The Beasts of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 130

second explosion was less a mystery than that of the
first, the mate attributing it to the bursting of the boilers when the
flames had finally reached them; but what had caused the first
explosion was a subject of considerable speculation among the stranded
company.




Chapter 20

Jungle Island Again


The first consideration of the party was to locate fresh water and make
camp, for all knew that their term of existence upon Jungle Island
might be drawn out to months, or even years.

Tarzan knew the nearest water, and to this he immediately led the
party. Here the men fell to work to construct shelters and rude
furniture while Tarzan went into the jungle after meat, leaving the
faithful Mugambi and the Mosula woman to guard Jane, whose safety he
would never trust to any member of the Kincaid's cut-throat crew.

Lady Greystoke suffered far greater anguish than any other of the
castaways, for the blow to her hopes and her already cruelly lacerated
mother-heart lay not in her own privations but in the knowledge that
she might now never be able to learn the fate of her first-born or do
aught to discover his whereabouts, or ameliorate his condition--a
condition which imagination naturally pictured in the most frightful
forms.

For two weeks the party divided the time amongst the various duties
which had been allotted to each. A daylight watch was maintained from
sunrise to sunset upon a bluff near the camp--a jutting shoulder of
rock which overlooked the sea. Here, ready for instant lighting, was
gathered a huge pile of dry branches, while from a lofty pole which
they had set in the ground there floated an improvised distress signal
fashioned from a red undershirt which belonged to the mate of the
Kincaid.

But never a speck upon the horizon that might be sail or smoke rewarded
the tired eyes that in their endless, hopeless vigil strained daily out
across the vast expanse of ocean.

It was Tarzan who suggested, finally, that they attempt to construct a
vessel that would bear them back to the mainland. He alone could show
them how to fashion rude tools, and when the idea had taken root in the
minds of the men they were eager to commence their labours.

But as time went on and the Herculean nature of their task became more
and more apparent they fell to grumbling, and to quarrelling among
themselves, so that to the other dangers were now added dissension and
suspicion.

More than before did Tarzan now fear to leave Jane among the half
brutes of the Kincaid's crew; but hunting

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