Part 1 out of 6
Prepared by Judy Boss, Omaha, NE.
Tarzan the Terrible
By Edgar Rice Burroughs
I The Pithecanthropus
II "To the Death!"
V In the Kor-ul-gryf
VI The Tor-o-don
VII Jungle Craft
IX Blood-Stained Altars
X The Forbidden Garden
XI The Sentence of Death
XII The Giant Stranger
XIII The Masquerader
XIV The Temple of the Gryf
XV "The King Is Dead!"
XVI The Secret Way
XVII By Jad-bal-lul
XVIII The Lion Pit of Tu-lur
XIX Diana of the Jungle
XX Silently in the Night
XXI The Maniac
XXII A Journey on a Gryf
XXIII Taken Alive
XXIV The Messenger of Death
Silent as the shadows through which he moved, the great beast
slunk through the midnight jungle, his yellow-green eyes round and
staring, his sinewy tail undulating behind him, his head lowered
and flattened, and every muscle vibrant to the thrill of the hunt.
The jungle moon dappled an occasional clearing which the great cat
was always careful to avoid. Though he moved through thick verdure
across a carpet of innumerable twigs, broken branches, and leaves,
his passing gave forth no sound that might have been apprehended
by dull human ears.
Apparently less cautious was the hunted thing moving even as silently
as the lion a hundred paces ahead of the tawny carnivore, for
instead of skirting the moon-splashed natural clearings it passed
directly across them, and by the tortuous record of its spoor
it might indeed be guessed that it sought these avenues of least
resistance, as well it might, since, unlike its grim stalker, it
walked erect upon two feet--it walked upon two feet and was hairless
except for a black thatch upon its head; its arms were well shaped
and muscular; its hands powerful and slender with long tapering
fingers and thumbs reaching almost to the first joint of the index
fingers. Its legs too were shapely but its feet departed from the
standards of all races of men, except possibly a few of the lowest
races, in that the great toes protruded at right angles from the
Pausing momentarily in the full light of the gorgeous African moon
the creature turned an attentive ear to the rear and then, his
head lifted, his features might readily have been discerned in the
moonlight. They were strong, clean cut, and regular--features that
would have attracted attention for their masculine beauty in any
of the great capitals of the world. But was this thing a man? It
would have been hard for a watcher in the trees to have decided
as the lion's prey resumed its way across the silver tapestry that
Luna had laid upon the floor of the dismal jungle, for from beneath
the loin cloth of black fur that girdled its thighs there depended
a long hairless, white tail.
In one hand the creature carried a stout club, and suspended at its
left side from a shoulder belt was a short, sheathed knife, while
a cross belt supported a pouch at its right hip. Confining these
straps to the body and also apparently supporting the loin cloth
was a broad girdle which glittered in the moonlight as though
encrusted with virgin gold, and was clasped in the center of the
belly with a huge buckle of ornate design that scintillated as with
Closer and closer crept Numa, the lion, to his intended victim,
and that the latter was not entirely unaware of his danger was
evidenced by the increasing frequency with which he turned his
ear and his sharp black eyes in the direction of the cat upon his
trail. He did not greatly increase his speed, a long swinging walk
where the open places permitted, but he loosened the knife in its
scabbard and at all times kept his club in readiness for instant
Forging at last through a narrow strip of dense jungle vegetation
the man-thing broke through into an almost treeless area of
considerable extent. For an instant he hesitated, glancing quickly
behind him and then up at the security of the branches of the great
trees waving overhead, but some greater urge than fear or caution
influenced his decision apparently, for he moved off again across
the little plain leaving the safety of the trees behind him.
At greater or less intervals leafy sanctuaries dotted the grassy
expanse ahead of him and the route he took, leading from one to
another, indicated that he had not entirely cast discretion to the
winds. But after the second tree had been left behind the distance
to the next was considerable, and it was then that Numa walked from
the concealing cover of the jungle and, seeing his quarry apparently
helpless before him, raised his tail stiffly erect and charged.
Two months--two long, weary months filled with hunger, with thirst,
with hardships, with disappointment, and, greater than all, with
gnawing pain--had passed since Tarzan of the Apes learned from
the diary of the dead German captain that his wife still lived. A
brief investigation in which he was enthusiastically aided by the
Intelligence Department of the British East African Expedition
revealed the fact that an attempt had been made to keep Lady Jane
in hiding in the interior, for reasons of which only the German
High Command might be cognizant.
In charge of Lieutenant Obergatz and a detachment of native German
troops she had been sent across the border into the Congo Free
Starting out alone in search of her, Tarzan had succeeded in finding the
village in which she had been incarcerated only to learn that she
had escaped months before, and that the German officer had disappeared
at the same time. From there on the stories of the chiefs and the
warriors whom he quizzed, were vague and often contradictory. Even
the direction that the fugitives had taken Tarzan could only guess
at by piecing together bits of fragmentary evidence gleaned from
Sinister conjectures were forced upon him by various observations
which he made in the village. One was incontrovertible proof that
these people were man-eaters; the other, the presence in the village
of various articles of native German uniforms and equipment. At
great risk and in the face of surly objection on the part of the
chief, the ape-man made a careful inspection of every hut in the
village from which at least a little ray of hope resulted from the
fact that he found no article that might have belonged to his wife.
Leaving the village he had made his way toward the southwest,
crossing, after the most appalling hardships, a vast waterless
steppe covered for the most part with dense thorn, coming at last
into a district that had probably never been previously entered
by any white man and which was known only in the legends of the
tribes whose country bordered it. Here were precipitous mountains,
well-watered plateaus, wide plains, and vast swampy morasses,
but neither the plains, nor the plateaus, nor the mountains were
accessible to him until after weeks of arduous effort he succeeded
in finding a spot where he might cross the morasses--a hideous
stretch infested by venomous snakes and other larger dangerous
reptiles. On several occasions he glimpsed at distances or by night
what might have been titanic reptilian monsters, but as there were
hippopotami, rhinoceri, and elephants in great numbers in and about
the marsh he was never positive that the forms he saw were not of
When at last he stood upon firm ground after crossing the morasses
he realized why it was that for perhaps countless ages this territory
had defied the courage and hardihood of the heroic races of the
outer world that had, after innumerable reverses and unbelievable
suffering penetrated to practically every other region, from pole
From the abundance and diversity of the game it might have appeared
that every known species of bird and beast and reptile had sought
here a refuge wherein they might take their last stand against the
encroaching multitudes of men that had steadily spread themselves
over the surface of the earth, wresting the hunting grounds from
the lower orders, from the moment that the first ape shed his hair
and ceased to walk upon his knuckles. Even the species with which
Tarzan was familiar showed here either the results of a divergent
line of evolution or an unaltered form that had been transmitted
without variation for countless ages.
Too, there were many hybrid strains, not the least interesting
of which to Tarzan was a yellow and black striped lion. Smaller
than the species with which Tarzan was familiar, but still a most
formidable beast, since it possessed in addition to sharp saber-like
canines the disposition of a devil. To Tarzan it presented evidence
that tigers had once roamed the jungles of Africa, possibly giant
saber-tooths of another epoch, and these apparently had crossed with
lions with the resultant terrors that he occasionally encountered
at the present day.
The true lions of this new, Old World differed but little from
those with which he was familiar; in size and conformation they
were almost identical, but instead of shedding the leopard spots
of cubhood, they retained them through life as definitely marked
as those of the leopard.
Two months of effort had revealed no slightest evidence that
she he sought had entered this beautiful yet forbidding land. His
investigation, however, of the cannibal village and his questioning
of other tribes in the neighborhood had convinced him that if Lady
Jane still lived it must be in this direction that he seek her,
since by a process of elimination he had reduced the direction of
her flight to only this possibility. How she had crossed the morass
he could not guess and yet something within seemed to urge upon him
belief that she had crossed it, and that if she still lived it was
here that she must be sought. But this unknown, untraversed wild
was of vast extent; grim, forbidding mountains blocked his way,
torrents tumbling from rocky fastnesses impeded his progress, and
at every turn he was forced to match wits and muscles with the
great carnivora that he might procure sustenance.
Time and again Tarzan and Numa stalked the same quarry and now one,
now the other bore off the prize. Seldom however did the ape-man
go hungry for the country was rich in game animals and birds and
fish, in fruit and the countless other forms of vegetable life upon
which the jungle-bred man may subsist.
Tarzan often wondered why in so rich a country he found no evidences
of man and had at last come to the conclusion that the parched,
thorn-covered steppe and the hideous morasses had formed a sufficient
barrier to protect this country effectively from the inroads of
After days of searching he had succeeded finally in discovering a
pass through the mountains and, coming down upon the opposite side,
had found himself in a country practically identical with that which
he had left. The hunting was good and at a water hole in the mouth
of a canon where it debouched upon a tree-covered plain Bara, the
deer, fell an easy victim to the ape-man's cunning.
It was just at dusk. The voices of great four-footed hunters rose
now and again from various directions, and as the canon afforded
among its trees no comfortable retreat the ape-man shouldered the
carcass of the deer and started downward onto the plain. At its
opposite side rose lofty trees--a great forest which suggested to
his practiced eye a mighty jungle. Toward this the ape-man bent
his step, but when midway of the plain he discovered standing alone
such a tree as best suited him for a night's abode, swung lightly
to its branches and, presently, a comfortable resting place.
Here he ate the flesh of Bara and when satisfied carried the balance
of the carcass to the opposite side of the tree where he deposited
it far above the ground in a secure place. Returning to his crotch
he settled himself for sleep and in another moment the roars of
the lions and the howlings of the lesser cats fell upon deaf ears.
The usual noises of the jungle composed rather than disturbed the
ape-man but an unusual sound, however imperceptible to the awakened
ear of civilized man, seldom failed to impinge upon the consciousness
of Tarzan, however deep his slumber, and so it was that when the
moon was high a sudden rush of feet across the grassy carpet in
the vicinity of his tree brought him to alert and ready activity.
Tarzan does not awaken as you and I with the weight of slumber still
upon his eyes and brain, for did the creatures of the wild awaken
thus, their awakenings would be few. As his eyes snapped open,
clear and bright, so, clear and bright upon the nerve centers of his
brain, were registered the various perceptions of all his senses.
Almost beneath him, racing toward his tree was what at first glance
appeared to be an almost naked white man, yet even at the first
instant of discovery the long, white tail projecting rearward did
not escape the ape-man. Behind the fleeing figure, escaping, came
Numa, the lion, in full charge. Voiceless the prey, voiceless the
killer; as two spirits in a dead world the two moved in silent
swiftness toward the culminating tragedy of this grim race.
