Tarzan of the Apes

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 122

men, plunged into the
jungle, calling the girl's name aloud. For half an hour they stumbled
on, until Clayton, by merest chance, came upon the prostrate form of
Esmeralda.

He stopped beside her, feeling for her pulse and then listening for her
heartbeats. She lived. He shook her.

"Esmeralda!" he shrieked in her ear. "Esmeralda! For God's sake,
where is Miss Porter? What has happened? Esmeralda!"

Slowly Esmeralda opened her eyes. She saw Clayton. She saw the jungle
about her.

"Oh, Gaberelle!" she screamed, and fainted again.

By this time Professor Porter and Mr. Philander had come up.

"What shall we do, Mr. Clayton?" asked the old professor. "Where shall
we look? God could not have been so cruel as to take my little girl
away from me now."

"We must arouse Esmeralda first," replied Clayton. "She can tell us
what has happened. Esmeralda!" he cried again, shaking the black woman
roughly by the shoulder.

"O Gaberelle, I want to die!" cried the poor woman, but with eyes fast
closed. "Let me die, dear Lord, don't let me see that awful face
again."

"Come, come, Esmeralda," cried Clayton.

"The Lord isn't here; it's Mr. Clayton. Open your eyes."

Esmeralda did as she was bade.

"O Gaberelle! Thank the Lord," she said.

"Where's Miss Porter? What happened?" questioned Clayton.

"Ain't Miss Jane here?" cried Esmeralda, sitting up with wonderful
celerity for one of her bulk. "Oh, Lord, now I remember! It must have
took her away," and the Negress commenced to sob, and wail her
lamentations.

"What took her away?" cried Professor Porter.

"A great big giant all covered with hair."

"A gorilla, Esmeralda?" questioned Mr. Philander, and the three men
scarcely breathed as he voiced the horrible thought.

"I thought it was the devil; but I guess it must have been one of them
gorilephants. Oh, my poor baby, my poor little honey," and again
Esmeralda broke into uncontrollable sobbing.

Clayton immediately began to look about for tracks, but he could find
nothing save a confusion of trampled grasses in the close vicinity, and
his woodcraft was too meager for the translation of what he did see.

All the balance of the day they sought through the jungle; but as night
drew on they were forced to give up in despair and hopelessness, for
they did not even know in what direction the thing had borne Jane.

It was long after dark ere they reached the cabin, and a sad and
grief-stricken party it was that sat silently within the little
structure.

Professor Porter finally broke

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