Part 4 out of 6
"The king defies me, the high priest of Jad-ben-Otho?" cried Lu-don.
"It is the king's command--I have spoken," snapped Ja-don, in whose
manner was no sign of either fear or respect for the priest.
Lu-don well knew why the king had chosen this messenger whose heresy
was notorious, but whose power had as yet protected him from the
machinations of the priest. Lu-don cast a surreptitious glance
at the thongs hanging from the ceiling. Why not? If he could but
maneuver to entice Ja-don to the opposite side of the chamber!
"Come," he said in a conciliatory tone, "let us discuss the matter,"
and moved toward the spot where he would have Ja-don follow him.
"There is nothing to discuss," replied Ja-don, yet he followed the
priest, fearing treachery.
Jane watched them. In the face and figure of the warrior she found
reflected those admirable traits of courage and honor that the
profession of arms best develops. In the hypocritical priest there
was no redeeming quality. Of the two then she might best choose
the warrior. With him there was a chance--with Lu-don, none. Even
the very process of exchange from one prison to another might offer
some possibility of escape. She weighed all these things and decided,
for Lu-don's quick glance at the thongs had not gone unnoticed nor
uninterpreted by her.
"Warrior," she said, addressing Ja-don, "if you would live enter
not that portion of the room."
Lu-don cast an angry glance upon her. "Silence, slave!" he cried.
"And where lies the danger?" Ja-don asked of Jane, ignoring Lu-don.
The woman pointed to the thongs. "Look," she said, and before the
high priest could prevent she had seized that which controlled the
partition which shot downward separating Lu-don from the warrior
Ja-don looked inquiringly at her. "He would have tricked me neatly
but for you," he said; "kept me imprisoned there while he secreted
you elsewhere in the mazes of his temple."
"He would have done more than that," replied Jane, as she pulled
upon the other thong. "This releases the fastenings of a trapdoor
in the floor beyond the partition. When you stepped on that you
would have been precipitated into a pit beneath the temple. Lu-don
has threatened me with this fate often. I do not know that he speaks
the truth, but he says that a demon of the temple is imprisoned
there--a huge gryf."
"There is a gryf within the temple," said Ja-don. "What with it
and the sacrifices, the priests keep us busy supplying them with
prisoners, though the victims are sometimes those for whom Lu-don
has conceived hatred among our own people. He has had his eyes upon
me for a long time. This would have been his chance but for you.
Tell me, woman, why you warned me. Are we not all equally your
jailers and your enemies?"
"None could be more horrible than Lu-don," she replied; "and you
have the appearance of a brave and honorable warrior. I could not
hope, for hope has died and yet there is the possibility that among
so many fighting men, even though they be of another race than mine,
there is one who would accord honorable treatment to a stranger
within his gates--even though she be a woman."
Ja-don looked at her for a long minute. "Ko-tan would make you
his queen," he said. "That he told me himself and surely that were
honorable treatment from one who might make you a slave."
"Why, then, would he make me queen?" she asked.
Ja-don came closer as though in fear his words might be overheard.
"He believes, although he did not tell me so in fact, that you
are of the race of gods. And why not? Jad-ben-Otho is tailless,
therefore it is not strange that Ko-tan should suspect that only
the gods are thus. His queen is dead leaving only a single daughter.
He craves a son and what more desirable than that he should found
a line of rulers for Pal-ul-don descended from the gods?"
"But I am already wed," cried Jane. "I cannot wed another. I do
not want him or his throne."
"Ko-tan is king," replied Ja-don simply as though that explained
and simplified everything.
"You will not save me then?" she asked.
"If you were in Ja-lur," he replied, "I might protect you, even
against the king."
"What and where is Ja-lur?" she asked, grasping at any straw.
"It is the city where I rule," he answered. "I am chief there and
of all the valley beyond."
"Where is it?" she insisted, and "is it far?"
"No," he replied, smiling, "it is not far, but do not think of
that--you could never reach it. There are too many to pursue and
capture you. If you wish to know, however, it lies up the river that
empties into Jad-ben-lul whose waters kiss the walls of A-lur--up
the western fork it lies with water upon three sides. Impregnable
city of Pal-ul-don--alone of all the cities it has never been entered
by a foeman since it was built there while Jad-ben-Otho was a boy."
"And there I would be safe?" she asked.
"Perhaps," he replied.
Ah, dead Hope; upon what slender provocation would you seek to glow
again! She sighed and shook her head, realizing the inutility of
Hope--yet the tempting bait dangled before her mind's eye--Ja-lur!
"You are wise," commented Ja-don interpreting her sigh. "Come now,
we will go to the quarters of the princess beside the Forbidden
Garden. There you will remain with O-lo-a, the king's daughter. It
will be better than this prison you have occupied."
"And Ko-tan?" she asked, a shudder passing through her slender
"There are ceremonies," explained Ja-don, "that may occupy several
days before you become queen, and one of them may be difficult of
arrangement." He laughed, then.
"What?" she asked.
"Only the high priest may perform the marriage ceremony for a king,"
"Delay!" she murmured; "blessed delay!" Tenacious indeed of life
is Hope even though it be reduced to cold and lifeless char--a
"The King Is Dead!"
As they conversed Ja-don had led her down the stone stairway that
leads from the upper floors of the Temple of the Gryf to the chambers
and the corridors that honeycomb the rocky hills from which the
temple and the palace are hewn and now they passed from one to the
other through a doorway upon one side of which two priests stood
guard and upon the other two warriors. The former would have halted
Ja-don when they saw who it was that accompanied him for well known
throughout the temple was the quarrel between king and high priest
for possession of this beautiful stranger.
"Only by order of Lu-don may she pass," said one, placing himself
directly in front of Jane Clayton, barring her progress. Through
the hollow eyes of the hideous mask the woman could see those of
the priest beneath gleaming with the fires of fanaticism. Ja-don
placed an arm about her shoulders and laid his hand upon his knife.
