The Return of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 152

Tarzan. For days they marched--up one river, across a low divide;
down another river; up a third, until at the end of the twenty-fifth
day they camped upon a mountainside, from the summit of which they
hoped to catch their first view of the marvelous city of treasure.

Early the next morning they were climbing the almost perpendicular
crags which formed the last, but greatest, natural barrier between them
and their destination. It was nearly noon before Tarzan, who headed
the thin line of climbing warriors, scrambled over the top of the last
cliff and stood upon the little flat table-land of the mountaintop.

On either hand towered mighty peaks thousands of feet higher than the
pass through which they were entering the forbidden valley. Behind him
stretched the wooded valley across which they had marched for many
days, and at the opposite side the low range which marked the boundary
of their own country.

But before him was the view that centered his attention. Here lay a
desolate valley--a shallow, narrow valley dotted with stunted trees and
covered with many great bowlders. And on the far side of the valley
lay what appeared to be a mighty city, its great walls, its lofty
spires, its turrets, minarets, and domes showing red and yellow in the
sunlight. Tarzan was yet too far away to note the marks of ruin--to
him it appeared a wonderful city of magnificent beauty, and in
imagination he peopled its broad avenues and its huge temples with a
throng of happy, active people.

For an hour the little expedition rested upon the mountain-top, and
then Tarzan led them down into the valley below. There was no trail,
but the way was less arduous than the ascent of the opposite face of
the mountain had been. Once in the valley their progress was rapid, so
that it was still light when they halted before the towering walls of
the ancient city.

The outer wall was fifty feet in height where it had not fallen into
ruin, but nowhere as far as they could see had more than ten or twenty
feet of the upper courses fallen away. It was still a formidable
defense. On several occasions Tarzan had thought that he discerned
things moving behind the ruined portions of the wall near to them, as
though creatures were watching them from behind the bulwarks of the
ancient pile. And often he felt the sensation of unseen eyes upon him,
but not once could he be sure that it was more than imagination.


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