The Son of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 185

and a few parting shots
that were returned from the canoes the Arab called his men off and
securing his prisoner set off toward the South.

One of the bullets from Malbihn's force had struck a black standing in
the village street where he had been left with another to guard Meriem,
and his companions had left him where he had fallen, after
appropriating his apparel and belongings. His was the body that Baynes
had discovered when he had entered the village.

The Sheik and his party had been marching southward along the river
when one of them, dropping out of line to fetch water, had seen Meriem
paddling desperately from the opposite shore. The fellow had called
The Sheik's attention to the strange sight--a white woman alone in
Central Africa and the old Arab had hidden his men in the deserted
village to capture her when she landed, for thoughts of ransom were
always in the mind of The Sheik. More than once before had glittering
gold filtered through his fingers from a similar source. It was easy
money and The Sheik had none too much easy money since the Big Bwana
had so circumscribed the limits of his ancient domain that he dared not
even steal ivory from natives within two hundred miles of the Big
Bwana's douar. And when at last the woman had walked into the trap he
had set for her and he had recognized her as the same little girl he
had brutalized and mal-treated years before his gratification had been
huge. Now he lost no time in establishing the old relations of father
and daughter that had existed between them in the past. At the first
opportunity he struck her a heavy blow across the face. He forced her
to walk when he might have dismounted one of his men instead, or had
her carried on a horse's rump. He seemed to revel in the discovery of
new methods for torturing or humiliating her, and among all his
followers she found no single one to offer her sympathy, or who dared
defend her, even had they had the desire to do so.

A two days' march brought them at last to the familiar scenes of her
childhood, and the first face upon which she set her eyes as she was
driven through the gates into the strong stockade was that of the
toothless, hideous Mabunu, her one time nurse. It was as though all
the years that had intervened were but a dream. Had it not

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