"She passes by order of Ko-tan, the king," he said, "and by virtue
of the fact that Ja-don, the chief, is her guide. Stand aside!"
The two warriors upon the palace side pressed forward. "We are here,
gund of Ja-lur," said one, addressing Ja-don, "to receive and obey
The second priest now interposed. "Let them pass," he admonished
his companion. "We have received no direct commands from Lu-don
to the contrary and it is a law of the temple and the palace that
chiefs and priests may come and go without interference."
"But I know Lu-don's wishes," insisted the other.
"He told you then that Ja-don must not pass with the stranger?"
"Then let them pass, for they are three to two and will pass
anyway--we have done our best."
Grumbling, the priest stepped aside. "Lu-don will exact an accounting,"
he cried angrily.
Ja-don turned upon him. "And get it when and where he will," he
They came at last to the quarters of the Princess O-lo-a where, in
the main entrance-way, loitered a small guard of palace warriors
and several stalwart black eunuchs belonging to the princess, or
her women. To one of the latter Ja-don relinquished his charge.
"Take her to the princess," he commanded, "and see that she does
Through a number of corridors and apartments lighted by stone
cressets the eunuch led Lady Greystoke halting at last before a
doorway concealed by hangings of jato skin, where the guide beat
with his staff upon the wall beside the door.
"O-lo-a, Princess of Pal-ul-don," he called, "here is the stranger
woman, the prisoner from the temple."
"Bid her enter," Jane heard a sweet voice from within command.
The eunuch drew aside the hangings and Lady Greystoke stepped within.
Before her was a low-ceiled room of moderate size. In each of the
four corners a kneeling figure of stone seemed to be bearing its
portion of the weight of the ceiling upon its shoulders. These
figures were evidently intended to represent Waz-don slaves and were
not without bold artistic beauty. The ceiling itself was slightly
arched to a central dome which was pierced to admit light by day,
and air. Upon one side of the room were many windows, the other
three walls being blank except for a doorway in each. The princess
lay upon a pile of furs which were arranged over a low stone dais
in one corner of the apartment and was alone except for a single
Waz-don slave girl who sat upon the edge of the dais near her feet.
As Jane entered O-lo-a beckoned her to approach and when she stood
beside the couch the girl half rose upon an elbow and surveyed her
"How beautiful you are," she said simply.
Jane smiled, sadly; for she had found that beauty may be a curse.
"That is indeed a compliment," she replied quickly, "from one so
radiant as the Princess O-lo-a."
"Ah!" exclaimed the princess delightedly; "you speak my language!
I was told that you were of another race and from some far land of
which we of Pal-ul-don have never heard."
"Lu-don saw to it that the priests instructed me," explained Jane;
"but I am from a far country, Princess; one to which I long to
return--and I am very unhappy."
"But Ko-tan, my father, would make you his queen," cried the girl;
"that should make you very happy."
"But it does not," replied the prisoner; "I love another to whom I
am already wed. Ah, Princess, if you had known what it was to love
and to be forced into marriage with another you would sympathize
The Princess O-lo-a was silent for a long moment. "I know," she said
at last, "and I am very sorry for you; but if the king's daughter
cannot save herself from such a fate who may save a slave woman?
for such in fact you are."
The drinking in the great banquet hall of the palace of Ko-tan,
king of Pal-ul-don had commenced earlier this night than was usual,
for the king was celebrating the morrow's betrothal of his only
daughter to Bu-lot, son of Mo-sar, the chief, whose great-grandfather
had been king of Pal-ul-don and who thought that he should be king,
and Mo-sar was drunk and so was Bu-lot, his son. For that matter
nearly all of the warriors, including the king himself, were drunk.
In the heart of Ko-tan was no love either for Mo-sar, or Bu-lot, nor
did either of these love the king. Ko-tan was giving his daughter
to Bu-lot in the hope that the alliance would prevent Mo-sar from
insisting upon his claims to the throne, for, next to Ja-don, Mo-sar
was the most powerful of the chiefs and while Ko-tan looked with
fear upon Ja-don, too, he had no fear that the old Lion-man would
attempt to seize the throne, though which way he would throw his
influence and his warriors in the event that Mo-sar declare war
upon Ko-tan, the king could not guess.
Primitive people who are also warlike are seldom inclined toward
either tact or diplomacy even when sober; but drunk they know not
the words, if aroused. It was really Bu-lot who started it.
"This," he said, "I drink to O-lo-a," and he emptied his tankard
at a single gulp. "And this," seizing a full one from a neighbor,
"to her son and mine who will bring back the throne of Pal-ul-don
to its rightful owners!"
"The king is not yet dead!" cried Ko-tan, rising to his feet; "nor
is Bu-lot yet married to his daughter--and there is yet time to
save Pal-ul-don from the spawn of the rabbit breed."
The king's angry tone and his insulting reference to Bu-lot's
well-known cowardice brought a sudden, sobering silence upon the
roistering company. Every eye turned upon Bu-lot and Mo-sar, who
sat together directly opposite the king. The first was very drunk
though suddenly he seemed quite sober. He was so drunk that for an
instant he forgot to be a coward, since his reasoning powers were
so effectually paralyzed by the fumes of liquor that he could not
intelligently weigh the consequences of his acts. It is reasonably
conceivable that a drunk and angry rabbit might commit a rash
deed. Upon no other hypothesis is the thing that Bu-lot now did
explicable. He rose suddenly from the seat to which he had sunk
after delivering his toast and seizing the knife from the sheath
of the warrior upon his right hurled it with terrific force at
Ko-tan. Skilled in the art of throwing both their knives and their
clubs are the warriors of Pal-ul-don and at this short distance
and coming as it did without warning there was no defense and but
one possible result--Ko-tan, the king, lunged forward across the
table, the blade buried in his heart.
