Kerchak turned his attention to
the thing which lay upon the bed, covered by a piece of sailcloth.
Gingerly he lifted one corner of the shroud, but when he saw the body
of the woman beneath he tore the cloth roughly from her form and seized
the still, white throat in his huge, hairy hands.
A moment he let his fingers sink deep into the cold flesh, and then,
realizing that she was already dead, he turned from her, to examine the
contents of the room; nor did he again molest the body of either Lady
Alice or Sir John.
The rifle hanging upon the wall caught his first attention; it was for
this strange, death-dealing thunder-stick that he had yearned for
months; but now that it was within his grasp he scarcely had the
temerity to seize it.
Cautiously he approached the thing, ready to flee precipitately should
it speak in its deep roaring tones, as he had heard it speak before,
the last words to those of his kind who, through ignorance or rashness,
had attacked the wonderful white ape that had borne it.
Deep in the beast's intelligence was something which assured him that
the thunder-stick was only dangerous when in the hands of one who could
manipulate it, but yet it was several minutes ere he could bring
himself to touch it.
Instead, he walked back and forth along the floor before it, turning
his head so that never once did his eyes leave the object of his desire.
Using his long arms as a man uses crutches, and rolling his huge
carcass from side to side with each stride, the great king ape paced to
and fro, uttering deep growls, occasionally punctuated with the
ear-piercing scream, than which there is no more terrifying noise in
all the jungle.
Presently he halted before the rifle. Slowly he raised a huge hand
until it almost touched the shining barrel, only to withdraw it once
more and continue his hurried pacing.
It was as though the great brute by this show of fearlessness, and
through the medium of his wild voice, was endeavoring to bolster up his
courage to the point which would permit him to take the rifle in his
Again he stopped, and this time succeeded in forcing his reluctant hand
to the cold steel, only to snatch it away almost immediately and resume
his restless beat.
Time after time this strange ceremony was repeated, but on each
occasion with increased confidence, until, finally, the rifle was torn
from its hook and lay in the grasp of the great brute.
Finding that it harmed him not, Kerchak began to examine it closely.
He felt of it from end to end, peered down the black depths of the
muzzle, fingered the sights, the breech, the stock, and finally the
During all these operations the apes who had entered sat huddled near
the door watching their chief, while those outside strained and crowded
to catch a glimpse of what transpired within.
Suddenly Kerchak's finger closed upon the trigger. There was a
deafening roar in the little room and the apes at and beyond the door
fell over one another in their wild anxiety to escape.
Kerchak was equally frightened, so frightened, in fact, that he quite
forgot to throw aside the author of that fearful noise, but bolted for
the door with it tightly clutched in one hand.
As he passed through the opening, the front sight of the rifle caught
upon the edge of the inswung door with sufficient force to close it
tightly after the fleeing ape.
When Kerchak came to a halt a short distance from the cabin and
discovered that he still held the rifle, he dropped it as he might have
dropped a red hot iron, nor did he again attempt to recover it—the
noise was too much for his brute nerves; but he was now quite convinced
that the terrible stick was quite harmless by itself if left alone.
It was an hour before the apes could again bring themselves to approach
the cabin to continue their investigations, and when they finally did
so, they found to their chagrin that the door was closed and so
securely fastened that they could not force it.
The cleverly constructed latch which Clayton had made for the door had
sprung as Kerchak passed out; nor could the apes find means of ingress
through the heavily barred windows.
After roaming about the vicinity for a short time, they started back
for the deeper forests and the higher land from whence they had come.
Kala had not once come to earth with her little adopted babe, but now
Kerchak called to her to descend with the rest, and as there was no
note of anger in his voice she dropped lightly from branch to branch
and joined the others on their homeward march.
Those of the apes who attempted to examine Kala's strange baby were
repulsed with bared fangs and low menacing growls, accompanied by words
of warning from Kala.
When they assured her that they meant the child no harm she permitted
them to come close, but would not allow them to touch her charge.
It was as though she knew that her baby was frail and delicate and
feared lest the rough hands of her fellows might injure the little
Another thing she did, and which made traveling an onerous trial for
her. Remembering the death of her own little one, she clung
desperately to the new babe, with one hand, whenever they were upon the
The other young rode upon their mothers' backs; their little arms
tightly clasping the hairy necks before them, while their legs were
locked beneath their mothers' armpits.
Not so with Kala; she held the small form of the little Lord Greystoke
tightly to her breast, where the dainty hands clutched the long black
hair which covered that portion of her body. She had seen one child
fall from her back to a terrible death, and she would take no further
chances with this.
The White Ape
Tenderly Kala nursed her little waif, wondering silently why it did not
gain strength and agility as did the little apes of other mothers. It
was nearly a year from the time the little fellow came into her
possession before he would walk alone, and as for climbing—my, but how
stupid he was!
Kala sometimes talked with the older females about her young hopeful,
but none of them could understand how a child could be so slow and
backward in learning to care for itself. Why, it could not even find
food alone, and more than twelve moons had passed since Kala had come
Had they known that the child had seen thirteen moons before it had
come into Kala's possession they would have considered its case as
absolutely hopeless, for the little apes of their own tribe were as far
advanced in two or three moons as was this little stranger after
Tublat, Kala's husband, was sorely vexed, and but for the female's
careful watching would have put the child out of the way.
"He will never be a great ape," he argued. "Always will you have to
carry him and protect him. What good will he be to the tribe? None;
only a burden.
"Let us leave him quietly sleeping among the tall grasses, that you may
bear other and stronger apes to guard us in our old age."
"Never, Broken Nose," replied Kala. "If I must carry him forever, so
And then Tublat went to Kerchak to urge him to use his authority with
Kala, and force her to give up little Tarzan, which was the name they
had given to the tiny Lord Greystoke, and which meant "White-Skin."
But when Kerchak spoke to her about it Kala threatened to run away from
the tribe if they did not leave her in peace with the child; and as
this is one of the inalienable rights of the jungle folk, if they be
dissatisfied among their own people, they bothered her no more, for
Kala was a fine clean-limbed young female, and they did not wish to
As Tarzan grew he made more rapid strides, so that by the time he was
ten years old he was an excellent climber, and on the ground could do
many wonderful things which were beyond the powers of his little
brothers and sisters.
In many ways did he differ from them, and they often marveled at his
superior cunning, but in strength and size he was deficient; for at ten
the great anthropoids were fully grown, some of them towering over six
feet in height, while little Tarzan was still but a half-grown boy.
Yet such a boy!
From early childhood he had used his hands to swing from branch to
branch after the manner of his giant mother, and as he grew older he
spent hour upon hour daily speeding through the tree tops with his
brothers and sisters.
He could spring twenty feet across space at the dizzy heights of the
forest top, and grasp with unerring precision, and without apparent
jar, a limb waving wildly in the path of an approaching tornado.
He could drop twenty feet at a stretch from limb to limb in rapid
descent to the ground, or he could gain the utmost pinnacle of the
loftiest tropical giant with the ease and swiftness of a squirrel.
Though but ten years old he was fully as strong as the average man of
thirty, and far more agile than the most practiced athlete ever
becomes. And day by day his strength was increasing.
His life among these fierce apes had been happy; for his recollection
held no other life, nor did he know that there existed within the
universe aught else than his little forest and the wild jungle animals
with which he was familiar.
He was nearly ten before he commenced to realize that a great
difference existed between himself and his fellows. His little body,
burned brown by exposure, suddenly caused him feelings of intense
shame, for he realized that it was entirely hairless, like some low
snake, or other reptile.
He attempted to obviate this by plastering himself from head to foot
with mud, but this dried and fell off. Besides it felt so
uncomfortable that he quickly decided that he preferred the shame to
In the higher land which his tribe frequented was a little lake, and it
was here that Tarzan first saw his face in the clear, still waters of
It was on a sultry day of the dry season that he and one of his cousins
had gone down to the bank to drink. As they leaned over, both little
faces were mirrored on the placid pool; the fierce and terrible
features of the ape beside those of the aristocratic scion of an old
Tarzan was appalled. It had been bad enough to be hairless, but to own
such a countenance! He wondered that the other apes could look at him
That tiny slit of a mouth and those puny white teeth! How they looked
beside the mighty lips and powerful fangs of his more fortunate
And the little pinched nose of his; so thin was it that it looked half
starved. He turned red as he compared it with the beautiful broad
nostrils of his companion. Such a generous nose! Why it spread half
across his face! It certainly must be fine to be so handsome, thought
poor little Tarzan.
But when he saw his own eyes; ah, that was the final blow—a brown
spot, a gray circle and then blank whiteness! Frightful! not even the
snakes had such hideous eyes as he.
So intent was he upon this personal appraisement of his features that
he did not hear the parting of the tall grass behind him as a great
body pushed itself stealthily through the jungle; nor did his
companion, the ape, hear either, for he was drinking and the noise of
his sucking lips and gurgles of satisfaction drowned the quiet approach
of the intruder.
Not thirty paces behind the two she crouched—Sabor, the huge
lioness—lashing her tail. Cautiously she moved a great padded paw
forward, noiselessly placing it before she lifted the next. Thus she
advanced; her belly low, almost touching the surface of the ground—a
great cat preparing to spring upon its prey.
Now she was within ten feet of the two unsuspecting little
playfellows—carefully she drew her hind feet well up beneath her body,
the great muscles rolling under the beautiful skin.
So low she was crouching now that she seemed flattened to the earth
except for the upward bend of the glossy back as it gathered for the
No longer the tail lashed—quiet and straight behind her it lay.
An instant she paused thus, as though turned to stone, and then, with
an awful scream, she sprang.
Sabor, the lioness, was a wise hunter. To one less wise the wild alarm
of her fierce cry as she sprang would have seemed a foolish thing, for
could she not more surely have fallen upon her victims had she but
quietly leaped without that loud shriek?
But Sabor knew well the wondrous quickness of the jungle folk and their
almost unbelievable powers of hearing. To them the sudden scraping of
one blade of grass across another was as effectual a warning as her
loudest cry, and Sabor knew that she could not make that mighty leap
without a little noise.
Her wild scream was not a warning. It was voiced to freeze her poor
victims in a paralysis of terror for the tiny fraction of an instant
which would suffice for her mighty claws to sink into their soft flesh
and hold them beyond hope of escape.
So far as the ape was concerned, Sabor reasoned correctly. The little
fellow crouched trembling just an instant, but that instant was quite
long enough to prove his undoing.
Not so, however, with Tarzan, the man-child. His life amidst the
dangers of the jungle had taught him to meet emergencies with
self-confidence, and his higher intelligence resulted in a quickness of
mental action far beyond the powers of the apes.
So the scream of Sabor, the lioness, galvanized the brain and muscles
of little Tarzan into instant action.
Before him lay the deep waters of the little lake, behind him certain
death; a cruel death beneath tearing claws and rending fangs.
Tarzan had always hated water except as a medium for quenching his
thirst. He hated it because he connected it with the chill and
discomfort of the torrential rains, and he feared it for the thunder
and lightning and wind which accompanied them.
The deep waters of the lake he had been taught by his wild mother to
avoid, and further, had he not seen little Neeta sink beneath its quiet
surface only a few short weeks before never to return to the tribe?
But of the two evils his quick mind chose the lesser ere the first note
of Sabor's scream had scarce broken the quiet of the jungle, and before
the great beast had covered half her leap Tarzan felt the chill waters
close above his head.
He could not swim, and the water was very deep; but still he lost no
particle of that self-confidence and resourcefulness which were the
badges of his superior being.
Rapidly he moved his hands and feet in an attempt to scramble upward,
and, possibly more by chance than design, he fell into the stroke that
a dog uses when swimming, so that within a few seconds his nose was
above water and he found that he could keep it there by continuing his
strokes, and also make progress through the water.
He was much surprised and pleased with this new acquirement which had
been so suddenly thrust upon him, but he had no time for thinking much
He was now swimming parallel to the bank and there he saw the cruel
beast that would have seized him crouching upon the still form of his
The lioness was intently watching Tarzan, evidently expecting him to
return to shore, but this the boy had no intention of doing.
Instead he raised his voice in the call of distress common to his
tribe, adding to it the warning which would prevent would-be rescuers
from running into the clutches of Sabor.
Almost immediately there came an answer from the distance, and
presently forty or fifty great apes swung rapidly and majestically
through the trees toward the scene of tragedy.
In the lead was Kala, for she had recognized the tones of her best
beloved, and with her was the mother of the little ape who lay dead
beneath cruel Sabor.
Though more powerful and better equipped for fighting than the apes,
the lioness had no desire to meet these enraged adults, and with a
snarl of hatred she sprang quickly into the brush and disappeared.
Tarzan now swam to shore and clambered quickly upon dry land. The
feeling of freshness and exhilaration which the cool waters had
imparted to him, filled his little being with grateful surprise, and
ever after he lost no opportunity to take a daily plunge in lake or
stream or ocean when it was possible to do so.
For a long time Kala could not accustom herself to the sight; for
though her people could swim when forced to it, they did not like to
enter water, and never did so voluntarily.
The adventure with the lioness gave Tarzan food for pleasurable
memories, for it was such affairs which broke the monotony of his daily
life—otherwise but a dull round of searching for food, eating, and
The tribe to which he belonged roamed a tract extending, roughly,
twenty-five miles along the seacoast and some fifty miles inland. This
they traversed almost continually, occasionally remaining for months in
one locality; but as they moved through the trees with great speed they
often covered the territory in a very few days.
Much depended upon food supply, climatic conditions, and the prevalence
of animals of the more dangerous species; though Kerchak often led them
on long marches for no other reason than that he had tired of remaining
in the same place.
At night they slept where darkness overtook them, lying upon the
ground, and sometimes covering their heads, and more seldom their
bodies, with the great leaves of the elephant's ear. Two or three
might lie cuddled in each other's arms for additional warmth if the
night were chill, and thus Tarzan had slept in Kala's arms nightly for
all these years.
That the huge, fierce brute loved this child of another race is beyond
question, and he, too, gave to the great, hairy beast all the affection
that would have belonged to his fair young mother had she lived.
When he was disobedient she cuffed him, it is true, but she was never
cruel to him, and was more often caressing him than chastising him.
Tublat, her mate, always hated Tarzan, and on several occasions had
come near ending his youthful career.
Tarzan on his part never lost an opportunity to show that he fully
reciprocated his foster father's sentiments, and whenever he could
safely annoy him or make faces at him or hurl insults upon him from the
safety of his mother's arms, or the slender branches of the higher
trees, he did so.
His superior intelligence and cunning permitted him to invent a
thousand diabolical tricks to add to the burdens of Tublat's life.
Early in his boyhood he had learned to form ropes by twisting and tying
long grasses together, and with these he was forever tripping Tublat or
attempting to hang him from some overhanging branch.
By constant playing and experimenting with these he learned to tie rude
knots, and make sliding nooses; and with these he and the younger apes
amused themselves. What Tarzan did they tried to do also, but he alone
originated and became proficient.
One day while playing thus Tarzan had thrown his rope at one of his
fleeing companions, retaining the other end in his grasp. By accident
the noose fell squarely about the running ape's neck, bringing him to a
sudden and surprising halt.
Ah, here was a new game, a fine game, thought Tarzan, and immediately
he attempted to repeat the trick. And thus, by painstaking and
continued practice, he learned the art of roping.
Now, indeed, was the life of Tublat a living nightmare. In sleep, upon
the march, night or day, he never knew when that quiet noose would slip
about his neck and nearly choke the life out of him.
Kala punished, Tublat swore dire vengeance, and old Kerchak took notice
and warned and threatened; but all to no avail.
Tarzan defied them all, and the thin, strong noose continued to settle
about Tublat's neck whenever he least expected it.
The other apes derived unlimited amusement from Tublat's discomfiture,
for Broken Nose was a disagreeable old fellow, whom no one liked,
In Tarzan's clever little mind many thoughts revolved, and back of
these was his divine power of reason.
If he could catch his fellow apes with his long arm of many grasses,
why not Sabor, the lioness?
It was the germ of a thought, which, however, was destined to mull
around in his conscious and subconscious mind until it resulted in
But that came in later years.
The wanderings of the tribe brought them often near the closed and
silent cabin by the little land-locked harbor. To Tarzan this was
always a source of never-ending mystery and pleasure.
He would peek into the curtained windows, or, climbing upon the roof,
peer down the black depths of the chimney in vain endeavor to solve the
unknown wonders that lay within those strong walls.
His child-like imagination pictured wonderful creatures within, and the
very impossibility of forcing entrance added a thousandfold to his
desire to do so.
He could clamber about the roof and windows for hours attempting to
discover means of ingress, but to the door he paid little attention,
for this was apparently as solid as the walls.
It was in the next visit to the vicinity, following the adventure with
old Sabor, that, as he approached the cabin, Tarzan noticed that from a
distance the door appeared to be an independent part of the wall in
which it was set, and for the first time it occurred to him that this
might prove the means of entrance which had so long eluded him.
He was alone, as was often the case when he visited the cabin, for the
apes had no love for it; the story of the thunder-stick having lost
nothing in the telling during these ten years had quite surrounded the
white man's deserted abode with an atmosphere of weirdness and terror
for the simians.
The story of his own connection with the cabin had never been told him.
The language of the apes had so few words that they could talk but
little of what they had seen in the cabin, having no words to
accurately describe either the strange people or their belongings, and
so, long before Tarzan was old enough to understand, the subject had
been forgotten by the tribe.
Only in a dim, vague way had Kala explained to him that his father had
been a strange white ape, but he did not know that Kala was not his own
On this day, then, he went directly to the door and spent hours
examining it and fussing with the hinges, the knob and the latch.
Finally he stumbled upon the right combination, and the door swung
creakingly open before his astonished eyes.
For some minutes he did not dare venture within, but finally, as his
eyes became accustomed to the dim light of the interior he slowly and
In the middle of the floor lay a skeleton, every vestige of flesh gone
from the bones to which still clung the mildewed and moldered remnants
of what had once been clothing. Upon the bed lay a similar gruesome
thing, but smaller, while in a tiny cradle near-by was a third, a wee
mite of a skeleton.
To none of these evidences of a fearful tragedy of a long dead day did
little Tarzan give but passing heed. His wild jungle life had inured
him to the sight of dead and dying animals, and had he known that he
was looking upon the remains of his own father and mother he would have
been no more greatly moved.
The furnishings and other contents of the room it was which riveted his
attention. He examined many things minutely—strange tools and
weapons, books, paper, clothing—what little had withstood the ravages
of time in the humid atmosphere of the jungle coast.
He opened chests and cupboards, such as did not baffle his small
experience, and in these he found the contents much better preserved.
Among other things he found a sharp hunting knife, on the keen blade of
which he immediately proceeded to cut his finger. Undaunted he
continued his experiments, finding that he could hack and hew splinters
of wood from the table and chairs with this new toy.
For a long time this amused him, but finally tiring he continued his
explorations. In a cupboard filled with books he came across one with
brightly colored pictures—it was a child's illustrated alphabet—
A is for Archer
Who shoots with a bow.
B is for Boy,
His first name is Joe.
The pictures interested him greatly.
There were many apes with faces similar to his own, and further over in
the book he found, under "M," some little monkeys such as he saw daily
flitting through the trees of his primeval forest. But nowhere was
pictured any of his own people; in all the book was none that resembled
Kerchak, or Tublat, or Kala.
At first he tried to pick the little figures from the leaves, but he
soon saw that they were not real, though he knew not what they might
be, nor had he any words to describe them.
The boats, and trains, and cows and horses were quite meaningless to
him, but not quite so baffling as the odd little figures which appeared
beneath and between the colored pictures—some strange kind of bug he
thought they might be, for many of them had legs though nowhere could
he find one with eyes and a mouth. It was his first introduction to
the letters of the alphabet, and he was over ten years old.
Of course he had never before seen print, or ever had spoken with any
living thing which had the remotest idea that such a thing as a written
language existed, nor ever had he seen anyone reading.
So what wonder that the little boy was quite at a loss to guess the
meaning of these strange figures.
Near the middle of the book he found his old enemy, Sabor, the lioness,
and further on, coiled Histah, the snake.
Oh, it was most engrossing! Never before in all his ten years had he
enjoyed anything so much. So absorbed was he that he did not note the
approaching dusk, until it was quite upon him and the figures were
He put the book back in the cupboard and closed the door, for he did
not wish anyone else to find and destroy his treasure, and as he went
out into the gathering darkness he closed the great door of the cabin
behind him as it had been before he discovered the secret of its lock,
but before he left he had noticed the hunting knife lying where he had
thrown it upon the floor, and this he picked up and took with him to
show to his fellows.
He had taken scarce a dozen steps toward the jungle when a great form
rose up before him from the shadows of a low bush. At first he thought
it was one of his own people but in another instant he realized that it
was Bolgani, the huge gorilla.
So close was he that there was no chance for flight and little Tarzan
knew that he must stand and fight for his life; for these great beasts
were the deadly enemies of his tribe, and neither one nor the other
ever asked or gave quarter.
Had Tarzan been a full-grown bull ape of the species of his tribe he
would have been more than a match for the gorilla, but being only a
little English boy, though enormously muscular for such, he stood no
chance against his cruel antagonist. In his veins, though, flowed the
blood of the best of a race of mighty fighters, and back of this was
the training of his short lifetime among the fierce brutes of the
He knew no fear, as we know it; his little heart beat the faster but
from the excitement and exhilaration of adventure. Had the opportunity
presented itself he would have escaped, but solely because his judgment
told him he was no match for the great thing which confronted him. And
since reason showed him that successful flight was impossible he met
the gorilla squarely and bravely without a tremor of a single muscle,
or any sign of panic.
In fact he met the brute midway in its charge, striking its huge body
with his closed fists and as futilely as he had been a fly attacking an
elephant. But in one hand he still clutched the knife he had found in
the cabin of his father, and as the brute, striking and biting, closed
upon him the boy accidentally turned the point toward the hairy breast.
As the knife sank deep into its body the gorilla shrieked in pain and
But the boy had learned in that brief second a use for his sharp and
shining toy, so that, as the tearing, striking beast dragged him to
earth he plunged the blade repeatedly and to the hilt into its breast.
The gorilla, fighting after the manner of its kind, struck terrific
blows with its open hand, and tore the flesh at the boy's throat and
chest with its mighty tusks.
For a moment they rolled upon the ground in the fierce frenzy of
combat. More and more weakly the torn and bleeding arm struck home
with the long sharp blade, then the little figure stiffened with a
spasmodic jerk, and Tarzan, the young Lord Greystoke, rolled
unconscious upon the dead and decaying vegetation which carpeted his
A mile back in the forest the tribe had heard the fierce challenge of
the gorilla, and, as was his custom when any danger threatened, Kerchak
called his people together, partly for mutual protection against a
common enemy, since this gorilla might be but one of a party of
several, and also to see that all members of the tribe were accounted
It was soon discovered that Tarzan was missing, and Tublat was strongly
opposed to sending assistance. Kerchak himself had no liking for the
strange little waif, so he listened to Tublat, and, finally, with a
shrug of his shoulders, turned back to the pile of leaves on which he
had made his bed.
But Kala was of a different mind; in fact, she had not waited but to
learn that Tarzan was absent ere she was fairly flying through the
matted branches toward the point from which the cries of the gorilla
were still plainly audible.
Darkness had now fallen, and an early moon was sending its faint light
to cast strange, grotesque shadows among the dense foliage of the
Here and there the brilliant rays penetrated to earth, but for the most
part they only served to accentuate the Stygian blackness of the
Like some huge phantom, Kala swung noiselessly from tree to tree; now
running nimbly along a great branch, now swinging through space at the
end of another, only to grasp that of a farther tree in her rapid
progress toward the scene of the tragedy her knowledge of jungle life
told her was being enacted a short distance before her.
The cries of the gorilla proclaimed that it was in mortal combat with
some other denizen of the fierce wood. Suddenly these cries ceased,
and the silence of death reigned throughout the jungle.
Kala could not understand, for the voice of Bolgani had at last been
raised in the agony of suffering and death, but no sound had come to
her by which she possibly could determine the nature of his antagonist.
That her little Tarzan could destroy a great bull gorilla she knew to
be improbable, and so, as she neared the spot from which the sounds of
the struggle had come, she moved more warily and at last slowly and
with extreme caution she traversed the lowest branches, peering eagerly
into the moon-splashed blackness for a sign of the combatants.
Presently she came upon them, lying in a little open space full under
the brilliant light of the moon—little Tarzan's torn and bloody form,
and beside it a great bull gorilla, stone dead.
With a low cry Kala rushed to Tarzan's side, and gathering the poor,
blood-covered body to her breast, listened for a sign of life. Faintly
she heard it—the weak beating of the little heart.
Tenderly she bore him back through the inky jungle to where the tribe
lay, and for many days and nights she sat guard beside him, bringing
him food and water, and brushing the flies and other insects from his
Of medicine or surgery the poor thing knew nothing. She could but lick
the wounds, and thus she kept them cleansed, that healing nature might
the more quickly do her work.
At first Tarzan would eat nothing, but rolled and tossed in a wild
delirium of fever. All he craved was water, and this she brought him
in the only way she could, bearing it in her own mouth.
No human mother could have shown more unselfish and sacrificing
devotion than did this poor, wild brute for the little orphaned waif
whom fate had thrown into her keeping.
At last the fever abated and the boy commenced to mend. No word of
complaint passed his tight set lips, though the pain of his wounds was
A portion of his chest was laid bare to the ribs, three of which had
been broken by the mighty blows of the gorilla. One arm was nearly
severed by the giant fangs, and a great piece had been torn from his
neck, exposing his jugular vein, which the cruel jaws had missed but by
With the stoicism of the brutes who had raised him he endured his
suffering quietly, preferring to crawl away from the others and lie
huddled in some clump of tall grasses rather than to show his misery
before their eyes.
Kala, alone, he was glad to have with him, but now that he was better
she was gone longer at a time, in search of food; for the devoted
animal had scarcely eaten enough to support her own life while Tarzan
had been so low, and was in consequence, reduced to a mere shadow of
her former self.
The Light of Knowledge
After what seemed an eternity to the little sufferer he was able to
walk once more, and from then on his recovery was so rapid that in
another month he was as strong and active as ever.
During his convalescence he had gone over in his mind many times the
battle with the gorilla, and his first thought was to recover the
wonderful little weapon which had transformed him from a hopelessly
outclassed weakling to the superior of the mighty terror of the jungle.
Also, he was anxious to return to the cabin and continue his
investigations of its wondrous contents.
So, early one morning, he set forth alone upon his quest. After a
little search he located the clean-picked bones of his late adversary,
and close by, partly buried beneath the fallen leaves, he found the
knife, now red with rust from its exposure to the dampness of the
ground and from the dried blood of the gorilla.
He did not like the change in its former bright and gleaming surface;
but it was still a formidable weapon, and one which he meant to use to
advantage whenever the opportunity presented itself. He had in mind
that no more would he run from the wanton attacks of old Tublat.
In another moment he was at the cabin, and after a short time had again
thrown the latch and entered. His first concern was to learn the
mechanism of the lock, and this he did by examining it closely while
the door was open, so that he could learn precisely what caused it to
hold the door, and by what means it released at his touch.
He found that he could close and lock the door from within, and this he
did so that there would be no chance of his being molested while at his
He commenced a systematic search of the cabin; but his attention was
soon riveted by the books which seemed to exert a strange and powerful
influence over him, so that he could scarce attend to aught else for
the lure of the wondrous puzzle which their purpose presented to him.
Among the other books were a primer, some child's readers, numerous
picture books, and a great dictionary. All of these he examined, but
the pictures caught his fancy most, though the strange little bugs
which covered the pages where there were no pictures excited his wonder
and deepest thought.
Squatting upon his haunches on the table top in the cabin his father
had built—his smooth, brown, naked little body bent over the book
which rested in his strong slender hands, and his great shock of long,
black hair falling about his well-shaped head and bright, intelligent
eyes—Tarzan of the apes, little primitive man, presented a picture
filled, at once, with pathos and with promise—an allegorical figure of
the primordial groping through the black night of ignorance toward the
light of learning.
His little face was tense in study, for he had partially grasped, in a
hazy, nebulous way, the rudiments of a thought which was destined to
prove the key and the solution to the puzzling problem of the strange
In his hands was a primer opened at a picture of a little ape similar
to himself, but covered, except for hands and face, with strange,
colored fur, for such he thought the jacket and trousers to be.
Beneath the picture were three little bugs—
And now he had discovered in the text upon the page that these three
were repeated many times in the same sequence.
Another fact he learned—that there were comparatively few individual
bugs; but these were repeated many times, occasionally alone, but more
often in company with others.
Slowly he turned the pages, scanning the pictures and the text for a
repetition of the combination B-O-Y. Presently he found it beneath a
picture of another little ape and a strange animal which went upon four
legs like the jackal and resembled him not a little. Beneath this
picture the bugs appeared as:
A BOY AND A DOG
There they were, the three little bugs which always accompanied the
And so he progressed very, very slowly, for it was a hard and laborious
task which he had set himself without knowing it—a task which might
seem to you or me impossible—learning to read without having the
slightest knowledge of letters or written language, or the faintest
idea that such things existed.
He did not accomplish it in a day, or in a week, or in a month, or in a
year; but slowly, very slowly, he learned after he had grasped the
possibilities which lay in those little bugs, so that by the time he
was fifteen he knew the various combinations of letters which stood for
every pictured figure in the little primer and in one or two of the
Of the meaning and use of the articles and conjunctions, verbs and
adverbs and pronouns he had but the faintest conception.
One day when he was about twelve he found a number of lead pencils in a
hitherto undiscovered drawer beneath the table, and in scratching upon
the table top with one of them he was delighted to discover the black
line it left behind it.
He worked so assiduously with this new toy that the table top was soon
a mass of scrawly loops and irregular lines and his pencil-point worn
down to the wood. Then he took another pencil, but this time he had a
definite object in view.
He would attempt to reproduce some of the little bugs that scrambled
over the pages of his books.
It was a difficult task, for he held the pencil as one would grasp the
hilt of a dagger, which does not add greatly to ease in writing or to
the legibility of the results.
But he persevered for months, at such times as he was able to come to
the cabin, until at last by repeated experimenting he found a position
in which to hold the pencil that best permitted him to guide and
control it, so that at last he could roughly reproduce any of the
Thus he made a beginning of writing.
Copying the bugs taught him another thing—their number; and though he
could not count as we understand it, yet he had an idea of quantity,
the base of his calculations being the number of fingers upon one of
His search through the various books convinced him that he had
discovered all the different kinds of bugs most often repeated in
combination, and these he arranged in proper order with great ease
because of the frequency with which he had perused the fascinating
alphabet picture book.
His education progressed; but his greatest finds were in the
inexhaustible storehouse of the huge illustrated dictionary, for he
learned more through the medium of pictures than text, even after he
had grasped the significance of the bugs.
When he discovered the arrangement of words in alphabetical order he
delighted in searching for and finding the combinations with which he
was familiar, and the words which followed them, their definitions, led
him still further into the mazes of erudition.
By the time he was seventeen he had learned to read the simple, child's
primer and had fully realized the true and wonderful purpose of the
No longer did he feel shame for his hairless body or his human
features, for now his reason told him that he was of a different race
from his wild and hairy companions. He was a M-A-N, they were A-P-E-S,
and the little apes which scurried through the forest top were
M-O-N-K-E-Y-S. He knew, too, that old Sabor was a L-I-O-N-E-S-S, and
Histah a S-N-A-K-E, and Tantor an E-L-E-P-H-A-N-T. And so he learned
to read. From then on his progress was rapid. With the help of the
great dictionary and the active intelligence of a healthy mind endowed
by inheritance with more than ordinary reasoning powers he shrewdly
guessed at much which he could not really understand, and more often
than not his guesses were close to the mark of truth.
There were many breaks in his education, caused by the migratory habits
of his tribe, but even when removed from his books his active brain
continued to search out the mysteries of his fascinating avocation.
Pieces of bark and flat leaves and even smooth stretches of bare earth
provided him with copy books whereon to scratch with the point of his
hunting knife the lessons he was learning.
Nor did he neglect the sterner duties of life while following the bent
of his inclination toward the solving of the mystery of his library.
He practiced with his rope and played with his sharp knife, which he
had learned to keep keen by whetting upon flat stones.
The tribe had grown larger since Tarzan had come among them, for under
the leadership of Kerchak they had been able to frighten the other
tribes from their part of the jungle so that they had plenty to eat and
little or no loss from predatory incursions of neighbors.
Hence the younger males as they became adult found it more comfortable
to take mates from their own tribe, or if they captured one of another
tribe to bring her back to Kerchak's band and live in amity with him
rather than attempt to set up new establishments of their own, or fight
with the redoubtable Kerchak for supremacy at home.
Occasionally one more ferocious than his fellows would attempt this
latter alternative, but none had come yet who could wrest the palm of
victory from the fierce and brutal ape.
Tarzan held a peculiar position in the tribe. They seemed to consider
him one of them and yet in some way different. The older males either
ignored him entirely or else hated him so vindictively that but for his
wondrous agility and speed and the fierce protection of the huge Kala
he would have been dispatched at an early age.
Tublat was his most consistent enemy, but it was through Tublat that,
when he was about thirteen, the persecution of his enemies suddenly
ceased and he was left severely alone, except on the occasions when one
of them ran amuck in the throes of one of those strange, wild fits of
insane rage which attacks the males of many of the fiercer animals of
the jungle. Then none was safe.
On the day that Tarzan established his right to respect, the tribe was
gathered about a small natural amphitheater which the jungle had left
free from its entangling vines and creepers in a hollow among some low
The open space was almost circular in shape. Upon every hand rose the
mighty giants of the untouched forest, with the matted undergrowth
banked so closely between the huge trunks that the only opening into
the little, level arena was through the upper branches of the trees.
Here, safe from interruption, the tribe often gathered. In the center
of the amphitheater was one of those strange earthen drums which the
anthropoids build for the queer rites the sounds of which men have
heard in the fastnesses of the jungle, but which none has ever
Many travelers have seen the drums of the great apes, and some have
heard the sounds of their beating and the noise of the wild, weird
revelry of these first lords of the jungle, but Tarzan, Lord Greystoke,
is, doubtless, the only human being who ever joined in the fierce, mad,
intoxicating revel of the Dum-Dum.
From this primitive function has arisen, unquestionably, all the forms
and ceremonials of modern church and state, for through all the
countless ages, back beyond the uttermost ramparts of a dawning
humanity our fierce, hairy forebears danced out the rites of the
Dum-Dum to the sound of their earthen drums, beneath the bright light
of a tropical moon in the depth of a mighty jungle which stands
unchanged today as it stood on that long forgotten night in the dim,
unthinkable vistas of the long dead past when our first shaggy ancestor
swung from a swaying bough and dropped lightly upon the soft turf of
the first meeting place.
