The Son of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 69

slip down beside
the little girl and talk with her, though he knew from the words he had
overheard that she spoke a language with which he was unfamiliar. They
could have talked by signs a little. That would have been better than
nothing. Too, he would have been glad to see her face. What he had
glimpsed assured him that she was pretty; but her strongest appeal to
him lay in the affectionate nature revealed by her gentle mothering of
the grotesque doll.

At last he hit upon a plan. He would attract her attention, and
reassure her by a smiling greeting from a greater distance. Silently
he wormed his way back into the tree. It was his intention to hail her
from beyond the palisade, giving her the feeling of security which he
imagined the stout barricade would afford.

He had scarcely left his position in the tree when his attention was
attracted by a considerable noise upon the opposite side of the
village. By moving a little he could see the gate at the far end of
the main street. A number of men, women and children were running
toward it. It swung open, revealing the head of a caravan upon the
opposite side. In trooped the motley organization--black slaves and
dark hued Arabs of the northern deserts; cursing camel drivers urging
on their vicious charges; overburdened donkeys, waving sadly pendulous
ears while they endured with stoic patience the brutalities of their
masters; goats, sheep and horses. Into the village they all trooped
behind a tall, sour, old man, who rode without greetings to those who
shrunk from his path directly to a large goatskin tent in the center of
the village. Here he spoke to a wrinkled hag.

Korak, from his vantage spot, could see it all. He saw the old man
asking questions of the black woman, and then he saw the latter point
toward a secluded corner of the village which was hidden from the main
street by the tents of the Arabs and the huts of the natives in the
direction of the tree beneath which the little girl played. This was
doubtless her father, thought Korak. He had been away and his first
thought upon returning was of his little daughter. How glad she would
be to see him! How she would run and throw herself into his arms, to
be crushed to his breast and covered with his kisses. Korak sighed.
He thought of his own father

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