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Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Part 6 out of 6

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"Do you wish to stay here then forever?" asked Tarzan.

"No," said D'Arnot.

"Then we shall start to-morrow. I do not like it here
longer. I should rather die than remain here."

"Well," answered D'Arnot, with a shrug, "I do not know,
my friend, but that I also would rather die than remain here.
If you go, I shall go with you."

"It is settled then," said Tarzan. "I shall start for America

"How will you get to America without money?" asked D'Arnot.

"What is money?" inquired Tarzan.

It took a long time to make him understand even imperfectly.

"How do men get money?" he asked at last.

"They work for it."

"Very well. I will work for it, then."

"No, my friend," returned D'Arnot, "you need not worry
about money, nor need you work for it. I have enough
money for two--enough for twenty. Much more than is good
for one man and you shall have all you need if ever we
reach civilization."

So on the following day they started north along the shore.
Each man carrying a rifle and ammunition, beside bedding
and some food and cooking utensils.

The latter seemed to Tarzan a most useless encumbrance,
so he threw his away.

"But you must learn to eat cooked food, my friend,"
remonstrated D'Arnot. "No civilized men eat raw flesh."

"There will be time enough when I reach civilization," said
Tarzan. "I do not like the things and they only spoil the taste
of good meat."

For a month they traveled north. Sometimes finding food
in plenty and again going hungry for days.

They saw no signs of natives nor were they molested by
wild beasts. Their journey was a miracle of ease.

Tarzan asked questions and learned rapidly. D'Arnot
taught him many of the refinements of civilization--even to
the use of knife and fork; but sometimes Tarzan would drop
them in disgust and grasp his food in his strong brown hands,
tearing it with his molars like a wild beast.

Then D'Arnot would expostulate with him, saying:

"You must not eat like a brute, Tarzan, while I am trying
to make a gentleman of you. MON DIEU! Gentlemen do not
thus--it is terrible."

Tarzan would grin sheepishly and pick up his knife and
fork again, but at heart he hated them.

On the journey he told D'Arnot about the great chest he had
seen the sailors bury; of how he had dug it up and carried
it to the gathering place of the apes and buried it there.

"It must be the treasure chest of Professor Porter," said
D'Arnot. "It is too bad, but of course you did not know."

Then Tarzan recalled the letter written by Jane to her
friend--the one he had stolen when they first came to his
cabin, and now he knew what was in the chest and what it
meant to Jane.

"To-morrow we shall go back after it," he announced to D'Arnot.

"Go back?" exclaimed D'Arnot. "But, my dear fellow, we
have now been three weeks upon the march. It would require
three more to return to the treasure, and then, with that
enormous weight which required, you say, four sailors to carry,
it would be months before we had again reached this spot."

"It must be done, my friend," insisted Tarzan. "You may go
on toward civilization, and I will return for the treasure.
I can go very much faster alone."

"I have a better plan, Tarzan," exclaimed D'Arnot. "We
shall go on together to the nearest settlement, and there we
will charter a boat and sail back down the coast for the treasure
and so transport it easily. That will be safer and quicker
and also not require us to be separated. What do you think of
that plan?"

"Very well," said Tarzan. "The treasure will be there
whenever we go for it; and while I could fetch it now, and
catch up with you in a moon or two, I shall feel safer for you
to know that you are not alone on the trail. When I see how
helpless you are, D'Arnot, I often wonder how the human race
has escaped annihilation all these ages which you tell me about.
Why, Sabor, single handed, could exterminate a thousand of you."

D'Arnot laughed.

"You will think more highly of your genus when you have
seen its armies and navies, its great cities, and its mighty
engineering works. Then you will realize that it is mind, and
not muscle, that makes the human animal greater than the
mighty beasts of your jungle.

"Alone and unarmed, a single man is no match for any of
the larger beasts; but if ten men were together, they would
combine their wits and their muscles against their savage
enemies, while the beasts, being unable to reason, would never
think of combining against the men. Otherwise, Tarzan of the
Apes, how long would you have lasted in the savage wilderness?"

"You are right, D'Arnot," replied Tarzan, "for if Kerchak
had come to Tublat's aid that night at the Dum-Dum, there
would have been an end of me. But Kerchak could never
think far enough ahead to take advantage of any such
opportunity. Even Kala, my mother, could never plan ahead.
She simply ate what she needed when she needed it, and if the
supply was very scarce, even though she found plenty for
several meals, she would never gather any ahead.

"I remember that she used to think it very silly of me to
burden myself with extra food upon the march, though she
was quite glad to eat it with me, if the way chanced to be
barren of sustenance."

"Then you knew your mother, Tarzan?" asked D'Arnot, in surprise.

"Yes. She was a great, fine ape, larger than I, and weighing
twice as much."

"And your father?" asked D'Arnot.

"I did not know him. Kala told me he was a white ape,
and hairless like myself. I know now that he must have
been a white man."

D'Arnot looked long and earnestly at his companion.

"Tarzan," he said at length, "it is impossible that the ape,
Kala, was your mother. If such a thing can be, which I
doubt, you would have inherited some of the characteristics
of the ape, but you have not--you are pure man, and, I
should say, the offspring of highly bred and intelligent
parents. Have you not the slightest clue to your past?"

"Not the slightest," replied Tarzan.

"No writings in the cabin that might have told something
of the lives of its original inmates?"

"I have read everything that was in the cabin with the
exception of one book which I know now to be written in a
language other than English. Possibly you can read it."

Tarzan fished the little black diary from the bottom of his
quiver, and handed it to his companion.

D'Arnot glanced at the title page.

"It is the diary of John Clayton, Lord Greystoke, an
English nobleman, and it is written in French," he said.

Then he proceeded to read the diary that had been written
over twenty years before, and which recorded the details of
the story which we already know--the story of adventure,
hardships and sorrow of John Clayton and his wife Alice,
from the day they left England until an hour before he was
struck down by Kerchak.

D'Arnot read aloud. At times his voice broke, and he was
forced to stop reading for the pitiful hopelessness that spoke
between the lines.

Occasionally he glanced at Tarzan; but the ape-man sat
upon his haunches, like a carven image, his eyes fixed upon
the ground.

Only when the little babe was mentioned did the tone of the
diary alter from the habitual note of despair which had crept
into it by degrees after the first two months upon the shore.

Then the passages were tinged with a subdued happiness
that was even sadder than the rest.

One entry showed an almost hopeful spirit.

To-day our little boy is six months old. He is sitting in
Alice's lap beside the table where I am writing--a happy,
healthy, perfect child.

Somehow, even against all reason, I seem to see him a
grown man, taking his father's place in the world--the
second John Clayton--and bringing added honors to the house
of Greystoke.

There--as though to give my prophecy the weight of his
endorsement--he has grabbed my pen in his chubby fists and
with his inkbegrimed little fingers has placed the seal of his
tiny finger prints upon the page.

And there, on the margin of the page, were the partially blurred
imprints of four wee fingers and the outer half of the thumb.

When D'Arnot had finished the diary the two men sat in
silence for some minutes.

"Well! Tarzan of the Apes, what think you?" asked D'Arnot.
"Does not this little book clear up the mystery of
your parentage?

"Why man, you are Lord Greystoke."

"The book speaks of but one child," he replied. "Its little
skeleton lay in the crib, where it died crying for nourishment,
from the first time I entered the cabin until Professor Porter's
party buried it, with its father and mother, beside the cabin.

"No, that was the babe the book speaks of--and the mystery
of my origin is deeper than before, for I have thought
much of late of the possibility of that cabin having been my
birthplace. I am afraid that Kala spoke the truth," he
concluded sadly.

