Tarzan the Terrible

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 173

heart she prayed it. To be freed from the menace of this loathsome
creature were relief indeed. During all the balance of the night she
lay there awake, listening. Below her, she imagined, she could see the
dead man with his hideous face bathed in the cold light of the
moon--lying there upon his back staring up at her.

She prayed that JA might come and drag it away, but all during the
remainder of the night she heard never another sound above the drowsy
hum of the jungle. She was glad that he was dead, but she dreaded the
gruesome ordeal that awaited her on the morrow, for she must bury the
thing that had been Erich Obergatz and live on there above the shallow
grave of the man she had slain.

She reproached herself for her weakness, repeating over and over that
she had killed in self-defense, that her act was justified; but she was
still a woman of today, and strong upon her were the iron mandates of
the social order from which she had sprung, its interdictions and its

At last came the tardy dawn. Slowly the sun topped the distant
mountains beyond Jad-in-lul. And yet she hesitated to loosen the
fastenings of her door and look out upon the thing below. But it must
be done. She steeled herself and untied the rawhide thong that secured
the barrier. She looked down and only the grass and the flowers looked
up at her. She came from her shelter and examined the ground upon the
opposite side of the tree--there was no dead man there, nor anywhere as
far as she could see. Slowly she descended, keeping a wary eye and an
alert ear ready for the first intimation of danger.

At the foot of the tree was a pool of blood and a little trail of
crimson drops upon the grass, leading away parallel with the shore of
Jad-ben-lul. Then she had not slain him! She was vaguely aware of a
peculiar, double sensation of relief and regret. Now she would be
always in doubt. He might return; but at least she would not have to
live above his grave.

She thought some of following the bloody spoor on the chance that he
might have crawled away to die later, but she gave up the idea for fear
that she might find him dead nearby, or, worse yet badly wounded. What
then could she do? She could not finish him with her spear--no, she
knew that she could not do that, nor could she bring him back and nurse
him, nor

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