Tarzan of the Apes

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 131

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
blood.

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
partially devoured.

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
of flesh.

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

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