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Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Part 5 out of 6

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golden links from about her throat, but Tarzan would not let
her. Taking her hands in his, when she insisted upon it, he
held them tightly to prevent her.

At last she desisted and with a little laugh raised the locket
to her lips.

Tarzan did not know precisely what she meant, but he
guessed correctly that it was her way of acknowledging the
gift, and so he rose, and taking the locket in his hand,
stooped gravely like some courtier of old, and pressed his
lips upon it where hers had rested.

It was a stately and gallant little compliment performed
with the grace and dignity of utter unconsciousness of self.
It was the hall-mark of his aristocratic birth, the natural
outcropping of many generations of fine breeding, an hereditary
instinct of graciousness which a lifetime of uncouth and savage
training and environment could not eradicate.

It was growing dark now, and so they ate again of the fruit
which was both food and drink for them; then Tarzan rose,
and leading Jane to the little bower he had erected, motioned
her to go within.

For the first time in hours a feeling of fear swept over her,
and Tarzan felt her draw away as though shrinking from him.

Contact with this girl for half a day had left a very diferent
Tarzan from the one on whom the morning's sun had risen.

Now, in every fiber of his being, heredity spoke louder
than training.

He had not in one swift transition become a polished
gentleman from a savage ape-man, but at last the instincts
of the former predominated, and over all was the desire to
please the woman he loved, and to appear well in her eyes.

So Tarzan of the Apes did the only thing he knew to assure
Jane of her safety. He removed his hunting knife from its
sheath and handed it to her hilt first, again motioning her
into the bower.

The girl understood, and taking the long knife she entered
and lay down upon the soft grasses while Tarzan of the Apes
stretched himself upon the ground across the entrance.

And thus the rising sun found them in the morning.

When Jane awoke, she did not at first recall the strange
events of the preceding day, and so she wondered at her odd
surroundings--the little leafy bower, the soft grasses of her
bed, the unfamiliar prospect from the opening at her feet.

Slowly the circumstances of her position crept one by one
into her mind. And then a great wonderment arose in her
heart--a mighty wave of thankfulness and gratitude that
though she had been in such terrible danger, yet she was unharmed.

She moved to the entrance of the shelter to look for Tarzan.
He was gone; but this time no fear assailed her for she
knew that he would return.

In the grass at the entrance to her bower she saw the imprint
of his body where he had lain all night to guard her.
She knew that the fact that he had been there was all that
had permitted her to sleep in such peaceful security.

With him near, who could entertain fear? She wondered if
there was another man on earth with whom a girl could feel
so safe in the heart of this savage African jungle. Even the
lions and panthers had no fears for her now.

She looked up to see his lithe form drop softly from a
near-by tree. As he caught her eyes upon him his face lighted
with that frank and radiant smile that had won her confidence
the day before.

As he approached her Jane's heart beat faster and her eyes
brightened as they had never done before at the approach of any man.

He had again been gathering fruit and this he laid at the
entrance of her bower. Once more they sat down together to eat.

Jane commenced to wonder what his plans were. Would he
take her back to the beach or would he keep her here?
Suddenly she realized that the matter did not seem to
give her much concern. Could it be that she did not care!

She began to comprehend, also, that she was entirely contented
sitting here by the side of this smiling giant eating delicious
fruit in a sylvan paradise far within the remote depths of
an African jungle--that she was contented and very happy.

She could not understand it. Her reason told her that she
should be torn by wild anxieties, weighted by dread fears,
cast down by gloomy forebodings; but instead, her heart was
singing and she was smiling into the answering face of the
man beside her.

When they had finished their breakfast Tarzan went to her
bower and recovered his knife. The girl had entirely forgotten
it. She realized that it was because she had forgotten the
fear that prompted her to accept it.

Motioning her to follow, Tarzan walked toward the trees
at the edge of the arena, and taking her in one strong arm
swung to the branches above.

The girl knew that he was taking her back to her people, and
she could not understand the sudden feeling of loneliness
and sorrow which crept over her.

For hours they swung slowly along.

Tarzan of the Apes did not hurry. He tried to draw out the
sweet pleasure of that journey with those dear arms about his
neck as long as possible, and so he went far south of the direct
route to the beach.

Several times they halted for brief rests, which Tarzan did
not need, and at noon they stopped for an hour at a little
brook, where they quenched their thirst, and ate.

So it was nearly sunset when they came to the clearing, and
Tarzan, dropping to the ground beside a great tree, parted
the tall jungle grass and pointed out the little cabin to her.

She took him by the hand to lead him to it, that she might
tell her father that this man had saved her from death and
worse than death, that he had watched over her as carefully
as a mother might have done.

But again the timidity of the wild thing in the face of
human habitation swept over Tarzan of the Apes. He drew
back, shaking his head.

The girl came close to him, looking up with pleading eyes.
Somehow she could not bear the thought of his going back
into the terrible jungle alone.

Still he shook his head, and finally he drew her to him very
gently and stooped to kiss her, but first he looked into her
eyes and waited to learn if she were pleased, or if she would
repulse him.

Just an instant the girl hesitated, and then she realized the
truth, and throwing her arms about his neck she drew his
face to hers and kissed him--unashamed.

"I love you--I love you," she murmured.

From far in the distance came the faint sound of many
guns. Tarzan and Jane raised their heads.

From the cabin came Mr. Philander and Esmeralda.

From where Tarzan and the girl stood they could not see
the two vessels lying at anchor in the harbor.

Tarzan pointed toward the sounds, touched his breast and
pointed again. She understood. He was going, and something
told her that it was because he thought her people were in danger.

Again he kissed her.

"Come back to me," she whispered. "I shall wait for you--always."

He was gone--and Jane turned to walk across the clearing
to the cabin.

Mr. Philander was the first to see her. It was dusk and Mr.
Philander was very near sighted.

"Quickly, Esmeralda!" he cried. "Let us seek safety within;
it is a lioness. Bless me!"

Esmeralda did not bother to verify Mr. Philander's vision.
His tone was enough. She was within the cabin and had
slammed and bolted the door before he had finished pronouncing
her name. The "Bless me" was startled out of Mr. Philander
by the discovery that Esmeralda, in the exuberance
of her haste, had fastened him upon the same side of the
door as was the close-approaching lioness.

He beat furiously upon the heavy portal.

"Esmeralda! Esmeralda!" he shrieked. "Let me in. I am
being devoured by a lion."

Esmeralda thought that the noise upon the door was made
by the lioness in her attempts to pursue her, so, after her
custom, she fainted.

Mr. Philander cast a frightened glance behind him.

Horrors! The thing was quite close now. He tried to
scramble up the side of the cabin, and succeeded in
catching a fleeting hold upon the thatched roof.

For a moment he hung there, clawing with his feet like a
cat on a clothesline, but presently a piece of the thatch came
away, and Mr. Philander, preceding it, was precipitated upon
his back.

At the instant he fell a remarkable item of natural history
leaped to his mind. If one feigns death lions and lionesses are
supposed to ignore one, according to Mr. Philander's faulty memory.

So Mr. Philander lay as he had fallen, frozen into the horrid
semblance of death. As his arms and legs had been extended
stiffly upward as he came to earth upon his back the
attitude of death was anything but impressive.

Jane had been watching his antics in mild-eyed surprise.
Now she laughed--a little choking gurgle of a laugh; but it
was enough. Mr. Philander rolled over upon his side and
peered about. At length he discovered her.

"Jane!" he cried. "Jane Porter. Bless me!"

He scrambled to his feet and rushed toward her. He could
not believe that it was she, and alive.

"Bless me!" Where did you come from? Where in the world
have you been? How--"

"Mercy, Mr. Philander," interrupted the girl, "I can never
remember so many questions."

"Well, well," said Mr. Philander. "Bless me! I am so filled
with surprise and exuberant delight at seeing you safe and
well again that I scarcely know what I am saying, really. But
come, tell me all that has happened to you."