A brief silence followed the assassin's cowardly act. White with
terror, now, Bu-lot fell slowly back toward the doorway at his rear,
when suddenly angry warriors leaped with drawn knives to prevent
his escape and to avenge their king. But Mo-sar now took his stand
beside his son.
"Ko-tan is dead!" he cried. "Mo-sar is king! Let the loyal warriors
of Pal-ul-don protect their ruler!"
Mo-sar commanded a goodly following and these quickly surrounded
him and Bu-lot, but there were many knives against them and now
Ja-don pressed forward through those who confronted the pretender.
"Take them both!" he shouted. "The warriors of Pal-ul-don will
choose their own king after the assassin of Ko-tan has paid the
penalty of his treachery."
Directed now by a leader whom they both respected and admired those
who had been loyal to Ko-tan rushed forward upon the faction that
had surrounded Mo-sar. Fierce and terrible was the fighting, devoid,
apparently, of all else than the ferocious lust to kill and while
it was at its height Mo-sar and Bu-lot slipped unnoticed from the
To that part of the palace assigned to them during their visit to
A-lur they hastened. Here were their servants and the lesser warriors
of their party who had not been bidden to the feast of Ko-tan.
These were directed quickly to gather together their belongings
for immediate departure. When all was ready, and it did not take
long, since the warriors of Pal-ul-don require but little impedimenta
on the march, they moved toward the palace gate.
Suddenly Mo-sar approached his son. "The princess," he whispered.
"We must not leave the city without her--she is half the battle
for the throne."
Bu-lot, now entirely sober, demurred. He had had enough of fighting
and of risk. "Let us get out of A-lur quickly," he urged, "or we
shall have the whole city upon us. She would not come without a
struggle and that would delay us too long."
"There is plenty of time," insisted Mo-sar. "They are still fighting
in the pal-e-don-so. It will be long before they miss us and, with
Ko-tan dead, long before any will think to look to the safety of
the princess. Our time is now--it was made for us by Jad-ben-Otho.
Reluctantly Bu-lot followed his father, who first instructed
the warriors to await them just inside the gateway of the palace.
Rapidly the two approached the quarters of the princess. Within the
entrance-way only a handful of warriors were on guard. The eunuchs
"There is fighting in the pal-e-don-so," Mo-sar announced in feigned
excitement as they entered the presence of the guards. "The king
desires you to come at once and has sent us to guard the apartments
of the princess. Make haste!" he commanded as the men hesitated.
The warriors knew him and that on the morrow the princess was to
be betrothed to Bu-lot, his son. If there was trouble what more
natural than that Mo-sar and Bu-lot should be intrusted with the
safety of the princess. And then, too, was not Mo-sar a powerful
chief to whose orders disobedience might prove a dangerous thing?
They were but common fighting men disciplined in the rough school
of tribal warfare, but they had learned to obey a superior and so
they departed for the banquet hall--the place-where-men-eat.
Barely waiting until they had disappeared Mo-sar crossed to the
hangings at the opposite end of the entrance-hall and followed by
Bu-lot made his way toward the sleeping apartment of O-lo-a and a
moment later, without warning, the two men burst in upon the three
occupants of the room. At sight of them O-lo-a sprang to her feet.
"What is the meaning of this?" she demanded angrily.
Mo-sar advanced and halted before her. Into his cunning mind had
entered a plan to trick her. If it succeeded it would prove easier
than taking her by force, and then his eyes fell upon Jane Clayton
and he almost gasped in astonishment and admiration, but he caught
himself and returned to the business of the moment.
"O-lo-a," he cried, "when you know the urgency of our mission you
will forgive us. We have sad news for you. There has been an uprising
in the palace and Ko-tan, the king, has been slain. The rebels are
drunk with liquor and now on their way here. We must get you out
of A-lur at once--there is not a moment to lose. Come, and quickly!"
"My father dead?" cried O-lo-a, and suddenly her eyes went wide.
"Then my place is here with my people," she cried. "If Ko-tan is
dead I am queen until the warriors choose a new ruler--that is the
law of Pal-ul-don. And if I am queen none can make me wed whom I
do not wish to wed--and Jad-ben-Otho knows I never wished to wed
thy cowardly son. Go!" She pointed a slim forefinger imperiously
toward the doorway.
Mo-sar saw that neither trickery nor persuasion would avail now
and every precious minute counted. He looked again at the beautiful
woman who stood beside O-lo-a. He had never before seen her but he
well knew from palace gossip that she could be no other than the
godlike stranger whom Ko-tan had planned to make his queen.
"Bu-lot," he cried to his son, "take you your own woman and I will
take--mine!" and with that he sprang suddenly forward and seizing
Jane about the waist lifted her in his arms, so that before O-lo-a
or Pan-at-lee might even guess his purpose he had disappeared
through the hangings near the foot of the dais and was gone with
the stranger woman struggling and fighting in his grasp.
And then Bu-lot sought to seize O-lo-a, but O-lo-a had her
Pan-at-lee--fierce little tiger-girl of the savage Kor-ul-ja--Pan-at-lee
whose name belied her--and Bu-lot found that with the two of them
his hands were full. When he would have lifted O-lo-a and borne
her away Pan-at-lee seized him around the legs and strove to drag
him down. Viciously he kicked her, but she would not desist, and
finally, realizing that he might not only lose his princess but be
so delayed as to invite capture if he did not rid himself of this
clawing, scratching she-jato, he hurled O-lo-a to the floor and
seizing Pan-at-lee by the hair drew his knife and--
The curtains behind him suddenly parted. In two swift bounds a
lithe figure crossed the room and before ever the knife of Bu-lot
reached its goal his wrist was seized from behind and a terrific
blow crashing to the base of his brain dropped him, lifeless,
to the floor. Bu-lot, coward, traitor, and assassin, died without
knowing who struck him down.
