The Return of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 38

the Apes? He took the panting figure into his mighty arms,
and covered the hot lips with kisses.

Raoul de Coude made hurried excuses to his host after he had read the
note handed him by the ambassador's butler. Never afterward could he
recall the nature of the excuses he made. Everything was quite a blur
to him up to the time that he stood on the threshold of his own home.
Then he became very cool, moving quietly and with caution. For some
inexplicable reason Jacques had the door open before he was halfway to
the steps. It did not strike him at the time as being unusual, though
afterward he remarked it.

Very softly he tiptoed up the stairs and along the gallery to the door
of his wife's boudoir. In his hand was a heavy walking stick--in his
heart, murder.

Olga was the first to see him. With a horrified shriek she tore
herself from Tarzan's arms, and the ape-man turned just in time to ward
with his arm a terrific blow that De Coude had aimed at his head.
Once, twice, three times the heavy stick fell with lightning rapidity,
and each blow aided in the transition of the ape-man back to the
primordial.

With the low, guttural snarl of the bull ape he sprang for the
Frenchman. The great stick was torn from his grasp and broken in two
as though it had been matchwood, to be flung aside as the now
infuriated beast charged for his adversary's throat. Olga de Coude
stood a horrified spectator of the terrible scene which ensued during
the next brief moment, then she sprang to where Tarzan was murdering
her husband--choking the life from him--shaking him as a terrier might
shake a rat.

Frantically she tore at his great hands. "Mother of God!" she cried.
"You are killing him, you are killing him! Oh, Jean, you are killing
my husband!"

Tarzan was deaf with rage. Suddenly he hurled the body to the floor,
and, placing his foot upon the upturned breast, raised his head. Then
through the palace of the Count de Coude rang the awesome challenge of
the bull ape that has made a kill. From cellar to attic the horrid
sound searched out the servants, and left them blanched and trembling.
The woman in the room sank to her knees beside the body of her husband,
and prayed.

Slowly the red mist faded from before Tarzan's eyes. Things began to
take form--he was regaining the perspective of civilized man.

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