The Return of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 130

off chance lions.

When they had come close to the encampment Tarzan called aloud to let
them know that friends were coming. It was a joyous reception the
little party received when the blacks within the BOMA saw the long file
of fettered friends and relatives enter the firelight. These had all
been given up as lost forever, as had Tarzan as well, so that the happy
blacks would have remained awake all night to feast on elephant meat
and celebrate the return of their fellows, had not Tarzan insisted that
they take what sleep they could, against the work of the coming day.

At that, sleep was no easy matter, for the women who had lost their men
or their children in the day's massacre and battle made night hideous
with their continued wailing and howling. Finally, however, Tarzan
succeeded in silencing them, on the plea that their noise would attract
the Arabs to their hiding-place, when all would be slaughtered.

When dawn came Tarzan explained his plan of battle to the warriors, and
without demur one and all agreed that it was the safest and surest way
in which to rid themselves of their unwelcome visitors and be revenged
for the murder of their fellows.

First the women and children, with a guard of some twenty old warriors
and youths, were started southward, to be entirely out of the zone of
danger. They had instructions to erect temporary shelter and construct
a protecting BOMA of thorn bush; for the plan of campaign which Tarzan
had chosen was one which might stretch out over many days, or even
weeks, during which time the warriors would not return to the new camp.

Two hours after daylight a thin circle of black warriors surrounded the
village. At intervals one was perched high in the branches of a tree
which could overlook the palisade. Presently a Manyuema within the
village fell, pierced by a single arrow. There had been no sound of
attack--none of the hideous war-cries or vainglorious waving of
menacing spears that ordinarily marks the attack of savages--just a
silent messenger of death from out of the silent forest.

The Arabs and their followers were thrown into a fine rage at this
unprecedented occurrence. They ran for the gates, to wreak dire
vengeance upon the foolhardy perpetrator of the outrage; but they
suddenly realized that they did not know which way to turn to find the
foe. As they stood debating with many angry shouts and much
gesticulating, one of the Arabs sank silently to the ground

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