The Return of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 110

had no intention to remain there
inactive--a prey to hunger and thirst. If he must die he preferred
dying in action while making some semblance of an attempt to save

The sea was quiet, so that the wreck had only a gently undulating
motion, that was nothing to the swimmer who had had no sleep for twenty
hours. Tarzan of the Apes curled up upon the slimy timbers, and was
soon asleep.

The heat of the sun awoke him early in the forenoon. His first
conscious sensation was of thirst, which grew almost to the proportions
of suffering with full returning consciousness; but a moment later it
was forgotten in the joy of two almost simultaneous discoveries. The
first was a mass of wreckage floating beside the derelict in the midst
of which, bottom up, rose and fell an overturned lifeboat; the other
was the faint, dim line of a far-distant shore showing on the horizon
in the east.

Tarzan dove into the water, and swam around the wreck to the lifeboat.
The cool ocean refreshed him almost as much as would a draft of water,
so that it was with renewed vigor that he brought the smaller boat
alongside the derelict, and, after many herculean efforts, succeeded in
dragging it onto the slimy ship's bottom. There he righted and
examined it--the boat was quite sound, and a moment later floated
upright alongside the wreck. Then Tarzan selected several pieces of
wreckage that might answer him as paddles, and presently was making
good headway toward the far-off shore.

It was late in the afternoon by the time he came close enough to
distinguish objects on land, or to make out the contour of the shore
line. Before him lay what appeared to be the entrance to a little,
landlocked harbor. The wooded point to the north was strangely
familiar. Could it be possible that fate had thrown him up at the very
threshold of his own beloved jungle! But as the bow of his boat
entered the mouth of the harbor the last shred of doubt was cleared
away, for there before him upon the farther shore, under the shadows of
his primeval forest, stood his own cabin--built before his birth by the
hand of his long-dead father, John Clayton, Lord Greystoke.

With long sweeps of his giant muscles Tarzan sent the little craft
speeding toward the beach. Its prow had scarcely touched when the
ape-man leaped to shore--his heart beat fast in joy and exultation as
each long-familiar object came beneath his roving eyes--the cabin,

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