The Return of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 127

all were to follow.

"Wait!" cautioned Tarzan. "If there are even fifty guns within the
palisade we shall be repulsed and slaughtered. Let me go alone through
the trees, so that I may look down upon them from above, and see just
how many there be, and what chance we might have were we to charge. It
were foolish to lose a single man needlessly if there be no hope of
success. I have an idea that we can accomplish more by cunning than by
force. Will you wait, Waziri?"

"Yes," said the old chief. "Go!"

So Tarzan sprang into the trees and disappeared in the direction of the
village. He moved more cautiously than was his wont, for he knew that
men with guns could reach him quite as easily in the treetops as on the
ground. And when Tarzan of the Apes elected to adopt stealth, no
creature in all the jungle could move so silently or so completely
efface himself from the sight of an enemy.

In five minutes he had wormed his way to the great tree that overhung
the palisade at one end of the village, and from his point of vantage
looked down upon the savage horde beneath. He counted fifty Arabs and
estimated that there were five times as many Manyuema. The latter were
gorging themselves upon food and, under the very noses of their white
masters, preparing the gruesome feast which is the PIECE DE RESISTANCE
that follows a victory in which the bodies of their slain enemies fall
into their horrid hands.

The ape-man saw that to charge that wild horde, armed as they were with
guns, and barricaded behind the locked gates of the village, would be a
futile task, and so he returned to Waziri and advised him to wait; that
he, Tarzan, had a better plan.

But a moment before one of the fugitives had related to Waziri the
story of the atrocious murder of the old chief's wife, and so crazed
with rage was the old man that he cast discretion to the winds.
Calling his warriors about him, he commanded them to charge, and, with
brandishing spears and savage yells, the little force of scarcely more
than a hundred dashed madly toward the village gates. Before the
clearing had been half crossed the Arabs opened up a withering fire
from behind the palisade.

With the first volley Waziri fell. The speed of the chargers
slackened. Another volley brought down a half dozen more. A few
reached the barred gates,

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