The Return of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 80

one another if they wish. It is none of our
affair, and if we go and interfere with Ali-ben-Ahmed's plans we shall
only stir up a fight with our own people.'

"So when it was dark I came alone, riding one horse and leading another
for you. They are tethered not far from here. By morning we shall be
within my father's DOUAR. He should be there himself by now--then let
them come and try to take Kadour ben Saden's friend."

For a few moments they walked on in silence.

"We should be near the horses," she said. "It is strange that I do not
see them here."

Then a moment later she stopped, with a little cry of consternation.

"They are gone!" she exclaimed. "It is here that I tethered them."

Tarzan stooped to examine the ground. He found that a large shrub had
been torn up by the roots. Then he found something else. There was a
wry smile on his face as he rose and turned toward the girl.

"EL ADREA has been here. From the signs, though, I rather think that
his prey escaped him. With a little start they would be safe enough
from him in the open."

There was nothing to do but continue on foot. The way led them across
a low spur of the mountains, but the girl knew the trail as well as she
did her mother's face. They walked in easy, swinging strides, Tarzan
keeping a hand's breadth behind the girl's shoulder, that she might set
the pace, and thus be less fatigued. As they walked they talked,
occasionally stopping to listen for sounds of pursuit.

It was now a beautiful, moonlit night. The air was crisp and
invigorating. Behind them lay the interminable vista of the desert,
dotted here and there with an occasional oasis. The date palms of the
little fertile spot they had just left, and the circle of goatskin
tents, stood out in sharp relief against the yellow sand--a phantom
paradise upon a phantom sea. Before them rose the grim and silent
mountains. Tarzan's blood leaped in his veins. This was life! He
looked down upon the girl beside him--a daughter of the desert walking
across the face of a dead world with a son of the jungle. He smiled at
the thought. He wished that he had had a sister, and that she had been
like this girl. What a bully chum she would have

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