D'Arnot shook his head. He was unconvinced, and in his
mind had sprung the determination to prove the correctness
of his theory, for he had discovered the key which alone
could unlock the mystery, or consign it forever to the realms
of the unfathomable.

A week later the two men came suddenly upon a clearing
in the forest.

In the distance were several buildings surrounded by a
strong palisade. Between them and the enclosure stretched a
cultivated field in which a number of negroes were working.

The two halted at the edge of the jungle.

Tarzan fitted his bow with a poisoned arrow, but D'Arnot
placed a hand upon his arm.

"What would you do, Tarzan?" he asked.

"They will try to kill us if they see us," replied Tarzan.
"I prefer to be the killer."

"Maybe they are friends," suggested D'Arnot.

"They are black," was Tarzan's only reply.

And again he drew back his shaft.

"You must not, Tarzan!" cried D'Arnot. "White men do
not kill wantonly. MON DIEU! but you have much to learn.

"I pity the ruffian who crosses you, my wild man, when I
take you to Paris. I will have my hands full keeping your
neck from beneath the guillotine."

Tarzan lowered his bow and smiled.

"I do not know why I should kill the blacks back there in
my jungle, yet not kill them here. Suppose Numa, the lion,
should spring out upon us, I should say, then, I presume:
Good morning, Monsieur Numa, how is Madame Numa; eh?"

"Wait until the blacks spring upon you," replied D'Arnot,
"then you may kill them. Do not assume that men are your
enemies until they prove it."

"Come," said Tarzan, "let us go and present ourselves to
be killed," and he started straight across the field, his head
high held and the tropical sun beating upon his smooth,
brown skin.

Behind him came D'Arnot, clothed in some garments
which had been discarded at the cabin by Clayton when the
officers of the French cruiser had fitted him out in more
presentable fashion.

Presently one of the blacks looked up, and beholding Tarzan,
turned, shrieking, toward the palisade.

In an instant the air was filled with cries of terror from the
fleeing gardeners, but before any had reached the palisade a
white man emerged from the enclosure, rifle in hand, to discover
the cause of the commotion.

What he saw brought his rifle to his shoulder, and Tarzan
of the Apes would have felt cold lead once again had not
D'Arnot cried loudly to the man with the leveled gun:

"Do not fire! We are friends!"

"Halt, then!" was the reply.

"Stop, Tarzan!" cried D'Arnot. "He thinks we are enemies."

Tarzan dropped into a walk, and together he and D'Arnot
advanced toward the white man by the gate.

The latter eyed them in puzzled bewilderment.

"What manner of men are you?" he asked, in French.

"White men," replied D'Arnot. "We have been lost in the
jungle for a long time."

The man had lowered his rifle and now advanced with
outstretched hand.

"I am Father Constantine of the French Mission here," he
said, "and I am glad to welcome you."

"This is Monsieur Tarzan, Father Constantine," replied
D'Arnot, indicating the ape-man; and as the priest extended
his hand to Tarzan, D'Arnot added: "and I am Paul D'Arnot,
of the French Navy."

Father Constantine took the hand which Tarzan extended
in imitation of the priest's act, while the latter took in
the superb physique and handsome face in one quick, keen glance.

And thus came Tarzan of the Apes to the first outpost of

For a week they remained there, and the ape-man, keenly
observant, learned much of the ways of men; meanwhile black
women sewed white duck garments for himself and D'Arnot so
that they might continue their journey properly clothed.

Chapter 26

The Height of Civilization

Another month brought them to a little group of buildings
at the mouth of a wide river, and there Tarzan saw many
boats, and was filled with the timidity of the wild thing by
the sight of many men.

Gradually he became accustomed to the strange noises and
the odd ways of civilization, so that presently none might
know that two short months before, this handsome Frenchman
in immaculate white ducks, who laughed and chatted
with the gayest of them, had been swinging naked through
primeval forests to pounce upon some unwary victim, which,
raw, was to fill his savage belly.

The knife and fork, so contemptuously flung aside a month
before, Tarzan now manipulated as exquisitely as did the
polished D'Arnot.

So apt a pupil had he been that the young Frenchman had labored
assiduously to make of Tarzan of the Apes a polished gentleman
in so far as nicety of manners and speech were concerned.

"God made you a gentleman at heart, my friend," D'Arnot had
said; "but we want His works to show upon the exterior also."

As soon as they had reached the little port, D'Arnot had
cabled his government of his safety, and requested a three-
months' leave, which had been granted.

He had also cabled his bankers for funds, and the enforced
wait of a month, under which both chafed, was due to their
inability to charter a vessel for the return to Tarzan's jungle
after the treasure.

During their stay at the coast town "Monsieur Tarzan" became
the wonder of both whites and blacks because of several
occurrences which to Tarzan seemed the merest of nothings.

Once a huge black, crazed by drink, had run amuck and
terrorized the town, until his evil star had led him to where the
black-haired French giant lolled upon the veranda of the hotel.

Mounting the broad steps, with brandished knife, the
Negro made straight for a party of four men sitting at
a table sipping the inevitable absinthe.

Shouting in alarm, the four took to their heels, and then
the black spied Tarzan.

With a roar he charged the ape-man, while half a hundred
heads peered from sheltering windows and doorways to witness
the butchering of the poor Frenchman by the giant black.

Tarzan met the rush with the fighting smile that the joy of
battle always brought to his lips.

As the Negro closed upon him, steel muscles gripped the
black wrist of the uplifted knife-hand, and a single swift
wrench left the hand dangling below a broken bone.

With the pain and surprise, the madness left the black
man, and as Tarzan dropped back into his chair the fellow
turned, crying with agony, and dashed wildly toward the
native village.

On another occasion as Tarzan and D'Arnot sat at dinner
with a number of other whites, the talk fell upon lions and
lion hunting.

Opinion was divided as to the bravery of the king of beasts
--some maintaining that he was an arrant coward, but all
agreeing that it was with a feeling of greater security that
they gripped their express rifles when the monarch of the
jungle roared about a camp at night.

D'Arnot and Tarzan had agreed that his past be kept secret,
and so none other than the French officer knew of the
ape-man's familiarity with the beasts of the jungle.

"Monsieur Tarzan has not expressed himself," said one of
the party. "A man of his prowess who has spent some time in
Africa, as I understand Monsieur Tarzan has, must have had
experiences with lions--yes?"

"Some," replied Tarzan, dryly. "Enough to know that each
of you are right in your judgment of the characteristics of the
lions--you have met. But one might as well judge all blacks
by the fellow who ran amuck last week, or decide that all
whites are cowards because one has met a cowardly white.

"There is as much individuality among the lower orders,
gentlemen, as there is among ourselves. Today we may go out
and stumble upon a lion which is over-timid--he runs away
from us. To-morrow we may meet his uncle or his twin
brother, and our friends wonder why we do not return from
the jungle. For myself, I always assume that a lion is
ferocious, and so I am never caught off my guard."

"There would be little pleasure in hunting," retorted the
first speaker, "if one is afraid of the thing he hunts."

D'Arnot smiled. Tarzan afraid!

"I do not exactly understand what you mean by fear," said
Tarzan. "Like lions, fear is a different thing in different men,
but to me the only pleasure in the hunt is the knowledge that
the hunted thing has power to harm me as much as I have to
harm him. If I went out with a couple of rifles and a gun
bearer, and twenty or thirty beaters, to hunt a lion, I should
not feel that the lion had much chance, and so the pleasure
of the hunt would be lessened in proportion to the increased
safety which I felt."

