The Son of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 188

have just hidden. It is you
when you were a child--a very young child. May I see it again?"

Meriem drew away from him.

"I will give it back," he said. "I have heard of you and I know that
you have no love for The Sheik, your father. Neither have I. I will
not betray you. Let me see the picture."

Friendless among cruel enemies, Meriem clutched at the straw that Abdul
Kamak held out to her. Perhaps in him she might find the friend she
needed. Anyway he had seen the picture and if he was not a friend he
could tell The Sheik about it and it would be taken away from her. So
she might as well grant his request and hope that he had spoken fairly,
and would deal fairly. She drew the photograph from its hiding place
and handed it to him.

Abdul Kamak examined it carefully, comparing it, feature by feature
with the girl sitting on the ground looking up into his face. Slowly
he nodded his head.

"Yes," he said, "it is you, but where was it taken? How does it happen
that The Sheik's daughter is clothed in the garments of the unbeliever?"

"I do not know," replied Meriem. "I never saw the picture until a
couple of days ago, when I found it in the tent of the Swede, Malbihn."

Abdul Kamak raised his eyebrows. He turned the picture over and as his
eyes fell upon the old newspaper cutting they went wide. He could read
French, with difficulty, it is true; but he could read it. He had been
to Paris. He had spent six months there with a troupe of his desert
fellows, upon exhibition, and he had improved his time, learning many
of the customs, some of the language, and most of the vices of his
conquerors. Now he put his learning to use. Slowly, laboriously he
read the yellowed cutting. His eyes were no longer wide. Instead they
narrowed to two slits of cunning. When he had done he looked at the
girl.

"You have read this?" he asked.

"It is French," she replied, "and I do not read French."

Abdul Kamak stood long in silence looking at the girl. She was very
beautiful. He desired her, as had many other men who had seen her. At
last he dropped to one knee beside her.

A wonderful idea had sprung to Abdul Kamak's mind. It

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