The Beasts of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 83

understand her words, but they saw the cause of her
trouble, and soon a young woman had pulled her into a hut and with
several others was doing her poor best to quiet the child and allay its

The witch doctor came and built a little fire before the infant, upon
which he boiled some strange concoction in a small earthen pot, making
weird passes above it and mumbling strange, monotonous chants.
Presently he dipped a zebra's tail into the brew, and with further
mutterings and incantations sprinkled a few drops of the liquid over
the baby's face.

After he had gone the women sat about and moaned and wailed until Jane
thought that she should go mad; but, knowing that they were doing it
all out of the kindness of their hearts, she endured the frightful
waking nightmare of those awful hours in dumb and patient suffering.

It must have been well toward midnight that she became conscious of a
sudden commotion in the village. She heard the voices of the natives
raised in controversy, but she could not understand the words.

Presently she heard footsteps approaching the hut in which she squatted
before a bright fire with the baby on her lap. The little thing lay
very still now, its lids, half-raised, showed the pupils horribly

Jane Clayton looked into the little face with fear-haunted eyes. It
was not her baby--not her flesh and blood--but how close, how dear the
tiny, helpless thing had become to her. Her heart, bereft of its own,
had gone out to this poor, little, nameless waif, and lavished upon it
all the love that had been denied her during the long, bitter weeks of
her captivity aboard the Kincaid.

She saw that the end was near, and though she was terrified at
contemplation of her loss, still she hoped that it would come quickly
now and end the sufferings of the little victim.

The footsteps she had heard without the hut now halted before the door.
There was a whispered colloquy, and a moment later M'ganwazam, chief of
the tribe, entered. She had seen but little of him, as the women had
taken her in hand almost as soon as she had entered the village.

M'ganwazam, she now saw, was an evil-appearing savage with every mark
of brutal degeneracy writ large upon his bestial countenance. To Jane
Clayton he looked more gorilla than human. He tried to converse with
her, but without success, and finally he called to some one without.

In answer to his summons another Negro entered--a

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