"Then I am to take it that Monsieur Tarzan would prefer
to go naked into the jungle, armed only with a jackknife, to
kill the king of beasts," laughed the other, good naturedly,
but with the merest touch of sarcasm in his tone.

"And a piece of rope," added Tarzan.

Just then the deep roar of a lion sounded from the distant
jungle, as though to challenge whoever dared enter the lists
with him.

"There is your opportunity, Monsieur Tarzan," bantered
the Frenchman.

"I am not hungry," said Tarzan simply.

The men laughed, all but D'Arnot. He alone knew that a
savage beast had spoken its simple reason through the lips of
the ape-man.

"But you are afraid, just as any of us would be, to go out
there naked, armed only with a knife and a piece of rope,"
said the banterer. "Is it not so?"

"No," replied Tarzan. "Only a fool performs any act
without reason."

"Five thousand francs is a reason," said the other. "I
wager you that amount you cannot bring back a lion from
the jungle under the conditions we have named--naked and
armed only with a knife and a piece of rope."

Tarzan glanced toward D'Arnot and nodded his head.

"Make it ten thousand," said D'Arnot.

"Done," replied the other.

Tarzan arose.

"I shall have to leave my clothes at the edge of the settlement,
so that if I do not return before daylight I shall have
something to wear through the streets."

"You are not going now," exclaimed the wagerer--"at night?"

"Why not?" asked Tarzan. "Numa walks abroad at night
--it will be easier to find him."

"No," said the other, "I do not want your blood upon my
hands. It will be foolhardy enough if you go forth by day."

"I shall go now," replied Tarzan, and went to his room for
his knife and rope.

The men accompanied him to the edge of the jungle,
where he left his clothes in a small storehouse.

But when he would have entered the blackness of the
undergrowth they tried to dissuade him; and the wagerer was
most insistent of all that he abandon his foolhardy venture.

"I will accede that you have won," he said, "and the ten
thousand francs are yours if you will but give up this
foolish attempt, which can only end in your death."

Tarzan laughed, and in another moment the jungle had
swallowed him.

The men stood silent for some moments and then slowly
turned and walked back to the hotel veranda.

Tarzan had no sooner entered the jungle than he took to
the trees, and it was with a feeling of exultant freedom that
he swung once more through the forest branches.

This was life! Ah, how he loved it! Civilization held nothing
like this in its narrow and circumscribed sphere, hemmed
in by restrictions and conventionalities. Even clothes were a
hindrance and a nuisance.

At last he was free. He had not realized what a prisoner he
had been.

How easy it would be to circle back to the coast, and then
make toward the south and his own jungle and cabin.

Now he caught the scent of Numa, for he was traveling up
wind. Presently his quick ears detected the familiar sound of
padded feet and the brushing of a huge, fur-clad body
through the undergrowth.

Tarzan came quietly above the unsuspecting beast and silently
stalked him until he came into a little patch of moonlight.

Then the quick noose settled and tightened about the
tawny throat, and, as he had done it a hundred times in the
past, Tarzan made fast the end to a strong branch and, while
the beast fought and clawed for freedom, dropped to the
ground behind him, and leaping upon the great back, plunged
his long thin blade a dozen times into the fierce heart.

Then with his foot upon the carcass of Numa, he raised his
voice in the awesome victory cry of his savage tribe.

For a moment Tarzan stood irresolute, swayed by conflicting
emotions of loyalty to D'Arnot and a mighty lust for the
freedom of his own jungle. At last the vision of a beautiful
face, and the memory of warm lips crushed to his dissolved
the fascinating picture he had been drawing of his old life.

The ape-man threw the warm carcass of Numa across his
shoulders and took to the trees once more.

The men upon the veranda had sat for an hour, almost in silence.

They had tried ineffectually to converse on various subjects,
and always the thing uppermost in the mind of each
had caused the conversation to lapse.

"MON DIEU," said the wagerer at length, "I can endure it
no longer. I am going into the jungle with my express and
bring back that mad man."

"I will go with you," said one.

"And I"--"And I"--"And I," chorused the others.

As though the suggestion had broken the spell of some
horrid nightmare they hastened to their various quarters, and
presently were headed toward the jungle--each one heavily armed.

"God! What was that?" suddenly cried one of the party, an
Englishman, as Tarzan's savage cry came faintly to their ears.

"I heard the same thing once before," said a Belgian,
"when I was in the gorilla country. My carriers said it
was the cry of a great bull ape who has made a kill."

D'Arnot remembered Clayton's description of the awful
roar with which Tarzan had announced his kills, and he half
smiled in spite of the horror which filled him to think that
the uncanny sound could have issued from a human throat
--from the lips of his friend.

As the party stood finally near the edge of the jungle,
debating as to the best distribution of their forces, they were
startled by a low laugh near them, and turning, beheld advancing
toward them a giant figure bearing a dead lion upon
its broad shoulders.

Even D'Arnot was thunderstruck, for it seemed impossible
that the man could have so quickly dispatched a lion with the
pitiful weapons he had taken, or that alone he could have
borne the huge carcass through the tangled jungle.

The men crowded about Tarzan with many questions, but
his only answer was a laughing depreciation of his feat.

To Tarzan it was as though one should eulogize a butcher
for his heroism in killing a cow, for Tarzan had killed so
often for food and for self-preservation that the act seemed
anything but remarkable to him. But he was indeed a hero in
the eyes of these men--men accustomed to hunting big game.

Incidentally, he had won ten thousand francs, for D'Arnot
insisted that he keep it all.

This was a very important item to Tarzan, who was just
commencing to realize the power which lay beyond the little
pieces of metal and paper which always changed hands when
human beings rode, or ate, or slept, or clothed themselves, or
drank, or worked, or played, or sheltered themselves from
the rain or cold or sun.

It had become evident to Tarzan that without money one
must die. D'Arnot had told him not to worry, since he had
more than enough for both, but the ape-man was learning
many things and one of them was that people looked down
upon one who accepted money from another without giving
something of equal value in exchange.

Shortly after the episode of the lion hunt, D'Arnot
succeeded in chartering an ancient tub for the coastwise
trip to Tarzan's land-locked harbor.

It was a happy morning for them both when the little vessel
weighed anchor and made for the open sea.

The trip to the beach was uneventful, and the morning
after they dropped anchor before the cabin, Tarzan, garbed
once more in his jungle regalia and carrying a spade, set out
alone for the amphitheater of the apes where lay the treasure.

Late the next day he returned, bearing the great chest upon
his shoulder, and at sunrise the little vessel worked through
the harbor's mouth and took up her northward journey.

Three weeks later Tarzan and D'Arnot were passengers on
board a French steamer bound for Lyons, and after a few
days in that city D'Arnot took Tarzan to Paris.

The ape-man was anxious to proceed to America, but
D'Arnot insisted that he must accompany him to Paris first,
nor would he divulge the nature of the urgent necessity upon
which he based his demand.

One of the first things which D'Arnot accomplished after
their arrival was to arrange to visit a high official of the
police department, an old friend; and to take Tarzan with him.

Adroitly D'Arnot led the conversation from point to point until
the policeman had explained to the interested Tarzan many of
the methods in vogue for apprehending and identifying criminals.

Not the least interesting to Tarzan was the part played by
finger prints in this fascinating science.

"But of what value are these imprints," asked Tarzan,
"when, after a few years the lines upon the fingers are
entirely changed by the wearing out of the old tissue and the
growth of new?"

