The Son of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 32

miles of sand to the little garrison post where, upon the
morrow, he should find awaiting him with eager welcome his wife and
little daughter. His eyes softened to the memory of them, as they
always did. Even now he could see the beauty of the mother reflected
in the childish lines of little Jeanne's face, and both those faces
would be smiling up into his as he swung from his tired mount late the
following afternoon. Already he could feel a soft cheek pressed close
to each of his--velvet against leather.

His reverie was broken in upon by the voice of a sentry summoning a
non-commissioned officer. Captain Jacot raised his eyes. The sun had
not yet set; but the shadows of the few trees huddled about the water
hole and of his men and their horses stretched far away into the east
across the now golden sand. The sentry was pointing in this direction,
and the corporal, through narrowed lids, was searching the distance.
Captain Jacot rose to his feet. He was not a man content to see
through the eyes of others. He must see for himself. Usually he saw
things long before others were aware that there was anything to see--a
trait that had won for him the sobriquet of Hawk. Now he saw, just
beyond the long shadows, a dozen specks rising and falling among the
sands. They disappeared and reappeared, but always they grew larger.
Jacot recognized them immediately. They were horsemen--horsemen of the
desert. Already a sergeant was running toward him. The entire camp
was straining its eyes into the distance. Jacot gave a few terse
orders to the sergeant who saluted, turned upon his heel and returned
to the men. Here he gathered a dozen who saddled their horses, mounted
and rode out to meet the strangers. The remaining men disposed
themselves in readiness for instant action. It was not entirely beyond
the range of possibilities that the horsemen riding thus swiftly toward
the camp might be friends of the prisoners bent upon the release of
their kinsmen by a sudden attack. Jacot doubted this, however, since
the strangers were evidently making no attempt to conceal their
presence. They were galloping rapidly toward the camp in plain view of
all. There might be treachery lurking beneath their fair appearance;
but none who knew The Hawk would be so gullible as to hope to trap him
thus.

The sergeant with his detail met the Arabs two hundred

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