Tarzan the Terrible

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 92

ape-man to whom they represented a natural expression
of man's love of the beautiful to even a greater extent than the
studied and artificial efforts of civilization. Here was the real art
of old masters, the other the cheap imitation of the chromo.

It was while he was thus pleasurably engaged that Ko-tan returned. As
Tarzan, attracted by the movement of the hangings through which the
king entered, turned and faced him he was almost shocked by the
remarkable alteration of the king's appearance. His face was livid; his
hands trembled as with palsy, and his eyes were wide as with fright.
His appearance was one apparently of a combination of consuming anger
and withering fear. Tarzan looked at him questioningly.

"You have had bad news, Ko-tan?" he asked.

The king mumbled an unintelligible reply. Behind there thronged into
the apartment so great a number of warriors that they choked the
entrance-way. The king looked apprehensively to right and left. He cast
terrified glances at the ape-man and then raising his face and turning
his eyes upward he cried: "Jad-ben-Otho be my witness that I do not
this thing of my own accord." There was a moment's silence which was
again broken by Ko-tan. "Seize him," he cried to the warriors about
him, "for Lu-don, the high priest, swears that he is an impostor."

To have offered armed resistance to this great concourse of warriors in
the very heart of the palace of their king would have been worse than
fatal. Already Tarzan had come far by his wits and now that within a
few hours he had had his hopes and his suspicions partially verified by
the vague admissions of O-lo-a he was impressed with the necessity of
inviting no mortal risk that he could avoid.

"Stop!" he cried, raising his palm against them. "What is the meaning
of this?"

"Lu-don claims he has proof that you are not the son of Jad-ben-Otho,"
replied Ko-tan. "He demands that you be brought to the throneroom to
face your accusers. If you are what you claim to be none knows better
than you that you need have no fear in acquiescing to his demands, but
remember always that in such matters the high priest commands the king
and that I am only the bearer of these commands, not their author."

Tarzan saw that Ko-tan was not entirely convinced of his duplicity as
was evidenced by his palpable design to play safe.

"Let not your warriors seize me," he said to Ko-tan, "lest
Jad-ben-Otho, mistaking their intention, strike them dead." The effect
of his words was immediate upon the men

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