The Beasts of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 52

Tarzan, King of the Apes, the only one in all
the world fitted to find and save the child from the horrors that
Rokoff's evil mind had planned--had been trapped like a silly, dumb
creature. He was to die in a few hours, and with him would go the
child's last chance of succour.

Rokoff had been in to see and revile and abuse him several times during
the afternoon; but he had been able to wring no word of remonstrance or
murmur of pain from the lips of the giant captive.

So at last he had given up, reserving his particular bit of exquisite
mental torture for the last moment, when, just before the savage spears
of the cannibals should for ever make the object of his hatred immune
to further suffering, the Russian planned to reveal to his enemy the
true whereabouts of his wife whom he thought safe in England.

Dusk had fallen upon the village, and the ape-man could hear the
preparations going forward for the torture and the feast. The dance
of death he could picture in his mind's eye--for he had seen the thing
many times in the past. Now he was to be the central figure, bound to
the stake.

The torture of the slow death as the circling warriors cut him to bits
with the fiendish skill, that mutilated without bringing
unconsciousness, had no terrors for him. He was inured to suffering
and to the sight of blood and to cruel death; but the desire to live
was no less strong within him, and until the last spark of life should
flicker and go out, his whole being would remain quick with hope and
determination. Let them relax their watchfulness but for an instant,
he knew that his cunning mind and giant muscles would find a way to
escape--escape and revenge.

As he lay, thinking furiously on every possibility of self-salvation,
there came to his sensitive nostrils a faint and a familiar scent.
Instantly every faculty of his mind was upon the alert. Presently his
trained ears caught the sound of the soundless presence without--behind
the hut wherein he lay. His lips moved, and though no sound came
forth that might have been appreciable to a human ear beyond the walls
of his prison, yet he realized that the one beyond would hear. Already
he knew who that one was, for his nostrils had told him as plainly as
your eyes or mine tell us of the identity of an old friend whom we come
upon in

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