The Return of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 31

a scandal for a time, but after a while it was
partially forgotten, and my father obtained a position for him in the
secret service.

"There have been many terrible crimes laid at Nikolas' door, but he has
always managed to escape punishment. Of late he has accomplished it by
trumped-up evidence convicting his victims of treason against the czar,
and the Russian police, who are always only too ready to fasten guilt
of this nature upon any and all, have accepted his version and
exonerated him."

"Have not his attempted crimes against you and your husband forfeited
whatever rights the bonds of kinship might have accorded him?" asked
Tarzan. "The fact that you are his sister has not deterred him from
seeking to besmirch your honor. You owe him no loyalty, madame."

"Ah, but there is that other reason. If I owe him no loyalty though he
be my brother, I cannot so easily disavow the fear I hold him in
because of a certain episode in my life of which he is cognizant.

"I might as well tell you all," she resumed after a pause, "for I see
that it is in my heart to tell you sooner or later. I was educated in
a convent. While there I met a man whom I supposed to be a gentleman.
I knew little or nothing about men and less about love. I got it into
my foolish head that I loved this man, and at his urgent request I ran
away with him. We were to have been married.

"I was with him just three hours. All in the daytime and in public
places--railroad stations and upon a train. When we reached our
destination where we were to have been married, two officers stepped up
to my escort as we descended from the train, and placed him under
arrest. They took me also, but when I had told my story they did not
detain me, other than to send me back to the convent under the care of
a matron. It seemed that the man who had wooed me was no gentleman at
all, but a deserter from the army as well as a fugitive from civil
justice. He had a police record in nearly every country in Europe.

"The matter was hushed up by the authorities of the convent. Not even
my parents knew of it. But Nikolas met the man afterward, and learned
the whole story. Now he threatens to tell the count if

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