Chapter 21

The Village of Torture

As the little expedition of sailors toiled through the dense
jungle searching for signs of Jane Porter, the futility of
their venture became more and more apparent, but the grief
of the old man and the hopeless eyes of the young Englishman
prevented the kind hearted D'Arnot from turning back.

He thought that there might be a bare possibility of finding
her body, or the remains of it, for he was positive that she
had been devoured by some beast of prey. He deployed his
men into a skirmish line from the point where Esmeralda had
been found, and in this extended formation they pushed their
way, sweating and panting, through the tangled vines and
creepers. It was slow work. Noon found them but a few
miles inland. They halted for a brief rest then, and after
pushing on for a short distance further one of the men
discovered a well-marked trail.

It was an old elephant track, and D'Arnot after consulting
with Professor Porter and Clayton decided to follow it.

The path wound through the jungle in a northeasterly
direction, and along it the column moved in single file.

Lieutenant D'Arnot was in the lead and moving at a quick
pace, for the trail was comparatively open. Immediately
behind him came Professor Porter, but as he could not keep
pace with the younger man D'Arnot was a hundred yards in
advance when suddenly a half dozen black warriors arose
about him.

D'Arnot gave a warning shout to his column as the blacks
closed on him, but before he could draw his revolver he had
been pinioned and dragged into the jungle.

His cry had alarmed the sailors and a dozen of them
sprang forward past Professor Porter, running up the trail to
their officer's aid.

They did not know the cause of his outcry, only that it was
a warning of danger ahead. They had rushed past the spot
where D'Arnot had been seized when a spear hurled from the
jungle transfixed one of the men, and then a volley of arrows
fell among them.

Raising their rifles they fired into the underbrush in the
direction from which the missiles had come.

By this time the balance of the party had come up, and
volley after volley was fired toward the concealed foe. It was
these shots that Tarzan and Jane Porter had heard.

Lieutenant Charpentier, who had been bringing up the rear
of the column, now came running to the scene, and on hearing
the details of the ambush ordered the men to follow him,
and plunged into the tangled vegetation.

In an instant they were in a hand-to-hand fight with some
fifty black warriors of Mbonga's village. Arrows and bullets
flew thick and fast.

Queer African knives and French gun butts mingled for a
moment in savage and bloody duels, but soon the natives fled
into the jungle, leaving the Frenchmen to count their losses.

Four of the twenty were dead, a dozen others were
wounded, and Lieutenant D'Arnot was missing. Night was
falling rapidly, and their predicament was rendered doubly
worse when they could not even find the elephant trail which
they had been following.

There was but one thing to do, make camp where they
were until daylight. Lieutenant Charpentier ordered a
clearing made and a circular abatis of underbrush constructed
about the camp.

This work was not completed until long after dark, the
men building a huge fire in the center of the clearing to give
them light to work by.

When all was safe as possible against attack of wild beasts
and savage men, Lieutenant Charpentier placed sentries
about the little camp and the tired and hungry men threw
themselves upon the ground to sleep.

The groans of the wounded, mingled with the roaring and
growling of the great beasts which the noise and firelight had
attracted, kept sleep, except in its most fitful form, from the
tired eyes. It was a sad and hungry party that lay through the
long night praying for dawn.

The blacks who had seized D'Arnot had not waited to participate
in the fight which followed, but instead had dragged their
prisoner a little way through the jungle and then struck
the trail further on beyond the scene of the fighting in which
their fellows were engaged.

They hurried him along, the sounds of battle growing fainter
and fainter as they drew away from the contestants until there
suddenly broke upon D'Arnot's vision a good-sized clearing
at one end of which stood a thatched and palisaded village.

It was now dusk, but the watchers at the gate saw the
approaching trio and distinguished one as a prisoner ere they
reached the portals.

A cry went up within the palisade. A great throng of
women and children rushed out to meet the party.

And then began for the French officer the most terrifying
experience which man can encounter upon earth--the reception
of a white prisoner into a village of African cannibals.

To add to the fiendishness of their cruel savagery was the
poignant memory of still crueler barbarities practiced upon
them and theirs by the white officers of that arch hypocrite,
Leopold II of Belgium, because of whose atrocities they had
fled the Congo Free State--a pitiful remnant of what once
had been a mighty tribe.

They fell upon D'Arnot tooth and nail, beating him with
sticks and stones and tearing at him with claw-like hands.
Every vestige of clothing was torn from him, and the merciless
blows fell upon his bare and quivering flesh. But not
once did the Frenchman cry out in pain. He breathed a silent
prayer that he be quickly delivered from his torture.

But the death he prayed for was not to be so easily had.
Soon the warriors beat the women away from their prisoner.
He was to be saved for nobler sport than this, and the first
wave of their passion having subsided they contented themselves
with crying out taunts and insults and spitting upon him.

Presently they reached the center of the village. There
D'Arnot was bound securely to the great post from which no
live man had ever been released.

A number of the women scattered to their several huts to
fetch pots and water, while others built a row of fires on
which portions of the feast were to be boiled while the balance
would be slowly dried in strips for future use, as they
expected the other warriors to return with many prisoners.
The festivities were delayed awaiting the return of the warriors
who had remained to engage in the skirmish with the white men,
so that it was quite late when all were in the village,
and the dance of death commenced to circle around the
doomed officer.

Half fainting from pain and exhaustion, D'Arnot watched from
beneath half-closed lids what seemed but the vagary of delirium,
or some horrid nightmare from which he must soon awake.

The bestial faces, daubed with color--the huge mouths and
flabby hanging lips--the yellow teeth, sharp filed--the rolling,
demon eyes--the shining naked bodies--the cruel spears.
Surely no such creatures really existed upon earth--he must
indeed be dreaming.

The savage, whirling bodies circled nearer. Now a spear
sprang forth and touched his arm. The sharp pain and the
feel of hot, trickling blood assured him of the awful
reality of his hopeless position.

Another spear and then another touched him. He closed
his eyes and held his teeth firm set--he would not cry out.

He was a soldier of France, and he would teach these
beasts how an officer and a gentleman died.

Tarzan of the Apes needed no interpreter to translate the
story of those distant shots. With Jane Porter's kisses still
warm upon his lips he was swinging with incredible rapidity
through the forest trees straight toward the village of Mbonga.

He was not interested in the location of the encounter, for
he judged that that would soon be over. Those who were
killed he could not aid, those who escaped would not need
his assistance.

It was to those who had neither been killed or escaped that
he hastened. And he knew that he would find them by the
great post in the center of Mbonga village.

Many times had Tarzan seen Mbonga's black raiding parties
return from the northward with prisoners, and always
were the same scenes enacted about that grim stake,
beneath the flaring light of many fires.

He knew, too, that they seldom lost much time before
consummating the fiendish purpose of their captures.
He doubted that he would arrive in time to do more
than avenge.

On he sped. Night had fallen and he traveled high along
the upper terrace where the gorgeous tropic moon lighted the
dizzy pathway through the gently undulating branches of the
tree tops.

Presently he caught the reflection of a distant blaze. It lay
to the right of his path. It must be the light from the camp
fire the two men had built before they were attacked--Tarzan
knew nothing of the presence of the sailors.

So sure was Tarzan of his jungle knowledge that he did not
turn from his course, but passed the glare at a distance of a
half mile. It was the camp fire of the Frenchmen.

In a few minutes more Tarzan swung into the trees above
Mbonga's village. Ah, he was not quite too late! Or, was he?
He could not tell. The figure at the stake was very still, yet
the black warriors were but pricking it.

Tarzan knew their customs. The death blow had not been
struck. He could tell almost to a minute how far the dance
had gone.

In another instant Mbonga's knife would sever one of the
victim's ears--that would mark the beginning of the end, for
very shortly after only a writhing mass of mutilated flesh
would remain.

There would still be life in it, but death then would be the
only charity it craved.

The stake stood forty feet from the nearest tree. Tarzan
coiled his rope. Then there rose suddenly above the fiendish
cries of the dancing demons the awful challenge of the ape-man.

The dancers halted as though turned to stone.

The rope sped with singing whir high above the heads of
the blacks. It was quite invisible in the flaring lights
of the camp fires.

