Tarzan the Terrible

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 118

room. And he had heard her dear voice
combatting the base demands of the vile priest. Ah, if he had but acted
with greater caution! If he had but continued to move with quiet and
stealth he might even at this moment be holding her in his arms while
the body of Lu-don, beneath his foot, spoke eloquently of vengeance
achieved. But there was no time now for idle self-reproaches.

He stumbled blindly forward, groping for he knew not what till suddenly
the floor beneath him tilted and he shot downward into a darkness even
more utter than that above. He felt his body strike a smooth surface
and he realized that he was hurtling downward as through a polished
chute while from above there came the mocking tones of a taunting laugh
and the voice of Lu-don screamed after him: "Return to thy father, O
Dor-ul-Otho!"

The ape-man came to a sudden and painful stop upon a rocky floor.
Directly before him was an oval window crossed by many bars, and beyond
he saw the moonlight playing on the waters of the blue lake below.
Simultaneously he was conscious of a familiar odor in the air of the
chamber, which a quick glance revealed in the semidarkness as of
considerable proportion.

It was the faint, but unmistakable odor of the GRYF, and now Tarzan
stood silently listening. At first he detected no sounds other than
those of the city that came to him through the window overlooking the
lake; but presently, faintly, as though from a distance he heard the
shuffling of padded feet along a stone pavement, and as he listened he
was aware that the sound approached.

Nearer and nearer it came, and now even the breathing of the beast was
audible. Evidently attracted by the noise of his descent into its
cavernous retreat it was approaching to investigate. He could not see
it but he knew that it was not far distant, and then, deafeningly there
reverberated through those gloomy corridors the mad bellow of the GRYF.

Aware of the poor eyesight of the beast, and his own eyes now grown
accustomed to the darkness of the cavern, the ape-man sought to elude
the infuriated charge which he well knew no living creature could
withstand. Neither did he dare risk the chance of experimenting upon
this strange GRYF with the tactics of the Tor-o-don that he had found
so efficacious upon that other occasion when his life and liberty had
been the stakes for which he cast. In many respects the conditions were
dissimilar. Before, in broad daylight, he had been able to

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