Tarzan of the Apes

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 9

of the ship.

Two of their number had gone down before the captain's revolver. They
lay where they had fallen between the combatants. But then the first
mate lunged forward upon his face, and at a cry of command from Black
Michael the mutineers charged the remaining four. The crew had been
able to muster but six firearms, so most of them were armed with boat
hooks, axes, hatchets and crowbars.

The captain had emptied his revolver and was reloading as the charge
was made. The second mate's gun had jammed, and so there were but two
weapons opposed to the mutineers as they bore down upon the officers,
who now started to give back before the infuriated rush of their men.

Both sides were cursing and swearing in a frightful manner, which,
together with the reports of the firearms and the screams and groans of
the wounded, turned the deck of the Fuwalda to the likeness of a
madhouse.

Before the officers had taken a dozen backward steps the men were upon
them. An ax in the hands of a burly Negro cleft the captain from
forehead to chin, and an instant later the others were down: dead or
wounded from dozens of blows and bullet wounds.

Short and grisly had been the work of the mutineers of the Fuwalda, and
through it all John Clayton had stood leaning carelessly beside the
companionway puffing meditatively upon his pipe as though he had been
but watching an indifferent cricket match.

As the last officer went down he thought it was time that he returned
to his wife lest some members of the crew find her alone below.

Though outwardly calm and indifferent, Clayton was inwardly
apprehensive and wrought up, for he feared for his wife's safety at the
hands of these ignorant, half-brutes into whose hands fate had so
remorselessly thrown them.

As he turned to descend the ladder he was surprised to see his wife
standing on the steps almost at his side.

"How long have you been here, Alice?"

"Since the beginning," she replied. "How awful, John. Oh, how awful!
What can we hope for at the hands of such as those?"

"Breakfast, I hope," he answered, smiling bravely in an attempt to
allay her fears.

"At least," he added, "I'm going to ask them. Come with me, Alice. We
must not let them think we expect any but courteous treatment."

The men had by this time surrounded the dead and wounded officers, and
without either partiality or compassion proceeded to throw both living
and dead over the sides

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