As Tarzan of the Apes leaped into the pool in the gryf pit of
the temple at A-lur one might have accounted for his act on the
hypothesis that it was the last blind urge of self-preservation to
delay, even for a moment, the inevitable tragedy in which each some
day must play the leading role upon his little stage; but no--those
cool, gray eyes had caught the sole possibility for escape that the
surroundings and the circumstances offered--a tiny, moonlit patch
of water glimmering through a small aperture in the cliff at
the surface of the pool upon its farther side. With swift, bold
strokes he swam for speed alone knowing that the water would in no
way deter his pursuer. Nor did it. Tarzan heard the great splash
as the huge creature plunged into the pool behind him; he heard
the churning waters as it forged rapidly onward in his wake. He
was nearing the opening--would it be large enough to permit the
passage of his body? That portion of it which showed above the
surface of the water most certainly would not. His life, then,
depended upon how much of the aperture was submerged. And now it
was directly before him and the gryf directly behind. There was
no alternative--there was no other hope. The ape-man threw all the
resources of his great strength into the last few strokes, extended
his hands before him as a cutwater, submerged to the water's level
and shot forward toward the hole.
Frothing with rage was the baffled Lu-don as he realized how neatly
the stranger she had turned his own tables upon him. He could of
course escape the Temple of the Gryf in which her quick wit had
temporarily imprisoned him; but during the delay, however brief,
Ja-don would find time to steal her from the temple and deliver her
to Ko-tan. But he would have her yet--that the high priest swore in
the names of Jad-ben-Otho and all the demons of his faith. He hated
Ko-tan. Secretly he had espoused the cause of Mo-sar, in whom he
would have a willing tool. Perhaps, then, this would give him the
opportunity he had long awaited--a pretext for inciting the revolt
that would dethrone Ko-tan and place Mo-sar in power--with Lu-don
the real ruler of Pal-ul-don. He licked his thin lips as he sought
the window through which Tarzan had entered and now Lu-don's only
avenue of escape. Cautiously he made his way across the floor,
feeling before him with his hands, and when they discovered that
the trap was set for him an ugly snarl broke from the priest's
lips. "The she-devil!" he muttered; "but she shall pay, she shall
pay--ah, Jad-ben-Otho; how she shall pay for the trick she has
played upon Lu-don!"
He crawled through the window and climbed easily downward to the
ground. Should he pursue Ja-don and the woman, chancing an encounter
with the fierce chief, or bide his time until treachery and intrigue
should accomplish his design? He chose the latter solution, as
might have been expected of such as he.
Going to his quarters he summoned several of his priests--those
who were most in his confidence and who shared his ambitions for
absolute power of the temple over the palace--all men who hated
"The time has come," he told them, "when the authority of the temple
must be placed definitely above that of the palace. Ko-tan must
make way for Mo-sar, for Ko-tan has defied your high priest. Go
then, Pan-sat, and summon Mo-sar secretly to the temple, and you
others go to the city and prepare the faithful warriors that they
may be in readiness when the time comes."
For another hour they discussed the details of the coup d'etat that
was to overthrow the government of Pal-ul-don. One knew a slave
who, as the signal sounded from the temple gong, would thrust a
knife into the heart of Ko-tan, for the price of liberty. Another
held personal knowledge of an officer of the palace that he could
use to compel the latter to admit a number of Lu-don's warriors
to various parts of the palace. With Mo-sar as the cat's paw, the
plan seemed scarce possible of failure and so they separated, going
upon their immediate errands to palace and to city.
As Pan-sat entered the palace grounds he was aware of a sudden
commotion in the direction of the pal-e-don-so and a few minutes
later Lu-don was surprised to see him return to the apartments of
the high priest, breathless and excited.
"What now, Pan-sat?" cried Lu-don. "Are you pursued by demons?"
"O master, our time has come and gone while we sat here planning.
Ko-tan is already dead and Mo-sar fled. His friends are fighting
with the warriors of the palace but they have no head, while Ja-don
leads the others. I could learn but little from frightened slaves
who had fled at the outburst of the quarrel. One told me that Bu-lot
had slain the king and that he had seen Mo-sar and the assassin
hurrying from the palace."
"Ja-don," muttered the high priest. "The fools will make him king
if we do not act and act quickly. Get into the city, Pan-sat--let
your feet fly and raise the cry that Ja-don has killed the king and
is seeking to wrest the throne from O-lo-a. Spread the word as you
know best how to spread it that Ja-don has threatened to destroy
the priests and hurl the altars of the temple into Jad-ben-lul.
Rouse the warriors of the city and urge them to attack at once.
Lead them into the temple by the secret way that only the priests
know and from here we may spew them out upon the palace before they
learn the truth. Go, Pan-sat, immediately--delay not an instant."
"But stay," he called as the under priest turned to leave the
apartment; "saw or heard you anything of the strange white woman
that Ja-don stole from the Temple of the Gryf where we have had
"Only that Ja-don took her into the palace where he threatened the
priests with violence if they did not permit him to pass," replied
Pan-sat. "This they told me, but where within the palace she is
hidden I know not."
"Ko-tan ordered her to the Forbidden Garden," said Lu-don, "doubtless
we shall find her there. And now, Pan-sat, be upon your errand."
In a corridor by Lu-don's chamber a hideously masked priest leaned
close to the curtained aperture that led within. Were he listening
he must have heard all that passed between Pan-sat and the high priest,
and that he had listened was evidenced by his hasty withdrawal to
the shadows of a nearby passage as the lesser priest moved across
the chamber toward the doorway. Pan-sat went his way in ignorance
of the near presence that he almost brushed against as he hurried
toward the secret passage that leads from the temple of Jad-ben-Otho,
far beneath the palace, to the city beyond, nor did he sense the
silent creature following in his footsteps.
