The Return of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 179

lay well out in the plain
between the city and the distant cliffs he and his black warriors had
scaled the morning previous. To descend its rough and precipitous face
was a task of infinite labor and considerable peril even to the
ape-man; but at last he felt the soft soil of the valley beneath his
feet, and without a backward glance at Opar he turned his face toward
the guardian cliffs, and at a rapid trot set off across the valley.

The sun was just rising as he gained the summit of the flat mountain at
the valley's western boundary. Far beneath him he saw smoke arising
above the tree-tops of the forest at the base of the foothills.

"Man," he murmured. "And there were fifty who went forth to track me
down. Can it be they?"

Swiftly he descended the face of the cliff, and, dropping into a narrow
ravine which led down to the far forest, he hastened onward in the
direction of the smoke. Striking the forest's edge about a quarter of
a mile from the point at which the slender column arose into the still
air, he took to the trees. Cautiously he approached until there
suddenly burst upon his view a rude BOMA, in the center of which,
squatted about their tiny fires, sat his fifty black Waziri. He called
to them in their own tongue:

"Arise, my children, and greet thy king!"

With exclamations of surprise and fear the warriors leaped to their
feet, scarcely knowing whether to flee or not. Then Tarzan dropped
lightly from an overhanging branch into their midst. When they
realized that it was indeed their chief in the flesh, and no
materialized spirit, they went mad with joy.

"We were cowards, oh, Waziri," cried Busuli. "We ran away and left you
to your fate; but when our panic was over we swore to return and save
you, or at least take revenge upon your murderers. We were but now
preparing to scale the heights once more and cross the desolate valley
to the terrible city."

"Have you seen fifty frightful men pass down from the cliffs into this
forest, my children?" asked Tarzan.

"Yes, Waziri," replied Busuli. "They passed us late yesterday, as we
were about to turn back after you. They had no woodcraft. We heard
them coming for a mile before we saw them, and as we had other business
in hand we withdrew into the forest and let them pass. They were
waddling rapidly along upon short

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