Even as his eyes opened and took in the scene beneath him--even in
that brief instant of perception, followed reason, judgment, and
decision, so rapidly one upon the heels of the other that almost
simultaneously the ape-man was in mid-air, for he had seen a
white-skinned creature cast in a mold similar to his own, pursued
by Tarzan's hereditary enemy. So close was the lion to the fleeing
man-thing that Tarzan had no time carefully to choose the method
of his attack. As a diver leaps from the springboard headforemost
into the waters beneath, so Tarzan of the Apes dove straight for
Numa, the lion; naked in his right hand the blade of his father
that so many times before had tasted the blood of lions.
A raking talon caught Tarzan on the side, inflicting a long, deep
wound and then the ape-man was on Numa's back and the blade was
sinking again and again into the savage side. Nor was the man-thing
either longer fleeing, or idle. He too, creature of the wild, had
sensed on the instant the truth of the miracle of his saving, and
turning in his tracks, had leaped forward with raised bludgeon to
Tarzan's assistance and Numa's undoing. A single terrific blow upon
the flattened skull of the beast laid him insensible and then as
Tarzan's knife found the wild heart a few convulsive shudders and
a sudden relaxation marked the passing of the carnivore.
Leaping to his feet the ape-man placed his foot upon the carcass
of his kill and, raising his face to Goro, the moon, voiced the
savage victory cry that had so often awakened the echoes of his
As the hideous scream burst from the ape-man's lips the man-thing
stepped quickly back as in sudden awe, but when Tarzan returned his
hunting knife to its sheath and turned toward him the other saw in
the quiet dignity of his demeanor no cause for apprehension.
For a moment the two stood appraising each other, and then the
man-thing spoke. Tarzan realized that the creature before him was
uttering articulate sounds which expressed in speech, though in a
language with which Tarzan was unfamiliar, the thoughts of a man
possessing to a greater or less extent the same powers of reason
that he possessed. In other words, that though the creature before
him had the tail and thumbs and great toes of a monkey, it was, in
all other respects, quite evidently a man.
The blood, which was now flowing down Tarzan's side, caught the
creature's attention. From the pocket-pouch at his side he took a
small bag and approaching Tarzan indicated by signs that he wished
the ape-man to lie down that he might treat the wound, whereupon,
spreading the edges of the cut apart, he sprinkled the raw flesh
with powder from the little bag. The pain of the wound was as
nothing to the exquisite torture of the remedy but, accustomed to
physical suffering, the ape-man withstood it stoically and in a
few moments not only had the bleeding ceased but the pain as well.
In reply to the soft and far from unpleasant modulations of
the other's voice, Tarzan spoke in various tribal dialects of the
interior as well as in the language of the great apes, but it was
evident that the man understood none of these. Seeing that they
could not make each other understood, the pithecanthropus advanced
toward Tarzan and placing his left hand over his own heart laid
the palm of his right hand over the heart of the ape-man. To the
latter the action appeared as a form of friendly greeting and, being
versed in the ways of uncivilized races, he responded in kind as
he realized it was doubtless intended that he should. His action
seemed to satisfy and please his new-found acquaintance, who
immediately fell to talking again and finally, with his head tipped
back, sniffed the air in the direction of the tree above them
and then suddenly pointing toward the carcass of Bara, the deer,
he touched his stomach in a sign language which even the densest
might interpret. With a wave of his hand Tarzan invited his guest
to partake of the remains of his savage repast, and the other, leaping
nimbly as a little monkey to the lower branches of the tree, made
his way quickly to the flesh, assisted always by his long, strong
The pithecanthropus ate in silence, cutting small strips from the
deer's loin with his keen knife. From his crotch in the tree Tarzan
watched his companion, noting the preponderance of human attributes
which were doubtless accentuated by the paradoxical thumbs, great
toes, and tail.
He wondered if this creature was representative of some strange race
or if, what seemed more likely, but an atavism. Either supposition
would have seemed preposterous enough did he not have before him
the evidence of the creature's existence. There he was, however, a
tailed man with distinctly arboreal hands and feet. His trappings,
gold encrusted and jewel studded, could have been wrought only by
skilled artisans; but whether they were the work of this individual
or of others like him, or of an entirely different race, Tarzan
could not, of course, determine.
His meal finished, the guest wiped his fingers and lips with leaves
broken from a nearby branch, looked up at Tarzan with a pleasant
smile that revealed a row of strong white teeth, the canines of
which were no longer than Tarzan's own, spoke a few words which
Tarzan judged were a polite expression of thanks and then sought
a comfortable place in the tree for the night.
The earth was shadowed in the darkness which precedes the dawn when
Tarzan was awakened by a violent shaking of the tree in which he
had found shelter. As he opened his eyes he saw that his companion
was also astir, and glancing around quickly to apprehend the cause
of the disturbance, the ape-man was astounded at the sight which
met his eyes.
The dim shadow of a colossal form reared close beside the tree
and he saw that it was the scraping of the giant body against the
branches that had awakened him. That such a tremendous creature
could have approached so closely without disturbing him filled
Tarzan with both wonderment and chagrin. In the gloom the ape-man
at first conceived the intruder to be an elephant; yet, if so, one
of greater proportions than any he had ever before seen, but as the
dim outlines became less indistinct he saw on a line with his eyes
and twenty feet above the ground the dim silhouette of a grotesquely
serrated back that gave the impression of a creature whose each
and every spinal vertebra grew a thick, heavy horn. Only a portion
of the back was visible to the ape-man, the rest of the body being
lost in the dense shadows beneath the tree, from whence there now
arose the sound of giant jaws powerfully crunching flesh and bones.
From the odors that rose to the ape-man's sensitive nostrils he
presently realized that beneath him was some huge reptile feeding
upon the carcass of the lion that had been slain there earlier in
As Tarzan's eyes, straining with curiosity, bored futilely into the
dark shadows he felt a light touch upon his shoulder, and, turning,
saw that his companion was attempting to attract his attention.
The creature, pressing a forefinger to his own lips as to enjoin
silence, attempted by pulling on Tarzan's arm to indicate that they
should leave at once.
Realizing that he was in a strange country, evidently infested by
creatures of titanic size, with the habits and powers of which he
was entirely unfamiliar, the ape-man permitted himself to be drawn
away. With the utmost caution the pithecanthropus descended the
tree upon the opposite side from the great nocturnal prowler, and,
closely followed by Tarzan, moved silently away through the night
across the plain.
The ape-man was rather loath thus to relinquish an opportunity to
inspect a creature which he realized was probably entirely different
from anything in his past experience; yet he was wise enough to
know when discretion was the better part of valor and now, as in
the past, he yielded to that law which dominates the kindred of the
wild, preventing them from courting danger uselessly, whose lives
are sufficiently filled with danger in their ordinary routine of
feeding and mating.
As the rising sun dispelled the shadows of the night, Tarzan found
himself again upon the verge of a great forest into which his guide
plunged, taking nimbly to the branches of the trees through which
he made his way with the celerity of long habitude and hereditary
instinct, but though aided by a prehensile tail, fingers, and
toes, the man-thing moved through the forest with no greater ease
or surety than did the giant ape-man.
It was during this journey that Tarzan recalled the wound in his
side inflicted upon him the previous night by the raking talons
of Numa, the lion, and examining it was surprised to discover that
not only was it painless but along its edges were no indications
of inflammation, the results doubtless of the antiseptic powder
his strange companion had sprinkled upon it.
They had proceeded for a mile or two when Tarzan's companion came
to earth upon a grassy slope beneath a great tree whose branches
overhung a clear brook. Here they drank and Tarzan discovered
the water to be not only deliciously pure and fresh but of an icy
temperature that indicated its rapid descent from the lofty mountains
of its origin.
Casting aside his loin cloth and weapons Tarzan entered the little
pool beneath the tree and after a moment emerged, greatly refreshed
and filled with a keen desire to breakfast. As he came out of the
pool he noticed his companion examining him with a puzzled expression
upon his face. Taking the ape-man by the shoulder he turned him
around so that Tarzan's back was toward him and then, touching the
end of Tarzan's spine with his forefinger, he curled his own tail
up over his shoulder and, wheeling the ape-man about again, pointed
first at Tarzan and then at his own caudal appendage, a look of
puzzlement upon his face, the while he jabbered excitedly in his
The ape-man realized that probably for the first time his companion
had discovered that he was tailless by nature rather than by
accident, and so he called attention to his own great toes and thumbs
to further impress upon the creature that they were of different
The fellow shook his head dubiously as though entirely unable
to comprehend why Tarzan should differ so from him but at last,
apparently giving the problem up with a shrug, he laid aside his
own harness, skin, and weapons and entered the pool.
His ablutions completed and his meager apparel redonned he seated
himself at the foot of the tree and motioning Tarzan to a place
beside him, opened the pouch that hung at his right side taking from
it strips of dried flesh and a couple of handfuls of thin-shelled
nuts with which Tarzan was unfamiliar. Seeing the other break them
with his teeth and eat the kernel, Tarzan followed the example thus
set him, discovering the meat to be rich and well flavored. The
dried flesh also was far from unpalatable, though it had evidently
been jerked without salt, a commodity which Tarzan imagined might
be rather difficult to obtain in this locality.
As they ate Tarzan's companion pointed to the nuts, the dried meat,
and various other nearby objects, in each instance repeating what
Tarzan readily discovered must be the names of these things in the
creature's native language. The ape-man could but smile at this
evident desire upon the part of his new-found acquaintance to impart
to him instructions that eventually might lead to an exchange of
thoughts between them. Having already mastered several languages
and a multitude of dialects the ape-man felt that he could readily
assimilate another even though this appeared one entirely unrelated
to any with which he was familiar.
So occupied were they with their breakfast and the lesson that
neither was aware of the beady eyes glittering down upon them from
above; nor was Tarzan cognizant of any impending danger until the
instant that a huge, hairy body leaped full upon his companion from
the branches above them.
"To the Death!"
In the moment of discovery Tarzan saw that the creature was almost
a counterpart of his companion in size and conformation, with the
exception that his body was entirely clothed with a coat of shaggy
black hair which almost concealed his features, while his harness
and weapons were similar to those of the creature he had attacked.
Ere Tarzan could prevent the creature had struck the ape-man's
companion a blow upon the head with his knotted club that felled
him, unconscious, to the earth; but before he could inflict further
injury upon his defenseless prey the ape-man had closed with him.
