Tarzan the Terrible

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 19

could agree with the preposterous----"

"Stop!" cried Tarzan. "Now, indeed, have I stirred up a hornets' nest.
Let us speak no more of matters political or religious."

"That is wiser," agreed Om-at; "but I might mention, for your
information, that the one and only god has a long tail."

"It is sacrilege," cried Ta-den, laying his hand upon his knife;
"Jad-ben-Otho has no tail!"

"Stop!" shrieked Om-at, springing forward; but instantly Tarzan
interposed himself between them.

"Enough!" he snapped. "Let us be true to our oaths of friendship that
we may be honorable in the sight of God in whatever form we conceive

"You are right, Tailless One," said Ta-den. "Come, Om-at, let us look
after our friendship and ourselves, secure in the conviction that
Jad-ben-Otho is sufficiently powerful to look after himself."

"Done!" agreed Om-at, "but----"

"No 'buts,' Om-at," admonished Tarzan.

The shaggy black shrugged his shoulders and smiled. "Shall we make our
way down toward the valley?" he asked. "The gorge below us is
uninhabited; that to the left contains the caves of my people. I would
see Pan-at-lee once more. Ta-den would visit his father in the valley
below and Tarzan seeks entrance to A-lur in search of the mate that
would be better dead than in the clutches of the Ho-don priests of
Jad-ben-Otho. How shall we proceed?"

"Let us remain together as long as possible," urged Ta-den. "You,
Om-at, must seek Pan-at-lee by night and by stealth, for three, even we
three, may not hope to overcome Es-sat and all his warriors. At any
time may we go to the village where my father is chief, for Ja-don
always will welcome the friends of his son. But for Tarzan to enter
A-lur is another matter, though there is a way and he has the courage
to put it to the test--listen, come close for Jad-ben-Otho has keen
ears and this he must not hear," and with his lips close to the ears of
his companions Ta-den, the Tall-tree, son of Ja-don, the Lion-man,
unfolded his daring plan.

And at the same moment, a hundred miles away, a lithe figure, naked but
for a loin cloth and weapons, moved silently across a thorn-covered,
waterless steppe, searching always along the ground before him with
keen eyes and sensitive nostrils.



Night had fallen upon unchartered Pal-ul-don. A slender moon, low in
the west, bathed the white faces of the chalk cliffs presented to her,
in a mellow, unearthly glow. Black were the shadows in Kor-ul-JA,
Gorge-of-lions, where dwelt the tribe of the same name under Es-sat,
their chief. From an aperture near the summit of the lofty escarpment

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And, if this evidence of my judgment is not sufficient, I have but just now received from your own lips even more confirmatory witness--for did you not say that Achmet Zek was never more safe from the sins and dangers of mortality? "Achmet Zek is dead--you need not deny it.
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He led Achmet Zek to the plunder of your home.
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And what are gold and jewels to these?" "If only poor Mugambi lived," she replied, "and those other brave fellows who sacrificed their lives in vain endeavor to protect me!" In the silence of mingled joy and sorrow they passed along through the familiar jungle, and as the afternoon was waning there came faintly to the ears of the ape-man the murmuring cadence of distant voices.
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I left the Belgian only worthless stones, while I brought away with me the jewels he had stolen from you.