The Return of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 157

their arms long and muscular. About their
loins they wore the skins of leopards and lions, and great necklaces of
the claws of these same animals depended upon their breasts. Massive
circlets of virgin gold adorned their arms and legs. For weapons they
carried heavy, knotted bludgeons, and in the belts that confined their
single garments each had a long, wicked-looking knife.

But the feature of them that made the most startling impression upon
their prisoner was their white skins--neither in color nor feature was
there a trace of the negroid about them. Yet, with their receding
foreheads, wicked little close-set eyes, and yellow fangs, they were
far from prepossessing in appearance.

During the fight within the dark chamber, and while they had been
dragging Tarzan to the inner court, no word had been spoken, but now
several of them exchanged grunting, monosyllabic conversation in a
language unfamiliar to the ape-man, and presently they left him lying
upon the concrete floor while they trooped off on their short legs into
another part of the temple beyond the court.

As Tarzan lay there upon his back he saw that the temple entirely
surrounded the little inclosure, and that on all sides its lofty walls
rose high above him. At the top a little patch of blue sky was
visible, and, in one direction, through an embrasure, he could see
foliage, but whether it was beyond or within the temple he did not know.

About the court, from the ground to the top of the temple, were series
of open galleries, and now and then the captive caught glimpses of
bright eyes gleaming from beneath masses of tumbling hair, peering down
upon him from above.

The ape-man gently tested the strength of the bonds that held him, and
while he could not be sure it seemed that they were of insufficient
strength to withstand the strain of his mighty muscles when the time
came to make a break for freedom; but he did not dare to put them to
the crucial test until darkness had fallen, or he felt that no spying
eyes were upon him.

He had lain within the court for several hours before the first rays of
sunlight penetrated the vertical shaft; almost simultaneously he heard
the pattering of bare feet in the corridors about him, and a moment
later saw the galleries above fill with crafty faces as a score or more
entered the courtyard.

For a moment every eye was bent upon the noonday sun, and then in
unison the people in the galleries and those in the court below

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