The Beasts of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 135

men of the Cowrie.

But Momulla was even more curious than he was superstitious, and so he
quelled his natural desire to flee from the supernatural. Motioning
his companions to follow his example, he dropped to his hands and
knees, crawling forward stealthily and with quakings of heart through
the jungle in the direction from which came the voices of the unseen
speakers.

Presently, at the edge of a little clearing, he halted, and there he
breathed a deep sigh of relief, for plainly before him he saw two
flesh-and-blood men sitting upon a fallen log and talking earnestly
together.

One was Schneider, mate of the Kincaid, and the other was a seaman
named Schmidt.

"I think we can do it, Schmidt," Schneider was saying. "A good canoe
wouldn't be hard to build, and three of us could paddle it to the
mainland in a day if the wind was right and the sea reasonably calm.
There ain't no use waiting for the men to build a big enough boat to
take the whole party, for they're sore now and sick of working like
slaves all day long. It ain't none of our business anyway to save the
Englishman. Let him look out for himself, says I." He paused for a
moment, and then eyeing the other to note the effect of his next words,
he continued, "But we might take the woman. It would be a shame to
leave a nice-lookin' piece like she is in such a Gott-forsaken hole as
this here island."

Schmidt looked up and grinned.

"So that's how she's blowin', is it?" he asked. "Why didn't you say so
in the first place? Wot's in it for me if I help you?"

"She ought to pay us well to get her back to civilization," explained
Schneider, "an' I tell you what I'll do. I'll just whack up with the
two men that helps me. I'll take half an' they can divide the other
half--you an' whoever the other bloke is. I'm sick of this place, an'
the sooner I get out of it the better I'll like it. What do you say?"

"Suits me," replied Schmidt. "I wouldn't know how to reach the
mainland myself, an' know that none o' the other fellows would, so's
you're the only one that knows anything of navigation you're the fellow
I'll tie to."

Momulla the Maori pricked up his ears. He had a smattering of every
tongue that is spoken upon the seas, and more than a few

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