The Beasts of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 74

as it was
he that Tarzan was most anxious to interview, he lost no time in
entering into a palaver with the black.

The fellow was short and stout, with an unusually low and degraded
countenance and apelike arms. His whole expression denoted
deceitfulness.

Only the superstitious terror engendered in him by the stories poured
into his ears by the whites and blacks of the Russian's party kept him
from leaping upon Tarzan with his warriors and slaying him forthwith,
for he and his people were inveterate maneaters. But the fear that he
might indeed be a devil, and that out there in the jungle behind him
his fierce demons waited to do his bidding, kept M'ganwazam from
putting his desires into action.

Tarzan questioned the fellow closely, and by comparing his statements
with those of the young warrior he had first talked with he learned
that Rokoff and his safari were in terror-stricken retreat in the
direction of the far East Coast.

Many of the Russian's porters had already deserted him. In that very
village he had hanged five for theft and attempted desertion. Judging,
however, from what the Waganwazam had learned from those of the
Russian's blacks who were not too far gone in terror of the brutal
Rokoff to fear even to speak of their plans, it was apparent that he
would not travel any great distance before the last of his porters,
cooks, tent-boys, gun-bearers, askari, and even his headman, would have
turned back into the bush, leaving him to the mercy of the merciless
jungle.

M'ganwazam denied that there had been any white woman or child with the
party of whites; but even as he spoke Tarzan was convinced that he
lied. Several times the ape-man approached the subject from different
angles, but never was he successful in surprising the wily cannibal
into a direct contradiction of his original statement that there had
been no women or children with the party.

Tarzan demanded food of the chief, and after considerable haggling on
the part of the monarch succeeded in obtaining a meal. He then tried
to draw out others of the tribe, especially the young man whom he had
captured in the bush, but M'ganwazam's presence sealed their lips.

At last, convinced that these people knew a great deal more than they
had told him concerning the whereabouts of the Russian and the fate of
Jane and the child, Tarzan determined to remain overnight among them in
the hope of discovering something further of importance.

When he had stated his decision to the chief he was rather surprised

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