The Son of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 98

his cavernous mouth in a wide
yawn, and stretched his arms above his head. Korak stood rigid as
stone. Another step and he would be within the hut. The black lowered
his arms and relaxed. Behind him was the frame work of the doorway.
Often before had it supported his sleepy head, and now he leaned back
to enjoy the forbidden pleasure of a cat nap.

But instead of the door frame his head and shoulders came in contact
with the warm flesh of a pair of living legs. The exclamation of
surprise that almost burst from his lips was throttled in his throat by
steel-thewed fingers that closed about his windpipe with the suddenness
of thought. The black struggled to arise--to turn upon the creature
that had seized him--to wriggle from its hold; but all to no purpose.
As he had been held in a mighty vise of iron he could not move. He
could not scream. Those awful fingers at his throat but closed more and
more tightly. His eyes bulged from their sockets. His face turned an
ashy blue. Presently he relaxed once more--this time in the final
dissolution from which there is no quickening. Korak propped the dead
body against the door frame. There it sat, lifelike in the gloom.
Then the ape-man turned and glided into the Stygian darkness of the
hut's interior.

"Meriem!" he whispered.

"Korak! My Korak!" came an answering cry, subdued by fear of alarming
her captors, and half stifled by a sob of joyful welcome.

The youth knelt and cut the bonds that held the girl's wrists and
ankles. A moment later he had lifted her to her feet, and grasping her
by the hand led her towards the entrance. Outside the grim sentinel of
death kept his grisly vigil. Sniffing at his dead feet whined a mangy
native cur. At sight of the two emerging from the hut the beast gave
an ugly snarl and an instant later as it caught the scent of the
strange white man it raised a series of excited yelps. Instantly the
warriors at the near-by fire were attracted. They turned their heads
in the direction of the commotion. It was impossible that they should
fail to see the white skins of the fugitives.

Korak slunk quickly into the shadows at the hut's side, drawing Meriem
with him; but he was too late. The blacks had seen enough to arouse
their suspicions and a dozen of them were now

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