The Son of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 139

he committed himself even
to the program he was considering.

"Who were Korak and A'ht?" he asked.

"A'ht was a Mangani," replied Meriem, "and Korak a Tarmangani."

"And what, pray, might a Mangani be, and a Tarmangani?"

The girl laughed.

"You are a Tarmangani," she replied. "The Mangani are covered with
hair--you would call them apes."

"Then Korak was a white man?" he asked.

"Yes."

"And he was--ah--your--er--your--?" He paused, for he found it rather
difficult to go on with that line of questioning while the girl's
clear, beautiful eyes were looking straight into his.

"My what?" insisted Meriem, far too unsophisticated in her unspoiled
innocence to guess what the Hon. Morison was driving at.

"Why--ah--your brother?" he stumbled.

"No, Korak was not my brother," she replied.

"Was he your husband, then?" he finally blurted.

Far from taking offense, Meriem broke into a merry laugh.

"My husband!" she cried. "Why how old do you think I am? I am too
young to have a husband. I had never thought of such a thing. Korak
was--why--," and now she hesitated, too, for she never before had
attempted to analyse the relationship that existed between herself and
Korak--"why, Korak was just Korak," and again she broke into a gay
laugh as she realized the illuminating quality of her description.

Looking at her and listening to her the man beside her could not
believe that depravity of any sort or degree entered into the girl's
nature, yet he wanted to believe that she had not been virtuous, for
otherwise his task was less a sinecure--the Hon. Morison was not
entirely without conscience.

For several days the Hon. Morison made no appreciable progress toward
the consummation of his scheme. Sometimes he almost abandoned it for
he found himself time and again wondering how slight might be the
provocation necessary to trick him into making a bona-fide offer of
marriage to Meriem if he permitted himself to fall more deeply in love
with her, and it was difficult to see her daily and not love her.
There was a quality about her which, all unknown to the Hon. Morison,
was making his task an extremely difficult one--it was that quality of
innate goodness and cleanness which is a good girl's stoutest bulwark
and protection--an impregnable barrier that only degeneracy has the
effrontery to assail. The Hon. Morison Baynes would never be
considered a degenerate.

He was sitting with Meriem upon the verandah one evening after the
others had retired. Earlier they had been playing tennis--a game in
which the Hon. Morison shone to advantage, as, in truth, he did

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Text Comparison with Tarzan the Untamed

Page 24
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Page 60
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