Tarzan the Terrible

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 144

jungle beyond the village
the two Europeans followed along the same trail, nor was there any
attempt upon the part of Obergatz' native soldiers, or the warriors of
the chief to detain them, for they too doubtless were more than willing
that the whites should bring them in one more mess of meat before they
killed them.

A quarter of a mile from the village, Obergatz turned toward the south
from the trail that led to the ford and hurrying onward the two put as
great a distance as possible between them and the village before night
fell. They knew from the habits of their erstwhile hosts that there was
little danger of pursuit by night since the villagers held Numa, the
lion, in too great respect to venture needlessly beyond their stockade
during the hours that the king of beasts was prone to choose for
hunting.

And thus began a seemingly endless sequence of frightful days and
horror-laden nights as the two fought their way toward the south in the
face of almost inconceivable hardships, privations, and dangers. The
east coast was nearer but Obergatz positively refused to chance
throwing himself into the hands of the British by returning to the
territory which they now controlled, insisting instead upon attempting
to make his way through an unknown wilderness to South Africa where,
among the Boers, he was convinced he would find willing sympathizers
who would find some way to return him in safety to Germany, and the
woman was perforce compelled to accompany him.

And so they had crossed the great thorny, waterless steppe and come at
last to the edge of the morass before Pal-ul-don. They had reached this
point just before the rainy season when the waters of the morass were
at their lowest ebb. At this time a hard crust is baked upon the dried
surface of the marsh and there is only the open water at the center to
materially impede progress. It is a condition that exists perhaps not
more than a few weeks, or even days at the termination of long periods
of drought, and so the two crossed the otherwise almost impassable
barrier without realizing its latent terrors. Even the open water in
the center chanced to be deserted at the time by its frightful denizens
which the drought and the receding waters had driven southward toward
the mouth of Pal-ul-don's largest river which carries the waters out of
the Valley of Jad-ben-Otho.

Their wanderings carried them across the mountains and into the Valley
of Jad-ben-Otho at the source of one of the larger streams which bears
the mountain waters down

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