Tarzan the Terrible

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 124

therefore it is
not strange that Ko-tan should suspect that only the gods are thus. His
queen is dead leaving only a single daughter. He craves a son and what
more desirable than that he should found a line of rulers for
Pal-ul-don descended from the gods?"

"But I am already wed," cried Jane. "I cannot wed another. I do not
want him or his throne."

"Ko-tan is king," replied Ja-don simply as though that explained and
simplified everything.

"You will not save me then?" she asked.

"If you were in Ja-lur," he replied, "I might protect you, even against
the king."

"What and where is Ja-lur?" she asked, grasping at any straw.

"It is the city where I rule," he answered. "I am chief there and of
all the valley beyond."

"Where is it?" she insisted, and "is it far?"

"No," he replied, smiling, "it is not far, but do not think of
that--you could never reach it. There are too many to pursue and
capture you. If you wish to know, however, it lies up the river that
empties into Jad-ben-lul whose waters kiss the walls of A-lur--up the
western fork it lies with water upon three sides. Impregnable city of
Pal-ul-don--alone of all the cities it has never been entered by a
foeman since it was built there while Jad-ben-Otho was a boy."

"And there I would be safe?" she asked.

"Perhaps," he replied.

Ah, dead Hope; upon what slender provocation would you seek to glow
again! She sighed and shook her head, realizing the inutility of
Hope--yet the tempting bait dangled before her mind's eye--Ja-lur!

"You are wise," commented Ja-don interpreting her sigh. "Come now, we
will go to the quarters of the princess beside the Forbidden Garden.
There you will remain with O-lo-a, the king's daughter. It will be
better than this prison you have occupied."

"And Ko-tan?" she asked, a shudder passing through her slender frame.

"There are ceremonies," explained Ja-don, "that may occupy several days
before you become queen, and one of them may be difficult of
arrangement." He laughed, then.

"What?" she asked.

"Only the high priest may perform the marriage ceremony for a king," he
explained.

"Delay!" she murmured; "blessed delay!" Tenacious indeed of life is
Hope even though it be reduced to cold and lifeless char--a veritable
phoenix.



15

"The King Is Dead!"

As they conversed Ja-don had led her down the stone stairway that leads
from the upper floors of the Temple of the Gryf to the chambers and the
corridors that honeycomb the rocky hills from which the temple and the
palace are hewn and now they passed from one to the other through

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