The Beasts of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 84

man of very different
appearance from M'ganwazam--so different, in fact, that Jane Clayton
immediately decided that he was of another tribe. This man acted as
interpreter, and almost from the first question that M'ganwazam put to
her, Jane felt an intuitive conviction that the savage was attempting
to draw information from her for some ulterior motive.

She thought it strange that the fellow should so suddenly have become
interested in her plans, and especially in her intended destination
when her journey had been interrupted at his village.

Seeing no reason for withholding the information, she told him the
truth; but when he asked if she expected to meet her husband at the end
of the trip, she shook her head negatively.

Then he told her the purpose of his visit, talking through the
interpreter.

"I have just learned," he said, "from some men who live by the side of
the great water, that your husband followed you up the Ugambi for
several marches, when he was at last set upon by natives and killed.
Therefore I have told you this that you might not waste your time in a
long journey if you expected to meet your husband at the end of it; but
instead could turn and retrace your steps to the coast."

Jane thanked M'ganwazam for his kindness, though her heart was numb
with suffering at this new blow. She who had suffered so much was at
last beyond reach of the keenest of misery's pangs, for her senses were
numbed and calloused.

With bowed head she sat staring with unseeing eyes upon the face of the
baby in her lap. M'ganwazam had left the hut. Sometime later she
heard a noise at the entrance--another had entered. One of the women
sitting opposite her threw a faggot upon the dying embers of the fire
between them.

With a sudden flare it burst into renewed flame, lighting up the hut's
interior as though by magic.

The flame disclosed to Jane Clayton's horrified gaze that the baby was
quite dead. How long it had been so she could not guess.

A choking lump rose to her throat, her head drooped in silent misery
upon the little bundle that she had caught suddenly to her breast.

For a moment the silence of the hut was unbroken. Then the native
woman broke into a hideous wail.

A man coughed close before Jane Clayton and spoke her name.

With a start she raised her eyes to look into the sardonic countenance
of Nikolas Rokoff.




Chapter 13

Escape


For a moment Rokoff stood sneering down upon Jane Clayton,

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