The Secret Way
It was a baffled gryf that bellowed in angry rage as Tarzan's sleek
brown body cutting the moonlit waters shot through the aperture in
the wall of the gryf pool and out into the lake beyond. The ape-man
smiled as he thought of the comparative ease with which he had
defeated the purpose of the high priest but his face clouded again
at the ensuing remembrance of the grave danger that threatened his
mate. His sole object now must be to return as quickly as he might
to the chamber where he had last seen her on the third floor of
the Temple of the Gryf, but how he was to find his way again into
the temple grounds was a question not easy of solution.
In the moonlight he could see the sheer cliff rising from the water
for a great distance along the shore--far beyond the precincts of
the temple and the palace--towering high above him, a seemingly
impregnable barrier against his return. Swimming close in, he
skirted the wall searching diligently for some foothold, however
slight, upon its smooth, forbidding surface. Above him and quite
out of reach were numerous apertures, but there were no means at
hand by which he could reach them. Presently, however, his hopes
were raised by the sight of an opening level with the surface of the
water. It lay just ahead and a few strokes brought him to it--cautious
strokes that brought forth no sound from the yielding waters. At
the nearer side of the opening he stopped and reconnoitered. There
was no one in sight. Carefully he raised his body to the threshold
of the entrance-way, his smooth brown hide glistening in the
moonlight as it shed the water in tiny sparkling rivulets.
Before him stretched a gloomy corridor, unlighted save for the faint
illumination of the diffused moonlight that penetrated it for but
a short distance from the opening. Moving as rapidly as reasonable
caution warranted, Tarzan followed the corridor into the bowels of
the cave. There was an abrupt turn and then a flight of steps at
the top of which lay another corridor running parallel with the
face of the cliff. This passage was dimly lighted by flickering
cressets set in niches in the walls at considerable distances apart.
A quick survey showed the ape-man numerous openings upon each side
of the corridor and his quick ears caught sounds that indicated that
there were other beings not far distant--priests, he concluded, in
some of the apartments letting upon the passageway.
To pass undetected through this hive of enemies appeared quite
beyond the range of possibility. He must again seek disguise and
knowing from experience how best to secure such he crept stealthily
along the corridor toward the nearest doorway. Like Numa, the
lion, stalking a wary prey he crept with quivering nostrils to the
hangings that shut off his view from the interior of the apartment
beyond. A moment later his head disappeared within; then his
shoulders, and his lithe body, and the hangings dropped quietly into
place again. A moment later there filtered to the vacant corridor
without a brief, gasping gurgle and again silence. A minute passed;
a second, and a third, and then the hangings were thrust aside and
a grimly masked priest of the temple of Jad-ben-Otho strode into
With bold steps he moved along and was about to turn into a
diverging gallery when his attention was aroused by voices coming
from a room upon his left. Instantly the figure halted and crossing
the corridor stood with an ear close to the skins that concealed
the occupants of the room from him, and him from them. Presently
he leaped back into the concealing shadows of the diverging gallery
and immediately thereafter the hangings by which he had been listening
parted and a priest emerged to turn quickly down the main corridor.
The eavesdropper waited until the other had gained a little distance
and then stepping from his place of concealment followed silently
The way led along the corridor which ran parallel with the face
of the cliff for some little distance and then Pan-sat, taking a
cresset from one of the wall niches, turned abruptly into a small
apartment at his left. The tracker followed cautiously in time to
see the rays of the flickering light dimly visible from an aperture
in the floor before him. Here he found a series of steps, similar
to those used by the Waz-don in scaling the cliff to their caves,
leading to a lower level.
First satisfying himself that his guide was continuing upon his
way unsuspecting, the other descended after him and continued his
stealthy stalking. The passageway was now both narrow and low,
giving but bare headroom to a tall man, and it was broken often by
flights of steps leading always downward. The steps in each unit
seldom numbered more than six and sometimes there was only one or
two but in the aggregate the tracker imagined that they had descended
between fifty and seventy-five feet from the level of the upper
corridor when the passageway terminated in a small apartment at
one side of which was a little pile of rubble.
Setting his cresset upon the ground, Pan-sat commenced hurriedly
to toss the bits of broken stone aside, presently revealing a small
aperture at the base of the wall upon the opposite side of which
there appeared to be a further accumulation of rubble. This he
also removed until he had a hole of sufficient size to permit the
passage of his body, and leaving the cresset still burning upon
the floor the priest crawled through the opening he had made and
disappeared from the sight of the watcher hiding in the shadows of
the narrow passageway behind him.
No sooner, however, was he safely gone than the other followed,
finding himself, after passing through the hole, on a little ledge
about halfway between the surface of the lake and the top of the
cliff above. The ledge inclined steeply upward, ending at the rear
of a building which stood upon the edge of the cliff and which the
second priest entered just in time to see Pan-sat pass out into
the city beyond.
As the latter turned a nearby corner the other emerged from the
doorway and quickly surveyed his surroundings. He was satisfied the
priest who had led him hither had served his purpose in so far as
the tracker was concerned. Above him, and perhaps a hundred yards
away, the white walls of the palace gleamed against the northern
sky. The time that it had taken him to acquire definite knowledge
concerning the secret passageway between the temple and the city
he did not count as lost, though he begrudged every instant that
kept him from the prosecution of his main objective. It had seemed
to him, however, necessary to the success of a bold plan that he
had formulated upon overhearing the conversation between Lu-don
and Pan-sat as he stood without the hangings of the apartment of
the high priest.
Alone against a nation of suspicious and half-savage enemies he
could scarce hope for a successful outcome to the one great issue
upon which hung the life and happiness of the creature he loved
best. For her sake he must win allies and it was for this purpose
that he had sacrificed these precious moments, but now he lost no
further time in seeking to regain entrance to the palace grounds
that he might search out whatever new prison they had found in
which to incarcerate his lost love.
