Tarzan of the Apes

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 172

a language other than English.
Possibly you can read it."

Tarzan fished the little black diary from the bottom of his quiver, and
handed it to his companion.

D'Arnot glanced at the title page.

"It is the diary of John Clayton, Lord Greystoke, an English nobleman,
and it is written in French," he said.

Then he proceeded to read the diary that had been written over twenty
years before, and which recorded the details of the story which we
already know--the story of adventure, hardships and sorrow of John
Clayton and his wife Alice, from the day they left England until an
hour before he was struck down by Kerchak.

D'Arnot read aloud. At times his voice broke, and he was forced to
stop reading for the pitiful hopelessness that spoke between the lines.

Occasionally he glanced at Tarzan; but the ape-man sat upon his
haunches, like a carven image, his eyes fixed upon the ground.

Only when the little babe was mentioned did the tone of the diary alter
from the habitual note of despair which had crept into it by degrees
after the first two months upon the shore.

Then the passages were tinged with a subdued happiness that was even
sadder than the rest.

One entry showed an almost hopeful spirit.

To-day our little boy is six months old. He is sitting in Alice's lap
beside the table where I am writing--a happy, healthy, perfect child.

Somehow, even against all reason, I seem to see him a grown man, taking
his father's place in the world--the second John Clayton--and bringing
added honors to the house of Greystoke.

There--as though to give my prophecy the weight of his endorsement--he
has grabbed my pen in his chubby fists and with his inkbegrimed little
fingers has placed the seal of his tiny finger prints upon the page.


And there, on the margin of the page, were the partially blurred
imprints of four wee fingers and the outer half of the thumb.

When D'Arnot had finished the diary the two men sat in silence for some
minutes.

"Well! Tarzan of the Apes, what think you?" asked D'Arnot. "Does not
this little book clear up the mystery of your parentage?

"Why man, you are Lord Greystoke."

"The book speaks of but one child," he replied. "Its little skeleton
lay in the crib, where it died crying for nourishment, from the first
time I entered the cabin until Professor Porter's party buried it, with
its father and mother, beside the cabin.

"No, that was the babe the book speaks of--and the mystery of my origin
is deeper than before, for

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