Tarzan of the Apes

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 8

wished for them and them alone is most
sinister."

"What are we to do, John?" asked his wife. "Perhaps you were right in
that our best chance lies in maintaining a neutral position.

"If the officers are able to prevent a mutiny, we have nothing to fear,
while if the mutineers are victorious our one slim hope lies in not
having attempted to thwart or antagonize them."

"Right you are, Alice. We'll keep in the middle of the road."

As they started to straighten up their cabin, Clayton and his wife
simultaneously noticed the corner of a piece of paper protruding from
beneath the door of their quarters. As Clayton stooped to reach for it
he was amazed to see it move further into the room, and then he
realized that it was being pushed inward by someone from without.

Quickly and silently he stepped toward the door, but, as he reached for
the knob to throw it open, his wife's hand fell upon his wrist.

"No, John," she whispered. "They do not wish to be seen, and so we
cannot afford to see them. Do not forget that we are keeping to the
middle of the road."

Clayton smiled and dropped his hand to his side. Thus they stood
watching the little bit of white paper until it finally remained at
rest upon the floor just inside the door.

Then Clayton stooped and picked it up. It was a bit of grimy, white
paper roughly folded into a ragged square. Opening it they found a
crude message printed almost illegibly, and with many evidences of an
unaccustomed task.

Translated, it was a warning to the Claytons to refrain from reporting
the loss of the revolvers, or from repeating what the old sailor had
told them--to refrain on pain of death.

"I rather imagine we'll be good," said Clayton with a rueful smile.
"About all we can do is to sit tight and wait for whatever may come."




Chapter II

The Savage Home


Nor did they have long to wait, for the next morning as Clayton was
emerging on deck for his accustomed walk before breakfast, a shot rang
out, and then another, and another.

The sight which met his eyes confirmed his worst fears. Facing the
little knot of officers was the entire motley crew of the Fuwalda, and
at their head stood Black Michael.

At the first volley from the officers the men ran for shelter, and from
points of vantage behind masts, wheel-house and cabin they returned the
fire of the five men who represented the hated authority

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