The Return of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 62

galloping horses came suddenly out of
the darkness below him, and a moment later he discerned the moving
blotches of lighter color against the solid background of the night.

"Halt," he cried, "or we fire!"

The white figures came to a sudden stop, and for a moment there was
silence. Then came the sound of a whispered council, and like ghosts
the phantom riders dispersed in all directions. Again the desert lay
still about him, yet it was an ominous stillness that foreboded evil.

Abdul raised himself to one knee. Tarzan cocked his jungle-trained
ears, and presently there came to him the sound of horses walking
quietly through the sand to the east of him, to the west, to the north,
and to the south. They had been surrounded. Then a shot came from the
direction in which he was looking, a bullet whirred through the air
above his head, and he fired at the flash of the enemy's gun.

Instantly the soundless waste was torn with the quick staccato of guns
upon every hand. Abdul and Tarzan fired only at the flashes--they
could not yet see their foemen. Presently it became evident that the
attackers were circling their position, drawing closer and closer in as
they began to realize the paltry numbers of the party which opposed
them.

But one came too close, for Tarzan was accustomed to using his eyes in
the darkness of the jungle night, than which there is no more utter
darkness this side the grave, and with a cry of pain a saddle was
emptied.

"The odds are evening, Abdul," said Tarzan, with a low laugh.

But they were still far too one-sided, and when the five remaining
horsemen whirled at a signal and charged full upon them it looked as if
there would be a sudden ending of the battle. Both Tarzan and Abdul
sprang to the shelter of the rocks, that they might keep the enemy in
front of them. There was a mad clatter of galloping hoofs, a volley of
shots from both sides, and the Arabs withdrew to repeat the maneuver;
but there were now only four against the two.

For a few moments there came no sound from out of the surrounding
blackness. Tarzan could not tell whether the Arabs, satisfied with
their losses, had given up the fight, or were waiting farther along the
road to waylay them as they proceeded on toward Bou Saada. But he was
not left long in doubt, for now all from one direction came the sound
of a

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