The Son of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 97

Korak sniffed eagerly about the
structure--tense and palpitant as a hunting hound. Toward the front
and the door he made his way when once his nose had assured him that
Meriem lay within; but as he rounded the side and came within view of
the entrance he saw a burly Negro armed with a long spear squatting at
the portal of the girl's prison. The fellow's back was toward him, his
figure outlined against the glow of cooking fires further down the
street. He was alone. The nearest of his fellows were beside a fire
sixty or seventy feet beyond. To enter the hut Korak must either
silence the sentry or pass him unnoticed. The danger in the
accomplishment of the former alternative lay in the practical certainty
of alarming the warriors near by and bringing them and the balance of
the village down upon him. To achieve the latter appeared practically
impossible. To you or me it would have been impossible; but Korak, The
Killer, was not as you or I.

There was a good twelve inches of space between the broad back of the
black and the frame of the doorway. Could Korak pass through behind
the savage warrior without detection? The light that fell upon the
glistening ebony of the sentry's black skin fell also upon the light
brown of Korak's. Should one of the many further down the street
chance to look long in this direction they must surely note the tall,
light-colored, moving figure; but Korak depended upon their interest in
their own gossip to hold their attention fast where it already lay, and
upon the firelight near them to prevent them seeing too plainly at a
distance into the darkness at the village end where his work lay.

Flattened against the side of the hut, yet not arousing a single
warning rustle from its dried thatching, The Killer came closer and
closer to the watcher. Now he was at his shoulder. Now he had wormed
his sinuous way behind him. He could feel the heat of the naked body
against his knees. He could hear the man breathe. He marveled that
the dull-witted creature had not long since been alarmed; but the
fellow sat there as ignorant of the presence of another as though that
other had not existed.

Korak moved scarcely more than an inch at a time, then he would stand
motionless for a moment. Thus was he worming his way behind the guard
when the latter straightened up, opened

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