Tarzan the Terrible

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 93

in the front rank of those who
faced him, each seeming suddenly to acquire a new modesty that
compelled him to self-effacement behind those directly in his rear--a
modesty that became rapidly contagious.

The ape-man smiled. "Fear not," he said, "I will go willingly to the
audience chamber to face the blasphemers who accuse me."

Arrived at the great throneroom a new complication arose. Ko-tan would
not acknowledge the right of Lu-don to occupy the apex of the pyramid
and Lu-don would not consent to occupying an inferior position while
Tarzan, to remain consistent with his high claims, insisted that no one
should stand above him, but only to the ape-man was the humor of the
situation apparent.

To relieve the situation Ja-don suggested that all three of them occupy
the throne, but this suggestion was repudiated by Ko-tan who argued
that no mortal other than a king of Pal-ul-don had ever sat upon the
high eminence, and that furthermore there was not room for three there.

"But who," said Tarzan, "is my accuser and who is my judge?"

"Lu-don is your accuser," explained Ko-tan.

"And Lu-don is your judge," cried the high priest.

"I am to be judged by him who accuses me then," said Tarzan. "It were
better to dispense then with any formalities and ask Lu-don to sentence
me." His tone was ironical and his sneering face, looking straight into
that of the high priest, but caused the latter's hatred to rise to
still greater proportions.

It was evident that Ko-tan and his warriors saw the justice of Tarzan's
implied objection to this unfair method of dispensing justice. "Only
Ko-tan can judge in the throneroom of his palace," said Ja-don, "let
him hear Lu-don's charges and the testimony of his witnesses, and then
let Ko-tan's judgment be final."

Ko-tan, however, was not particularly enthusiastic over the prospect of
sitting in trial upon one who might after all very possibly be the son
of his god, and so he temporized, seeking for an avenue of escape. "It
is purely a religious matter," he said, "and it is traditional that the
kings of Pal-ul-don interfere not in questions of the church."

"Then let the trial be held in the temple," cried one of the chiefs,
for the warriors were as anxious as their king to be relieved of all
responsibility in the matter. This suggestion was more than
satisfactory to the high priest who inwardly condemned himself for not
having thought of it before.

"It is true," he said, "this man's sin is against the temple. Let him
be dragged thither then for trial."

"The son of Jad-ben-Otho will

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