Tarzan the Terrible

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 134

the walls at considerable distances apart. A quick survey showed the
ape-man numerous openings upon each side of the corridor and his quick
ears caught sounds that indicated that there were other beings not far
distant--priests, he concluded, in some of the apartments letting upon
the passageway.

To pass undetected through this hive of enemies appeared quite beyond
the range of possibility. He must again seek disguise and knowing from
experience how best to secure such he crept stealthily along the
corridor toward the nearest doorway. Like Numa, the lion, stalking a
wary prey he crept with quivering nostrils to the hangings that shut
off his view from the interior of the apartment beyond. A moment later
his head disappeared within; then his shoulders, and his lithe body,
and the hangings dropped quietly into place again. A moment later there
filtered to the vacant corridor without a brief, gasping gurgle and
again silence. A minute passed; a second, and a third, and then the
hangings were thrust aside and a grimly masked priest of the temple of
Jad-ben-Otho strode into the passageway.

With bold steps he moved along and was about to turn into a diverging
gallery when his attention was aroused by voices coming from a room
upon his left. Instantly the figure halted and crossing the corridor
stood with an ear close to the skins that concealed the occupants of
the room from him, and him from them. Presently he leaped back into
the concealing shadows of the diverging gallery and immediately
thereafter the hangings by which he had been listening parted and a
priest emerged to turn quickly down the main corridor. The eavesdropper
waited until the other had gained a little distance and then stepping
from his place of concealment followed silently behind.

The way led along the corridor which ran parallel with the face of the
cliff for some little distance and then Pan-sat, taking a cresset from
one of the wall niches, turned abruptly into a small apartment at his
left. The tracker followed cautiously in time to see the rays of the
flickering light dimly visible from an aperture in the floor before
him. Here he found a series of steps, similar to those used by the
Waz-don in scaling the cliff to their caves, leading to a lower level.

First satisfying himself that his guide was continuing upon his way
unsuspecting, the other descended after him and continued his stealthy
stalking. The passageway was now both narrow and low, giving but bare
headroom to a tall man, and it was broken often by flights of steps
leading always downward.

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