Tarzan of the Apes

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 129

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
revolvers.

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

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