The Son of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 106

from a great distance recollection of the
once familiar tongue returned to her.

"I should like to go free," she said, "and go back to Korak."

"You would like to go with us?" persisted Malbihn.

"No," said Meriem.

Malbihn turned to Kovudoo. "She does not wish to go with us," he said.

"You are men," returned the black. "Can you not take her by force?"

"It would only add to our troubles," replied the Swede. "No, Kovudoo,
we do not wish her; though, if you wish to be rid of her, we will take
her away because of our friendship for you."

Now Kovudoo knew that he had made a sale. They wanted her. So he
commenced to bargain, and in the end the person of Meriem passed from
the possession of the black chieftain into that of the two Swedes in
consideration of six yards of Amerikan, three empty brass cartridge
shells and a shiny, new jack knife from New Jersey. And all but Meriem
were more than pleased with the bargain.

Kovudoo stipulated but a single condition and that was that the
Europeans were to leave his village and take the girl with them as
early the next morning as they could get started. After the sale was
consummated he did not hesitate to explain his reasons for this demand.
He told them of the strenuous attempt of the girl's savage mate to
rescue her, and suggested that the sooner they got her out of the
country the more likely they were to retain possession of her.

Meriem was again bound and placed under guard, but this time in the
tent of the Swedes. Malbihn talked to her, trying to persuade her to
accompany them willingly. He told her that they would return her to
her own village; but when he discovered that she would rather die than
go back to the old sheik, he assured her that they would not take her
there, nor, as a matter of fact, had they had an intention of so doing.
As he talked with the girl the Swede feasted his eyes upon the
beautiful lines of her face and figure. She had grown tall and
straight and slender toward maturity since he had seen her in The
Sheik's village on that long gone day. For years she had represented
to him a certain fabulous reward. In his thoughts she had been but the
personification of the pleasures and luxuries that many francs would
purchase. Now as she stood before him pulsing with

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