D'Arnot opened his eyes. A huge black, standing directly before
him, lunged backward as though felled by an invisible hand.

Struggling and shrieking, his body, rolling from side to
side, moved quickly toward the shadows beneath the trees.

The blacks, their eyes protruding in horror, watched spellbound.

Once beneath the trees, the body rose straight into the air,
and as it disappeared into the foliage above, the terrified
negroes, screaming with fright, broke into a mad race for the
village gate.

D'Arnot was left alone.

He was a brave man, but he had felt the short hairs bristle
upon the nape of his neck when that uncanny cry rose upon
the air.

As the writhing body of the black soared, as though by
unearthly power, into the dense foliage of the forest, D'Arnot
felt an icy shiver run along his spine, as though death had
risen from a dark grave and laid a cold and clammy finger on
his flesh.

As D'Arnot watched the spot where the body had entered
the tree he heard the sounds of movement there.

The branches swayed as though under the weight of a
man's body--there was a crash and the black came sprawling
to earth again,--to lie very quietly where he had fallen.

Immediately after him came a white body, but this one
alighted erect.

D'Arnot saw a clean-limbed young giant emerge from the
shadows into the firelight and come quickly toward him.

What could it mean? Who could it be? Some new creature
of torture and destruction, doubtless.

D'Arnot waited. His eyes never left the face of the advancing
man. Nor did the other's frank, clear eyes waver beneath
D'Arnot's fixed gaze.

D'Arnot was reassured, but still without much hope,
though he felt that that face could not mask a cruel heart.

Without a word Tarzan of the Apes cut the bonds which
held the Frenchman. Weak from suffering and loss of blood,
he would have fallen but for the strong arm that caught him.

He felt himself lifted from the ground. There was a sensation
as of flying, and then he lost consciousness.

Chapter 22

The Search Party

When dawn broke upon the little camp of Frenchmen in the
heart of the jungle it found a sad and disheartened group.

As soon as it was light enough to see their surroundings
Lieutenant Charpentier sent men in groups of three in several
directions to locate the trail, and in ten minutes it was found
and the expedition was hurrying back toward the beach.

It was slow work, for they bore the bodies of six dead
men, two more having succumbed during the night, and several
of those who were wounded required support to move
even very slowly.

Charpentier had decided to return to camp for reinforcements,
and then make an attempt to track down the natives
and rescue D'Arnot.

It was late in the afternoon when the exhausted men
reached the clearing by the beach, but for two of them the
return brought so great a happiness that all their suffering
and heartbreaking grief was forgotten on the instant.

As the little party emerged from the jungle the first person
that Professor Porter and Cecil Clayton saw was Jane, standing
by the cabin door.

With a little cry of joy and relief she ran forward to greet
them, throwing her arms about her father's neck and bursting
into tears for the first time since they had been cast upon
this hideous and adventurous shore.

Professor Porter strove manfully to suppress his own emotions,
but the strain upon his nerves and weakened vitality
were too much for him, and at length, burying his old face in
the girl's shoulder, he sobbed quietly like a tired child.

Jane led him toward the cabin, and the Frenchmen turned
toward the beach from which several of their fellows were
advancing to meet them.

Clayton, wishing to leave father and daughter alone, joined the
sailors and remained talking with the officers until their boat
pulled away toward the cruiser whither Lieutenant Charpentier
was bound to report the unhappy outcome of his adventure.

Then Clayton turned back slowly toward the cabin. His heart
was filled with happiness. The woman he loved was safe.

He wondered by what manner of miracle she had been
spared. To see her alive seemed almost unbelievable.

As he approached the cabin he saw Jane coming out.
When she saw him she hurried forward to meet him.

"Jane!" he cried, "God has been good to us, indeed. Tell
me how you escaped--what form Providence took to save
you for--us."

He had never before called her by her given name. Forty-eight
hours before it would have suffused Jane with a soft glow of
pleasure to have heard that name from Clayton's lips--now
it frightened her.

"Mr. Clayton," she said quietly, extending her hand, "first
let me thank you for your chivalrous loyalty to my dear father.
He has told me how noble and self-sacrificing you have
been. How can we repay you!"

Clayton noticed that she did not return his familiar salutation,
but he felt no misgivings on that score. She had been
through so much. This was no time to force his love upon
her, he quickly realized.

"I am already repaid," he said. "Just to see you and Professor
Porter both safe, well, and together again. I do not
think that I could much longer have endured the pathos of
his quiet and uncomplaining grief.

"It was the saddest experience of my life, Miss Porter; and
then, added to it, there was my own grief--the greatest I
have ever known. But his was so hopeless--his was pitiful. It
taught me that no love, not even that of a man for his wife
may be so deep and terrible and self-sacrificing as the love of
a father for his daughter."

The girl bowed her head. There was a question she wanted
to ask, but it seemed almost sacrilegious in the face of the
love of these two men and the terrible suffering they had
endured while she sat laughing and happy beside a godlike
creature of the forest, eating delicious fruits and looking
with eyes of love into answering eyes.

But love is a strange master, and human nature is still
stranger, so she asked her question.

"Where is the forest man who went to rescue you? Why
did he not return?"

"I do not understand," said Clayton. "Whom do you mean?"

"He who has saved each of us--who saved me from the gorilla."

"Oh," cried Clayton, in surprise. "It was he who rescued you?
You have not told me anything of your adventure, you know."

"But the wood man," she urged. "Have you not seen him?
When we heard the shots in the jungle, very faint and far
away, he left me. We had just reached the clearing, and he
hurried off in the direction of the fighting. I know he went
to aid you."

Her tone was almost pleading--her manner tense with suppressed
emotion. Clayton could not but notice it, and he wondered,
vaguely, why she was so deeply moved--so anxious to
know the whereabouts of this strange creature.

Yet a feeling of apprehension of some impending sorrow
haunted him, and in his breast, unknown to himself, was
implanted the first germ of jealousy and suspicion of the
ape-man, to whom he owed his life.

"We did not see him," he replied quietly. "He did not join
us." And then after a moment of thoughtful pause: "Possibly
he joined his own tribe--the men who attacked us." He did
not know why he had said it, for he did not believe it.

The girl looked at him wide eyed for a moment.

"No!" she exclaimed vehemently, much too vehemently he
thought. "It could not be. They were savages."

Clayton looked puzzled.

"He is a strange, half-savage creature of the jungle, Miss
Porter. We know nothing of him. He neither speaks nor
understands any European tongue--and his ornaments and
weapons are those of the West Coast savages."

Clayton was speaking rapidly.

"There are no other human beings than savages within
hundreds of miles, Miss Porter. He must belong to the tribes
which attacked us, or to some other equally savage--he may
even be a cannibal."

Jane blanched.

"I will not believe it," she half whispered. "It is not true.
You shall see," she said, addressing Clayton, "that he will
come back and that he will prove that you are wrong. You
do not know him as I do. I tell you that he is a gentleman."

Clayton was a generous and chivalrous man, but something
in the girl's breathless defense of the forest man stirred him
to unreasoning jealousy, so that for the instant he forgot all
that they owed to this wild demi-god, and he answered her
with a half sneer upon his lip.

"Possibly you are right, Miss Porter," he said, "but I do
not think that any of us need worry about our carrion-eating
acquaintance. The chances are that he is some half-demented
castaway who will forget us more quickly, but no more
surely, than we shall forget him. He is only a beast of
the jungle, Miss Porter."

The girl did not answer, but she felt her heart shrivel
within her.

She knew that Clayton spoke merely what he thought, and
for the first time she began to analyze the structure which
supported her newfound love, and to subject its object to a
critical examination.

Slowly she turned and walked back to the cabin. She tried
to imagine her wood-god by her side in the saloon of an
ocean liner. She saw him eating with his hands, tearing his
food like a beast of prey, and wiping his greasy fingers upon
his thighs. She shuddered.

She saw him as she introduced him to her friends--uncouth,
illiterate--a boor; and the girl winced.

