The Return of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 60

my friend, even to his life,"
he said very simply, but Tarzan knew that those were no idle words.

It was decided that although three of them would have to ride after
practically no sleep, it would be best to make an early start in the
morning, and attempt to ride all the way to Bou Saada in one day. It
would have been comparatively easy for the men, but for the girl it was
sure to be a fatiguing journey.

She, however, was the most anxious to undertake it, for it seemed to
her that she could not quickly enough reach the family and friends from
whom she had been separated for two years.

It seemed to Tarzan that he had not closed his eyes before he was
awakened, and in another hour the party was on its way south toward Bou
Saada. For a few miles the road was good, and they made rapid
progress, but suddenly it became only a waste of sand, into which the
horses sank fetlock deep at nearly every step. In addition to Tarzan,
Abdul, the sheik, and his daughter were four of the wild plainsmen of
the sheik's tribe who had accompanied him upon the trip to Sidi Aissa.
Thus, seven guns strong, they entertained little fear of attack by day,
and if all went well they should reach Bou Saada before nightfall.

A brisk wind enveloped them in the blowing sand of the desert, until
Tarzan's lips were parched and cracked. What little he could see of
the surrounding country was far from alluring--a vast expanse of rough
country, rolling in little, barren hillocks, and tufted here and there
with clumps of dreary shrub. Far to the south rose the dim lines of
the Saharan Atlas range. How different, thought Tarzan, from the
gorgeous Africa of his boyhood!

Abdul, always on the alert, looked backward quite as often as he did
ahead. At the top of each hillock that they mounted he would draw in
his horse and, turning, scan the country to the rear with utmost care.
At last his scrutiny was rewarded.

"Look!" he cried. "There are six horsemen behind us."

"Your friends of last evening, no doubt, monsieur," remarked Kadour ben
Saden dryly to Tarzan.

"No doubt," replied the ape-man. "I am sorry that my society should
endanger the safety of your journey. At the next village I shall
remain and question these gentlemen, while you ride on. There is no
necessity for my being at Bou Saada tonight, and less still why

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