The Son of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 72

The
Sheik. There was no one in all the world to whom she might turn, other
than this half-naked stranger who had dropped miraculously from the
clouds to save her from one of The Sheik's accustomed beatings. Would
her new friend leave her now? Wistfully she gazed at his intent face.
She moved a little closer to him, laying a slim, brown hand upon his
arm. The contact awakened the lad from his absorption. He looked down
at her, and then his arm went about her shoulder once more, for he saw
tears upon her lashes.

"Come," he said. "The jungle is kinder than man. You shall live in
the jungle and Korak and Akut will protect you."

She did not understand his words, but the pressure of his arm drawing
her away from the prostrate Arab and the tents was quite intelligible.
One little arm crept about his waist and together they walked toward
the palisade. Beneath the great tree that had harbored Korak while he
watched the girl at play he lifted her in his arms and throwing her
lightly across his shoulder leaped nimbly into the lower branches. Her
arms were about his neck and from one little hand Geeka dangled down
his straight young back.

And so Meriem entered the jungle with Korak, trusting, in her childish
innocence, the stranger who had befriended her, and perhaps influenced
in her belief in him by that strange intuitive power possessed by
woman. She had no conception of what the future might hold. She did
not know, nor could she have guessed the manner of life led by her
protector. Possibly she pictured a distant village similar to that of
The Sheik in which lived other white men like the stranger. That she
was to be taken into the savage, primeval life of a jungle beast could
not have occurred to her. Had it, her little heart would have
palpitated with fear. Often had she wished to run away from the
cruelties of The Sheik and Mabunu; but the dangers of the jungle always
had deterred her.

The two had gone but a short distance from the village when the girl
spied the huge proportions of the great Akut. With a half-stifled
scream she clung more closely to Korak, and pointed fearfully toward
the ape.

Akut, thinking that The Killer was returning with a prisoner, came
growling toward them--a little girl aroused no more sympathy in the
beast's heart than would a full-grown bull ape. She was a stranger

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