On the day that Tarzan won his emancipation from the persecution that
had followed him remorselessly for twelve of his thirteen years of
life, the tribe, now a full hundred strong, trooped silently through
the lower terrace of the jungle trees and dropped noiselessly upon the
floor of the amphitheater.
The rites of the Dum-Dum marked important events in the life of the
tribe—a victory, the capture of a prisoner, the killing of some large
fierce denizen of the jungle, the death or accession of a king, and
were conducted with set ceremonialism.
Today it was the killing of a giant ape, a member of another tribe, and
as the people of Kerchak entered the arena two mighty bulls were seen
bearing the body of the vanquished between them.
They laid their burden before the earthen drum and then squatted there
beside it as guards, while the other members of the community curled
themselves in grassy nooks to sleep until the rising moon should give
the signal for the commencement of their savage orgy.
For hours absolute quiet reigned in the little clearing, except as it
was broken by the discordant notes of brilliantly feathered parrots, or
the screeching and twittering of the thousand jungle birds flitting
ceaselessly amongst the vivid orchids and flamboyant blossoms which
festooned the myriad, moss-covered branches of the forest kings.
At length as darkness settled upon the jungle the apes commenced to
bestir themselves, and soon they formed a great circle about the
earthen drum. The females and young squatted in a thin line at the
outer periphery of the circle, while just in front of them ranged the
adult males. Before the drum sat three old females, each armed with a
knotted branch fifteen or eighteen inches in length.
Slowly and softly they began tapping upon the resounding surface of the
drum as the first faint rays of the ascending moon silvered the
encircling tree tops.
As the light in the amphitheater increased the females augmented the
frequency and force of their blows until presently a wild, rhythmic din
pervaded the great jungle for miles in every direction. Huge, fierce
brutes stopped in their hunting, with up-pricked ears and raised heads,
to listen to the dull booming that betokened the Dum-Dum of the apes.
Occasionally one would raise his shrill scream or thunderous roar in
answering challenge to the savage din of the anthropoids, but none came
near to investigate or attack, for the great apes, assembled in all the
power of their numbers, filled the breasts of their jungle neighbors
with deep respect.
As the din of the drum rose to almost deafening volume Kerchak sprang
into the open space between the squatting males and the drummers.
Standing erect he threw his head far back and looking full into the eye
of the rising moon he beat upon his breast with his great hairy paws
and emitted his fearful roaring shriek.
One—twice—thrice that terrifying cry rang out across the teeming
solitude of that unspeakably quick, yet unthinkably dead, world.
Then, crouching, Kerchak slunk noiselessly around the open circle,
veering far away from the dead body lying before the altar-drum, but,
as he passed, keeping his little, fierce, wicked, red eyes upon the
Another male then sprang into the arena, and, repeating the horrid
cries of his king, followed stealthily in his wake. Another and
another followed in quick succession until the jungle reverberated with
the now almost ceaseless notes of their bloodthirsty screams.
It was the challenge and the hunt.
When all the adult males had joined in the thin line of circling
dancers the attack commenced.
Kerchak, seizing a huge club from the pile which lay at hand for the
purpose, rushed furiously upon the dead ape, dealing the corpse a
terrific blow, at the same time emitting the growls and snarls of
combat. The din of the drum was now increased, as well as the
frequency of the blows, and the warriors, as each approached the victim
of the hunt and delivered his bludgeon blow, joined in the mad whirl of
the Death Dance.
Tarzan was one of the wild, leaping horde. His brown, sweat-streaked,
muscular body, glistening in the moonlight, shone supple and graceful
among the uncouth, awkward, hairy brutes about him.
None was more stealthy in the mimic hunt, none more ferocious than he
in the wild ferocity of the attack, none who leaped so high into the
air in the Dance of Death.
As the noise and rapidity of the drumbeats increased the dancers
apparently became intoxicated with the wild rhythm and the savage
yells. Their leaps and bounds increased, their bared fangs dripped
saliva, and their lips and breasts were flecked with foam.
For half an hour the weird dance went on, until, at a sign from
Kerchak, the noise of the drums ceased, the female drummers scampering
hurriedly through the line of dancers toward the outer rim of squatting
spectators. Then, as one, the males rushed headlong upon the thing
which their terrific blows had reduced to a mass of hairy pulp.
Flesh seldom came to their jaws in satisfying quantities, so a fit
finale to their wild revel was a taste of fresh killed meat, and it was
to the purpose of devouring their late enemy that they now turned their
Great fangs sunk into the carcass tearing away huge hunks, the
mightiest of the apes obtaining the choicest morsels, while the weaker
circled the outer edge of the fighting, snarling pack awaiting their
chance to dodge in and snatch a dropped tidbit or filch a remaining
bone before all was gone.
Tarzan, more than the apes, craved and needed flesh. Descended from a
race of meat eaters, never in his life, he thought, had he once
satisfied his appetite for animal food; and so now his agile little
body wormed its way far into the mass of struggling, rending apes in an
endeavor to obtain a share which his strength would have been unequal
to the task of winning for him.
At his side hung the hunting knife of his unknown father in a sheath
self-fashioned in copy of one he had seen among the pictures of his
At last he reached the fast disappearing feast and with his sharp knife
slashed off a more generous portion than he had hoped for, an entire
hairy forearm, where it protruded from beneath the feet of the mighty
Kerchak, who was so busily engaged in perpetuating the royal
prerogative of gluttony that he failed to note the act of LESE-MAJESTE.
So little Tarzan wriggled out from beneath the struggling mass,
clutching his grisly prize close to his breast.
Among those circling futilely the outskirts of the banqueters was old
Tublat. He had been among the first at the feast, but had retreated
with a goodly share to eat in quiet, and was now forcing his way back
So it was that he spied Tarzan as the boy emerged from the clawing,
pushing throng with that hairy forearm hugged firmly to his body.
Tublat's little, close-set, bloodshot, pig-eyes shot wicked gleams of
hate as they fell upon the object of his loathing. In them, too, was
greed for the toothsome dainty the boy carried.
But Tarzan saw his arch enemy as quickly, and divining what the great
beast would do he leaped nimbly away toward the females and the young,
hoping to hide himself among them. Tublat, however, was close upon his
heels, so that he had no opportunity to seek a place of concealment,
but saw that he would be put to it to escape at all.
Swiftly he sped toward the surrounding trees and with an agile bound
gained a lower limb with one hand, and then, transferring his burden to
his teeth, he climbed rapidly upward, closely followed by Tublat.
Up, up he went to the waving pinnacle of a lofty monarch of the forest
where his heavy pursuer dared not follow him. There he perched,
hurling taunts and insults at the raging, foaming beast fifty feet
And then Tublat went mad.
With horrifying screams and roars he rushed to the ground, among the
females and young, sinking his great fangs into a dozen tiny necks and
tearing great pieces from the backs and breasts of the females who fell
into his clutches.
In the brilliant moonlight Tarzan witnessed the whole mad carnival of
rage. He saw the females and the young scamper to the safety of the
trees. Then the great bulls in the center of the arena felt the mighty
fangs of their demented fellow, and with one accord they melted into
the black shadows of the overhanging forest.
There was but one in the amphitheater beside Tublat, a belated female
running swiftly toward the tree where Tarzan perched, and close behind
her came the awful Tublat.
It was Kala, and as quickly as Tarzan saw that Tublat was gaining on
her he dropped with the rapidity of a falling stone, from branch to
branch, toward his foster mother.
Now she was beneath the overhanging limbs and close above her crouched
Tarzan, waiting the outcome of the race.
She leaped into the air grasping a low-hanging branch, but almost over
the head of Tublat, so nearly had he distanced her. She should have
been safe now but there was a rending, tearing sound, the branch broke
and precipitated her full upon the head of Tublat, knocking him to the
Both were up in an instant, but as quick as they had been Tarzan had
been quicker, so that the infuriated bull found himself facing the
man-child who stood between him and Kala.
Nothing could have suited the fierce beast better, and with a roar of
triumph he leaped upon the little Lord Greystoke. But his fangs never
closed in that nut brown flesh.
A muscular hand shot out and grasped the hairy throat, and another
plunged a keen hunting knife a dozen times into the broad breast. Like
lightning the blows fell, and only ceased when Tarzan felt the limp
form crumple beneath him.
As the body rolled to the ground Tarzan of the Apes placed his foot
upon the neck of his lifelong enemy and, raising his eyes to the full
moon, threw back his fierce young head and voiced the wild and terrible
cry of his people.
One by one the tribe swung down from their arboreal retreats and formed
a circle about Tarzan and his vanquished foe. When they had all come
Tarzan turned toward them.
"I am Tarzan," he cried. "I am a great killer. Let all respect Tarzan
of the Apes and Kala, his mother. There be none among you as mighty as
Tarzan. Let his enemies beware."
Looking full into the wicked, red eyes of Kerchak, the young Lord
Greystoke beat upon his mighty breast and screamed out once more his
shrill cry of defiance.
The Tree-top Hunter
The morning after the Dum-Dum the tribe started slowly back through the
forest toward the coast.
The body of Tublat lay where it had fallen, for the people of Kerchak
do not eat their own dead.
The march was but a leisurely search for food. Cabbage palm and gray
plum, pisang and scitamine they found in abundance, with wild
pineapple, and occasionally small mammals, birds, eggs, reptiles, and
insects. The nuts they cracked between their powerful jaws, or, if too
hard, broke by pounding between stones.
Once old Sabor, crossing their path, sent them scurrying to the safety
of the higher branches, for if she respected their number and their
sharp fangs, they on their part held her cruel and mighty ferocity in
Upon a low-hanging branch sat Tarzan directly above the majestic,
supple body as it forged silently through the thick jungle. He hurled
a pineapple at the ancient enemy of his people. The great beast
stopped and, turning, eyed the taunting figure above her.
With an angry lash of her tail she bared her yellow fangs, curling her
great lips in a hideous snarl that wrinkled her bristling snout in
serried ridges and closed her wicked eyes to two narrow slits of rage
With back-laid ears she looked straight into the eyes of Tarzan of the
Apes and sounded her fierce, shrill challenge. And from the safety of
his overhanging limb the ape-child sent back the fearsome answer of his
For a moment the two eyed each other in silence, and then the great cat
turned into the jungle, which swallowed her as the ocean engulfs a
But into the mind of Tarzan a great plan sprang. He had killed the
fierce Tublat, so was he not therefore a mighty fighter? Now would he
track down the crafty Sabor and slay her likewise. He would be a
mighty hunter, also.
At the bottom of his little English heart beat the great desire to
cover his nakedness with CLOTHES for he had learned from his picture
books that all MEN were so covered, while MONKEYS and APES and every
other living thing went naked.
CLOTHES therefore, must be truly a badge of greatness; the insignia of
the superiority of MAN over all other animals, for surely there could
be no other reason for wearing the hideous things.
Many moons ago, when he had been much smaller, he had desired the skin
of Sabor, the lioness, or Numa, the lion, or Sheeta, the leopard to
cover his hairless body that he might no longer resemble hideous
Histah, the snake; but now he was proud of his sleek skin for it
betokened his descent from a mighty race, and the conflicting desires
to go naked in prideful proof of his ancestry, or to conform to the
customs of his own kind and wear hideous and uncomfortable apparel
found first one and then the other in the ascendency.
As the tribe continued their slow way through the forest after the
passing of Sabor, Tarzan's head was filled with his great scheme for
slaying his enemy, and for many days thereafter he thought of little
On this day, however, he presently had other and more immediate
interests to attract his attention.
Suddenly it became as midnight; the noises of the jungle ceased; the
trees stood motionless as though in paralyzed expectancy of some great
and imminent disaster. All nature waited—but not for long.
Faintly, from a distance, came a low, sad moaning. Nearer and nearer
it approached, mounting louder and louder in volume.
The great trees bent in unison as though pressed earthward by a mighty
hand. Farther and farther toward the ground they inclined, and still
there was no sound save the deep and awesome moaning of the wind.
Then, suddenly, the jungle giants whipped back, lashing their mighty
tops in angry and deafening protest. A vivid and blinding light
flashed from the whirling, inky clouds above. The deep cannonade of
roaring thunder belched forth its fearsome challenge. The deluge
came—all hell broke loose upon the jungle.
The tribe shivering from the cold rain, huddled at the bases of great
trees. The lightning, darting and flashing through the blackness,
showed wildly waving branches, whipping streamers and bending trunks.
Now and again some ancient patriarch of the woods, rent by a flashing
bolt, would crash in a thousand pieces among the surrounding trees,
carrying down numberless branches and many smaller neighbors to add to
the tangled confusion of the tropical jungle.
Branches, great and small, torn away by the ferocity of the tornado,
hurtled through the wildly waving verdure, carrying death and
destruction to countless unhappy denizens of the thickly peopled world
For hours the fury of the storm continued without surcease, and still
the tribe huddled close in shivering fear. In constant danger from
falling trunks and branches and paralyzed by the vivid flashing of
lightning and the bellowing of thunder they crouched in pitiful misery
until the storm passed.
The end was as sudden as the beginning. The wind ceased, the sun shone
forth—nature smiled once more.
The dripping leaves and branches, and the moist petals of gorgeous
flowers glistened in the splendor of the returning day. And, so—as
Nature forgot, her children forgot also. Busy life went on as it had
been before the darkness and the fright.
But to Tarzan a dawning light had come to explain the mystery of
CLOTHES. How snug he would have been beneath the heavy coat of Sabor!
And so was added a further incentive to the adventure.
For several months the tribe hovered near the beach where stood
Tarzan's cabin, and his studies took up the greater portion of his
time, but always when journeying through the forest he kept his rope in
readiness, and many were the smaller animals that fell into the snare
of the quick thrown noose.
Once it fell about the short neck of Horta, the boar, and his mad lunge
for freedom toppled Tarzan from the overhanging limb where he had lain
in wait and from whence he had launched his sinuous coil.
The mighty tusker turned at the sound of his falling body, and, seeing
only the easy prey of a young ape, he lowered his head and charged
madly at the surprised youth.
Tarzan, happily, was uninjured by the fall, alighting catlike upon all
fours far outspread to take up the shock. He was on his feet in an
instant and, leaping with the agility of the monkey he was, he gained
the safety of a low limb as Horta, the boar, rushed futilely beneath.
Thus it was that Tarzan learned by experience the limitations as well
as the possibilities of his strange weapon.
He lost a long rope on this occasion, but he knew that had it been
Sabor who had thus dragged him from his perch the outcome might have
been very different, for he would have lost his life, doubtless, into
It took him many days to braid a new rope, but when, finally, it was
done he went forth purposely to hunt, and lie in wait among the dense
foliage of a great branch right above the well-beaten trail that led to
Several small animals passed unharmed beneath him. He did not want
such insignificant game. It would take a strong animal to test the
efficacy of his new scheme.
At last came she whom Tarzan sought, with lithe sinews rolling beneath
shimmering hide; fat and glossy came Sabor, the lioness.
Her great padded feet fell soft and noiseless on the narrow trail. Her
head was high in ever alert attention; her long tail moved slowly in
sinuous and graceful undulations.
Nearer and nearer she came to where Tarzan of the Apes crouched upon
his limb, the coils of his long rope poised ready in his hand.
Like a thing of bronze, motionless as death, sat Tarzan. Sabor passed
beneath. One stride beyond she took—a second, a third, and then the
silent coil shot out above her.
For an instant the spreading noose hung above her head like a great
snake, and then, as she looked upward to detect the origin of the
swishing sound of the rope, it settled about her neck. With a quick
jerk Tarzan snapped the noose tight about the glossy throat, and then
he dropped the rope and clung to his support with both hands.
Sabor was trapped.
With a bound the startled beast turned into the jungle, but Tarzan was
not to lose another rope through the same cause as the first. He had
learned from experience. The lioness had taken but half her second
bound when she felt the rope tighten about her neck; her body turned
completely over in the air and she fell with a heavy crash upon her
back. Tarzan had fastened the end of the rope securely to the trunk of
the great tree on which he sat.
Thus far his plan had worked to perfection, but when he grasped the
rope, bracing himself behind a crotch of two mighty branches, he found
that dragging the mighty, struggling, clawing, biting, screaming mass
of iron-muscled fury up to the tree and hanging her was a very
The weight of old Sabor was immense, and when she braced her huge paws
nothing less than Tantor, the elephant, himself, could have budged her.
The lioness was now back in the path where she could see the author of
the indignity which had been placed upon her. Screaming with rage she
suddenly charged, leaping high into the air toward Tarzan, but when her
huge body struck the limb on which Tarzan had been, Tarzan was no
Instead he perched lightly upon a smaller branch twenty feet above the
raging captive. For a moment Sabor hung half across the branch, while
Tarzan mocked, and hurled twigs and branches at her unprotected face.
Presently the beast dropped to the earth again and Tarzan came quickly
to seize the rope, but Sabor had now found that it was only a slender
cord that held her, and grasping it in her huge jaws severed it before
Tarzan could tighten the strangling noose a second time.
Tarzan was much hurt. His well-laid plan had come to naught, so he sat
there screaming at the roaring creature beneath him and making mocking
grimaces at it.
Sabor paced back and forth beneath the tree for hours; four times she
crouched and sprang at the dancing sprite above her, but might as well
have clutched at the illusive wind that murmured through the tree tops.
At last Tarzan tired of the sport, and with a parting roar of challenge
and a well-aimed ripe fruit that spread soft and sticky over the
snarling face of his enemy, he swung rapidly through the trees, a
hundred feet above the ground, and in a short time was among the
members of his tribe.
Here he recounted the details of his adventure, with swelling chest and
so considerable swagger that he quite impressed even his bitterest
enemies, while Kala fairly danced for joy and pride.
Man and Man
Tarzan of the Apes lived on in his wild, jungle existence with little
change for several years, only that he grew stronger and wiser, and
learned from his books more and more of the strange worlds which lay
somewhere outside his primeval forest.
To him life was never monotonous or stale. There was always Pisah, the
fish, to be caught in the many streams and the little lakes, and Sabor,
with her ferocious cousins to keep one ever on the alert and give zest
to every instant that one spent upon the ground.
Often they hunted him, and more often he hunted them, but though they
never quite reached him with those cruel, sharp claws of theirs, yet
there were times when one could scarce have passed a thick leaf between
their talons and his smooth hide.
Quick was Sabor, the lioness, and quick were Numa and Sheeta, but
Tarzan of the Apes was lightning.
With Tantor, the elephant, he made friends. How? Ask not. But this
is known to the denizens of the jungle, that on many moonlight nights
Tarzan of the Apes and Tantor, the elephant, walked together, and where
the way was clear Tarzan rode, perched high upon Tantor's mighty back.
Many days during these years he spent in the cabin of his father, where
still lay, untouched, the bones of his parents and the skeleton of
Kala's baby. At eighteen he read fluently and understood nearly all he
read in the many and varied volumes on the shelves.
Also could he write, with printed letters, rapidly and plainly, but
script he had not mastered, for though there were several copy books
among his treasure, there was so little written English in the cabin
that he saw no use for bothering with this other form of writing,
though he could read it, laboriously.
Thus, at eighteen, we find him, an English lordling, who could speak no
English, and yet who could read and write his native language. Never
had he seen a human being other than himself, for the little area
traversed by his tribe was watered by no greater river to bring down
the savage natives of the interior.
High hills shut it off on three sides, the ocean on the fourth. It was
alive with lions and leopards and poisonous snakes. Its untouched
mazes of matted jungle had as yet invited no hardy pioneer from the
human beasts beyond its frontier.
But as Tarzan of the Apes sat one day in the cabin of his father
delving into the mysteries of a new book, the ancient security of his
jungle was broken forever.
At the far eastern confine a strange cavalcade strung, in single file,
over the brow of a low hill.
In advance were fifty black warriors armed with slender wooden spears
with ends hard baked over slow fires, and long bows and poisoned
arrows. On their backs were oval shields, in their noses huge rings,
while from the kinky wool of their heads protruded tufts of gay
Across their foreheads were tattooed three parallel lines of color, and
on each breast three concentric circles. Their yellow teeth were filed
to sharp points, and their great protruding lips added still further to
the low and bestial brutishness of their appearance.
Following them were several hundred women and children, the former
bearing upon their heads great burdens of cooking pots, household
utensils and ivory. In the rear were a hundred warriors, similar in
all respects to the advance guard.
That they more greatly feared an attack from the rear than whatever
unknown enemies lurked in their advance was evidenced by the formation
of the column; and such was the fact, for they were fleeing from the
white man's soldiers who had so harassed them for rubber and ivory that
they had turned upon their conquerors one day and massacred a white
officer and a small detachment of his black troops.
For many days they had gorged themselves on meat, but eventually a
stronger body of troops had come and fallen upon their village by night
to revenge the death of their comrades.
That night the black soldiers of the white man had had meat a-plenty,
and this little remnant of a once powerful tribe had slunk off into the
gloomy jungle toward the unknown, and freedom.
But that which meant freedom and the pursuit of happiness to these
savage blacks meant consternation and death to many of the wild
denizens of their new home.
For three days the little cavalcade marched slowly through the heart of
this unknown and untracked forest, until finally, early in the fourth
day, they came upon a little spot near the banks of a small river,
which seemed less thickly overgrown than any ground they had yet
Here they set to work to build a new village, and in a month a great
clearing had been made, huts and palisades erected, plantains, yams and
maize planted, and they had taken up their old life in their new home.
Here there were no white men, no soldiers, nor any rubber or ivory to
be gathered for cruel and thankless taskmasters.
Several moons passed by ere the blacks ventured far into the territory
surrounding their new village. Several had already fallen prey to old
Sabor, and because the jungle was so infested with these fierce and
bloodthirsty cats, and with lions and leopards, the ebony warriors
hesitated to trust themselves far from the safety of their palisades.
But one day, Kulonga, a son of the old king, Mbonga, wandered far into
the dense mazes to the west. Warily he stepped, his slender lance ever
ready, his long oval shield firmly grasped in his left hand close to
his sleek ebony body.
At his back his bow, and in the quiver upon his shield many slim,
straight arrows, well smeared with the thick, dark, tarry substance
that rendered deadly their tiniest needle prick.
Night found Kulonga far from the palisades of his father's village, but
still headed westward, and climbing into the fork of a great tree he
fashioned a rude platform and curled himself for sleep.
Three miles to the west slept the tribe of Kerchak.
Early the next morning the apes were astir, moving through the jungle
in search of food. Tarzan, as was his custom, prosecuted his search in
the direction of the cabin so that by leisurely hunting on the way his
stomach was filled by the time he reached the beach.
The apes scattered by ones, and twos, and threes in all directions, but
ever within sound of a signal of alarm.
Kala had moved slowly along an elephant track toward the east, and was
busily engaged in turning over rotted limbs and logs in search of
succulent bugs and fungi, when the faintest shadow of a strange noise
brought her to startled attention.
For fifty yards before her the trail was straight, and down this leafy
tunnel she saw the stealthy advancing figure of a strange and fearful
It was Kulonga.
Kala did not wait to see more, but, turning, moved rapidly back along
the trail. She did not run; but, after the manner of her kind when not
aroused, sought rather to avoid than to escape.
Close after her came Kulonga. Here was meat. He could make a killing
and feast well this day. On he hurried, his spear poised for the throw.
At a turning of the trail he came in sight of her again upon another
straight stretch. His spear hand went far back, the muscles rolled,
lightning-like, beneath the sleek hide. Out shot the arm, and the
spear sped toward Kala.
A poor cast. It but grazed her side.
With a cry of rage and pain the she-ape turned upon her tormentor. In
an instant the trees were crashing beneath the weight of her hurrying
fellows, swinging rapidly toward the scene of trouble in answer to
As she charged, Kulonga unslung his bow and fitted an arrow with almost
unthinkable quickness. Drawing the shaft far back he drove the
poisoned missile straight into the heart of the great anthropoid.
With a horrid scream Kala plunged forward upon her face before the
astonished members of her tribe.
Roaring and shrieking the apes dashed toward Kulonga, but that wary
savage was fleeing down the trail like a frightened antelope.
He knew something of the ferocity of these wild, hairy men, and his one
desire was to put as many miles between himself and them as he possibly
They followed him, racing through the trees, for a long distance, but
finally one by one they abandoned the chase and returned to the scene
of the tragedy.
None of them had ever seen a man before, other than Tarzan, and so they
wondered vaguely what strange manner of creature it might be that had
invaded their jungle.
On the far beach by the little cabin Tarzan heard the faint echoes of
the conflict and knowing that something was seriously amiss among the
tribe he hastened rapidly toward the direction of the sound.
When he arrived he found the entire tribe gathered jabbering about the
dead body of his slain mother.
Tarzan's grief and anger were unbounded. He roared out his hideous
challenge time and again. He beat upon his great chest with his
clenched fists, and then he fell upon the body of Kala and sobbed out
the pitiful sorrowing of his lonely heart.
To lose the only creature in all his world who ever had manifested love
and affection for him was the greatest tragedy he had ever known.
What though Kala was a fierce and hideous ape! To Tarzan she had been
kind, she had been beautiful.
Upon her he had lavished, unknown to himself, all the reverence and
respect and love that a normal English boy feels for his own mother.
He had never known another, and so to Kala was given, though mutely,
all that would have belonged to the fair and lovely Lady Alice had she
After the first outburst of grief Tarzan controlled himself, and
questioning the members of the tribe who had witnessed the killing of
Kala he learned all that their meager vocabulary could convey.
It was enough, however, for his needs. It told him of a strange,
hairless, black ape with feathers growing upon its head, who launched
death from a slender branch, and then ran, with the fleetness of Bara,
the deer, toward the rising sun.
Tarzan waited no longer, but leaping into the branches of the trees
sped rapidly through the forest. He knew the windings of the elephant
trail along which Kala's murderer had flown, and so he cut straight
through the jungle to intercept the black warrior who was evidently
following the tortuous detours of the trail.
At his side was the hunting knife of his unknown sire, and across his
shoulders the coils of his own long rope. In an hour he struck the
trail again, and coming to earth examined the soil minutely.
In the soft mud on the bank of a tiny rivulet he found footprints such
as he alone in all the jungle had ever made, but much larger than his.
His heart beat fast. Could it be that he was trailing a MAN—one of
his own race?
There were two sets of imprints pointing in opposite directions. So
his quarry had already passed on his return along the trail. As he
examined the newer spoor a tiny particle of earth toppled from the
outer edge of one of the footprints to the bottom of its shallow
depression—ah, the trail was very fresh, his prey must have but
Tarzan swung himself to the trees once more, and with swift
noiselessness sped along high above the trail.
He had covered barely a mile when he came upon the black warrior
standing in a little open space. In his hand was his slender bow to
which he had fitted one of his death dealing arrows.
Opposite him across the little clearing stood Horta, the boar, with
lowered head and foam flecked tusks, ready to charge.
Tarzan looked with wonder upon the strange creature beneath him—so
like him in form and yet so different in face and color. His books had
portrayed the NEGRO, but how different had been the dull, dead print to
this sleek thing of ebony, pulsing with life.
As the man stood there with taut drawn bow Tarzan recognized him not so
much the NEGRO as the ARCHER of his picture book—
A stands for Archer
How wonderful! Tarzan almost betrayed his presence in the deep
excitement of his discovery.
But things were commencing to happen below him. The sinewy black arm
had drawn the shaft far back; Horta, the boar, was charging, and then
the black released the little poisoned arrow, and Tarzan saw it fly
with the quickness of thought and lodge in the bristling neck of the
Scarcely had the shaft left his bow ere Kulonga had fitted another to
it, but Horta, the boar, was upon him so quickly that he had no time to
discharge it. With a bound the black leaped entirely over the rushing
beast and turning with incredible swiftness planted a second arrow in
Then Kulonga sprang into a near-by tree.
Horta wheeled to charge his enemy once more; a dozen steps he took,
then he staggered and fell upon his side. For a moment his muscles
stiffened and relaxed convulsively, then he lay still.
Kulonga came down from his tree.
With a knife that hung at his side he cut several large pieces from the
boar's body, and in the center of the trail he built a fire, cooking
and eating as much as he wanted. The rest he left where it had fallen.
Tarzan was an interested spectator. His desire to kill burned fiercely
in his wild breast, but his desire to learn was even greater. He would
follow this savage creature for a while and know from whence he came.
He could kill him at his leisure later, when the bow and deadly arrows
were laid aside.
When Kulonga had finished his repast and disappeared beyond a near
turning of the path, Tarzan dropped quietly to the ground. With his
knife he severed many strips of meat from Horta's carcass, but he did
not cook them.
He had seen fire, but only when Ara, the lightning, had destroyed some
great tree. That any creature of the jungle could produce the
red-and-yellow fangs which devoured wood and left nothing but fine dust
surprised Tarzan greatly, and why the black warrior had ruined his
delicious repast by plunging it into the blighting heat was quite
beyond him. Possibly Ara was a friend with whom the Archer was sharing
But, be that as it may, Tarzan would not ruin good meat in any such
foolish manner, so he gobbled down a great quantity of the raw flesh,
burying the balance of the carcass beside the trail where he could find
it upon his return.
And then Lord Greystoke wiped his greasy fingers upon his naked thighs
and took up the trail of Kulonga, the son of Mbonga, the king; while in
far-off London another Lord Greystoke, the younger brother of the real
Lord Greystoke's father, sent back his chops to the club's CHEF because
they were underdone, and when he had finished his repast he dipped his
finger-ends into a silver bowl of scented water and dried them upon a
piece of snowy damask.
All day Tarzan followed Kulonga, hovering above him in the trees like
some malign spirit. Twice more he saw him hurl his arrows of
destruction—once at Dango, the hyena, and again at Manu, the monkey.
In each instance the animal died almost instantly, for Kulonga's poison
was very fresh and very deadly.
Tarzan thought much on this wondrous method of slaying as he swung
slowly along at a safe distance behind his quarry. He knew that alone
the tiny prick of the arrow could not so quickly dispatch these wild
things of the jungle, who were often torn and scratched and gored in a
frightful manner as they fought with their jungle neighbors, yet as
often recovered as not.
No, there was something mysterious connected with these tiny slivers of
wood which could bring death by a mere scratch. He must look into the
That night Kulonga slept in the crotch of a mighty tree and far above
him crouched Tarzan of the Apes.
When Kulonga awoke he found that his bow and arrows had disappeared.
The black warrior was furious and frightened, but more frightened than
furious. He searched the ground below the tree, and he searched the
tree above the ground; but there was no sign of either bow or arrows or
of the nocturnal marauder.
Kulonga was panic-stricken. His spear he had hurled at Kala and had
not recovered; and, now that his bow and arrows were gone, he was
defenseless except for a single knife. His only hope lay in reaching
the village of Mbonga as quickly as his legs would carry him.
That he was not far from home he was certain, so he took the trail at a
From a great mass of impenetrable foliage a few yards away emerged
Tarzan of the Apes to swing quietly in his wake.
Kulonga's bow and arrows were securely tied high in the top of a giant
tree from which a patch of bark had been removed by a sharp knife near
to the ground, and a branch half cut through and left hanging about
fifty feet higher up. Thus Tarzan blazed the forest trails and marked
As Kulonga continued his journey Tarzan closed on him until he traveled
almost over the black's head. His rope he now held coiled in his right
hand; he was almost ready for the kill.
The moment was delayed only because Tarzan was anxious to ascertain the
black warrior's destination, and presently he was rewarded, for they
came suddenly in view of a great clearing, at one end of which lay many
Tarzan was directly over Kulonga, as he made the discovery. The forest
ended abruptly and beyond lay two hundred yards of planted fields
between the jungle and the village.
Tarzan must act quickly or his prey would be gone; but Tarzan's life
training left so little space between decision and action when an
emergency confronted him that there was not even room for the shadow of
a thought between.
So it was that as Kulonga emerged from the shadow of the jungle a
slender coil of rope sped sinuously above him from the lowest branch of
a mighty tree directly upon the edge of the fields of Mbonga, and ere
the king's son had taken a half dozen steps into the clearing a quick
noose tightened about his neck.
So quickly did Tarzan of the Apes drag back his prey that Kulonga's cry
of alarm was throttled in his windpipe. Hand over hand Tarzan drew the
struggling black until he had him hanging by his neck in mid-air; then
Tarzan climbed to a larger branch drawing the still threshing victim
well up into the sheltering verdure of the tree.
Here he fastened the rope securely to a stout branch, and then,
descending, plunged his hunting knife into Kulonga's heart. Kala was
Tarzan examined the black minutely, for he had never seen any other
human being. The knife with its sheath and belt caught his eye; he
appropriated them. A copper anklet also took his fancy, and this he
transferred to his own leg.
He examined and admired the tattooing on the forehead and breast. He
marveled at the sharp filed teeth. He investigated and appropriated
the feathered headdress, and then he prepared to get down to business,
for Tarzan of the Apes was hungry, and here was meat; meat of the kill,
which jungle ethics permitted him to eat.
How may we judge him, by what standards, this ape-man with the heart
and head and body of an English gentleman, and the training of a wild
Tublat, whom he had hated and who had hated him, he had killed in a
fair fight, and yet never had the thought of eating Tublat's flesh
entered his head. It would have been as revolting to him as is
cannibalism to us.
But who was Kulonga that he might not be eaten as fairly as Horta, the
boar, or Bara, the deer? Was he not simply another of the countless
wild things of the jungle who preyed upon one another to satisfy the
cravings of hunger?
Suddenly, a strange doubt stayed his hand. Had not his books taught
him that he was a man? And was not The Archer a man, also?
Did men eat men? Alas, he did not know. Why, then, this hesitancy!
Once more he essayed the effort, but a qualm of nausea overwhelmed him.
He did not understand.
All he knew was that he could not eat the flesh of this black man, and
thus hereditary instinct, ages old, usurped the functions of his
untaught mind and saved him from transgressing a worldwide law of whose
very existence he was ignorant.
Quickly he lowered Kulonga's body to the ground, removed the noose, and
took to the trees again.
From a lofty perch Tarzan viewed the village of thatched huts across
the intervening plantation.
He saw that at one point the forest touched the village, and to this
spot he made his way, lured by a fever of curiosity to behold animals
of his own kind, and to learn more of their ways and view the strange
lairs in which they lived.
His savage life among the fierce wild brutes of the jungle left no
opening for any thought that these could be aught else than enemies.
Similarity of form led him into no erroneous conception of the welcome
that would be accorded him should he be discovered by these, the first
of his own kind he had ever seen.
