The Son of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 33

yards from the
camp. Jacot could see him in conversation with a tall, white-robed
figure--evidently the leader of the band. Presently the sergeant and
this Arab rode side by side toward camp. Jacot awaited them. The two
reined in and dismounted before him.

"Sheik Amor ben Khatour," announced the sergeant by way of introduction.

Captain Jacot eyed the newcomer. He was acquainted with nearly every
principal Arab within a radius of several hundred miles. This man he
never had seen. He was a tall, weather beaten, sour looking man of
sixty or more. His eyes were narrow and evil. Captain Jacot did not
relish his appearance.

"Well?" he asked, tentatively.

The Arab came directly to the point.

"Achmet ben Houdin is my sister's son," he said. "If you will give him
into my keeping I will see that he sins no more against the laws of the
French."

Jacot shook his head. "That cannot be," he replied. "I must take him
back with me. He will be properly and fairly tried by a civil court.
If he is innocent he will be released."

"And if he is not innocent?" asked the Arab.

"He is charged with many murders. For any one of these, if he is
proved guilty, he will have to die."

The Arab's left hand was hidden beneath his burnous. Now he withdrew
it disclosing a large goatskin purse, bulging and heavy with coins. He
opened the mouth of the purse and let a handful of the contents trickle
into the palm of his right hand--all were pieces of good French gold.
From the size of the purse and its bulging proportions Captain Jacot
concluded that it must contain a small fortune. Sheik Amor ben Khatour
dropped the spilled gold pieces one by one back into the purse. Jacot
was eyeing him narrowly. They were alone. The sergeant, having
introduced the visitor, had withdrawn to some little distance--his back
was toward them. Now the sheik, having returned all the gold pieces,
held the bulging purse outward upon his open palm toward Captain Jacot.

"Achmet ben Houdin, my sister's son, MIGHT escape tonight," he said.
"Eh?"

Captain Armand Jacot flushed to the roots of his close-cropped hair.
Then he went very white and took a half-step toward the Arab. His
fists were clenched. Suddenly he thought better of whatever impulse
was moving him.

"Sergeant!" he called. The non-commissioned officer hurried toward
him, saluting as his heels clicked together before his superior.

"Take this black dog back

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