Tarzan the Terrible

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 202


Again and again he tried the doors of his prison and the trap in the
center of the floor, but none would give to his utmost endeavors. He
strained his eyes toward the aperture above but he could see nothing,
and then he continued his futile pacing to and fro like a caged lion
behind its bars.

The minutes dragged slowly into hours. Faintly sounds came to him as of
shouting men at a great distance. The battle was in progress. He
wondered if Ja-don would be victorious and should he be, would his
friends ever discover him in this hidden chamber in the bowels of the
hill? He doubted it.

And now as he looked again toward the aperture in the roof there
appeared to be something depending through its center. He came closer
and strained his eyes to see. Yes, there was something there. It
appeared to be a rope. Tarzan wondered if it had been there all the
time. It must have, he reasoned, since he had heard no sound from above
and it was so dark within the chamber that he might easily have
overlooked it.

He raised his hand toward it. The end of it was just within his reach.
He bore his weight upon it to see if it would hold him. Then he
released it and backed away, still watching it, as you have seen an
animal do after investigating some unfamiliar object, one of the little
traits that differentiated Tarzan from other men, accentuating his
similarity to the savage beasts of his native jungle. Again and again
he touched and tested the braided leather rope, and always he listened
for any warning sound from above.

He was very careful not to step upon the trap at any time and when
finally he bore all his weight upon the rope and took his feet from the
floor he spread them wide apart so that if he fell he would fall
astride the trap. The rope held him. There was no sound from above, nor
any from the trap below.

Slowly and cautiously he drew himself upward, hand over hand. Nearer
and nearer the roof he came. In a moment his eyes would be above the
level of the floor above. Already his extended arms projected into the
upper chamber and then something closed suddenly upon both his
forearms, pinioning them tightly and leaving him hanging in mid-air
unable to advance or retreat.

Immediately a light appeared in the room above him and presently he saw
the hideous mask of a priest peering down upon him. In the priest's
hands were

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