Tarzan the Terrible

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 171

in the damp
corridor and they were twelve to one.

And then the high priest gave the signal--the door shot upward and ten
warriors leaped into the chamber with poised clubs. Three of the heavy
weapons flew across the room toward a darker shadow that lay in the
shadow of the opposite wall, then the flare of the torch in the
priest's hand lighted the interior and they saw that the thing at which
they had flung their clubs was a pile of skins torn from the windows
and that except for themselves the chamber was vacant.

One of them hastened to a window. All but a single bar was gone and to
this was tied one end of a braided rope fashioned from strips cut from
the leather window hangings.

To the ordinary dangers of Jane Clayton's existence was now added the
menace of Obergatz' knowledge of her whereabouts. The lion and the
panther had given her less cause for anxiety than did the return of the
unscrupulous Hun, whom she had always distrusted and feared, and whose
repulsiveness was now immeasurably augmented by his unkempt and filthy
appearance, his strange and mirthless laughter, and his unnatural
demeanor. She feared him now with a new fear as though he had suddenly
become the personification of some nameless horror. The wholesome,
outdoor life that she had been leading had strengthened and rebuilt her
nervous system yet it seemed to her as she thought of him that if this
man should ever touch her she should scream, and, possibly, even faint.
Again and again during the day following their unexpected meeting the
woman reproached herself for not having killed him as she would JA or
JATO or any other predatory beast that menaced her existence or her
safety. There was no attempt at self-justification for these sinister
reflections--they needed no justification. The standards by which the
acts of such as you or I may be judged could not apply to hers. We have
recourse to the protection of friends and relatives and the civil
soldiery that upholds the majesty of the law and which may be invoked
to protect the righteous weak against the unrighteous strong; but Jane
Clayton comprised within herself not only the righteous weak but all
the various agencies for the protection of the weak. To her, then,
Lieutenant Erich Obergatz presented no different problem than did JA,
the lion, other than that she considered the former the more dangerous
animal. And so she determined that should he ignore her warning there
would be no temporizing upon the occasion of their next meeting--the
same swift spear

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