The Son of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 26

African wilds.

Having come to a decision the lad felt a sense of relief from the worry
that had haunted him for many sleepless nights. When he closed his
eyes in sleep it was to dream of a happy reunion with those at home.
And as he dreamed, Fate, cruel and inexorable, crept stealthily upon
him through the dark corridor of the squalid building in which he
slept--Fate in the form of the American crook, Condon.

Cautiously the man approached the door of the lad's room. There he
crouched listening until assured by the regular breathing of those
within that both slept. Quietly he inserted a slim, skeleton key in
the lock of the door. With deft fingers, long accustomed to the silent
manipulation of the bars and bolts that guarded other men's property,
Condon turned the key and the knob simultaneously. Gentle pressure
upon the door swung it slowly inward upon its hinges. The man entered
the room, closing the door behind him. The moon was temporarily
overcast by heavy clouds. The interior of the apartment was shrouded
in gloom. Condon groped his way toward the bed. In the far corner of
the room something moved--moved with a silent stealthiness which
transcended even the trained silence of the burglar. Condon heard
nothing. His attention was riveted upon the bed in which he thought to
find a young boy and his helpless, invalid grandmother.

The American sought only the bank roll. If he could possess himself of
this without detection, well and good; but were he to meet resistance
he was prepared for that too. The lad's clothes lay across a chair
beside the bed. The American's fingers felt swiftly through them--the
pockets contained no roll of crisp, new notes. Doubtless they were
beneath the pillows of the bed. He stepped closer toward the sleeper;
his hand was already half way beneath the pillow when the thick cloud
that had obscured the moon rolled aside and the room was flooded with
light. At the same instant the boy opened his eyes and looked straight
into those of Condon. The man was suddenly conscious that the boy was
alone in the bed. Then he clutched for his victim's throat. As the
lad rose to meet him Condon heard a low growl at his back, then he felt
his wrists seized by the boy, and realized that beneath those tapering,
white fingers played muscles of steel.

He felt other hands at his throat, rough hairy hands

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