The Return of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 58

wished to; I have been a prisoner."

"A prisoner!" ejaculated Tarzan incredulously.

"A slave would be the better word," she answered. "I was stolen in the
night from my father's DOUAR by a band of marauders. They brought me
here and sold me to the Arab who keeps this cafe. It has been nearly
two years now since I saw the last of mine own people. They are very
far to the south. They never come to Sidi Aissa."

"You would like to return to your people?" asked Tarzan. "Then I shall
promise to see you safely so far as Bou Saada at least. There we can
doubtless arrange with the commandant to send you the rest of the way."

"Oh, m'sieur," she cried, "how can I ever repay you! You cannot really
mean that you will do so much for a poor Ouled-Nail. But my father can
reward you, and he will, for is he not a great sheik? He is Kadour ben
Saden."

"Kadour ben Saden!" ejaculated Tarzan. "Why, Kadour ben Saden is in
Sidi Aissa this very night. He dined with me but a few hours since."

"My father in Sidi Aissa?" cried the amazed girl. "Allah be praised
then, for I am indeed saved."

"Hssh!" cautioned Abdul. "Listen."

From below came the sound of voices, quite distinguishable upon the
still night air. Tarzan could not understand the words, but Abdul and
the girl translated.

"They have gone now," said the latter. "It is you they want, m'sieur.
One of them said that the stranger who had offered money for your
slaying lay in the house of Akmed din Soulef with a broken wrist, but
that he had offered a still greater reward if some would lay in wait
for you upon the road to Bou Saada and kill you."

"It is he who followed m'sieur about the market today," exclaimed
Abdul. "I saw him again within the cafe--him and another; and the two
went out into the inner court after talking with this girl here. It
was they who attacked and fired upon us, as we came out of the cafe.
Why do they wish to kill you, m'sieur?"

"I do not know," replied Tarzan, and then, after a pause: "Unless--"
But he did not finish, for the thought that had come to his mind, while
it seemed the only reasonable solution of the mystery, appeared at the
same time quite improbable. Presently the men in the street went away.
The courtyard and

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