Tarzan of the Apes was no sentimentalist. He knew nothing of the
brotherhood of man. All things outside his own tribe were his deadly
enemies, with the few exceptions of which Tantor, the elephant, was a
And he realized all this without malice or hatred. To kill was the law
of the wild world he knew. Few were his primitive pleasures, but the
greatest of these was to hunt and kill, and so he accorded to others
the right to cherish the same desires as he, even though he himself
might be the object of their hunt.
His strange life had left him neither morose nor bloodthirsty. That he
joyed in killing, and that he killed with a joyous laugh upon his
handsome lips betokened no innate cruelty. He killed for food most
often, but, being a man, he sometimes killed for pleasure, a thing
which no other animal does; for it has remained for man alone among all
creatures to kill senselessly and wantonly for the mere pleasure of
inflicting suffering and death.
And when he killed for revenge, or in self-defense, he did that also
without hysteria, for it was a very businesslike proceeding which
admitted of no levity.
So it was that now, as he cautiously approached the village of Mbonga,
he was quite prepared either to kill or be killed should he be
discovered. He proceeded with unwonted stealth, for Kulonga had taught
him great respect for the little sharp splinters of wood which dealt
death so swiftly and unerringly.
At length he came to a great tree, heavy laden with thick foliage and
loaded with pendant loops of giant creepers. From this almost
impenetrable bower above the village he crouched, looking down upon the
scene below him, wondering over every feature of this new, strange life.
There were naked children running and playing in the village street.
There were women grinding dried plantain in crude stone mortars, while
others were fashioning cakes from the powdered flour. Out in the
fields he could see still other women hoeing, weeding, or gathering.
All wore strange protruding girdles of dried grass about their hips and
many were loaded with brass and copper anklets, armlets and bracelets.
Around many a dusky neck hung curiously coiled strands of wire, while
several were further ornamented by huge nose rings.
Tarzan of the Apes looked with growing wonder at these strange
creatures. Dozing in the shade he saw several men, while at the
extreme outskirts of the clearing he occasionally caught glimpses of
armed warriors apparently guarding the village against surprise from an
He noticed that the women alone worked. Nowhere was there evidence of
a man tilling the fields or performing any of the homely duties of the
Finally his eyes rested upon a woman directly beneath him.
Before her was a small cauldron standing over a low fire and in it
bubbled a thick, reddish, tarry mass. On one side of her lay a
quantity of wooden arrows the points of which she dipped into the
seething substance, then laying them upon a narrow rack of boughs which
stood upon her other side.
Tarzan of the Apes was fascinated. Here was the secret of the terrible
destructiveness of The Archer's tiny missiles. He noted the extreme
care which the woman took that none of the matter should touch her
hands, and once when a particle spattered upon one of her fingers he
saw her plunge the member into a vessel of water and quickly rub the
tiny stain away with a handful of leaves.
Tarzan knew nothing of poison, but his shrewd reasoning told him that
it was this deadly stuff that killed, and not the little arrow, which
was merely the messenger that carried it into the body of its victim.
How he should like to have more of those little death-dealing slivers.
If the woman would only leave her work for an instant he could drop
down, gather up a handful, and be back in the tree again before she
drew three breaths.
As he was trying to think out some plan to distract her attention he
heard a wild cry from across the clearing. He looked and saw a black
warrior standing beneath the very tree in which he had killed the
murderer of Kala an hour before.
The fellow was shouting and waving his spear above his head. Now and
again he would point to something on the ground before him.
The village was in an uproar instantly. Armed men rushed from the
interior of many a hut and raced madly across the clearing toward the
excited sentry. After them trooped the old men, and the women and
children until, in a moment, the village was deserted.
Tarzan of the Apes knew that they had found the body of his victim, but
that interested him far less than the fact that no one remained in the
village to prevent his taking a supply of the arrows which lay below
Quickly and noiselessly he dropped to the ground beside the cauldron of
poison. For a moment he stood motionless, his quick, bright eyes
scanning the interior of the palisade.
No one was in sight. His eyes rested upon the open doorway of a nearby
hut. He would take a look within, thought Tarzan, and so, cautiously,
he approached the low thatched building.
For a moment he stood without, listening intently. There was no sound,
and he glided into the semi-darkness of the interior.
Weapons hung against the walls—long spears, strangely shaped knives, a
couple of narrow shields. In the center of the room was a cooking pot,
and at the far end a litter of dry grasses covered by woven mats which
evidently served the owners as beds and bedding. Several human skulls
lay upon the floor.
Tarzan of the Apes felt of each article, hefted the spears, smelled of
them, for he "saw" largely through his sensitive and highly trained
nostrils. He determined to own one of these long, pointed sticks, but
he could not take one on this trip because of the arrows he meant to
As he took each article from the walls, he placed it in a pile in the
center of the room. On top of all he placed the cooking pot, inverted,
and on top of this he laid one of the grinning skulls, upon which he
fastened the headdress of the dead Kulonga.
Then he stood back, surveyed his work, and grinned. Tarzan of the Apes
enjoyed a joke.
But now he heard, outside, the sounds of many voices, and long mournful
howls, and mighty wailing. He was startled. Had he remained too long?
Quickly he reached the doorway and peered down the village street
toward the village gate.
The natives were not yet in sight, though he could plainly hear them
approaching across the plantation. They must be very near.
Like a flash he sprang across the opening to the pile of arrows.
Gathering up all he could carry under one arm, he overturned the
seething cauldron with a kick, and disappeared into the foliage above
just as the first of the returning natives entered the gate at the far
end of the village street. Then he turned to watch the proceeding
below, poised like some wild bird ready to take swift wing at the first
sign of danger.
The natives filed up the street, four of them bearing the dead body of
Kulonga. Behind trailed the women, uttering strange cries and weird
lamentation. On they came to the portals of Kulonga's hut, the very
one in which Tarzan had wrought his depredations.
Scarcely had half a dozen entered the building ere they came rushing
out in wild, jabbering confusion. The others hastened to gather about.
There was much excited gesticulating, pointing, and chattering; then
several of the warriors approached and peered within.
Finally an old fellow with many ornaments of metal about his arms and
legs, and a necklace of dried human hands depending upon his chest,
entered the hut.
It was Mbonga, the king, father of Kulonga.
For a few moments all was silent. Then Mbonga emerged, a look of
mingled wrath and superstitious fear writ upon his hideous countenance.
He spoke a few words to the assembled warriors, and in an instant the
men were flying through the little village searching minutely every hut
and corner within the palisades.
Scarcely had the search commenced than the overturned cauldron was
discovered, and with it the theft of the poisoned arrows. Nothing more
they found, and it was a thoroughly awed and frightened group of
savages which huddled around their king a few moments later.
Mbonga could explain nothing of the strange events that had taken
place. The finding of the still warm body of Kulonga—on the very
verge of their fields and within easy earshot of the village—knifed
and stripped at the door of his father's home, was in itself
sufficiently mysterious, but these last awesome discoveries within the
village, within the dead Kulonga's own hut, filled their hearts with
dismay, and conjured in their poor brains only the most frightful of
They stood in little groups, talking in low tones, and ever casting
affrighted glances behind them from their great rolling eyes.
Tarzan of the Apes watched them for a while from his lofty perch in the
great tree. There was much in their demeanor which he could not
understand, for of superstition he was ignorant, and of fear of any
kind he had but a vague conception.
The sun was high in the heavens. Tarzan had not broken fast this day,
and it was many miles to where lay the toothsome remains of Horta the
So he turned his back upon the village of Mbonga and melted away into
the leafy fastness of the forest.
"King of the Apes"
It was not yet dark when he reached the tribe, though he stopped to
exhume and devour the remains of the wild boar he had cached the
preceding day, and again to take Kulonga's bow and arrows from the tree
top in which he had hidden them.
It was a well-laden Tarzan who dropped from the branches into the midst
of the tribe of Kerchak.
With swelling chest he narrated the glories of his adventure and
exhibited the spoils of conquest.
Kerchak grunted and turned away, for he was jealous of this strange
member of his band. In his little evil brain he sought for some excuse
to wreak his hatred upon Tarzan.
The next day Tarzan was practicing with his bow and arrows at the first
gleam of dawn. At first he lost nearly every bolt he shot, but finally
he learned to guide the little shafts with fair accuracy, and ere a
month had passed he was no mean shot; but his proficiency had cost him
nearly his entire supply of arrows.
The tribe continued to find the hunting good in the vicinity of the
beach, and so Tarzan of the Apes varied his archery practice with
further investigation of his father's choice though little store of
It was during this period that the young English lord found hidden in
the back of one of the cupboards in the cabin a small metal box. The
key was in the lock, and a few moments of investigation and
experimentation were rewarded with the successful opening of the
In it he found a faded photograph of a smooth faced young man, a golden
locket studded with diamonds, linked to a small gold chain, a few
letters and a small book.
Tarzan examined these all minutely.
The photograph he liked most of all, for the eyes were smiling, and the
face was open and frank. It was his father.
The locket, too, took his fancy, and he placed the chain about his neck
in imitation of the ornamentation he had seen to be so common among the
black men he had visited. The brilliant stones gleamed strangely
against his smooth, brown hide.
The letters he could scarcely decipher for he had learned little or
nothing of script, so he put them back in the box with the photograph
and turned his attention to the book.
This was almost entirely filled with fine script, but while the little
bugs were all familiar to him, their arrangement and the combinations
in which they occurred were strange, and entirely incomprehensible.
Tarzan had long since learned the use of the dictionary, but much to
his sorrow and perplexity it proved of no avail to him in this
emergency. Not a word of all that was writ in the book could he find,
and so he put it back in the metal box, but with a determination to
work out the mysteries of it later on.
Little did he know that this book held between its covers the key to
his origin—the answer to the strange riddle of his strange life. It
was the diary of John Clayton, Lord Greystoke—kept in French, as had
always been his custom.
Tarzan replaced the box in the cupboard, but always thereafter he
carried the features of the strong, smiling face of his father in his
heart, and in his head a fixed determination to solve the mystery of
the strange words in the little black book.
At present he had more important business in hand, for his supply of
arrows was exhausted, and he must needs journey to the black men's
village and renew it.
Early the following morning he set out, and, traveling rapidly, he came
before midday to the clearing. Once more he took up his position in
the great tree, and, as before, he saw the women in the fields and the
village street, and the cauldron of bubbling poison directly beneath
For hours he lay awaiting his opportunity to drop down unseen and
gather up the arrows for which he had come; but nothing now occurred to
call the villagers away from their homes. The day wore on, and still
Tarzan of the Apes crouched above the unsuspecting woman at the
Presently the workers in the fields returned. The hunting warriors
emerged from the forest, and when all were within the palisade the
gates were closed and barred.
Many cooking pots were now in evidence about the village. Before each
hut a woman presided over a boiling stew, while little cakes of
plantain, and cassava puddings were to be seen on every hand.
Suddenly there came a hail from the edge of the clearing.
It was a party of belated hunters returning from the north, and among
them they half led, half carried a struggling animal.
As they approached the village the gates were thrown open to admit
them, and then, as the people saw the victim of the chase, a savage cry
rose to the heavens, for the quarry was a man.
As he was dragged, still resisting, into the village street, the women
and children set upon him with sticks and stones, and Tarzan of the
Apes, young and savage beast of the jungle, wondered at the cruel
brutality of his own kind.
Sheeta, the leopard, alone of all the jungle folk, tortured his prey.
The ethics of all the others meted a quick and merciful death to their
Tarzan had learned from his books but scattered fragments of the ways
of human beings.
When he had followed Kulonga through the forest he had expected to come
to a city of strange houses on wheels, puffing clouds of black smoke
from a huge tree stuck in the roof of one of them—or to a sea covered
with mighty floating buildings which he had learned were called,
variously, ships and boats and steamers and craft.
He had been sorely disappointed with the poor little village of the
blacks, hidden away in his own jungle, and with not a single house as
large as his own cabin upon the distant beach.
He saw that these people were more wicked than his own apes, and as
savage and cruel as Sabor, herself. Tarzan began to hold his own kind
in low esteem.
Now they had tied their poor victim to a great post near the center of
the village, directly before Mbonga's hut, and here they formed a
dancing, yelling circle of warriors about him, alive with flashing
knives and menacing spears.
In a larger circle squatted the women, yelling and beating upon drums.
It reminded Tarzan of the Dum-Dum, and so he knew what to expect. He
wondered if they would spring upon their meat while it was still alive.
The Apes did not do such things as that.
The circle of warriors about the cringing captive drew closer and
closer to their prey as they danced in wild and savage abandon to the
maddening music of the drums. Presently a spear reached out and
pricked the victim. It was the signal for fifty others.
Eyes, ears, arms and legs were pierced; every inch of the poor writhing
body that did not cover a vital organ became the target of the cruel
The women and children shrieked their delight.
The warriors licked their hideous lips in anticipation of the feast to
come, and vied with one another in the savagery and loathsomeness of
the cruel indignities with which they tortured the still conscious
Then it was that Tarzan of the Apes saw his chance. All eyes were
fixed upon the thrilling spectacle at the stake. The light of day had
given place to the darkness of a moonless night, and only the fires in
the immediate vicinity of the orgy had been kept alight to cast a
restless glow upon the restless scene.
Gently the lithe boy dropped to the soft earth at the end of the
village street. Quickly he gathered up the arrows—all of them this
time, for he had brought a number of long fibers to bind them into a
Without haste he wrapped them securely, and then, ere he turned to
leave, the devil of capriciousness entered his heart. He looked about
for some hint of a wild prank to play upon these strange, grotesque
creatures that they might be again aware of his presence among them.
Dropping his bundle of arrows at the foot of the tree, Tarzan crept
among the shadows at the side of the street until he came to the same
hut he had entered on the occasion of his first visit.
Inside all was darkness, but his groping hands soon found the object
for which he sought, and without further delay he turned again toward
He had taken but a step, however, ere his quick ear caught the sound of
approaching footsteps immediately without. In another instant the
figure of a woman darkened the entrance of the hut.
Tarzan drew back silently to the far wall, and his hand sought the
long, keen hunting knife of his father. The woman came quickly to the
center of the hut. There she paused for an instant feeling about with
her hands for the thing she sought. Evidently it was not in its
accustomed place, for she explored ever nearer and nearer the wall
where Tarzan stood.
So close was she now that the ape-man felt the animal warmth of her
naked body. Up went the hunting knife, and then the woman turned to
one side and soon a guttural "ah" proclaimed that her search had at
last been successful.
Immediately she turned and left the hut, and as she passed through the
doorway Tarzan saw that she carried a cooking pot in her hand.
He followed closely after her, and as he reconnoitered from the shadows
of the doorway he saw that all the women of the village were hastening
to and from the various huts with pots and kettles. These they were
filling with water and placing over a number of fires near the stake
where the dying victim now hung, an inert and bloody mass of suffering.
Choosing a moment when none seemed near, Tarzan hastened to his bundle
of arrows beneath the great tree at the end of the village street. As
on the former occasion he overthrew the cauldron before leaping,
sinuous and catlike, into the lower branches of the forest giant.
Silently he climbed to a great height until he found a point where he
could look through a leafy opening upon the scene beneath him.
The women were now preparing the prisoner for their cooking pots, while
the men stood about resting after the fatigue of their mad revel.
Comparative quiet reigned in the village.
Tarzan raised aloft the thing he had pilfered from the hut, and, with
aim made true by years of fruit and coconut throwing, launched it
toward the group of savages.
Squarely among them it fell, striking one of the warriors full upon the
head and felling him to the ground. Then it rolled among the women and
stopped beside the half-butchered thing they were preparing to feast
All gazed in consternation at it for an instant, and then, with one
accord, broke and ran for their huts.
It was a grinning human skull which looked up at them from the ground.
The dropping of the thing out of the open sky was a miracle well aimed
to work upon their superstitious fears.
Thus Tarzan of the Apes left them filled with terror at this new
manifestation of the presence of some unseen and unearthly evil power
which lurked in the forest about their village.
Later, when they discovered the overturned cauldron, and that once more
their arrows had been pilfered, it commenced to dawn upon them that
they had offended some great god by placing their village in this part
of the jungle without propitiating him. From then on an offering of
food was daily placed below the great tree from whence the arrows had
disappeared in an effort to conciliate the mighty one.
But the seed of fear was deep sown, and had he but known it, Tarzan of
the Apes had laid the foundation for much future misery for himself and
That night he slept in the forest not far from the village, and early
the next morning set out slowly on his homeward march, hunting as he
traveled. Only a few berries and an occasional grub worm rewarded his
search, and he was half famished when, looking up from a log he had
been rooting beneath, he saw Sabor, the lioness, standing in the center
of the trail not twenty paces from him.
The great yellow eyes were fixed upon him with a wicked and baleful
gleam, and the red tongue licked the longing lips as Sabor crouched,
worming her stealthy way with belly flattened against the earth.
Tarzan did not attempt to escape. He welcomed the opportunity for
which, in fact, he had been searching for days past, now that he was
armed with something more than a rope of grass.
Quickly he unslung his bow and fitted a well-daubed arrow, and as Sabor
sprang, the tiny missile leaped to meet her in mid-air. At the same
instant Tarzan of the Apes jumped to one side, and as the great cat
struck the ground beyond him another death-tipped arrow sunk deep into
With a mighty roar the beast turned and charged once more, only to be
met with a third arrow full in one eye; but this time she was too close
to the ape-man for the latter to sidestep the onrushing body.
Tarzan of the Apes went down beneath the great body of his enemy, but
with gleaming knife drawn and striking home. For a moment they lay
there, and then Tarzan realized that the inert mass lying upon him was
beyond power ever again to injure man or ape.
With difficulty he wriggled from beneath the great weight, and as he
stood erect and gazed down upon the trophy of his skill, a mighty wave
of exultation swept over him.
With swelling breast, he placed a foot upon the body of his powerful
enemy, and throwing back his fine young head, roared out the awful
challenge of the victorious bull ape.
The forest echoed to the savage and triumphant paean. Birds fell
still, and the larger animals and beasts of prey slunk stealthily away,
for few there were of all the jungle who sought for trouble with the
And in London another Lord Greystoke was speaking to HIS kind in the
House of Lords, but none trembled at the sound of his soft voice.
Sabor proved unsavory eating even to Tarzan of the Apes, but hunger
served as a most efficacious disguise to toughness and rank taste, and
ere long, with well-filled stomach, the ape-man was ready to sleep
again. First, however, he must remove the hide, for it was as much for
this as for any other purpose that he had desired to destroy Sabor.
Deftly he removed the great pelt, for he had practiced often on smaller
animals. When the task was finished he carried his trophy to the fork
of a high tree, and there, curling himself securely in a crotch, he
fell into deep and dreamless slumber.
What with loss of sleep, arduous exercise, and a full belly, Tarzan of
the Apes slept the sun around, awakening about noon of the following
day. He straightway repaired to the carcass of Sabor, but was angered
to find the bones picked clean by other hungry denizens of the jungle.
Half an hour's leisurely progress through the forest brought to sight a
young deer, and before the little creature knew that an enemy was near
a tiny arrow had lodged in its neck.
So quickly the virus worked that at the end of a dozen leaps the deer
plunged headlong into the undergrowth, dead. Again did Tarzan feast
well, but this time he did not sleep.
Instead, he hastened on toward the point where he had left the tribe,
and when he had found them proudly exhibited the skin of Sabor, the
"Look!" he cried, "Apes of Kerchak. See what Tarzan, the mighty
killer, has done. Who else among you has ever killed one of Numa's
people? Tarzan is mightiest amongst you for Tarzan is no ape. Tarzan
is—" But here he stopped, for in the language of the anthropoids
there was no word for man, and Tarzan could only write the word in
English; he could not pronounce it.
The tribe had gathered about to look upon the proof of his wondrous
prowess, and to listen to his words.
Only Kerchak hung back, nursing his hatred and his rage.
Suddenly something snapped in the wicked little brain of the
anthropoid. With a frightful roar the great beast sprang among the
Biting, and striking with his huge hands, he killed and maimed a dozen
ere the balance could escape to the upper terraces of the forest.
Frothing and shrieking in the insanity of his fury, Kerchak looked
about for the object of his greatest hatred, and there, upon a near-by
limb, he saw him sitting.
"Come down, Tarzan, great killer," cried Kerchak. "Come down and feel
the fangs of a greater! Do mighty fighters fly to the trees at the
first approach of danger?" And then Kerchak emitted the volleying
challenge of his kind.
Quietly Tarzan dropped to the ground. Breathlessly the tribe watched
from their lofty perches as Kerchak, still roaring, charged the
relatively puny figure.
Nearly seven feet stood Kerchak on his short legs. His enormous
shoulders were bunched and rounded with huge muscles. The back of his
short neck was as a single lump of iron sinew which bulged beyond the
base of his skull, so that his head seemed like a small ball protruding
from a huge mountain of flesh.
His back-drawn, snarling lips exposed his great fighting fangs, and his
little, wicked, blood-shot eyes gleamed in horrid reflection of his
Awaiting him stood Tarzan, himself a mighty muscled animal, but his six
feet of height and his great rolling sinews seemed pitifully inadequate
to the ordeal which awaited them.
His bow and arrows lay some distance away where he had dropped them
while showing Sabor's hide to his fellow apes, so that he confronted
Kerchak now with only his hunting knife and his superior intellect to
offset the ferocious strength of his enemy.
As his antagonist came roaring toward him, Lord Greystoke tore his long
knife from its sheath, and with an answering challenge as horrid and
bloodcurdling as that of the beast he faced, rushed swiftly to meet the
attack. He was too shrewd to allow those long hairy arms to encircle
him, and just as their bodies were about to crash together, Tarzan of
the Apes grasped one of the huge wrists of his assailant, and,
springing lightly to one side, drove his knife to the hilt into
Kerchak's body, below the heart.
Before he could wrench the blade free again, the bull's quick lunge to
seize him in those awful arms had torn the weapon from Tarzan's grasp.
Kerchak aimed a terrific blow at the ape-man's head with the flat of
his hand, a blow which, had it landed, might easily have crushed in the
side of Tarzan's skull.
The man was too quick, and, ducking beneath it, himself delivered a
mighty one, with clenched fist, in the pit of Kerchak's stomach.
The ape was staggered, and what with the mortal wound in his side had
almost collapsed, when, with one mighty effort he rallied for an
instant—just long enough to enable him to wrest his arm free from
Tarzan's grasp and close in a terrific clinch with his wiry opponent.
Straining the ape-man close to him, his great jaws sought Tarzan's
throat, but the young lord's sinewy fingers were at Kerchak's own
before the cruel fangs could close on the sleek brown skin.
Thus they struggled, the one to crush out his opponent's life with
those awful teeth, the other to close forever the windpipe beneath his
strong grasp while he held the snarling mouth from him.
The greater strength of the ape was slowly prevailing, and the teeth of
the straining beast were scarce an inch from Tarzan's throat when, with
a shuddering tremor, the great body stiffened for an instant and then
sank limply to the ground.
Kerchak was dead.
Withdrawing the knife that had so often rendered him master of far
mightier muscles than his own, Tarzan of the Apes placed his foot upon
the neck of his vanquished enemy, and once again, loud through the
forest rang the fierce, wild cry of the conqueror.
And thus came the young Lord Greystoke into the kingship of the Apes.
There was one of the tribe of Tarzan who questioned his authority, and
that was Terkoz, the son of Tublat, but he so feared the keen knife and
the deadly arrows of his new lord that he confined the manifestation of
his objections to petty disobediences and irritating mannerisms; Tarzan
knew, however, that he but waited his opportunity to wrest the kingship
from him by some sudden stroke of treachery, and so he was ever on his
guard against surprise.
For months the life of the little band went on much as it had before,
except that Tarzan's greater intelligence and his ability as a hunter
were the means of providing for them more bountifully than ever before.
Most of them, therefore, were more than content with the change in
Tarzan led them by night to the fields of the black men, and there,
warned by their chief's superior wisdom, they ate only what they
required, nor ever did they destroy what they could not eat, as is the
way of Manu, the monkey, and of most apes.
So, while the blacks were wroth at the continued pilfering of their
fields, they were not discouraged in their efforts to cultivate the
land, as would have been the case had Tarzan permitted his people to
lay waste the plantation wantonly.
During this period Tarzan paid many nocturnal visits to the village,
where he often renewed his supply of arrows. He soon noticed the food
always standing at the foot of the tree which was his avenue into the
palisade, and after a little, he commenced to eat whatever the blacks
When the awe-struck savages saw that the food disappeared overnight
they were filled with consternation and dread, for it was one thing to
put food out to propitiate a god or a devil, but quite another thing to
have the spirit really come into the village and eat it. Such a thing
was unheard of, and it clouded their superstitious minds with all
manner of vague fears.
Nor was this all. The periodic disappearance of their arrows, and the
strange pranks perpetrated by unseen hands, had wrought them to such a
state that life had become a veritable burden in their new home, and
now it was that Mbonga and his head men began to talk of abandoning the
village and seeking a site farther on in the jungle.
Presently the black warriors began to strike farther and farther south
into the heart of the forest when they went to hunt, looking for a site
for a new village.
More often was the tribe of Tarzan disturbed by these wandering
huntsmen. Now was the quiet, fierce solitude of the primeval forest
broken by new, strange cries. No longer was there safety for bird or
beast. Man had come.
Other animals passed up and down the jungle by day and by
night—fierce, cruel beasts—but their weaker neighbors only fled from
their immediate vicinity to return again when the danger was past.
With man it is different. When he comes many of the larger animals
instinctively leave the district entirely, seldom if ever to return;
and thus it has always been with the great anthropoids. They flee man
as man flees a pestilence.
For a short time the tribe of Tarzan lingered in the vicinity of the
beach because their new chief hated the thought of leaving the
treasured contents of the little cabin forever. But when one day a
member of the tribe discovered the blacks in great numbers on the banks
of a little stream that had been their watering place for generations,
and in the act of clearing a space in the jungle and erecting many
huts, the apes would remain no longer; and so Tarzan led them inland
for many marches to a spot as yet undefiled by the foot of a human
Once every moon Tarzan would go swinging rapidly back through the
swaying branches to have a day with his books, and to replenish his
supply of arrows. This latter task was becoming more and more
difficult, for the blacks had taken to hiding their supply away at
night in granaries and living huts.
This necessitated watching by day on Tarzan's part to discover where
the arrows were being concealed.
Twice had he entered huts at night while the inmates lay sleeping upon
their mats, and stolen the arrows from the very sides of the warriors.
But this method he realized to be too fraught with danger, and so he
commenced picking up solitary hunters with his long, deadly noose,
stripping them of weapons and ornaments and dropping their bodies from
a high tree into the village street during the still watches of the
These various escapades again so terrorized the blacks that, had it not
been for the monthly respite between Tarzan's visits, in which they had
opportunity to renew hope that each fresh incursion would prove the
last, they soon would have abandoned their new village.
The blacks had not as yet come upon Tarzan's cabin on the distant
beach, but the ape-man lived in constant dread that, while he was away
with the tribe, they would discover and despoil his treasure. So it
came that he spent more and more time in the vicinity of his father's
last home, and less and less with the tribe. Presently the members of
his little community began to suffer on account of his neglect, for
disputes and quarrels constantly arose which only the king might settle
At last some of the older apes spoke to Tarzan on the subject, and for
a month thereafter he remained constantly with the tribe.
The duties of kingship among the anthropoids are not many or arduous.
In the afternoon comes Thaka, possibly, to complain that old Mungo has
stolen his new wife. Then must Tarzan summon all before him, and if he
finds that the wife prefers her new lord he commands that matters
remain as they are, or possibly that Mungo give Thaka one of his
daughters in exchange.
Whatever his decision, the apes accept it as final, and return to their
Then comes Tana, shrieking and holding tight her side from which blood
is streaming. Gunto, her husband, has cruelly bitten her! And Gunto,
summoned, says that Tana is lazy and will not bring him nuts and
beetles, or scratch his back for him.
So Tarzan scolds them both and threatens Gunto with a taste of the
death-bearing slivers if he abuses Tana further, and Tana, for her
part, is compelled to promise better attention to her wifely duties.
And so it goes, little family differences for the most part, which, if
left unsettled would result finally in greater factional strife, and
the eventual dismemberment of the tribe.
But Tarzan tired of it, as he found that kingship meant the curtailment
of his liberty. He longed for the little cabin and the sun-kissed
sea—for the cool interior of the well-built house, and for the
never-ending wonders of the many books.
As he had grown older, he found that he had grown away from his people.
Their interests and his were far removed. They had not kept pace with
him, nor could they understand aught of the many strange and wonderful
dreams that passed through the active brain of their human king. So
limited was their vocabulary that Tarzan could not even talk with them
of the many new truths, and the great fields of thought that his
reading had opened up before his longing eyes, or make known ambitions
which stirred his soul.
Among the tribe he no longer had friends as of old. A little child may
find companionship in many strange and simple creatures, but to a grown
man there must be some semblance of equality in intellect as the basis
for agreeable association.
Had Kala lived, Tarzan would have sacrificed all else to remain near
her, but now that she was dead, and the playful friends of his
childhood grown into fierce and surly brutes he felt that he much
preferred the peace and solitude of his cabin to the irksome duties of
leadership amongst a horde of wild beasts.
The hatred and jealousy of Terkoz, son of Tublat, did much to
counteract the effect of Tarzan's desire to renounce his kingship among
the apes, for, stubborn young Englishman that he was, he could not
bring himself to retreat in the face of so malignant an enemy.
That Terkoz would be chosen leader in his stead he knew full well, for
time and again the ferocious brute had established his claim to
physical supremacy over the few bull apes who had dared resent his
Tarzan would have liked to subdue the ugly beast without recourse to
knife or arrows. So much had his great strength and agility increased
in the period following his maturity that he had come to believe that
he might master the redoubtable Terkoz in a hand to hand fight were it
not for the terrible advantage the anthropoid's huge fighting fangs
gave him over the poorly armed Tarzan.
The entire matter was taken out of Tarzan's hands one day by force of
circumstances, and his future left open to him, so that he might go or
stay without any stain upon his savage escutcheon.
It happened thus:
The tribe was feeding quietly, spread over a considerable area, when a
great screaming arose some distance east of where Tarzan lay upon his
belly beside a limpid brook, attempting to catch an elusive fish in his
quick, brown hands.
With one accord the tribe swung rapidly toward the frightened cries,
and there found Terkoz holding an old female by the hair and beating
her unmercifully with his great hands.
As Tarzan approached he raised his hand aloft for Terkoz to desist, for
the female was not his, but belonged to a poor old ape whose fighting
days were long over, and who, therefore, could not protect his family.
Terkoz knew that it was against the laws of his kind to strike this
woman of another, but being a bully, he had taken advantage of the
weakness of the female's husband to chastise her because she had
refused to give up to him a tender young rodent she had captured.
When Terkoz saw Tarzan approaching without his arrows, he continued to
belabor the poor woman in a studied effort to affront his hated
Tarzan did not repeat his warning signal, but instead rushed bodily
upon the waiting Terkoz.
Never had the ape-man fought so terrible a battle since that long-gone
day when Bolgani, the great king gorilla had so horribly manhandled him
ere the new-found knife had, by accident, pricked the savage heart.
Tarzan's knife on the present occasion but barely offset the gleaming
fangs of Terkoz, and what little advantage the ape had over the man in
brute strength was almost balanced by the latter's wonderful quickness
In the sum total of their points, however, the anthropoid had a shade
the better of the battle, and had there been no other personal
attribute to influence the final outcome, Tarzan of the Apes, the young
Lord Greystoke, would have died as he had lived—an unknown savage
beast in equatorial Africa.
But there was that which had raised him far above his fellows of the
jungle—that little spark which spells the whole vast difference
between man and brute—Reason. This it was which saved him from death
beneath the iron muscles and tearing fangs of Terkoz.
Scarcely had they fought a dozen seconds ere they were rolling upon the
ground, striking, tearing and rending—two great savage beasts battling
to the death.
Terkoz had a dozen knife wounds on head and breast, and Tarzan was torn
and bleeding—his scalp in one place half torn from his head so that a
great piece hung down over one eye, obstructing his vision.
But so far the young Englishman had been able to keep those horrible
fangs from his jugular and now, as they fought less fiercely for a
moment, to regain their breath, Tarzan formed a cunning plan. He would
work his way to the other's back and, clinging there with tooth and
nail, drive his knife home until Terkoz was no more.
The maneuver was accomplished more easily than he had hoped, for the
stupid beast, not knowing what Tarzan was attempting, made no
particular effort to prevent the accomplishment of the design.
But when, finally, he realized that his antagonist was fastened to him
where his teeth and fists alike were useless against him, Terkoz hurled
himself about upon the ground so violently that Tarzan could but cling
desperately to the leaping, turning, twisting body, and ere he had
struck a blow the knife was hurled from his hand by a heavy impact
against the earth, and Tarzan found himself defenseless.
During the rollings and squirmings of the next few minutes, Tarzan's
hold was loosened a dozen times until finally an accidental
circumstance of those swift and everchanging evolutions gave him a new
hold with his right hand, which he realized was absolutely unassailable.
His arm was passed beneath Terkoz's arm from behind and his hand and
forearm encircled the back of Terkoz's neck. It was the half-Nelson of
modern wrestling which the untaught ape-man had stumbled upon, but
superior reason showed him in an instant the value of the thing he had
discovered. It was the difference to him between life and death.
And so he struggled to encompass a similar hold with the left hand, and
in a few moments Terkoz's bull neck was creaking beneath a full-Nelson.
There was no more lunging about now. The two lay perfectly still upon
the ground, Tarzan upon Terkoz's back. Slowly the bullet head of the
ape was being forced lower and lower upon his chest.
Tarzan knew what the result would be. In an instant the neck would
break. Then there came to Terkoz's rescue the same thing that had put
him in these sore straits—a man's reasoning power.
"If I kill him," thought Tarzan, "what advantage will it be to me?
Will it not rob the tribe of a great fighter? And if Terkoz be dead,
he will know nothing of my supremacy, while alive he will ever be an
example to the other apes."
"KA-GODA?" hissed Tarzan in Terkoz's ear, which, in ape tongue, means,
freely translated: "Do you surrender?"
For a moment there was no reply, and Tarzan added a few more ounces of
pressure, which elicited a horrified shriek of pain from the great
"KA-GODA?" repeated Tarzan.
"KA-GODA!" cried Terkoz.
"Listen," said Tarzan, easing up a trifle, but not releasing his hold.
"I am Tarzan, King of the Apes, mighty hunter, mighty fighter. In all
the jungle there is none so great.
"You have said: 'KA-GODA' to me. All the tribe have heard. Quarrel
no more with your king or your people, for next time I shall kill you.