He found no difficulty in passing the guards at the entrance to
the palace for, as he had guessed, his priestly disguise disarmed
all suspicion. As he approached the warriors he kept his hands behind
him and trusted to fate that the sickly light of the single torch
which stood beside the doorway would not reveal his un-Pal-ul-donian
feet. As a matter of fact so accustomed were they to the comings
and goings of the priesthood that they paid scant attention to him
and he passed on into the palace grounds without even a moment's
His goal now was the Forbidden Garden and this he had little
difficulty in reaching though he elected to enter it over the wall
rather than to chance arousing any suspicion on the part of the
guards at the inner entrance, since he could imagine no reason why
a priest should seek entrance there thus late at night.
He found the garden deserted, nor any sign of her he sought. That
she had been brought hither he had learned from the conversation
he had overheard between Lu-don and Pan-sat, and he was sure that
there had been no time or opportunity for the high priest to remove
her from the palace grounds. The garden he knew to be devoted
exclusively to the uses of the princess and her women and it was
only reasonable to assume therefore that if Jane had been brought
to the garden it could only have been upon an order from Ko-tan.
This being the case the natural assumption would follow that he
would find her in some other portion of O-lo-a's quarters.
Just where these lay he could only conjecture, but it seemed
reasonable to believe that they must be adjacent to the garden, so
once more he scaled the wall and passing around its end directed
his steps toward an entrance-way which he judged must lead to that
portion of the palace nearest the Forbidden Garden.
To his surprise he found the place unguarded and then there fell
upon his ear from an interior apartment the sound of voices raised
in anger and excitement. Guided by the sound he quickly traversed
several corridors and chambers until he stood before the hangings
which separated him from the chamber from which issued the sounds
of altercation. Raising the skins slightly he looked within. There
were two women battling with a Ho-don warrior. One was the daughter
of Ko-tan and the other Pan-at-lee, the Kor-ul-ja.
At the moment that Tarzan lifted the hangings, the warrior threw
O-lo-a viciously to the ground and seizing Pan-at-lee by the hair
drew his knife and raised it above her head. Casting the encumbering
headdress of the dead priest from his shoulders the ape-man leaped
across the intervening space and seizing the brute from behind
struck him a single terrible blow.
As the man fell forward dead, the two women recognized Tarzan
simultaneously. Pan-at-lee fell upon her knees and would have bowed
her head upon his feet had he not, with an impatient gesture, commanded
her to rise. He had no time to listen to their protestations of
gratitude or answer the numerous questions which he knew would soon
be flowing from those two feminine tongues.
"Tell me," he cried, "where is the woman of my own race whom Ja-don
brought here from the temple?"
"She is but this moment gone," cried O-lo-a. "Mo-sar, the father
of this thing here," and she indicated the body of Bu-lot with a
scornful finger, "seized her and carried her away."
"Which way?" he cried. "Tell me quickly, in what direction he took
"That way," cried Pan-at-lee, pointing to the doorway through
which Mo-sar had passed. "They would have taken the princess and
the stranger woman to Tu-lur, Mo-sar's city by the Dark Lake."
"I go to find her," he said to Pan-at-lee, "she is my mate. And if
I survive I shall find means to liberate you too and return you to
Before the girl could reply he had disappeared behind the hangings
of the door near the foot of the dais. The corridor through which
he ran was illy lighted and like nearly all its kind in the Ho-don
city wound in and out and up and down, but at last it terminated
at a sudden turn which brought him into a courtyard filled with
warriors, a portion of the palace guard that had just been summoned
by one of the lesser palace chiefs to join the warriors of Ko-tan
in the battle that was raging in the banquet hall.
At sight of Tarzan, who in his haste had forgotten to recover his
disguising headdress, a great shout arose. "Blasphemer!" "Defiler
of the temple!" burst hoarsely from savage throats, and mingling
with these were a few who cried, "Dor-ul-Otho!" evidencing the fact
that there were among them still some who clung to their belief in
To cross the courtyard armed only with a knife, in the face of
this great throng of savage fighting men seemed even to the giant
ape-man a thing impossible of achievement. He must use his wits
now and quickly too, for they were closing upon him. He might have
turned and fled back through the corridor but flight now even in
the face of dire necessity would but delay him in his pursuit of
Mo-sar and his mate.
"Stop!" he cried, raising his palm against them. "I am the Dor-ul-Otho
and I come to you with a word from Ja-don, who it is my father's
will shall be your king now that Ko-tan is slain. Lu-don, the
high priest, has planned to seize the palace and destroy the loyal
warriors that Mo-sar may be made king--Mo-sar who will be the tool
and creature of Lu-don. Follow me. There is no time to lose if you
would prevent the traitors whom Lu-don has organized in the city
from entering the palace by a secret way and overpowering Ja-don
and the faithful band within."
For a moment they hesitated. At last one spoke. "What guarantee
have we," he demanded, "that it is not you who would betray us and
by leading us now away from the fighting in the banquet hall cause
those who fight at Ja-don's side to be defeated?"
"My life will be your guarantee," replied Tarzan. "If you find
that I have not spoken the truth you are sufficient in numbers to
execute whatever penalty you choose. But come, there is not time
to lose. Already are the lesser priests gathering their warriors
in the city below," and without waiting for any further parley
he strode directly toward them in the direction of the gate upon
the opposite side of the courtyard which led toward the principal
entrance to the palace ground.
Slower in wit than he, they were swept away by his greater initiative
and that compelling power which is inherent to all natural leaders.
And so they followed him, the giant ape-man with a dead tail dragging
the ground behind him--a demi-god where another would have been
ridiculous. Out into the city he led them and down toward the
unpretentious building that hid Lu-don's secret passageway from
the city to the temple, and as they rounded the last turn they
saw before them a gathering of warriors which was being rapidly
augmented from all directions as the traitors of A-lur mobilized
at the call of the priesthood.
"You spoke the truth, stranger," said the chief who marched at
Tarzan's side, "for there are the warriors with the priests among
them, even as you told us."
"And now," replied the ape-man, "that I have fulfilled my promise I
will go my way after Mo-sar, who has done me a great wrong. Tell
Ja-don that Jad-ben-Otho is upon his side, nor do you forget to
tell him also that it was the Dor-ul-Otho who thwarted Lu-don's
plan to seize the palace."