"The lines never change," replied the official. "From infancy
to senility the fingerprints of an individual change only
in size, except as injuries alter the loops and whorls. But if
imprints have been taken of the thumb and four fingers of both
hands one must needs lose all entirely to escape identification."

"It is marvelous," exclaimed D'Arnot. "I wonder what the
lines upon my own fingers may resemble."

"We can soon see," replied the police officer, and ringing a
bell he summoned an assistant to whom he issued a few directions.

The man left the room, but presently returned with a little
hardwood box which he placed on his superior's desk.

"Now," said the officer, "you shall have your fingerprints
in a second."

He drew from the little case a square of plate glass, a little
tube of thick ink, a rubber roller, and a few snowy white cards.

Squeezing a drop of ink onto the glass, he spread it back
and forth with the rubber roller until the entire surface of the
glass was covered to his satisfaction with a very thin and uniform
layer of ink.

"Place the four fingers of your right hand upon the glass,
thus," he said to D'Arnot. "Now the thumb. That is right.
Now place them in just the same position upon this card,
here, no--a little to the right. We must leave room for the
thumb and the fingers of the left hand. There, that's it. Now
the same with the left."

"Come, Tarzan," cried D'Arnot, "let's see what your
whorls look like."

Tarzan complied readily, asking many questions of the officer
during the operation.

"Do fingerprints show racial characteristics?" he asked.
"Could you determine, for example, solely from fingerprints
whether the subject was Negro or Caucasian?"

"I think not," replied the officer.

"Could the finger prints of an ape be detected from those
of a man?"

"Probably, because the ape's would be far simpler than
those of the higher organism."

"But a cross between an ape and a man might show the
characteristics of either progenitor?" continued Tarzan.

"Yes, I should think likely," responded the official; "but
the science has not progressed sufficiently to render it exact
enough in such matters. I should hate to trust its findings
further than to differentiate between individuals. There it is
absolute. No two people born into the world probably have ever
had identical lines upon all their digits. It is very doubtful if
any single fingerprint will ever be exactly duplicated by any
finger other than the one which originally made it."

"Does the comparison require much time or labor?" asked D'Arnot.

"Ordinarily but a few moments, if the impressions are distinct."

D'Arnot drew a little black book from his pocket and commenced
turning the pages.

Tarzan looked at the book in surprise. How did D'Arnot
come to have his book?

Presently D'Arnot stopped at a page on which were five
tiny little smudges.

He handed the open book to the policeman.

"Are these imprints similar to mine or Monsieur Tarzan's
or can you say that they are identical with either?"
The officer drew a powerful glass from his desk and
examined all three specimens carefully, making notations
meanwhile upon a pad of paper.

Tarzan realized now what was the meaning of their visit to
the police officer.

The answer to his life's riddle lay in these tiny marks.

With tense nerves he sat leaning forward in his chair, but
suddenly he relaxed and dropped back, smiling.

D'Arnot looked at him in surprise.

"You forget that for twenty years the dead body of the
child who made those fingerprints lay in the cabin of his
father, and that all my life I have seen it lying there,"
said Tarzan bitterly.

The policeman looked up in astonishment.

"Go ahead, captain, with your examination," said D'Arnot,
"we will tell you the story later--provided Monsieur Tarzan
is agreeable."

Tarzan nodded his head.

"But you are mad, my dear D'Arnot," he insisted. "Those
little fingers are buried on the west coast of Africa."

"I do not know as to that, Tarzan," replied D'Arnot. "It is
possible, but if you are not the son of John Clayton then how
in heaven's name did you come into that God forsaken jungle
where no white man other than John Clayton had ever set foot?"

"You forget--Kala," said Tarzan.

"I do not even consider her," replied D'Arnot.

The friends had walked to the broad window overlooking
the boulevard as they talked. For some time they stood there
gazing out upon the busy throng beneath, each wrapped in
his own thoughts.

"It takes some time to compare finger prints," thought
D'Arnot, turning to look at the police officer.

To his astonishment he saw the official leaning back in his
chair hastily scanning the contents of the little black diary.

D'Arnot coughed. The policeman looked up, and, catching his
eye, raised his finger to admonish silence. D'Arnot turned
back to the window, and presently the police officer spoke.

"Gentlemen," he said.

Both turned toward him.

"There is evidently a great deal at stake which must hinge
to a greater or lesser extent upon the absolute correctness of
this comparison. I therefore ask that you leave the entire
matter in my hands until Monsieur Desquerc, our expert
returns. It will be but a matter of a few days."

"I had hoped to know at once," said D'Arnot. "Monsieur
Tarzan sails for America tomorrow."

"I will promise that you can cable him a report within two
weeks," replied the officer; "but what it will be I dare not say.
There are resemblances, yet--well, we had better leave it for
Monsieur Desquerc to solve."

Chapter 27

The Giant Again

A taxicab drew up before an oldfashioned residence upon
the outskirts of Baltimore.

A man of about forty, well built and with strong, regular
features, stepped out, and paying the chauffeur dismissed him.

A moment later the passenger was entering the library of
the old home.

"Ah, Mr. Canler!" exclaimed an old man, rising to greet him.

"Good evening, my dear Professor," cried the man, extending
a cordial hand.

"Who admitted you?" asked the professor.


"Then she will acquaint Jane with the fact that you are
here," said the old man.

"No, Professor," replied Canler, "for I came primarily to
see you."

"Ah, I am honored," said Professor Porter.

"Professor," continued Robert Canler, with great deliberation,
as though carefully weighing his words, "I have come
this evening to speak with you about Jane."

"You know my aspirations, and you have been generous
enough to approve my suit."

Professor Archimedes Q. Porter fidgeted in his armchair.
The subject always made him uncomfortable. He could not
understand why. Canler was a splendid match.

"But Jane," continued Canler, "I cannot understand her.
She puts me off first on one ground and then another. I have
always the feeling that she breathes a sigh of relief every time
I bid her good-by."

"Tut, tut," said Professor Porter. "Tut, tut, Mr. Canler.
Jane is a most obedient daughter. She will do precisely as I
tell her."

"Then I can still count on your support?" asked Canler, a
tone of relief marking his voice.

"Certainly, sir; certainly, sir," exclaimed Professor Porter.
"How could you doubt it?"

"There is young Clayton, you know," suggested Canler. "He has
been hanging about for months. I don't know that Jane cares
for him; but beside his title they say he has inherited a
very considerable estate from his father, and it might not be
strange,--if he finally won her, unless--" and Canler paused.

"Tut--tut, Mr. Canler; unless--what?"

"Unless, you see fit to request that Jane and I be married
at once," said Canler, slowly and distinctly.

"I have already suggested to Jane that it would be desirable,"
said Professor Porter sadly, "for we can no longer afford to
keep up this house, and live as her associations demand."

"What was her reply?" asked Canler.

"She said she was not ready to marry anyone yet," replied
Professor Porter, "and that we could go and live upon the
farm in northern Wisconsin which her mother left her.

"It is a little more than self-supporting. The tenants have
always made a living from it, and been able to send Jane a
trifle beside, each year. She is planning on our going up there
the first of the week. Philander and Mr. Clayton have already
gone to get things in readiness for us."

"Clayton has gone there?" exclaimed Canler, visibly chagrined.
"Why was I not told? I would gladly have gone and
seen that every comfort was provided."

"Jane feels that we are already too much in your debt, Mr.
Canler," said Professor Porter.

Canler was about to reply, when the sound of footsteps
came from the hall without, and Jane entered the room.

"Oh, I beg your pardon!" she exclaimed, pausing on the
threshold. "I thought you were alone, papa."

