The Return of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 129

Now he halted not ten
paces from the unconscious Manyuema. The shaft was drawn back its full
length at the height of the keen gray eye that sighted along its
polished surface. There was a sudden twang as the brown fingers
released their hold, and without a sound the raider sank forward upon
his face, a wooden shaft transfixing his heart and protruding a foot
from his black chest.

Then Tarzan turned his attention to the fifty women and youths chained
neck to neck on the long slave chain. There was no releasing of the
ancient padlocks in the time that was left him, so the ape-man called
to them to follow him as they were, and, snatching the gun and
cartridge belt from the dead sentry, he led the now happy band out
through the village gate and into the forest upon the far side of the
clearing.

It was a slow and arduous march, for the slave chain was new to these
people, and there were many delays as one of their number would stumble
and fall, dragging others down with her. Then, too, Tarzan had been
forced to make a wide detour to avoid any possibility of meeting with
returning raiders. He was partially guided by occasional shots which
indicated that the Arab horde was still in touch with the villagers;
but he knew that if they would but follow his advice there would be but
few casualties other than on the side of the marauders.

Toward dusk the firing ceased entirely, and Tarzan knew that the Arabs
had all returned to the village. He could scarce repress a smile of
triumph as he thought of their rage on discovering that their guard had
been killed and their prisoners taken away. Tarzan had wished that he
might have taken some of the great store of ivory the village
contained, solely for the purpose of still further augmenting the wrath
of his enemies; but he knew that that was not necessary for its
salvation, since he already had a plan mapped out which would
effectually prevent the Arabs leaving the country with a single tusk.
And it would have been cruel to have needlessly burdened these poor,
overwrought women with the extra weight of the heavy ivory.

It was after midnight when Tarzan, with his slow-moving caravan,
approached the spot where the elephants lay. Long before they reached
it they had been guided by the huge fire the natives had built in the
center of a hastily improvised BOMA, partially for warmth and partially
to keep

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