The Return of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 56

you will be safe within the hotel."

But even as she spoke, several men had started up the stairway at the
head of which they stood. There was a sudden cry from one of the
searchers. They had been discovered. Quickly the crowd rushed for the
stairway. The foremost assailant leaped quickly upward, but at the top
he met the sudden sword that he had not expected--the quarry had been
unarmed before.

With a cry, the man toppled back upon those behind him. Like tenpins
they rolled down the stairs. The ancient and rickety structure could
not withstand the strain of this unwonted weight and jarring. With a
creaking and rending of breaking wood it collapsed beneath the Arabs,
leaving Tarzan, Abdul, and the girl alone upon the frail platform at
the top.

"Come!" cried the Ouled-Nail. "They will reach us from another
stairway through the room next to mine. We have not a moment to spare."

Just as they were entering the room Abdul heard and translated a cry
from the yard below for several to hasten to the street and cut off
escape from that side.

"We are lost now," said the girl simply.

"We?" questioned Tarzan.

"Yes, m'sieur," she responded; "they will kill me as well. Have I not
aided you?"

This put a different aspect on the matter. Tarzan had rather been
enjoying the excitement and danger of the encounter. He had not for an
instant supposed that either Abdul or the girl could suffer except
through accident, and he had only retreated just enough to keep from
being killed himself. He had had no intention of running away until he
saw that he was hopelessly lost were he to remain.

Alone he could have sprung into the midst of that close-packed mob,
and, laying about him after the fashion of Numa, the lion, have struck
the Arabs with such consternation that escape would have been easy.
Now he must think entirely of these two faithful friends.

He crossed to the window which overlooked the street. In a minute
there would be enemies below. Already he could hear the mob clambering
the stairway to the next quarters--they would be at the door beside him
in another instant. He put a foot upon the sill and leaned out, but he
did not look down. Above him, within arm's reach, was the low roof of
the building. He called to the girl. She came and stood beside him.
He put a great arm about her and lifted

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