She had reached her room now, and as she sat upon the
edge of her bed of ferns and grasses, with one hand resting
upon her rising and falling bosom, she felt the hard outlines
of the man's locket.

She drew it out, holding it in the palm of her hand for a
moment with tear-blurred eyes bent upon it. Then she raised
it to her lips, and crushing it there buried her face in
the soft ferns, sobbing.

"Beast?" she murmured. "Then God make me a beast; for,
man or beast, I am yours."

She did not see Clayton again that day. Esmeralda brought
her supper to her, and she sent word to her father that she
was suffering from the reaction following her adventure.

The next morning Clayton left early with the relief expedition
in search of Lieutenant D'Arnot. There were two hundred
armed men this time, with ten officers and two surgeons,
and provisions for a week.

They carried bedding and hammocks, the latter for transporting
their sick and wounded.

It was a determined and angry company--a punitive expedition
as well as one of relief. They reached the sight of the
skirmish of the previous expedition shortly after noon, for
they were now traveling a known trail and no time was lost
in exploring.

From there on the elephant-track led straight to Mbonga's
village. It was but two o'clock when the head of the column
halted upon the edge of the clearing.

Lieutenant Charpentier, who was in command, immediately
sent a portion of his force through the jungle to the opposite
side of the village. Another detachment was dispatched
to a point before the village gate, while he remained with the
balance upon the south side of the clearing.

It was arranged that the party which was to take its position
to the north, and which would be the last to gain its station
should commence the assault, and that their opening volley
should be the signal for a concerted rush from all sides in an
attempt to carry the village by storm at the first charge.

For half an hour the men with Lieutenant Charpentier
crouched in the dense foliage of the jungle, waiting the
signal. To them it seemed like hours. They could see natives in
the fields, and others moving in and out of the village gate.

At length the signal came--a sharp rattle of musketry, and
like one man, an answering volley tore from the jungle to the
west and to the south.

The natives in the field dropped their implements and
broke madly for the palisade. The French bullets mowed
them down, and the French sailors bounded over their
prostrate bodies straight for the village gate.

So sudden and unexpected the assault had been that the
whites reached the gates before the frightened natives could
bar them, and in another minute the village street was filled
with armed men fighting hand to hand in an inextricable tangle.

For a few moments the blacks held their ground within the
entrance to the street, but the revolvers, rifles and cutlasses
of the Frenchmen crumpled the native spearmen and struck
down the black archers with their bows halfdrawn.

Soon the battle turned to a wild rout, and then to a grim
massacre; for the French sailors had seen bits of D'Arnot's
uniform upon several of the black warriors who opposed them.

They spared the children and those of the women whom
they were not forced to kill in self-defense, but when at
length they stopped, parting, blood covered and sweating, it
was because there lived to oppose them no single warrior of
all the savage village of Mbonga.

Carefully they ransacked every hut and corner of the village,
but no sign of D'Arnot could they find. They questioned
the prisoners by signs, and finally one of the sailors who had
served in the French Congo found that he could make them
understand the bastard tongue that passes for language between
the whites and the more degraded tribes of the coast,
but even then they could learn nothing definite regarding the
fate of D'Arnot.

Only excited gestures and expressions of fear could they
obtain in response to their inquiries concerning their fellow;
and at last they became convinced that these were but evidences
of the guilt of these demons who had slaughtered and
eaten their comrade two nights before.

At length all hope left them, and they prepared to camp
for the night within the village. The prisoners were herded
into three huts where they were heavily guarded. Sentries
were posted at the barred gates, and finally the village was
wrapped in the silence of slumber, except for the wailing of
the native women for their dead.

The next morning they set out upon the return march.
Their original intention had been to burn the village, but
this idea was abandoned and the prisoners were left behind,
weeping and moaning, but with roofs to cover them and a
palisade for refuge from the beasts of the jungle.

Slowly the expedition retraced its steps of the preceding
day. Ten loaded hammocks retarded its pace. In eight of
them lay the more seriously wounded, while two swung beneath
the weight of the dead.

Clayton and Lieutenant Charpentier brought up the rear of
the column; the Englishman silent in respect for the other's
grief, for D'Arnot and Charpentier had been inseparable
friends since boyhood.

Clayton could not but realize that the Frenchman felt his
grief the more keenly because D'Arnot's sacrifice had been so
futile, since Jane had been rescued before D'Arnot had fallen
into the hands of the savages, and again because the service
in which he had lost his life had been outside his duty and
for strangers and aliens; but when he spoke of it to Lieutenant
Charpentier, the latter shook his head.

"No, Monsieur," he said, "D'Arnot would have chosen to
die thus. I only grieve that I could not have died for him, or
at least with him. I wish that you could have known him better,
Monsieur. He was indeed an officer and a gentleman--a
title conferred on many, but deserved by so few.

"He did not die futilely, for his death in the cause of a
strange American girl will make us, his comrades, face our
ends the more bravely, however they may come to us."

Clayton did not reply, but within him rose a new respect
for Frenchmen which remained undimmed ever after.

It was quite late when they reached the cabin by the beach.
A single shot before they emerged from the jungle had announced
to those in camp as well as on the ship that the expedition
had been too late--for it had been prearranged that
when they came within a mile or two of camp one shot was
to be fired to denote failure, or three for success, while two
would have indicated that they had found no sign of either
D'Arnot or his black captors.

So it was a solemn party that awaited their coming, and few
words were spoken as the dead and wounded men were tenderly
placed in boats and rowed silently toward the cruiser.

Clayton, exhausted from his five days of laborious marching
through the jungle and from the effects of his two battles
with the blacks, turned toward the cabin to seek a mouthful
of food and then the comparative ease of his bed of grasses
after two nights in the jungle.

By the cabin door stood Jane.

"The poor lieutenant?" she asked. "Did you find no trace
of him?"

"We were too late, Miss Porter," he replied sadly.

"Tell me. What had happened?" she asked.

"I cannot, Miss Porter, it is too horrible."

"You do not mean that they had tortured him?" she whispered.

"We do not know what they did to him BEFORE they killed
him," he answered, his face drawn with fatigue and the sorrow
he felt for poor D'Arnot and he emphasized the word before.

"BEFORE they killed him! What do you mean? They are
not--? They are not--?"

She was thinking of what Clayton had said of the forest
man's probable relationship to this tribe and she could not
frame the awful word.

"Yes, Miss Porter, they were--cannibals," he said, almost
bitterly, for to him too had suddenly come the thought of the
forest man, and the strange, unaccountable jealousy he had
felt two days before swept over him once more.

And then in sudden brutality that was as unlike Clayton as
courteous consideration is unlike an ape, he blurted out:

"When your forest god left you he was doubtless hurrying
to the feast."

He was sorry ere the words were spoken though he did not
know how cruelly they had cut the girl. His regret was for his
baseless disloyalty to one who had saved the lives of every
member of his party, and offered harm to none.

The girl's head went high.

"There could be but one suitable reply to your assertion,
Mr. Clayton," she said icily, "and I regret that I am not a
man, that I might make it." She turned quickly and entered
the cabin.

Clayton was an Englishman, so the girl had passed quite out
of sight before he deduced what reply a man would have made.

"Upon my word," he said ruefully, "she called me a liar.
And I fancy I jolly well deserved it," he added thoughtfully.
"Clayton, my boy, I know you are tired out and unstrung,
but that's no reason why you should make an ass of yourself.
You'd better go to bed."

But before he did so he called gently to Jane upon the opposite
side of the sailcloth partition, for he wished to apologize,
but he might as well have addressed the Sphinx. Then he wrote
upon a piece of paper and shoved it beneath the partition.

Jane saw the little note and ignored it, for she was very
angry and hurt and mortified, but--she was a woman, and so
eventually she picked it up and read it.


I had no reason to insinuate what I did. My only excuse is
that my nerves must be unstrung--which is no excuse at all.

Please try and think that I did not say it. I am very sorry. I
would not have hurt YOU, above all others in the world. Say
that you forgive me.

"He did think it or he never would have said it," reasoned
the girl, "but it cannot be true--oh, I know it is not true!"

