The Son of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 30

Then he
gave a little shudder, for even in the semi-darkness he saw a dark red
stain upon his hand. Leaping to his feet he hurled his shoulder
against the door. Herr Skopf is a heavy man--or at least he was
then--I have not seen him for several years. The frail door collapsed
beneath his weight, and Herr Skopf stumbled precipitately into the room
beyond.

Before him lay the greatest mystery of his life. Upon the floor at his
feet was the dead body of a strange man. The neck was broken and the
jugular severed as by the fangs of a wild beast. The body was entirely
naked, the clothing being strewn about the corpse. The old lady and
her grandson were gone. The window was open. They must have
disappeared through the window for the door had been locked from the
inside.

But how could the boy have carried his invalid grandmother from a
second story window to the ground? It was preposterous. Again Herr
Skopf searched the small room. He noticed that the bed was pulled well
away from the wall--why? He looked beneath it again for the third or
fourth time. The two were gone, and yet his judgment told him that the
old lady could not have gone without porters to carry her down as they
had carried her up the previous day.

Further search deepened the mystery. All the clothing of the two was
still in the room--if they had gone then they must have gone naked or
in their night clothes. Herr Skopf shook his head; then he scratched
it. He was baffled. He had never heard of Sherlock Holmes or he would
have lost no time in invoking the aid of that celebrated sleuth, for
here was a real mystery: An old woman--an invalid who had to be
carried from the ship to her room in the hotel--and a handsome lad, her
grandson, had entered a room on the second floor of his hostelry the
day before. They had had their evening meal served in their room--that
was the last that had been seen of them. At nine the following morning
the corpse of a strange man had been the sole occupant of that room.
No boat had left the harbor in the meantime--there was not a railroad
within hundreds of miles--there was no other white settlement that the
two could reach under several days of arduous marching accompanied by a
well-equipped safari. They

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Text Comparison with The Gods of Mars

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Page 162
God! What cruel and malign fate had worked to such a frightful end! What devious chain of circumstances had led my boy to my side at this one particular minute of our lives when I could strike him down and kill him, in ignorance of his identity! A benign though tardy Providence blurred my vision and my mind as I sank into unconsciousness across the lifeless body of my only son.