Tarzan the Terrible

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 94

be dragged nowhere," cried Tarzan. "But
when this trial is over it is possible that the corpse of Lu-don, the
high priest, will be dragged from the temple of the god he would
desecrate. Think well, then, Lu-don before you commit this folly."

His words, intended to frighten the high priest from his position
failed utterly in consummating their purpose. Lu-don showed no terror
at the suggestion the ape-man's words implied.

"Here is one," thought Tarzan, "who, knowing more of his religion than
any of his fellows, realizes fully the falsity of my claims as he does
the falsity of the faith he preaches."

He realized, however, that his only hope lay in seeming indifference to
the charges. Ko-tan and the warriors were still under the spell of
their belief in him and upon this fact must he depend in the final act
of the drama that Lu-don was staging for his rescue from the jealous
priest whom he knew had already passed sentence upon him in his own
heart.

With a shrug he descended the steps of the pyramid. "It matters not to
Dor-ul-Otho," he said, "where Lu-don enrages his god, for Jad-ben-Otho
can reach as easily into the chambers of the temple as into the
throneroom of Ko-tan."

Immeasurably relieved by this easy solution of their problem the king
and the warriors thronged from the throneroom toward the temple
grounds, their faith in Tarzan increased by his apparent indifference
to the charges against him. Lu-don led them to the largest of the altar
courts.

Taking his place behind the western altar he motioned Ko-tan to a place
upon the platform at the left hand of the altar and directed Tarzan to
a similar place at the right.

As Tarzan ascended the platform his eyes narrowed angrily at the sight
which met them. The basin hollowed in the top of the altar was filled
with water in which floated the naked corpse of a new-born babe. "What
means this?" he cried angrily, turning upon Lu-don.

The latter smiled malevolently. "That you do not know," he replied, "is
but added evidence of the falsity of your claim. He who poses as the
son of god did not know that as the last rays of the setting sun flood
the eastern altar of the temple the lifeblood of an adult reddens the
white stone for the edification of Jad-ben-Otho, and that when the sun
rises again from the body of its maker it looks first upon this western
altar and rejoices in the death of a new-born babe each day, the ghost
of which accompanies it across the heavens by

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