The Son of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 107

life and loveliness
she suggested other seductive and alluring possibilities. He came
closer to her and laid his hand upon her. The girl shrank from him.
He seized her and she struck him heavily in the mouth as he sought to
kiss her. Then Jenssen entered the tent.

"Malbihn!" he almost shouted. "You fool!"

Sven Malbihn released his hold upon the girl and turned toward his
companion. His face was red with mortification.

"What the devil are you trying to do?" growled Jenssen. "Would you
throw away every chance for the reward? If we maltreat her we not only
couldn't collect a sou, but they'd send us to prison for our pains. I
thought you had more sense, Malbihn."

"I'm not a wooden man," growled Malbihn.

"You'd better be," rejoined Jenssen, "at least until we have delivered
her over in safety and collected what will be coming to us."

"Oh, hell," cried Malbihn. "What's the use? They'll be glad enough to
have her back, and by the time we get there with her she'll be only too
glad to keep her mouth shut. Why not?"

"Because I say not," growled Jenssen. "I've always let you boss
things, Sven; but here's a case where what I say has got to go--because
I'm right and you're wrong, and we both know it."

"You're getting damned virtuous all of a sudden," growled Malbihn.
"Perhaps you think I have forgotten about the inn keeper's daughter,
and little Celella, and that nigger at--"

"Shut up!" snapped Jenssen. "It's not a matter of virtue and you are
as well aware of that as I. I don't want to quarrel with you, but so
help me God, Sven, you're not going to harm this girl if I have to kill
you to prevent it. I've suffered and slaved and been nearly killed
forty times in the last nine or ten years trying to accomplish what
luck has thrown at our feet at last, and now I'm not going to be robbed
of the fruits of success because you happen to be more of a beast than
a man. Again I warn you, Sven--" and he tapped the revolver that swung
in its holster at his hip.

Malbihn gave his friend an ugly look, shrugged his shoulders, and left
the tent. Jenssen turned to Meriem.

"If he bothers you again, call me," he said. "I shall always be near."

The girl had not understood the conversation that had been carried on
by her two owners, for it

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