"It is only I, Jane," said Canler, who had risen, "won't you
come in and join the family group? We were just speaking of you."

"Thank you," said Jane, entering and taking the chair Canler
placed for her. "I only wanted to tell papa that Tobey is
coming down from the college tomorrow to pack his books. I
want you to be sure, papa, to indicate all that you can do
without until fall. Please don't carry this entire library to
Wisconsin, as you would have carried it to Africa, if I had
not put my foot down."

"Was Tobey here?" asked Professor Porter.

"Yes, I just left him. He and Esmeralda are exchanging
religious experiences on the back porch now."

"Tut, tut, I must see him at once!" cried the professor.
"Excuse me just a moment, children," and the old man
hastened from the room.

As soon as he was out of earshot Canler turned to Jane.

"See here, Jane," he said bluntly. "How long is this thing
going on like this? You haven't refused to marry me, but you
haven't promised either. I want to get the license tomorrow,
so that we can be married quietly before you leave for Wisconsin.
I don't care for any fuss or feathers, and I'm sure you
don't either."

The girl turned cold, but she held her head bravely.

"Your father wishes it, you know," added Canler.

"Yes, I know."

She spoke scarcely above a whisper.

"Do you realize that you are buying me, Mr. Canler?" she
said finally, and in a cold, level voice. "Buying me for a few
paltry dollars? Of course you do, Robert Canler, and the
hope of just such a contingency was in your mind when you
loaned papa the money for that hair-brained escapade, which
but for a most mysterious circumstance would have been
surprisingly successful.

"But you, Mr. Canler, would have been the most surprised.
You had no idea that the venture would succeed. You are too
good a businessman for that. And you are too good a
businessman to loan money for buried treasure seeking, or to
loan money without security--unless you had some special
object in view.

"You knew that without security you had a greater hold on
the honor of the Porters than with it. You knew the one best
way to force me to marry you, without seeming to force me.

"You have never mentioned the loan. In any other man I
should have thought that the prompting of a magnanimous
and noble character. But you are deep, Mr. Robert Canler. I
know you better than you think I know you.

"I shall certainly marry you if there is no other way, but
let us understand each other once and for all."

While she spoke Robert Canler had alternately flushed and
paled, and when she ceased speaking he arose, and with a
cynical smile upon his strong face, said:

"You surprise me, Jane. I thought you had more self-control
--more pride. Of course you are right. I am buying you,
and I knew that you knew it, but I thought you would prefer
to pretend that it was otherwise. I should have thought your
self respect and your Porter pride would have shrunk from
admitting, even to yourself, that you were a bought woman.
But have it your own way, dear girl," he added lightly. "I
am going to have you, and that is all that interests me."

Without a word the girl turned and left the room.

Jane was not married before she left with her father and
Esmeralda for her little Wisconsin farm, and as she coldly
bid Robert Canler goodby as her train pulled out, he called to
her that he would join them in a week or two.

At their destination they were met by Clayton and Mr.
Philander in a huge touring car belonging to the former, and
quickly whirled away through the dense northern woods toward
the little farm which the girl had not visited before
since childhood.

The farmhouse, which stood on a little elevation some
hundred yards from the tenant house, had undergone a complete
transformation during the three weeks that Clayton and
Mr. Philander had been there.

The former had imported a small army of carpenters and
plasterers, plumbers and painters from a distant city, and
what had been but a dilapidated shell when they reached it
was now a cosy little two-story house filled with every modern
convenience procurable in so short a time.

"Why, Mr. Clayton, what have you done?" cried Jane Porter,
her heart sinking within her as she realized the probable
size of the expenditure that had been made.

"S-sh," cautioned Clayton. "Don't let your father guess. If
you don't tell him he will never notice, and I simply couldn't
think of him living in the terrible squalor and sordidness
which Mr. Philander and I found. It was so little when I
would like to do so much, Jane. For his sake, please, never
mention it."

"But you know that we can't repay you," cried the girl.
"Why do you want to put me under such terrible obligations?"

"Don't, Jane," said Clayton sadly. "If it had been just you,
believe me, I wouldn't have done it, for I knew from the start
that it would only hurt me in your eyes, but I couldn't think
of that dear old man living in the hole we found here. Won't
you please believe that I did it just for him and give me that
little crumb of pleasure at least?"

"I do believe you, Mr. Clayton," said the girl, "because I
know you are big enough and generous enough to have done
it just for him--and, oh Cecil, I wish I might repay you as
you deserve--as you would wish."

"Why can't you, Jane?"

"Because I love another."



"But you are going to marry him. He told me as much
before I left Baltimore."

The girl winced.

"I do not love him," she said, almost proudly.

"Is it because of the money, Jane?"

She nodded.

"Then am I so much less desirable than Canler? I have
money enough, and far more, for every need," he said bitterly.

"I do not love you, Cecil," she said, "but I respect you. If I
must disgrace myself by such a bargain with any man, I prefer
that it be one I already despise. I should loathe the man
to whom I sold myself without love, whomsoever he might
be. You will be happier," she concluded, "alone--with my
respect and friendship, than with me and my contempt."

He did not press the matter further, but if ever a man had
murder in his heart it was William Cecil Clayton, Lord
Greystoke, when, a week later, Robert Canler drew up before
the farmhouse in his purring six cylinder.

A week passed; a tense, uneventful, but uncomfortable
week for all the inmates of the little Wisconsin farmhouse.

Canler was insistent that Jane marry him at once.

At length she gave in from sheer loathing of the continued
and hateful importuning.

It was agreed that on the morrow Canler was to drive to
town and bring back the license and a minister.

Clayton had wanted to leave as soon as the plan was
announced, but the girl's tired, hopeless look kept him.
He could not desert her.

Something might happen yet, he tried to console himself
by thinking. And in his heart, he knew that it would require
but a tiny spark to turn his hatred for Canler into the blood
lust of the killer.

Early the next morning Canler set out for town.

In the east smoke could be seen lying low over the forest,
for a fire had been raging for a week not far from them, but
the wind still lay in the west and no danger threatened them.

About noon Jane started off for a walk. She would not let
Clayton accompany her. She wanted to be alone, she said,
and he respected her wishes.

In the house Professor Porter and Mr. Philander were immersed
in an absorbing discussion of some weighty scientific problem.
Esmeralda dozed in the kitchen, and Clayton, heavy-eyed after
a sleepless night, threw himself down upon the couch in the
living room and soon dropped into a fitful slumber.

To the east the black smoke clouds rose higher into the
heavens, suddenly they eddied, and then commenced to drift
rapidly toward the west.

On and on they came. The inmates of the tenant house
were gone, for it was market day, and none was there to
see the rapid approach of the fiery demon.

Soon the flames had spanned the road to the south and cut
off Canler's return. A little fluctuation of the wind now
carried the path of the forest fire to the north, then blew back
and the flames nearly stood still as though held in leash by
some master hand.

Suddenly, out of the northeast, a great black car came
careening down the road.

With a jolt it stopped before the cottage, and a black-haired
giant leaped out to run up onto the porch. Without a
pause he rushed into the house. On the couch lay Clayton.
The man started in surprise, but with a bound was at the side
of the sleeping man.

Shaking him roughly by the shoulder, he cried:

"My God, Clayton, are you all mad here? Don't you know
you are nearly surrounded by fire? Where is Miss Porter?"

Clayton sprang to his feet. He did not recognize the man,
but he understood the words and was upon the veranda in a bound.

"Scott!" he cried, and then, dashing back into the house,
"Jane! Jane! where are you?"

