The Return of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 50

who understood that tongue, but could not note the slight
imperfections of accent and pronunciation that were his.

Here he became acquainted with many of the French officers, and soon
became a favorite among them. He met Gernois, whom he found to be a
taciturn, dyspeptic-looking man of about forty, having little or no
social intercourse with his fellows.

For a month nothing of moment occurred. Gernois apparently had no
visitors, nor did he on his occasional visits to the town hold
communication with any who might even by the wildest flight of
imagination be construed into secret agents of a foreign power. Tarzan
was beginning to hope that, after all, the rumor might have been false,
when suddenly Gernois was ordered to Bou Saada in the Petit Sahara far
to the south.

A company of SPAHIS and three officers were to relieve another company
already stationed there. Fortunately one of the officers, Captain
Gerard, had become an excellent friend of Tarzan's, and so when the
ape-man suggested that he should embrace the opportunity of
accompanying him to Bou Saada, where he expected to find hunting, it
caused not the slightest suspicion.

At Bouira the detachment detrained, and the balance of the journey was
made in the saddle. As Tarzan was dickering at Bouira for a mount he
caught a brief glimpse of a man in European clothes eying him from the
doorway of a native coffeehouse, but as Tarzan looked the man turned
and entered the little, low-ceilinged mud hut, and but for a haunting
impression that there had been something familiar about the face or
figure of the fellow, Tarzan gave the matter no further thought.

The march to Aumale was fatiguing to Tarzan, whose equestrian
experiences hitherto had been confined to a course of riding lessons in
a Parisian academy, and so it was that he quickly sought the comforts
of a bed in the Hotel Grossat, while the officers and troops took up
their quarters at the military post.

Although Tarzan was called early the following morning, the company of
SPAHIS was on the march before he had finished his breakfast. He was
hurrying through his meal that the soldiers might not get too far in
advance of him when he glanced through the door connecting the dining
room with the bar.

To his surprise, he saw Gernois standing there in conversation with the
very stranger he had seen in the coffee-house at Bouira the day
previous. He could not be mistaken, for there was the same strangely
familiar attitude and figure, though the man's back was toward

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