Do you understand?"
"HUH," assented Terkoz.
"And you are satisfied?"
"HUH," said the ape.
Tarzan let him up, and in a few minutes all were back at their
vocations, as though naught had occurred to mar the tranquility of
their primeval forest haunts.
But deep in the minds of the apes was rooted the conviction that Tarzan
was a mighty fighter and a strange creature. Strange because he had
had it in his power to kill his enemy, but had allowed him to
That afternoon as the tribe came together, as was their wont before
darkness settled on the jungle, Tarzan, his wounds washed in the waters
of the stream, called the old males about him.
"You have seen again to-day that Tarzan of the Apes is the greatest
among you," he said.
"HUH," they replied with one voice, "Tarzan is great."
"Tarzan," he continued, "is not an ape. He is not like his people.
His ways are not their ways, and so Tarzan is going back to the lair of
his own kind by the waters of the great lake which has no farther
shore. You must choose another to rule you, for Tarzan will not
And thus young Lord Greystoke took the first step toward the goal which
he had set—the finding of other white men like himself.
His Own Kind
The following morning, Tarzan, lame and sore from the wounds of his
battle with Terkoz, set out toward the west and the seacoast.
He traveled very slowly, sleeping in the jungle at night, and reaching
his cabin late the following morning.
For several days he moved about but little, only enough to gather what
fruits and nuts he required to satisfy the demands of hunger.
In ten days he was quite sound again, except for a terrible,
half-healed scar, which, starting above his left eye ran across the top
of his head, ending at the right ear. It was the mark left by Terkoz
when he had torn the scalp away.
During his convalescence Tarzan tried to fashion a mantle from the skin
of Sabor, which had lain all this time in the cabin. But he found the
hide had dried as stiff as a board, and as he knew naught of tanning,
he was forced to abandon his cherished plan.
Then he determined to filch what few garments he could from one of the
black men of Mbonga's village, for Tarzan of the Apes had decided to
mark his evolution from the lower orders in every possible manner, and
nothing seemed to him a more distinguishing badge of manhood than
ornaments and clothing.
To this end, therefore, he collected the various arm and leg ornaments
he had taken from the black warriors who had succumbed to his swift and
silent noose, and donned them all after the way he had seen them worn.
About his neck hung the golden chain from which depended the diamond
encrusted locket of his mother, the Lady Alice. At his back was a
quiver of arrows slung from a leathern shoulder belt, another piece of
loot from some vanquished black.
About his waist was a belt of tiny strips of rawhide fashioned by
himself as a support for the home-made scabbard in which hung his
father's hunting knife. The long bow which had been Kulonga's hung
over his left shoulder.
The young Lord Greystoke was indeed a strange and war-like figure, his
mass of black hair falling to his shoulders behind and cut with his
hunting knife to a rude bang upon his forehead, that it might not fall
before his eyes.
His straight and perfect figure, muscled as the best of the ancient
Roman gladiators must have been muscled, and yet with the soft and
sinuous curves of a Greek god, told at a glance the wondrous
combination of enormous strength with suppleness and speed.
A personification, was Tarzan of the Apes, of the primitive man, the
hunter, the warrior.
With the noble poise of his handsome head upon those broad shoulders,
and the fire of life and intelligence in those fine, clear eyes, he
might readily have typified some demigod of a wild and warlike bygone
people of his ancient forest.
But of these things Tarzan did not think. He was worried because he
had not clothing to indicate to all the jungle folks that he was a man
and not an ape, and grave doubt often entered his mind as to whether he
might not yet become an ape.
Was not hair commencing to grow upon his face? All the apes had hair
upon theirs but the black men were entirely hairless, with very few
True, he had seen pictures in his books of men with great masses of
hair upon lip and cheek and chin, but, nevertheless, Tarzan was afraid.
Almost daily he whetted his keen knife and scraped and whittled at his
young beard to eradicate this degrading emblem of apehood.
And so he learned to shave—rudely and painfully, it is true—but,
When he felt quite strong again, after his bloody battle with Terkoz,
Tarzan set off one morning towards Mbonga's village. He was moving
carelessly along a winding jungle trail, instead of making his progress
through the trees, when suddenly he came face to face with a black
The look of surprise on the savage face was almost comical, and before
Tarzan could unsling his bow the fellow had turned and fled down the
path crying out in alarm as though to others before him.
Tarzan took to the trees in pursuit, and in a few moments came in view
of the men desperately striving to escape.
There were three of them, and they were racing madly in single file
through the dense undergrowth.
Tarzan easily distanced them, nor did they see his silent passage above
their heads, nor note the crouching figure squatted upon a low branch
ahead of them beneath which the trail led them.
Tarzan let the first two pass beneath him, but as the third came
swiftly on, the quiet noose dropped about the black throat. A quick
jerk drew it taut.
There was an agonized scream from the victim, and his fellows turned to
see his struggling body rise as by magic slowly into the dense foliage
of the trees above.
With frightened shrieks they wheeled once more and plunged on in their
efforts to escape.
Tarzan dispatched his prisoner quickly and silently; removed the
weapons and ornaments, and—oh, the greatest joy of all—a handsome
deerskin breechcloth, which he quickly transferred to his own person.
Now indeed was he dressed as a man should be. None there was who could
now doubt his high origin. How he should have liked to have returned
to the tribe to parade before their envious gaze this wondrous finery.
Taking the body across his shoulder, he moved more slowly through the
trees toward the little palisaded village, for he again needed arrows.
As he approached quite close to the enclosure he saw an excited group
surrounding the two fugitives, who, trembling with fright and
exhaustion, were scarce able to recount the uncanny details of their
Mirando, they said, who had been ahead of them a short distance, had
suddenly come screaming toward them, crying that a terrible white and
naked warrior was pursuing him. The three of them had hurried toward
the village as rapidly as their legs would carry them.
Again Mirando's shrill cry of mortal terror had caused them to look
back, and there they had seen the most horrible sight—their
companion's body flying upwards into the trees, his arms and legs
beating the air and his tongue protruding from his open mouth. No
other sound did he utter nor was there any creature in sight about him.
The villagers were worked up into a state of fear bordering on panic,
but wise old Mbonga affected to feel considerable skepticism regarding
the tale, and attributed the whole fabrication to their fright in the
face of some real danger.
"You tell us this great story," he said, "because you do not dare to
speak the truth. You do not dare admit that when the lion sprang upon
Mirando you ran away and left him. You are cowards."
Scarcely had Mbonga ceased speaking when a great crashing of branches
in the trees above them caused the blacks to look up in renewed terror.
The sight that met their eyes made even wise old Mbonga shudder, for
there, turning and twisting in the air, came the dead body of Mirando,
to sprawl with a sickening reverberation upon the ground at their feet.
With one accord the blacks took to their heels; nor did they stop until
the last of them was lost in the dense shadows of the surrounding
Again Tarzan came down into the village and renewed his supply of
arrows and ate of the offering of food which the blacks had made to
appease his wrath.
Before he left he carried the body of Mirando to the gate of the
village, and propped it up against the palisade in such a way that the
dead face seemed to be peering around the edge of the gatepost down the
path which led to the jungle.
Then Tarzan returned, hunting, always hunting, to the cabin by the
It took a dozen attempts on the part of the thoroughly frightened
blacks to reenter their village, past the horrible, grinning face of
their dead fellow, and when they found the food and arrows gone they
knew, what they had only too well feared, that Mirando had seen the
evil spirit of the jungle.
That now seemed to them the logical explanation. Only those who saw
this terrible god of the jungle died; for was it not true that none
left alive in the village had ever seen him? Therefore, those who had
died at his hands must have seen him and paid the penalty with their
As long as they supplied him with arrows and food he would not harm
them unless they looked upon him, so it was ordered by Mbonga that in
addition to the food offering there should also be laid out an offering
of arrows for this Munan-go-Keewati, and this was done from then on.
If you ever chance to pass that far off African village you will still
see before a tiny thatched hut, built just without the village, a
little iron pot in which is a quantity of food, and beside it a quiver
of well-daubed arrows.
When Tarzan came in sight of the beach where stood his cabin, a strange
and unusual spectacle met his vision.
On the placid waters of the landlocked harbor floated a great ship, and
on the beach a small boat was drawn up.
But, most wonderful of all, a number of white men like himself were
moving about between the beach and his cabin.
Tarzan saw that in many ways they were like the men of his picture
books. He crept closer through the trees until he was quite close
There were ten men, swarthy, sun-tanned, villainous looking fellows.
Now they had congregated by the boat and were talking in loud, angry
tones, with much gesticulating and shaking of fists.
Presently one of them, a little, mean-faced, black-bearded fellow with
a countenance which reminded Tarzan of Pamba, the rat, laid his hand
upon the shoulder of a giant who stood next him, and with whom all the
others had been arguing and quarreling.
The little man pointed inland, so that the giant was forced to turn
away from the others to look in the direction indicated. As he turned,
the little, mean-faced man drew a revolver from his belt and shot the
giant in the back.
The big fellow threw his hands above his head, his knees bent beneath
him, and without a sound he tumbled forward upon the beach, dead.
The report of the weapon, the first that Tarzan had ever heard, filled
him with wonderment, but even this unaccustomed sound could not startle
his healthy nerves into even a semblance of panic.
The conduct of the white strangers it was that caused him the greatest
perturbation. He puckered his brows into a frown of deep thought. It
was well, thought he, that he had not given way to his first impulse to
rush forward and greet these white men as brothers.
They were evidently no different from the black men—no more civilized
than the apes—no less cruel than Sabor.
For a moment the others stood looking at the little, mean-faced man and
the giant lying dead upon the beach.
Then one of them laughed and slapped the little man upon the back.
There was much more talk and gesticulating, but less quarreling.
Presently they launched the boat and all jumped into it and rowed away
toward the great ship, where Tarzan could see other figures moving
about upon the deck.
When they had clambered aboard, Tarzan dropped to earth behind a great
tree and crept to his cabin, keeping it always between himself and the
Slipping in at the door he found that everything had been ransacked.
His books and pencils strewed the floor. His weapons and shields and
other little store of treasures were littered about.
As he saw what had been done a great wave of anger surged through him,
and the new made scar upon his forehead stood suddenly out, a bar of
inflamed crimson against his tawny hide.
Quickly he ran to the cupboard and searched in the far recess of the
lower shelf. Ah! He breathed a sigh of relief as he drew out the
little tin box, and, opening it, found his greatest treasures
The photograph of the smiling, strong-faced young man, and the little
black puzzle book were safe.
What was that?
His quick ear had caught a faint but unfamiliar sound.
Running to the window Tarzan looked toward the harbor, and there he saw
that a boat was being lowered from the great ship beside the one
already in the water. Soon he saw many people clambering over the
sides of the larger vessel and dropping into the boats. They were
coming back in full force.
For a moment longer Tarzan watched while a number of boxes and bundles
were lowered into the waiting boats, then, as they shoved off from the
ship's side, the ape-man snatched up a piece of paper, and with a
pencil printed on it for a few moments until it bore several lines of
strong, well-made, almost letter-perfect characters.
This notice he stuck upon the door with a small sharp splinter of wood.
Then gathering up his precious tin box, his arrows, and as many bows
and spears as he could carry, he hastened through the door and
disappeared into the forest.
When the two boats were beached upon the silvery sand it was a strange
assortment of humanity that clambered ashore.
Some twenty souls in all there were, fifteen of them rough and
villainous appearing seamen.
The others of the party were of different stamp.
One was an elderly man, with white hair and large rimmed spectacles.
His slightly stooped shoulders were draped in an ill-fitting, though
immaculate, frock coat, and a shiny silk hat added to the incongruity
of his garb in an African jungle.
The second member of the party to land was a tall young man in white
ducks, while directly behind came another elderly man with a very high
forehead and a fussy, excitable manner.
After these came a huge Negress clothed like Solomon as to colors. Her
great eyes rolled in evident terror, first toward the jungle and then
toward the cursing band of sailors who were removing the bales and
boxes from the boats.
The last member of the party to disembark was a girl of about nineteen,
and it was the young man who stood at the boat's prow to lift her high
and dry upon land. She gave him a brave and pretty smile of thanks,
but no words passed between them.
In silence the party advanced toward the cabin. It was evident that
whatever their intentions, all had been decided upon before they left
the ship; and so they came to the door, the sailors carrying the boxes
and bales, followed by the five who were of so different a class. The
men put down their burdens, and then one caught sight of the notice
which Tarzan had posted.
"Ho, mates!" he cried. "What's here? This sign was not posted an hour
ago or I'll eat the cook."
The others gathered about, craning their necks over the shoulders of
those before them, but as few of them could read at all, and then only
after the most laborious fashion, one finally turned to the little old
man of the top hat and frock coat.
"Hi, perfesser," he called, "step for'rd and read the bloomin' notis."
Thus addressed, the old man came slowly to where the sailors stood,
followed by the other members of his party. Adjusting his spectacles
he looked for a moment at the placard and then, turning away, strolled
off muttering to himself: "Most remarkable—most remarkable!"
"Hi, old fossil," cried the man who had first called on him for
assistance, "did je think we wanted of you to read the bloomin' notis
to yourself? Come back here and read it out loud, you old barnacle."
The old man stopped and, turning back, said: "Oh, yes, my dear sir, a
thousand pardons. It was quite thoughtless of me, yes—very
thoughtless. Most remarkable—most remarkable!"
Again he faced the notice and read it through, and doubtless would have
turned off again to ruminate upon it had not the sailor grasped him
roughly by the collar and howled into his ear.
"Read it out loud, you blithering old idiot."
"Ah, yes indeed, yes indeed," replied the professor softly, and
adjusting his spectacles once more he read aloud:
THIS IS THE HOUSE OF TARZAN, THE
KILLER OF BEASTS AND MANY BLACK
MEN. DO NOT HARM THE THINGS WHICH
ARE TARZAN'S. TARZAN WATCHES.
TARZAN OF THE APES.
"Who the devil is Tarzan?" cried the sailor who had before spoken.
"He evidently speaks English," said the young man.
"But what does 'Tarzan of the Apes' mean?" cried the girl.
"I do not know, Miss Porter," replied the young man, "unless we have
discovered a runaway simian from the London Zoo who has brought back a
European education to his jungle home. What do you make of it,
Professor Porter?" he added, turning to the old man.
Professor Archimedes Q. Porter adjusted his spectacles.
"Ah, yes, indeed; yes indeed—most remarkable, most remarkable!" said
the professor; "but I can add nothing further to what I have already
remarked in elucidation of this truly momentous occurrence," and the
professor turned slowly in the direction of the jungle.
"But, papa," cried the girl, "you haven't said anything about it yet."
"Tut, tut, child; tut, tut," responded Professor Porter, in a kindly
and indulgent tone, "do not trouble your pretty head with such weighty
and abstruse problems," and again he wandered slowly off in still
another direction, his eyes bent upon the ground at his feet, his hands
clasped behind him beneath the flowing tails of his coat.
"I reckon the daffy old bounder don't know no more'n we do about it,"
growled the rat-faced sailor.
"Keep a civil tongue in your head," cried the young man, his face
paling in anger, at the insulting tone of the sailor. "You've murdered
our officers and robbed us. We are absolutely in your power, but
you'll treat Professor Porter and Miss Porter with respect or I'll
break that vile neck of yours with my bare hands—guns or no guns," and
the young fellow stepped so close to the rat-faced sailor that the
latter, though he bore two revolvers and a villainous looking knife in
his belt, slunk back abashed.
"You damned coward," cried the young man. "You'd never dare shoot a
man until his back was turned. You don't dare shoot me even then," and
he deliberately turned his back full upon the sailor and walked
nonchalantly away as if to put him to the test.
The sailor's hand crept slyly to the butt of one of his revolvers; his
wicked eyes glared vengefully at the retreating form of the young
Englishman. The gaze of his fellows was upon him, but still he
hesitated. At heart he was even a greater coward than Mr. William
Cecil Clayton had imagined.
Two keen eyes had watched every move of the party from the foliage of a
nearby tree. Tarzan had seen the surprise caused by his notice, and
while he could understand nothing of the spoken language of these
strange people their gestures and facial expressions told him much.
The act of the little rat-faced sailor in killing one of his comrades
had aroused a strong dislike in Tarzan, and now that he saw him
quarreling with the fine-looking young man his animosity was still
Tarzan had never seen the effects of a firearm before, though his books
had taught him something of them, but when he saw the rat-faced one
fingering the butt of his revolver he thought of the scene he had
witnessed so short a time before, and naturally expected to see the
young man murdered as had been the huge sailor earlier in the day.
So Tarzan fitted a poisoned arrow to his bow and drew a bead upon the
rat-faced sailor, but the foliage was so thick that he soon saw the
arrow would be deflected by the leaves or some small branch, and
instead he launched a heavy spear from his lofty perch.
Clayton had taken but a dozen steps. The rat-faced sailor had half
drawn his revolver; the other sailors stood watching the scene intently.
Professor Porter had already disappeared into the jungle, whither he
was being followed by the fussy Samuel T. Philander, his secretary and
Esmeralda, the Negress, was busy sorting her mistress' baggage from the
pile of bales and boxes beside the cabin, and Miss Porter had turned
away to follow Clayton, when something caused her to turn again toward
And then three things happened almost simultaneously. The sailor
jerked out his weapon and leveled it at Clayton's back, Miss Porter
screamed a warning, and a long, metal-shod spear shot like a bolt from
above and passed entirely through the right shoulder of the rat-faced
The revolver exploded harmlessly in the air, and the seaman crumpled up
with a scream of pain and terror.
Clayton turned and rushed back toward the scene. The sailors stood in
a frightened group, with drawn weapons, peering into the jungle. The
wounded man writhed and shrieked upon the ground.
Clayton, unseen by any, picked up the fallen revolver and slipped it
inside his shirt, then he joined the sailors in gazing, mystified, into
"Who could it have been?" whispered Jane Porter, and the young man
turned to see her standing, wide-eyed and wondering, close beside him.
"I dare say Tarzan of the Apes is watching us all right," he answered,
in a dubious tone. "I wonder, now, who that spear was intended for.
If for Snipes, then our ape friend is a friend indeed.
"By jove, where are your father and Mr. Philander? There's someone or
something in that jungle, and it's armed, whatever it is. Ho!
Professor! Mr. Philander!" young Clayton shouted. There was no
"What's to be done, Miss Porter?" continued the young man, his face
clouded by a frown of worry and indecision.
"I can't leave you here alone with these cutthroats, and you certainly
can't venture into the jungle with me; yet someone must go in search of
your father. He is more than apt to wandering off aimlessly,
regardless of danger or direction, and Mr. Philander is only a trifle
less impractical than he. You will pardon my bluntness, but our lives
are all in jeopardy here, and when we get your father back something
must be done to impress upon him the dangers to which he exposes you as
well as himself by his absent-mindedness."
"I quite agree with you," replied the girl, "and I am not offended at
all. Dear old papa would sacrifice his life for me without an
instant's hesitation, provided one could keep his mind on so frivolous
a matter for an entire instant. There is only one way to keep him in
safety, and that is to chain him to a tree. The poor dear is SO
"I have it!" suddenly exclaimed Clayton. "You can use a revolver,
"I have one. With it you and Esmeralda will be comparatively safe in
this cabin while I am searching for your father and Mr. Philander.
Come, call the woman and I will hurry on. They can't have gone far."
Jane did as he suggested and when he saw the door close safely behind
them Clayton turned toward the jungle.
Some of the sailors were drawing the spear from their wounded comrade
and, as Clayton approached, he asked if he could borrow a revolver from
one of them while he searched the jungle for the professor.
The rat-faced one, finding he was not dead, had regained his composure,
and with a volley of oaths directed at Clayton refused in the name of
his fellows to allow the young man any firearms.
This man, Snipes, had assumed the role of chief since he had killed
their former leader, and so little time had elapsed that none of his
companions had as yet questioned his authority.
Clayton's only response was a shrug of the shoulders, but as he left
them he picked up the spear which had transfixed Snipes, and thus
primitively armed, the son of the then Lord Greystoke strode into the
Every few moments he called aloud the names of the wanderers. The
watchers in the cabin by the beach heard the sound of his voice growing
ever fainter and fainter, until at last it was swallowed up by the
myriad noises of the primeval wood.
When Professor Archimedes Q. Porter and his assistant, Samuel T.
Philander, after much insistence on the part of the latter, had finally
turned their steps toward camp, they were as completely lost in the
wild and tangled labyrinth of the matted jungle as two human beings
well could be, though they did not know it.
It was by the merest caprice of fortune that they headed toward the
west coast of Africa, instead of toward Zanzibar on the opposite side
of the dark continent.
When in a short time they reached the beach, only to find no camp in
sight, Philander was positive that they were north of their proper
destination, while, as a matter of fact they were about two hundred
yards south of it.
It never occurred to either of these impractical theorists to call
aloud on the chance of attracting their friends' attention. Instead,
with all the assurance that deductive reasoning from a wrong premise
induces in one, Mr. Samuel T. Philander grasped Professor Archimedes Q.
Porter firmly by the arm and hurried the weakly protesting old
gentleman off in the direction of Cape Town, fifteen hundred miles to
When Jane and Esmeralda found themselves safely behind the cabin door
the Negress's first thought was to barricade the portal from the
inside. With this idea in mind she turned to search for some means of
putting it into execution; but her first view of the interior of the
cabin brought a shriek of terror to her lips, and like a frightened
child the huge woman ran to bury her face on her mistress' shoulder.
Jane, turning at the cry, saw the cause of it lying prone upon the
floor before them—the whitened skeleton of a man. A further glance
revealed a second skeleton upon the bed.
"What horrible place are we in?" murmured the awe-struck girl. But
there was no panic in her fright.
At last, disengaging herself from the frantic clutch of the still
shrieking Esmeralda, Jane crossed the room to look into the little
cradle, knowing what she should see there even before the tiny skeleton
disclosed itself in all its pitiful and pathetic frailty.
What an awful tragedy these poor mute bones proclaimed! The girl
shuddered at thought of the eventualities which might lie before
herself and her friends in this ill-fated cabin, the haunt of
mysterious, perhaps hostile, beings.
Quickly, with an impatient stamp of her little foot, she endeavored to
shake off the gloomy forebodings, and turning to Esmeralda bade her
cease her wailing.
"Stop, Esmeralda, stop it this minute!" she cried. "You are only
making it worse."
She ended lamely, a little quiver in her own voice as she thought of
the three men, upon whom she depended for protection, wandering in the
depth of that awful forest.
Soon the girl found that the door was equipped with a heavy wooden bar
upon the inside, and after several efforts the combined strength of the
two enabled them to slip it into place, the first time in twenty years.
Then they sat down upon a bench with their arms about one another, and
At the Mercy of the Jungle
After Clayton had plunged into the jungle, the sailors—mutineers of
the Arrow—fell into a discussion of their next step; but on one point
all were agreed—that they should hasten to put off to the anchored
Arrow, where they could at least be safe from the spears of their
unseen foe. And so, while Jane Porter and Esmeralda were barricading
themselves within the cabin, the cowardly crew of cutthroats were
pulling rapidly for their ship in the two boats that had brought them
So much had Tarzan seen that day that his head was in a whirl of
wonder. But the most wonderful sight of all, to him, was the face of
the beautiful white girl.
Here at last was one of his own kind; of that he was positive. And the
young man and the two old men; they, too, were much as he had pictured
his own people to be.
But doubtless they were as ferocious and cruel as other men he had
seen. The fact that they alone of all the party were unarmed might
account for the fact that they had killed no one. They might be very
different if provided with weapons.
Tarzan had seen the young man pick up the fallen revolver of the
wounded Snipes and hide it away in his breast; and he had also seen him
slip it cautiously to the girl as she entered the cabin door.
He did not understand anything of the motives behind all that he had
seen; but, somehow, intuitively he liked the young man and the two old
men, and for the girl he had a strange longing which he scarcely
understood. As for the big black woman, she was evidently connected in
some way to the girl, and so he liked her, also.
For the sailors, and especially Snipes, he had developed a great
hatred. He knew by their threatening gestures and by the expression
upon their evil faces that they were enemies of the others of the
party, and so he decided to watch closely.
Tarzan wondered why the men had gone into the jungle, nor did it ever
occur to him that one could become lost in that maze of undergrowth
which to him was as simple as is the main street of your own home town
When he saw the sailors row away toward the ship, and knew that the
girl and her companion were safe in his cabin, Tarzan decided to follow
the young man into the jungle and learn what his errand might be. He
swung off rapidly in the direction taken by Clayton, and in a short
time heard faintly in the distance the now only occasional calls of the
Englishman to his friends.
Presently Tarzan came up with the white man, who, almost fagged, was
leaning against a tree wiping the perspiration from his forehead. The
ape-man, hiding safe behind a screen of foliage, sat watching this new
specimen of his own race intently.
At intervals Clayton called aloud and finally it came to Tarzan that he
was searching for the old man.
Tarzan was on the point of going off to look for them himself, when he
caught the yellow glint of a sleek hide moving cautiously through the
jungle toward Clayton.
It was Sheeta, the leopard. Now, Tarzan heard the soft bending of
grasses and wondered why the young white man was not warned. Could it
be he had failed to note the loud warning? Never before had Tarzan
known Sheeta to be so clumsy.
No, the white man did not hear. Sheeta was crouching for the spring,
and then, shrill and horrible, there rose from the stillness of the
jungle the awful cry of the challenging ape, and Sheeta turned,
crashing into the underbrush.
Clayton came to his feet with a start. His blood ran cold. Never in
all his life had so fearful a sound smote upon his ears. He was no
coward; but if ever man felt the icy fingers of fear upon his heart,
William Cecil Clayton, eldest son of Lord Greystoke of England, did
that day in the fastness of the African jungle.
The noise of some great body crashing through the underbrush so close
beside him, and the sound of that bloodcurdling shriek from above,
tested Clayton's courage to the limit; but he could not know that it
was to that very voice he owed his life, nor that the creature who
hurled it forth was his own cousin—the real Lord Greystoke.
The afternoon was drawing to a close, and Clayton, disheartened and
discouraged, was in a terrible quandary as to the proper course to
pursue; whether to keep on in search of Professor Porter, at the almost
certain risk of his own death in the jungle by night, or to return to
the cabin where he might at least serve to protect Jane from the perils
which confronted her on all sides.
He did not wish to return to camp without her father; still more, he
shrank from the thought of leaving her alone and unprotected in the
hands of the mutineers of the Arrow, or to the hundred unknown dangers
of the jungle.
Possibly, too, he thought, the professor and Philander might have
returned to camp. Yes, that was more than likely. At least he would
return and see, before he continued what seemed to be a most fruitless
quest. And so he started, stumbling back through the thick and matted
underbrush in the direction that he thought the cabin lay.
To Tarzan's surprise the young man was heading further into the jungle
in the general direction of Mbonga's village, and the shrewd young
ape-man was convinced that he was lost.
To Tarzan this was scarcely comprehensible; his judgment told him
that no man would venture toward the village of the cruel blacks armed
only with a spear which, from the awkward way in which he carried it,
was evidently an unaccustomed weapon to this white man. Nor was he
following the trail of the old men. That, they had crossed and left
long since, though it had been fresh and plain before Tarzan's eyes.
Tarzan was perplexed. The fierce jungle would make easy prey of this
unprotected stranger in a very short time if he were not guided quickly
to the beach.
Yes, there was Numa, the lion, even now, stalking the white man a dozen
paces to the right.
Clayton heard the great body paralleling his course, and now there rose
upon the evening air the beast's thunderous roar. The man stopped with
upraised spear and faced the brush from which issued the awful sound.
The shadows were deepening, darkness was settling in.
God! To die here alone, beneath the fangs of wild beasts; to be torn
and rended; to feel the hot breath of the brute on his face as the
great paw crushed down upon his breast!
For a moment all was still. Clayton stood rigid, with raised spear.
Presently a faint rustling of the bush apprised him of the stealthy
creeping of the thing behind. It was gathering for the spring. At
last he saw it, not twenty feet away—the long, lithe, muscular body
and tawny head of a huge black-maned lion.
The beast was upon its belly, moving forward very slowly. As its eyes
met Clayton's it stopped, and deliberately, cautiously gathered its
hind quarters behind it.
In agony the man watched, fearful to launch his spear, powerless to fly.
He heard a noise in the tree above him. Some new danger, he thought,
but he dared not take his eyes from the yellow green orbs before him.
There was a sharp twang as of a broken banjo-string, and at the same
instant an arrow appeared in the yellow hide of the crouching lion.
With a roar of pain and anger the beast sprang; but, somehow, Clayton
stumbled to one side, and as he turned again to face the infuriated
king of beasts, he was appalled at the sight which confronted him.
Almost simultaneously with the lion's turning to renew the attack a
half-naked giant dropped from the tree above squarely on the brute's
With lightning speed an arm that was banded layers of iron muscle
encircled the huge neck, and the great beast was raised from behind,
roaring and pawing the air—raised as easily as Clayton would have
lifted a pet dog.
The scene he witnessed there in the twilight depths of the African
jungle was burned forever into the Englishman's brain.
The man before him was the embodiment of physical perfection and giant
strength; yet it was not upon these he depended in his battle with the
great cat, for mighty as were his muscles, they were as nothing by
comparison with Numa's. To his agility, to his brain and to his long
keen knife he owed his supremacy.
His right arm encircled the lion's neck, while the left hand plunged
the knife time and again into the unprotected side behind the left
shoulder. The infuriated beast, pulled up and backwards until he stood
upon his hind legs, struggled impotently in this unnatural position.
Had the battle been of a few seconds' longer duration the outcome might
have been different, but it was all accomplished so quickly that the
lion had scarce time to recover from the confusion of its surprise ere
it sank lifeless to the ground.
Then the strange figure which had vanquished it stood erect upon the
carcass, and throwing back the wild and handsome head, gave out the
fearsome cry which a few moments earlier had so startled Clayton.
Before him he saw the figure of a young man, naked except for a loin
cloth and a few barbaric ornaments about arms and legs; on the breast a
priceless diamond locket gleaming against a smooth brown skin.
The hunting knife had been returned to its homely sheath, and the man
was gathering up his bow and quiver from where he had tossed them when
he leaped to attack the lion.
Clayton spoke to the stranger in English, thanking him for his brave
rescue and complimenting him on the wondrous strength and dexterity he
had displayed, but the only answer was a steady stare and a faint shrug
of the mighty shoulders, which might betoken either disparagement of
the service rendered, or ignorance of Clayton's language.
When the bow and quiver had been slung to his back the wild man, for
such Clayton now thought him, once more drew his knife and deftly
carved a dozen large strips of meat from the lion's carcass. Then,
squatting upon his haunches, he proceeded to eat, first motioning
Clayton to join him.
The strong white teeth sank into the raw and dripping flesh in apparent
relish of the meal, but Clayton could not bring himself to share the
uncooked meat with his strange host; instead he watched him, and
presently there dawned upon him the conviction that this was Tarzan of
the Apes, whose notice he had seen posted upon the cabin door that
If so he must speak English.
Again Clayton attempted speech with the ape-man; but the replies, now
vocal, were in a strange tongue, which resembled the chattering of
monkeys mingled with the growling of some wild beast.
No, this could not be Tarzan of the Apes, for it was very evident that
he was an utter stranger to English.
When Tarzan had completed his repast he rose and, pointing a very
different direction from that which Clayton had been pursuing, started
off through the jungle toward the point he had indicated.
Clayton, bewildered and confused, hesitated to follow him, for he
thought he was but being led more deeply into the mazes of the forest;
but the ape-man, seeing him disinclined to follow, returned, and,
grasping him by the coat, dragged him along until he was convinced that
Clayton understood what was required of him. Then he left him to
The Englishman, finally concluding that he was a prisoner, saw no
alternative open but to accompany his captor, and thus they traveled
slowly through the jungle while the sable mantle of the impenetrable
forest night fell about them, and the stealthy footfalls of padded paws
mingled with the breaking of twigs and the wild calls of the savage
life that Clayton felt closing in upon him.
Suddenly Clayton heard the faint report of a firearm—a single shot,
and then silence.
In the cabin by the beach two thoroughly terrified women clung to each
other as they crouched upon the low bench in the gathering darkness.
The Negress sobbed hysterically, bemoaning the evil day that had
witnessed her departure from her dear Maryland, while the white girl,
dry eyed and outwardly calm, was torn by inward fears and forebodings.
She feared not more for herself than for the three men whom she knew to
be wandering in the abysmal depths of the savage jungle, from which she
now heard issuing the almost incessant shrieks and roars, barkings and
growlings of its terrifying and fearsome denizens as they sought their
And now there came the sound of a heavy body brushing against the side
of the cabin. She could hear the great padded paws upon the ground
outside. For an instant, all was silence; even the bedlam of the
forest died to a faint murmur. Then she distinctly heard the beast
outside sniffing at the door, not two feet from where she crouched.
Instinctively the girl shuddered, and shrank closer to the black woman.
"Hush!" she whispered. "Hush, Esmeralda," for the woman's sobs and
groans seemed to have attracted the thing that stalked there just
beyond the thin wall.
A gentle scratching sound was heard on the door. The brute tried to
force an entrance; but presently this ceased, and again she heard the
great pads creeping stealthily around the cabin. Again they
stopped—beneath the window on which the terrified eyes of the girl now
"God!" she murmured, for now, silhouetted against the moonlit sky
beyond, she saw framed in the tiny square of the latticed window the
head of a huge lioness. The gleaming eyes were fixed upon her in
"Look, Esmeralda!" she whispered. "For God's sake, what shall we do?
Look! Quick! The window!"
Esmeralda, cowering still closer to her mistress, took one frightened
glance toward the little square of moonlight, just as the lioness
emitted a low, savage snarl.
The sight that met the poor woman's eyes was too much for the already
"Oh, Gaberelle!" she shrieked, and slid to the floor an inert and
For what seemed an eternity the great brute stood with its forepaws
upon the sill, glaring into the little room. Presently it tried the
strength of the lattice with its great talons.
The girl had almost ceased to breathe, when, to her relief, the head
disappeared and she heard the brute's footsteps leaving the window.
But now they came to the door again, and once more the scratching
commenced; this time with increasing force until the great beast was
tearing at the massive panels in a perfect frenzy of eagerness to seize
its defenseless victims.
Could Jane have known the immense strength of that door, built piece by
piece, she would have felt less fear of the lioness reaching her by
Little did John Clayton imagine when he fashioned that crude but mighty
portal that one day, twenty years later, it would shield a fair
American girl, then unborn, from the teeth and talons of a man-eater.