In an instant Esmeralda, Professor Porter and Mr. Philander
had joined the two men.

"Where is Miss Jane?" cried Clayton, seizing Esmeralda by
the shoulders and shaking her roughly.

"Oh, Gaberelle, Mister Clayton, she done gone for a walk."

"Hasn't she come back yet?" and, without waiting for a reply,
Clayton dashed out into the yard, followed by the others.
"Which way did she go?" cried the black-haired giant of Esmeralda.

"Down that road," cried the frightened woman, pointing
toward the south where a mighty wall of roaring flames shut
out the view.

"Put these people in the other car," shouted the stranger to
Clayton. "I saw one as I drove up--and get them out of here
by the north road.

"Leave my car here. If I find Miss Porter we shall need it.
If I don't, no one will need it. Do as I say," as Clayton
hesitated, and then they saw the lithe figure bound away cross
the clearing toward the northwest where the forest still stood,
untouched by flame.

In each rose the unaccountable feeling that a great
responsibility had been raised from their shoulders; a kind
of implicit confidence in the power of the stranger to save
Jane if she could be saved.

"Who was that?" asked Professor Porter.

"I do not know," replied Clayton. "He called me by name
and he knew Jane, for he asked for her. And he called
Esmeralda by name."

"There was something most startlingly familiar about him,"
exclaimed Mr. Philander, "And yet, bless me, I know I never
saw him before."

"Tut, tut!" cried Professor Porter. "Most remarkable!
Who could it have been, and why do I feel that Jane is safe,
now that he has set out in search of her?"

"I can't tell you, Professor," said Clayton soberly, "but I
know I have the same uncanny feeling."

"But come," he cried, "we must get out of here ourselves,
or we shall be shut off," and the party hastened toward
Clayton's car.

When Jane turned to retrace her steps homeward, she was
alarmed to note how near the smoke of the forest fire
seemed, and as she hastened onward her alarm became almost
a panic when she perceived that the rushing flames were
rapidly forcing their way between herself and the cottage.

At length she was compelled to turn into the dense thicket
and attempt to force her way to the west in an effort to circle
around the flames and reach the house.

In a short time the futility of her attempt became apparent
and then her one hope lay in retracing her steps to the road
and flying for her life to the south toward the town.

The twenty minutes that it took her to regain the road was
all that had been needed to cut off her retreat as effectually as
her advance had been cut off before.

A short run down the road brought her to a horrified
stand, for there before her was another wall of flame. An
arm of the main conflagration had shot out a half mile south
of its parent to embrace this tiny strip of road in its
implacable clutches.

Jane knew that it was useless again to attempt to force her
way through the undergrowth.

She had tried it once, and failed. Now she realized that it
would be but a matter of minutes ere the whole space between
the north and the south would be a seething mass of
billowing flames.

Calmly the girl kneeled down in the dust of the roadway
and prayed for strength to meet her fate bravely, and for the
delivery of her father and her friends from death.

Suddenly she heard her name being called aloud through
the forest:

"Jane! Jane Porter!" It rang strong and clear, but in a
strange voice.

"Here!" she called in reply. "Here! In the roadway!"

Then through the branches of the trees she saw a figure
swinging with the speed of a squirrel.

A veering of the wind blew a cloud of smoke about them
and she could no longer see the man who was speeding toward
her, but suddenly she felt a great arm about her. Then
she was lifted up, and she felt the rushing of the wind and
the occasional brush of a branch as she was borne along.

She opened her eyes.

Far below her lay the undergrowth and the hard earth.

About her was the waving foliage of the forest.

From tree to tree swung the giant figure which bore her,
and it seemed to Jane that she was living over in a dream the
experience that had been hers in that far African jungle.

Oh, if it were but the same man who had borne her so
swiftly through the tangled verdure on that other day! but
that was impossible! Yet who else in all the world was there
with the strength and agility to do what this man was now doing?

She stole a sudden glance at the face close to hers, and
then she gave a little frightened gasp. It was he!

"My forest man!" she murmured, "No, I must be delerious!"

"Yes, your man, Jane Porter. Your savage, primeval man
come out of the jungle to claim his mate--the woman who
ran away from him," he added almost fiercely.

"I did not run away," she whispered. "I would only consent
to leave when they had waited a week for you to return."

They had come to a point beyond the fire now, and he had
turned back to the clearing.

Side by side they were walking toward the cottage. The
wind had changed once more and the fire was burning back
upon itself--another hour like that and it would be burned out.

"Why did you not return?" she asked.

"I was nursing D'Arnot. He was badly wounded."

"Ah, I knew it!" she exclaimed.

"They said you had gone to join the blacks--that they
were your people."

He laughed.

"But you did not believe them, Jane?"

"No;--what shall I call you?" she asked. "What is your name?"

"I was Tarzan of the Apes when you first knew me," he said.

"Tarzan of the Apes!" she cried--"and that was your note
I answered when I left?"

"Yes, whose did you think it was?"

"I did not know; only that it could not be yours, for Tarzan
of the Apes had written in English, and you could not
understand a word of any language."

Again he laughed.

"It is a long story, but it was I who wrote what I could not
speak--and now D'Arnot has made matters worse by teaching
me to speak French instead of English.

"Come," he added, "jump into my car, we must overtake
your father, they are only a little way ahead."

As they drove along, he said:

"Then when you said in your note to Tarzan of the Apes
that you loved another--you might have meant me?"

"I might have," she answered, simply.

"But in Baltimore--Oh, how I have searched for you--they
told me you would possibly be married by now. That a
man named Canler had come up here to wed you. Is that true?"


"Do you love him?"


"Do you love me?"

She buried her face in her hands.

"I am promised to another. I cannot answer you, Tarzan
of the Apes," she cried.

"You have answered. Now, tell me why you would marry
one you do not love."

"My father owes him money."

Suddenly there came back to Tarzan the memory of the
letter he had read--and the name Robert Canler and the
hinted trouble which he had been unable to understand then.

He smiled.

"If your father had not lost the treasure you would not feel
forced to keep your promise to this man Canler?"

"I could ask him to release me."

"And if he refused?"

"I have given my promise."

He was silent for a moment. The car was plunging along the
uneven road at a reckless pace, for the fire showed threateningly
at their right, and another change of the wind might sweep it
on with raging fury across this one avenue of escape.

Finally they passed the danger point, and Tarzan reduced
their speed.

"Suppose I should ask him?" ventured Tarzan.

"He would scarcely accede to the demand of a stranger,"
said the girl. "Especially one who wanted me himself."

"Terkoz did," said Tarzan, grimly.

Jane shuddered and looked fearfully up at the giant figure
beside her, for she knew that he meant the great anthropoid
he had killed in her defense.

"This is not the African jungle," she said. "You are no
longer a savage beast. You are a gentleman, and gentlemen
do not kill in cold blood."

"I am still a wild beast at heart," he said, in a low voice,
as though to himself.

Again they were silent for a time.

"Jane," said the man, at length, "if you were free, would
you marry me?"

She did not reply at once, but he waited patiently.

The girl was trying to collect her thoughts.

What did she know of this strange creature at her side?
What did he know of himself? Who was he? Who, his parents?

Why, his very name echoed his mysterious origin and his
savage life.

He had no name. Could she be happy with this jungle
waif? Could she find anything in common with a husband
whose life had been spent in the tree tops of an African
wilderness, frolicking and fighting with fierce anthropoids;
tearing his food from the quivering flank of fresh-killed prey,
sinking his strong teeth into raw flesh, and tearing away his
portion while his mates growled and fought about him for
their share?

