The Return of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 9

The hammer fell with a futile
click on an empty chamber--the ape-man's hand shot out like the head of
an angry python; there was a quick wrench, and the revolver sailed far
out across the ship's rail, and dropped into the Atlantic.

For a moment the two men stood there facing one another. Rokoff had
regained his self-possession. He was the first to speak.

"Twice now has monsieur seen fit to interfere in matters which do not
concern him. Twice he has taken it upon himself to humiliate Nikolas
Rokoff. The first offense was overlooked on the assumption that
monsieur acted through ignorance, but this affair shall not be
overlooked. If monsieur does not know who Nikolas Rokoff is, this last
piece of effrontery will insure that monsieur later has good reason to
remember him."

"That you are a coward and a scoundrel, monsieur," replied Tarzan, "is
all that I care to know of you," and he turned to ask the girl if the
man had hurt her, but she had disappeared. Then, without even a glance
toward Rokoff and his companion, he continued his stroll along the deck.

Tarzan could not but wonder what manner of conspiracy was on foot, or
what the scheme of the two men might be. There had been something
rather familiar about the appearance of the veiled woman to whose
rescue he had just come, but as he had not seen her face he could not
be sure that he had ever seen her before. The only thing about her
that he had particularly noticed was a ring of peculiar workmanship
upon a finger of the hand that Rokoff had seized, and he determined to
note the fingers of the women passengers he came upon thereafter, that
he might discover the identity of her whom Rokoff was persecuting, and
learn if the fellow had offered her further annoyance.

Tarzan had sought his deck chair, where he sat speculating on the
numerous instances of human cruelty, selfishness, and spite that had
fallen to his lot to witness since that day in the jungle four years
since that his eyes had first fallen upon a human being other than
himself--the sleek, black Kulonga, whose swift spear had that day found
the vitals of Kala, the great she-ape, and robbed the youth, Tarzan, of
the only mother he had ever known.

He recalled the murder of King by the rat-faced Snipes; the abandonment
of Professor Porter and his party by the mutineers of the ARROW; the
cruelty of the black warriors and women of Mbonga

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