Tarzan of the Apes

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 121

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
cabin.

Tarzan waited in silence before the door of the little house until they
should return. His thoughts were of the beautiful white girl. They
were always of her now. He wondered if she would fear him, and the
thought all but caused him to relinquish 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
wrote:


I am Tarzan of the Apes. I want you. I am yours. You are mine. We
live here together always in my house. I will bring you the best of
fruits, the tenderest deer, the finest meats that roam the jungle. I
will hunt for you. I am the greatest of the jungle fighters. I will
fight for you. I am the mightiest of the jungle fighters. You are
Jane Porter, I saw it in your letter. When you see this you will know
that it is for you and that Tarzan of the Apes loves you.


As he stood, straight as a young Indian, by the door, waiting after he
had finished the message, there came to his keen ears a familiar sound.
It was the passing of a great ape through the lower branches of the
forest.

For an instant he listened intently, and then from the jungle came the
agonized scream of a woman, and Tarzan of the Apes, dropping his first
love letter upon the ground, shot like a panther into the forest.

Clayton, also, heard the scream, and Professor Porter and Mr.
Philander, and in a few minutes they came panting to the cabin, calling
out to each other a volley of excited questions as they approached. A
glance within confirmed their worst fears.

Jane and Esmeralda were not there.

Instantly, Clayton, followed by the two old

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