The Return of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 32

I do not do
just as he wishes me to."

Tarzan laughed. "You are still but a little girl. The story that you
have told me cannot reflect in any way upon your reputation, and were
you not a little girl at heart you would know it. Go to your husband
tonight, and tell him the whole story, just as you have told it to me.
Unless I am much mistaken he will laugh at you for your fears, and take
immediate steps to put that precious brother of yours in prison where
he belongs."

"I only wish that I dared," she said; "but I am afraid. I learned
early to fear men. First my father, then Nikolas, then the fathers in
the convent. Nearly all my friends fear their husbands--why should I
not fear mine?"

"It does not seem right that women should fear men," said Tarzan, an
expression of puzzlement on his face. "I am better acquainted with the
jungle folk, and there it is more often the other way around, except
among the black men, and they to my mind are in most ways lower in the
scale than the beasts. No, I cannot understand why civilized women
should fear men, the beings that are created to protect them. I should
hate to think that any woman feared me."

"I do not think that any woman would fear you, my friend," said Olga de
Coude softly. "I have known you but a short while, yet though it may
seem foolish to say it, you are the only man I have ever known whom I
think that I should never fear--it is strange, too, for you are very
strong. I wondered at the ease with which you handled Nikolas and
Paulvitch that night in my cabin. It was marvellous." As Tarzan was
leaving her a short time later he wondered a little at the clinging
pressure of her hand at parting, and the firm insistence with which she
exacted a promise from him that he would call again on the morrow.

The memory of her half-veiled eyes and perfect lips as she had stood
smiling up into his face as he bade her good-by remained with him for
the balance of the day. Olga de Coude was a very beautiful woman, and
Tarzan of the Apes a very lonely young man, with a heart in him that
was in need of the doctoring that only a woman may provide.

As the countess turned back into the room after Tarzan's

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