The Beasts of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 100

of the Apes, Lord
of the Jungle, disappeared from the sight of men beneath the gloomy
waters of the dark and forbidding Ugambi.

Weak from terror, Rokoff sank shuddering into the bottom of the dugout.
For a moment he could not realize the good fortune that had befallen
him--all that he could see was the figure of a silent, struggling white
man disappearing beneath the surface of the river to unthinkable death
in the slimy mud of the bottom.

Slowly all that it meant to him filtered into the mind of the Russian,
and then a cruel smile of relief and triumph touched his lips; but it
was short-lived, for just as he was congratulating himself that he was
now comparatively safe to proceed upon his way to the coast unmolested,
a mighty pandemonium rose from the river-bank close by.

As his eyes sought the authors of the frightful sound he saw standing
upon the shore, glaring at him with hate-filled eyes, a devil-faced
panther surrounded by the hideous apes of Akut, and in the forefront of
them a giant black warrior who shook his fist at him, threatening him
with terrible death.

The nightmare of that flight down the Ugambi with the hideous horde
racing after him by day and by night, now abreast of him, now lost in
the mazes of the jungle far behind for hours and once for a whole day,
only to reappear again upon his trail grim, relentless, and terrible,
reduced the Russian from a strong and robust man to an emaciated,
white-haired, fear-gibbering thing before ever the bay and the ocean
broke upon his hopeless vision.

Past populous villages he had fled. Time and again warriors had put
out in their canoes to intercept him, but each time the hideous horde
had swept into view to send the terrified natives shrieking back to the
shore to lose themselves in the jungle.

Nowhere in his flight had he seen aught of Jane Clayton. Not once had
his eyes rested upon her since that moment at the river's brim his hand
had closed upon the rope attached to the bow of her dugout and he had
believed her safely in his power again, only to be thwarted an instant
later as the girl snatched up a heavy express rifle from the bottom of
the craft and levelled it full at his breast.

Quickly he had dropped the rope then and seen her float away beyond his
reach, but a moment later he had been racing up-stream toward a little
tributary in the mouth of which was hidden the canoe

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