Instantly Tarzan realized that he was locked with a creature of
almost superhuman strength. The sinewy fingers of a powerful hand
sought his throat while the other lifted the bludgeon above his
head. But if the strength of the hairy attacker was great, great
too was that of his smooth-skinned antagonist. Swinging a single
terrific blow with clenched fist to the point of the other's chin,
Tarzan momentarily staggered his assailant and then his own fingers
closed upon the shaggy throat, as with the other hand he seized the
wrist of the arm that swung the club. With equal celerity he shot
his right leg behind the shaggy brute and throwing his weight forward
hurled the thing over his hip heavily to the ground, at the same
time precipitating his own body upon the other's chest.
With the shock of the impact the club fell from the brute's hand
and Tarzan's hold was wrenched from its throat. Instantly the two
were locked in a deathlike embrace. Though the creature bit at
Tarzan the latter was quickly aware that this was not a particularly
formidable method of offense or defense, since its canines were scarcely
more developed than his own. The thing that he had principally to
guard against was the sinuous tail which sought steadily to wrap
itself about his throat and against which experience had afforded
him no defense.
Struggling and snarling the two rolled growling about the sward at
the foot of the tree, first one on top and then the other but each
more occupied at present in defending his throat from the other's
choking grasp than in aggressive, offensive tactics. But presently
the ape-man saw his opportunity and as they rolled about he forced
the creature closer and closer to the pool, upon the banks of which
the battle was progressing. At last they lay upon the very verge of
the water and now it remained for Tarzan to precipitate them both
beneath the surface but in such a way that he might remain on top.
At the same instant there came within range of Tarzan's vision,
just behind the prostrate form of his companion, the crouching,
devil-faced figure of the striped saber-tooth hybrid, eyeing him
with snarling, malevolent face.
Almost simultaneously Tarzan's shaggy antagonist discovered
the menacing figure of the great cat. Immediately he ceased his
belligerent activities against Tarzan and, jabbering and chattering
to the ape-man, he tried to disengage himself from Tarzan's hold
but in such a way that indicated that as far as he was concerned
their battle was over. Appreciating the danger to his unconscious
companion and being anxious to protect him from the saber-tooth
the ape-man relinquished his hold upon his adversary and together
the two rose to their feet.
Drawing his knife Tarzan moved slowly toward the body of his
companion, expecting that his recent antagonist would grasp the
opportunity for escape. To his surprise, however, the beast, after
regaining its club, advanced at his side.
The great cat, flattened upon its belly, remained motionless except
for twitching tail and snarling lips where it lay perhaps fifty
feet beyond the body of the pithecanthropus. As Tarzan stepped over
the body of the latter he saw the eyelids quiver and open, and in
his heart he felt a strange sense of relief that the creature was
not dead and a realization that without his suspecting it there
had arisen within his savage bosom a bond of attachment for this
strange new friend.
Tarzan continued to approach the saber-tooth, nor did the shaggy
beast at his right lag behind. Closer and closer they came until
at a distance of about twenty feet the hybrid charged. Its rush was
directed toward the shaggy manlike ape who halted in his tracks
with upraised bludgeon to meet the assault. Tarzan, on the contrary,
leaped forward and with a celerity second not even to that of the
swift-moving cat, he threw himself headlong upon him as might a
Rugby tackler on an American gridiron. His right arm circled the
beast's neck in front of the right shoulder, his left behind the
left foreleg, and so great was the force of the impact that the
two rolled over and over several times upon the ground, the cat
screaming and clawing to liberate itself that it might turn upon
its attacker, the man clinging desperately to his hold.
Seemingly the attack was one of mad, senseless ferocity unguided by
either reason or skill. Nothing, however, could have been farther
from the truth than such an assumption since every muscle in
the ape-man's giant frame obeyed the dictates of the cunning mind
that long experience had trained to meet every exigency of such an
encounter. The long, powerful legs, though seemingly inextricably
entangled with the hind feet of the clawing cat, ever as by a miracle,
escaped the raking talons and yet at just the proper instant in the
midst of all the rolling and tossing they were where they should be
to carry out the ape-man's plan of offense. So that on the instant
that the cat believed it had won the mastery of its antagonist it
was jerked suddenly upward as the ape-man rose to his feet, holding
the striped back close against his body as he rose and forcing it
backward until it could but claw the air helplessly.
Instantly the shaggy black rushed in with drawn knife which it
buried in the beast's heart. For a few moments Tarzan retained his
hold but when the body had relaxed in final dissolution he pushed
it from him and the two who had formerly been locked in mortal
combat stood facing each other across the body of the common foe.
Tarzan waited, ready either for peace or war. Presently two shaggy
black hands were raised; the left was laid upon its own heart and
the right extended until the palm touched Tarzan's breast. It was
the same form of friendly salutation with which the pithecanthropus
had sealed his alliance with the ape-man and Tarzan, glad of every
ally he could win in this strange and savage world, quickly accepted
the proffered friendship.
At the conclusion of the brief ceremony Tarzan, glancing in the
direction of the hairless pithecanthropus, discovered that the
latter had recovered consciousness and was sitting erect watching
them intently. He now rose slowly and at the same time the shaggy
black turned in his direction and addressed him in what evidently
was their common language. The hairless one replied and the
two approached each other slowly. Tarzan watched interestedly the
outcome of their meeting. They halted a few paces apart, first one
and then the other speaking rapidly but without apparent excitement,
each occasionally glancing or nodding toward Tarzan, indicating
that he was to some extent the subject of their conversation.
Presently they advanced again until they met, whereupon was repeated
the brief ceremony of alliance which had previously marked the
cessation of hostilities between Tarzan and the black. They then
advanced toward the ape-man addressing him earnestly as though
endeavoring to convey to him some important information. Presently,
however, they gave it up as an unprofitable job and, resorting to
sign language, conveyed to Tarzan that they were proceeding upon
their way together and were urging him to accompany them.
As the direction they indicated was a route which Tarzan had not
previously traversed he was extremely willing to accede to their
request, as he had determined thoroughly to explore this unknown
land before definitely abandoning search for Lady Jane therein.
For several days their way led through the foothills parallel to the
lofty range towering above. Often were they menaced by the savage
denizens of this remote fastness, and occasionally Tarzan glimpsed
weird forms of gigantic proportions amidst the shadows of the
On the third day they came upon a large natural cave in the face
of a low cliff at the foot of which tumbled one of the numerous
mountain brooks that watered the plain below and fed the morasses
in the lowlands at the country's edge. Here the three took up their
temporary abode where Tarzan's instruction in the language of his
companions progressed more rapidly than while on the march.
The cave gave evidence of having harbored other manlike forms
in the past. Remnants of a crude, rock fireplace remained and the
walls and ceiling were blackened with the smoke of many fires.
Scratched in the soot, and sometimes deeply into the rock beneath,
were strange hieroglyphics and the outlines of beasts and birds and
reptiles, some of the latter of weird form suggesting the extinct
creatures of Jurassic times. Some of the more recently made
hieroglyphics Tarzan's companions read with interest and commented
upon, and then with the points of their knives they too added to
the possibly age-old record of the blackened walls.
Tarzan's curiosity was aroused, but the only explanation at which
he could arrive was that he was looking upon possibly the world's
most primitive hotel register. At least it gave him a further insight
into the development of the strange creatures with which Fate had
thrown him. Here were men with the tails of monkeys, one of them
as hair covered as any fur-bearing brute of the lower orders, and
yet it was evident that they possessed not only a spoken, but a
written language. The former he was slowly mastering and at this
new evidence of unlooked-for civilization in creatures possessing
so many of the physical attributes of beasts, Tarzan's curiosity
was still further piqued and his desire quickly to master their
tongue strengthened, with the result that he fell to with even
greater assiduity to the task he had set himself. Already he knew
the names of his companions and the common names of the fauna and
flora with which they had most often come in contact.
Ta-den, he of the hairless, white skin, having assumed the role of
tutor, prosecuted his task with a singleness of purpose that was
reflected in his pupil's rapid mastery of Ta-den's mother tongue.
Om-at, the hairy black, also seemed to feel that there rested upon
his broad shoulders a portion of the burden of responsibility for
Tarzan's education, with the result that either one or the other of
them was almost constantly coaching the ape-man during his waking
hours. The result was only what might have been expected--a rapid
assimilation of the teachings to the end that before any of them
realized it, communication by word of mouth became an accomplished
Tarzan explained to his companions the purpose of his mission but
neither could give him any slightest thread of hope to weave into
the fabric of his longing. Never had there been in their country a
woman such as he described, nor any tailless man other than himself
that they ever had seen.
"I have been gone from A-lur while Bu, the moon, has eaten
seven times," said Ta-den. "Many things may happen in seven times
twenty-eight days; but I doubt that your woman could have entered
our country across the terrible morasses which even you found
an almost insurmountable obstacle, and if she had, could she have
survived the perils that you already have encountered beside those
of which you have yet to learn? Not even our own women venture into
the savage lands beyond the cities."
"'A-lur,' Light-city, City of Light," mused Tarzan, translating
the word into his own tongue. "And where is A-lur?" he asked. "Is
it your city, Ta-den, and Om-at's?"
"It is mine," replied the hairless one; "but not Om-at's. The
Waz-don have no cities--they live in the trees of the forests and
the caves of the hills--is it not so, black man?" he concluded,
turning toward the hairy giant beside him.
"Yes," replied Om-at, "We Waz-don are free--only the Hodon imprison
themselves in cities. I would not be a white man!"
Tarzan smiled. Even here was the racial distinction between white
man and black man--Ho-don and Waz-don. Not even the fact that
they appeared to be equals in the matter of intelligence made any
difference--one was white and one was black, and it was easy to
see that the white considered himself superior to the other--one
could see it in his quiet smile.
"Where is A-lur?" Tarzan asked again. "You are returning to it?"
"It is beyond the mountains," replied Ta-den. "I do not return to
it--not yet. Not until Ko-tan is no more."
"Ko-tan?" queried Tarzan.
"Ko-tan is king," explained the pithecanthropus. "He rules this
land. I was one of his warriors. I lived in the palace of Ko-tan
and there I met O-lo-a, his daughter. We loved, Likestar-light,
and I; but Ko-tan would have none of me. He sent me away to fight
with the men of the village of Dak-at, who had refused to pay his
tribute to the king, thinking that I would be killed, for Dak-at is
famous for his many fine warriors. And I was not killed. Instead
I returned victorious with the tribute and with Dak-at himself my
prisoner; but Ko-tan was not pleased because he saw that O-lo-a
loved me even more than before, her love being strengthened and
fortified by pride in my achievement.
