Tarzan of the Apes

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 147

since they had been cast upon this hideous and
adventurous shore.

Professor Porter strove manfully to suppress his own emotions, but the
strain upon his nerves and weakened vitality were too much for him, and
at length, burying his old face in the girl's shoulder, he sobbed
quietly like a tired child.

Jane led him toward the cabin, and the Frenchmen turned toward the
beach from which several of their fellows were advancing to meet them.

Clayton, wishing to leave father and daughter alone, joined the sailors
and remained talking with the officers until their boat pulled away
toward the cruiser whither Lieutenant Charpentier was bound to report
the unhappy outcome of his adventure.

Then Clayton turned back slowly toward the cabin. His heart was filled
with happiness. The woman he loved was safe.

He wondered by what manner of miracle she had been spared. To see her
alive seemed almost unbelievable.

As he approached the cabin he saw Jane coming out. When she saw him
she hurried forward to meet him.

"Jane!" he cried, "God has been good to us, indeed. Tell me how you
escaped--what form Providence took to save you for--us."

He had never before called her by her given name. Forty-eight hours
before it would have suffused Jane with a soft glow of pleasure to have
heard that name from Clayton's lips--now it frightened her.

"Mr. Clayton," she said quietly, extending her hand, "first let me
thank you for your chivalrous loyalty to my dear father. He has told
me how noble and self-sacrificing you have been. How can we repay you!"

Clayton noticed that she did not return his familiar salutation, but he
felt no misgivings on that score. She had been through so much. This
was no time to force his love upon her, he quickly realized.

"I am already repaid," he said. "Just to see you and Professor Porter
both safe, well, and together again. I do not think that I could much
longer have endured the pathos of his quiet and uncomplaining grief.

"It was the saddest experience of my life, Miss Porter; and then, added
to it, there was my own grief--the greatest I have ever known. But his
was so hopeless--his was pitiful. It taught me that no love, not even
that of a man for his wife may be so deep and terrible and
self-sacrificing as the love of a father for his daughter."

The girl bowed her head. There was a question she wanted to ask, but
it seemed almost sacrilegious

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