Tarzan the Terrible

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 168

he had awaited expectantly the coming of the lion, for though the scent
of JA was old he was sure that sooner or later they would let one of
the beasts in upon him. His first consideration was a thorough
exploration of his prison. He had noticed the hide-covered windows and
these he immediately uncovered, letting in the light, and revealing the
fact that though the chamber was far below the level of the temple
courts it was yet many feet above the base of the hill from which the
temple was hewn. The windows were so closely barred that he could not
see over the edge of the thick wall in which they were cut to determine
what lay close in below him. At a little distance were the blue waters
of Jad-in-lul and beyond, the verdure-clad farther shore, and beyond
that the mountains. It was a beautiful picture upon which he looked--a
picture of peace and harmony and quiet. Nor anywhere a slightest
suggestion of the savage men and beasts that claimed this lovely
landscape as their own. What a paradise! And some day civilized man
would come and--spoil it! Ruthless axes would raze that age-old wood;
black, sticky smoke would rise from ugly chimneys against that azure
sky; grimy little boats with wheels behind or upon either side would
churn the mud from the bottom of Jad-in-lul, turning its blue waters to
a dirty brown; hideous piers would project into the lake from squalid
buildings of corrugated iron, doubtless, for of such are the pioneer
cities of the world.

But would civilized man come? Tarzan hoped not. For countless
generations civilization had ramped about the globe; it had dispatched
its emissaries to the North Pole and the South; it had circled
Pal-ul-don once, perhaps many times, but it had never touched her. God
grant that it never would. Perhaps He was saving this little spot to be
always just as He had made it, for the scratching of the Ho-don and the
Waz-don upon His rocks had not altered the fair face of Nature.

Through the windows came sufficient light to reveal the whole interior
to Tarzan. The room was fairly large and there was a door at each
end--a large door for men and a smaller one for lions. Both were closed
with heavy masses of stone that had been lowered in grooves running to
the floor. The two windows were small and closely barred with the first
iron that Tarzan had seen in Pal-ul-don. The bars were let into holes
in the casing, and the whole so strongly

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