"I will not forget," replied the chief. "Go your way. We are enough
to overpower the traitors."
"Tell me," asked Tarzan, "how I may know this city of Tu-lur?"
"It lies upon the south shore of the second lake below A-lur,"
replied the chief, "the lake that is called Jad-in-lul."
They were now approaching the band of traitors, who evidently
thought that this was another contingent of their own party since
they made no effort either toward defense or retreat. Suddenly the
chief raised his voice in a savage war cry that was immediately
taken up by his followers, and simultaneously, as though the cry
were a command, the entire party broke into a mad charge upon the
Satisfied with the outcome of his suddenly conceived plan and sure
that it would work to the disadvantage of Lu-don, Tarzan turned
into a side street and pointed his steps toward the outskirts of
the city in search of the trail that led southward toward Tu-lur.
As Mo-sar carried Jane Clayton from the palace of Ko-tan, the king,
the woman struggled incessantly to regain her freedom. He tried
to compel her to walk, but despite his threats and his abuse she
would not voluntarily take a single step in the direction in which
he wished her to go. Instead she threw herself to the ground each
time he sought to place her upon her feet, and so of necessity he
was compelled to carry her though at last he tied her hands and
gagged her to save himself from further lacerations, for the beauty
and slenderness of the woman belied her strength and courage. When
he came at last to where his men had gathered he was glad indeed
to turn her over to a couple of stalwart warriors, but these too
were forced to carry her since Mo-sar's fear of the vengeance of
Ko-tan's retainers would brook no delays.
And thus they came down out of the hills from which A-lur is carved,
to the meadows that skirt the lower end of Jad-ben-lul, with Jane
Clayton carried between two of Mo-sar's men. At the edge of the lake
lay a fleet of strong canoes, hollowed from the trunks of trees,
their bows and sterns carved in the semblance of grotesque beasts
or birds and vividly colored by some master in that primitive school
of art, which fortunately is not without its devotees today.
Into the stern of one of these canoes the warriors tossed their
captive at a sign from Mo-sar, who came and stood beside her as
the warriors were finding their places in the canoes and selecting
"Come, Beautiful One," he said, "let us be friends and you shall
not be harmed. You will find Mo-sar a kind master if you do his
bidding," and thinking to make a good impression on her he removed
the gag from her mouth and the thongs from her wrists, knowing well
that she could not escape surrounded as she was by his warriors, and
presently, when they were out on the lake, she would be as safely
imprisoned as though he held her behind bars.
And so the fleet moved off to the accompaniment of the gentle
splashing of a hundred paddles, to follow the windings of the rivers
and lakes through which the waters of the Valley of Jad-ben-Otho
empty into the great morass to the south. The warriors, resting
upon one knee, faced the bow and in the last canoe Mo-sar tiring
of his fruitless attempts to win responses from his sullen captive,
squatted in the bottom of the canoe with his back toward her and
resting his head upon the gunwale sought sleep.
Thus they moved in silence between the verdure-clad banks of the
little river through which the waters of Jad-ben-lul emptied--now
in the moonlight, now in dense shadow where great trees overhung
the stream, and at last out upon the waters of another lake, the
black shores of which seemed far away under the weird influence of
a moonlight night.
Jane Clayton sat alert in the stern of the last canoe. For months
she had been under constant surveillance, the prisoner first of one
ruthless race and now the prisoner of another. Since the long-gone
day that Hauptmann Fritz Schneider and his band of native German
troops had treacherously wrought the Kaiser's work of rapine
and destruction on the Greystoke bungalow and carried her away to
captivity she had not drawn a free breath. That she had survived
unharmed the countless dangers through which she had passed
she attributed solely to the beneficence of a kind and watchful
At first she had been held on the orders of the German High Command
with a view of her ultimate value as a hostage and during these
months she had been subjected to neither hardship nor oppression,
but when the Germans had become hard pressed toward the close of
their unsuccessful campaign in East Africa it had been determined
to take her further into the interior and now there was an element
of revenge in their motives, since it must have been apparent that
she could no longer be of any possible military value.
Bitter indeed were the Germans against that half-savage mate of hers
who had cunningly annoyed and harassed them with a fiendishness of
persistence and ingenuity that had resulted in a noticeable loss
in morale in the sector he had chosen for his operations. They had
to charge against him the lives of certain officers that he had
deliberately taken with his own hands, and one entire section of
trench that had made possible a disastrous turning movement by the
British. Tarzan had out-generaled them at every point. He had met
cunning with cunning and cruelty with cruelties until they feared
and loathed his very name. The cunning trick that they had played
upon him in destroying his home, murdering his retainers, and covering
the abduction of his wife in such a way as to lead him to believe
that she had been killed, they had regretted a thousand times,
for a thousandfold had they paid the price for their senseless
ruthlessness, and now, unable to wreak their vengeance directly upon
him, they had conceived the idea of inflicting further suffering
upon his mate.
In sending her into the interior to avoid the path of the victorious
British, they had chosen as her escort Lieutenant Erich Obergatz
who had been second in command of Schneider's company, and who
alone of its officers had escaped the consuming vengeance of the
ape-man. For a long time Obergatz had held her in a native village,
the chief of which was still under the domination of his fear
of the ruthless German oppressors. While here only hardships and
discomforts assailed her, Obergatz himself being held in leash by
the orders of his distant superior but as time went on the life in
the village grew to be a veritable hell of cruelties and oppressions
practiced by the arrogant Prussian upon the villagers and the members
of his native command--for time hung heavily upon the hands of the
lieutenant and with idleness combining with the personal discomforts
he was compelled to endure, his none too agreeable temper found
an outlet first in petty interference with the chiefs and later in
the practice of absolute cruelties upon them.
