The Son of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 168

deceived her; but now
with the growing beard and the similarity of conditions recognition
came swift and sure.

But today there would be no Bwana to save her.

Chapter 21

The black boy whom Malbihn had left awaiting him in the clearing with
instructions to remain until he returned sat crouched at the foot of a
tree for an hour when he was suddenly startled by the coughing grunt of
a lion behind him. With celerity born of the fear of death the boy
clambered into the branches of the tree, and a moment later the king of
beasts entered the clearing and approached the carcass of an antelope
which, until now, the boy had not seen.

Until daylight the beast fed, while the black clung, sleepless, to his
perch, wondering what had become of his master and the two ponies. He
had been with Malbihn for a year, and so was fairly conversant with the
character of the white. His knowledge presently led him to believe
that he had been purposely abandoned. Like the balance of Malbihn's
followers, this boy hated his master cordially--fear being the only
bond that held him to the white man. His present uncomfortable
predicament but added fuel to the fires of his hatred.

As the sun rose the lion withdrew into the jungle and the black
descended from his tree and started upon his long journey back to camp.
In his primitive brain revolved various fiendish plans for a revenge
that he would not have the courage to put into effect when the test
came and he stood face to face with one of the dominant race.

A mile from the clearing he came upon the spoor of two ponies crossing
his path at right angles. A cunning look entered the black's eyes. He
laughed uproariously and slapped his thighs.

Negroes are tireless gossipers, which, of course, is but a roundabout
way of saying that they are human. Malbihn's boys had been no
exception to the rule and as many of them had been with him at various
times during the past ten years there was little about his acts and
life in the African wilds that was not known directly or by hearsay to
them all.

And so, knowing his master and many of his past deeds, knowing, too, a
great deal about the plans of Malbihn and Baynes that had been
overheard by himself, or other servants; and knowing well from the
gossip of the head-men that half of Malbihn's party lay in camp by the
great river far to the west,

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