One sentence in the letter frightened her: "I would not
have hurt YOU above all others in the world."

A week ago that sentence would have filled her with delight,
now it depressed her.

She wished she had never met Clayton. She was sorry that
she had ever seen the forest god. No, she was glad. And there
was that other note she had found in the grass before the
cabin the day after her return from the jungle, the love note
signed by Tarzan of the Apes.

Who could be this new suitor? If he were another of the
wild denizens of this terrible forest what might he not do to
claim her?

"Esmeralda! Wake up," she cried.

"You make me so irritable, sleeping there peacefully when
you know perfectly well that the world is filled with sorrow."

"Gaberelle!" screamed Esmeralda, sitting up. "What is it
now? A hipponocerous? Where is he, Miss Jane?"

"Nonsense, Esmeralda, there is nothing. Go back to sleep.
You are bad enough asleep, but you are infinitely worse awake."

"Yes honey, but what's the matter with you, precious? You
acts sort of disgranulated this evening."

"Oh, Esmeralda, I'm just plain ugly to-night," said the girl.
"Don't pay any attention to me--that's a dear."

"Yes, honey; now you go right to sleep. Your nerves are
all on edge. What with all these ripotamuses and man eating
geniuses that Mister Philander been telling about--Lord, it
ain't no wonder we all get nervous prosecution."

Jane crossed the little room, laughing, and kissing the
faithful woman, bid Esmeralda good night.

Chapter 23

Brother Men.

When D'Arnot regained consciousness, he found himself
lying upon a bed of soft ferns and grasses beneath a
little "A" shaped shelter of boughs.

At his feet an opening looked out upon a green sward, and at a
little distance beyond was the dense wall of jungle and forest.

He was very lame and sore and weak, and as full consciousness
returned he felt the sharp torture of many cruel
wounds and the dull aching of every bone and muscle in his
body as a result of the hideous beating he had received.

Even the turning of his head caused him such excruciating
agony that he lay still with closed eyes for a long time.

He tried to piece out the details of his adventure prior to
the time he lost consciousness to see if they would explain his
present whereabouts--he wondered if he were among friends
or foes.

At length he recollected the whole hideous scene at the
stake, and finally recalled the strange white figure in whose
arms he had sunk into oblivion.

D'Arnot wondered what fate lay in store for him now. He
could neither see nor hear any signs of life about him.

The incessant hum of the jungle--the rustling of millions
of leaves--the buzz of insects--the voices of the birds and
monkeys seemed blended into a strangely soothing purr, as
though he lay apart, far from the myriad life whose sounds
came to him only as a blurred echo.

At length he fell into a quiet slumber, nor did he awake
again until afternoon.

Once more he experienced the strange sense of utter
bewilderment that had marked his earlier awakening, but soon he
recalled the recent past, and looking through the opening at
his feet he saw the figure of a man squatting on his haunches.

The broad, muscular back was turned toward him, but,
tanned though it was, D'Arnot saw that it was the back of a
white man, and he thanked God.

The Frenchman called faintly. The man turned, and rising,
came toward the shelter. His face was very handsome--the
handsomest, thought D'Arnot, that he had ever seen.

Stooping, he crawled into the shelter beside the wounded
officer, and placed a cool hand upon his forehead.

D'Arnot spoke to him in French, but the man only shook
his head--sadly, it seemed to the Frenchman.

Then D'Arnot tried English, but still the man shook his head.
Italian, Spanish and German brought similar discouragement.

D'Arnot knew a few words of Norwegian, Russian, Greek,
and also had a smattering of the language of one of the
West Coast negro tribes--the man denied them all.

After examining D'Arnot's wounds the man left the shelter
and disappeared. In half an hour he was back with fruit and
a hollow gourd-like vegetable filled with water.

D'Arnot drank and ate a little. He was surprised that he
had no fever. Again he tried to converse with his strange
nurse, but the attempt was useless.

Suddenly the man hastened from the shelter only to return
a few minutes later with several pieces of bark and--wonder
of wonders--a lead pencil.

Squatting beside D'Arnot he wrote for a minute on the
smooth inner surface of the bark; then he handed it to the

D'Arnot was astonished to see, in plain print-like characters,
a message in English:

I am Tarzan of the Apes. Who are you? Can you read this

D'Arnot seized the pencil--then he stopped. This strange
man wrote English--evidently he was an Englishman.

"Yes," said D'Arnot, "I read English. I speak it also. Now
we may talk. First let me thank you for all that you have
done for me."

The man only shook his head and pointed to the pencil
and the bark.

"MON DIEU!" cried D'Arnot. "If you are English why is it
then that you cannot speak English?"

And then in a flash it came to him--the man was a mute,
possibly a deaf mute.

So D'Arnot wrote a message on the bark, in English.

I am Paul d'Arnot, Lieutenant in the navy of France. I
thank you for what you have done for me. You have saved
my life, and all that I have is yours. May I ask how it
is that one who writes English does not speak it?

Tarzan's reply filled D'Arnot with still greater wonder:

I speak only the language of my tribe--the great apes who
were Kerchak's; and a little of the languages of Tantor, the
elephant, and Numa, the lion, and of the other folks of the
jungle I understand. With a human being I have never spoken,
except once with Jane Porter, by signs. This is the first time
I have spoken with another of my kind through written words.

D'Arnot was mystified. It seemed incredible that there
lived upon earth a full-grown man who had never spoken
with a fellow man, and still more preposterous that such a
one could read and write.

He looked again at Tarzan's message--"except once, with
Jane Porter." That was the American girl who had been
carried into the jungle by a gorilla.

A sudden light commenced to dawn on D'Arnot--this then
was the "gorilla." He seized the pencil and wrote:

Where is Jane Porter?

And Tarzan replied, below:

Back with her people in the cabin of Tarzan of the Apes.

She is not dead then? Where was she? What happened to her?

She is not dead. She was taken by Terkoz to be his wife;
but Tarzan of the Apes took her away from Terkoz and
killed him before he could harm her.

None in all the jungle may face Tarzan of the Apes in battle,
and live. I am Tarzan of the Apes--mighty fighter.

D'Arnot wrote:

I am glad she is safe. It pains me to write, I will rest a

And then Tarzan:

Yes, rest. When you are well I shall take you back to your people.

For many days D'Arnot lay upon his bed of soft ferns.
The second day a fever had come and D'Arnot thought that
it meant infection and he knew that he would die.

An idea came to him. He wondered why he had not
thought of it before.

He called Tarzan and indicated by signs that he would
write, and when Tarzan had fetched the bark and pencil,
D'Arnot wrote:

Can you go to my people and lead them here? I will write
a message that you may take to them, and they will follow you.

Tarzan shook his head and taking the bark, wrote:

I had thought of that--the first day; but I dared not. The
great apes come often to this spot, and if they found you
here, wounded and alone, they would kill you.

D'Arnot turned on his side and closed his eyes. He did not
wish to die; but he felt that he was going, for the fever was
mounting higher and higher. That night he lost consciousness.

For three days he was in delirium, and Tarzan sat beside
him and bathed his head and hands and washed his wounds.

On the fourth day the fever broke as suddenly as it had
come, but it left D'Arnot a shadow of his former self, and
very weak. Tarzan had to lift him that he might drink from
the gourd.

The fever had not been the result of infection, as D'Arnot
had thought, but one of those that commonly attack whites in
the jungles of Africa, and either kill or leave them as
suddenly as D'Arnot's had left him.

Two days later, D'Arnot was tottering about the amphitheater,
Tarzan's strong arm about him to keep him from falling.

They sat beneath the shade of a great tree, and Tarzan
found some smooth bark that they might converse.

D'Arnot wrote the first message:

What can I do to repay you for all that you have done for me?

And Tarzan, in reply:

Teach me to speak the language of men.

And so D'Arnot commenced at once, pointing out familiar
objects and repeating their names in French, for he thought
that it would be easier to teach this man his own language,
since he understood it himself best of all.

