Tarzan the Terrible

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 121

out entirely leaving only cold, charred
embers that Jane Clayton knew would never again be rekindled. Hope was
dead as she faced Lu-don, the high priest, in her prison quarters in
the Temple of the Gryf at A-lur. Both time and hardship had failed to
leave their impress upon her physical beauty--the contours of her
perfect form, the glory of her radiant loveliness had defied them, yet
to these very attributes she owed the danger which now confronted her,
for Lu-don desired her. From the lesser priests she had been safe, but
from Lu-don, she was not safe, for Lu-don was not as they, since the
high priestship of Pal-ul-don may descend from father to son.

Ko-tan, the king, had wanted her and all that had so far saved her from
either was the fear of each for the other, but at last Lu-don had cast
aside discretion and had come in the silent watches of the night to
claim her. Haughtily had she repulsed him, seeking ever to gain time,
though what time might bring her of relief or renewed hope she could
not even remotely conjecture. A leer of lust and greed shone hungrily
upon his cruel countenance as he advanced across the room to seize her.
She did not shrink nor cower, but stood there very erect, her chin up,
her level gaze freighted with the loathing and contempt she felt for
him. He read her expression and while it angered him, it but increased
his desire for possession. Here indeed was a queen, perhaps a goddess;
fit mate for the high priest.

"You shall not!" she said as he would have touched her. "One of us
shall die before ever your purpose is accomplished."

He was close beside her now. His laugh grated upon her ears. "Love
does not kill," he replied mockingly.

He reached for her arm and at the same instant something clashed
against the bars of one of the windows, crashing them inward to the
floor, to be followed almost simultaneously by a human figure which
dove headforemost into the room, its head enveloped in the skin window
hangings which it carried with it in its impetuous entry.

Jane Clayton saw surprise and something of terror too leap to the
countenance of the high priest and then she saw him spring forward and
jerk upon a leather thong that depended from the ceiling of the
apartment. Instantly there dropped from above a cunningly contrived
partition that fell between them and the intruder, effectively barring
him from them and at the same time leaving him to grope upon

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