Tarzan the Terrible

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 83

a cruel superstition, "for I can tell you in the
name of Jad-ben-Otho that you are mistaken."



10

The Forbidden Garden

Lu-don paled. "It is sacrilege," he cried; "for countless ages have the
priests of the Great God offered each night a life to the spirit of
Jad-ben-Otho as it returned below the western horizon to its master,
and never has the Great God given sign that he was displeased."

"Stop!" commanded Tarzan. "It is the blindness of the priesthood that
has failed to read the messages of their god. Your warriors die beneath
the knives and clubs of the Wazdon; your hunters are taken by JA and
JATO; no day goes by but witnesses the deaths of few or many in the
villages of the Ho-don, and one death each day of those that die are
the toll which Jad-ben-Otho has exacted for the lives you take upon the
eastern altar. What greater sign of his displeasure could you require,
O stupid priest?"

Lu-don was silent. There was raging within him a great conflict between
his fear that this indeed might be the son of god and his hope that it
was not, but at last his fear won and he bowed his head. "The son of
Jad-ben-Otho has spoken," he said, and turning to one of the lesser
priests: "Remove the bars and return these people from whence they
came."

He thus addressed did as he was bid and as the bars came down the
prisoners, now all fully aware of the miracle that had saved them,
crowded forward and throwing themselves upon their knees before Tarzan
raised their voices in thanksgiving.

Ko-tan was almost as staggered as the high priest by this ruthless
overturning of an age-old religious rite. "But what," he cried, "may we
do that will be pleasing in the eyes of Jad-ben-Otho?" turning a look
of puzzled apprehension toward the ape-man.

"If you seek to please your god," he replied, "place upon your altars
such gifts of food and apparel as are most welcome in the city of your
people. These things will Jad-ben-Otho bless, when you may distribute
them among those of the city who need them most. With such things are
your storerooms filled as I have seen with mine own eyes, and other
gifts will be brought when the priests tell the people that in this way
they find favor before their god," and Tarzan turned and signified that
he would leave the temple.

As they were leaving the precincts devoted to the worship of their
deity, the ape-man noticed a small but rather ornate building that
stood entirely detached from

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