For fully twenty minutes the brute alternately sniffed and tore at the
door, occasionally giving voice to a wild, savage cry of baffled rage.
At length, however, she gave up the attempt, and Jane heard her
returning toward the window, beneath which she paused for an instant,
and then launched her great weight against the timeworn lattice.
The girl heard the wooden rods groan beneath the impact; but they held,
and the huge body dropped back to the ground below.
Again and again the lioness repeated these tactics, until finally the
horrified prisoner within saw a portion of the lattice give way, and in
an instant one great paw and the head of the animal were thrust within
Slowly the powerful neck and shoulders spread the bars apart, and the
lithe body protruded farther and farther into the room.
As in a trance, the girl rose, her hand upon her breast, wide eyes
staring horror-stricken into the snarling face of the beast scarce ten
feet from her. At her feet lay the prostrate form of the Negress. If
she could but arouse her, their combined efforts might possibly avail
to beat back the fierce and bloodthirsty intruder.
Jane stooped to grasp the black woman by the shoulder. Roughly she
"Esmeralda! Esmeralda!" she cried. "Help me, or we are lost."
Esmeralda opened her eyes. The first object they encountered was the
dripping fangs of the hungry lioness.
With a horrified scream the poor woman rose to her hands and knees, and
in this position scurried across the room, shrieking: "O Gaberelle! O
Gaberelle!" at the top of her lungs.
Esmeralda weighed some two hundred and eighty pounds, and her extreme
haste, added to her extreme corpulency, produced a most amazing result
when Esmeralda elected to travel on all fours.
For a moment the lioness remained quiet with intense gaze directed upon
the flitting Esmeralda, whose goal appeared to be the cupboard, into
which she attempted to propel her huge bulk; but as the shelves were
but nine or ten inches apart, she only succeeded in getting her head
in; whereupon, with a final screech, which paled the jungle noises into
insignificance, she fainted once again.
With the subsidence of Esmeralda the lioness renewed her efforts to
wriggle her huge bulk through the weakening lattice.
The girl, standing pale and rigid against the farther wall, sought with
ever-increasing terror for some loophole of escape. Suddenly her hand,
tight-pressed against her bosom, felt the hard outline of the revolver
that Clayton had left with her earlier in the day.
Quickly she snatched it from its hiding-place, and, leveling it full at
the lioness's face, pulled the trigger.
There was a flash of flame, the roar of the discharge, and an answering
roar of pain and anger from the beast.
Jane Porter saw the great form disappear from the window, and then she,
too, fainted, the revolver falling at her side.
But Sabor was not killed. The bullet had but inflicted a painful wound
in one of the great shoulders. It was the surprise at the blinding
flash and the deafening roar that had caused her hasty but temporary
In another instant she was back at the lattice, and with renewed fury
was clawing at the aperture, but with lessened effect, since the
wounded member was almost useless.
She saw her prey—the two women—lying senseless upon the floor. There
was no longer any resistance to be overcome. Her meat lay before her,
and Sabor had only to worm her way through the lattice to claim it.
Slowly she forced her great bulk, inch by inch, through the opening.
Now her head was through, now one great forearm and shoulder.
Carefully she drew up the wounded member to insinuate it gently beyond
the tight pressing bars.
A moment more and both shoulders through, the long, sinuous body and
the narrow hips would glide quickly after.
It was on this sight that Jane Porter again opened her eyes.
The Forest God
When Clayton heard the report of the firearm he fell into an agony of
fear and apprehension. He knew that one of the sailors might be the
author of it; but the fact that he had left the revolver with Jane,
together with the overwrought condition of his nerves, made him
morbidly positive that she was threatened with some great danger.
Perhaps even now she was attempting to defend herself against some
savage man or beast.
What were the thoughts of his strange captor or guide Clayton could
only vaguely conjecture; but that he had heard the shot, and was in
some manner affected by it was quite evident, for he quickened his pace
so appreciably that Clayton, stumbling blindly in his wake, was down a
dozen times in as many minutes in a vain effort to keep pace with him,
and soon was left hopelessly behind.
Fearing that he would again be irretrievably lost, he called aloud to
the wild man ahead of him, and in a moment had the satisfaction of
seeing him drop lightly to his side from the branches above.
For a moment Tarzan looked at the young man closely, as though
undecided as to just what was best to do; then, stooping down before
Clayton, he motioned him to grasp him about the neck, and, with the
white man upon his back, Tarzan took to the trees.
The next few minutes the young Englishman never forgot. High into
bending and swaying branches he was borne with what seemed to him
incredible swiftness, while Tarzan chafed at the slowness of his
From one lofty branch the agile creature swung with Clayton through a
dizzy arc to a neighboring tree; then for a hundred yards maybe the
sure feet threaded a maze of interwoven limbs, balancing like a
tightrope walker high above the black depths of verdure beneath.
From the first sensation of chilling fear Clayton passed to one of keen
admiration and envy of those giant muscles and that wondrous instinct
or knowledge which guided this forest god through the inky blackness of
the night as easily and safely as Clayton would have strolled a London
street at high noon.
Occasionally they would enter a spot where the foliage above was less
dense, and the bright rays of the moon lit up before Clayton's
wondering eyes the strange path they were traversing.
At such times the man fairly caught his breath at sight of the horrid
depths below them, for Tarzan took the easiest way, which often led
over a hundred feet above the earth.
And yet with all his seeming speed, Tarzan was in reality feeling his
way with comparative slowness, searching constantly for limbs of
adequate strength for the maintenance of this double weight.
Presently they came to the clearing before the beach. Tarzan's quick
ears had heard the strange sounds of Sabor's efforts to force her way
through the lattice, and it seemed to Clayton that they dropped a
straight hundred feet to earth, so quickly did Tarzan descend. Yet
when they struck the ground it was with scarce a jar; and as Clayton
released his hold on the ape-man he saw him dart like a squirrel for
the opposite side of the cabin.
The Englishman sprang quickly after him just in time to see the hind
quarters of some huge animal about to disappear through the window of
As Jane opened her eyes to a realization of the imminent peril which
threatened her, her brave young heart gave up at last its final vestige
of hope. But then to her surprise she saw the huge animal being slowly
drawn back through the window, and in the moonlight beyond she saw the
heads and shoulders of two men.
As Clayton rounded the corner of the cabin to behold the animal
disappearing within, it was also to see the ape-man seize the long tail
in both hands, and, bracing himself with his feet against the side of
the cabin, throw all his mighty strength into the effort to draw the
beast out of the interior.
Clayton was quick to lend a hand, but the ape-man jabbered to him in a
commanding and peremptory tone something which Clayton knew to be
orders, though he could not understand them.
At last, under their combined efforts, the great body was slowly
dragged farther and farther outside the window, and then there came to
Clayton's mind a dawning conception of the rash bravery of his
For a naked man to drag a shrieking, clawing man-eater forth from a
window by the tail to save a strange white girl, was indeed the last
word in heroism.
Insofar as Clayton was concerned it was a very different matter, since
the girl was not only of his own kind and race, but was the one woman
in all the world whom he loved.
Though he knew that the lioness would make short work of both of them,
he pulled with a will to keep it from Jane Porter. And then he
recalled the battle between this man and the great, black-maned lion
which he had witnessed a short time before, and he commenced to feel
Tarzan was still issuing orders which Clayton could not understand.
He was trying to tell the stupid white man to plunge his poisoned
arrows into Sabor's back and sides, and to reach the savage heart with
the long, thin hunting knife that hung at Tarzan's hip; but the man
would not understand, and Tarzan did not dare release his hold to do
the things himself, for he knew that the puny white man never could
hold mighty Sabor alone, for an instant.
Slowly the lioness was emerging from the window. At last her shoulders
And then Clayton saw an incredible thing. Tarzan, racking his brains
for some means to cope single-handed with the infuriated beast, had
suddenly recalled his battle with Terkoz; and as the great shoulders
came clear of the window, so that the lioness hung upon the sill only
by her forepaws, Tarzan suddenly released his hold upon the brute.
With the quickness of a striking rattler he launched himself full upon
Sabor's back, his strong young arms seeking and gaining a full-Nelson
upon the beast, as he had learned it that other day during his bloody,
wrestling victory over Terkoz.
With a roar the lioness turned completely over upon her back, falling
full upon her enemy; but the black-haired giant only closed tighter his
Pawing and tearing at earth and air, Sabor rolled and threw herself
this way and that in an effort to dislodge this strange antagonist; but
ever tighter and tighter drew the iron bands that were forcing her head
lower and lower upon her tawny breast.
Higher crept the steel forearms of the ape-man about the back of
Sabor's neck. Weaker and weaker became the lioness's efforts.
At last Clayton saw the immense muscles of Tarzan's shoulders and
biceps leap into corded knots beneath the silver moonlight. There was
a long sustained and supreme effort on the ape-man's part—and the
vertebrae of Sabor's neck parted with a sharp snap.
In an instant Tarzan was upon his feet, and for the second time that
day Clayton heard the bull ape's savage roar of victory. Then he heard
Jane's agonized cry:
"Cecil—Mr. Clayton! Oh, what is it? What is it?"
Running quickly to the cabin door, Clayton called out that all was
right, and shouted to her to open the door. As quickly as she could
she raised the great bar and fairly dragged Clayton within.
"What was that awful noise?" she whispered, shrinking close to him.
"It was the cry of the kill from the throat of the man who has just
saved your life, Miss Porter. Wait, I will fetch him so you may thank
The frightened girl would not be left alone, so she accompanied Clayton
to the side of the cabin where lay the dead body of the lioness.
Tarzan of the Apes was gone.
Clayton called several times, but there was no reply, and so the two
returned to the greater safety of the interior.
"What a frightful sound!" cried Jane, "I shudder at the mere thought of
it. Do not tell me that a human throat voiced that hideous and
"But it did, Miss Porter," replied Clayton; "or at least if not a human
throat that of a forest god."
And then he told her of his experiences with this strange creature—of
how twice the wild man had saved his life—of the wondrous strength,
and agility, and bravery—of the brown skin and the handsome face.
"I cannot make it out at all," he concluded. "At first I thought he
might be Tarzan of the Apes; but he neither speaks nor understands
English, so that theory is untenable."
"Well, whatever he may be," cried the girl, "we owe him our lives, and
may God bless him and keep him in safety in his wild and savage jungle!"
"Amen," said Clayton, fervently.
"For the good Lord's sake, ain't I dead?"
The two turned to see Esmeralda sitting upright upon the floor, her
great eyes rolling from side to side as though she could not believe
their testimony as to her whereabouts.
And now, for Jane Porter, the reaction came, and she threw herself upon
the bench, sobbing with hysterical laughter.
Several miles south of the cabin, upon a strip of sandy beach, stood
two old men, arguing.
Before them stretched the broad Atlantic. At their backs was the Dark
Continent. Close around them loomed the impenetrable blackness of the
Savage beasts roared and growled; noises, hideous and weird, assailed
their ears. They had wandered for miles in search of their camp, but
always in the wrong direction. They were as hopelessly lost as though
they suddenly had been transported to another world.
At such a time, indeed, every fiber of their combined intellects must
have been concentrated upon the vital question of the minute—the
life-and-death question to them of retracing their steps to camp.
Samuel T. Philander was speaking.
"But, my dear professor," he was saying, "I still maintain that but for
the victories of Ferdinand and Isabella over the fifteenth-century
Moors in Spain the world would be today a thousand years in advance of
where we now find ourselves. The Moors were essentially a tolerant,
broad-minded, liberal race of agriculturists, artisans and
merchants—the very type of people that has made possible such
civilization as we find today in America and Europe—while the
"Tut, tut, dear Mr. Philander," interrupted Professor Porter; "their
religion positively precluded the possibilities you suggest. Moslemism
was, is, and always will be, a blight on that scientific progress which
"Bless me! Professor," interjected Mr. Philander, who had turned his
gaze toward the jungle, "there seems to be someone approaching."
Professor Archimedes Q. Porter turned in the direction indicated by the
nearsighted Mr. Philander.
"Tut, tut, Mr. Philander," he chided. "How often must I urge you to
seek that absolute concentration of your mental faculties which alone
may permit you to bring to bear the highest powers of intellectuality
upon the momentous problems which naturally fall to the lot of great
minds? And now I find you guilty of a most flagrant breach of courtesy
in interrupting my learned discourse to call attention to a mere
quadruped of the genus FELIS. As I was saying, Mr.—"
"Heavens, Professor, a lion?" cried Mr. Philander, straining his weak
eyes toward the dim figure outlined against the dark tropical
"Yes, yes, Mr. Philander, if you insist upon employing slang in your
discourse, a 'lion.' But as I was saying—"
"Bless me, Professor," again interrupted Mr. Philander; "permit me to
suggest that doubtless the Moors who were conquered in the fifteenth
century will continue in that most regrettable condition for the time
being at least, even though we postpone discussion of that world
calamity until we may attain the enchanting view of yon FELIS CARNIVORA
which distance proverbially is credited with lending."
In the meantime the lion had approached with quiet dignity to within
ten paces of the two men, where he stood curiously watching them.
The moonlight flooded the beach, and the strange group stood out in
bold relief against the yellow sand.
"Most reprehensible, most reprehensible," exclaimed Professor Porter,
with a faint trace of irritation in his voice. "Never, Mr. Philander,
never before in my life have I known one of these animals to be
permitted to roam at large from its cage. I shall most certainly
report this outrageous breach of ethics to the directors of the
adjacent zoological garden."
"Quite right, Professor," agreed Mr. Philander, "and the sooner it is
done the better. Let us start now."
Seizing the professor by the arm, Mr. Philander set off in the
direction that would put the greatest distance between themselves and
They had proceeded but a short distance when a backward glance revealed
to the horrified gaze of Mr. Philander that the lion was following
them. He tightened his grip upon the protesting professor and
increased his speed.
"As I was saying, Mr. Philander," repeated Professor Porter.
Mr. Philander took another hasty glance rearward. The lion also had
quickened his gait, and was doggedly maintaining an unvarying distance
"He is following us!" gasped Mr. Philander, breaking into a run.
"Tut, tut, Mr. Philander," remonstrated the professor, "this unseemly
haste is most unbecoming to men of letters. What will our friends
think of us, who may chance to be upon the street and witness our
frivolous antics? Pray let us proceed with more decorum."
Mr. Philander stole another observation astern.
The lion was bounding along in easy leaps scarce five paces behind.
Mr. Philander dropped the professor's arm, and broke into a mad orgy of
speed that would have done credit to any varsity track team.
"As I was saying, Mr. Philander—" screamed Professor Porter, as,
metaphorically speaking, he himself "threw her into high." He, too,
had caught a fleeting backward glimpse of cruel yellow eyes and half
open mouth within startling proximity of his person.
With streaming coat tails and shiny silk hat Professor Archimedes Q.
Porter fled through the moonlight close upon the heels of Mr. Samuel T.
Before them a point of the jungle ran out toward a narrow promontory,
and it was for the haven of the trees he saw there that Mr. Samuel T.
Philander directed his prodigious leaps and bounds; while from the
shadows of this same spot peered two keen eyes in interested
appreciation of the race.
It was Tarzan of the Apes who watched, with face a-grin, this odd game
He knew the two men were safe enough from attack in so far as the lion
was concerned. The very fact that Numa had foregone such easy prey at
all convinced the wise forest craft of Tarzan that Numa's belly already
The lion might stalk them until hungry again; but the chances were that
if not angered he would soon tire of the sport, and slink away to his
Really, the one great danger was that one of the men might stumble and
fall, and then the yellow devil would be upon him in a moment and the
joy of the kill would be too great a temptation to withstand.
So Tarzan swung quickly to a lower limb in line with the approaching
fugitives; and as Mr. Samuel T. Philander came panting and blowing
beneath him, already too spent to struggle up to the safety of the
limb, Tarzan reached down and, grasping him by the collar of his coat,
yanked him to the limb by his side.
Another moment brought the professor within the sphere of the friendly
grip, and he, too, was drawn upward to safety just as the baffled Numa,
with a roar, leaped to recover his vanishing quarry.
For a moment the two men clung panting to the great branch, while
Tarzan squatted with his back to the stem of the tree, watching them
with mingled curiosity and amusement.
It was the professor who first broke the silence.
"I am deeply pained, Mr. Philander, that you should have evinced such a
paucity of manly courage in the presence of one of the lower orders,
and by your crass timidity have caused me to exert myself to such an
unaccustomed degree in order that I might resume my discourse. As I
was saying, Mr. Philander, when you interrupted me, the Moors—"
"Professor Archimedes Q. Porter," broke in Mr. Philander, in icy tones,
"the time has arrived when patience becomes a crime and mayhem appears
garbed in the mantle of virtue. You have accused me of cowardice. You
have insinuated that you ran only to overtake me, not to escape the
clutches of the lion. Have a care, Professor Archimedes Q. Porter! I
am a desperate man. Goaded by long-suffering patience the worm will
"Tut, tut, Mr. Philander, tut, tut!" cautioned Professor Porter; "you
"I forget nothing as yet, Professor Archimedes Q. Porter; but, believe
me, sir, I am tottering on the verge of forgetfulness as to your
exalted position in the world of science, and your gray hairs."
The professor sat in silence for a few minutes, and the darkness hid
the grim smile that wreathed his wrinkled countenance. Presently he
"Look here, Skinny Philander," he said, in belligerent tones, "if you
are lookin' for a scrap, peel off your coat and come on down on the
ground, and I'll punch your head just as I did sixty years ago in the
alley back of Porky Evans' barn."
"Ark!" gasped the astonished Mr. Philander. "Lordy, how 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
"You certainly pulled me up into this tree just in time," said the
professor at last. "I want to thank you. You saved my life."
"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 with us."
"Eh?" ejaculated Professor Porter. "Are you quite positive, Mr.
"Most positive, Professor," replied Mr. Philander, "and," he added, "I
think we should thank the party. He may be sitting right next to you
"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
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
"Most remarkable, most remarkable," he said.
"To whom are you signaling, Professor?" asked Mr. Philander, in an
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 Professor Porter.
"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 Mr.
"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 my destination."
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.
"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
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 savage shore.
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
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 appetites.
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,
"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
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
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
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
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 backhanded compliment.
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
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
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 rat-faced
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' amongst ourselves."
"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.
"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 before spoken.
"Not by a damned sight," replied Snipes, fingering the butt of his
"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
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
"It might 'elp fool any as 'appened to be diggin' 'ereabouts," he
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
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
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 astonished Tarzan.
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
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 Negress asleep.
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 denotes sleep.
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
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 his life.
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
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
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 plain sailing.
Here is what he read:
WEST COAST OF AFRICA, ABOUT 10 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 came out.
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
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
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 16 degrees or 17
degrees 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
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 would say.
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
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
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
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
"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
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
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
The party in the camp, emboldened by familiarity, wandered farther and
yet farther into the jungle in search of nuts and fruit.
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
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 savage beast.
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
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 his plan.
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
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
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
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
"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
"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
"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 little
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 Clayton's heart.
"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
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
"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 the jungle.
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
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
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
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
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 hated enemy.
To Jane the strange apparition of this god-like man was as wine to sick
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
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 of love.
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 and underbrush.
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 under way.
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
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
The dead were wrapped in tarpaulins and lashed on deck to be identified
by their comrades before being consigned to the deep.
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 or not.
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
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
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
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
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
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 untracked jungle.
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 face 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
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 apprehension.
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 from Terkoz.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 her meal.
Together and in silence they ate, occasionally stealing sly glances at
one another, until finally Jane broke into a merry laugh in which
"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
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
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 at hand.
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
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
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 unexpected gift.
Jane shook her head vehemently and would have removed the golden links
from about her throat, but Tarzan would not let her. Taking her hands
in his, when she insisted upon it, he held them tightly to prevent her.
At last she desisted and with a little laugh raised the locket to her
Tarzan did not know precisely what she meant, but he guessed correctly
that it was her way of acknowledging the gift, and so he rose, and
taking the locket in his hand, stooped gravely like some courtier of
old, and pressed his lips upon it where hers had rested.
It was a stately and gallant little compliment performed with the grace
and dignity of utter unconsciousness of self. It was the hall-mark of
his aristocratic birth, the natural outcropping of many generations of
fine breeding, an hereditary instinct of graciousness which a lifetime
of uncouth and savage training and environment could not eradicate.
It was growing dark now, and so they ate again of the fruit which was
both food and drink for them; then Tarzan rose, and leading Jane to the
little bower he had erected, motioned her to go within.
For the first time in hours a feeling of fear swept over her, and
Tarzan felt her draw away as though shrinking from him.
Contact with this girl for half a day had left a very diferent Tarzan
from the one on whom the morning's sun had risen.
Now, in every fiber of his being, heredity spoke louder than training.
He had not in one swift transition become a polished gentleman from a
savage ape-man, but at last the instincts of the former predominated,
and over all was the desire to please the woman he loved, and to appear
well in her eyes.
So Tarzan of the Apes did the only thing he knew to assure Jane of her
safety. He removed his hunting knife from its sheath and handed it to
her hilt first, again motioning her into the bower.
The girl understood, and taking the long knife she entered and lay down
upon the soft grasses while Tarzan of the Apes stretched himself upon
the ground across the entrance.
And thus the rising sun found them in the morning.
When Jane awoke, she did not at first recall the strange events of the
preceding day, and so she wondered at her odd surroundings—the little
leafy bower, the soft grasses of her bed, the unfamiliar prospect from
the opening at her feet.
Slowly the circumstances of her position crept one by one into her
mind. And then a great wonderment arose in her heart—a mighty wave of
thankfulness and gratitude that though she had been in such terrible
danger, yet she was unharmed.
She moved to the entrance of the shelter to look for Tarzan. He was
gone; but this time no fear assailed her for she knew that he would
In the grass at the entrance to her bower she saw the imprint of his
body where he had lain all night to guard her. She knew that the fact
that he had been there was all that had permitted her to sleep in such
With him near, who could entertain fear? She wondered if there was
another man on earth with whom a girl could feel so safe in the heart
of this savage African jungle. Even the lions and panthers had no
fears for her now.
She looked up to see his lithe form drop softly from a near-by tree.
As he caught her eyes upon him his face lighted with that frank and
radiant smile that had won her confidence the day before.
As he approached her Jane's heart beat faster and her eyes brightened
as they had never done before at the approach of any man.
He had again been gathering fruit and this he laid at the entrance of
her bower. Once more they sat down together to eat.
Jane commenced to wonder what his plans were. Would he take her back
to the beach or would he keep her here? Suddenly she realized that the
matter did not seem to give her much concern. Could it be that she did
She began to comprehend, also, that she was entirely contented sitting
here by the side of this smiling giant eating delicious fruit in a
sylvan paradise far within the remote depths of an African jungle—that
she was contented and very happy.
She could not understand it. Her reason told her that she should be
torn by wild anxieties, weighted by dread fears, cast down by gloomy
forebodings; but instead, her heart was singing and she was smiling
into the answering face of the man beside her.
When they had finished their breakfast Tarzan went to her bower and
recovered his knife. The girl had entirely forgotten it. She realized
that it was because she had forgotten the fear that prompted her to
Motioning her to follow, Tarzan walked toward the trees at the edge of
the arena, and taking her in one strong arm swung to the branches above.
The girl knew that he was taking her back to her people, and she could
not understand the sudden feeling of loneliness and sorrow which crept
For hours they swung slowly along.
Tarzan of the Apes did not hurry. He tried to draw out the sweet
pleasure of that journey with those dear arms about his neck as long as
possible, and so he went far south of the direct route to the beach.
Several times they halted for brief rests, which Tarzan did not need,
and at noon they stopped for an hour at a little brook, where they
quenched their thirst, and ate.
So it was nearly sunset when they came to the clearing, and Tarzan,
dropping to the ground beside a great tree, parted the tall jungle
grass and pointed out the little cabin to her.
She took him by the hand to lead him to it, that she might tell her
father that this man had saved her from death and worse than death,
that he had watched over her as carefully as a mother might have done.
But again the timidity of the wild thing in the face of human
habitation swept over Tarzan of the Apes. He drew back, shaking his
The girl came close to him, looking up with pleading eyes. Somehow she
could not bear the thought of his going back into the terrible jungle
Still he shook his head, and finally he drew her to him very gently and
stooped to kiss her, but first he looked into her eyes and waited to
learn if she were pleased, or if she would repulse him.
Just an instant the girl hesitated, and then she realized the truth,
and throwing her arms about his neck she drew his face to hers and
"I love you—I love you," she murmured.
From far in the distance came the faint sound of many guns. Tarzan and
Jane raised their heads.
From the cabin came Mr. Philander and Esmeralda.
From where Tarzan and the girl stood they could not see the two vessels
lying at anchor in the harbor.
Tarzan pointed toward the sounds, touched his breast and pointed again.
She understood. He was going, and something told her that it was
because he thought her people were in danger.
Again he kissed her.
"Come back to me," she whispered. "I shall wait for you—always."
He was gone—and Jane turned to walk across the clearing to the cabin.
Mr. Philander was the first to see her. It was dusk and Mr. Philander
was very near sighted.
"Quickly, Esmeralda!" he cried. "Let us seek safety within; it is a
lioness. Bless me!"
Esmeralda did not bother to verify Mr. Philander's vision. His tone
was enough. She was within the cabin and had slammed and bolted the
door before he had finished pronouncing her name. The "Bless me" was
startled out of Mr. Philander by the discovery that Esmeralda, in the
exuberance of her haste, had fastened him upon the same side of the
door as was the close-approaching lioness.
He beat furiously upon the heavy portal.
"Esmeralda! Esmeralda!" he shrieked. "Let me in. I am being devoured
by a lion."
Esmeralda thought that the noise upon the door was made by the lioness
in her attempts to pursue her, so, after her custom, she fainted.
Mr. Philander cast a frightened glance behind him.
Horrors! The thing was quite close now. He tried to scramble up the
side of the cabin, and succeeded in catching a fleeting hold upon the
For a moment he hung there, clawing with his feet like a cat on a
clothesline, but presently a piece of the thatch came away, and Mr.
Philander, preceding it, was precipitated upon his back.
At the instant he fell a remarkable item of natural history leaped to
his mind. If one feigns death lions and lionesses are supposed to
ignore one, according to Mr. Philander's faulty memory.
So Mr. Philander lay as he had fallen, frozen into the horrid semblance
of death. As his arms and legs had been extended stiffly upward as he
came to earth upon his back the attitude of death was anything but
Jane had been watching his antics in mild-eyed surprise. Now she
laughed—a little choking gurgle of a laugh; but it was enough. Mr.
Philander rolled over upon his side and peered about. At length he
"Jane!" he cried. "Jane Porter. Bless me!"
He scrambled to his feet and rushed toward her. He could not believe
that it was she, and alive.
"Bless me!" Where did you come from? Where in the world have you
"Mercy, Mr. Philander," interrupted the girl, "I can never remember so
"Well, well," said Mr. Philander. "Bless me! I am so filled with
surprise and exuberant delight at seeing you safe and well again that I
scarcely know what I am saying, really. But come, tell me all that has
happened to you."
The Village of Torture
As the little expedition of sailors toiled through the dense jungle
searching for signs of Jane Porter, the futility of their venture
became more and more apparent, but the grief of the old man and the
hopeless eyes of the young Englishman prevented the kind hearted
D'Arnot from turning back.
He thought that there might be a bare possibility of finding her body,
or the remains of it, for he was positive that she had been devoured by
some beast of prey. He deployed his men into a skirmish line from the
point where Esmeralda had been found, and in this extended formation
they pushed their way, sweating and panting, through the tangled vines
and creepers. It was slow work. Noon found them but a few miles
inland. They halted for a brief rest then, and after pushing on for a
short distance further one of the men discovered a well-marked trail.
It was an old elephant track, and D'Arnot after consulting with
Professor Porter and Clayton decided to follow it.
The path wound through the jungle in a northeasterly direction, and
along it the column moved in single file.
Lieutenant D'Arnot was in the lead and moving at a quick pace, for the
trail was comparatively open. Immediately behind him came Professor
Porter, but as he could not keep pace with the younger man D'Arnot was
a hundred yards in advance when suddenly a half dozen black warriors
arose about him.
D'Arnot gave a warning shout to his column as the blacks closed on him,
but before he could draw his revolver he had been pinioned and dragged
into the jungle.
His cry had alarmed the sailors and a dozen of them sprang forward past
Professor Porter, running up the trail to their officer's aid.
They did not know the cause of his outcry, only that it was a warning
of danger ahead. They had rushed past the spot where D'Arnot had been
seized when a spear hurled from the jungle transfixed one of the men,
and then a volley of arrows fell among them.
Raising their rifles they fired into the underbrush in the direction
from which the missiles had come.
By this time the balance of the party had come up, and volley after
volley was fired toward the concealed foe. It was these shots that
Tarzan and Jane Porter had heard.
Lieutenant Charpentier, who had been bringing up the rear of the
column, now came running to the scene, and on hearing the details of
the ambush ordered the men to follow him, and plunged into the tangled
In an instant they were in a hand-to-hand fight with some fifty black
warriors of Mbonga's village. Arrows and bullets flew thick and fast.
Queer African knives and French gun butts mingled for a moment in
savage and bloody duels, but soon the natives fled into the jungle,
leaving the Frenchmen to count their losses.
Four of the twenty were dead, a dozen others were wounded, and
Lieutenant D'Arnot was missing. Night was falling rapidly, and their
predicament was rendered doubly worse when they could not even find the
elephant trail which they had been following.
There was but one thing to do, make camp where they were until
daylight. Lieutenant Charpentier ordered a clearing made and a
circular abatis of underbrush constructed about the camp.
This work was not completed until long after dark, the men building a
huge fire in the center of the clearing to give them light to work by.
When all was safe as possible against attack of wild beasts and savage
men, Lieutenant Charpentier placed sentries about the little camp and
the tired and hungry men threw themselves upon the ground to sleep.
The groans of the wounded, mingled with the roaring and growling of the
great beasts which the noise and firelight had attracted, kept sleep,
except in its most fitful form, from the tired eyes. It was a sad and
hungry party that lay through the long night praying for dawn.
The blacks who had seized D'Arnot had not waited to participate in the
fight which followed, but instead had dragged their prisoner a little
way through the jungle and then struck the trail further on beyond the
scene of the fighting in which their fellows were engaged.
They hurried him along, the sounds of battle growing fainter and
fainter as they drew away from the contestants until there suddenly
broke upon D'Arnot's vision a good-sized clearing at one end of which
stood a thatched and palisaded village.
It was now dusk, but the watchers at the gate saw the approaching trio
and distinguished one as a prisoner ere they reached the portals.
A cry went up within the palisade. A great throng of women and
children rushed out to meet the party.
And then began for the French officer the most terrifying experience
which man can encounter upon earth—the reception of a white prisoner
into a village of African cannibals.
To add to the fiendishness of their cruel savagery was the poignant
memory of still crueler barbarities practiced upon them and theirs by
the white officers of that arch hypocrite, Leopold II of Belgium,
because of whose atrocities they had fled the Congo Free State—a
pitiful remnant of what once had been a mighty tribe.
They fell upon D'Arnot tooth and nail, beating him with sticks and
stones and tearing at him with claw-like hands. Every vestige of
clothing was torn from him, and the merciless blows fell upon his bare
and quivering flesh. But not once did the Frenchman cry out in pain.
He breathed a silent prayer that he be quickly delivered from his
But the death he prayed for was not to be so easily had. Soon the
warriors beat the women away from their prisoner. He was to be saved
for nobler sport than this, and the first wave of their passion having
subsided they contented themselves with crying out taunts and insults
and spitting upon him.
Presently they reached the center of the village. There D'Arnot was
bound securely to the great post from which no live man had ever been
A number of the women scattered to their several huts to fetch pots and
water, while others built a row of fires on which portions of the feast
were to be boiled while the balance would be slowly dried in strips for
future use, as they expected the other warriors to return with many
prisoners. The festivities were delayed awaiting the return of the
warriors who had remained to engage in the skirmish with the white men,
so that it was quite late when all were in the village, and the dance
of death commenced to circle around the doomed officer.
Half fainting from pain and exhaustion, D'Arnot watched from beneath
half-closed lids what seemed but the vagary of delirium, or some horrid
nightmare from which he must soon awake.
The bestial faces, daubed with color—the huge mouths and flabby
hanging lips—the yellow teeth, sharp filed—the rolling, demon
eyes—the shining naked bodies—the cruel spears. Surely no such
creatures really existed upon earth—he must indeed be dreaming.
The savage, whirling bodies circled nearer. Now a spear sprang forth
and touched his arm. The sharp pain and the feel of hot, trickling
blood assured him of the awful reality of his hopeless position.
Another spear and then another touched him. He closed his eyes and
held his teeth firm set—he would not cry out.
He was a soldier of France, and he would teach these beasts how an
officer and a gentleman died.
Tarzan of the Apes needed no interpreter to translate the story of
those distant shots. With Jane Porter's kisses still warm upon his
lips he was swinging with incredible rapidity through the forest trees
straight toward the village of Mbonga.
He was not interested in the location of the encounter, for he judged
that that would soon be over. Those who were killed he could not aid,
those who escaped would not need his assistance.
It was to those who had neither been killed or escaped that he
hastened. And he knew that he would find them by the great post in the
center of Mbonga village.
Many times had Tarzan seen Mbonga's black raiding parties return from
the northward with prisoners, and always were the same scenes enacted
about that grim stake, beneath the flaring light of many fires.
He knew, too, that they seldom lost much time before consummating the
fiendish purpose of their captures. He doubted that he would arrive in
time to do more than avenge.
On he sped. Night had fallen and he traveled high along the upper
terrace where the gorgeous tropic moon lighted the dizzy pathway
through the gently undulating branches of the tree tops.
Presently he caught the reflection of a distant blaze. It lay to the
right of his path. It must be the light from the camp fire the two men
had built before they were attacked—Tarzan knew nothing of the
presence of the sailors.
So sure was Tarzan of his jungle knowledge that he did not turn from
his course, but passed the glare at a distance of a half mile. It was
the camp fire of the Frenchmen.
In a few minutes more Tarzan swung into the trees above Mbonga's
village. Ah, he was not quite too late! Or, was he? He could not
tell. The figure at the stake was very still, yet the black warriors
were but pricking it.
Tarzan knew their customs. The death blow had not been struck. He
could tell almost to a minute how far the dance had gone.
In another instant Mbonga's knife would sever one of the victim's
ears—that would mark the beginning of the end, for very shortly after
only a writhing mass of mutilated flesh would remain.
There would still be life in it, but death then would be the only
charity it craved.
The stake stood forty feet from the nearest tree. Tarzan coiled his
rope. Then there rose suddenly above the fiendish cries of the dancing
demons the awful challenge of the ape-man.
