The Return of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 149

Spider bent, wide-eyed, toward the
hand that was to decide his fate, for whatever luck was Clayton's on
this last draw, the opposite would be Spider's. Then William Cecil
Clayton, Lord Greystoke, removed his hand from beneath the coat, and
with a coin tight pressed within his palm where none might see it, he
looked at Jane Porter. He did not dare open his hand.

"Quick!" hissed Spider. "My Gawd, let's see it."

Clayton opened his fingers. Spider was the first to see the date, and
ere any knew what his intention was he raised himself to his feet, and
lunged over the side of the boat, to disappear forever into the green
depths beneath--the coin had not been the 1875 piece.

The strain had exhausted those who remained to such an extent that they
lay half unconscious for the balance of the day, nor was the subject
referred to again for several days. Horrible days of increasing
weakness and hopelessness. At length Monsieur Thuran crawled to where
Clayton lay.

"We must draw once more before we are too weak even to eat," he
whispered.

Clayton was in such a state that he was scarcely master of his own
will. Jane Porter had not spoken for three days. He knew that she was
dying. Horrible as the thought was, he hoped that the sacrifice of
either Thuran or himself might be the means of giving her renewed
strength, and so he immediately agreed to the Russian's proposal.

They drew under the same plan as before, but there could be but one
result--Clayton drew the 1875 piece.

"When shall it be?" he asked Thuran.

The Russian had already drawn a pocketknife from his trousers, and was
weakly attempting to open it.

"Now," he muttered, and his greedy eyes gloated upon the Englishman.

"Can't you wait until dark?" asked Clayton. "Miss Porter must not see
this thing done. We were to have been married, you know."

A look of disappointment came over Monsieur Thuran's face.

"Very well," he replied hesitatingly. "It will not be long until
night. I have waited for many days--I can wait a few hours longer."

"Thank you, my friend," murmured Clayton. "Now I shall go to her side
and remain with her until it is time. I would like to have an hour or
two with her before I die."

When Clayton reached the girl's side she was unconscious--he knew that
she was dying, and he was glad that she should not have to see or know
the awful tragedy that

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