"Powerful is my father, Ja-don, the Lion-man, chief of the largest
village outside of A-lur. Him Ko-tan hesitated to affront and so
he could not but praise me for my success, though he did it with
half a smile. But you do not understand! It is what we call a smile
that moves only the muscles of the face and affects not the light
of the eyes--it means hypocrisy and duplicity. I must be praised
and rewarded. What better than that he reward me with the hand of
O-lo-a, his daughter? But no, he saves O-lo-a for Bu-lot, son of
Mo-sar, the chief whose great-grandfather was king and who thinks
that he should be king. Thus would Ko-tan appease the wrath of
Mo-sar and win the friendship of those who think with Mo-sar that
Mo-sar should be king.
"But what reward shall repay the faithful Ta-den? Greatly do we
honor our priests. Within the temples even the chiefs and the king
himself bow down to them. No greater honor could Ko-tan confer
upon a subject--who wished to be a priest, but I did not so wish.
Priests other than the high priest must become eunuchs for they
may never marry.
"It was O-lo-a herself who brought word to me that her father had
given the commands that would set in motion the machinery of the
temple. A messenger was on his way in search of me to summon me
to Ko-tan's presence. To have refused the priesthood once it was
offered me by the king would have been to have affronted the temple
and the gods--that would have meant death; but if I did not appear
before Ko-tan I would not have to refuse anything. O-lo-a and I
decided that I must not appear. It was better to fly, carrying in
my bosom a shred of hope, than to remain and, with my priesthood,
abandon hope forever.
"Beneath the shadows of the great trees that grow within the palace
grounds I pressed her to me for, perhaps, the last time and then,
lest by ill-fate I meet the messenger, I scaled the great wall that
guards the palace and passed through the darkened city. My name and
rank carried me beyond the city gate. Since then I have wandered
far from the haunts of the Ho-don but strong within me is the urge
to return if even but to look from without her walls upon the city
that holds her most dear to me and again to visit the village of
my birth, to see again my father and my mother."
"But the risk is too great?" asked Tarzan.
"It is great, but not too great," replied Ta-den. "I shall go."
"And I shall go with you, if I may," said the ape-man, "for I must
see this City of Light, this A-lur of yours, and search there for
my lost mate even though you believe that there is little chance
that I find her. And you, Om-at, do you come with us?"
"Why not?" asked the hairy one. "The lairs of my tribe lie in the
crags above A-lur and though Es-sat, our chief, drove me out I should
like to return again, for there is a she there upon whom I should
be glad to look once more and who would be glad to look upon me.
Yes, I will go with you. Es-sat feared that I might become chief
and who knows but that Es-sat was right. But Pan-at-lee! it is she
I seek first even before a chieftainship."
"We three, then, shall travel together," said Tarzan.
"And fight together," added Ta-den; "the three as one," and as he
spoke he drew his knife and held it above his head.
"The three as one," repeated Om-at, drawing his weapon and duplicating
Ta-den's act. "It is spoken!"
"The three as one!" cried Tarzan of the Apes. "To the death!" and
his blade flashed in the sunlight.
"Let us go, then," said Om-at; "my knife is dry and cries aloud
for the blood of Es-sat."
The trail over which Ta-den and Om-at led and which scarcely could
be dignified even by the name of trail was suited more to mountain
sheep, monkeys, or birds than to man; but the three that followed
it were trained to ways which no ordinary man might essay. Now, upon
the lower slopes, it led through dense forests where the ground was
so matted with fallen trees and over-rioting vines and brush that
the way held always to the swaying branches high above the tangle;
again it skirted yawning gorges whose slippery-faced rocks gave
but momentary foothold even to the bare feet that lightly touched
them as the three leaped chamois-like from one precarious foothold
to the next. Dizzy and terrifying was the way that Om-at chose
across the summit as he led them around the shoulder of a towering
crag that rose a sheer two thousand feet of perpendicular rock above
a tumbling river. And when at last they stood upon comparatively
level ground again Om-at turned and looked at them both intently
and especially at Tarzan of the Apes.
"You will both do," he said. "You are fit companions for Om-at,
"What do you mean?" asked Tarzan.
"I brought you this way," replied the black, "to learn if either
lacked the courage to follow where Om-at led. It is here that the
young warriors of Es-sat come to prove their courage. And yet,
though we are born and raised upon cliff sides, it is considered
no disgrace to admit that Pastar-ul-ved, the Father of Mountains,
has defeated us, for of those who try it only a few succeed--the
bones of the others lie at the feet of Pastar-ul-ved."
Ta-den laughed. "I would not care to come this way often," he said.
"No," replied Om-at; "but it has shortened our journey by at least
a full day. So much the sooner shall Tarzan look upon the Valley of
Jad-ben-Otho. Come!" and he led the way upward along the shoulder
of Pastar-ul-ved until there lay spread below them a scene of mystery
and of beauty--a green valley girt by towering cliffs of marble
whiteness--a green valley dotted by deep blue lakes and crossed
by the blue trail of a winding river. In the center a city of the
whiteness of the marble cliffs--a city which even at so great a
distance evidenced a strange, yet artistic architecture. Outside
the city there were visible about the valley isolated groups
of buildings--sometimes one, again two and three and four in a
cluster--but always of the same glaring whiteness, and always in
some fantastic form.
About the valley the cliffs were occasionally cleft by deep gorges,
verdure filled, giving the appearance of green rivers rioting
downward toward a central sea of green.
"Jad Pele ul Jad-ben-Otho," murmured Tarzan in the tongue of the
pithecanthropi; "The Valley of the Great God--it is beautiful!"
"Here, in A-lur, lives Ko-tan, the king, ruler over all Pal-ul-don,"
"And here in these gorges live the Waz-don," exclaimed Om-at, "who
do not acknowledge that Ko-tan is the ruler over all the Land-of-man."
Ta-den smiled and shrugged. "We will not quarrel, you and I," he said
to Om-at, "over that which all the ages have not proved sufficient
time in which to reconcile the Ho-don and Waz-don; but let me
whisper to you a secret, Om-at. The Ho-don live together in greater
or less peace under one ruler so that when danger threatens them
they face the enemy with many warriors, for every fighting Ho-don
of Pal-ul-don is there. But you Waz-don, how is it with you? You
have a dozen kings who fight not only with the Ho-don but with
one another. When one of your tribes goes forth upon the fighting
trail, even against the Ho-don, it must leave behind sufficient
warriors to protect its women and its children from the neighbors
upon either hand. When we want eunuchs for the temples or servants
for the fields or the homes we march forth in great numbers upon
one of your villages. You cannot even flee, for upon either side
of you are enemies and though you fight bravely we come back with
those who will presently be eunuchs in the temples and servants in
our fields and homes. So long as the Waz-don are thus foolish the
Ho-don will dominate and their king will be king of Pal-ul-don."
"Perhaps you are right," admitted Om-at. "It is because our neighbors
are fools, each thinking that his tribe is the greatest and should
rule among the Waz-don. They will not admit that the warriors of
my tribe are the bravest and our shes the most beautiful."
Ta-den grinned. "Each of the others presents precisely the same
arguments that you present, Om-at," he said, "which, my friend, is
the strongest bulwark of defense possessed by the Ho-don."
"Come!" exclaimed Tarzan; "such discussions often lead to quarrels
and we three must have no quarrels. I, of course, am interested
in learning what I can of the political and economic conditions
of your land; I should like to know something of your religion;
but not at the expense of bitterness between my only friends in
Pal-ul-don. Possibly, however, you hold to the same god?"
"There indeed we do differ," cried Om-at, somewhat bitterly and
with a trace of excitement in his voice.
"Differ!" almost shouted Ta-den; "and why should we not differ?
Who could agree with the preposterous----"
"Stop!" cried Tarzan. "Now, indeed, have I stirred up a hornets'
nest. Let us speak no more of matters political or religious."
"That is wiser," agreed Om-at; "but I might mention, for your
information, that the one and only god has a long tail."
"It is sacrilege," cried Ta-den, laying his hand upon his knife;
"Jad-ben-Otho has no tail!"
"Stop!" shrieked Om-at, springing forward; but instantly Tarzan
interposed himself between them.
"Enough!" he snapped. "Let us be true to our oaths of friendship
that we may be honorable in the sight of God in whatever form we
"You are right, Tailless One," said Ta-den. "Come, Om-at, let us
look after our friendship and ourselves, secure in the conviction
that Jad-ben-Otho is sufficiently powerful to look after himself."
"Done!" agreed Om-at, "but----"
"No 'buts,' Om-at," admonished Tarzan.
The shaggy black shrugged his shoulders and smiled. "Shall we make
our way down toward the valley?" he asked. "The gorge below us is
uninhabited; that to the left contains the caves of my people. I
would see Pan-at-lee once more. Ta-den would visit his father in
the valley below and Tarzan seeks entrance to A-lur in search of the
mate that would be better dead than in the clutches of the Ho-don
priests of Jad-ben-Otho. How shall we proceed?"
"Let us remain together as long as possible," urged Ta-den. "You,
Om-at, must seek Pan-at-lee by night and by stealth, for three,
even we three, may not hope to overcome Es-sat and all his warriors.
At any time may we go to the village where my father is chief, for
Ja-don always will welcome the friends of his son. But for Tarzan
to enter A-lur is another matter, though there is a way and he has
the courage to put it to the test--listen, come close for Jad-ben-Otho
has keen ears and this he must not hear," and with his lips close
to the ears of his companions Ta-den, the Tall-tree, son of Ja-don,
the Lion-man, unfolded his daring plan.
And at the same moment, a hundred miles away, a lithe figure,
naked but for a loin cloth and weapons, moved silently across a
thorn-covered, waterless steppe, searching always along the ground
before him with keen eyes and sensitive nostrils.
Night had fallen upon unchartered Pal-ul-don. A slender moon, low
in the west, bathed the white faces of the chalk cliffs presented
to her, in a mellow, unearthly glow. Black were the shadows in
Kor-ul-ja, Gorge-of-lions, where dwelt the tribe of the same name
under Es-sat, their chief. From an aperture near the summit of the
lofty escarpment a hairy figure emerged--the head and shoulders
first--and fierce eyes scanned the cliff side in every direction.
It was Es-sat, the chief. To right and left and below he looked
as though to assure himself that he was unobserved, but no other
figure moved upon the cliff face, nor did another hairy body protrude
from any of the numerous cave mouths from the high-flung abode of
the chief to the habitations of the more lowly members of the tribe
nearer the cliff's base. Then he moved outward upon the sheer face
of the white chalk wall. In the half-light of the baby moon it
appeared that the heavy, shaggy black figure moved across the face
of the perpendicular wall in some miraculous manner, but closer
examination would have revealed stout pegs, as large around as a
man's wrist protruding from holes in the cliff into which they were
driven. Es-sat's four handlike members and his long, sinuous tail
permitted him to move with consummate ease whither he chose--a
gigantic rat upon a mighty wall. As he progressed upon his way he
avoided the cave mouths, passing either above or below those that
lay in his path.
