Tarzan of the Apes

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 33

upon the roof,
peer down the black depths of the chimney in vain endeavor to solve the
unknown wonders that lay within those strong walls.

His child-like imagination pictured wonderful creatures within, and the
very impossibility of forcing entrance added a thousandfold to his
desire to do so.

He could clamber about the roof and windows for hours attempting to
discover means of ingress, but to the door he paid little attention,
for this was apparently as solid as the walls.

It was in the next visit to the vicinity, following the adventure with
old Sabor, that, as he approached the cabin, Tarzan noticed that from a
distance the door appeared to be an independent part of the wall in
which it was set, and for the first time it occurred to him that this
might prove the means of entrance which had so long eluded him.

He was alone, as was often the case when he visited the cabin, for the
apes had no love for it; the story of the thunder-stick having lost
nothing in the telling during these ten years had quite surrounded the
white man's deserted abode with an atmosphere of weirdness and terror
for the simians.

The story of his own connection with the cabin had never been told him.
The language of the apes had so few words that they could talk but
little of what they had seen in the cabin, having no words to
accurately describe either the strange people or their belongings, and
so, long before Tarzan was old enough to understand, the subject had
been forgotten by the tribe.

Only in a dim, vague way had Kala explained to him that his father had
been a strange white ape, but he did not know that Kala was not his own
mother.

On this day, then, he went directly to the door and spent hours
examining it and fussing with the hinges, the knob and the latch.
Finally he stumbled upon the right combination, and the door swung
creakingly open before his astonished eyes.

For some minutes he did not dare venture within, but finally, as his
eyes became accustomed to the dim light of the interior he slowly and
cautiously entered.

In the middle of the floor lay a skeleton, every vestige of flesh gone
from the bones to which still clung the mildewed and moldered remnants
of what had once been clothing. Upon the bed lay a similar gruesome
thing, but smaller, while in a tiny cradle near-by was a third, a wee
mite of a skeleton.

To none of these evidences of a fearful tragedy of a

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