Tarzan of the Apes

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 151

find. They questioned the prisoners by
signs, and finally one of the sailors who had served in the French
Congo found that he could make them understand the bastard tongue that
passes for language between the whites and the more degraded tribes of
the coast, but even then they could learn nothing definite regarding
the fate of D'Arnot.

Only excited gestures and expressions of fear could they obtain in
response to their inquiries concerning their fellow; and at last they
became convinced that these were but evidences of the guilt of these
demons who had slaughtered and eaten their comrade two nights before.

At length all hope left them, and they prepared to camp for the night
within the village. The prisoners were herded into three huts where
they were heavily guarded. Sentries were posted at the barred gates,
and finally the village was wrapped in the silence of slumber, except
for the wailing of the native women for their dead.

The next morning they set out upon the return march. Their original
intention had been to burn the village, but this idea was abandoned and
the prisoners were left behind, weeping and moaning, but with roofs to
cover them and a palisade for refuge from the beasts of the jungle.

Slowly the expedition retraced its steps of the preceding day. Ten
loaded hammocks retarded its pace. In eight of them lay the more
seriously wounded, while two swung beneath the weight of the dead.

Clayton and Lieutenant Charpentier brought up the rear of the column;
the Englishman silent in respect for the other's grief, for D'Arnot and
Charpentier had been inseparable friends since boyhood.

Clayton could not but realize that the Frenchman felt his grief the
more keenly because D'Arnot's sacrifice had been so futile, since Jane
had been rescued before D'Arnot had fallen into the hands of the
savages, and again because the service in which he had lost his life
had been outside his duty and for strangers and aliens; but when he
spoke of it to Lieutenant Charpentier, the latter shook his head.

"No, Monsieur," he said, "D'Arnot would have chosen to die thus. I
only grieve that I could not have died for him, or at least with him.
I wish that you could have known him better, Monsieur. He was indeed
an officer and a gentleman--a title conferred on many, but deserved by
so few.

"He did not die futilely, for his death in the cause of a strange
American girl will make us, his comrades, face our ends the more
bravely, however they

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