The Son of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 162

woman he loved and lay his love at her feet. He was ashamed to go
to the little Arab maid who had been his jungle playmate, for what had
he to offer her?

For years circumstances had prevented a return to his father and
mother, and at last pride had stepped in and expunged from his mind the
last vestige of any intention to return. In a spirit of boyish
adventure he had cast his lot with the jungle ape. The killing of the
crook in the coast inn had filled his childish mind with terror of the
law, and driven him deeper into the wilds. The rebuffs that he had met
at the hands of men, both black and white, had had their effect upon
his mind while yet it was in a formative state, and easily influenced.

He had come to believe that the hand of man was against him, and then
he had found in Meriem the only human association he required or
craved. When she had been snatched from him his sorrow had been so
deep that the thought of ever mingling again with human beings grew
still more unutterably distasteful. Finally and for all time, he
thought, the die was cast. Of his own volition he had become a beast,
a beast he had lived, a beast he would die.

Now that it was too late, he regretted it. For now Meriem, still
living, had been revealed to him in a guise of progress and advancement
that had carried her completely out of his life. Death itself could
not have further removed her from him. In her new world she loved a
man of her own kind. And Korak knew that it was right. She was not
for him--not for the naked, savage ape. No, she was not for him; but
he still was hers. If he could not have her and happiness, he would at
least do all that lay in his power to assure happiness to her. He
would follow the young Englishman. In the first place he would know
that he meant Meriem no harm, and after that, though jealousy wrenched
his heart, he would watch over the man Meriem loved, for Meriem's sake;
but God help that man if he thought to wrong her!

Slowly he aroused himself. He stood erect and stretched his great
frame, the muscles of his arms gliding sinuously beneath his tanned
skin as he bent his clenched fists behind his head.

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