Could he ever rise to her social sphere? Could she bear to
think of sinking to his? Would either be happy in such a
horrible misalliance?

"You do not answer," he said. "Do you shrink from
wounding me?"

"I do not know what answer to make," said Jane sadly. "I
do not know my own mind."

"You do not love me, then?" he asked, in a level tone.

"Do not ask me. You will be happier without me. You
were never meant for the formal restrictions and
conventionalities of society--civilization would become
irksome to you, and in a little while you would long for the
freedom of your old life--a life to which I am as totally
unfitted as you to mine."

"I think I understand you," he replied quietly. "I shall not
urge you, for I would rather see you happy than to be happy
myself. I see now that you could not be happy with--an ape."

There was just the faintest tinge of bitterness in his voice.

"Don't," she remonstrated. "Don't say that. You do not

But before she could go on a sudden turn in the road
brought them into the midst of a little hamlet.

Before them stood Clayton's car surrounded by the party
he had brought from the cottage.

Chapter 28


At the sight of Jane, cries of relief and delight broke from
every lip, and as Tarzan's car stopped beside the other,
Professor Porter caught his daughter in his arms.

For a moment no one noticed Tarzan, sitting silently in his seat.

Clayton was the first to remember, and, turning, held out
his hand.

"How can we ever thank you?" he exclaimed. "You have
saved us all. You called me by name at the cottage, but I do
not seem to recall yours, though there is something very
familiar about you. It is as though I had known you well under
very different conditions a long time ago."

Tarzan smiled as he took the proffered hand.

"You are quite right, Monsieur Clayton," he said, in French.
"You will pardon me if I do not speak to you in English.
I am just learning it, and while I understand it fairly
well I speak it very poorly."

"But who are you?" insisted Clayton, speaking in French
this time himself.

"Tarzan of the Apes."

Clayton started back in surprise.

"By Jove!" he exclaimed. "It is true."

And Professor Porter and Mr. Philander pressed forward to add
their thanks to Clayton's, and to voice their surprise and
pleasure at seeing their jungle friend so far from his savage home.

The party now entered the modest little hostelry, where
Clayton soon made arrangements for their entertainment.

They were sitting in the little, stuffy parlor when the distant
chugging of an approaching automobile caught their attention.

Mr. Philander, who was sitting near the window, looked
out as the car drew in sight, finally stopping beside
the other automobiles.

"Bless me!" said Mr. Philander, a shade of annoyance in
his tone. "It is Mr. Canler. I had hoped, er--I had thought
or--er--how very happy we should be that he was not caught
in the fire," he ended lamely.

"Tut, tut! Mr. Philander," said Professor Porter. "Tut,
tut! I have often admonished my pupils to count ten before
speaking. Were I you, Mr. Philander, I should count at least a
thousand, and then maintain a discreet silence."

"Bless me, yes!" acquiesced Mr. Philander. "But who is the
clerical appearing gentleman with him?"

Jane blanched.

Clayton moved uneasily in his chair.

Professor Porter removed his spectacles nervously, and breathed
upon them, but replaced them on his nose without wiping.

The ubiquitous Esmeralda grunted.

Only Tarzan did not comprehend.

Presently Robert Canler burst into the room.

"Thank God!" he cried. "I feared the worst, until I saw
your car, Clayton. I was cut off on the south road and had to
go away back to town, and then strike east to this road. I
thought we'd never reach the cottage."

No one seemed to enthuse much. Tarzan eyed Robert Canler
as Sabor eyes her prey.

Jane glanced at him and coughed nervously.

"Mr. Canler," she said, "this is Monsieur Tarzan, an old friend."

Canler turned and extended his hand. Tarzan rose and
bowed as only D'Arnot could have taught a gentleman to do
it, but he did not seem to see Canler's hand.

Nor did Canler appear to notice the oversight.

"This is the Reverend Mr. Tousley, Jane," said Canler, turning
to the clerical party behind him. "Mr. Tousley, Miss Porter."

Mr. Tousley bowed and beamed.

Canler introduced him to the others.

"We can have the ceremony at once, Jane," said Canler.
"Then you and I can catch the midnight train in town."

Tarzan understood the plan instantly. He glanced out of
half-closed eyes at Jane, but he did not move.

The girl hesitated. The room was tense with the silence of
taut nerves.

All eyes turned toward Jane, awaiting her reply.

"Can't we wait a few days?" she asked. "I am all unstrung.
I have been through so much today."

Canler felt the hostility that emanated from each member
of the party. It made him angry.

"We have waited as long as I intend to wait," he said
roughly. "You have promised to marry me. I shall be played
with no longer. I have the license and here is the preacher.
Come Mr. Tousley; come Jane. There are plenty of witnesses
--more than enough," he added with a disagreeable inflection;
and taking Jane Porter by the arm, he started to lead
her toward the waiting minister.

But scarcely had he taken a single step ere a heavy hand
closed upon his arm with a grip of steel.

Another hand shot to his throat and in a moment he was being
shaken high above the floor, as a cat might shake a mouse.

Jane turned in horrified surprise toward Tarzan.

And, as she looked into his face, she saw the crimson band
upon his forehead that she had seen that other day in far
distant Africa, when Tarzan of the Apes had closed in mortal
combat with the great anthropoid--Terkoz.

She knew that murder lay in that savage heart, and with a little
cry of horror she sprang forward to plead with the ape-man.
But her fears were more for Tarzan than for Canler. She
realized the stern retribution which justice metes to the murderer.

Before she could reach them, however, Clayton had
jumped to Tarzan's side and attempted to drag Canler from
his grasp.

With a single sweep of one mighty arm the Englishman
was hurled across the room, and then Jane laid a firm white
hand upon Tarzan's wrist, and looked up into his eyes.

"For my sake," she said.

The grasp upon Canler's throat relaxed.

Tarzan looked down into the beautiful face before him.

"Do you wish this to live?" he asked in surprise.

"I do not wish him to die at your hands, my friend," she
replied. "I do not wish you to become a murderer."

Tarzan removed his hand from Canler's throat.

"Do you release her from her promise?" he asked. "It is
the price of your life."

Canler, gasping for breath, nodded.

"Will you go away and never molest her further?"

Again the man nodded his head, his face distorted by fear
of the death that had been so close.

Tarzan released him, and Canler staggered toward the
door. In another moment he was gone, and the terror-
stricken preacher with him.

Tarzan turned toward Jane.

"May I speak with you for a moment, alone," he asked.

The girl nodded and started toward the door leading to the
narrow veranda of the little hotel. She passed out to await
Tarzan and so did not hear the conversation which followed.

"Wait," cried Professor Porter, as Tarzan was about to follow.

The professor had been stricken dumb with surprise by the
rapid developments of the past few minutes.

"Before we go further, sir, I should like an explanation of
the events which have just transpired. By what right, sir, did
you interfere between my daughter and Mr. Canler? I had
promised him her hand, sir, and regardless of our personal
likes or dislikes, sir, that promise must be kept."

"I interfered, Professor Porter," replied Tarzan, "because
your daughter does not love Mr. Canler--she does not wish
to marry him. That is enough for me to know."

"You do not know what you have done," said Professor
Porter. "Now he will doubtless refuse to marry her."

"He most certainly will," said Tarzan, emphatically.

"And further," added Tarzan, "you need not fear that your
pride will suffer, Professor Porter, for you will be able to pay
the Canler person what you owe him the moment you reach home."

"Tut, tut, sir!" exclaimed Professor Porter. "What do you
mean, sir?"

