The Beasts of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 108

to the ape-man whose idea
of speed had been gained by such standards as the lesser apes attain,
he made, as a matter of fact, almost as rapid progress as the drifting
canoe that bore Rokoff on ahead of him, so that he came to the bay and
within sight of the ocean just after darkness had fallen upon the same
day that Jane Clayton and the Russian ended their flights from the
interior.

The darkness lowered so heavily upon the black river and the encircling
jungle that Tarzan, even with eyes accustomed to much use after dark,
could make out nothing a few yards from him. His idea was to search
the shore that night for signs of the Russian and the woman who he was
certain must have preceded Rokoff down the Ugambi. That the Kincaid or
other ship lay at anchor but a hundred yards from him he did not dream,
for no light showed on board the steamer.

Even as he commenced his search his attention was suddenly attracted by
a noise that he had not at first perceived--the stealthy dip of paddles
in the water some distance from the shore, and about opposite the point
at which he stood. Motionless as a statue he stood listening to the
faint sound.

Presently it ceased, to be followed by a shuffling noise that the
ape-man's trained ears could interpret as resulting from but a single
cause--the scraping of leather-shod feet upon the rounds of a ship's
monkey-ladder. And yet, as far as he could see, there was no ship
there--nor might there be one within a thousand miles.

As he stood thus, peering out into the darkness of the cloud-enshrouded
night, there came to him from across the water, like a slap in the
face, so sudden and unexpected was it, the sharp staccato of an
exchange of shots and then the scream of a woman.

Wounded though he was, and with the memory of his recent horrible
experience still strong upon him, Tarzan of the Apes did not hesitate
as the notes of that frightened cry rose shrill and piercing upon the
still night air. With a bound he cleared the intervening bush--there
was a splash as the water closed about him--and then, with powerful
strokes, he swam out into the impenetrable night with no guide save the
memory of an illusive cry, and for company the hideous denizens of an
equatorial river.


The boat that had attracted Jane's attention as she stood guard upon
the deck of the Kincaid had been perceived by Rokoff upon one

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