The Son of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 203

guide toward a native hut which lay close beside one
of the outside goatskin tents. In the dark, stifling interior his
guard led him, then stepped to the doorway and called to a couple of
black boys squatting before their own huts. They came promptly and in
accordance with the Arab's instructions bound Baynes' wrists and ankles
securely. The Englishman objected strenuously; but as neither the
blacks nor the Arab could understand a word he said his pleas were
wasted. Having bound him they left the hut. The Hon. Morison lay for
a long time contemplating the frightful future which awaited him during
the long months which must intervene before his friends learned of his
predicament and could get succor to him. Now he hoped that they would
send the ransom--he would gladly pay all that he was worth to be out of
this hole. At first it had been his intention to cable his solicitors
to send no money but to communicate with the British West African
authorities and have an expedition sent to his aid.

His patrician nose wrinkled in disgust as his nostrils were assailed by
the awful stench of the hut. The nasty grasses upon which he lay
exuded the effluvium of sweaty bodies, of decayed animal matter and of
offal. But worse was yet to come. He had lain in the uncomfortable
position in which they had thrown him but for a few minutes when he
became distinctly conscious of an acute itching sensation upon his
hands, his neck and scalp. He wriggled to a sitting posture horrified
and disgusted. The itching rapidly extended to other parts of his
body--it was torture, and his hands were bound securely at his back!

He tugged and pulled at his bonds until he was exhausted; but not
entirely without hope, for he was sure that he was working enough slack
out of the knot to eventually permit of his withdrawing one of his
hands. Night came. They brought him neither food nor drink. He
wondered if they expected him to live on nothing for a year. The bites
of the vermin grew less annoying though not less numerous. The Hon.
Morison saw a ray of hope in this indication of future immunity through
inoculation. He still worked weakly at his bonds, and then the rats
came. If the vermin were disgusting the rats were terrifying. They
scurried over his body, squealing and fighting. Finally one commenced
to chew at one of

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