"Your treasure has been found," said Tarzan.

"What--what is that you are saying?" cried the professor.
"You are mad, man. It cannot be."

"It is, though. It was I who stole it, not knowing either its
value or to whom it belonged. I saw the sailors bury it, and,
ape-like, I had to dig it up and bury it again elsewhere. When
D'Arnot told me what it was and what it meant to you I returned
to the jungle and recovered it. It had caused so much
crime and suffering and sorrow that D'Arnot thought it best
not to attempt to bring the treasure itself on here, as had
been my intention, so I have brought a letter of credit instead.

"Here it is, Professor Porter," and Tarzan drew an envelope
from his pocket and handed it to the astonished professor,
"two hundred and forty-one thousand dollars. The treasure
was most carefully appraised by experts, but lest there
should be any question in your mind, D'Arnot himself bought
it and is holding it for you, should you prefer the treasure
to the credit."

"To the already great burden of the obligations we owe you,
sir," said Professor Porter, with trembling voice, "is now
added this greatest of all services. You have given me the
means to save my honor."

Clayton, who had left the room a moment after Canler,
now returned.

"Pardon me," he said. "I think we had better try to reach
town before dark and take the first train out of this forest. A
native just rode by from the north, who reports that the fire
is moving slowly in this direction."

This announcement broke up further conversation, and the
entire party went out to the waiting automobiles.

Clayton, with Jane, the professor and Esmeralda occupied
Clayton's car, while Tarzan took Mr. Philander in with him.

"Bless me!" exclaimed Mr. Philander, as the car moved off
after Clayton. "Who would ever have thought it possible! The
last time I saw you you were a veritable wild man, skipping
about among the branches of a tropical African forest, and
now you are driving me along a Wisconsin road in a French
automobile. Bless me! But it is most remarkable."

"Yes," assented Tarzan, and then, after a pause, "Mr. Philander,
do you recall any of the details of the finding and burying of
three skeletons found in my cabin beside that African jungle?"

"Very distinctly, sir, very distinctly," replied Mr. Philander.

"Was there anything peculiar about any of those skeletons?"

Mr. Philander eyed Tarzan narrowly.

"Why do you ask?"

"It means a great deal to me to know," replied Tarzan.
"Your answer may clear up a mystery. It can do no worse, at
any rate, than to leave it still a mystery. I have been
entertaining a theory concerning those skeletons for the past
two months, and I want you to answer my question to the best of
your knowledge--were the three skeletons you buried all
human skeletons?"

"No," said Mr. Philander, "the smallest one, the one found
in the crib, was the skeleton of an anthropoid ape."

"Thank you," said Tarzan.

In the car ahead, Jane was thinking fast and furiously. She
had felt the purpose for which Tarzan had asked a few words
with her, and she knew that she must be prepared to give
him an answer in the very near future.

He was not the sort of person one could put off, and somehow
that very thought made her wonder if she did not really
fear him.

And could she love where she feared?

She realized the spell that had been upon her in the depths
of that far-off jungle, but there was no spell of enchantment
now in prosaic Wisconsin.

Nor did the immaculate young Frenchman appeal to the
primal woman in her, as had the stalwart forest god.

Did she love him? She did not know--now.

She glanced at Clayton out of the corner of her eye. Was
not here a man trained in the same school of environment in
which she had been trained--a man with social position and
culture such as she had been taught to consider as the prime
essentials to congenial association?

Did not her best judgment point to this young English nobleman,
whose love she knew to be of the sort a civilized woman
should crave, as the logical mate for such as herself?

Could she love Clayton? She could see no reason why she
could not. Jane was not coldly calculating by nature, but
training, environment and heredity had all combined to teach
her to reason even in matters of the heart.

That she had been carried off her feet by the strength of
the young giant when his great arms were about her in the
distant African forest, and again today, in the Wisconsin
woods, seemed to her only attributable to a temporary mental
reversion to type on her part--to the psychological appeal of
the primeval man to the primeval woman in her nature.

If he should never touch her again, she reasoned, she would
never feel attracted toward him. She had not loved him, then.
It had been nothing more than a passing hallucination,
super-induced by excitement and by personal contact.

Excitement would not always mark their future relations,
should she marry him, and the power of personal contact
eventually would be dulled by familiarity.

Again she glanced at Clayton. He was very handsome and every
inch a gentleman. She should be very proud of such a husband.

And then he spoke--a minute sooner or a minute later might
have made all the difference in the world to three lives
--but chance stepped in and pointed out to Clayton the
psychological moment.

"You are free now, Jane," he said. "Won't you say yes--I
will devote my life to making you very happy."

"Yes," she whispered.

That evening in the little waiting room at the station Tarzan
caught Jane alone for a moment.

"You are free now, Jane," he said, "and _I_ have come
across the ages out of the dim and distant past from the lair
of the primeval man to claim you--for your sake I have become
a civilized man--for your sake I have crossed oceans
and continents--for your sake I will be whatever you will me
to be. I can make you happy, Jane, in the life you know and
love best. Will you marry me?"

For the first time she realized the depths of the man's love
--all that he had accomplished in so short a time solely for
love of her. Turning her head she buried her face in her arms.

What had she done? Because she had been afraid she
might succumb to the pleas of this giant, she had burned her
bridges behind her--in her groundless apprehension that she
might make a terrible mistake, she had made a worse one.

And then she told him all--told him the truth word by word,
without attempting to shield herself or condone her error.

"What can we do?" he asked. "You have admitted that you
love me. You know that I love you; but I do not know the
ethics of society by which you are governed. I shall leave the
decision to you, for you know best what will be for your
eventual welfare."

"I cannot tell him, Tarzan," she said. "He too, loves me,
and he is a good man. I could never face you nor any other
honest person if I repudiated my promise to Mr. Clayton. I
shall have to keep it--and you must help me bear the burden,
though we may not see each other again after tonight."

The others were entering the room now and Tarzan turned
toward the little window.

But he saw nothing outside--within he saw a patch of
greensward surrounded by a matted mass of gorgeous tropical
plants and flowers, and, above, the waving foliage of
mighty trees, and, over all, the blue of an equatorial sky.

In the center of the greensward a young woman sat upon a
little mound of earth, and beside her sat a young giant.
They ate pleasant fruit and looked into each other's eyes and
smiled. They were very happy, and they were all alone.

His thoughts were broken in upon by the station agent who
entered asking if there was a gentleman by the name of Tarzan
in the party.

"I am Monsieur Tarzan," said the ape-man.

"Here is a message for you, forwarded from Baltimore; it
is a cablegram from Paris."

Tarzan took the envelope and tore it open. The message
was from D'Arnot.

It read:

Fingerprints prove you Greystoke. Congratulations.

As Tarzan finished reading, Clayton entered and came toward
him with extended hand.

Here was the man who had Tarzan's title, and Tarzan's estates,
and was going to marry the woman whom Tarzan loved--the
woman who loved Tarzan. A single word from Tarzan would
make a great difference in this man's life.

It would take away his title and his lands and his castles,
and--it would take them away from Jane Porter also.
"I say, old man," cried Clayton, "I haven't had a chance to
thank you for all you've done for us. It seems as though you
had your hands full saving our lives in Africa and here.

"I'm awfully glad you came on here. We must get better
acquainted. I often thought about you, you know, and the
remarkable circumstances of your environment.

"If it's any of my business, how the devil did you ever get
into that bally jungle?"

"I was born there," said Tarzan, quietly. "My mother was
an Ape, and of course she couldn't tell me much about it.
I never knew who my father was."


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