The outward appearance of these caves was similar. An opening from
eight to as much as twenty feet long by eight high and four to six
feet deep was cut into the chalklike rock of the cliff, in the back
of this large opening, which formed what might be described as the
front veranda of the home, was an opening about three feet wide
and six feet high, evidently forming the doorway to the interior
apartment or apartments. On either side of this doorway were smaller
openings which it were easy to assume were windows through which
light and air might find their way to the inhabitants. Similar
windows were also dotted over the cliff face between the entrance
porches, suggesting that the entire face of the cliff was honeycombed
with apartments. From many of these smaller apertures small streams
of water trickled down the escarpment, and the walls above others
was blackened as by smoke. Where the water ran the wall was eroded
to a depth of from a few inches to as much as a foot, suggesting
that some of the tiny streams had been trickling downward to the
green carpet of vegetation below for ages.
In this primeval setting the great pithecanthropus aroused no
jarring discord for he was as much a part of it as the trees that
grew upon the summit of the cliff or those that hid their feet
among the dank ferns in the bottom of the gorge.
Now he paused before an entrance-way and listened and then,
noiselessly as the moonlight upon the trickling waters, he merged
with the shadows of the outer porch. At the doorway leading into
the interior he paused again, listening, and then quietly pushing
aside the heavy skin that covered the aperture he passed within a
large chamber hewn from the living rock. From the far end, through
another doorway, shone a light, dimly. Toward this he crept with
utmost stealth, his naked feet giving forth no sound. The knotted
club that had been hanging at his back from a thong about his neck
he now removed and carried in his left hand.
Beyond the second doorway was a corridor running parallel with the
cliff face. In this corridor were three more doorways, one at each
end and a third almost opposite that in which Es-sat stood. The
light was coming from an apartment at the end of the corridor at his
left. A sputtering flame rose and fell in a small stone receptacle
that stood upon a table or bench of the same material, a monolithic
bench fashioned at the time the room was excavated, rising massively
from the floor, of which it was a part.
In one corner of the room beyond the table had been left a dais
of stone about four feet wide and eight feet long. Upon this were
piled a foot or so of softly tanned pelts from which the fur had
not been removed. Upon the edge of this dais sat a young female
Waz-don. In one hand she held a thin piece of metal, apparently
of hammered gold, with serrated edges, and in the other a short,
stiff brush. With these she was occupied in going over her smooth,
glossy coat which bore a remarkable resemblance to plucked sealskin.
Her loin cloth of yellow and black striped jato-skin lay on the
couch beside her with the circular breastplates of beaten gold,
revealing the symmetrical lines of her nude figure in all its beauty
and harmony of contour, for even though the creature was jet black
and entirely covered with hair yet she was undeniably beautiful.
That she was beautiful in the eyes of Es-sat, the chief, was
evidenced by the gloating expression upon his fierce countenance and
the increased rapidity of his breathing. Moving quickly forward he
entered the room and as he did so the young she looked up. Instantly
her eyes filled with terror and as quickly she seized the loin
cloth and with a few deft movements adjusted it about her. As she
gathered up her breastplates Es-sat rounded the table and moved
quickly toward her.
"What do you want?" she whispered, though she knew full well.
"Pan-at-lee," he said, "your chief has come for you."
"It was for this that you sent away my father and my brothers to
spy upon the Kor-ul-lul? I will not have you. Leave the cave of my
Es-sat smiled. It was the smile of a strong and wicked man who knows
his power--not a pleasant smile at all. "I will leave, Pan-at-lee,"
he said; "but you shall go with me--to the cave of Es-sat, the
chief, to be the envied of the shes of Kor-ul-ja. Come!"
"Never!" cried Pan-at-lee. "I hate you. Sooner would I mate with
a Ho-don than with you, beater of women, murderer of babes."
A frightful scowl distorted the features of the chief. "She-jato!"
he cried. "I will tame you! I will break you! Es-sat, the chief,
takes what he will and who dares question his right, or combat his
least purpose, will first serve that purpose and then be broken
as I break this," and he picked a stone platter from the table and
broke it in his powerful hands. "You might have been first and most
favored in the cave of the ancestors of Es-sat; but now shall you
be last and least and when I am done with you you shall belong to
all of the men of Es-sat's cave. Thus for those who spurn the love
of their chief!"
He advanced quickly to seize her and as he laid a rough hand upon
her she struck him heavily upon the side of his head with her
golden breastplates. Without a sound Es-sat, the chief, sank to
the floor of the apartment. For a moment Pan-at-lee bent over him,
her improvised weapon raised to strike again should he show signs
of returning consciousness, her glossy breasts rising and falling
with her quickened breathing. Suddenly she stooped and removed
Es-sat's knife with its scabbard and shoulder belt. Slipping it
over her own shoulder she quickly adjusted her breastplates and
keeping a watchful glance upon the figure of the fallen chief,
backed from the room.
In a niche in the outer room, just beside the doorway leading to the
balcony, were neatly piled a number of rounded pegs from eighteen
to twenty inches in length. Selecting five of these she made them
into a little bundle about which she twined the lower extremity of
her sinuous tail and thus carrying them made her way to the outer
edge of the balcony. Assuring herself that there was none about
to see, or hinder her, she took quickly to the pegs already set in
the face of the cliff and with the celerity of a monkey clambered
swiftly aloft to the highest row of pegs which she followed in
the direction of the lower end of the gorge for a matter of some
hundred yards. Here, above her head, were a series of small round
holes placed one above another in three parallel rows. Clinging only
with her toes she removed two of the pegs from the bundle carried
in her tail and taking one in either hand she inserted them in
two opposite holes of the outer rows as far above her as she could
reach. Hanging by these new holds she now took one of the three
remaining pegs in each of her feet, leaving the fifth grasped securely
in her tail. Reaching above her with this member she inserted the
fifth peg in one of the holes of the center row and then, alternately
hanging by her tail, her feet, or her hands, she moved the pegs
upward to new holes, thus carrying her stairway with her as she
At the summit of the cliff a gnarled tree exposed its time-worn
roots above the topmost holes forming the last step from the sheer
face of the precipice to level footing. This was the last avenue
of escape for members of the tribe hard pressed by enemies from
below. There were three such emergency exits from the village and it
were death to use them in other than an emergency. This Pan-at-lee
well knew; but she knew, too, that it were worse than death to
remain where the angered Es-sat might lay hands upon her.
When she had gained the summit, the girl moved quickly through
the darkness in the direction of the next gorge which cut the
mountain-side a mile beyond Kor-ul-ja. It was the Gorge-of-water,
Kor-ul-lul, to which her father and two brothers had been sent by
Es-sat ostensibly to spy upon the neighboring tribe. There was a
chance, a slender chance, that she might find them; if not there
was the deserted Kor-ul-gryf several miles beyond, where she might
hide indefinitely from man if she could elude the frightful monster
from which the gorge derived its name and whose presence there had
rendered its caves uninhabitable for generations.
Pan-at-lee crept stealthily along the rim of the Kor-ul-lul.
Just where her father and brothers would watch she did not know.
Sometimes their spies remained upon the rim, sometimes they watched
from the gorge's bottom. Pan-at-lee was at a loss to know what to
do or where to go. She felt very small and helpless alone in the
vast darkness of the night. Strange noises fell upon her ears. They
came from the lonely reaches of the towering mountains above her,
from far away in the invisible valley and from the nearer foothills
and once, in the distance, she heard what she thought was the bellow
of a bull gryf. It came from the direction of the Kor-ul-gryf. She
Presently there came to her keen ears another sound. Something
approached her along the rim of the gorge. It was coming from above.
She halted, listening. Perhaps it was her father, or a brother.
It was coming closer. She strained her eyes through the darkness.
She did not move--she scarcely breathed. And then, of a sudden,
quite close it seemed, there blazed through the black night two
yellow-green spots of fire.
Pan-at-lee was brave, but as always with the primitive, the darkness
held infinite terrors for her. Not alone the terrors of the known
but more frightful ones as well--those of the unknown. She had
passed through much this night and her nerves were keyed to the
highest pitch--raw, taut nerves, they were, ready to react in an
exaggerated form to the slightest shock.
But this was no slight shock. To hope for a father and a brother and
to see death instead glaring out of the darkness! Yes, Pan-at-lee
was brave, but she was not of iron. With a shriek that reverberated
among the hills she turned and fled along the rim of Kor-ul-lul and
behind her, swiftly, came the devil-eyed lion of the mountains of
Pan-at-lee was lost. Death was inevitable. Of this there could be
no doubt, but to die beneath the rending fangs of the carnivore,
congenital terror of her kind--it was unthinkable. But there was
an alternative. The lion was almost upon her--another instant and
he would seize her. Pan-at-lee turned sharply to her left. Just
a few steps she took in the new direction before she disappeared
over the rim of Kor-ul-lul. The baffled lion, planting all four
feet, barely stopped upon the verge of the abyss. Glaring down into
the black shadows beneath he mounted an angry roar.
Through the darkness at the bottom of Kor-ul-ja, Om-at led the way
toward the caves of his people. Behind him came Tarzan and Ta-den.
Presently they halted beneath a great tree that grew close to the
"First," whispered Om-at, "I will go to the cave of Pan-at-lee.
Then will I seek the cave of my ancestors to have speech with my
own blood. It will not take long. Wait here--I shall return soon.
Afterward shall we go together to Ta-den's people."
He moved silently toward the foot of the cliff up which Tarzan
could presently see him ascending like a great fly on a wall. In
the dim light the ape-man could not see the pegs set in the face
of the cliff. Om-at moved warily. In the lower tier of caves there
should be a sentry. His knowledge of his people and their customs
told him, however, that in all probability the sentry was asleep.
In this he was not mistaken, yet he did not in any way abate
his wariness. Smoothly and swiftly he ascended toward the cave of
Pan-at-lee while from below Tarzan and Ta-den watched him.
"How does he do it?" asked Tarzan. "I can see no foothold upon that
vertical surface and yet he appears to be climbing with the utmost
Ta-den explained the stairway of pegs. "You could ascend easily,"
he said, "although a tail would be of great assistance."