The dancers halted as though turned to stone.
The rope sped with singing whir high above the heads of the blacks. It
was quite invisible in the flaring lights of the camp fires.
D'Arnot opened his eyes. A huge black, standing directly before him,
lunged backward as though felled by an invisible hand.
Struggling and shrieking, his body, rolling from side to side, moved
quickly toward the shadows beneath the trees.
The blacks, their eyes protruding in horror, watched spellbound.
Once beneath the trees, the body rose straight into the air, and as it
disappeared into the foliage above, the terrified negroes, screaming
with fright, broke into a mad race for the village gate.
D'Arnot was left alone.
He was a brave man, but he had felt the short hairs bristle upon the
nape of his neck when that uncanny cry rose upon the air.
As the writhing body of the black soared, as though by unearthly power,
into the dense foliage of the forest, D'Arnot felt an icy shiver run
along his spine, as though death had risen from a dark grave and laid a
cold and clammy finger on his flesh.
As D'Arnot watched the spot where the body had entered the tree he
heard the sounds of movement there.
The branches swayed as though under the weight of a man's body—there
was a crash and the black came sprawling to earth again,—to lie very
quietly where he had fallen.
Immediately after him came a white body, but this one alighted erect.
D'Arnot saw a clean-limbed young giant emerge from the shadows into the
firelight and come quickly toward him.
What could it mean? Who could it be? Some new creature of torture and
D'Arnot waited. His eyes never left the face of the advancing man.
Nor did the other's frank, clear eyes waver beneath D'Arnot's fixed
D'Arnot was reassured, but still without much hope, though he felt that
that face could not mask a cruel heart.
Without a word Tarzan of the Apes cut the bonds which held the
Frenchman. Weak from suffering and loss of blood, he would have fallen
but for the strong arm that caught him.
He felt himself lifted from the ground. There was a sensation as of
flying, and then he lost consciousness.
The Search Party
When dawn broke upon the little camp of Frenchmen in the heart of the
jungle it found a sad and disheartened group.
As soon as it was light enough to see their surroundings Lieutenant
Charpentier sent men in groups of three in several directions to locate
the trail, and in ten minutes it was found and the expedition was
hurrying back toward the beach.
It was slow work, for they bore the bodies of six dead men, two more
having succumbed during the night, and several of those who were
wounded required support to move even very slowly.
Charpentier had decided to return to camp for reinforcements, and then
make an attempt to track down the natives and rescue D'Arnot.
It was late in the afternoon when the exhausted men reached the
clearing by the beach, but for two of them the return brought so great
a happiness that all their suffering and heartbreaking grief was
forgotten on the instant.
As the little party emerged from the jungle the first person that
Professor Porter and Cecil Clayton saw was Jane, standing by the cabin
With a little cry of joy and relief she ran forward to greet them,
throwing her arms about her father's neck and bursting into tears for
the first time since they had been cast upon this hideous and
Professor Porter strove manfully to suppress his own emotions, but the
strain upon his nerves and weakened vitality were too much for him, and
at length, burying his old face in the girl's shoulder, he sobbed
quietly like a tired child.
Jane led him toward the cabin, and the Frenchmen turned toward the
beach from which several of their fellows were advancing to meet them.
Clayton, wishing to leave father and daughter alone, joined the sailors
and remained talking with the officers until their boat pulled away
toward the cruiser whither Lieutenant Charpentier was bound to report
the unhappy outcome of his adventure.
Then Clayton turned back slowly toward the cabin. His heart was filled
with happiness. The woman he loved was safe.
He wondered by what manner of miracle she had been spared. To see her
alive seemed almost unbelievable.
As he approached the cabin he saw Jane coming out. When she saw him
she hurried forward to meet him.
"Jane!" he cried, "God has been good to us, indeed. Tell me how you
escaped—what form Providence took to save you for—us."
He had never before called her by her given name. Forty-eight hours
before it would have suffused Jane with a soft glow of pleasure to have
heard that name from Clayton's lips—now it frightened her.
"Mr. Clayton," she said quietly, extending her hand, "first let me
thank you for your chivalrous loyalty to my dear father. He has told
me how noble and self-sacrificing you have been. How can we repay you!"
Clayton noticed that she did not return his familiar salutation, but he
felt no misgivings on that score. She had been through so much. This
was no time to force his love upon her, he quickly realized.
"I am already repaid," he said. "Just to see you and Professor Porter
both safe, well, and together again. I do not think that I could much
longer have endured the pathos of his quiet and uncomplaining grief.
"It was the saddest experience of my life, Miss Porter; and then, added
to it, there was my own grief—the greatest I have ever known. But his
was so hopeless—his was pitiful. It taught me that no love, not even
that of a man for his wife may be so deep and terrible and
self-sacrificing as the love of a father for his daughter."
The girl bowed her head. There was a question she wanted to ask, but
it seemed almost sacrilegious in the face of the love of these two men
and the terrible suffering they had endured while she sat laughing and
happy beside a godlike creature of the forest, eating delicious fruits
and looking with eyes of love into answering eyes.
But love is a strange master, and human nature is still stranger, so
she asked her question.
"Where is the forest man who went to rescue you? Why did he not
"I do not understand," said Clayton. "Whom do you mean?"
"He who has saved each of us—who saved me from the gorilla."
"Oh," cried Clayton, in surprise. "It was he who rescued you? You
have not told me anything of your adventure, you know."
"But the wood man," she urged. "Have you not seen him? When we heard
the shots in the jungle, very faint and far away, he left me. We had
just reached the clearing, and he hurried off in the direction of the
fighting. I know he went to aid you."
Her tone was almost pleading—her manner tense with suppressed emotion.
Clayton could not but notice it, and he wondered, vaguely, why she was
so deeply moved—so anxious to know the whereabouts of this strange
Yet a feeling of apprehension of some impending sorrow haunted him, and
in his breast, unknown to himself, was implanted the first germ of
jealousy and suspicion of the ape-man, to whom he owed his life.
"We did not see him," he replied quietly. "He did not join us." And
then after a moment of thoughtful pause: "Possibly he joined his own
tribe—the men who attacked us." He did not know why he had said it,
for he did not believe it.
The girl looked at him wide eyed for a moment.
"No!" she exclaimed vehemently, much too vehemently he thought. "It
could not be. They were savages."
Clayton looked puzzled.
"He is a strange, half-savage creature of the jungle, Miss Porter. We
know nothing of him. He neither speaks nor understands any European
tongue—and his ornaments and weapons are those of the West Coast
Clayton was speaking rapidly.
"There are no other human beings than savages within hundreds of miles,
Miss Porter. He must belong to the tribes which attacked us, or to
some other equally savage—he may even be a cannibal."
"I will not believe it," she half whispered. "It is not true. You
shall see," she said, addressing Clayton, "that he will come back and
that he will prove that you are wrong. You do not know him as I do. I
tell you that he is a gentleman."
Clayton was a generous and chivalrous man, but something in the girl's
breathless defense of the forest man stirred him to unreasoning
jealousy, so that for the instant he forgot all that they owed to this
wild demi-god, and he answered her with a half sneer upon his lip.
"Possibly you are right, Miss Porter," he said, "but I do not think
that any of us need worry about our carrion-eating acquaintance. The
chances are that he is some half-demented castaway who will forget us
more quickly, but no more surely, than we shall forget him. He is only
a beast of the jungle, Miss Porter."
The girl did not answer, but she felt her heart shrivel within her.
She knew that Clayton spoke merely what he thought, and for the first
time she began to analyze the structure which supported her newfound
love, and to subject its object to a critical examination.
Slowly she turned and walked back to the cabin. She tried to imagine
her wood-god by her side in the saloon of an ocean liner. She saw him
eating with his hands, tearing his food like a beast of prey, and
wiping his greasy fingers upon his thighs. She shuddered.
She saw him as she introduced him to her friends—uncouth,
illiterate—a boor; and the girl winced.
She had reached her room now, and as she sat upon the edge of her bed
of ferns and grasses, with one hand resting upon her rising and falling
bosom, she felt the hard outlines of the man's locket.
She drew it out, holding it in the palm of her hand for a moment with
tear-blurred eyes bent upon it. Then she raised it to her lips, and
crushing it there buried her face in the soft ferns, sobbing.
"Beast?" she murmured. "Then God make me a beast; for, man or beast, I
She did not see Clayton again that day. Esmeralda brought her supper
to her, and she sent word to her father that she was suffering from the
reaction following her adventure.
The next morning Clayton left early with the relief expedition in
search of Lieutenant D'Arnot. There were two hundred armed men this
time, with ten officers and two surgeons, and provisions for a week.
They carried bedding and hammocks, the latter for transporting their
sick and wounded.
It was a determined and angry company—a punitive expedition as well as
one of relief. They reached the site of the skirmish of the previous
expedition shortly after noon, for they were now traveling a known
trail and no time was lost in exploring.
From there on the elephant-track led straight to Mbonga's village. It
was but two o'clock when the head of the column halted upon the edge of
Lieutenant Charpentier, who was in command, immediately sent a portion
of his force through the jungle to the opposite side of the village.
Another detachment was dispatched to a point before the village gate,
while he remained with the balance upon the south side of the clearing.
It was arranged that the party which was to take its position to the
north, and which would be the last to gain its station should commence
the assault, and that their opening volley should be the signal for a
concerted rush from all sides in an attempt to carry the village by
storm at the first charge.
For half an hour the men with Lieutenant Charpentier crouched in the
dense foliage of the jungle, waiting the signal. To them it seemed
like hours. They could see natives in the fields, and others moving in
and out of the village gate.
At length the signal came—a sharp rattle of musketry, and like one
man, an answering volley tore from the jungle to the west and to the
The natives in the field dropped their implements and broke madly for
the palisade. The French bullets mowed them down, and the French
sailors bounded over their prostrate bodies straight for the village
So sudden and unexpected the assault had been that the whites reached
the gates before the frightened natives could bar them, and in another
minute the village street was filled with armed men fighting hand to
hand in an inextricable tangle.
For a few moments the blacks held their ground within the entrance to
the street, but the revolvers, rifles and cutlasses of the Frenchmen
crumpled the native spearmen and struck down the black archers with
their bows halfdrawn.
Soon the battle turned to a wild rout, and then to a grim massacre; for
the French sailors had seen bits of D'Arnot's uniform upon several of
the black warriors who opposed them.
They spared the children and those of the women whom they were not
forced to kill in self-defense, but when at length they stopped,
parting, blood covered and sweating, it was because there lived to
oppose them no single warrior of all the savage village of Mbonga.
Carefully they ransacked every hut and corner of the village, but no
sign of D'Arnot could they find. They questioned the prisoners by
signs, and finally one of the sailors who had served in the French
Congo found that he could make them understand the bastard tongue that
passes for language between the whites and the more degraded tribes of
the coast, but even then they could learn nothing definite regarding
the fate of D'Arnot.
Only excited gestures and expressions of fear could they obtain in
response to their inquiries concerning their fellow; and at last they
became convinced that these were but evidences of the guilt of these
demons who had slaughtered and eaten their comrade two nights before.
At length all hope left them, and they prepared to camp for the night
within the village. The prisoners were herded into three huts where
they were heavily guarded. Sentries were posted at the barred gates,
and finally the village was wrapped in the silence of slumber, except
for the wailing of the native women for their dead.
The next morning they set out upon the return march. Their original
intention had been to burn the village, but this idea was abandoned and
the prisoners were left behind, weeping and moaning, but with roofs to
cover them and a palisade for refuge from the beasts of the jungle.
Slowly the expedition retraced its steps of the preceding day. Ten
loaded hammocks retarded its pace. In eight of them lay the more
seriously wounded, while two swung beneath the weight of the dead.
Clayton and Lieutenant Charpentier brought up the rear of the column;
the Englishman silent in respect for the other's grief, for D'Arnot and
Charpentier had been inseparable friends since boyhood.
Clayton could not but realize that the Frenchman felt his grief the
more keenly because D'Arnot's sacrifice had been so futile, since Jane
had been rescued before D'Arnot had fallen into the hands of the
savages, and again because the service in which he had lost his life
had been outside his duty and for strangers and aliens; but when he
spoke of it to Lieutenant Charpentier, the latter shook his head.
"No, Monsieur," he said, "D'Arnot would have chosen to die thus. I
only grieve that I could not have died for him, or at least with him.
I wish that you could have known him better, Monsieur. He was indeed
an officer and a gentleman—a title conferred on many, but deserved by
"He did not die futilely, for his death in the cause of a strange
American girl will make us, his comrades, face our ends the more
bravely, however they may come to us."
Clayton did not reply, but within him rose a new respect for Frenchmen
which remained undimmed ever after.
It was quite late when they reached the cabin by the beach. A single
shot before they emerged from the jungle had announced to those in camp
as well as on the ship that the expedition had been too late—for it
had been prearranged that when they came within a mile or two of camp
one shot was to be fired to denote failure, or three for success, while
two would have indicated that they had found no sign of either D'Arnot
or his black captors.
So it was a solemn party that awaited their coming, and few words were
spoken as the dead and wounded men were tenderly placed in boats and
rowed silently toward the cruiser.
Clayton, exhausted from his five days of laborious marching through the
jungle and from the effects of his two battles with the blacks, turned
toward the cabin to seek a mouthful of food and then the comparative
ease of his bed of grasses after two nights in the jungle.
By the cabin door stood Jane.
"The poor lieutenant?" she asked. "Did you find no trace of him?"
"We were too late, Miss Porter," he replied sadly.
"Tell me. What had happened?" she asked.
"I cannot, Miss Porter, it is too horrible."
"You do not mean that they had tortured him?" she whispered.
"We do not know what they did to him BEFORE they killed him," he
answered, his face drawn with fatigue and the sorrow he felt for poor
D'Arnot and he emphasized the word before.
"BEFORE they killed him! What do you mean? They are not—? They are
She was thinking of what Clayton had said of the forest man's probable
relationship to this tribe and she could not frame the awful word.
"Yes, Miss Porter, they were—cannibals," he said, almost bitterly, for
to him too had suddenly come the thought of the forest man, and the
strange, unaccountable jealousy he had felt two days before swept over
him once more.
And then in sudden brutality that was as unlike Clayton as courteous
consideration is unlike an ape, he blurted out:
"When your forest god left you he was doubtless hurrying to the feast."
He was sorry ere the words were spoken though he did not know how
cruelly they had cut the girl. His regret was for his baseless
disloyalty to one who had saved the lives of every member of his party,
and offered harm to none.
The girl's head went high.
"There could be but one suitable reply to your assertion, Mr. Clayton,"
she said icily, "and I regret that I am not a man, that I might make
it." She turned quickly and entered the cabin.
Clayton was an Englishman, so the girl had passed quite out of sight
before he deduced what reply a man would have made.
"Upon my word," he said ruefully, "she called me a liar. And I fancy I
jolly well deserved it," he added thoughtfully. "Clayton, my boy, I
know you are tired out and unstrung, but that's no reason why you
should make an ass of yourself. You'd better go to bed."
But before he did so he called gently to Jane upon the opposite side of
the sailcloth partition, for he wished to apologize, but he might as
well have addressed the Sphinx. Then he wrote upon a piece of paper
and shoved it beneath the partition.
Jane saw the little note and ignored it, for she was very angry and
hurt and mortified, but—she was a woman, and so eventually she picked
it up and read it.
MY DEAR MISS PORTER:
I had no reason to insinuate what I did. My only excuse is that my
nerves must be unstrung—which is no excuse at all.
Please try and think that I did not say it. I am very sorry. I would
not have hurt YOU, above all others in the world. Say that you forgive
WM. CECIL CLAYTON.
"He did think it or he never would have said it," reasoned the girl,
"but it cannot be true—oh, I know it is not true!"
One sentence in the letter frightened her: "I would not have hurt YOU
above all others in the world."
A week ago that sentence would have filled her with delight, now it
She wished she had never met Clayton. She was sorry that she had ever
seen the forest god. No, she was glad. And there was that other note
she had found in the grass before the cabin the day after her return
from the jungle, the love note signed by Tarzan of the Apes.
Who could be this new suitor? If he were another of the wild denizens
of this terrible forest what might he not do to claim her?
"Esmeralda! Wake up," she cried.
"You make me so irritable, sleeping there peacefully when you know
perfectly well that the world is filled with sorrow."
"Gaberelle!" screamed Esmeralda, sitting up. "What is it now? A
hipponocerous? Where is he, Miss Jane?"
"Nonsense, Esmeralda, there is nothing. Go back to sleep. You are bad
enough asleep, but you are infinitely worse awake."
"Yes honey, but what's the matter with you, precious? You acts sort of
disgranulated this evening."
"Oh, Esmeralda, I'm just plain ugly to-night," said the girl. "Don't
pay any attention to me—that's a dear."
"Yes, honey; now you go right to sleep. Your nerves are all on edge.
What with all these ripotamuses and man eating geniuses that Mister
Philander been telling about—Lord, it ain't no wonder we all get
Jane crossed the little room, laughing, and kissing the faithful woman,
bid Esmeralda good night.
When D'Arnot regained consciousness, he found himself lying upon a bed
of soft ferns and grasses beneath a little "A" shaped shelter of boughs.
At his feet an opening looked out upon a green sward, and at a little
distance beyond was the dense wall of jungle and forest.
He was very lame and sore and weak, and as full consciousness returned
he felt the sharp torture of many cruel wounds and the dull aching of
every bone and muscle in his body as a result of the hideous beating he
Even the turning of his head caused him such excruciating agony that he
lay still with closed eyes for a long time.
He tried to piece out the details of his adventure prior to the time he
lost consciousness to see if they would explain his present
whereabouts—he wondered if he were among friends or foes.
At length he recollected the whole hideous scene at the stake, and
finally recalled the strange white figure in whose arms he had sunk
D'Arnot wondered what fate lay in store for him now. He could neither
see nor hear any signs of life about him.
The incessant hum of the jungle—the rustling of millions of
leaves—the buzz of insects—the voices of the birds and monkeys seemed
blended into a strangely soothing purr, as though he lay apart, far
from the myriad life whose sounds came to him only as a blurred echo.
At length he fell into a quiet slumber, nor did he awake again until
Once more he experienced the strange sense of utter bewilderment that
had marked his earlier awakening, but soon he recalled the recent past,
and looking through the opening at his feet he saw the figure of a man
squatting on his haunches.
The broad, muscular back was turned toward him, but, tanned though it
was, D'Arnot saw that it was the back of a white man, and he thanked
The Frenchman called faintly. The man turned, and rising, came toward
the shelter. His face was very handsome—the handsomest, thought
D'Arnot, that he had ever seen.
Stooping, he crawled into the shelter beside the wounded officer, and
placed a cool hand upon his forehead.
D'Arnot spoke to him in French, but the man only shook his head—sadly,
it seemed to the Frenchman.
Then D'Arnot tried English, but still the man shook his head. Italian,
Spanish and German brought similar discouragement.
D'Arnot knew a few words of Norwegian, Russian, Greek, and also had a
smattering of the language of one of the West Coast negro tribes—the
man denied them all.
After examining D'Arnot's wounds the man left the shelter and
disappeared. In half an hour he was back with fruit and a hollow
gourd-like vegetable filled with water.
D'Arnot drank and ate a little. He was surprised that he had no fever.
Again he tried to converse with his strange nurse, but the attempt was
Suddenly the man hastened from the shelter only to return a few minutes
later with several pieces of bark and—wonder of wonders—a lead pencil.
Squatting beside D'Arnot he wrote for a minute on the smooth inner
surface of the bark; then he handed it to the Frenchman.
D'Arnot was astonished to see, in plain print-like characters, a
message in English:
I am Tarzan of the Apes. Who are you? Can you read this language?
D'Arnot seized the pencil—then he stopped. This strange man wrote
English—evidently he was an Englishman.
"Yes," said D'Arnot, "I read English. I speak it also. Now we may
talk. First let me thank you for all that you have done for me."
The man only shook his head and pointed to the pencil and the bark.
"MON DIEU!" cried D'Arnot. "If you are English why is it then that you
cannot speak English?"
And then in a flash it came to him—the man was a mute, possibly a deaf
So D'Arnot wrote a message on the bark, in English.
I am Paul d'Arnot, Lieutenant in the navy of France. I thank you for
what you have done for me. You have saved my life, and all that I have
is yours. May I ask how it is that one who writes English does not
Tarzan's reply filled D'Arnot with still greater wonder:
I speak only the language of my tribe—the great apes who were
Kerchak's; and a little of the languages of Tantor, the elephant, and
Numa, the lion, and of the other folks of the jungle I understand.
With a human being I have never spoken, except once with Jane Porter,
by signs. This is the first time I have spoken with another of my kind
through written words.
D'Arnot was mystified. It seemed incredible that there lived upon
earth a full-grown man who had never spoken with a fellow man, and
still more preposterous that such a one could read and write.
He looked again at Tarzan's message—"except once, with Jane Porter."
That was the American girl who had been carried into the jungle by a
A sudden light commenced to dawn on D'Arnot—this then was the
"gorilla." He seized the pencil and wrote:
Where is Jane Porter?
And Tarzan replied, below:
Back with her people in the cabin of Tarzan of the Apes.
She is not dead then? Where was she? What happened to her?
She is not dead. She was taken by Terkoz to be his wife; but Tarzan of
the Apes took her away from Terkoz and killed him before he could harm
None in all the jungle may face Tarzan of the Apes in battle, and live.
I am Tarzan of the Apes—mighty fighter.
I am glad she is safe. It pains me to write, I will rest a while.
And then Tarzan:
Yes, rest. When you are well I shall take you back to your people.
For many days D'Arnot lay upon his bed of soft ferns. The second day a
fever had come and D'Arnot thought that it meant infection and he knew
that he would die.
An idea came to him. He wondered why he had not thought of it before.
He called Tarzan and indicated by signs that he would write, and when
Tarzan had fetched the bark and pencil, D'Arnot wrote:
Can you go to my people and lead them here? I will write a message
that you may take to them, and they will follow you.
Tarzan shook his head and taking the bark, wrote:
I had thought of that—the first day; but I dared not. The great apes
come often to this spot, and if they found you here, wounded and alone,
they would kill you.
D'Arnot turned on his side and closed his eyes. He did not wish to
die; but he felt that he was going, for the fever was mounting higher
and higher. That night he lost consciousness.
For three days he was in delirium, and Tarzan sat beside him and bathed
his head and hands and washed his wounds.
On the fourth day the fever broke as suddenly as it had come, but it
left D'Arnot a shadow of his former self, and very weak. Tarzan had to
lift him that he might drink from the gourd.
The fever had not been the result of infection, as D'Arnot had thought,
but one of those that commonly attack whites in the jungles of Africa,
and either kill or leave them as suddenly as D'Arnot's had left him.
Two days later, D'Arnot was tottering about the amphitheater, Tarzan's
strong arm about him to keep him from falling.
They sat beneath the shade of a great tree, and Tarzan found some
smooth bark that they might converse.
D'Arnot wrote the first message:
What can I do to repay you for all that you have done for me?
And Tarzan, in reply:
Teach me to speak the language of men.
And so D'Arnot commenced at once, pointing out familiar objects and
repeating their names in French, for he thought that it would be easier
to teach this man his own language, since he understood it himself best
It meant nothing to Tarzan, of course, for he could not tell one
language from another, so when he pointed to the word man which he had
printed upon a piece of bark he learned from D'Arnot that it was
pronounced HOMME, and in the same way he was taught to pronounce ape,
SINGE and tree, ARBRE.
He was a most eager student, and in two more days had mastered so much
French that he could speak little sentences such as: "That is a tree,"
"this is grass," "I am hungry," and the like, but D'Arnot found that it
was difficult to teach him the French construction upon a foundation of
The Frenchman wrote little lessons for him in English and had Tarzan
repeat them in French, but as a literal translation was usually very
poor French Tarzan was often confused.
D'Arnot realized now that he had made a mistake, but it seemed too late
to go back and do it all over again and force Tarzan to unlearn all
that he had learned, especially as they were rapidly approaching a
point where they would be able to converse.
On the third day after the fever broke Tarzan wrote a message asking
D'Arnot if he felt strong enough to be carried back to the cabin.
Tarzan was as anxious to go as D'Arnot, for he longed to see Jane again.
It had been hard for him to remain with the Frenchman all these days
for that very reason, and that he had unselfishly done so spoke more
glowingly of his nobility of character than even did his rescuing the
French officer from Mbonga's clutches.
D'Arnot, only too willing to attempt the journey, wrote:
But you cannot carry me all the distance through this tangled forest.
"MAIS OUI," he said, and D'Arnot laughed aloud to hear the phrase that
he used so often glide from Tarzan's tongue.
So they set out, D'Arnot marveling as had Clayton and Jane at the
wondrous strength and agility of the apeman.
Mid-afternoon brought them to the clearing, and as Tarzan dropped to
earth from the branches of the last tree his heart leaped and bounded
against his ribs in anticipation of seeing Jane so soon again.
No one was in sight outside the cabin, and D'Arnot was perplexed to
note that neither the cruiser nor the Arrow was at anchor in the bay.
An atmosphere of loneliness pervaded the spot, which caught suddenly at
both men as they strode toward the cabin.
Neither spoke, yet both knew before they opened the closed door what
they would find beyond.
Tarzan lifted the latch and pushed the great door in upon its wooden
hinges. It was as they had feared. The cabin was deserted.
The men turned and looked at one another. D'Arnot knew that his people
thought him dead; but Tarzan thought only of the woman who had kissed
him in love and now had fled from him while he was serving one of her
A great bitterness rose in his heart. He would go away, far into the
jungle and join his tribe. Never would he see one of his own kind
again, nor could he bear the thought of returning to the cabin. He
would leave that forever behind him with the great hopes he had nursed
there of finding his own race and becoming a man among men.
And the Frenchman? D'Arnot? What of him? He could get along as
Tarzan had. Tarzan did not want to see him more. He wanted to get
away from everything that might remind him of Jane.
As Tarzan stood upon the threshold brooding, D'Arnot had entered the
cabin. Many comforts he saw that had been left behind. He recognized
numerous articles from the cruiser—a camp oven, some kitchen utensils,
a rifle and many rounds of ammunition, canned foods, blankets, two
chairs and a cot—and several books and periodicals, mostly American.
"They must intend returning," thought D'Arnot.
He walked over to the table that John Clayton had built so many years
before to serve as a desk, and on it he saw two notes addressed to
Tarzan of the Apes.
One was in a strong masculine hand and was unsealed. The other, in a
woman's hand, was sealed.
"Here are two messages for you, Tarzan of the Apes," cried D'Arnot,
turning toward the door; but his companion was not there.
D'Arnot walked to the door and looked out. Tarzan was nowhere in
sight. He called aloud but there was no response.
"MON DIEU!" exclaimed D'Arnot, "he has left me. I feel it. He has
gone back into his jungle and left me here alone."
And then he remembered the look on Tarzan's face when they had
discovered that the cabin was empty—such a look as the hunter sees in
the eyes of the wounded deer he has wantonly brought down.
The man had been hard hit—D'Arnot realized it now—but why? He could
The Frenchman looked about him. The loneliness and the horror of the
place commenced to get on his nerves—already weakened by the ordeal of
suffering and sickness he had passed through.
To be left here alone beside this awful jungle—never to hear a human
voice or see a human face—in constant dread of savage beasts and more
terribly savage men—a prey to solitude and hopelessness. It was awful.
And far to the east Tarzan of the Apes was speeding through the middle
terrace back to his tribe. Never had he traveled with such reckless
speed. He felt that he was running away from himself—that by hurtling
through the forest like a frightened squirrel he was escaping from his
own thoughts. But no matter how fast he went he found them always with
He passed above the sinuous body of Sabor, the lioness, going in the
opposite direction—toward the cabin, thought Tarzan.
What could D'Arnot do against Sabor—or if Bolgani, the gorilla, should
come upon him—or Numa, the lion, or cruel Sheeta?
Tarzan paused in his flight.
"What are you, Tarzan?" he asked aloud. "An ape or a man?"
"If you are an ape you will do as the apes would do—leave one of your
kind to die in the jungle if it suited your whim to go elsewhere.
"If you are a man, you will return to protect your kind. You will not
run away from one of your own people, because one of them has run away
D'Arnot closed the cabin door. He was very nervous. Even brave men,
and D'Arnot was a brave man, are sometimes frightened by solitude.
He loaded one of the rifles and placed it within easy reach. Then he
went to the desk and took up the unsealed letter addressed to Tarzan.
Possibly it contained word that his people had but left the beach
temporarily. He felt that it would be no breach of ethics to read this
letter, so he took the enclosure from the envelope and read:
TO TARZAN OF THE APES:
We thank you for the use of your cabin, and are sorry that you did not
permit us the pleasure of seeing and thanking you in person.
We have harmed nothing, but have left many things for you which may add
to your comfort and safety here in your lonely home.
If you know the strange white man who saved our lives so many times,
and brought us food, and if you can converse with him, thank him, also,
for his kindness.
We sail within the hour, never to return; but we wish you and that
other jungle friend to know that we shall always thank you for what you
did for strangers on your shore, and that we should have done
infinitely more to reward you both had you given us the opportunity.
WM. CECIL CLAYTON.
"'Never to return,'" muttered D'Arnot, and threw himself face downward
upon the cot.
An hour later he started up listening. Something was at the door
trying to enter.
D'Arnot reached for the loaded rifle and placed it to his shoulder.
Dusk was falling, and the interior of the cabin was very dark; but the
man could see the latch moving from its place.
He felt his hair rising upon his scalp.
Gently the door opened until a thin crack showed something standing
D'Arnot sighted along the blue barrel at the crack of the door—and
then he pulled the trigger.
When the expedition returned, following their fruitless endeavor to
succor D'Arnot, Captain Dufranne was anxious to steam away as quickly
as possible, and all save Jane had acquiesced.
"No," she said, determinedly, "I shall not go, nor should you, for
there are two friends in that jungle who will come out of it some day
expecting to find us awaiting them.
"Your officer, Captain Dufranne, is one of them, and the forest man who
has saved the lives of every member of my father's party is the other.
"He left me at the edge of the jungle two days ago to hasten to the aid
of my father and Mr. Clayton, as he thought, and he has stayed to
rescue Lieutenant D'Arnot; of that you may be sure.
"Had he been too late to be of service to the lieutenant he would have
been back before now—the fact that he is not back is sufficient proof
to me that he is delayed because Lieutenant D'Arnot is wounded, or he
has had to follow his captors further than the village which your
"But poor D'Arnot's uniform and all his belongings were found in that
village, Miss Porter," argued the captain, "and the natives showed
great excitement when questioned as to the white man's fate."
"Yes, Captain, but they did not admit that he was dead and as for his
clothes and accouterments being in their possession—why more civilized
peoples than these poor savage negroes strip their prisoners of every
article of value whether they intend killing them or not.
"Even the soldiers of my own dear South looted not only the living but
the dead. It is strong circumstantial evidence, I will admit, but it
is not positive proof."
"Possibly your forest man, himself was captured or killed by the
savages," suggested Captain Dufranne.
The girl laughed.
"You do not know him," she replied, a little thrill of pride setting
her nerves a-tingle at the thought that she spoke of her own.
"I admit that he would be worth waiting for, this superman of yours,"
laughed the captain. "I most certainly should like to see him."
"Then wait for him, my dear captain," urged the girl, "for I intend
The Frenchman would have been a very much surprised man could he have
interpreted the true meaning of the girl's words.
They had been walking from the beach toward the cabin as they talked,
and now they joined a little group sitting on camp stools in the shade
of a great tree beside the cabin.
Professor Porter was there, and Mr. Philander and Clayton, with
Lieutenant Charpentier and two of his brother officers, while Esmeralda
hovered in the background, ever and anon venturing opinions and
comments with the freedom of an old and much-indulged family servant.
The officers arose and saluted as their superior approached, and
Clayton surrendered his camp stool to Jane.
"We were just discussing poor Paul's fate," said Captain Dufranne.
"Miss Porter insists that we have no absolute proof of his death—nor
have we. And on the other hand she maintains that the continued
absence of your omnipotent jungle friend indicates that D'Arnot is
still in need of his services, either because he is wounded, or still
is a prisoner in a more distant native village."
"It has been suggested," ventured Lieutenant Charpentier, "that the
wild man may have been a member of the tribe of blacks who attacked our
party—that he was hastening to aid THEM—his own people."
Jane shot a quick glance at Clayton.
"It seems vastly more reasonable," said Professor Porter.
"I do not agree with you," objected Mr. Philander. "He had ample
opportunity to harm us himself, or to lead his people against us.
Instead, during our long residence here, he has been uniformly
consistent in his role of protector and provider."
"That is true," interjected Clayton, "yet we must not overlook the fact
that except for himself the only human beings within hundreds of miles
are savage cannibals. He was armed precisely as are they, which
indicates that he has maintained relations of some nature with them,
and the fact that he is but one against possibly thousands suggests
that these relations could scarcely have been other than friendly."
"It seems improbable then that he is not connected with them," remarked
the captain; "possibly a member of this tribe."
"Otherwise," added another of the officers, "how could he have lived a
sufficient length of time among the savage denizens of the jungle,
brute and human, to have become proficient in woodcraft, or in the use
of African weapons."
"You are judging him according to your own standards, gentlemen," said
Jane. "An ordinary white man such as any of you—pardon me, I did not
mean just that—rather, a white man above the ordinary in physique and
intelligence could never, I grant you, have lived a year alone and
naked in this tropical jungle; but this man not only surpasses the
average white man in strength and agility, but as far transcends our
trained athletes and 'strong men' as they surpass a day-old babe; and
his courage and ferocity in battle are those of the wild beast."
"He has certainly won a loyal champion, Miss Porter," said Captain
Dufranne, laughing. "I am sure that there be none of us here but would
willingly face death a hundred times in its most terrifying forms to
deserve the tributes of one even half so loyal—or so beautiful."
"You would not wonder that I defend him," said the girl, "could you
have seen him as I saw him, battling in my behalf with that huge hairy
"Could you have seen him charge the monster as a bull might charge a
grizzly—absolutely without sign of fear or hesitation—you would have
believed him more than human.
"Could you have seen those mighty muscles knotting under the brown
skin—could you have seen them force back those awful fangs—you too
would have thought him invincible.
"And could you have seen the chivalrous treatment which he accorded a
strange girl of a strange race, you would feel the same absolute
confidence in him that I feel."
"You have won your suit, my fair pleader," cried the captain. "This
court finds the defendant not guilty, and the cruiser shall wait a few
days longer that he may have an opportunity to come and thank the
"For the Lord's sake honey," cried Esmeralda. "You all don't mean to
tell ME that you're going to stay right here in this here land of
carnivable animals when you all got the opportunity to escapade on that
boat? Don't you tell me THAT, honey."
