Tarzan the Terrible

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 98

of the enclosure. There was
just room between the two for the high priest to stand during the
performance of the sacrificial ceremonies and only Lu-don stood there
now behind Tarzan, while before him were perhaps two hundred warriors
and priests.

The presumptuous one who would have had the glory of first laying
arresting hands upon the blasphemous impersonator rushed forward with
outstretched hand to seize the ape-man. Instead it was he who was
seized; seized by steel fingers that snapped him up as though he had
been a dummy of straw, grasped him by one leg and the harness at his
back and raised him with giant arms high above the altar. Close at his
heels were others ready to seize the ape-man and drag him down, and
beyond the altar was Lu-don with drawn knife advancing toward him.

There was no instant to waste, nor was it the way of the ape-man to
fritter away precious moments in the uncertainty of belated decision.
Before Lu-don or any other could guess what was in the mind of the
condemned, Tarzan with all the force of his great muscles dashed the
screaming hierophant in the face of the high priest, and, as though the
two actions were one, so quickly did he move, he had leaped to the top
of the altar and from there to a handhold upon the summit of the temple
wall. As he gained a footing there he turned and looked down upon those
beneath. For a moment he stood in silence and then he spoke.

"Who dare believe," he cried, "that Jad-ben-Otho would forsake his
son?" and then he dropped from their sight upon the other side.

There were two at least left within the enclosure whose hearts leaped
with involuntary elation at the success of the ape-man's maneuver, and
one of them smiled openly. This was Ja-don, and the other, Pan-at-lee.

The brains of the priest that Tarzan had thrown at the head of Lu-don
had been dashed out against the temple wall while the high priest
himself had escaped with only a few bruises, sustained in his fall to
the hard pavement. Quickly scrambling to his feet he looked around in
fear, in terror and finally in bewilderment, for he had not been a
witness to the ape-man's escape. "Seize him," he cried; "seize the
blasphemer," and he continued to look around in search of his victim
with such a ridiculous expression of bewilderment that more than a
single warrior was compelled to hide his smiles beneath his palm.

The priests were rushing around wildly, exhorting the warriors

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