Tarzan of the Apes

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 181

impressions are distinct."

D'Arnot drew a little black book from his pocket and commenced turning
the pages.

Tarzan looked at the book in surprise. How did D'Arnot come to have
his book?

Presently D'Arnot stopped at a page on which were five tiny little
smudges.

He handed the open book to the policeman.

"Are these imprints similar to mine or Monsieur Tarzan's or can you say
that they are identical with either?" The officer drew a powerful glass
from his desk and examined all three specimens carefully, making
notations meanwhile upon a pad of paper.

Tarzan realized now what was the meaning of their visit to the police
officer.

The answer to his life's riddle lay in these tiny marks.

With tense nerves he sat leaning forward in his chair, but suddenly he
relaxed and dropped back, smiling.

D'Arnot looked at him in surprise.

"You forget that for twenty years the dead body of the child who made
those fingerprints lay in the cabin of his father, and that all my life
I have seen it lying there," said Tarzan bitterly.

The policeman looked up in astonishment.

"Go ahead, captain, with your examination," said D'Arnot, "we will tell
you the story later--provided Monsieur Tarzan is agreeable."

Tarzan nodded his head.

"But you are mad, my dear D'Arnot," he insisted. "Those little fingers
are buried on the west coast of Africa."

"I do not know as to that, Tarzan," replied D'Arnot. "It is possible,
but if you are not the son of John Clayton then how in heaven's name
did you come into that God forsaken jungle where no white man other
than John Clayton had ever set foot?"

"You forget--Kala," said Tarzan.

"I do not even consider her," replied D'Arnot.

The friends had walked to the broad window overlooking the boulevard as
they talked. For some time they stood there gazing out upon the busy
throng beneath, each wrapped in his own thoughts.

"It takes some time to compare finger prints," thought D'Arnot, turning
to look at the police officer.

To his astonishment he saw the official leaning back in his chair
hastily scanning the contents of the little black diary.

D'Arnot coughed. The policeman looked up, and, catching his eye,
raised his finger to admonish silence. D'Arnot turned back to the
window, and presently the police officer spoke.

"Gentlemen," he said.

Both turned toward him.

"There is evidently a great deal at stake which must hinge to a greater
or lesser extent upon the absolute correctness of this comparison. I
therefore ask that you leave the entire matter in my hands until
Monsieur Desquerc, our expert returns. It will

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