They watched until Om-at was about to enter the cave of Pan-at-lee
without seeing any indication that he had been observed and then,
simultaneously, both saw a head appear in the mouth of one of the
lower caves. It was quickly evident that its owner had discovered
Om-at for immediately he started upward in pursuit. Without a word
Tarzan and Ta-den sprang forward toward the foot of the cliff. The
pithecanthropus was the first to reach it and the ape-man saw him
spring upward for a handhold on the lowest peg above him. Now Tarzan
saw other pegs roughly paralleling each other in zigzag rows up
the cliff face. He sprang and caught one of these, pulled himself
upward by one hand until he could reach a second with his other
hand; and when he had ascended far enough to use his feet, discovered
that he could make rapid progress. Ta-den was outstripping him,
however, for these precarious ladders were no novelty to him and,
further, he had an advantage in possessing a tail.
Nevertheless, the ape-man gave a good account of himself, being
presently urged to redoubled efforts by the fact that the Waz-don
above Ta-den glanced down and discovered his pursuers just before
the Ho-don overtook him. Instantly a wild cry shattered the silence
of the gorge--a cry that was immediately answered by hundreds of
savage throats as warrior after warrior emerged from the entrance
to his cave.
The creature who had raised the alarm had now reached the recess
before Pan-at-lee's cave and here he halted and turned to give
battle to Ta-den. Unslinging his club which had hung down his back
from a thong about his neck he stood upon the level floor of the
entrance-way effectually blocking Ta-den's ascent. From all directions
the warriors of Kor-ul-ja were swarming toward the interlopers.
Tarzan, who had reached a point on the same level with Ta-den but
a little to the latter's left, saw that nothing short of a miracle
could save them. Just at the ape-man's left was the entrance to
a cave that either was deserted or whose occupants had not as yet
been aroused, for the level recess remained unoccupied. Resourceful
was the alert mind of Tarzan of the Apes and quick to respond were the
trained muscles. In the time that you or I might give to debating
an action he would accomplish it and now, though only seconds
separated his nearest antagonist from him, in the brief span of
time at his disposal he had stepped into the recess, unslung his
long rope and leaning far out shot the sinuous noose, with the
precision of long habitude, toward the menacing figure wielding
its heavy club above Ta-den. There was a momentary pause of the
rope-hand as the noose sped toward its goal, a quick movement of
the right wrist that closed it upon its victim as it settled over
his head and then a surging tug as, seizing the rope in both hands,
Tarzan threw back upon it all the weight of his great frame.
Voicing a terrified shriek, the Waz-don lunged headforemost from
the recess above Ta-den. Tarzan braced himself for the coming
shock when the creature's body should have fallen the full length
of the rope and as it did there was a snap of the vertebrae that
rose sickeningly in the momentary silence that had followed the
doomed man's departing scream. Unshaken by the stress of the suddenly
arrested weight at the end of the rope, Tarzan quickly pulled the
body to his side that he might remove the noose from about its
neck, for he could not afford to lose so priceless a weapon.
During the several seconds that had elapsed since he cast the
rope the Waz-don warriors had remained inert as though paralyzed
by wonder or by terror. Now, again, one of them found his voice
and his head and straightway, shrieking invectives at the strange
intruder, started upward for the ape-man, urging his fellows to
attack. This man was the closest to Tarzan. But for him the ape-man
could easily have reached Ta-den's side as the latter was urging
him to do. Tarzan raised the body of the dead Waz-don above his
head, held it poised there for a moment as with face raised to the
heavens he screamed forth the horrid challenge of the bull apes of
the tribe of Kerchak, and with all the strength of his giant sinews
he hurled the corpse heavily upon the ascending warrior. So great
was the force of the impact that not only was the Waz-don torn from
his hold but two of the pegs to which he clung were broken short
in their sockets.
As the two bodies, the living and the dead, hurtled downward
toward the foot of the cliff a great cry arose from the Waz-don.
"Jad-guru-don! Jad-guru-don!" they screamed, and then: "Kill him!
And now Tarzan stood in the recess beside Ta-den. Jad-guru-don!"
repeated the latter, smiling--"The terrible man! Tarzan the Terrible!
They may kill you, but they will never forget you."
"They shall not ki--What have we here?" Tarzan's statement as to
what "they" should not do was interrupted by a sudden ejaculation
as two figures, locked in deathlike embrace, stumbled through the
doorway of the cave to the outer porch. One was Om-at, the other a
creature of his own kind but with a rough coat, the hairs of which
seemed to grow straight outward from the skin, stiffly, unlike
Om-at's sleek covering. The two were quite evidently well matched
and equally evident was the fact that each was bent upon murder.
They fought almost in silence except for an occasional low growl
as one or the other acknowledged thus some new hurt.
Tarzan, following a natural impulse to aid his ally, leaped forward
to enter the dispute only to be checked by a grunted admonition
from Om-at. "Back!" he said. "This fight is mine, alone."
The ape-man understood and stepped aside.
"It is a gund-bar," explained Ta-den, "a chief-battle. This fellow
must be Es-sat, the chief. If Om-at kills him without assistance
Om-at may become chief."
Tarzan smiled. It was the law of his own jungle--the law of the
tribe of Kerchak, the bull ape--the ancient law of primitive man
that needed but the refining influences of civilization to introduce
the hired dagger and the poison cup. Then his attention was drawn
to the outer edge of the vestibule. Above it appeared the shaggy
face of one of Es-sat's warriors. Tarzan sprang to intercept the
man; but Ta-den was there ahead of him. "Back!" cried the Ho-don
to the newcomer. "It is gund-bar." The fellow looked scrutinizingly
at the two fighters, then turned his face downward toward his fellows.
"Back!" he cried, "it is gund-bar between Es-sat and Om-at." Then
he looked back at Ta-den and Tarzan. "Who are you?" he asked.
"We are Om-at's friends," replied Ta-den.
The fellow nodded. "We will attend to you later," he said and
disappeared below the edge of the recess.
The battle upon the ledge continued with unabated ferocity, Tarzan
and Ta-den having difficulty in keeping out of the way of the
contestants who tore and beat at each other with hands and feet and
lashing tails. Es-sat was unarmed--Pan-at-lee had seen to that--but
at Om-at's side swung a sheathed knife which he made no effort to
draw. That would have been contrary to their savage and primitive
code for the chief-battle must be fought with nature's weapons.
Sometimes they separated for an instant only to rush upon each other
again with all the ferocity and nearly the strength of mad bulls.
Presently one of them tripped the other but in that viselike embrace
one could not fall alone--Es-sat dragged Om-at with him, toppling
upon the brink of the niche. Even Tarzan held his breath. There they
surged to and fro perilously for a moment and then the inevitable
happened--the two, locked in murderous embrace, rolled over the
edge and disappeared from the ape-man's view.
Tarzan voiced a suppressed sigh for he had liked Om-at and then,
with Ta-den, approached the edge and looked over. Far below, in
the dim light of the coming dawn, two inert forms should be lying
stark in death; but, to Tarzan's amazement, such was far from the
sight that met his eyes. Instead, there were the two figures still
vibrant with life and still battling only a few feet below him.
Clinging always to the pegs with two holds--a hand and a foot, or
a foot and a tail, they seemed as much at home upon the perpendicular
wall as upon the level surface of the vestibule; but now their
tactics were slightly altered, for each seemed particularly bent
upon dislodging his antagonist from his holds and precipitating
him to certain death below. It was soon evident that Om-at, younger
and with greater powers of endurance than Es-sat, was gaining an
advantage. Now was the chief almost wholly on the defensive. Holding
him by the cross belt with one mighty hand Om-at was forcing his
foeman straight out from the cliff, and with the other hand and
one foot was rapidly breaking first one of Es-sat's holds and then
another, alternating his efforts, or rather punctuating them, with
vicious blows to the pit of his adversary's stomach. Rapidly was
Es-sat weakening and with the knowledge of impending death there
came, as there comes to every coward and bully under similar
circumstances, a crumbling of the veneer of bravado which had long
masqueraded as courage and with it crumbled his code of ethics. Now
was Es-sat no longer chief of Kor-ul-ja--instead he was a whimpering
craven battling for life. Clutching at Om-at, clutching at the
nearest pegs he sought any support that would save him from that
awful fall, and as he strove to push aside the hand of death,
whose cold fingers he already felt upon his heart, his tail sought
Om-at's side and the handle of the knife that hung there.
Tarzan saw and even as Es-sat drew the blade from its sheath he
dropped catlike to the pegs beside the battling men. Es-sat's tail
had drawn back for the cowardly fatal thrust. Now many others saw
the perfidious act and a great cry of rage and disgust arose from
savage throats; but as the blade sped toward its goal, the ape-man
seized the hairy member that wielded it, and at the same instant
Om-at thrust the body of Es-sat from him with such force that its
weakened holds were broken and it hurtled downward, a brief meteor
of screaming fear, to death.
As Tarzan and Om-at clambered back to the vestibule of Pan-at-lee's
cave and took their stand beside Ta-den in readiness for whatever
eventuality might follow the death of Es-sat, the sun that topped the
eastern hills touched also the figure of a sleeper upon a distant,
thorn-covered steppe awakening him to another day of tireless
tracking along a faint and rapidly disappearing spoor.
For a time silence reigned in the Kor-ul-ja. The tribesmen waited,
looking now down upon the dead thing that had been their chief,
now at one another, and now at Om-at and the two who stood upon his
either side. Presently Om-at spoke. "I am Om-at," he cried. "Who
will say that Om-at is not gund of Kor-ul-ja?"
He waited for a taker of his challenge. One or two of the larger
young bucks fidgeted restlessly and eyed him; but there was no
"Then Om-at is gund," he said with finality. "Now tell me, where
are Pan-at-lee, her father, and her brothers?"
An old warrior spoke. "Pan-at-lee should be in her cave. Who
should know that better than you who are there now? Her father and
her brothers were sent to watch Kor-ul-lul; but neither of these
questions arouse any tumult in our breasts. There is one that does:
Can Om-at be chief of Kor-ul-ja and yet stand at bay against his
own people with a Ho-don and that terrible man at his side--that
terrible man who has no tail? Hand the strangers over to your
people to be slain as is the way of the Waz-don and then may Om-at
Neither Tarzan nor Ta-den spoke then, they but stood watching Om-at
and waiting for his decision, the ghost of a smile upon the lips
of the ape-man. Ta-den, at least, knew that the old warrior had
spoken the truth--the Waz-don entertain no strangers and take no
prisoners of an alien race.
Then spoke Om-at. "Always there is change," he said. "Even the old
hills of Pal-ul-don appear never twice alike--the brilliant sun,
a passing cloud, the moon, a mist, the changing seasons, the sharp
clearness following a storm; these things bring each a new change
in our hills. From birth to death, day by day, there is constant
change in each of us. Change, then, is one of Jad-ben-Otho's laws.
