The Return of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 162

the inner temple--the high priestess and the mad
priest had disappeared.

And then a muffled scream came from the cavernous mouth of the dark
hole beyond the sacrificial altar through which the priestess had
entered the temple. Without even a thought for his own safety, or the
possibility for escape which this rapid series of fortuitous
circumstances had thrust upon him, Tarzan of the Apes answered the call
of the woman in danger. With a little bound he was at the gaping
entrance to the subterranean chamber, and a moment later was running
down a flight of age-old concrete steps that led he knew not where.

The faint light that filtered in from above showed him a large,
low-ceiled vault from which several doorways led off into inky
darkness, but there was no need to thread an unknown way, for there
before him lay the objects of his search--the mad brute had the girl
upon the floor, and gorilla-like fingers were clutching frantically at
her throat as she struggled to escape the fury of the awful thing upon
her.

As Tarzan's heavy hand fell upon his shoulder the priest dropped his
victim, and turned upon her would-be rescuer. With foam-flecked lips
and bared fangs the mad sun-worshiper battled with the tenfold power of
the maniac. In the blood lust of his fury the creature had undergone a
sudden reversion to type, which left him a wild beast, forgetful of the
dagger that projected from his belt--thinking only of nature's weapons
with which his brute prototype had battled.

But if he could use his teeth and hands to advantage, he found one even
better versed in the school of savage warfare to which he had reverted,
for Tarzan of the Apes closed with him, and they fell to the floor
tearing and rending at one another like two bull apes; while the
primitive priestess stood flattened against the wall, watching with
wide, fear-fascinated eyes the growling, snapping beasts at her feet.

At last she saw the stranger close one mighty hand upon the throat of
his antagonist, and as he forced the bruteman's head far back rain blow
after blow upon the upturned face. A moment later he threw the still
thing from him, and, arising, shook himself like a lion. He placed a
foot upon the carcass before him, and raised his head to give the
victory cry of his kind, but as his eyes fell upon the opening above
him leading into the temple of human sacrifice he thought better of his
intended act.

The girl, who had been half paralyzed

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