Tarzan of the Apes

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 162

hand she maintains that the continued
absence of your omnipotent jungle friend indicates that D'Arnot is
still in need of his services, either because he is wounded, or still
is a prisoner in a more distant native village."

"It has been suggested," ventured Lieutenant Charpentier, "that the
wild man may have been a member of the tribe of blacks who attacked our
party--that he was hastening to aid THEM--his own people."

Jane shot a quick glance at Clayton.

"It seems vastly more reasonable," said Professor Porter.

"I do not agree with you," objected Mr. Philander. "He had ample
opportunity to harm us himself, or to lead his people against us.
Instead, during our long residence here, he has been uniformly
consistent in his role of protector and provider."

"That is true," interjected Clayton, "yet we must not overlook the fact
that except for himself the only human beings within hundreds of miles
are savage cannibals. He was armed precisely as are they, which
indicates that he has maintained relations of some nature with them,
and the fact that he is but one against possibly thousands suggests
that these relations could scarcely have been other than friendly."

"It seems improbable then that he is not connected with them," remarked
the captain; "possibly a member of this tribe."

"Otherwise," added another of the officers, "how could he have lived a
sufficient length of time among the savage denizens of the jungle,
brute and human, to have become proficient in woodcraft, or in the use
of African weapons."

"You are judging him according to your own standards, gentlemen," said
Jane. "An ordinary white man such as any of you--pardon me, I did not
mean just that--rather, a white man above the ordinary in physique and
intelligence could never, I grant you, have lived a year alone and
naked in this tropical jungle; but this man not only surpasses the
average white man in strength and agility, but as far transcends our
trained athletes and 'strong men' as they surpass a day-old babe; and
his courage and ferocity in battle are those of the wild beast."

"He has certainly won a loyal champion, Miss Porter," said Captain
Dufranne, laughing. "I am sure that there be none of us here but would
willingly face death a hundred times in its most terrifying forms to
deserve the tributes of one even half so loyal--or so beautiful."

"You would not wonder that I defend him," said the girl, "could you
have seen him as I saw him, battling in my behalf with that huge hairy
brute.

"Could you have seen him charge the

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