The Return of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 90


Hazel Strong! What memories the name inspired. It had been a letter
to this girl, penned by the fair hand of Jane Porter, that had carried
to him the first message from the woman he loved. How vividly he
recalled the night he had stolen it from the desk in the cabin of his
long-dead father, where Jane Porter had sat writing it late into the
night, while he crouched in the darkness without. How terror-stricken
she would have been that night had she known that the wild jungle beast
squatted outside her window, watching her every move.

And this was Hazel Strong--Jane Porter's best friend!

Chapter 12

Ships That Pass

Let us go back a few months to the little, windswept platform of a
railway station in northern Wisconsin. The smoke of forest fires hangs
low over the surrounding landscape, its acrid fumes smarting the eyes
of a little party of six who stand waiting the coming of the train that
is to bear them away toward the south.

Professor Archimedes Q. Porter, his hands clasped beneath the tails of
his long coat, paces back and forth under the ever-watchful eye of his
faithful secretary, Mr. Samuel T. Philander. Twice within the past few
minutes he has started absent-mindedly across the tracks in the
direction of a near-by swamp, only to be rescued and dragged back by
the tireless Mr. Philander.

Jane Porter, the professor's daughter, is in strained and lifeless
conversation with William Cecil Clayton and Tarzan of the Apes. Within
the little waiting room, but a bare moment before, a confession of love
and a renunciation had taken place that had blighted the lives and
happiness of two of the party, but William Cecil Clayton, Lord
Greystoke, was not one of them.

Behind Miss Porter hovered the motherly Esmeralda. She, too, was
happy, for was she not returning to her beloved Maryland? Already she
could see dimly through the fog of smoke the murky headlight of the
oncoming engine. The men began to gather up the hand baggage.
Suddenly Clayton exclaimed.

"By Jove! I've left my ulster in the waiting-room," and hastened off
to fetch it.

"Good-bye, Jane," said Tarzan, extending his hand. "God bless you!"

"Good-bye," replied the girl faintly. "Try to forget me--no, not
that--I could not bear to think that you had forgotten me."

"There is no danger of that, dear," he answered. "I wish to Heaven
that I might forget. It would be so much easier than to go through
life always remembering what might have been.

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