"And now I, Om-at, your gund, bring another change. Strangers who
are brave men and good friends shall no longer be slain by the
Waz-don of Kor-ul-ja!"
There were growls and murmurings and a restless moving among the
warriors as each eyed the others to see who would take the initiative
against Om-at, the iconoclast.
"Cease your mutterings," admonished the new gund. "I am your chief.
My word is your law. You had no part in making me chief. Some of
you helped Es-sat to drive me from the cave of my ancestors; the
rest of you permitted it. I owe you nothing. Only these two, whom
you would have me kill, were loyal to me. I am gund and if there
be any who doubts it let him speak--he cannot die younger."
Tarzan was pleased. Here was a man after his own heart. He admired
the fearlessness of Om-at's challenge and he was a sufficiently good
judge of men to know that he had listened to no idle bluff--Om-at
would back up his words to the death, if necessary, and the chances
were that he would not be the one to die. Evidently the majority
of the Kor-ul-jaians entertained the same conviction.
"I will make you a good gund," said Om-at, seeing that no one appeared
inclined to dispute his rights. "Your wives and daughters will be
safe--they were not safe while Es-sat ruled. Go now to your crops
and your hunting. I leave to search for Pan-at-lee. Ab-on will be
gund while I am away--look to him for guidance and to me for an
accounting when I return--and may Jad-ben-Otho smile upon you."
He turned toward Tarzan and the Ho-don. "And you, my friends," he
said, "are free to go among my people; the cave of my ancestors is
yours, do what you will."
"I," said Tarzan, "will go with Om-at to search for Pan-at-lee."
"And I," said Ta-den.
Om-at smiled. "Good!" he exclaimed. "And when we have found her we
shall go together upon Tarzan's business and Ta-den's. Where first
shall we search?" He turned toward his warriors. "Who knows where
she may be?"
None knew other than that Pan-at-lee had gone to her cave with the
others the previous evening--there was no clew, no suggestion as
to her whereabouts.
"Show me where she sleeps," said Tarzan; "let me see something that
belongs to her--an article of her apparel--then, doubtless, I can
Two young warriors climbed closer to the ledge upon which Om-at
stood. They were In-sad and O-dan. It was the latter who spoke.
"Gund of Kor-ul-ja," he said, "we would go with you to search for
It was the first acknowledgment of Om-at's chieftainship and
immediately following it the tenseness that had prevailed seemed
to relax--the warriors spoke aloud instead of in whispers, and the
women appeared from the mouths of caves as with the passing of
a sudden storm. In-sad and O-dan had taken the lead and now all
seemed glad to follow. Some came to talk with Om-at and to look more
closely at Tarzan; others, heads of caves, gathered their hunters
and discussed the business of the day. The women and children
prepared to descend to the fields with the youths and the old men,
whose duty it was to guard them.
"O-dan and In-sad shall go with us," announced Om-at, "we shall
not need more. Tarzan, come with me and I shall show you where
Pan-at-lee sleeps, though why you should wish to know I cannot
guess--she is not there. I have looked for myself."
The two entered the cave where Om-at led the way to the apartment
in which Es-sat had surprised Pan-at-lee the previous night.
"All here are hers," said Om-at, "except the war club lying on the
floor--that was Es-sat's."
The ape-man moved silently about the apartment, the quivering of
his sensitive nostrils scarcely apparent to his companion who only
wondered what good purpose could be served here and chafed at the
"Come!" said the ape-man, presently, and led the way toward the
Here their three companions were awaiting them. Tarzan passed to
the left side of the niche and examined the pegs that lay within
reach. He looked at them but it was not his eyes that were examining
them. Keener than his keen eyes was that marvelously trained sense
of scent that had first been developed in him during infancy under
the tutorage of his foster mother, Kala, the she-ape, and further
sharpened in the grim jungles by that master teacher--the instinct
From the left side of the niche he turned to the right. Om-at was
"Let us be off," he said. "We must search for Pan-at-lee if we
would ever find her."
"Where shall we search?" asked Tarzan.
Om-at scratched his head. "Where?" he repeated. "Why all Pal-ul-don,
"A large job," said Tarzan. "Come," he added, "she went this way,"
and he took to the pegs that led aloft toward the summit of the
cliff. Here he followed the scent easily since none had passed that
way since Pan-at-lee had fled. At the point at which she had left
the permanent pegs and resorted to those carried with her Tarzan
came to an abrupt halt. "She went this way to the summit," he called
back to Om-at who was directly behind him; "but there are no pegs
"I do not know how you know that she went this way," said Om-at;
"but we will get pegs. In-sad, return and fetch climbing pegs for
The young warrior was soon back and the pegs distributed. Om-at
handed five to Tarzan and explained their use. The ape-man returned
one. "I need but four," he said.
Om-at smiled. "What a wonderful creature you would be if you were
not deformed," he said, glancing with pride at his own strong tail.
"I admit that I am handicapped," replied Tarzan. "You others go ahead
and leave the pegs in place for me. I am afraid that otherwise it
will be slow work as I cannot hold the pegs in my toes as you do."
"All right," agreed Om-at; "Ta-den, In-sad, and I will go first,
you follow and O-dan bring up the rear and collect the pegs--we
cannot leave them here for our enemies."
"Can't your enemies bring their own pegs?" asked Tarzan.
"Yes; but it delays them and makes easier our defense and--they
do not know which of all the holes you see are deep enough for
pegs--the others are made to confuse our enemies and are too shallow
to hold a peg."
At the top of the cliff beside the gnarled tree Tarzan again took
up the trail. Here the scent was fully as strong as upon the pegs
and the ape-man moved rapidly across the ridge in the direction of
Presently he paused and turned toward Om-at. "Here she moved swiftly,
running at top speed, and, Om-at, she was pursued by a lion."
"You can read that in the grass?" asked O-dan as the others gathered
about the ape-man.
Tarzan nodded. "I do not think the lion got her," he added; "but
that we shall determine quickly. No, he did not get her--look!"
and he pointed toward the southwest, down the ridge.
Following the direction indicated by his finger, the others presently
detected a movement in some bushes a couple of hundred yards away.
"What is it?" asked Om-at. "It is she?" and he started toward the
"Wait," advised Tarzan. "It is the lion which pursued her."
"You can see him?" asked Ta-den.
"No, I can smell him."
The others looked their astonishment and incredulity; but of the
fact that it was indeed a lion they were not left long in doubt.
Presently the bushes parted and the creature stepped out in full
view, facing them. It was a magnificent beast, large and beautifully
maned, with the brilliant leopard spots of its kind well marked and
symmetrical. For a moment it eyed them and then, still chafing at
the loss of its prey earlier in the morning, it charged.
The Pal-ul-donians unslung their clubs and stood waiting the onrushing
beast. Tarzan of the Apes drew his hunting knife and crouched in
the path of the fanged fury. It was almost upon him when it swerved
to the right and leaped for Om-at only to be sent to earth with
a staggering blow upon the head. Almost instantly it was up and
though the men rushed fearlessly in, it managed to sweep aside their
weapons with its mighty paws. A single blow wrenched O-dan's club
from his hand and sent it hurtling against Ta-den, knocking him
from his feet. Taking advantage of its opportunity the lion rose
to throw itself upon O-dan and at the same instant Tarzan flung
himself upon its back. Strong, white teeth buried themselves in
the spotted neck, mighty arms encircled the savage throat and the
sinewy legs of the ape-man locked themselves about the gaunt belly.
The others, powerless to aid, stood breathlessly about as the great
lion lunged hither and thither, clawing and biting fearfully and
futilely at the savage creature that had fastened itself upon him.
Over and over they rolled and now the onlookers saw a brown hand
raised above the lion's side--a brown hand grasping a keen blade.
They saw it fall and rise and fall again--each time with terrific
force and in its wake they saw a crimson stream trickling down ja's
Now from the lion's throat rose hideous screams of hate and rage
and pain as he redoubled his efforts to dislodge and punish his
tormentor; but always the tousled black head remained half buried
in the dark brown mane and the mighty arm rose and fell to plunge
the knife again and again into the dying beast.
The Pal-ul-donians stood in mute wonder and admiration. Brave men
and mighty hunters they were and as such the first to accord honor
to a mightier.
"And you would have had me slay him!" cried Om-at, glancing at
In-sad and O-dan.
"Jad-ben-Otho reward you that you did not," breathed In-sad.
And now the lion lunged suddenly to earth and with a few spasmodic
quiverings lay still. The ape-man rose and shook himself, even as
might ja, the leopard-coated lion of Pal-ul-don, had he been the
one to survive.
O-dan advanced quickly toward Tarzan. Placing a palm upon his own
breast and the other on Tarzan's, "Tarzan the Terrible," he said,
"I ask no greater honor than your friendship."
"And I no more than the friendship of Om-at's friends," replied
the ape-man simply, returning the other's salute.
"Do you think," asked Om-at, coming close to Tarzan and laying a
hand upon the other's shoulder, "that he got her?"
"No, my friend; it was a hungry lion that charged us."
"You seem to know much of lions," said In-sad.
"Had I a brother I could not know him better," replied Tarzan.
"Then where can she be?" continued Om-at.
"We can but follow while the spoor is fresh," answered the ape-man
and again taking up his interrupted tracking he led them down the
ridge and at a sharp turning of the trail to the left brought them
to the verge of the cliff that dropped into the Kor-ul-lul. For
a moment Tarzan examined the ground to the right and to the left,
then he stood erect and looking at Om-at pointed into the gorge.
For a moment the Waz-don gazed down into the green rift at the bottom
of which a tumultuous river tumbled downward along its rocky bed,
then he closed his eyes as to a sudden spasm of pain and turned
"You--mean--she jumped?" he asked.
"To escape the lion," replied Tarzan. "He was right behind her--look,
you can see where his four paws left their impress in the turf as
he checked his charge upon the very verge of the abyss."
"Is there any chance--" commenced Om-at, to be suddenly silenced
by a warning gesture from Tarzan.
"Down!" whispered the ape-man, "many men are coming. They are
running--from down the ridge." He flattened himself upon his belly
in the grass, the others following his example.
For some minutes they waited thus and then the others, too, heard
the sound of running feet and now a hoarse shout followed by many
"It is the war cry of the Kor-ul-lul," whispered Om-at--"the
hunting cry of men who hunt men. Presently shall we see them
and if Jad-ben-Otho is pleased with us they shall not too greatly
"They are many," said Tarzan, "forty or fifty, I should say; but
how many are the pursued and how many the pursuers we cannot even
guess, except that the latter must greatly outnumber the former,
else these would not run so fast."
"Here they come," said Ta-den.
