Tarzan of the Apes

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 20

and bamboo
covered the windows, and, most arduous task of all, with his meager
assortment of tools he had fashioned lumber to neatly seal the walls
and ceiling and lay a smooth floor within the cabin.

That he had been able to turn his hands at all to such unaccustomed
labor was a source of mild wonder to him. But he loved the work
because it was for her and the tiny life that had come to cheer them,
though adding a hundredfold to his responsibilities and to the
terribleness of their situation.

During the year that followed, Clayton was several times attacked by
the great apes which now seemed to continually infest the vicinity of
the cabin; but as he never again ventured outside without both rifle
and revolvers he had little fear of the huge beasts.

He had strengthened the window protections and fitted a unique wooden
lock to the cabin door, so that when he hunted for game and fruits, as
it was constantly necessary for him to do to insure sustenance, he had
no fear that any animal could break into the little home.

At first he shot much of the game from the cabin windows, but toward
the end the animals learned to fear the strange lair from whence issued
the terrifying thunder of his rifle.

In his leisure Clayton read, often aloud to his wife, from the store of
books he had brought for their new home. Among these were many for
little children--picture books, primers, readers--for they had known
that their little child would be old enough for such before they might
hope to return to England.

At other times Clayton wrote in his diary, which he had always been
accustomed to keep in French, and in which he recorded the details of
their strange life. This book he kept locked in a little metal box.

A year from the day her little son was born Lady Alice passed quietly
away in the night. So peaceful was her end that it was hours before
Clayton could awake to a realization that his wife was dead.

The horror of the situation came to him very slowly, and it is doubtful
that he ever fully realized the enormity of his sorrow and the fearful
responsibility that had devolved upon him with the care of that wee
thing, his son, still a nursing babe.

The last entry in his diary was made the morning following her death,
and there he recites the sad details in a matter-of-fact way that adds
to the pathos of it; for it breathes a

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Page 10
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