It meant nothing to Tarzan, of course, for he could not tell
one language from another, so when he pointed to the word
man which he had printed upon a piece of bark he learned
from D'Arnot that it was pronounced HOMME, and in the
same way he was taught to pronounce ape, SINGE and tree,

He was a most eager student, and in two more days had
mastered so much French that he could speak little sentences
such as: "That is a tree," "this is grass," "I am hungry," and
the like, but D'Arnot found that it was difficult to teach him
the French construction upon a foundation of English.

The Frenchman wrote little lessons for him in English and
had Tarzan repeat them in French, but as a literal translation
was usually very poor French Tarzan was often confused.

D'Arnot realized now that he had made a mistake, but it
seemed too late to go back and do it all over again and force
Tarzan to unlearn all that he had learned, especially as they
were rapidly approaching a point where they would be able
to converse.

On the third day after the fever broke Tarzan wrote a message
asking D'Arnot if he felt strong enough to be carried
back to the cabin. Tarzan was as anxious to go as D'Arnot,
for he longed to see Jane again.

It had been hard for him to remain with the Frenchman
all these days for that very reason, and that he had
unselfishly done so spoke more glowingly of his nobility
of character than even did his rescuing the French officer
from Mbonga's clutches.

D'Arnot, only too willing to attempt the journey, wrote:

But you cannot carry me all the distance through this tangled forest.

Tarzan laughed.

"MAIS OUI," he said, and D'Arnot laughed aloud to hear
the phrase that he used so often glide from Tarzan's tongue.

So they set out, D'Arnot marveling as had Clayton and
Jane at the wondrous strength and agility of the apeman.

Mid-afternoon brought them to the clearing, and as Tarzan
dropped to earth from the branches of the last tree his heart
leaped and bounded against his ribs in anticipation of seeing
Jane so soon again.

No one was in sight outside the cabin, and D'Arnot was
perplexed to note that neither the cruiser nor the Arrow was
at anchor in the bay.

An atmosphere of loneliness pervaded the spot, which
caught suddenly at both men as they strode toward the cabin.

Neither spoke, yet both knew before they opened the
closed door what they would find beyond.

Tarzan lifted the latch and pushed the great door in upon
its wooden hinges. It was as they had feared. The cabin was

The men turned and looked at one another. D'Arnot knew
that his people thought him dead; but Tarzan thought only of
the woman who had kissed him in love and now had fled
from him while he was serving one of her people.

A great bitterness rose in his heart. He would go away, far
into the jungle and join his tribe. Never would he see one of
his own kind again, nor could he bear the thought of returning
to the cabin. He would leave that forever behind him
with the great hopes he had nursed there of finding his own
race and becoming a man among men.

And the Frenchman? D'Arnot? What of him? He could get
along as Tarzan had. Tarzan did not want to see him more.
He wanted to get away from everything that might remind
him of Jane.

As Tarzan stood upon the threshold brooding, D'Arnot
had entered the cabin. Many comforts he saw that had been
left behind. He recognized numerous articles from the cruiser
--a camp oven, some kitchen utensils, a rifle and many
rounds of ammunition, canned foods, blankets, two chairs
and a cot--and several books and periodicals, mostly American.

"They must intend returning," thought D'Arnot.

He walked over to the table that John Clayton had built so
many years before to serve as a desk, and on it he saw two
notes addressed to Tarzan of the Apes.

One was in a strong masculine hand and was unsealed. The
other, in a woman's hand, was sealed.

"Here are two messages for you, Tarzan of the Apes,"
cried D'Arnot, turning toward the door; but his companion
was not there.

D'Arnot walked to the door and looked out. Tarzan was
nowhere in sight. He called aloud but there was no response.

"MON DIEU!" exclaimed D'Arnot, "he has left me. I feel it.
He has gone back into his jungle and left me here alone."

And then he remembered the look on Tarzan's face when
they had discovered that the cabin was empty--such a look
as the hunter sees in the eyes of the wounded deer he has
wantonly brought down.

The man had been hard hit--D'Arnot realized it now--
but why? He could not understand.

The Frenchman looked about him. The loneliness and the
horror of the place commenced to get on his nerves--already
weakened by the ordeal of suffering and sickness he had
passed through.

To be left here alone beside this awful jungle--never to
hear a human voice or see a human face--in constant dread
of savage beasts and more terribly savage men--a prey to
solitude and hopelessness. It was awful.

And far to the east Tarzan of the Apes was speeding
through the middle terrace back to his tribe. Never had he
traveled with such reckless speed. He felt that he was running
away from himself--that by hurtling through the forest like
a frightened squirrel he was escaping from his own thoughts.
But no matter how fast he went he found them always with him.

He passed above the sinuous body of Sabor, the lioness, going
in the opposite direction--toward the cabin, thought Tarzan.

What could D'Arnot do against Sabor--or if Bolgani, the gorilla,
should come upon him--or Numa, the lion, or cruel Sheeta?

Tarzan paused in his flight.

"What are you, Tarzan?" he asked aloud. "An ape or a man?"

"If you are an ape you will do as the apes would do--
leave one of your kind to die in the jungle if it suited
your whim to go elsewhere.

"If you are a man, you will return to protect your kind.
You will not run away from one of your own people, because
one of them has run away from you."

D'Arnot closed the cabin door. He was very nervous. Even
brave men, and D'Arnot was a brave man, are sometimes
frightened by solitude.

He loaded one of the rifles and placed it within easy reach.
Then he went to the desk and took up the unsealed letter
addressed to Tarzan.

Possibly it contained word that his people had but left the
beach temporarily. He felt that it would be no breach of ethics
to read this letter, so he took the enclosure from the envelope
and read:


We thank you for the use of your cabin, and are sorry that
you did not permit us the pleasure of seeing and thanking
you in person.

We have harmed nothing, but have left many things for
you which may add to your comfort and safety here in your
lonely home.

If you know the strange white man who saved our lives so
many times, and brought us food, and if you can converse
with him, thank him, also, for his kindness.

We sail within the hour, never to return; but we wish you
and that other jungle friend to know that we shall always
thank you for what you did for strangers on your shore, and
that we should have done infinitely more to reward you both
had you given us the opportunity.
Very respectfully,

"`Never to return,'" muttered D'Arnot, and threw himself
face downward upon the cot.

An hour later he started up listening. Something was at the
door trying to enter.

D'Arnot reached for the loaded rifle and placed it to his shoulder.

Dusk was falling, and the interior of the cabin was very
dark; but the man could see the latch moving from its place.

He felt his hair rising upon his scalp.

Gently the door opened until a thin crack showed something
standing just beyond.

D'Arnot sighted along the blue barrel at the crack of the
door--and then he pulled the trigger.

Chapter 24

Lost Treasure

When the expedition returned, following their fruitless
endeavor to succor D'Arnot, Captain Dufranne was
anxious to steam away as quickly as possible, and all save
Jane had acquiesced.

"No," she said, determinedly, "I shall not go, nor should
you, for there are two friends in that jungle who will come
out of it some day expecting to find us awaiting them.

"Your officer, Captain Dufranne, is one of them, and the
forest man who has saved the lives of every member of my
father's party is the other.

"He left me at the edge of the jungle two days ago to hasten
to the aid of my father and Mr. Clayton, as he thought,
and he has stayed to rescue Lieutenant D'Arnot; of that you
may be sure.

"Had he been too late to be of service to the lieutenant he
would have been back before now--the fact that he is not
back is sufficient proof to me that he is delayed because
Lieutenant D'Arnot is wounded, or he has had to follow his
captors further than the village which your sailors attacked."

"But poor D'Arnot's uniform and all his belongings were
found in that village, Miss Porter," argued the captain, "and
the natives showed great excitement when questioned as to
the white man's fate."

"Yes, Captain, but they did not admit that he was dead
and as for his clothes and accouterments being in their
possession--why more civilized peoples than these poor savage
negroes strip their prisoners of every article of value whether
they intend killing them or not.

"Even the soldiers of my own dear South looted not only the
living but the dead. It is strong circumstantial evidence,
I will admit, but it is not positive proof."