"It is An-un, father of Pan-at-lee, and his two sons," exclaimed
O-dan. "They will pass without seeing us if we do not hurry," he
added looking at Om-at, the chief, for a sign.
"Come!" cried the latter, springing to his feet and running rapidly
to intercept the three fugitives. The others followed him.
"Five friends!" shouted Om-at as An-un and his sons discovered
"Adenen yo!" echoed O-dan and In-sad.
The fugitives scarcely paused as these unexpected reinforcements
joined them but they eyed Ta-den and Tarzan with puzzled glances.
"The Kor-ul-lul are many," shouted An-un. "Would that we might
pause and fight; but first we must warn Es-sat and our people."
"Yes," said Om-at, "we must warn our people."
"Es-sat is dead," said In-sad.
"Who is chief?" asked one of An-un's sons.
"Om-at," replied O-dan.
"It is well," cried An-un. "Pan-at-lee said that you would come
back and slay Es-sat."
Now the enemy broke into sight behind them.
"Come!" cried Tarzan," let us turn and charge them, raising a great
cry. They pursued but three and when they see eight charging upon
them they will think that many men have come to do battle. They
will believe that there are more even than they see and then one
who is swift will have time to reach the gorge and warn your people."
"It is well," said Om-at. "Id-an, you are swift--carry word to the
warriors of Kor-ul-ja that we fight the Kor-ul-lul upon the ridge
and that Ab-on shall send a hundred men."
Id-an, the son of An-un, sped swiftly toward the cliff-dwellings
of the Kor-ul-ja while the others charged the oncoming Kor-ul-lul,
the war cries of the two tribes rising and falling in a certain
grim harmony. The leaders of the Kor-ul-lul paused at sight of the
reinforcements, waiting apparently for those behind to catch up
with them and, possibly, also to learn how great a force confronted
them. The leaders, swifter runners than their fellows, perhaps,
were far in advance while the balance of their number had not yet
emerged from the brush; and now as Om-at and his companions fell
upon them with a ferocity born of necessity they fell back, so that
when their companions at last came in sight of them they appeared
to be in full rout. The natural result was that the others turned
Encouraged by this first success Om-at followed them into the
brush, his little company charging valiantly upon his either side,
and loud and terrifying were the savage yells with which they
pursued the fleeing enemy. The brush, while not growing so closely
together as to impede progress, was of such height as to hide the
members of the party from one another when they became separated
by even a few yards. The result was that Tarzan, always swift and
always keen for battle, was soon pursuing the enemy far in the lead
of the others--a lack of prudence which was to prove his undoing.
The warriors of Kor-ul-lul, doubtless as valorous as their foemen,
retreated only to a more strategic position in the brush, nor were
they long in guessing that the number of their pursuers was fewer
than their own. They made a stand then where the brush was densest--an
ambush it was, and into this ran Tarzan of the Apes. They tricked
him neatly. Yes, sad as is the narration of it, they tricked the
wily jungle lord. But then they were fighting on their own ground,
every foot of which they knew as you know your front parlor, and
they were following their own tactics, of which Tarzan knew nothing.
A single black warrior appeared to Tarzan a laggard in the rear of
the retreating enemy and thus retreating he lured Tarzan on. At
last he turned at bay confronting the ape-man with bludgeon and
drawn knife and as Tarzan charged him a score of burly Waz-don
leaped from the surrounding brush. Instantly, but too late, the giant
Tarmangani realized his peril. There flashed before him a vision
of his lost mate and a great and sickening regret surged through
him with the realization that if she still lived she might no longer
hope, for though she might never know of the passing of her lord
the fact of it must inevitably seal her doom.
And consequent to this thought there enveloped him a blind frenzy
of hatred for these creatures who dared thwart his purpose and menace
the welfare of his wife. With a savage growl he threw himself upon
the warrior before him twisting the heavy club from the creature's
hand as if he had been a little child, and with his left fist backed
by the weight and sinew of his giant frame, he crashed a shattering
blow to the center of the Waz-don's face--a blow that crushed the
bones and dropped the fellow in his tracks. Then he swung upon the
others with their fallen comrade's bludgeon striking to right and
left mighty, unmerciful blows that drove down their own weapons
until that wielded by the ape-man was splintered and shattered. On
either hand they fell before his cudgel; so rapid the delivery of
his blows, so catlike his recovery that in the first few moments
of the battle he seemed invulnerable to their attack; but it could
not last--he was outnumbered twenty to one and his undoing came
from a thrown club. It struck him upon the back of the head. For
a moment he stood swaying and then like a great pine beneath the
woodsman's ax he crashed to earth.
Others of the Kor-ul-lul had rushed to engage the balance of Om-at's
party. They could be heard fighting at a short distance and it was
evident that the Kor-ul-ja were falling slowly back and as they
fell Om-at called to the missing one: "Tarzan the Terrible! Tarzan
"Jad-guru, indeed," repeated one of the Kor-ul-lul rising from
where Tarzan had dropped him. "Tarzan-jad-guru! He was worse than
In the Kor-ul-gryf
As Tarzan fell among his enemies a man halted many miles away upon
the outer verge of the morass that encircles Pal-ul-don. Naked he
was except for a loin cloth and three belts of cartridges, two of
which passed over his shoulders, crossing upon his chest and back,
while the third encircled his waist. Slung to his back by its leathern
sling-strap was an Enfield, and he carried too a long knife, a bow
and a quiver of arrows. He had come far, through wild and savage
lands, menaced by fierce beasts and fiercer men, yet intact to the
last cartridge was the ammunition that had filled his belts the
day that he set out.
The bow and the arrows and the long knife had brought him thus far
safely, yet often in the face of great risks that could have been
minimized by a single shot from the well-kept rifle at his back.
What purpose might he have for conserving this precious ammunition?
in risking his life to bring the last bright shining missile to his
unknown goal? For what, for whom were these death-dealing bits of
metal preserved? In all the world only he knew.
When Pan-at-lee stepped over the edge of the cliff above Kor-ul-lul
she expected to be dashed to instant death upon the rocks below;
but she had chosen this in preference to the rending fangs of ja.
Instead, chance had ordained that she make the frightful plunge at
a point where the tumbling river swung close beneath the overhanging
cliff to eddy for a slow moment in a deep pool before plunging madly
downward again in a cataract of boiling foam, and water thundering
Into this icy pool the girl shot, and down and down beneath the
watery surface until, half choked, yet fighting bravely, she battled
her way once more to air. Swimming strongly she made the opposite
shore and there dragged herself out upon the bank to lie panting
and spent until the approaching dawn warned her to seek concealment,
for she was in the country of her people's enemies.
Rising, she moved into the concealment of the rank vegetation that
grows so riotously in the well-watered kors(1) of Pal-ul-don.
(1) I have used the Pal-ul-don word for gorge with the English
plural, which is not the correct native plural form. The latter,
it seems to me, is awkward for us and so I have generally ignored
it throughout my manuscript, permitting, for example, Kor-ul-ja
to answer for both singular and plural. However, for the benefit
of those who may be interested in such things I may say that the
plurals are formed simply for all words in the Pal-ul-don language
by doubling the initial letter of the word, as k'kor, gorges, pronounced
as though written kakor, the a having the sound of a in sofa. Lions,
Hidden amidst the plant life from the sight of any who might
chance to pass along the well-beaten trail that skirted the river
Pan-at-lee sought rest and food, the latter growing in abundance
all about her in the form of fruits and berries and succulent tubers
which she scooped from the earth with the knife of the dead Es-sat.
Ah! if she had but known that he was dead! What trials and risks
and terrors she might have been saved; but she thought that he
still lived and so she dared not return to Kor-ul-ja. At least not
yet while his rage was at white heat. Later, perhaps, her father
and brothers returned to their cave, she might risk it; but not
now--not now. Nor could she for long remain here in the neighborhood
of the hostile Kor-ul-lul and somewhere she must find safety from
beasts before the night set in.
As she sat upon the bole of a fallen tree seeking some solution
of the problem of existence that confronted her, there broke upon
her ears from up the gorge the voices of shouting men--a sound that
she recognized all too well. It was the war cry of the Kor-ul-lul.
Closer and closer it approached her hiding place. Then, through
the veil of foliage she caught glimpses of three figures fleeing
along the trail, and behind them the shouting of the pursuers rose
louder and louder as they neared her. Again she caught sight of
the fugitives crossing the river below the cataract and again they
were lost to sight. And now the pursuers came into view--shouting
Kor-ul-lul warriors, fierce and implacable. Forty, perhaps fifty
of them. She waited breathless; but they did not swerve from the
trail and passed her, unguessing that an enemy she lay hid within
a few yards of them.
Once again she caught sight of the pursued--three Waz-don warriors
clambering the cliff face at a point where portions of the summit
had fallen away presenting a steep slope that might be ascended by
such as these. Suddenly her attention was riveted upon the three.
Could it be? O Jad-ben-Otho! had she but known a moment before. When
they passed she might have joined them, for they were her father
and two brothers. Now it was too late. With bated breath and tense
muscles she watched the race. Would they reach the summit? Would the
Kor-ul-lul overhaul them? They climbed well, but, oh, so slowly.
Now one lost his footing in the loose shale and slipped back!
The Kor-ul-lul were ascending--one hurled his club at the nearest
fugitive. The Great God was pleased with the brother of Pan-at-lee,
for he caused the club to fall short of its target, and to fall,
rolling and bounding, back upon its owner carrying him from his
feet and precipitating him to the bottom of the gorge.
Standing now, her hands pressed tight above her golden breastplates,
Pan-at-lee watched the race for life. Now one, her older brother,
reached the summit and clinging there to something that she could
not see he lowered his body and his long tail to the father beneath
him. The latter, seizing this support, extended his own tail
to the son below--the one who had slipped back--and thus, upon
a living ladder of their own making, the three reached the summit
and disappeared from view before the Kor-ul-lul overtook them. But
the latter did not abandon the chase. On they went until they too
had disappeared from sight and only a faint shouting came down to
Pan-at-lee to tell her that the pursuit continued.
The girl knew that she must move on. At any moment now might come
a hunting party, combing the gorge for the smaller animals that
fed or bedded there.
Behind her were Es-sat and the returning party of Kor-ul-lul that
had pursued her kin; before her, across the next ridge, was the
Kor-ul-gryf, the lair of the terrifying monsters that brought the
chill of fear to every inhabitant of Pal-ul-don; below her, in the
valley, was the country of the Ho-don, where she could look for only
slavery, or death; here were the Kor-ul-lul, the ancient enemies of
her people and everywhere were the wild beasts that eat the flesh
For but a moment she debated and then turning her face toward
the southeast she set out across the gorge of water toward the