Tarzan of the Apes

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 190

I cannot answer you, Tarzan of the Apes,"
she cried.

"You have answered. Now, tell me why you would marry one you do not
love."

"My father owes him money."

Suddenly there came back to Tarzan the memory of the letter he had
read--and the name Robert Canler and the hinted trouble which he had
been unable to understand then.

He smiled.

"If your father had not lost the treasure you would not feel forced to
keep your promise to this man Canler?"

"I could ask him to release me."

"And if he refused?"

"I have given my promise."

He was silent for a moment. The car was plunging along the uneven road
at a reckless pace, for the fire showed threateningly at their right,
and another change of the wind might sweep it on with raging fury
across this one avenue of escape.

Finally they passed the danger point, and Tarzan reduced their speed.

"Suppose I should ask him?" ventured Tarzan.

"He would scarcely accede to the demand of a stranger," said the girl.
"Especially one who wanted me himself."

"Terkoz did," said Tarzan, grimly.

Jane shuddered and looked fearfully up at the giant figure beside her,
for she knew that he meant the great anthropoid he had killed in her
defense.

"This is not the African jungle," she said. "You are no longer a
savage beast. You are a gentleman, and gentlemen do not kill in cold
blood."

"I am still a wild beast at heart," he said, in a low voice, as though
to himself.

Again they were silent for a time.

"Jane," said the man, at length, "if you were free, would you marry me?"

She did not reply at once, but he waited patiently.

The girl was trying to collect her thoughts.

What did she know of this strange creature at her side? What did he
know of himself? Who was he? Who, his parents?

Why, his very name echoed his mysterious origin and his savage life.

He had no name. Could she be happy with this jungle waif? Could she
find anything in common with a husband whose life had been spent in the
tree tops of an African wilderness, frolicking and fighting with fierce
anthropoids; tearing his food from the quivering flank of fresh-killed
prey, sinking his strong teeth into raw flesh, and tearing away his
portion while his mates growled and fought about him for their share?

Could he ever rise to her social sphere? Could she bear to think of
sinking to his? Would either be happy in such a horrible misalliance?

"You do not

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