Tarzan the Terrible

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 163

to Jad-ben-Otho, their pagan
deity. Under the influence of their vile liquor they would be ripe for
any bloodthirsty scheme the medicine-man might evolve. One of the women
told me about the plan--not with any intent to warn me of danger, but
prompted merely by feminine curiosity as to whether or not I would
bleed if stuck with a dagger. She could not wait, it seemed, for the
orderly procedure of the ordeal--she wanted to know at once, and when I
caught her trying to slip a knife into my side and questioned her she
explained the whole thing with the utmost naivete. The warriors
already had commenced drinking--it would have been futile to make any
sort of appeal either to their intellects or their superstitions. There
was but one alternative to death and that was flight. I told the woman
that I was very much outraged and offended at this reflection upon my
godhood and that as a mark of my disfavor I should abandon them to
their fate.

"'I shall return to heaven at once!' I exclaimed.

"She wanted to hang around and see me go, but I told her that her eyes
would be blasted by the fire surrounding my departure and that she must
leave at once and not return to the spot for at least an hour. I also
impressed upon her the fact that should any other approach this part of
the village within that time not only they, but she as well, would
burst into flames and be consumed.

"She was very much impressed and lost no time in leaving, calling back
as she departed that if I were indeed gone in an hour she and all the
village would know that I was no less than Jad-ben-Otho himself, and so
they must think me, for I can assure you that I was gone in much less
than an hour, nor have I ventured close to the neighborhood of the city
of Bu-lur since," and he fell to laughing in harsh, cackling notes that
sent a shiver through the woman's frame.

As Obergatz talked Jane had recovered her spear from the carcass of the
antelope and commenced busying herself with the removal of the hide.
The man made no attempt to assist her, but stood by talking and
watching her, the while he continually ran his filthy fingers through
his matted hair and beard. His face and body were caked with dirt and
he was naked except for a torn greasy hide about his loins. His weapons
consisted of a club and knife of Waz-don pattern, that

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