The Return of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 70

to the southwest,
from whence word had come that the marauders were operating against the
tribes whose DOUARS were situated at the foot of the mountains.

The little band of Arabs who had accompanied them from Bou Saada had
disappeared suddenly the very night that orders had been given to
prepare for the morrow's march from Djelfa. Tarzan made casual
inquiries among the men, but none could tell him why they had left, or
in what direction they had gone. He did not like the looks of it,
especially in view of the fact that he had seen Gernois in conversation
with one of them some half hour after Captain Gerard had issued his
instructions relative to the new move. Only Gernois and Tarzan knew
the direction of the proposed march. All the soldiers knew was that
they were to be prepared to break camp early the next morning. Tarzan
wondered if Gernois could have revealed their destination to the Arabs.

Late that afternoon they went into camp at a little oasis in which was
the DOUAR of a sheik whose flocks were being stolen, and whose herdsmen
were being killed. The Arabs came out of their goatskin tents, and
surrounded the soldiers, asking many questions in the native tongue,
for the soldiers were themselves natives. Tarzan, who, by this time,
with the assistance of Abdul, had picked up quite a smattering of Arab,
questioned one of the younger men who had accompanied the sheik while
the latter paid his respects to Captain Gerard.

No, he had seen no party of six horsemen riding from the direction of
Djelfa. There were other oases scattered about--possibly they had been
journeying to one of these. Then there were the marauders in the
mountains above--they often rode north to Bou Saada in small parties,
and even as far as Aumale and Bouira. It might indeed have been a few
marauders returning to the band from a pleasure trip to one of these
cities.

Early the next morning Captain Gerard split his command in two, giving
Lieutenant Gernois command of one party, while he headed the other.
They were to scour the mountains upon opposite sides of the plain.

"And with which detachment will Monsieur Tarzan ride?" asked the
captain. "Or maybe it is that monsieur does not care to hunt
marauders?"

"Oh, I shall be delighted to go," Tarzan hastened to explain. He was
wondering what excuse he could make to accompany Gernois. His
embarrassment was short-lived, and was relieved from a most unexpected
source. It was

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