The Return of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 193

long black coat, and his
top hat was set firmly down upon his head, as with eyes bent upon the
ground he hastened on, probably to some sudden death had I not
intercepted him.

"'Why, where in the world are you bound, professor?' I asked him. 'I
am going into town, Lord Tennington,' he said, as seriously as
possible, 'to complain to the postmaster about the rural free delivery
service we are suffering from here. Why, sir, I haven't had a piece of
mail in weeks. There should be several letters for me from Jane. The
matter must be reported to Washington at once.'

"And would you believe it, Miss Strong," continued Tennington, "I had
the very deuce of a job to convince the old fellow that there was not
only no rural free delivery, but no town, and that he was not even on
the same continent as Washington, nor in the same hemisphere.

"When he did realize he commenced to worry about his daughter--I think
it is the first time that he really has appreciated our position here,
or the fact that Miss Porter may not have been rescued."

"I hate to think about it," said the girl, "and yet I can think of
nothing else than the absent members of our party."

"Let us hope for the best," replied Tennington. "You yourself have set
us each a splendid example of bravery, for in a way your loss has been
the greatest."

"Yes," she replied; "I could have loved Jane Porter no more had she
been my own sister."

Tennington did not show the surprise he felt. That was not at all what
he meant. He had been much with this fair daughter of Maryland since
the wreck of the LADY ALICE, and it had recently come to him that he
had grown much more fond of her than would prove good for the peace of
his mind, for he recalled almost constantly now the confidence which
Monsieur Thuran had imparted to him that he and Miss Strong were
engaged. He wondered if, after all, Thuran had been quite accurate in
his statement. He had never seen the slightest indication on the
girl's part of more than ordinary friendship.

"And then in Monsieur Thuran's loss, if they are lost, you would suffer
a severe bereavement," he ventured.

She looked up at him quickly. "Monsieur Thuran had become a very dear
friend," she said. "I liked him very much, though I have known him but
a short time."

"Then you were not engaged to marry him?"

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