The Son of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 128

trying to force recollection of
something all but forgotten which the new words suggested, and then, to
her own astonishment as well as to that of her teacher she had used
other French words than those in the lessons--used them properly and
with a pronunciation that the English woman knew was more perfect than
her own; but Meriem could neither read nor write what she spoke so
well, and as My Dear considered a knowledge of correct English of the
first importance, other than conversational French was postponed for a
later day.

"You doubtless heard French spoken at times in your father's douar,"
suggested My Dear, as the most reasonable explanation.

Meriem shook her head.

"It may be," she said, "but I do not recall ever having seen a
Frenchman in my father's company--he hated them and would have nothing
whatever to do with them, and I am quite sure that I never heard any of
these words before, yet at the same time I find them all familiar. I
cannot understand it."

"Neither can I," agreed My Dear.

It was about this time that a runner brought a letter that, when she
learned the contents, filled Meriem with excitement. Visitors were
coming! A number of English ladies and gentlemen had accepted My
Dear's invitation to spend a month of hunting and exploring with them.
Meriem was all expectancy. What would these strangers be like? Would
they be as nice to her as had Bwana and My Dear, or would they be like
the other white folk she had known--cruel and relentless. My Dear
assured her that they all were gentle folk and that she would find them
kind, considerate and honorable.

To My Dear's surprise there was none of the shyness of the wild
creature in Meriem's anticipation of the visit of strangers.

She looked forward to their coming with curiosity and with a certain
pleasurable anticipation when once she was assured that they would not
bite her. In fact she appeared no different than would any pretty
young miss who had learned of the expected coming of company.

Korak's image was still often in her thoughts, but it aroused now a
less well-defined sense of bereavement. A quiet sadness pervaded
Meriem when she thought of him; but the poignant grief of her loss when
it was young no longer goaded her to desperation. Yet she was still
loyal to him. She still hoped that some day he would find her, nor did
she doubt for a moment but that he was searching for her if he

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