The Return of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 27

battle like a wild beast in
self-preservation. It became plain to them that the man had been
guided by instinct rather than reason in his attack upon them. He had
not understood their intentions. To him they had been little different
from any of the various forms of life he had been accustomed to in his
native jungle, where practically all were his enemies.

"Your pride has been wounded," said D'Arnot, in conclusion. "It is the
fact that this man overcame you that hurts the most. But you need feel
no shame. You would not make apologies for defeat had you been penned
in that small room with an African lion, or with the great Gorilla of
the jungles.

"And yet you were battling with muscles that have time and time again
been pitted, and always victoriously, against these terrors of the dark
continent. It is no disgrace to fall beneath the superhuman strength
of Tarzan of the Apes."

And then, as the men stood looking first at Tarzan and then at their
superior the ape-man did the one thing which was needed to erase the
last remnant of animosity which they might have felt for him. With
outstretched hand he advanced toward them.

"I am sorry for the mistake I made," he said simply. "Let us be
friends." And that was the end of the whole matter, except that Tarzan
became a subject of much conversation in the barracks of the police,
and increased the number of his friends by four brave men at least.

On their return to D'Arnot's apartments the lieutenant found a letter
awaiting him from an English friend, William Cecil Clayton, Lord
Greystoke. The two had maintained a correspondence since the birth of
their friendship on that ill-fated expedition in search of Jane Porter
after her theft by Terkoz, the bull ape.

"They are to be married in London in about two months," said D'Arnot,
as he completed his perusal of the letter. Tarzan did not need to be
told who was meant by "they." He made no reply, but he was very quiet
and thoughtful during the balance of the day.

That evening they attended the opera. Tarzan's mind was still occupied
by his gloomy thoughts. He paid little or no attention to what was
transpiring upon the stage. Instead he saw only the lovely vision of a
beautiful American girl, and heard naught but a sad, sweet voice
acknowledging that his love was returned. And she was to marry another!

He shook himself to

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