Tarzan the Terrible

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 108

might hide, and water and
fruits. A cunning jungle creature, if he could reach the spot
unsuspected, might remain concealed there for a considerable time, but
how he was to traverse the distance between the temple grounds and the
garden unseen was a question the seriousness of which he fully
appreciated.

"Mighty is Tarzan," he soliloquized, "in his native jungle, but in the
cities of man he is little better than they."

Depending upon his keen observation and sense of location he felt safe
in assuming that he could reach the palace grounds by means of the
subterranean corridors and chambers of the temple through which he had
been conducted the day before, nor any slightest detail of which had
escaped his keen eyes. That would be better, he reasoned, than crossing
the open grounds above where his pursuers would naturally immediately
follow him from the temple and quickly discover him.

And so a dozen paces from the temple wall he disappeared from sight of
any chance observer above, down one of the stone stairways that led to
the apartments beneath. The way that he had been conducted the previous
day had followed the windings and turnings of numerous corridors and
apartments, but Tarzan, sure of himself in such matters, retraced the
route accurately without hesitation.

He had little fear of immediate apprehension here since he believed
that all the priests of the temple had assembled in the court above to
witness his trial and his humiliation and his death, and with this idea
firmly implanted in his mind he rounded the turn of the corridor and
came face to face with an under priest, his grotesque headdress
concealing whatever emotion the sight of Tarzan may have aroused.

However, Tarzan had one advantage over the masked votary of
Jad-ben-Otho in that the moment he saw the priest he knew his intention
concerning him, and therefore was not compelled to delay action. And so
it was that before the priest could determine on any suitable line of
conduct in the premises a long, keen knife had been slipped into his
heart.

As the body lunged toward the floor Tarzan caught it and snatched the
headdress from its shoulders, for the first sight of the creature had
suggested to his ever-alert mind a bold scheme for deceiving his
enemies.

The headdress saved from such possible damage as it must have sustained
had it fallen to the floor with the body of its owner, Tarzan
relinquished his hold upon the corpse, set the headdress carefully upon
the floor and stooping down severed the tail of the Ho-don close to its
root. Near by at

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