The Return of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 21

had coped with the
mighty strength and cruel craftiness of Terkoz and Numa in the fastness
of their savage jungle were not to be so easily subdued as these
apaches of Paris had believed.

Selecting his most formidable antagonist, the fellow with the bludgeon,
Tarzan charged full upon him, dodging the falling weapon, and catching
the man a terrific blow on the point of the chin that felled him in his
tracks.

Then he turned upon the others. This was sport. He was reveling in
the joy of battle and the lust of blood. As though it had been but a
brittle shell, to break at the least rough usage, the thin veneer of
his civilization fell from him, and the ten burly villains found
themselves penned in a small room with a wild and savage beast, against
whose steel muscles their puny strength was less than futile.

At the end of the corridor without stood Rokoff, waiting the outcome of
the affair. He wished to be sure that Tarzan was dead before he left,
but it was not a part of his plan to be one of those within the room
when the murder occurred.

The woman still stood where she had when Tarzan entered, but her face
had undergone a number of changes with the few minutes which had
elapsed. From the semblance of distress which it had worn when Tarzan
first saw it, it had changed to one of craftiness as he had wheeled to
meet the attack from behind; but the change Tarzan had not seen.

Later an expression of surprise and then one of horror superseded the
others. And who may wonder. For the immaculate gentleman her cries
had lured to what was to have been his death had been suddenly
metamorphosed into a demon of revenge. Instead of soft muscles and a
weak resistance, she was looking upon a veritable Hercules gone mad.

"MON DIEU!" she cried; "he is a beast!" For the strong, white teeth of
the ape-man had found the throat of one of his assailants, and Tarzan
fought as he had learned to fight with the great bull apes of the tribe
of Kerchak.

He was in a dozen places at once, leaping hither and thither about the
room in sinuous bounds that reminded the woman of a panther she had
seen at the zoo. Now a wrist-bone snapped in his iron grip, now a
shoulder was wrenched from its socket as he forced a victim's arm
backward and upward.

With shrieks of pain the men escaped into

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