so rash an act he halted
at the water's edge.
Thus he stood, his gaze riveted upon the Kincaid until it disappeared
beyond a projecting promontory of the coast.
From the jungle at his back fierce bloodshot eyes glared from beneath
shaggy overhanging brows upon him.
Little monkeys in the tree-tops chattered and scolded, and from the
distance of the inland forest came the scream of a leopard.
But still John Clayton, Lord Greystoke, stood deaf and unseeing,
suffering the pangs of keen regret for the opportunity that he had
wasted because he had been so gullible as to place credence in a single
statement of the first lieutenant of his arch-enemy.
"I have at least," he thought, "one consolation--the knowledge that
Jane is safe in London. Thank Heaven she, too, did not fall into the
clutches of those villains."
Behind him the hairy thing whose evil eyes had been watching him as a
cat watches a mouse was creeping stealthily toward him.
Where were the trained senses of the savage ape-man?
Where the acute hearing?
Where the uncanny sense of scent?
Beasts at Bay
Slowly Tarzan unfolded the note the sailor had thrust into his hand,
and read it. At first it made little impression on his sorrow-numbed
senses, but finally the full purport of the hideous plot of revenge
unfolded itself before his imagination.
"This will explain to you" [the note read] "the exact nature of my
intentions relative to your offspring and to you.
"You were born an ape. You lived naked in the jungles--to your own we
have returned you; but your son shall rise a step above his sire. It
is the immutable law of evolution.
"The father was a beast, but the son shall be a man--he shall take the
next ascending step in the scale of progress. He shall be no naked
beast of the jungle, but shall wear a loin-cloth and copper anklets,
and, perchance, a ring in his nose, for he is to be reared by men--a
tribe of savage cannibals.
"I might have killed you, but that would have curtailed the full
measure of the punishment you have earned at my hands.
"Dead, you could not have suffered in the knowledge of your son's
plight; but living and in a place from which you may not escape to seek
or succour your child, you shall suffer worse than death for all the
years of your life in contemplation of the horrors of your son's
"This, then, is to be a part of your punishment for having dared to pit
"P.S.--The balance of your
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