The Son of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 211

an offer of
honest love, which will realize the honor of having such as you share
my name with me."

For a moment Meriem was silent, buried in thought. Her first question
seemed irrelevant.

"How did you happen to be in this village?" she asked.

He told her all that had transpired since the black had told him of
Hanson's duplicity.

"You say that you are a coward," she said, "and yet you have done all
this to save me? The courage that it must have taken to tell me the
things that you told me but a moment since, while courage of a
different sort, proves that you are no moral coward, and the other
proves that you are not a physical coward. I could not love a coward."

"You mean that you love me?" he gasped in astonishment, taking a step
toward her as though to gather her into his arms; but she placed her
hand against him and pushed him gently away, as much as to say, not
yet. What she did mean she scarcely knew. She thought that she loved
him, of that there can be no question; nor did she think that love for
this young Englishman was disloyalty to Korak, for her love for Korak
was undiminished--the love of a sister for an indulgent brother. As
they stood there for the moment of their conversation the sounds of
tumult in the village subsided.

"They have killed him," whispered Meriem.

The statement brought Baynes to a realization of the cause of their
return.

"Wait here," he said. "I will go and see. If he is dead we can do him
no good. If he lives I will do my best to free him."

"We will go together," replied Meriem. "Come!" And she led the way
back toward the tent in which they last had seen Korak. As they went
they were often forced to throw themselves to the ground in the shadow
of a tent or hut, for people were passing hurriedly to and fro now--the
whole village was aroused and moving about. The return to the tent of
Ali ben Kadin took much longer than had their swift flight to the
palisade. Cautiously they crept to the slit that Korak's knife had
made in the rear wall. Meriem peered within--the rear apartment was
empty. She crawled through the aperture, Baynes at her heels, and then
silently crossed the space to the rugs that partitioned the tent into
two rooms. Parting the hangings Meriem looked

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