The Return of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 44

me that Count de Coude is a
splendid marksman?"

"You mean that you hope to be killed?" exclaimed D'Arnot, in horror.

"I cannot say that I hope to be; but you must admit that there is
little reason to believe that I shall not be killed."

Had D'Arnot known the thing that was in the ape-man's mind--that had
been in his mind almost from the first intimation that De Coude would
call him to account on the field of honor--he would have been even more
horrified than he was.

In silence they entered D'Arnot's great car, and in similar silence
they sped over the dim road that leads to Etamps. Each man was
occupied with his own thoughts. D'Arnot's were very mournful, for he
was genuinely fond of Tarzan. The great friendship which had sprung up
between these two men whose lives and training had been so widely
different had but been strengthened by association, for they were both
men to whom the same high ideals of manhood, of personal courage, and
of honor appealed with equal force. They could understand one another,
and each could be proud of the friendship of the other.

Tarzan of the Apes was wrapped in thoughts of the past; pleasant
memories of the happier occasions of his lost jungle life. He recalled
the countless boyhood hours that he had spent cross-legged upon the
table in his dead father's cabin, his little brown body bent over one
of the fascinating picture books from which, unaided, he had gleaned
the secret of the printed language long before the sounds of human
speech fell upon his ears. A smile of contentment softened his strong
face as he thought of that day of days that he had had alone with Jane
Porter in the heart of his primeval forest.

Presently his reminiscences were broken in upon by the stopping of the
car--they were at their destination. Tarzan's mind returned to the
affairs of the moment. He knew that he was about to die, but there was
no fear of death in him. To a denizen of the cruel jungle death is a
commonplace. The first law of nature compels them to cling tenaciously
to life--to fight for it; but it does not teach them to fear death.

D'Arnot and Tarzan were first upon the field of honor. A moment later
De Coude, Monsieur Flaubert, and a third gentleman arrived. The last
was introduced to D'Arnot and Tarzan; he was a physician.

D'Arnot and Monsieur Flaubert spoke together in whispers for a brief
time.

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