"Possibly your forest man, himself was captured or killed
by the savages," suggested Captain Dufranne.

The girl laughed.

"You do not know him," she replied, a little thrill of pride
setting her nerves a-tingle at the thought that she spoke
of her own.

"I admit that he would be worth waiting for, this superman
of yours," laughed the captain. "I most certainly should
like to see him."

"Then wait for him, my dear captain," urged the girl, "for
I intend doing so."

The Frenchman would have been a very much surprised man
could he have interpreted the true meaning of the girl's words.

They had been walking from the beach toward the cabin
as they talked, and now they joined a little group sitting on
camp stools in the shade of a great tree beside the cabin.

Professor Porter was there, and Mr. Philander and Clayton,
with Lieutenant Charpentier and two of his brother
officers, while Esmeralda hovered in the background, ever
and anon venturing opinions and comments with the freedom
of an old and much-indulged family servant.

The officers arose and saluted as their superior approached,
and Clayton surrendered his camp stool to Jane.

"We were just discussing poor Paul's fate," said Captain
Dufranne. "Miss Porter insists that we have no absolute
proof of his death--nor have we. And on the other hand she
maintains that the continued absence of your omnipotent jungle
friend indicates that D'Arnot is still in need of his services,
either because he is wounded, or still is a prisoner in a
more distant native village."

"It has been suggested," ventured Lieutenant Charpentier,
"that the wild man may have been a member of the tribe of
blacks who attacked our party--that he was hastening to aid
THEM--his own people."

Jane shot a quick glance at Clayton.

"It seems vastly more reasonable," said Professor Porter.

"I do not agree with you," objected Mr. Philander. "He had
ample opportunity to harm us himself, or to lead his people
against us. Instead, during our long residence here, he has
been uniformly consistent in his role of protector and provider."

"That is true," interjected Clayton, "yet we must not overlook
the fact that except for himself the only human beings
within hundreds of miles are savage cannibals. He was armed
precisely as are they, which indicates that he has maintained
relations of some nature with them, and the fact that he is
but one against possibly thousands suggests that these relations
could scarcely have been other than friendly."

"It seems improbable then that he is not connected with
them," remarked the captain; "possibly a member of this tribe."

"Otherwise," added another of the officers, "how could he
have lived a sufficient length of time among the savage
denizens of the jungle, brute and human, to have become
proficient in woodcraft, or in the use of African weapons."

"You are judging him according to your own standards,
gentlemen," said Jane. "An ordinary white man such as any
of you--pardon me, I did not mean just that--rather, a white
man above the ordinary in physique and intelligence could
never, I grant you, have lived a year alone and naked in this
tropical jungle; but this man not only surpasses the average
white man in strength and agility, but as far transcends our
trained athletes and `strong men' as they surpass a day-old
babe; and his courage and ferocity in battle are those of the
wild beast."

"He has certainly won a loyal champion, Miss Porter,"
said Captain Dufranne, laughing. "I am sure that there be
none of us here but would willingly face death a hundred
times in its most terrifying forms to deserve the tributes
of one even half so loyal--or so beautiful."

"You would not wonder that I defend him," said the girl,
"could you have seen him as I saw him, battling in my behalf
with that huge hairy brute.

"Could you have seen him charge the monster as a bull
might charge a grizzly--absolutely without sign of fear or
hesitation--you would have believed him more than human.

"Could you have seen those mighty muscles knotting under
the brown skin--could you have seen them force back those
awful fangs--you too would have thought him invincible.

"And could you have seen the chivalrous treatment which
he accorded a strange girl of a strange race, you would
feel the same absolute confidence in him that I feel."

"You have won your suit, my fair pleader," cried the captain.
"This court finds the defendant not guilty, and the
cruiser shall wait a few days longer that he may have an
opportunity to come and thank the divine Portia."

"For the Lord's sake honey," cried Esmeralda. "You all don't
mean to tell ME that you're going to stay right here in this
here land of carnivable animals when you all got the opportunity
to escapade on that boat? Don't you tell me THAT, honey."

"Why, Esmeralda! You should be ashamed of yourself,"
cried Jane. "Is this any way to show your gratitude to the
man who saved your life twice?"

"Well, Miss Jane, that's all jest as you say; but that there
forest man never did save us to stay here. He done save us so
we all could get AWAY from here. I expect he be mighty
peevish when he find we ain't got no more sense than to stay
right here after he done give us the chance to get away.

"I hoped I'd never have to sleep in this here geological garden
another night and listen to all them lonesome noises that
come out of that jumble after dark."

"I don't blame you a bit, Esmeralda," said Clayton, "and you
certainly did hit it off right when you called them `lonesome'
noises. I never have been able to find the right word for
them but that's it, don't you know, lonesome noises."

"You and Esmeralda had better go and live on the cruiser,"
said Jane, in fine scorn. "What would you think if you
HAD to live all of your life in that jungle as our forest
man has done?"

"I'm afraid I'd be a blooming bounder as a wild man,"
laughed Clayton, ruefully. "Those noises at night make the
hair on my head bristle. I suppose that I should be ashamed
to admit it, but it's the truth."

"I don't know about that," said Lieutenant Charpentier. "I
never thought much about fear and that sort of thing--never
tried to determine whether I was a coward or brave man; but
the other night as we lay in the jungle there after poor
D'Arnot was taken, and those jungle noises rose and fell
around us I began to think that I was a coward indeed. It
was not the roaring and growling of the big beasts that
affected me so much as it was the stealthy noises--the ones
that you heard suddenly close by and then listened vainly for
a repetition of--the unaccountable sounds as of a great body
moving almost noiselessly, and the knowledge that you didn't
KNOW how close it was, or whether it were creeping closer
after you ceased to hear it? It was those noises--and the eyes.

"MON DIEU! I shall see them in the dark forever--the eyes
that you see, and those that you don't see, but feel--ah, they
are the worst."

All were silent for a moment, and then Jane spoke.

"And he is out there," she said, in an awe-hushed whisper.
"Those eyes will be glaring at him to-night, and at your
comrade Lieutenant D'Arnot. Can you leave them, gentlemen,
without at least rendering them the passive succor which
remaining here a few days longer might insure them?"

"Tut, tut, child," said Professor Porter. "Captain Dufranne
is willing to remain, and for my part I am perfectly willing,
perfectly willing--as I always have been to humor your
childish whims."

"We can utilize the morrow in recovering the chest,
Professor," suggested Mr. Philander.

"Quite so, quite so, Mr. Philander, I had almost forgotten
the treasure," exclaimed Professor Porter. "Possibly we can
borrow some men from Captain Dufranne to assist us, and
one of the prisoners to point out the location of the chest."

"Most assuredly, my dear Professor, we are all yours to
command," said the captain.

And so it was arranged that on the next day Lieutenant
Charpentier was to take a detail of ten men, and one of the
mutineers of the Arrow as a guide, and unearth the treasure;
and that the cruiser would remain for a full week in the little
harbor. At the end of that time it was to be assumed that
D'Arnot was truly dead, and that the forest man would not
return while they remained. Then the two vessels were to
leave with all the party.

Professor Porter did not accompany the treasure-seekers
on the following day, but when he saw them returning
empty-handed toward noon, he hastened forward to meet them
--his usual preoccupied indifference entirely vanished, and in
its place a nervous and excited manner.

"Where is the treasure?" he cried to Clayton, while yet a
hundred feet separated them.

Clayton shook his head.

"Gone," he said, as he neared the professor.

"Gone! It cannot be. Who could have taken it?" cried
Professor Porter.

"God only knows, Professor," replied Clayton. "We might
have thought the fellow who guided us was lying about the
location, but his surprise and consternation on finding no
chest beneath the body of the murdered Snipes were too real
to be feigned. And then our spades showed us that SOMETHING
had been buried beneath the corpse, for a hole had been
there and it had been filled with loose earth."

"But who could have taken it?" repeated Professor Porter.

