Tarzan the Terrible

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 209

fate of
the priests, who practically without exception had been disloyal to the
government of the king, seeking always only their own power and comfort
and aggrandizement. And then it was that Ja-don turned to Tarzan. "Let
the Dor-ul-Otho transmit to his people the wishes of his father," he
said.

"Your problem is a simple one," said the ape-man, "if you but wish to
do that which shall be pleasing in the eyes of God. Your priests, to
increase their power, have taught you that Jad-ben-Otho is a cruel god,
that his eyes love to dwell upon blood and upon suffering. But the
falsity of their teachings has been demonstrated to you today in the
utter defeat of the priesthood.

"Take then the temples from the men and give them instead to the women
that they may be administered in kindness and charity and love. Wash
the blood from your eastern altar and drain forever the water from the
western.

"Once I gave Lu-don the opportunity to do these things but he ignored
my commands, and again is the corridor of sacrifice filled with its
victims. Liberate these from every temple in Pal-ul-don. Bring
offerings of such gifts as your people like and place them upon the
altars of your god. And there he will bless them and the priestesses of
Jad-ben-Otho can distribute them among those who need them most."

As he ceased speaking a murmur of evident approval ran through the
throng. Long had they been weary of the avarice and cruelty of the
priests and now that authority had come from a high source with a
feasible plan for ridding themselves of the old religious order without
necessitating any change in the faith of the people they welcomed it.

"And the priests," cried one. "We shall put them to death upon their
own altars if it pleases the Dor-ul-Otho to give the word."

"No," cried Tarzan. "Let no more blood be spilled. Give them their
freedom and the right to take up such occupations as they choose."

That night a great feast was spread in the pal-e-don-so and for the
first time in the history of ancient Pal-ul-don black warriors sat in
peace and friendship with white. And a pact was sealed between Ja-don
and Om-at that would ever make his tribe and the Ho-don allies and
friends.

It was here that Tarzan learned the cause of Ta-den's failure to attack
at the stipulated time. A messenger had come from Ja-don carrying
instructions to delay the attack until noon, nor had they discovered
until almost too late that the messenger was a disguised priest of
Lu-don. And

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