Tarzan the Terrible

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 73

of A-lur. The
first person to detect his spuriousness was a little child playing in
the arched gateway of one of the walled buildings. "No tail! no tail!"
it shouted, throwing a stone at him, and then it suddenly grew dumb and
its eyes wide as it sensed that this creature was something other than
a mere Ho-don warrior who had lost his tail. With a gasp the child
turned and fled screaming into the courtyard of its home.

Tarzan continued on his way, fully realizing that the moment was
imminent when the fate of his plan would be decided. Nor had he long to
wait since at the next turning of the winding street he came face to
face with a Ho-don warrior. He saw the sudden surprise in the latter's
eyes, followed instantly by one of suspicion, but before the fellow
could speak Tarzan addressed him.

"I am a stranger from another land," he said; "I would speak with
Ko-tan, your king."

The fellow stepped back, laying his hand upon his knife. "There are no
strangers that come to the gates of A-lur," he said, "other than as
enemies or slaves."

"I come neither as a slave nor an enemy," replied Tarzan. "I come
directly from Jad-ben-Otho. Look!" and he held out his hands that the
Ho-don might see how greatly they differed from his own, and then
wheeled about that the other might see that he was tailless, for it was
upon this fact that his plan had been based, due to his recollection of
the quarrel between Ta-den and Om-at, in which the Waz-don had claimed
that Jad-ben-Otho had a long tail while the Ho-don had been equally
willing to fight for his faith in the taillessness of his god.

The warrior's eyes widened and an expression of awe crept into them,
though it was still tinged with suspicion. "Jad-ben-Otho!" he murmured,
and then, "It is true that you are neither Ho-don nor Waz-don, and it
is also true that Jad-ben-Otho has no tail. Come," he said, "I will
take you to Ko-tan, for this is a matter in which no common warrior may
interfere. Follow me," and still clutching the handle of his knife and
keeping a wary side glance upon the ape-man he led the way through
A-lur.

The city covered a large area. Sometimes there was a considerable
distance between groups of buildings, and again they were quite close
together. There were numerous imposing groups, evidently hewn from the
larger hills, often rising to a height of a hundred feet or more. As
they advanced they met numerous warriors and

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