"Suspicion might naturally fall on the men of the cruiser,"
said Lieutenant Charpentier, "but for the fact that sub-lieutenant
Janviers here assures me that no men have had shore
leave--that none has been on shore since we anchored here
except under command of an officer. I do not know that you
would suspect our men, but I am glad that there is now no
chance for suspicion to fall on them," he concluded.

"It would never have occurred to me to suspect the men to
whom we owe so much," replied Professor Porter, graciously.
"I would as soon suspect my dear Clayton here, or
Mr. Philander."

The Frenchmen smiled, both officers and sailors. It was
plain to see that a burden had been lifted from their minds.

"The treasure has been gone for some time," continued Clayton.
"In fact the body fell apart as we lifted it, which indicates
that whoever removed the treasure did so while the corpse was
still fresh, for it was intact when we first uncovered it."

"There must have been several in the party," said Jane,
who had joined them. "You remember that it took four men
to carry it."

"By jove!" cried Clayton. "That's right. It must have been
done by a party of blacks. Probably one of them saw the men
bury the chest and then returned immediately after with a
party of his friends, and carried it off."

"Speculation is futile," said Professor Porter sadly. "The
chest is gone. We shall never see it again, nor the treasure
that was in it."

Only Jane knew what the loss meant to her father, and
none there knew what it meant to her.

Six days later Captain Dufranne announced that they
would sail early on the morrow.

Jane would have begged for a further reprieve, had it not
been that she too had begun to believe that her forest lover
would return no more.

In spite of herself she began to entertain doubts and fears.
The reasonableness of the arguments of these disinterested
French officers commenced to convince her against her will.

That he was a cannibal she would not believe, but that he
was an adopted member of some savage tribe at length
seemed possible to her.

She would not admit that he could be dead. It was impossible
to believe that that perfect body, so filled with triumphant
life, could ever cease to harbor the vital spark--as soon
believe that immortality were dust.

As Jane permitted herself to harbor these thoughts, others
equally unwelcome forced themselves upon her.

If he belonged to some savage tribe he had a savage wife
--a dozen of them perhaps--and wild, half-caste children.
The girl shuddered, and when they told her that the cruiser
would sail on the morrow she was almost glad.

It was she, though, who suggested that arms, ammunition,
supplies and comforts be left behind in the cabin, ostensibly
for that intangible personality who had signed himself Tarzan
of the Apes, and for D'Arnot should he still be living, but
really, she hoped, for her forest god--even though his feet
should prove of clay.

And at the last minute she left a message for him, to be
transmitted by Tarzan of the Apes.

She was the last to leave the cabin, returning on some trivial
pretext after the others had started for the boat.

She kneeled down beside the bed in which she had spent so
many nights, and offered up a prayer for the safety of her
primeval man, and crushing his locket to her lips she murmured:

"I love you, and because I love you I believe in you. But if
I did not believe, still should I love. Had you come back for
me, and had there been no other way, I would have gone into
the jungle with you--forever."

Chapter 25

The Outpost of the World

With the report of his gun D'Arnot saw the door fly open
and the figure of a man pitch headlong within onto the
cabin floor.

The Frenchman in his panic raised his gun to fire again
into the prostrate form, but suddenly in the half dusk of the
open door he saw that the man was white and in another instant
realized that he had shot his friend and protector, Tarzan of the Apes.

With a cry of anguish D'Arnot sprang to the ape-man's side,
and kneeling, lifted the latter's head in his arms--calling
Tarzan's name aloud.

There was no response, and then D'Arnot placed his ear above
the man's heart. To his joy he heard its steady beating beneath.

Carefully he lifted Tarzan to the cot, and then, after closing
and bolting the door, he lighted one of the lamps and examined
the wound.

The bullet had struck a glancing blow upon the skull.
There was an ugly flesh wound, but no signs of a fracture of
the skull.

D'Arnot breathed a sigh of relief, and went about bathing
the blood from Tarzan's face.

Soon the cool water revived him, and presently he opened
his eyes to look in questioning surprise at D'Arnot.

The latter had bound the wound with pieces of cloth, and
as he saw that Tarzan had regained consciousness he arose
and going to the table wrote a message, which he handed to
the ape-man, explaining the terrible mistake he had made and
how thankful he was that the wound was not more serious.

Tarzan, after reading the message, sat on the edge of the
couch and laughed.

"It is nothing," he said in French, and then, his vocabulary
failing him, he wrote:

You should have seen what Bolgani did to me, and Kerchak,
and Terkoz, before I killed them--then you would
laugh at such a little scratch.

D'Arnot handed Tarzan the two messages that had been
left for him.

Tarzan read the first one through with a look of sorrow on
his face. The second one he turned over and over, searching
for an opening--he had never seen a sealed envelope before.
At length he handed it to D'Arnot.

The Frenchman had been watching him, and knew that Tarzan
was puzzled over the envelope. How strange it seemed that
to a full-grown white man an envelope was a mystery.
D'Arnot opened it and handed the letter back to Tarzan.

Sitting on a camp stool the ape-man spread the written
sheet before him and read:


Before I leave let me add my thanks to those of Mr. Clayton
for the kindness you have shown in permitting us the use
of your cabin.

That you never came to make friends with us has been a
great regret to us. We should have liked so much to have
seen and thanked our host.

There is another I should like to thank also, but he did not
come back, though I cannot believe that he is dead.

I do not know his name. He is the great white giant who
wore the diamond locket upon his breast.

If you know him and can speak his language carry my
thanks to him, and tell him that I waited seven days for him
to return.

Tell him, also, that in my home in America, in the city of
Baltimore, there will always be a welcome for him if he cares
to come.

I found a note you wrote me lying among the leaves beneath
a tree near the cabin. I do not know how you learned to
love me, who have never spoken to me, and I am very sorry
if it is true, for I have already given my heart to another.

But know that I am always your friend,

Tarzan sat with gaze fixed upon the floor for nearly an
hour. It was evident to him from the notes that they did not
know that he and Tarzan of the Apes were one and the same.

"I have given my heart to another," he repeated over and
over again to himself.

Then she did not love him! How could she have pretended
love, and raised him to such a pinnacle of hope only to cast
him down to such utter depths of despair!

Maybe her kisses were only signs of friendship. How did
he know, who knew nothing of the customs of human beings?

Suddenly he arose, and, bidding D'Arnot good night as he
had learned to do, threw himself upon the couch of ferns that
had been Jane Porter's.

D'Arnot extinguished the lamp, and lay down upon the cot.

For a week they did little but rest, D'Arnot coaching Tarzan
in French. At the end of that time the two men could
converse quite easily.

One night, as they were sitting within the cabin before
retiring, Tarzan turned to D'Arnot.

"Where is America?" he said.

D'Arnot pointed toward the northwest.

"Many thousands of miles across the ocean," he replied. "Why?"

"I am going there."

D'Arnot shook his head.

"It is impossible, my friend," he said.

Tarzan rose, and, going to one of the cupboards, returned
with a well-thumbed geography.

Turning to a map of the world, he said:

"I have never quite understood all this; explain it to me, please."

When D'Arnot had done so, showing him that the blue
represented all the water on the earth, and the bits of other
colors the continents and islands, Tarzan asked him to point
out the spot where they now were.

D'Arnot did so.

"Now point out America," said Tarzan.

And as D'Arnot placed his finger upon North America,
Tarzan smiled and laid his palm upon the page, spanning the
great ocean that lay between the two continents.

"You see it is not so very far," he said; "scarce the width
of my hand."

D'Arnot laughed. How could he make the man understand?

Then he took a pencil and made a tiny point upon the
shore of Africa.

"This little mark," he said, "is many times larger upon this
map than your cabin is upon the earth. Do you see now how
very far it is?"

Tarzan thought for a long time.

"Do any white men live in Africa?" he asked.


"Where are the nearest?"

D'Arnot pointed out a spot on the shore just north of them.

"So close?" asked Tarzan, in surprise.

"Yes," said D'Arnot; "but it is not close."

"Have they big boats to cross the ocean?"


"We shall go there to-morrow," announced Tarzan.

Again D'Arnot smiled and shook his head.

"It is too far. We should die long before we reached them."

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