The Return of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 77

presently."

"Not within the precincts of my DOUAR," returned the sheik. "When he
leaves here he leaves alive. What you do with him in the desert is
none of my concern, but I shall not have the blood of a Frenchman on
the hands of my tribe on account of another man's quarrel--they would
send soldiers here and kill many of my people, and burn our tents and
drive away our flocks."

"As you say," growled Rokoff. "I'll take him out into the desert below
the DOUAR, and dispatch him."

"You will take him a day's ride from my country," said the sheik,
firmly, "and some of my children shall follow you to see that you do
not disobey me--otherwise there may be two dead Frenchmen in the
desert."

Rokoff shrugged. "Then I shall have to wait until the morrow--it is
already dark."

"As you will," said the sheik. "But by an hour after dawn you must be
gone from my DOUAR. I have little liking for unbelievers, and none at
all for a coward."

Rokoff would have made some kind of retort, but he checked himself, for
he realized that it would require but little excuse for the old man to
turn upon him. Together they left the tent. At the door Rokoff could
not resist the temptation to turn and fling a parting taunt at Tarzan.
"Sleep well, monsieur," he said, "and do not forget to pray well, for
when you die tomorrow it will be in such agony that you will be unable
to pray for blaspheming."

No one had bothered to bring Tarzan either food or water since noon,
and consequently he suffered considerably from thirst. He wondered if
it would be worth while to ask his guard for water, but after making
two or three requests without receiving any response, he decided that
it would not.

Far up in the mountains he heard a lion roar. How much safer one was,
he soliloquized, in the haunts of wild beasts than in the haunts of
men. Never in all his jungle life had he been more relentlessly
tracked down than in the past few months of his experience among
civilized men. Never had he been any nearer death.

Again the lion roared. It sounded a little nearer. Tarzan felt the
old, wild impulse to reply with the challenge of his kind. His kind?
He had almost forgotten that he was a man and not an ape. He tugged at
his bonds. God, if he could but get

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