The Return of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 154

tall pillars, each capped by a huge, grotesque
bird carved from the solid rock of the monoliths.

As the ape-man and his companions stood gazing in varying degrees of
wonderment at this ancient city in the midst of savage Africa, several
of them became aware of movement within the structure at which they
were looking. Dim, shadowy shapes appeared to be moving about in the
semi-darkness of the interior. There was nothing tangible that the eye
could grasp--only an uncanny suggestion of life where it seemed that
there should be no life, for living things seemed out of place in this
weird, dead city of the long-dead past.

Tarzan recalled something that he had read in the library at Paris of a
lost race of white men that native legend described as living in the
heart of Africa. He wondered if he were not looking upon the ruins of
the civilization that this strange people had wrought amid the savage
surroundings of their strange and savage home. Could it be possible
that even now a remnant of that lost race inhabited the ruined grandeur
that had once been their progenitor? Again he became conscious of a
stealthy movement within the great temple before him. "Come!" he said,
to his Waziri. "Let us have a look at what lies behind those ruined
walls."

His men were loath to follow him, but when they saw that he was bravely
entering the frowning portal they trailed a few paces behind in a
huddled group that seemed the personification of nervous terror. A
single shriek such as they had heard the night before would have been
sufficient to have sent them all racing madly for the narrow cleft that
led through the great walls to the outer world.

As Tarzan entered the building he was distinctly aware of many eyes
upon him. There was a rustling in the shadows of a near-by corridor,
and he could have sworn that he saw a human hand withdrawn from an
embrasure that opened above him into the domelike rotunda in which he
found himself.

The floor of the chamber was of concrete, the walls of smooth granite,
upon which strange figures of men and beasts were carved. In places
tablets of yellow metal had been set in the solid masonry of the walls.

When he approached closer to one of these tablets he saw that it was of
gold, and bore many hieroglyphics. Beyond this first chamber there
were others, and back of them the building branched out into enormous
wings. Tarzan

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