The Return of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 45

The Count de Coude and Tarzan stood apart at opposite sides of
the field. Presently the seconds summoned them. D'Arnot and Monsieur
Flaubert had examined both pistols. The two men who were to face each
other a moment later stood silently while Monsieur Flaubert recited the
conditions they were to observe.

They were to stand back to back. At a signal from Monsieur Flaubert
they were to walk in opposite directions, their pistols hanging by
their sides. When each had proceeded ten paces D'Arnot was to give the
final signal--then they were to turn and fire at will until one fell,
or each had expended the three shots allowed.

While Monsieur Flaubert spoke Tarzan selected a cigarette from his
case, and lighted it. De Coude was the personification of
coolness--was he not the best shot in France?

Presently Monsieur Flaubert nodded to D'Arnot, and each man placed his
principal in position.

"Are you quite ready, gentlemen?" asked Monsieur Flaubert.

"Quite," replied De Coude.

Tarzan nodded. Monsieur Flaubert gave the signal. He and D'Arnot
stepped back a few paces to be out of the line of fire as the men paced
slowly apart. Six! Seven! Eight! There were tears in D'Arnot's
eyes. He loved Tarzan very much. Nine! Another pace, and the poor
lieutenant gave the signal he so hated to give. To him it sounded the
doom of his best friend.

Quickly De Coude wheeled and fired. Tarzan gave a little start. His
pistol still dangled at his side. De Coude hesitated, as though
waiting to see his antagonist crumple to the ground. The Frenchman was
too experienced a marksman not to know that he had scored a hit. Still
Tarzan made no move to raise his pistol. De Coude fired once more, but
the attitude of the ape-man--the utter indifference that was so
apparent in every line of the nonchalant ease of his giant figure, and
the even unruffled puffing of his cigarette--had disconcerted the best
marksman in France. This time Tarzan did not start, but again De Coude
knew that he had hit.

Suddenly the explanation leaped to his mind--his antagonist was coolly
taking these terrible chances in the hope that he would receive no
staggering wound from any of De Coude's three shots. Then he would
take his own time about shooting De Coude down deliberately, coolly,
and in cold blood. A little shiver ran up the Frenchman's spine. It
was fiendish--diabolical. What manner of creature was

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