The Beasts of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 88

girl could hear the
stealthy, muffled footfalls of great beasts, and ever round about them
rose the deafening roars of hunting lions, until the earth trembled to
the mighty sound.

The porters lighted torches now and waved them upon either hand to
frighten off the beasts of prey. Rokoff urged them to greater speed,
and from the quavering note in his voice Jane Clayton knew that he was
weak from terror.

The sounds of the jungle night recalled most vividly the days and
nights that she had spent in a similar jungle with her forest god--with
the fearless and unconquerable Tarzan of the Apes. Then there had been
no thoughts of terror, though the jungle noises were new to her, and
the roar of a lion had seemed the most awe-inspiring sound upon the
great earth.

How different would it be now if she knew that he was somewhere there
in the wilderness, seeking her! Then, indeed, would there be that for
which to live, and every reason to believe that succour was close at
hand--but he was dead! It was incredible that it should be so.

There seemed no place in death for that great body and those mighty
thews. Had Rokoff been the one to tell her of her lord's passing she
would have known that he lied. There could be no reason, she thought,
why M'ganwazam should have deceived her. She did not know that the
Russian had talked with the savage a few minutes before the chief had
come to her with his tale.

At last they reached the rude boma that Rokoff's porters had thrown up
round the Russian's camp. Here they found all in turmoil. She did not
know what it was all about, but she saw that Rokoff was very angry, and
from bits of conversation which she could translate she gleaned that
there had been further desertions while he had been absent, and that
the deserters had taken the bulk of his food and ammunition.

When he had done venting his rage upon those who remained he returned
to where Jane stood under guard of a couple of his white sailors. He
grasped her roughly by the arm and started to drag her toward his tent.
The girl struggled and fought to free herself, while the two sailors
stood by, laughing at the rare treat.

Rokoff did not hesitate to use rough methods when he found that he was
to have difficulty in carrying out his designs. Repeatedly he struck
Jane Clayton in the face, until

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