Tarzan the Terrible

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 131

was the baffled Lu-don as he realized how neatly the
stranger she had turned his own tables upon him. He could of course
escape the Temple of the Gryf in which her quick wit had temporarily
imprisoned him; but during the delay, however brief, Ja-don would find
time to steal her from the temple and deliver her to Ko-tan. But he
would have her yet--that the high priest swore in the names of
Jad-ben-Otho and all the demons of his faith. He hated Ko-tan. Secretly
he had espoused the cause of Mo-sar, in whom he would have a willing
tool. Perhaps, then, this would give him the opportunity he had long
awaited--a pretext for inciting the revolt that would dethrone Ko-tan
and place Mo-sar in power--with Lu-don the real ruler of Pal-ul-don. He
licked his thin lips as he sought the window through which Tarzan had
entered and now Lu-don's only avenue of escape. Cautiously he made his
way across the floor, feeling before him with his hands, and when they
discovered that the trap was set for him an ugly snarl broke from the
priest's lips. "The she-devil!" he muttered; "but she shall pay, she
shall pay--ah, Jad-ben-Otho; how she shall pay for the trick she has
played upon Lu-don!"

He crawled through the window and climbed easily downward to the
ground. Should he pursue Ja-don and the woman, chancing an encounter
with the fierce chief, or bide his time until treachery and intrigue
should accomplish his design? He chose the latter solution, as might
have been expected of such as he.

Going to his quarters he summoned several of his priests--those who
were most in his confidence and who shared his ambitions for absolute
power of the temple over the palace--all men who hated Ko-tan.

"The time has come," he told them, "when the authority of the temple
must be placed definitely above that of the palace. Ko-tan must make
way for Mo-sar, for Ko-tan has defied your high priest. Go then,
Pan-sat, and summon Mo-sar secretly to the temple, and you others go to
the city and prepare the faithful warriors that they may be in
readiness when the time comes."

For another hour they discussed the details of the coup d'etat that was
to overthrow the government of Pal-ul-don. One knew a slave who, as
the signal sounded from the temple gong, would thrust a knife into the
heart of Ko-tan, for the price of liberty. Another held personal
knowledge of an officer of the palace that he could use to compel the
latter to admit a number of Lu-don's warriors

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