The Beasts of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 56

danger was not present.

He stepped close to the ape-man, and, seizing a spear from the hands of
one of the savages, was the first to prod the helpless victim. A
little stream of blood trickled down the giant's smooth skin from the
wound in his side; but no murmur of pain passed his lips.

The smile of contempt upon his face seemed to infuriate the Russian.
With a volley of oaths he leaped at the helpless captive, beating him
upon the face with his clenched fists and kicking him mercilessly about
the legs.

Then he raised the heavy spear to drive it through the mighty heart,
and still Tarzan of the Apes smiled contemptuously upon him.

Before Rokoff could drive the weapon home the chief sprang upon him and
dragged him away from his intended victim.

"Stop, white man!" he cried. "Rob us of this prisoner and our
death-dance, and you yourself may have to take his place."

The threat proved most effective in keeping the Russian from further
assaults upon the prisoner, though he continued to stand a little apart
and hurl taunts at his enemy. He told Tarzan that he himself was going
to eat the ape-man's heart. He enlarged upon the horrors of the
future life of Tarzan's son, and intimated that his vengeance would
reach as well to Jane Clayton.

"You think your wife safe in England," said Rokoff. "Poor fool! She
is even now in the hands of one not even of decent birth, and far from
the safety of London and the protection of her friends. I had not
meant to tell you this until I could bring to you upon Jungle Island
proof of her fate.

"Now that you are about to die the most unthinkably horrid death that
it is given a white man to die--let this word of the plight of your
wife add to the torments that you must suffer before the last savage
spear-thrust releases you from your torture."

The dance had commenced now, and the yells of the circling warriors
drowned Rokoff's further attempts to distress his victim.

The leaping savages, the flickering firelight playing upon their
painted bodies, circled about the victim at the stake.

To Tarzan's memory came a similar scene, when he had rescued D'Arnot
from a like predicament at the last moment before the final
spear-thrust should have ended his sufferings. Who was there now to
rescue him? In all the world there was none able to save him from the
torture and the death.

The thought that these human

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