The Return of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 189

decided to see no more his black friends
of the Waziri. He had foresworn humanity forever. He had started life
an ape--as an ape he would die.

He could not, however, erase from his memory the fact that the woman he
loved was within a short journey of the stamping-ground of his tribe;
nor could he banish the haunting fear that she might be constantly in
danger. That she was illy protected he had seen in the brief instant
that had witnessed Clayton's inefficiency. The more Tarzan thought of
it, the more keenly his conscience pricked him.

Finally he came to loathe himself for permitting his own selfish sorrow
and jealousy to stand between Jane Porter and safety. As the days
passed the thing preyed more and more upon his mind, and he had about
determined to return to the coast and place himself on guard over Jane
Porter and Clayton, when news reached him that altered all his plans
and sent him dashing madly toward the east in reckless disregard of
accident and death.

Before Tarzan had returned to the tribe, a certain young bull, not
being able to secure a mate from among his own people, had, according
to custom, fared forth through the wild jungle, like some knight-errant
of old, to win a fair lady from some neighboring community.

He had but just returned with his bride, and was narrating his
adventures quickly before he should forget them. Among other things he
told of seeing a great tribe of strange-looking apes.

"They were all hairy-faced bulls but one," he said, "and that one was a
she, lighter in color even than this stranger," and he chucked a thumb
at Tarzan.

The ape-man was all attention in an instant. He asked questions as
rapidly as the slow-witted anthropoid could answer them.

"Were the bulls short, with crooked legs?"

"They were."

"Did they wear the skins of Numa and Sheeta about their loins, and
carry sticks and knives?"

"They did."

"And were there many yellow rings about their arms and legs?"

"Yes."

"And the she one--was she small and slender, and very white?"

"Yes."

"Did she seem to be one of the tribe, or was she a prisoner?"

"They dragged her along--sometimes by an arm--sometimes by the long
hair that grew upon her head; and always they kicked and beat her. Oh,
but it was great fun to watch them."

"God!" muttered Tarzan.

"Where were they when you saw them, and which way were they going?"
continued the ape-man.

"They were beside the second water back there," and he pointed to the
south. "When they

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