The Return of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 147

posed as a man of
culture and refinement, from a gentleman, she could scarcely credit.

"It is better that we die together, then," said Clayton.

"That is for the majority to decide," replied Monsieur Thuran. "As
only one of us three will be the object of sacrifice, we shall decide.
Miss Porter is not interested, since she will be in no danger."

"How shall we know who is to be first?" asked Spider.

"It may be fairly fixed by lot," replied Monsieur Thuran. "I have a
number of franc pieces in my pocket. We can choose a certain date from
among them--the one to draw this date first from beneath a piece of
cloth will be the first."

"I shall have nothing to do with any such diabolical plan," muttered
Clayton; "even yet land may be sighted or a ship appear--in time."

"You will do as the majority decide, or you will be 'the first' without
the formality of drawing lots," said Monsieur Thuran threateningly.
"Come, let us vote on the plan; I for one am in favor of it. How about
you, Spider?" "And I," replied the sailor.

"It is the will of the majority," announced Monsieur Thuran, "and now
let us lose no time in drawing lots. It is as fair for one as for
another. That three may live, one of us must die perhaps a few hours
sooner than otherwise."

Then he began his preparation for the lottery of death, while Jane
Porter sat wide-eyed and horrified at thought of the thing that she was
about to witness. Monsieur Thuran spread his coat upon the bottom of
the boat, and then from a handful of money he selected six franc
pieces. The other two men bent close above him as he inspected them.
Finally he handed them all to Clayton.

"Look at them carefully," he said. "The oldest date is
eighteen-seventy-five, and there is only one of that year."

Clayton and the sailor inspected each coin. To them there seemed not
the slightest difference that could be detected other than the dates.
They were quite satisfied. Had they known that Monsieur Thuran's past
experience as a card sharp had trained his sense of touch to so fine a
point that he could almost differentiate between cards by the mere feel
of them, they would scarcely have felt that the plan was so entirely
fair. The 1875 piece was a hair thinner than the other coins, but
neither Clayton nor Spider could have detected it without the aid of a
micrometer.

"In what

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These changes were effected merely to increase the Reader's reading ease and enjoyment of the text.