The Return of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 126

guns ahead warned them to haste, but finally the reports dwindled to an
occasional shot, presently ceasing altogether. Nor was this less
ominous than the rattle of musketry, for it suggested but a single
solution to the little band of rescuers--that the illy garrisoned
village had already succumbed to the onslaught of a superior force.

The returning hunters had covered a little more than three miles of the
five that had separated them from the village when they met the first
of the fugitives who had escaped the bullets and clutches of the foe.
There were a dozen women, youths, and girls in the party, and so
excited were they that they could scarce make themselves understood as
they tried to relate to Waziri the calamity that had befallen his

"They are as many as the leaves of the forest," cried one of the women,
in attempting to explain the enemy's force. "There are many Arabs and
countless Manyuema, and they all have guns. They crept close to the
village before we knew that they were about, and then, with many
shouts, they rushed in upon us, shooting down men, and women, and
children. Those of us who could fled in all directions into the
jungle, but more were killed. I do not know whether they took any
prisoners or not--they seemed only bent upon killing us all. The
Manyuema called us many names, saying that they would eat us all before
they left our country--that this was our punishment for killing their
friends last year. I did not hear much, for I ran away quickly."

The march toward the village was now resumed, more slowly and with
greater stealth, for Waziri knew that it was too late to rescue--their
only mission could be one of revenge. Inside the next mile a hundred
more fugitives were met. There were many men among these, and so the
fighting strength of the party was augmented.

Now a dozen warriors were sent creeping ahead to reconnoiter. Waziri
remained with the main body, which advanced in a thin line that spread
in a great crescent through the forest. By the chief's side walked

Presently one of the scouts returned. He had come within sight of the

"They are all within the palisade," he whispered.

"Good!" said Waziri. "We shall rush in upon them and slay them all,"
and he made ready to send word along the line that they were to halt at
the edge of the clearing until they saw him rush toward the

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