Tarzan the Terrible

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 16

the gods--that
would have meant death; but if I did not appear before Ko-tan I would
not have to refuse anything. O-lo-a and I decided that I must not
appear. It was better to fly, carrying in my bosom a shred of hope,
than to remain and, with my priesthood, abandon hope forever.

"Beneath the shadows of the great trees that grow within the palace
grounds I pressed her to me for, perhaps, the last time and then, lest
by ill-fate I meet the messenger, I scaled the great wall that guards
the palace and passed through the darkened city. My name and rank
carried me beyond the city gate. Since then I have wandered far from
the haunts of the Ho-don but strong within me is the urge to return if
even but to look from without her walls upon the city that holds her
most dear to me and again to visit the village of my birth, to see
again my father and my mother."

"But the risk is too great?" asked Tarzan.

"It is great, but not too great," replied Ta-den. "I shall go."

"And I shall go with you, if I may," said the ape-man, "for I must see
this City of Light, this A-lur of yours, and search there for my lost
mate even though you believe that there is little chance that I find
her. And you, Om-at, do you come with us?"

"Why not?" asked the hairy one. "The lairs of my tribe lie in the crags
above A-lur and though Es-sat, our chief, drove me out I should like to
return again, for there is a she there upon whom I should be glad to
look once more and who would be glad to look upon me. Yes, I will go
with you. Es-sat feared that I might become chief and who knows but
that Es-sat was right. But Pan-at-lee! it is she I seek first even
before a chieftainship."

"We three, then, shall travel together," said Tarzan.

"And fight together," added Ta-den; "the three as one," and as he spoke
he drew his knife and held it above his head.

"The three as one," repeated Om-at, drawing his weapon and duplicating
Ta-den's act. "It is spoken!"

"The three as one!" cried Tarzan of the Apes. "To the death!" and his
blade flashed in the sunlight.

"Let us go, then," said Om-at; "my knife is dry and cries aloud for the
blood of Es-sat."

The trail over which Ta-den and Om-at led and which scarcely could be
dignified even by the name of trail was suited more to

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