The Return of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 68

had been thrown together had been
distinctly hostile.

That he might keep up the appearance of the character he was playing,
Tarzan spent considerable time hunting in the vicinity of Bou Saada.
He would spend entire days in the foothills, ostensibly searching for
gazelle, but on the few occasions that he came close enough to any of
the beautiful little animals to harm them he invariably allowed them to
escape without so much as taking his rifle from its boot. The ape-man
could see no sport in slaughtering the most harmless and defenseless of
God's creatures for the mere pleasure of killing.

In fact, Tarzan had never killed for "pleasure," nor to him was there
pleasure in killing. It was the joy of righteous battle that he
loved--the ecstasy of victory. And the keen and successful hunt for
food in which he pitted his skill and craftiness against the skill and
craftiness of another; but to come out of a town filled with food to
shoot down a soft-eyed, pretty gazelle--ah, that was crueller than the
deliberate and cold-blooded murder of a fellow man. Tarzan would have
none of it, and so he hunted alone that none might discover the sham
that he was practicing.

And once, probably because of the fact that he rode alone, he was like
to have lost his life. He was riding slowly through a little ravine
when a shot sounded close behind him, and a bullet passed through the
cork helmet he wore. Although he turned at once and galloped rapidly
to the top of the ravine, there was no sign of any enemy, nor did he
see aught of another human being until he reached Bou Saada.

"Yes," he soliloquized, in recalling the occurrence, "Olga has indeed
thrown away her twenty thousand francs."

That night he was Captain Gerard's guest at a little dinner.

"Your hunting has not been very fortunate?" questioned the officer.

"No," replied Tarzan; "the game hereabout is timid, nor do I care
particularly about hunting game birds or antelope. I think I shall
move on farther south, and have a try at some of your Algerian lions."

"Good!" exclaimed the captain. "We are marching toward Djelfa on the
morrow. You shall have company that far at least. Lieutenant Gernois
and I, with a hundred men, are ordered south to patrol a district in
which the marauders are giving considerable trouble. Possibly we may
have the pleasure of hunting the lion together--what say you?"

Tarzan was more than pleased, nor did he hesitate to say so;

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