The Return of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 182

time with his knife. There was but a single
hope--a lone alternative. And with the quickness of thought the
ape-man acted.

A brawny arm flew back--for the briefest fraction of an instant a huge
spear poised above the giant's shoulder--and then the mighty arm shot
out, and swift death tore through the intervening leaves to bury itself
in the heart of the leaping lion. Without a sound he rolled over at
the very feet of his intended victims--dead.

For a moment neither the man nor the woman moved. Then the latter
opened her eyes to look with wonder upon the dead beast behind her
companion. As that beautiful head went up Tarzan of the Apes gave a
gasp of incredulous astonishment. Was he mad? It could not be the
woman he loved! But, indeed, it was none other.

And the woman rose, and the man took her in his arms to kiss her, and
of a sudden the ape-man saw red through a bloody mist of murder, and
the old scar upon his forehead burned scarlet against his brown hide.

There was a terrible expression upon his savage face as he fitted a
poisoned shaft to his bow. An ugly light gleamed in those gray eyes as
he sighted full at the back of the unsuspecting man beneath him.

For an instant he glanced along the polished shaft, drawing the
bowstring far back, that the arrow might pierce through the heart for
which it was aimed.

But he did not release the fatal messenger. Slowly the point of the
arrow drooped; the scar upon the brown forehead faded; the bowstring
relaxed; and Tarzan of the Apes, with bowed head, turned sadly into the
jungle toward the village of the Waziri.




Chapter 23

The Fifty Frightful Men


For several long minutes Jane Porter and William Cecil Clayton stood
silently looking at the dead body of the beast whose prey they had so
narrowly escaped becoming.

The girl was the first to speak again after her outbreak of impulsive
avowal.

"Who could it have been?" she whispered.

"God knows!" was the man's only reply.

"If it is a friend, why does he not show himself?" continued Jane.
"Wouldn't it be well to call out to him, and at least thank him?"

Mechanically Clayton did her bidding, but there was no response.

Jane Porter shuddered. "The mysterious jungle," she murmured. "The
terrible jungle. It renders even the manifestations of friendship
terrifying."

"We had best return to the shelter," said Clayton. "You will be at
least a little safer there. I

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