The Son of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 144

rough trader's
bashfulness. He accompanied the men on several hunting trips where
they found him perfectly at home and well versed in all the finer
points of big game hunting. Of an evening he often spent much time
with the white foreman of the big farm, evidently finding in the
society of this rougher man more common interests than the cultured
guests of Bwana possessed for him. So it came that his was a familiar
figure about the premises by night. He came and went as he saw fit,
often wandering along in the great flower garden that was the especial
pride and joy of My Dear and Meriem. The first time that he had been
surprised there he apologized gruffly, explaining that he had always
been fond of the good old blooms of northern Europe which My Dear had
so successfully transplanted in African soil.

Was it, though, the ever beautiful blossoms of hollyhocks and phlox
that drew him to the perfumed air of the garden, or that other
infinitely more beautiful flower who wandered often among the blooms
beneath the great moon--the black-haired, suntanned Meriem?

For three weeks Hanson had remained. During this time he said that his
boys were resting and gaining strength after their terrible ordeals in
the untracked jungle to the south; but he had not been as idle as he
appeared to have been. He divided his small following into two
parties, entrusting the leadership of each to men whom he believed that
he could trust. To them he explained his plans and the rich reward
that they would win from him if they carried his designs to a
successful conclusion. One party he moved very slowly northward along
the trail that connects with the great caravan routes entering the
Sahara from the south. The other he ordered straight westward with
orders to halt and go into permanent camp just beyond the great river
which marks the natural boundary of the country that the big Bwana
rightfully considers almost his own.

To his host he explained that he was moving his safari slowly toward
the north--he said nothing of the party moving westward. Then, one
day, he announced that half his boys had deserted, for a hunting party
from the bungalow had come across his northerly camp and he feared that
they might have noticed the reduced numbers of his following.

And thus matters stood when, one hot night, Meriem, unable to sleep,
rose and wandered out into the garden. The Hon. Morison had been
urging his suit

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