The Return of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 122

mountain-top. In this cave was the mother of the
river.

"I remember that we camped there that night, and that it was very cold,
for the mountains were high. The next day we decided to ascend to the
top of the mountains, and see what the country upon the other side
looked like, and if it seemed no better than that which we had so far
traversed we would return to our village and tell them that they had
already found the best place in all the world to live.

"And so we clambered up the face of the rocky cliffs until we reached
the summit, and there from a flat mountain-top we saw, not far beneath
us, a shallow valley, very narrow; and upon the far side of it was a
great village of stone, much of which had fallen and crumbled into
decay."

The balance of Waziri's story was practically the same as that which
Busuli had told.

"I should like to go there and see this strange city," said Tarzan,
"and get some of their yellow metal from its fierce inhabitants."

"It is a long march," replied Waziri, "and I am an old man, but if you
will wait until the rainy season is over and the rivers have gone down
I will take some of my warriors and go with you."

And Tarzan had to be contented with that arrangement, though he would
have liked it well enough to have set off the next morning--he was as
impatient as a child. Really Tarzan of the Apes was but a child, or a
primeval man, which is the same thing in a way.

The next day but one a small party of hunters returned to the village
from the south to report a large herd of elephant some miles away. By
climbing trees they had had a fairly good view of the herd, which they
described as numbering several large tuskers, a great many cows and
calves, and full-grown bulls whose ivory would be worth having.

The balance of the day and evening was filled with preparation for a
great hunt--spears were overhauled, quivers were replenished, bows were
restrung; and all the while the village witch doctor passed through the
busy throngs disposing of various charms and amulets designed to
protect the possessor from hurt, or bring him good fortune in the
morrow's hunt.

At dawn the hunters were off. There were fifty sleek, black warriors,
and in their midst, lithe and active as a young forest god, strode
Tarzan of the Apes, his brown skin contrasting oddly with

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