The Beasts of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 47

he was surrounded by a host of curious men, women, and
children.

From the chief he learned that Rokoff had passed up the river a week
previous, and that he had horns growing from his forehead, and was
accompanied by a thousand devils. Later the chief said that the very
bad white man had remained a month in his village.

Though none of these statements agreed with Kaviri's, that the Russian
was but three days gone from the chieftain's village and that his
following was much smaller than now stated, Tarzan was in no manner
surprised at the discrepancies, for he was quite familiar with the
savage mind's strange manner of functioning.

What he was most interested in knowing was that he was upon the right
trail, and that it led toward the interior. In this circumstance he
knew that Rokoff could never escape him.

After several hours of questioning and cross-questioning the ape-man
learned that another party had preceded the Russian by several
days--three whites--a man, a woman, and a little man-child, with
several Mosulas.

Tarzan explained to the chief that his people would follow him in a
canoe, probably the next day, and that though he might go on ahead of
them the chief was to receive them kindly and have no fear of them, for
Mugambi would see that they did not harm the chief's people, if they
were accorded a friendly reception.

"And now," he concluded, "I shall lie down beneath this tree and sleep.
I am very tired. Permit no one to disturb me."

The chief offered him a hut, but Tarzan, from past experience of native
dwellings, preferred the open air, and, further, he had plans of his
own that could be better carried out if he remained beneath the tree.
He gave as his reason a desire to be close at hand should Sheeta
return, and after this explanation the chief was very glad to permit
him to sleep beneath the tree.

Tarzan had always found that it stood him in good stead to leave with
natives the impression that he was to some extent possessed of more or
less miraculous powers. He might easily have entered their village
without recourse to the gates, but he believed that a sudden and
unaccountable disappearance when he was ready to leave them would
result in a more lasting impression upon their childlike minds, and so
as soon as the village was quiet in sleep he rose, and, leaping into
the branches of the tree above him, faded silently into the black
mystery of the jungle night.

All the balance of

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