"Why, Esmeralda! You should be ashamed of yourself," cried Jane. "Is
this any way to show your gratitude to the man who saved your life
"Well, Miss Jane, that's all jest as you say; but that there forest man
never did save us to stay here. He done save us so we all could get
AWAY from here. I expect he be mighty peevish when he find we ain't
got no more sense than to stay right here after he done give us the
chance to get away.
"I hoped I'd never have to sleep in this here geological garden another
night and listen to all them lonesome noises that come out of that
jumble after dark."
"I don't blame you a bit, Esmeralda," said Clayton, "and you certainly
did hit it off right when you called them 'lonesome' noises. I never
have been able to find the right word for them but that's it, don't you
know, lonesome noises."
"You and Esmeralda had better go and live on the cruiser," said Jane,
in fine scorn. "What would you think if you HAD to live all of your
life in that jungle as our forest man has done?"
"I'm afraid I'd be a blooming bounder as a wild man," laughed Clayton,
ruefully. "Those noises at night make the hair on my head bristle. I
suppose that I should be ashamed to admit it, but it's the truth."
"I don't know about that," said Lieutenant Charpentier. "I never
thought much about fear and that sort of thing—never tried to
determine whether I was a coward or brave man; but the other night as
we lay in the jungle there after poor D'Arnot was taken, and those
jungle noises rose and fell around us I began to think that I was a
coward indeed. It was not the roaring and growling of the big beasts
that affected me so much as it was the stealthy noises—the ones that
you heard suddenly close by and then listened vainly for a repetition
of—the unaccountable sounds as of a great body moving almost
noiselessly, and the knowledge that you didn't KNOW how close it was,
or whether it were creeping closer after you ceased to hear it? It was
those noises—and the eyes.
"MON DIEU! I shall see them in the dark forever—the eyes that you
see, and those that you don't see, but feel—ah, they are the worst."
All were silent for a moment, and then Jane spoke.
"And he is out there," she said, in an awe-hushed whisper. "Those eyes
will be glaring at him to-night, and at your comrade Lieutenant
D'Arnot. Can you leave them, gentlemen, without at least rendering
them the passive succor which remaining here a few days longer might
"Tut, tut, child," said Professor Porter. "Captain Dufranne is willing
to remain, and for my part I am perfectly willing, perfectly
willing—as I always have been to humor your childish whims."
"We can utilize the morrow in recovering the chest, Professor,"
suggested Mr. Philander.
"Quite so, quite so, Mr. Philander, I had almost forgotten the
treasure," exclaimed Professor Porter. "Possibly we can borrow some
men from Captain Dufranne to assist us, and one of the prisoners to
point out the location of the chest."
"Most assuredly, my dear Professor, we are all yours to command," said
And so it was arranged that on the next day Lieutenant Charpentier was
to take a detail of ten men, and one of the mutineers of the Arrow as a
guide, and unearth the treasure; and that the cruiser would remain for
a full week in the little harbor. At the end of that time it was to be
assumed that D'Arnot was truly dead, and that the forest man would not
return while they remained. Then the two vessels were to leave with
all the party.
Professor Porter did not accompany the treasure-seekers on the
following day, but when he saw them returning empty-handed toward noon,
he hastened forward to meet them—his usual preoccupied indifference
entirely vanished, and in its place a nervous and excited manner.
"Where is the treasure?" he cried to Clayton, while yet a hundred feet
Clayton shook his head.
"Gone," he said, as he neared the professor.
"Gone! It cannot be. Who could have taken it?" cried Professor Porter.
"God only knows, Professor," replied Clayton. "We might have thought
the fellow who guided us was lying about the location, but his surprise
and consternation on finding no chest beneath the body of the murdered
Snipes were too real to be feigned. And then our spades showed us that
SOMETHING had been buried beneath the corpse, for a hole had been there
and it had been filled with loose earth."
"But who could have taken it?" repeated Professor Porter.
"Suspicion might naturally fall on the men of the cruiser," said
Lieutenant Charpentier, "but for the fact that sub-lieutenant Janviers
here assures me that no men have had shore leave—that none has been on
shore since we anchored here except under command of an officer. I do
not know that you would suspect our men, but I am glad that there is
now no chance for suspicion to fall on them," he concluded.
"It would never have occurred to me to suspect the men to whom we owe
so much," replied Professor Porter, graciously. "I would as soon
suspect my dear Clayton here, or Mr. Philander."
The Frenchmen smiled, both officers and sailors. It was plain to see
that a burden had been lifted from their minds.
"The treasure has been gone for some time," continued Clayton. "In
fact the body fell apart as we lifted it, which indicates that whoever
removed the treasure did so while the corpse was still fresh, for it
was intact when we first uncovered it."
"There must have been several in the party," said Jane, who had joined
them. "You remember that it took four men to carry it."
"By jove!" cried Clayton. "That's right. It must have been done by a
party of blacks. Probably one of them saw the men bury the chest and
then returned immediately after with a party of his friends, and
carried it off."
"Speculation is futile," said Professor Porter sadly. "The chest is
gone. We shall never see it again, nor the treasure that was in it."
Only Jane knew what the loss meant to her father, and none there knew
what it meant to her.
Six days later Captain Dufranne announced that they would sail early on
Jane would have begged for a further reprieve, had it not been that she
too had begun to believe that her forest lover would return no more.
In spite of herself she began to entertain doubts and fears. The
reasonableness of the arguments of these disinterested French officers
commenced to convince her against her will.
That he was a cannibal she would not believe, but that he was an
adopted member of some savage tribe at length seemed possible to her.
She would not admit that he could be dead. It was impossible to
believe that that perfect body, so filled with triumphant life, could
ever cease to harbor the vital spark—as soon believe that immortality
As Jane permitted herself to harbor these thoughts, others equally
unwelcome forced themselves upon her.
If he belonged to some savage tribe he had a savage wife—a dozen of
them perhaps—and wild, half-caste children. The girl shuddered, and
when they told her that the cruiser would sail on the morrow she was
It was she, though, who suggested that arms, ammunition, supplies and
comforts be left behind in the cabin, ostensibly for that intangible
personality who had signed himself Tarzan of the Apes, and for D'Arnot
should he still be living, but really, she hoped, for her forest
god—even though his feet should prove of clay.
And at the last minute she left a message for him, to be transmitted by
Tarzan of the Apes.
She was the last to leave the cabin, returning on some trivial pretext
after the others had started for the boat.
She kneeled down beside the bed in which she had spent so many nights,
and offered up a prayer for the safety of her primeval man, and
crushing his locket to her lips she murmured:
"I love you, and because I love you I believe in you. But if I did not
believe, still should I love. Had you come back for me, and had there
been no other way, I would have gone into the jungle with you—forever."
The Outpost of the World
With the report of his gun D'Arnot saw the door fly open and the figure
of a man pitch headlong within onto the cabin floor.
The Frenchman in his panic raised his gun to fire again into the
prostrate form, but suddenly in the half dusk of the open door he saw
that the man was white and in another instant realized that he had shot
his friend and protector, Tarzan of the Apes.
With a cry of anguish D'Arnot sprang to the ape-man's side, and
kneeling, lifted the latter's head in his arms—calling Tarzan's name
There was no response, and then D'Arnot placed his ear above the man's
heart. To his joy he heard its steady beating beneath.
Carefully he lifted Tarzan to the cot, and then, after closing and
bolting the door, he lighted one of the lamps and examined the wound.
The bullet had struck a glancing blow upon the skull. There was an
ugly flesh wound, but no signs of a fracture of the skull.
D'Arnot breathed a sigh of relief, and went about bathing the blood
from Tarzan's face.
Soon the cool water revived him, and presently he opened his eyes to
look in questioning surprise at D'Arnot.
The latter had bound the wound with pieces of cloth, and as he saw that
Tarzan had regained consciousness he arose and going to the table wrote
a message, which he handed to the ape-man, explaining the terrible
mistake he had made and how thankful he was that the wound was not more
Tarzan, after reading the message, sat on the edge of the couch and
"It is nothing," he said in French, and then, his vocabulary failing
him, he wrote:
You should have seen what Bolgani did to me, and Kerchak, and Terkoz,
before I killed them—then you would laugh at such a little scratch.
D'Arnot handed Tarzan the two messages that had been left for him.
Tarzan read the first one through with a look of sorrow on his face.
The second one he turned over and over, searching for an opening—he
had never seen a sealed envelope before. At length he handed it to
The Frenchman had been watching him, and knew that Tarzan was puzzled
over the envelope. How strange it seemed that to a full-grown white
man an envelope was a mystery. D'Arnot opened it and handed the letter
back to Tarzan.
Sitting on a camp stool the ape-man spread the written sheet before him
TO TARZAN OF THE APES:
Before I leave let me add my thanks to those of Mr. Clayton for the
kindness you have shown in permitting us the use of your cabin.
That you never came to make friends with us has been a great regret to
us. We should have liked so much to have seen and thanked our host.
There is another I should like to thank also, but he did not come back,
though I cannot believe that he is dead.
I do not know his name. He is the great white giant who wore the
diamond locket upon his breast.
If you know him and can speak his language carry my thanks to him, and
tell him that I waited seven days for him to return.
Tell him, also, that in my home in America, in the city of Baltimore,
there will always be a welcome for him if he cares to come.
I found a note you wrote me lying among the leaves beneath a tree near
the cabin. I do not know how you learned to love me, who have never
spoken to me, and I am very sorry if it is true, for I have already
given my heart to another.
But know that I am always your friend,
Tarzan sat with gaze fixed upon the floor for nearly an hour. It was
evident to him from the notes that they did not know that he and Tarzan
of the Apes were one and the same.
"I have given my heart to another," he repeated over and over again to
Then she did not love him! How could she have pretended love, and
raised him to such a pinnacle of hope only to cast him down to such
utter depths of despair!
Maybe her kisses were only signs of friendship. How did he know, who
knew nothing of the customs of human beings?
Suddenly he arose, and, bidding D'Arnot good night as he had learned to
do, threw himself upon the couch of ferns that had been Jane Porter's.
D'Arnot extinguished the lamp, and lay down upon the cot.
For a week they did little but rest, D'Arnot coaching Tarzan in French.
At the end of that time the two men could converse quite easily.
One night, as they were sitting within the cabin before retiring,
Tarzan turned to D'Arnot.
"Where is America?" he said.
D'Arnot pointed toward the northwest.
"Many thousands of miles across the ocean," he replied. "Why?"
"I am going there."
D'Arnot shook his head.
"It is impossible, my friend," he said.
Tarzan rose, and, going to one of the cupboards, returned with a
Turning to a map of the world, he said:
"I have never quite understood all this; explain it to me, please."
When D'Arnot had done so, showing him that the blue represented all the
water on the earth, and the bits of other colors the continents and
islands, Tarzan asked him to point out the spot where they now were.
D'Arnot did so.
"Now point out America," said Tarzan.
And as D'Arnot placed his finger upon North America, Tarzan smiled and
laid his palm upon the page, spanning the great ocean that lay between
the two continents.
"You see it is not so very far," he said; "scarce the width of my hand."
D'Arnot laughed. How could he make the man understand?
Then he took a pencil and made a tiny point upon the shore of Africa.
"This little mark," he said, "is many times larger upon this map than
your cabin is upon the earth. Do you see now how very far it is?"
Tarzan thought for a long time.
"Do any white men live in Africa?" he asked.
"Where are the nearest?"
D'Arnot pointed out a spot on the shore just north of them.
"So close?" asked Tarzan, in surprise.
"Yes," said D'Arnot; "but it is not close."
"Have they big boats to cross the ocean?"
"We shall go there to-morrow," announced Tarzan.
Again D'Arnot smiled and shook his head.
"It is too far. We should die long before we reached them."
"Do you wish to stay here then forever?" asked Tarzan.
"No," said D'Arnot.
"Then we shall start to-morrow. I do not like it here longer. I
should rather die than remain here."
"Well," answered D'Arnot, with a shrug, "I do not know, my friend, but
that I also would rather die than remain here. If you go, I shall go
"It is settled then," said Tarzan. "I shall start for America
"How will you get to America without money?" asked D'Arnot.
"What is money?" inquired Tarzan.
It took a long time to make him understand even imperfectly.
"How do men get money?" he asked at last.
"They work for it."
"Very well. I will work for it, then."
"No, my friend," returned D'Arnot, "you need not worry about money, nor
need you work for it. I have enough money for two—enough for twenty.
Much more than is good for one man and you shall have all you need if
ever we reach civilization."
So on the following day they started north along the shore. Each man
carrying a rifle and ammunition, beside bedding and some food and
The latter seemed to Tarzan a most useless encumbrance, so he threw his
"But you must learn to eat cooked food, my friend," remonstrated
D'Arnot. "No civilized men eat raw flesh."
"There will be time enough when I reach civilization," said Tarzan. "I
do not like the things and they only spoil the taste of good meat."
For a month they traveled north. Sometimes finding food in plenty and
again going hungry for days.
They saw no signs of natives nor were they molested by wild beasts.
Their journey was a miracle of ease.
Tarzan asked questions and learned rapidly. D'Arnot taught him many of
the refinements of civilization—even to the use of knife and fork; but
sometimes Tarzan would drop them in disgust and grasp his food in his
strong brown hands, tearing it with his molars like a wild beast.
Then D'Arnot would expostulate with him, saying:
"You must not eat like a brute, Tarzan, while I am trying to make a
gentleman of you. MON DIEU! Gentlemen do not thus—it is terrible."
Tarzan would grin sheepishly and pick up his knife and fork again, but
at heart he hated them.
On the journey he told D'Arnot about the great chest he had seen the
sailors bury; of how he had dug it up and carried it to the gathering
place of the apes and buried it there.
"It must be the treasure chest of Professor Porter," said D'Arnot. "It
is too bad, but of course you did not know."
Then Tarzan recalled the letter written by Jane to her friend—the one
he had stolen when they first came to his cabin, and now he knew what
was in the chest and what it meant to Jane.
"To-morrow we shall go back after it," he announced to D'Arnot.
"Go back?" exclaimed D'Arnot. "But, my dear fellow, we have now been
three weeks upon the march. It would require three more to return to
the treasure, and then, with that enormous weight which required, you
say, four sailors to carry, it would be months before we had again
reached this spot."
"It must be done, my friend," insisted Tarzan. "You may go on toward
civilization, and I will return for the treasure. I can go very much
"I have a better plan, Tarzan," exclaimed D'Arnot. "We shall go on
together to the nearest settlement, and there we will charter a boat
and sail back down the coast for the treasure and so transport it
easily. That will be safer and quicker and also not require us to be
separated. What do you think of that plan?"
"Very well," said Tarzan. "The treasure will be there whenever we go
for it; and while I could fetch it now, and catch up with you in a moon
or two, I shall feel safer for you to know that you are not alone on
the trail. When I see how helpless you are, D'Arnot, I often wonder
how the human race has escaped annihilation all these ages which you
tell me about. Why, Sabor, single handed, could exterminate a thousand
"You will think more highly of your genus when you have seen its armies
and navies, its great cities, and its mighty engineering works. Then
you will realize that it is mind, and not muscle, that makes the human
animal greater than the mighty beasts of your jungle.
"Alone and unarmed, a single man is no match for any of the larger
beasts; but if ten men were together, they would combine their wits and
their muscles against their savage enemies, while the beasts, being
unable to reason, would never think of combining against the men.
Otherwise, Tarzan of the Apes, how long would you have lasted in the
"You are right, D'Arnot," replied Tarzan, "for if Kerchak had come to
Tublat's aid that night at the Dum-Dum, there would have been an end of
me. But Kerchak could never think far enough ahead to take advantage
of any such opportunity. Even Kala, my mother, could never plan ahead.
She simply ate what she needed when she needed it, and if the supply
was very scarce, even though she found plenty for several meals, she
would never gather any ahead.
"I remember that she used to think it very silly of me to burden myself
with extra food upon the march, though she was quite glad to eat it
with me, if the way chanced to be barren of sustenance."
"Then you knew your mother, Tarzan?" asked D'Arnot, in surprise.
"Yes. She was a great, fine ape, larger than I, and weighing twice as
"And your father?" asked D'Arnot.
"I did not know him. Kala told me he was a white ape, and hairless
like myself. I know now that he must have been a white man."
D'Arnot looked long and earnestly at his companion.
"Tarzan," he said at length, "it is impossible that the ape, Kala, was
your mother. If such a thing can be, which I doubt, you would have
inherited some of the characteristics of the ape, but you have not—you
are pure man, and, I should say, the offspring of highly bred and
intelligent parents. Have you not the slightest clue to your past?"
"Not the slightest," replied Tarzan.
"No writings in the cabin that might have told something of the lives
of its original inmates?"
"I have read everything that was in the cabin with the exception of one
book which I know now to be written in a language other than English.
Possibly you can read it."
Tarzan fished the little black diary from the bottom of his quiver, and
handed it to his companion.
D'Arnot glanced at the title page.
"It is the diary of John Clayton, Lord Greystoke, an English nobleman,
and it is written in French," he said.
Then he proceeded to read the diary that had been written over twenty
years before, and which recorded the details of the story which we
already know—the story of adventure, hardships and sorrow of John
Clayton and his wife Alice, from the day they left England until an
hour before he was struck down by Kerchak.
D'Arnot read aloud. At times his voice broke, and he was forced to
stop reading for the pitiful hopelessness that spoke between the lines.
Occasionally he glanced at Tarzan; but the ape-man sat upon his
haunches, like a carven image, his eyes fixed upon the ground.
Only when the little babe was mentioned did the tone of the diary alter
from the habitual note of despair which had crept into it by degrees
after the first two months upon the shore.
Then the passages were tinged with a subdued happiness that was even
sadder than the rest.
One entry showed an almost hopeful spirit.
To-day our little boy is six months old. He is sitting in Alice's lap
beside the table where I am writing—a happy, healthy, perfect child.
Somehow, even against all reason, I seem to see him a grown man, taking
his father's place in the world—the second John Clayton—and bringing
added honors to the house of Greystoke.
There—as though to give my prophecy the weight of his endorsement—he
has grabbed my pen in his chubby fists and with his inkbegrimed little
fingers has placed the seal of his tiny finger prints upon the page.
And there, on the margin of the page, were the partially blurred
imprints of four wee fingers and the outer half of the thumb.
When D'Arnot had finished the diary the two men sat in silence for some
"Well! Tarzan of the Apes, what think you?" asked D'Arnot. "Does not
this little book clear up the mystery of your parentage?
"Why man, you are Lord Greystoke."
"The book speaks of but one child," he replied. "Its little skeleton
lay in the crib, where it died crying for nourishment, from the first
time I entered the cabin until Professor Porter's party buried it, with
its father and mother, beside the cabin.
"No, that was the babe the book speaks of—and the mystery of my origin
is deeper than before, for I have thought much of late of the
possibility of that cabin having been my birthplace. I am afraid that
Kala spoke the truth," he concluded sadly.
D'Arnot shook his head. He was unconvinced, and in his mind had sprung
the determination to prove the correctness of his theory, for he had
discovered the key which alone could unlock the mystery, or consign it
forever to the realms of the unfathomable.
A week later the two men came suddenly upon a clearing in the forest.
In the distance were several buildings surrounded by a strong palisade.
Between them and the enclosure stretched a cultivated field in which a
number of negroes were working.
The two halted at the edge of the jungle.
Tarzan fitted his bow with a poisoned arrow, but D'Arnot placed a hand
upon his arm.
"What would you do, Tarzan?" he asked.
"They will try to kill us if they see us," replied Tarzan. "I prefer
to be the killer."
"Maybe they are friends," suggested D'Arnot.
"They are black," was Tarzan's only reply.
And again he drew back his shaft.
"You must not, Tarzan!" cried D'Arnot. "White men do not kill
wantonly. MON DIEU! but you have much to learn.
"I pity the ruffian who crosses you, my wild man, when I take you to
Paris. I will have my hands full keeping your neck from beneath the
Tarzan lowered his bow and smiled.
"I do not know why I should kill the blacks back there in my jungle,
yet not kill them here. Suppose Numa, the lion, should spring out upon
us, I should say, then, I presume: Good morning, Monsieur Numa, how is
Madame Numa; eh?"
"Wait until the blacks spring upon you," replied D'Arnot, "then you may
kill them. Do not assume that men are your enemies until they prove
"Come," said Tarzan, "let us go and present ourselves to be killed,"
and he started straight across the field, his head high held and the
tropical sun beating upon his smooth, brown skin.
Behind him came D'Arnot, clothed in some garments which had been
discarded at the cabin by Clayton when the officers of the French
cruiser had fitted him out in more presentable fashion.
Presently one of the blacks looked up, and beholding Tarzan, turned,
shrieking, toward the palisade.
In an instant the air was filled with cries of terror from the fleeing
gardeners, but before any had reached the palisade a white man emerged
from the enclosure, rifle in hand, to discover the cause of the
What he saw brought his rifle to his shoulder, and Tarzan of the Apes
would have felt cold lead once again had not D'Arnot cried loudly to
the man with the leveled gun:
"Do not fire! We are friends!"
"Halt, then!" was the reply.
"Stop, Tarzan!" cried D'Arnot. "He thinks we are enemies."
Tarzan dropped into a walk, and together he and D'Arnot advanced toward
the white man by the gate.
The latter eyed them in puzzled bewilderment.
"What manner of men are you?" he asked, in French.
"White men," replied D'Arnot. "We have been lost in the jungle for a
The man had lowered his rifle and now advanced with outstretched hand.
"I am Father Constantine of the French Mission here," he said, "and I
am glad to welcome you."
"This is Monsieur Tarzan, Father Constantine," replied D'Arnot,
indicating the ape-man; and as the priest extended his hand to Tarzan,
D'Arnot added: "and I am Paul D'Arnot, of the French Navy."
Father Constantine took the hand which Tarzan extended in imitation of
the priest's act, while the latter took in the superb physique and
handsome face in one quick, keen glance.
And thus came Tarzan of the Apes to the first outpost of civilization.
For a week they remained there, and the ape-man, keenly observant,
learned much of the ways of men; meanwhile black women sewed white duck
garments for himself and D'Arnot so that they might continue their
journey properly clothed.
The Height of Civilization
Another month brought them to a little group of buildings at the mouth
of a wide river, and there Tarzan saw many boats, and was filled with
the timidity of the wild thing by the sight of many men.
Gradually he became accustomed to the strange noises and the odd ways
of civilization, so that presently none might know that two short
months before, this handsome Frenchman in immaculate white ducks, who
laughed and chatted with the gayest of them, had been swinging naked
through primeval forests to pounce upon some unwary victim, which, raw,
was to fill his savage belly.
The knife and fork, so contemptuously flung aside a month before,
Tarzan now manipulated as exquisitely as did the polished D'Arnot.
So apt a pupil had he been that the young Frenchman had labored
assiduously to make of Tarzan of the Apes a polished gentleman in so
far as nicety of manners and speech were concerned.
"God made you a gentleman at heart, my friend," D'Arnot had said; "but
we want His works to show upon the exterior also."
As soon as they had reached the little port, D'Arnot had cabled his
government of his safety, and requested a three-months' leave, which
had been granted.
He had also cabled his bankers for funds, and the enforced wait of a
month, under which both chafed, was due to their inability to charter a
vessel for the return to Tarzan's jungle after the treasure.
During their stay at the coast town "Monsieur Tarzan" became the wonder
of both whites and blacks because of several occurrences which to
Tarzan seemed the merest of nothings.
Once a huge black, crazed by drink, had run amuck and terrorized the
town, until his evil star had led him to where the black-haired French
giant lolled upon the veranda of the hotel.
Mounting the broad steps, with brandished knife, the Negro made
straight for a party of four men sitting at a table sipping the
Shouting in alarm, the four took to their heels, and then the black
With a roar he charged the ape-man, while half a hundred heads peered
from sheltering windows and doorways to witness the butchering of the
poor Frenchman by the giant black.
Tarzan met the rush with the fighting smile that the joy of battle
always brought to his lips.
As the Negro closed upon him, steel muscles gripped the black wrist of
the uplifted knife-hand, and a single swift wrench left the hand
dangling below a broken bone.
With the pain and surprise, the madness left the black man, and as
Tarzan dropped back into his chair the fellow turned, crying with
agony, and dashed wildly toward the native village.
On another occasion as Tarzan and D'Arnot sat at dinner with a number
of other whites, the talk fell upon lions and lion hunting.
Opinion was divided as to the bravery of the king of beasts—some
maintaining that he was an arrant coward, but all agreeing that it was
with a feeling of greater security that they gripped their express
rifles when the monarch of the jungle roared about a camp at night.
D'Arnot and Tarzan had agreed that his past be kept secret, and so none
other than the French officer knew of the ape-man's familiarity with
the beasts of the jungle.
"Monsieur Tarzan has not expressed himself," said one of the party. "A
man of his prowess who has spent some time in Africa, as I understand
Monsieur Tarzan has, must have had experiences with lions—yes?"
"Some," replied Tarzan, dryly. "Enough to know that each of you are
right in your judgment of the characteristics of the lions—you have
met. But one might as well judge all blacks by the fellow who ran
amuck last week, or decide that all whites are cowards because one has
met a cowardly white.
"There is as much individuality among the lower orders, gentlemen, as
there is among ourselves. Today we may go out and stumble upon a lion
which is over-timid—he runs away from us. To-morrow we may meet his
uncle or his twin brother, and our friends wonder why we do not return
from the jungle. For myself, I always assume that a lion is ferocious,
and so I am never caught off my guard."
"There would be little pleasure in hunting," retorted the first
speaker, "if one is afraid of the thing he hunts."
D'Arnot smiled. Tarzan afraid!
"I do not exactly understand what you mean by fear," said Tarzan.
"Like lions, fear is a different thing in different men, but to me the
only pleasure in the hunt is the knowledge that the hunted thing has
power to harm me as much as I have to harm him. If I went out with a
couple of rifles and a gun bearer, and twenty or thirty beaters, to
hunt a lion, I should not feel that the lion had much chance, and so
the pleasure of the hunt would be lessened in proportion to the
increased safety which I felt."
"Then I am to take it that Monsieur Tarzan would prefer to go naked
into the jungle, armed only with a jackknife, to kill the king of
beasts," laughed the other, good naturedly, but with the merest touch
of sarcasm in his tone.
"And a piece of rope," added Tarzan.
Just then the deep roar of a lion sounded from the distant jungle, as
though to challenge whoever dared enter the lists with him.
"There is your opportunity, Monsieur Tarzan," bantered the Frenchman.
"I am not hungry," said Tarzan simply.
The men laughed, all but D'Arnot. He alone knew that a savage beast
had spoken its simple reason through the lips of the ape-man.
"But you are afraid, just as any of us would be, to go out there naked,
armed only with a knife and a piece of rope," said the banterer. "Is
it not so?"
"No," replied Tarzan. "Only a fool performs any act without reason."
"Five thousand francs is a reason," said the other. "I wager you that
amount you cannot bring back a lion from the jungle under the
conditions we have named—naked and armed only with a knife and a piece
Tarzan glanced toward D'Arnot and nodded his head.
"Make it ten thousand," said D'Arnot.
"Done," replied the other.
"I shall have to leave my clothes at the edge of the settlement, so
that if I do not return before daylight I shall have something to wear
through the streets."
"You are not going now," exclaimed the wagerer—"at night?"
"Why not?" asked Tarzan. "Numa walks abroad at night—it will be
easier to find him."
"No," said the other, "I do not want your blood upon my hands. It will
be foolhardy enough if you go forth by day."
"I shall go now," replied Tarzan, and went to his room for his knife
The men accompanied him to the edge of the jungle, where he left his
clothes in a small storehouse.
But when he would have entered the blackness of the undergrowth they
tried to dissuade him; and the wagerer was most insistent of all that
he abandon his foolhardy venture.
"I will accede that you have won," he said, "and the ten thousand
francs are yours if you will but give up this foolish attempt, which
can only end in your death."
Tarzan laughed, and in another moment the jungle had swallowed him.
The men stood silent for some moments and then slowly turned and walked
back to the hotel veranda.
Tarzan had no sooner entered the jungle than he took to the trees, and
it was with a feeling of exultant freedom that he swung once more
through the forest branches.
This was life! Ah, how he loved it! Civilization held nothing like
this in its narrow and circumscribed sphere, hemmed in by restrictions
and conventionalities. Even clothes were a hindrance and a nuisance.
At last he was free. He had not realized what a prisoner he had been.
How easy it would be to circle back to the coast, and then make toward
the south and his own jungle and cabin.
Now he caught the scent of Numa, for he was traveling up wind.
Presently his quick ears detected the familiar sound of padded feet and
the brushing of a huge, fur-clad body through the undergrowth.
Tarzan came quietly above the unsuspecting beast and silently stalked
him until he came into a little patch of moonlight.
Then the quick noose settled and tightened about the tawny throat, and,
as he had done it a hundred times in the past, Tarzan made fast the end
to a strong branch and, while the beast fought and clawed for freedom,
dropped to the ground behind him, and leaping upon the great back,
plunged his long thin blade a dozen times into the fierce heart.
Then with his foot upon the carcass of Numa, he raised his voice in the
awesome victory cry of his savage tribe.
For a moment Tarzan stood irresolute, swayed by conflicting emotions of
loyalty to D'Arnot and a mighty lust for the freedom of his own jungle.
At last the vision of a beautiful face, and the memory of warm lips
crushed to his dissolved the fascinating picture he had been drawing of
his old life.
The ape-man threw the warm carcass of Numa across his shoulders and
took to the trees once more.
The men upon the veranda had sat for an hour, almost in silence.
They had tried ineffectually to converse on various subjects, and
always the thing uppermost in the mind of each had caused the
conversation to lapse.
"MON DIEU," said the wagerer at length, "I can endure it no longer. I
am going into the jungle with my express and bring back that mad man."
"I will go with you," said one.
"And I"—"And I"—"And I," chorused the others.
As though the suggestion had broken the spell of some horrid nightmare
they hastened to their various quarters, and presently were headed
toward the jungle—each one heavily armed.
"God! What was that?" suddenly cried one of the party, an Englishman,
as Tarzan's savage cry came faintly to their ears.
"I heard the same thing once before," said a Belgian, "when I was in
the gorilla country. My carriers said it was the cry of a great bull
ape who has made a kill."
D'Arnot remembered Clayton's description of the awful roar with which
Tarzan had announced his kills, and he half smiled in spite of the
horror which filled him to think that the uncanny sound could have
issued from a human throat—from the lips of his friend.
As the party stood finally near the edge of the jungle, debating as to
the best distribution of their forces, they were startled by a low
laugh near them, and turning, beheld advancing toward them a giant
figure bearing a dead lion upon its broad shoulders.
Even D'Arnot was thunderstruck, for it seemed impossible that the man
could have so quickly dispatched a lion with the pitiful weapons he had
taken, or that alone he could have borne the huge carcass through the
The men crowded about Tarzan with many questions, but his only answer
was a laughing depreciation of his feat.
To Tarzan it was as though one should eulogize a butcher for his
heroism in killing a cow, for Tarzan had killed so often for food and
for self-preservation that the act seemed anything but remarkable to
him. But he was indeed a hero in the eyes of these men—men accustomed
to hunting big game.
Incidentally, he had won ten thousand francs, for D'Arnot insisted that
he keep it all.
This was a very important item to Tarzan, who was just commencing to
realize the power which lay beyond the little pieces of metal and paper
which always changed hands when human beings rode, or ate, or slept, or
clothed themselves, or drank, or worked, or played, or sheltered
themselves from the rain or cold or sun.
It had become evident to Tarzan that without money one must die.
D'Arnot had told him not to worry, since he had more than enough for
both, but the ape-man was learning many things and one of them was that
people looked down upon one who accepted money from another without
giving something of equal value in exchange.
Shortly after the episode of the lion hunt, D'Arnot succeeded in
chartering an ancient tub for the coastwise trip to Tarzan's
It was a happy morning for them both when the little vessel weighed
anchor and made for the open sea.
The trip to the beach was uneventful, and the morning after they
dropped anchor before the cabin, Tarzan, garbed once more in his jungle
regalia and carrying a spade, set out alone for the amphitheater of the
apes where lay the treasure.
Late the next day he returned, bearing the great chest upon his
shoulder, and at sunrise the little vessel worked through the harbor's
mouth and took up her northward journey.
Three weeks later Tarzan and D'Arnot were passengers on board a French
steamer bound for Lyons, and after a few days in that city D'Arnot took
Tarzan to Paris.
The ape-man was anxious to proceed to America, but D'Arnot insisted
that he must accompany him to Paris first, nor would he divulge the
nature of the urgent necessity upon which he based his demand.
One of the first things which D'Arnot accomplished after their arrival
was to arrange to visit a high official of the police department, an
old friend; and to take Tarzan with him.
Adroitly D'Arnot led the conversation from point to point until the
policeman had explained to the interested Tarzan many of the methods in
vogue for apprehending and identifying criminals.
Not the least interesting to Tarzan was the part played by finger
prints in this fascinating science.
"But of what value are these imprints," asked Tarzan, "when, after a
few years the lines upon the fingers are entirely changed by the
wearing out of the old tissue and the growth of new?"
"The lines never change," replied the official. "From infancy to
senility the fingerprints of an individual change only in size, except
as injuries alter the loops and whorls. But if imprints have been
taken of the thumb and four fingers of both hands one must needs lose
all entirely to escape identification."
"It is marvelous," exclaimed D'Arnot. "I wonder what the lines upon my
own fingers may resemble."
"We can soon see," replied the police officer, and ringing a bell he
summoned an assistant to whom he issued a few directions.
The man left the room, but presently returned with a little hardwood
box which he placed on his superior's desk.
"Now," said the officer, "you shall have your fingerprints in a second."
He drew from the little case a square of plate glass, a little tube of
thick ink, a rubber roller, and a few snowy white cards.
Squeezing a drop of ink onto the glass, he spread it back and forth
with the rubber roller until the entire surface of the glass was
covered to his satisfaction with a very thin and uniform layer of ink.
"Place the four fingers of your right hand upon the glass, thus," he
said to D'Arnot. "Now the thumb. That is right. Now place them in
just the same position upon this card, here, no—a little to the right.
We must leave room for the thumb and the fingers of the left hand.
There, that's it. Now the same with the left."
"Come, Tarzan," cried D'Arnot, "let's see what your whorls look like."
