The Return of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 2

the woman whom both he and
Clayton had loved, and whom a strange freak of fate had given to
Clayton instead of to him.

That she loved him made the thing doubly difficult to bear, yet he knew
that he could have done nothing less than he did do that night within
the little railway station in the far Wisconsin woods. To him her
happiness was the first consideration of all, and his brief experience
with civilization and civilized men had taught him that without money
and position life to most of them was unendurable.

Jane Porter had been born to both, and had Tarzan taken them away from
her future husband it would doubtless have plunged her into a life of
misery and torture. That she would have spurned Clayton once he had
been stripped of both his title and his estates never for once occurred
to Tarzan, for he credited to others the same honest loyalty that was
so inherent a quality in himself. Nor, in this instance, had he erred.
Could any one thing have further bound Jane Porter to her promise to
Clayton it would have been in the nature of some such misfortune as
this overtaking him.

Tarzan's thoughts drifted from the past to the future. He tried to
look forward with pleasurable sensations to his return to the jungle of
his birth and boyhood; the cruel, fierce jungle in which he had spent
twenty of his twenty-two years. But who or what of all the myriad
jungle life would there be to welcome his return? Not one. Only
Tantor, the elephant, could he call friend. The others would hunt him
or flee from him as had been their way in the past.

Not even the apes of his own tribe would extend the hand of fellowship
to him.

If civilization had done nothing else for Tarzan of the Apes, it had to
some extent taught him to crave the society of his own kind, and to
feel with genuine pleasure the congenial warmth of companionship. And
in the same ratio had it made any other life distasteful to him. It
was difficult to imagine a world without a friend--without a living
thing who spoke the new tongues which Tarzan had learned to love so
well. And so it was that Tarzan looked with little relish upon the
future he had mapped out for himself.

As he sat musing over his cigarette his eyes fell upon a mirror before
him, and in it he saw reflected a table at which

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