Tarzan of the Apes

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 12

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
forebodings.

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

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