The Son of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 192

sorrow and remorse.

His one thought now was to atone--win to Meriem's side and lay down his
life, if necessary, in her protection. His eyes sought the length of
the canoe in search of the paddle, for a determination had galvanized
him to immediate action despite his weakness and his wound. But the
paddle was gone. He turned his eyes toward the shore. Dimly through
the darkness of a moonless night he saw the awful blackness of the
jungle, yet it touched no responsive chord of terror within him now as
it had done in the past. He did not even wonder that he was unafraid,
for his mind was entirely occupied with thoughts of another's danger.

Drawing himself to his knees he leaned over the edge of the canoe and
commenced to paddle vigorously with his open palm. Though it tired and
hurt him he kept assiduously at his self imposed labor for hours.
Little by little the drifting canoe moved nearer and nearer the shore.
The Hon. Morison could hear a lion roaring directly opposite him and so
close that he felt he must be almost to the shore. He drew his rifle
closer to his side; but he did not cease to paddle.

After what seemed to the tired man an eternity of time he felt the
brush of branches against the canoe and heard the swirl of the water
about them. A moment later he reached out and clutched a leafy limb.
Again the lion roared--very near it seemed now, and Baynes wondered if
the brute could have been following along the shore waiting for him to
land.

He tested the strength of the limb to which he clung. It seemed strong
enough to support a dozen men. Then he reached down and lifted his
rifle from the bottom of the canoe, slipping the sling over his
shoulder. Again he tested the branch, and then reaching upward as far
as he could for a safe hold he drew himself painfully and slowly upward
until his feet swung clear of the canoe, which, released, floated
silently from beneath him to be lost forever in the blackness of the
dark shadows down stream.

He had burned his bridges behind him. He must either climb aloft or
drop back into the river; but there had been no other way. He
struggled to raise one leg over the limb, but found himself scarce
equal to the effort, for he was very weak. For a time he hung there
feeling his strength

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