Tarzan of the Apes

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 65

script, so he put them back in the box with the photograph
and turned his attention to the book.

This was almost entirely filled with fine script, but while the little
bugs were all familiar to him, their arrangement and the combinations
in which they occurred were strange, and entirely incomprehensible.

Tarzan had long since learned the use of the dictionary, but much to
his sorrow and perplexity it proved of no avail to him in this
emergency. Not a word of all that was writ in the book could he find,
and so he put it back in the metal box, but with a determination to
work out the mysteries of it later on.

Little did he know that this book held between its covers the key to
his origin--the answer to the strange riddle of his strange life. It
was the diary of John Clayton, Lord Greystoke--kept in French, as had
always been his custom.

Tarzan replaced the box in the cupboard, but always thereafter he
carried the features of the strong, smiling face of his father in his
heart, and in his head a fixed determination to solve the mystery of
the strange words in the little black book.

At present he had more important business in hand, for his supply of
arrows was exhausted, and he must needs journey to the black men's
village and renew it.

Early the following morning he set out, and, traveling rapidly, he came
before midday to the clearing. Once more he took up his position in
the great tree, and, as before, he saw the women in the fields and the
village street, and the cauldron of bubbling poison directly beneath
him.

For hours he lay awaiting his opportunity to drop down unseen and
gather up the arrows for which he had come; but nothing now occurred to
call the villagers away from their homes. The day wore on, and still
Tarzan of the Apes crouched above the unsuspecting woman at the
cauldron.

Presently the workers in the fields returned. The hunting warriors
emerged from the forest, and when all were within the palisade the
gates were closed and barred.

Many cooking pots were now in evidence about the village. Before each
hut a woman presided over a boiling stew, while little cakes of
plantain, and cassava puddings were to be seen on every hand.

Suddenly there came a hail from the edge of the clearing.

Tarzan looked.

It was a party of belated hunters returning from the north, and among
them they half led, half carried a struggling animal.

As they approached the village

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