Tarzan complied readily, asking many questions of the officer during
"Do fingerprints show racial characteristics?" he asked. "Could you
determine, for example, solely from fingerprints whether the subject
was Negro or Caucasian?"
"I think not," replied the officer.
"Could the finger prints of an ape be detected from those of a man?"
"Probably, because the ape's would be far simpler than those of the
"But a cross between an ape and a man might show the characteristics of
either progenitor?" continued Tarzan.
"Yes, I should think likely," responded the official; "but the science
has not progressed sufficiently to render it exact enough in such
matters. I should hate to trust its findings further than to
differentiate between individuals. There it is absolute. No two
people born into the world probably have ever had identical lines upon
all their digits. It is very doubtful if any single fingerprint will
ever be exactly duplicated by any finger other than the one which
originally made it."
"Does the comparison require much time or labor?" asked D'Arnot.
"Ordinarily but a few moments, if the impressions are distinct."
D'Arnot drew a little black book from his pocket and commenced turning
Tarzan looked at the book in surprise. How did D'Arnot come to have
Presently D'Arnot stopped at a page on which were five tiny little
He handed the open book to the policeman.
"Are these imprints similar to mine or Monsieur Tarzan's or can you say
that they are identical with either?" The officer drew a powerful glass
from his desk and examined all three specimens carefully, making
notations meanwhile upon a pad of paper.
Tarzan realized now what was the meaning of their visit to the police
The answer to his life's riddle lay in these tiny marks.
With tense nerves he sat leaning forward in his chair, but suddenly he
relaxed and dropped back, smiling.
D'Arnot looked at him in surprise.
"You forget that for twenty years the dead body of the child who made
those fingerprints lay in the cabin of his father, and that all my life
I have seen it lying there," said Tarzan bitterly.
The policeman looked up in astonishment.
"Go ahead, captain, with your examination," said D'Arnot, "we will tell
you the story later—provided Monsieur Tarzan is agreeable."
Tarzan nodded his head.
"But you are mad, my dear D'Arnot," he insisted. "Those little fingers
are buried on the west coast of Africa."
"I do not know as to that, Tarzan," replied D'Arnot. "It is possible,
but if you are not the son of John Clayton then how in heaven's name
did you come into that God forsaken jungle where no white man other
than John Clayton had ever set foot?"
"You forget—Kala," said Tarzan.
"I do not even consider her," replied D'Arnot.
The friends had walked to the broad window overlooking the boulevard as
they talked. For some time they stood there gazing out upon the busy
throng beneath, each wrapped in his own thoughts.
"It takes some time to compare finger prints," thought D'Arnot, turning
to look at the police officer.
To his astonishment he saw the official leaning back in his chair
hastily scanning the contents of the little black diary.
D'Arnot coughed. The policeman looked up, and, catching his eye,
raised his finger to admonish silence. D'Arnot turned back to the
window, and presently the police officer spoke.
"Gentlemen," he said.
Both turned toward him.
"There is evidently a great deal at stake which must hinge to a greater
or lesser extent upon the absolute correctness of this comparison. I
therefore ask that you leave the entire matter in my hands until
Monsieur Desquerc, our expert returns. It will be but a matter of a
"I had hoped to know at once," said D'Arnot. "Monsieur Tarzan sails
for America tomorrow."
"I will promise that you can cable him a report within two weeks,"
replied the officer; "but what it will be I dare not say. There are
resemblances, yet—well, we had better leave it for Monsieur Desquerc
The Giant Again
A taxicab drew up before an oldfashioned residence upon the outskirts
A man of about forty, well built and with strong, regular features,
stepped out, and paying the chauffeur dismissed him.
A moment later the passenger was entering the library of the old home.
"Ah, Mr. Canler!" exclaimed an old man, rising to greet him.
"Good evening, my dear Professor," cried the man, extending a cordial
"Who admitted you?" asked the professor.
"Then she will acquaint Jane with the fact that you are here," said the
"No, Professor," replied Canler, "for I came primarily to see you."
"Ah, I am honored," said Professor Porter.
"Professor," continued Robert Canler, with great deliberation, as
though carefully weighing his words, "I have come this evening to speak
with you about Jane.
"You know my aspirations, and you have been generous enough to approve
Professor Archimedes Q. Porter fidgeted in his armchair. The subject
always made him uncomfortable. He could not understand why. Canler
was a splendid match.
"But Jane," continued Canler, "I cannot understand her. She puts me
off first on one ground and then another. I have always the feeling
that she breathes a sigh of relief every time I bid her good-by."
"Tut, tut," said Professor Porter. "Tut, tut, Mr. Canler. Jane is a
most obedient daughter. She will do precisely as I tell her."
"Then I can still count on your support?" asked Canler, a tone of
relief marking his voice.
"Certainly, sir; certainly, sir," exclaimed Professor Porter. "How
could you doubt it?"
"There is young Clayton, you know," suggested Canler. "He has been
hanging about for months. I don't know that Jane cares for him; but
beside his title they say he has inherited a very considerable estate
from his father, and it might not be strange,—if he finally won her,
unless—" and Canler paused.
"Tut—tut, Mr. Canler; unless—what?"
"Unless, you see fit to request that Jane and I be married at once,"
said Canler, slowly and distinctly.
"I have already suggested to Jane that it would be desirable," said
Professor Porter sadly, "for we can no longer afford to keep up this
house, and live as her associations demand."
"What was her reply?" asked Canler.
"She said she was not ready to marry anyone yet," replied Professor
Porter, "and that we could go and live upon the farm in northern
Wisconsin which her mother left her.
"It is a little more than self-supporting. The tenants have always
made a living from it, and been able to send Jane a trifle beside, each
year. She is planning on our going up there the first of the week.
Philander and Mr. Clayton have already gone to get things in readiness
"Clayton has gone there?" exclaimed Canler, visibly chagrined. "Why
was I not told? I would gladly have gone and seen that every comfort
"Jane feels that we are already too much in your debt, Mr. Canler,"
said Professor Porter.
Canler was about to reply, when the sound of footsteps came from the
hall without, and Jane entered the room.
"Oh, I beg your pardon!" she exclaimed, pausing on the threshold. "I
thought you were alone, papa."
"It is only I, Jane," said Canler, who had risen, "won't you come in
and join the family group? We were just speaking of you."
"Thank you," said Jane, entering and taking the chair Canler placed for
her. "I only wanted to tell papa that Tobey is coming down from the
college tomorrow to pack his books. I want you to be sure, papa, to
indicate all that you can do without until fall. Please don't carry
this entire library to Wisconsin, as you would have carried it to
Africa, if I had not put my foot down."
"Was Tobey here?" asked Professor Porter.
"Yes, I just left him. He and Esmeralda are exchanging religious
experiences on the back porch now."
"Tut, tut, I must see him at once!" cried the professor. "Excuse me
just a moment, children," and the old man hastened from the room.
As soon as he was out of earshot Canler turned to Jane.
"See here, Jane," he said bluntly. "How long is this thing going on
like this? You haven't refused to marry me, but you haven't promised
either. I want to get the license tomorrow, so that we can be married
quietly before you leave for Wisconsin. I don't care for any fuss or
feathers, and I'm sure you don't either."
The girl turned cold, but she held her head bravely.
"Your father wishes it, you know," added Canler.
"Yes, I know."
She spoke scarcely above a whisper.
"Do you realize that you are buying me, Mr. Canler?" she said finally,
and in a cold, level voice. "Buying me for a few paltry dollars? Of
course you do, Robert Canler, and the hope of just such a contingency
was in your mind when you loaned papa the money for that hair-brained
escapade, which but for a most mysterious circumstance would have been
"But you, Mr. Canler, would have been the most surprised. You had no
idea that the venture would succeed. You are too good a businessman
for that. And you are too good a businessman to loan money for buried
treasure seeking, or to loan money without security—unless you had
some special object in view.
"You knew that without security you had a greater hold on the honor of
the Porters than with it. You knew the one best way to force me to
marry you, without seeming to force me.
"You have never mentioned the loan. In any other man I should have
thought that the prompting of a magnanimous and noble character. But
you are deep, Mr. Robert Canler. I know you better than you think I
"I shall certainly marry you if there is no other way, but let us
understand each other once and for all."
While she spoke Robert Canler had alternately flushed and paled, and
when she ceased speaking he arose, and with a cynical smile upon his
strong face, said:
"You surprise me, Jane. I thought you had more self-control—more
pride. Of course you are right. I am buying you, and I knew that you
knew it, but I thought you would prefer to pretend that it was
otherwise. I should have thought your self respect and your Porter
pride would have shrunk from admitting, even to yourself, that you were
a bought woman. But have it your own way, dear girl," he added
lightly. "I am going to have you, and that is all that interests me."
Without a word the girl turned and left the room.
Jane was not married before she left with her father and Esmeralda for
her little Wisconsin farm, and as she coldly bid Robert Canler goodby
as her train pulled out, he called to her that he would join them in a
week or two.
At their destination they were met by Clayton and Mr. Philander in a
huge touring car belonging to the former, and quickly whirled away
through the dense northern woods toward the little farm which the girl
had not visited before since childhood.
The farmhouse, which stood on a little elevation some hundred yards
from the tenant house, had undergone a complete transformation during
the three weeks that Clayton and Mr. Philander had been there.
The former had imported a small army of carpenters and plasterers,
plumbers and painters from a distant city, and what had been but a
dilapidated shell when they reached it was now a cosy little two-story
house filled with every modern convenience procurable in so short a
"Why, Mr. Clayton, what have you done?" cried Jane Porter, her heart
sinking within her as she realized the probable size of the expenditure
that had been made.
"S-sh," cautioned Clayton. "Don't let your father guess. If you don't
tell him he will never notice, and I simply couldn't think of him
living in the terrible squalor and sordidness which Mr. Philander and I
found. It was so little when I would like to do so much, Jane. For
his sake, please, never mention it."
"But you know that we can't repay you," cried the girl. "Why do you
want to put me under such terrible obligations?"
"Don't, Jane," said Clayton sadly. "If it had been just you, believe
me, I wouldn't have done it, for I knew from the start that it would
only hurt me in your eyes, but I couldn't think of that dear old man
living in the hole we found here. Won't you please believe that I did
it just for him and give me that little crumb of pleasure at least?"
"I do believe you, Mr. Clayton," said the girl, "because I know you are
big enough and generous enough to have done it just for him—and, oh
Cecil, I wish I might repay you as you deserve—as you would wish."
"Why can't you, Jane?"
"Because I love another."
"But you are going to marry him. He told me as much before I left
The girl winced.
"I do not love him," she said, almost proudly.
"Is it because of the money, Jane?"
"Then am I so much less desirable than Canler? I have money enough,
and far more, for every need," he said bitterly.
"I do not love you, Cecil," she said, "but I respect you. If I must
disgrace myself by such a bargain with any man, I prefer that it be one
I already despise. I should loathe the man to whom I sold myself
without love, whomsoever he might be. You will be happier," she
concluded, "alone—with my respect and friendship, than with me and my
He did not press the matter further, but if ever a man had murder in
his heart it was William Cecil Clayton, Lord Greystoke, when, a week
later, Robert Canler drew up before the farmhouse in his purring six
A week passed; a tense, uneventful, but uncomfortable week for all the
inmates of the little Wisconsin farmhouse.
Canler was insistent that Jane marry him at once.
At length she gave in from sheer loathing of the continued and hateful
It was agreed that on the morrow Canler was to drive to town and bring
back the license and a minister.
Clayton had wanted to leave as soon as the plan was announced, but the
girl's tired, hopeless look kept him. He could not desert her.
Something might happen yet, he tried to console himself by thinking.
And in his heart, he knew that it would require but a tiny spark to
turn his hatred for Canler into the blood lust of the killer.
Early the next morning Canler set out for town.
In the east smoke could be seen lying low over the forest, for a fire
had been raging for a week not far from them, but the wind still lay in
the west and no danger threatened them.
About noon Jane started off for a walk. She would not let Clayton
accompany her. She wanted to be alone, she said, and he respected her
In the house Professor Porter and Mr. Philander were immersed in an
absorbing discussion of some weighty scientific problem. Esmeralda
dozed in the kitchen, and Clayton, heavy-eyed after a sleepless night,
threw himself down upon the couch in the living room and soon dropped
into a fitful slumber.
To the east the black smoke clouds rose higher into the heavens,
suddenly they eddied, and then commenced to drift rapidly toward the
On and on they came. The inmates of the tenant house were gone, for it
was market day, and none was there to see the rapid approach of the
Soon the flames had spanned the road to the south and cut off Canler's
return. A little fluctuation of the wind now carried the path of the
forest fire to the north, then blew back and the flames nearly stood
still as though held in leash by some master hand.
Suddenly, out of the northeast, a great black car came careening down
With a jolt it stopped before the cottage, and a black-haired giant
leaped out to run up onto the porch. Without a pause he rushed into
the house. On the couch lay Clayton. The man started in surprise, but
with a bound was at the side of the sleeping man.
Shaking him roughly by the shoulder, he cried:
"My God, Clayton, are you all mad here? Don't you know you are nearly
surrounded by fire? Where is Miss Porter?"
Clayton sprang to his feet. He did not recognize the man, but he
understood the words and was upon the veranda in a bound.
"Scott!" he cried, and then, dashing back into the house, "Jane! Jane!
where are you?"
In an instant Esmeralda, Professor Porter and Mr. Philander had joined
the two men.
"Where is Miss Jane?" cried Clayton, seizing Esmeralda by the shoulders
and shaking her roughly.
"Oh, Gaberelle, Mister Clayton, she done gone for a walk."
"Hasn't she come back yet?" and, without waiting for a reply, Clayton
dashed out into the yard, followed by the others. "Which way did she
go?" cried the black-haired giant of Esmeralda.
"Down that road," cried the frightened woman, pointing toward the south
where a mighty wall of roaring flames shut out the view.
"Put these people in the other car," shouted the stranger to Clayton.
"I saw one as I drove up—and get them out of here by the north road.
"Leave my car here. If I find Miss Porter we shall need it. If I
don't, no one will need it. Do as I say," as Clayton hesitated, and
then they saw the lithe figure bound away cross the clearing toward the
northwest where the forest still stood, untouched by flame.
In each rose the unaccountable feeling that a great responsibility had
been raised from their shoulders; a kind of implicit confidence in the
power of the stranger to save Jane if she could be saved.
"Who was that?" asked Professor Porter.
"I do not know," replied Clayton. "He called me by name and he knew
Jane, for he asked for her. And he called Esmeralda by name."
"There was something most startlingly familiar about him," exclaimed
Mr. Philander, "And yet, bless me, I know I never saw him before."
"Tut, tut!" cried Professor Porter. "Most remarkable! Who could it
have been, and why do I feel that Jane is safe, now that he has set out
in search of her?"
"I can't tell you, Professor," said Clayton soberly, "but I know I have
the same uncanny feeling."
"But come," he cried, "we must get out of here ourselves, or we shall
be shut off," and the party hastened toward Clayton's car.
When Jane turned to retrace her steps homeward, she was alarmed to note
how near the smoke of the forest fire seemed, and as she hastened
onward her alarm became almost a panic when she perceived that the
rushing flames were rapidly forcing their way between herself and the
At length she was compelled to turn into the dense thicket and attempt
to force her way to the west in an effort to circle around the flames
and reach the house.
In a short time the futility of her attempt became apparent and then
her one hope lay in retracing her steps to the road and flying for her
life to the south toward the town.
The twenty minutes that it took her to regain the road was all that had
been needed to cut off her retreat as effectually as her advance had
been cut off before.
A short run down the road brought her to a horrified stand, for there
before her was another wall of flame. An arm of the main conflagration
had shot out a half mile south of its parent to embrace this tiny strip
of road in its implacable clutches.
Jane knew that it was useless again to attempt to force her way through
She had tried it once, and failed. Now she realized that it would be
but a matter of minutes ere the whole space between the north and the
south would be a seething mass of billowing flames.
Calmly the girl kneeled down in the dust of the roadway and prayed for
strength to meet her fate bravely, and for the delivery of her father
and her friends from death.
Suddenly she heard her name being called aloud through the forest:
"Jane! Jane Porter!" It rang strong and clear, but in a strange voice.
"Here!" she called in reply. "Here! In the roadway!"
Then through the branches of the trees she saw a figure swinging with
the speed of a squirrel.
A veering of the wind blew a cloud of smoke about them and she could no
longer see the man who was speeding toward her, but suddenly she felt a
great arm about her. Then she was lifted up, and she felt the rushing
of the wind and the occasional brush of a branch as she was borne along.
She opened her eyes.
Far below her lay the undergrowth and the hard earth.
About her was the waving foliage of the forest.
From tree to tree swung the giant figure which bore her, and it seemed
to Jane that she was living over in a dream the experience that had
been hers in that far African jungle.
Oh, if it were but the same man who had borne her so swiftly through
the tangled verdure on that other day! but that was impossible! Yet
who else in all the world was there with the strength and agility to do
what this man was now doing?
She stole a sudden glance at the face close to hers, and then she gave
a little frightened gasp. It was he!
"My forest man!" she murmured. "No, I must be delirious!"
"Yes, your man, Jane Porter. Your savage, primeval man come out of the
jungle to claim his mate—the woman who ran away from him," he added
"I did not run away," she whispered. "I would only consent to leave
when they had waited a week for you to return."
They had come to a point beyond the fire now, and he had turned back to
Side by side they were walking toward the cottage. The wind had
changed once more and the fire was burning back upon itself—another
hour like that and it would be burned out.
"Why did you not return?" she asked.
"I was nursing D'Arnot. He was badly wounded."
"Ah, I knew it!" she exclaimed.
"They said you had gone to join the blacks—that they were your people."
"But you did not believe them, Jane?"
"No;—what shall I call you?" she asked. "What is your name?"
"I was Tarzan of the Apes when you first knew me," he said.
"Tarzan of the Apes!" she cried—"and that was your note I answered
when I left?"
"Yes, whose did you think it was?"
"I did not know; only that it could not be yours, for Tarzan of the
Apes had written in English, and you could not understand a word of any
Again he laughed.
"It is a long story, but it was I who wrote what I could not speak—and
now D'Arnot has made matters worse by teaching me to speak French
instead of English.
"Come," he added, "jump into my car, we must overtake your father, they
are only a little way ahead."
As they drove along, he said:
"Then when you said in your note to Tarzan of the Apes that you loved
another—you might have meant me?"
"I might have," she answered, simply.
"But in Baltimore—Oh, how I have searched for you—they told me you
would possibly be married by now. That a man named Canler had come up
here to wed you. Is that true?"
"Do you love him?"
"Do you love me?"
She buried her face in her hands.
"I am promised to another. I cannot answer you, Tarzan of the Apes,"
"You have answered. Now, tell me why you would marry one you do not
"My father owes him money."
Suddenly there came back to Tarzan the memory of the letter he had
read—and the name Robert Canler and the hinted trouble which he had
been unable to understand then.
"If your father had not lost the treasure you would not feel forced to
keep your promise to this man Canler?"
"I could ask him to release me."
"And if he refused?"
"I have given my promise."
He was silent for a moment. The car was plunging along the uneven road
at a reckless pace, for the fire showed threateningly at their right,
and another change of the wind might sweep it on with raging fury
across this one avenue of escape.
Finally they passed the danger point, and Tarzan reduced their speed.
"Suppose I should ask him?" ventured Tarzan.
"He would scarcely accede to the demand of a stranger," said the girl.
"Especially one who wanted me himself."
"Terkoz did," said Tarzan, grimly.
Jane shuddered and looked fearfully up at the giant figure beside her,
for she knew that he meant the great anthropoid he had killed in her
"This is not the African jungle," she said. "You are no longer a
savage beast. You are a gentleman, and gentlemen do not kill in cold
"I am still a wild beast at heart," he said, in a low voice, as though
Again they were silent for a time.
"Jane," said the man, at length, "if you were free, would you marry me?"
She did not reply at once, but he waited patiently.
The girl was trying to collect her thoughts.
What did she know of this strange creature at her side? What did he
know of himself? Who was he? Who, his parents?
Why, his very name echoed his mysterious origin and his savage life.
He had no name. Could she be happy with this jungle waif? Could she
find anything in common with a husband whose life had been spent in the
tree tops of an African wilderness, frolicking and fighting with fierce
anthropoids; tearing his food from the quivering flank of fresh-killed
prey, sinking his strong teeth into raw flesh, and tearing away his
portion while his mates growled and fought about him for their share?
Could he ever rise to her social sphere? Could she bear to think of
sinking to his? Would either be happy in such a horrible misalliance?
"You do not answer," he said. "Do you shrink from wounding me?"
"I do not know what answer to make," said Jane sadly. "I do not know
my own mind."
"You do not love me, then?" he asked, in a level tone.
"Do not ask me. You will be happier without me. You were never meant
for the formal restrictions and conventionalities of
society—civilization would become irksome to you, and in a little
while you would long for the freedom of your old life—a life to which
I am as totally unfitted as you to mine."
"I think I understand you," he replied quietly. "I shall not urge you,
for I would rather see you happy than to be happy myself. I see now
that you could not be happy with—an ape."
There was just the faintest tinge of bitterness in his voice.
"Don't," she remonstrated. "Don't say that. You do not understand."
But before she could go on a sudden turn in the road brought them into
the midst of a little hamlet.
Before them stood Clayton's car surrounded by the party he had brought
from the cottage.
At the sight of Jane, cries of relief and delight broke from every lip,
and as Tarzan's car stopped beside the other, Professor Porter caught
his daughter in his arms.
For a moment no one noticed Tarzan, sitting silently in his seat.
Clayton was the first to remember, and, turning, held out his hand.
"How can we ever thank you?" he exclaimed. "You have saved us all.
You called me by name at the cottage, but I do not seem to recall
yours, though there is something very familiar about you. It is as
though I had known you well under very different conditions a long time
Tarzan smiled as he took the proffered hand.
"You are quite right, Monsieur Clayton," he said, in French. "You will
pardon me if I do not speak to you in English. I am just learning it,
and while I understand it fairly well I speak it very poorly."
"But who are you?" insisted Clayton, speaking in French this time
"Tarzan of the Apes."
Clayton started back in surprise.
"By Jove!" he exclaimed. "It is true."
And Professor Porter and Mr. Philander pressed forward to add their
thanks to Clayton's, and to voice their surprise and pleasure at seeing
their jungle friend so far from his savage home.
The party now entered the modest little hostelry, where Clayton soon
made arrangements for their entertainment.
They were sitting in the little, stuffy parlor when the distant
chugging of an approaching automobile caught their attention.
Mr. Philander, who was sitting near the window, looked out as the car
drew in sight, finally stopping beside the other automobiles.
"Bless me!" said Mr. Philander, a shade of annoyance in his tone. "It
is Mr. Canler. I had hoped, er—I had thought or—er—how very happy
we should be that he was not caught in the fire," he ended lamely.
"Tut, tut! Mr. Philander," said Professor Porter. "Tut, tut! I have
often admonished my pupils to count ten before speaking. Were I you,
Mr. Philander, I should count at least a thousand, and then maintain a
"Bless me, yes!" acquiesced Mr. Philander. "But who is the clerical
appearing gentleman with him?"
Clayton moved uneasily in his chair.
Professor Porter removed his spectacles nervously, and breathed upon
them, but replaced them on his nose without wiping.
The ubiquitous Esmeralda grunted.
Only Tarzan did not comprehend.
Presently Robert Canler burst into the room.
"Thank God!" he cried. "I feared the worst, until I saw your car,
Clayton. I was cut off on the south road and had to go away back to
town, and then strike east to this road. I thought we'd never reach
No one seemed to enthuse much. Tarzan eyed Robert Canler as Sabor eyes
Jane glanced at him and coughed nervously.
"Mr. Canler," she said, "this is Monsieur Tarzan, an old friend."
Canler turned and extended his hand. Tarzan rose and bowed as only
D'Arnot could have taught a gentleman to do it, but he did not seem to
see Canler's hand.
Nor did Canler appear to notice the oversight.
"This is the Reverend Mr. Tousley, Jane," said Canler, turning to the
clerical party behind him. "Mr. Tousley, Miss Porter."
Mr. Tousley bowed and beamed.
Canler introduced him to the others.
"We can have the ceremony at once, Jane," said Canler. "Then you and I
can catch the midnight train in town."
Tarzan understood the plan instantly. He glanced out of half-closed
eyes at Jane, but he did not move.
The girl hesitated. The room was tense with the silence of taut nerves.
All eyes turned toward Jane, awaiting her reply.
"Can't we wait a few days?" she asked. "I am all unstrung. I have
been through so much today."
Canler felt the hostility that emanated from each member of the party.
It made him angry.
"We have waited as long as I intend to wait," he said roughly. "You
have promised to marry me. I shall be played with no longer. I have
the license and here is the preacher. Come Mr. Tousley; come Jane.
There are plenty of witnesses—more than enough," he added with a
disagreeable inflection; and taking Jane Porter by the arm, he started
to lead her toward the waiting minister.
But scarcely had he taken a single step ere a heavy hand closed upon
his arm with a grip of steel.
Another hand shot to his throat and in a moment he was being shaken
high above the floor, as a cat might shake a mouse.
Jane turned in horrified surprise toward Tarzan.
And, as she looked into his face, she saw the crimson band upon his
forehead that she had seen that other day in far distant Africa, when
Tarzan of the Apes had closed in mortal combat with the great
She knew that murder lay in that savage heart, and with a little cry of
horror she sprang forward to plead with the ape-man.
But her fears were more for Tarzan than for Canler. She
realized the stern retribution which justice metes to the murderer.
Before she could reach them, however, Clayton had jumped to Tarzan's
side and attempted to drag Canler from his grasp.
With a single sweep of one mighty arm the Englishman was hurled across
the room, and then Jane laid a firm white hand upon Tarzan's wrist, and
looked up into his eyes.
"For my sake," she said.
The grasp upon Canler's throat relaxed.
Tarzan looked down into the beautiful face before him.
"Do you wish this to live?" he asked in surprise.
"I do not wish him to die at your hands, my friend," she replied. "I
do not wish you to become a murderer."
Tarzan removed his hand from Canler's throat.
"Do you release her from her promise?" he asked. "It is the price of
Canler, gasping for breath, nodded.
"Will you go away and never molest her further?"
Again the man nodded his head, his face distorted by fear of the death
that had been so close.
Tarzan released him, and Canler staggered toward the door. In another
moment he was gone, and the terror-stricken preacher with him.
Tarzan turned toward Jane.
"May I speak with you for a moment, alone," he asked.
The girl nodded and started toward the door leading to the narrow
veranda of the little hotel. She passed out to await Tarzan and so did
not hear the conversation which followed.
"Wait," cried Professor Porter, as Tarzan was about to follow.
The professor had been stricken dumb with surprise by the rapid
developments of the past few minutes.
"Before we go further, sir, I should like an explanation of the events
which have just transpired. By what right, sir, did you interfere
between my daughter and Mr. Canler? I had promised him her hand, sir,
and regardless of our personal likes or dislikes, sir, that promise
must be kept."
"I interfered, Professor Porter," replied Tarzan, "because your
daughter does not love Mr. Canler—she does not wish to marry him.
That is enough for me to know."
"You do not know what you have done," said Professor Porter. "Now he
will doubtless refuse to marry her."
"He most certainly will," said Tarzan, emphatically.
"And further," added Tarzan, "you need not fear that your pride will
suffer, Professor Porter, for you will be able to pay the Canler person
what you owe him the moment you reach home."
"Tut, tut, sir!" exclaimed Professor Porter. "What do you mean, sir?"
"Your treasure has been found," said Tarzan.
"What—what is that you are saying?" cried the professor. "You are
mad, man. It cannot be."
"It is, though. It was I who stole it, not knowing either its value or
to whom it belonged. I saw the sailors bury it, and, ape-like, I had
to dig it up and bury it again elsewhere. When D'Arnot told me what it
was and what it meant to you I returned to the jungle and recovered it.
It had caused so much crime and suffering and sorrow that D'Arnot
thought it best not to attempt to bring the treasure itself on here, as
had been my intention, so I have brought a letter of credit instead.
"Here it is, Professor Porter," and Tarzan drew an envelope from his
pocket and handed it to the astonished professor, "two hundred and
forty-one thousand dollars. The treasure was most carefully appraised
by experts, but lest there should be any question in your mind, D'Arnot
himself bought it and is holding it for you, should you prefer the
treasure to the credit."
"To the already great burden of the obligations we owe you, sir," said
Professor Porter, with trembling voice, "is now added this greatest of
all services. You have given me the means to save my honor."
Clayton, who had left the room a moment after Canler, now returned.
"Pardon me," he said. "I think we had better try to reach town before
dark and take the first train out of this forest. A native just rode
by from the north, who reports that the fire is moving slowly in this
This announcement broke up further conversation, and the entire party
went out to the waiting automobiles.
Clayton, with Jane, the professor and Esmeralda occupied Clayton's car,
while Tarzan took Mr. Philander in with him.
"Bless me!" exclaimed Mr. Philander, as the car moved off after
Clayton. "Who would ever have thought it possible! The last time I
saw you you were a veritable wild man, skipping about among the
branches of a tropical African forest, and now you are driving me along
a Wisconsin road in a French automobile. Bless me! But it is most
"Yes," assented Tarzan, and then, after a pause, "Mr. Philander, do you
recall any of the details of the finding and burying of three skeletons
found in my cabin beside that African jungle?"
"Very distinctly, sir, very distinctly," replied Mr. Philander.
"Was there anything peculiar about any of those skeletons?"
Mr. Philander eyed Tarzan narrowly.
"Why do you ask?"
"It means a great deal to me to know," replied Tarzan. "Your answer
may clear up a mystery. It can do no worse, at any rate, than to leave
it still a mystery. I have been entertaining a theory concerning those
skeletons for the past two months, and I want you to answer my question
to the best of your knowledge—were the three skeletons you buried all
"No," said Mr. Philander, "the smallest one, the one found in the crib,
was the skeleton of an anthropoid ape."
"Thank you," said Tarzan.
In the car ahead, Jane was thinking fast and furiously. She had felt
the purpose for which Tarzan had asked a few words with her, and she
knew that she must be prepared to give him an answer in the very near
He was not the sort of person one could put off, and somehow that very
thought made her wonder if she did not really fear him.
And could she love where she feared?
She realized the spell that had been upon her in the depths of that
far-off jungle, but there was no spell of enchantment now in prosaic
Nor did the immaculate young Frenchman appeal to the primal woman in
her, as had the stalwart forest god.
Did she love him? She did not know—now.
She glanced at Clayton out of the corner of her eye. Was not here a
man trained in the same school of environment in which she had been
trained—a man with social position and culture such as she had been
taught to consider as the prime essentials to congenial association?
Did not her best judgment point to this young English nobleman, whose
love she knew to be of the sort a civilized woman should crave, as the
logical mate for such as herself?
Could she love Clayton? She could see no reason why she could not.
Jane was not coldly calculating by nature, but training, environment
and heredity had all combined to teach her to reason even in matters of
That she had been carried off her feet by the strength of the young
giant when his great arms were about her in the distant African forest,
and again today, in the Wisconsin woods, seemed to her only
attributable to a temporary mental reversion to type on her part—to
the psychological appeal of the primeval man to the primeval woman in
If he should never touch her again, she reasoned, she would never feel
attracted toward him. She had not loved him, then. It had been
nothing more than a passing hallucination, super-induced by excitement
and by personal contact.
Excitement would not always mark their future relations, should she
marry him, and the power of personal contact eventually would be dulled
Again she glanced at Clayton. He was very handsome and every inch a
gentleman. She should be very proud of such a husband.
And then he spoke—a minute sooner or a minute later might have made
all the difference in the world to three lives—but chance stepped in
and pointed out to Clayton the psychological moment.
"You are free now, Jane," he said. "Won't you say yes—I will devote
my life to making you very happy."
"Yes," she whispered.
That evening in the little waiting room at the station Tarzan caught
Jane alone for a moment.
"You are free now, Jane," he said, "and _I_ have come across the ages
out of the dim and distant past from the lair of the primeval man to
claim you—for your sake I have become a civilized man—for your sake I
have crossed oceans and continents—for your sake I will be whatever
you will me to be. I can make you happy, Jane, in the life you know
and love best. Will you marry me?"
For the first time she realized the depths of the man's love—all that
he had accomplished in so short a time solely for love of her. Turning
her head she buried her face in her arms.
What had she done? Because she had been afraid she might succumb to
the pleas of this giant, she had burned her bridges behind her—in her
groundless apprehension that she might make a terrible mistake, she had
made a worse one.
And then she told him all—told him the truth word by word, without
attempting to shield herself or condone her error.
"What can we do?" he asked. "You have admitted that you love me. You
know that I love you; but I do not know the ethics of society by which
you are governed. I shall leave the decision to you, for you know best
what will be for your eventual welfare."
"I cannot tell him, Tarzan," she said. "He too, loves me, and he is a
good man. I could never face you nor any other honest person if I
repudiated my promise to Mr. Clayton. I shall have to keep it—and you
must help me bear the burden, though we may not see each other again
The others were entering the room now and Tarzan turned toward the
But he saw nothing outside—within he saw a patch of greensward
surrounded by a matted mass of gorgeous tropical plants and flowers,
and, above, the waving foliage of mighty trees, and, over all, the blue
of an equatorial sky.
In the center of the greensward a young woman sat upon a little mound
of earth, and beside her sat a young giant. They ate pleasant fruit
and looked into each other's eyes and smiled. They were very happy,
and they were all alone.
His thoughts were broken in upon by the station agent who entered
asking if there was a gentleman by the name of Tarzan in the party.
"I am Monsieur Tarzan," said the ape-man.
"Here is a message for you, forwarded from Baltimore; it is a cablegram
Tarzan took the envelope and tore it open. The message was from
Fingerprints prove you Greystoke. Congratulations.
As Tarzan finished reading, Clayton entered and came toward him with
Here was the man who had Tarzan's title, and Tarzan's estates, and was
going to marry the woman whom Tarzan loved—the woman who loved Tarzan.
A single word from Tarzan would make a great difference in this man's
It would take away his title and his lands and his castles, and—it
would take them away from Jane Porter also. "I say, old man," cried
Clayton, "I haven't had a chance to thank you for all you've done for
us. It seems as though you had your hands full saving our lives in
Africa and here.
"I'm awfully glad you came on here. We must get better acquainted. I
often thought about you, you know, and the remarkable circumstances of
"If it's any of my business, how the devil did you ever get into that
"I was born there," said Tarzan, quietly. "My mother was an Ape, and
of course she couldn't tell me much about it. I never knew who my
FURTHER ADVENTURES OF LORD GREYSTOKE
READ THE RETURN OF TARZAN