The Beasts of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 58

been marooned the Kincaid
came to anchor in the mouth of a great river, and presently Rokoff came
to Jane Clayton's cabin.

"We have arrived, my dear," he said, with a sickening leer. "I have
come to offer you safety, liberty, and ease. My heart has been
softened toward you in your suffering, and I would make amends as best
I may.

"Your husband was a brute--you know that best who found him naked in
his native jungle, roaming wild with the savage beasts that were his
fellows. Now I am a gentleman, not only born of noble blood, but
raised gently as befits a man of quality.

"To you, dear Jane, I offer the love of a cultured man and association
with one of culture and refinement, which you must have sorely missed
in your relations with the poor ape that through your girlish
infatuation you married so thoughtlessly. I love you, Jane. You have
but to say the word and no further sorrows shall afflict you--even your
baby shall be returned to you unharmed."

Outside the door Sven Anderssen paused with the noonday meal he had
been carrying to Lady Greystoke. Upon the end of his long, stringy
neck his little head was cocked to one side, his close-set eyes were
half closed, his ears, so expressive was his whole attitude of stealthy
eavesdropping, seemed truly to be cocked forward--even his long,
yellow, straggly moustache appeared to assume a sly droop.

As Rokoff closed his appeal, awaiting the reply he invited, the look of
surprise upon Jane Clayton's face turned to one of disgust. She fairly
shuddered in the fellow's face.

"I would not have been surprised, M. Rokoff," she said, "had you
attempted to force me to submit to your evil desires, but that you
should be so fatuous as to believe that I, wife of John Clayton, would
come to you willingly, even to save my life, I should never have
imagined. I have known you for a scoundrel, M. Rokoff; but until now
I had not taken you for a fool."

Rokoff's eyes narrowed, and the red of mortification flushed out the
pallor of his face. He took a step toward the girl, threateningly.

"We shall see who is the fool at last," he hissed, "when I have broken
you to my will and your plebeian Yankee stubbornness has cost you all
that you hold dear--even the life of your baby--for, by the bones of
St. Peter, I'll forego all that I had planned for the brat and

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