The Return of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 74

toward
the valley.

Tarzan was now confident that Gernois had no intention of returning for
him, but he could not fathom the object that had prompted the officer
to desert him, yet leave him free to return to camp. His horse gone,
he decided that it would be foolish to remain longer in the mountains,
so he set out toward the desert.

He had scarcely entered the confines of the canon when the first of the
white-robed figures emerged into the valley upon the opposite side.
For a moment they scanned the little depression from behind sheltering
bowlders, but when they had satisfied themselves that it was empty they
advanced across it. Beneath the tree at one side they came upon the
body of EL ADREA. With muttered exclamations they crowded about it.
Then, a moment later, they hurried down the canon which Tarzan was
threading a brief distance in advance of them. They moved cautiously
and in silence, taking advantage of shelter, as men do who are stalking
man.




Chapter 10

Through the Valley of the Shadow


As Tarzan walked down the wild canon beneath the brilliant African moon
the call of the jungle was strong upon him. The solitude and the
savage freedom filled his heart with life and buoyancy. Again he was
Tarzan of the Apes--every sense alert against the chance of surprise by
some jungle enemy--yet treading lightly and with head erect, in proud
consciousness of his might.

The nocturnal sounds of the mountains were new to him, yet they fell
upon his ears like the soft voice of a half-forgotten love. Many he
intuitively sensed--ah, there was one that was familiar indeed; the
distant coughing of Sheeta, the leopard; but there was a strange note
in the final wail which made him doubt. It was a panther he heard.

Presently a new sound--a soft, stealthy sound--obtruded itself among
the others. No human ears other than the ape-man's would have detected
it. At first he did not translate it, but finally he realized that it
came from the bare feet of a number of human beings. They were behind
him, and they were coming toward him quietly. He was being stalked.

In a flash he knew why he had been left in that little valley by
Gernois; but there had been a hitch in the arrangements--the men had
come too late. Closer and closer came the footsteps. Tarzan halted
and faced them, his rifle ready in his hand. Now he caught a fleeting
glimpse of a white burnoose. He

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