What the self-sufficient German could not see was plain to Jane
Clayton--that the sympathies of Obergatz' native soldiers lay with
the villagers and that all were so heartily sickened by his abuse
that it needed now but the slightest spark to detonate the mine
of revenge and hatred that the pig-headed Hun had been assiduously
fabricating beneath his own person.
And at last it came, but from an unexpected source in the form of
a German native deserter from the theater of war. Footsore, weary,
and spent, he dragged himself into the village late one afternoon,
and before Obergatz was even aware of his presence the whole
village knew that the power of Germany in Africa was at an end. It
did not take long for the lieutenant's native soldiers to realize
that the authority that held them in service no longer existed and
that with it had gone the power to pay them their miserable wage.
Or at least, so they reasoned. To them Obergatz no longer represented
aught else than a powerless and hated foreigner, and short indeed
would have been his shrift had not a native woman who had conceived
a doglike affection for Jane Clayton hurried to her with word of
the murderous plan, for the fate of the innocent white woman lay
in the balance beside that of the guilty Teuton.
"Already they are quarreling as to which one shall possess you,"
she told Jane.
"When will they come for us?" asked Jane. "Did you hear them say?"
"Tonight," replied the woman, "for even now that he has none to
fight for him they still fear the white man. And so they will come
at night and kill him while he sleeps."
Jane thanked the woman and sent her away lest the suspicion of her
fellows be aroused against her when they discovered that the two
whites had learned of their intentions. The woman went at once to
the hut occupied by Obergatz. She had never gone there before and
the German looked up in surprise as he saw who his visitor was.
Briefly she told him what she had heard. At first he was inclined
to bluster arrogantly, with a great display of bravado but she
silenced him peremptorily.
"Such talk is useless," she said shortly. "You have brought upon
yourself the just hatred of these people. Regardless of the truth
or falsity of the report which has been brought to them, they
believe in it and there is nothing now between you and your Maker
other than flight. We shall both be dead before morning if we are
unable to escape from the village unseen. If you go to them now
with your silly protestations of authority you will be dead a little
sooner, that is all."
"You think it is as bad as that?" he said, a noticeable alteration
in his tone and manner.
"It is precisely as I have told you," she replied. "They will come
tonight and kill you while you sleep. Find me pistols and a rifle
and ammunition and we will pretend that we go into the jungle to
hunt. That you have done often. Perhaps it will arouse suspicion
that I accompany you but that we must chance. And be sure my dear
Herr Lieutenant to bluster and curse and abuse your servants unless
they note a change in your manner and realizing your fear know
that you suspect their intention. If all goes well then we can go
out into the jungle to hunt and we need not return.
"But first and now you must swear never to harm me, or otherwise
it would be better that I called the chief and turned you over to
him and then put a bullet into my own head, for unless you swear
as I have asked I were no better alone in the jungle with you than
here at the mercies of these degraded blacks."
"I swear," he replied solemnly, "in the names of my God and my
Kaiser that no harm shall befall you at my hands, Lady Greystoke."
"Very well," she said, "we will make this pact to assist each other
to return to civilization, but let it be understood that there
is and never can be any semblance even of respect for you upon my
part. I am drowning and you are the straw. Carry that always in
your mind, German."
If Obergatz had held any doubt as to the sincerity of her word it
would have been wholly dissipated by the scathing contempt of her
tone. And so Obergatz, without further parley, got pistols and an
extra rifle for Jane, as well as bandoleers of cartridges. In his
usual arrogant and disagreeable manner he called his servants,
telling them that he and the white kali were going out into the brush
to hunt. The beaters would go north as far as the little hill and
then circle back to the east and in toward the village. The gun
carriers he directed to take the extra pieces and precede himself
and Jane slowly toward the east, waiting for them at the ford about
half a mile distant. The blacks responded with greater alacrity
than usual and it was noticeable to both Jane and Obergatz that
they left the village whispering and laughing.
"The swine think it is a great joke," growled Obergatz, "that the
afternoon before I die I go out and hunt meat for them."
As soon as the gun bearers disappeared in the jungle beyond the
village the two Europeans followed along the same trail, nor was
there any attempt upon the part of Obergatz' native soldiers, or
the warriors of the chief to detain them, for they too doubtless
were more than willing that the whites should bring them in one
more mess of meat before they killed them.
A quarter of a mile from the village, Obergatz turned toward the
south from the trail that led to the ford and hurrying onward the
two put as great a distance as possible between them and the village
before night fell. They knew from the habits of their erstwhile
hosts that there was little danger of pursuit by night since the
villagers held Numa, the lion, in too great respect to venture
needlessly beyond their stockade during the hours that the king of
beasts was prone to choose for hunting.
And thus began a seemingly endless sequence of frightful days and
horror-laden nights as the two fought their way toward the south
in the face of almost inconceivable hardships, privations, and
dangers. The east coast was nearer but Obergatz positively refused
to chance throwing himself into the hands of the British by returning
to the territory which they now controlled, insisting instead upon
attempting to make his way through an unknown wilderness to South
Africa where, among the Boers, he was convinced he would find willing
sympathizers who would find some way to return him in safety to
Germany, and the woman was perforce compelled to accompany him.
And so they had crossed the great thorny, waterless steppe and
come at last to the edge of the morass before Pal-ul-don. They had
reached this point just before the rainy season when the waters of
the morass were at their lowest ebb. At this time a hard crust is
baked upon the dried surface of the marsh and there is only the
open water at the center to materially impede progress. It is a
condition that exists perhaps not more than a few weeks, or even
days at the termination of long periods of drought, and so the two
crossed the otherwise almost impassable barrier without realizing
its latent terrors. Even the open water in the center chanced to
be deserted at the time by its frightful denizens which the drought
and the receding waters had driven southward toward the mouth
of Pal-ul-don's largest river which carries the waters out of the
Valley of Jad-ben-Otho.
Their wanderings carried them across the mountains and into the
Valley of Jad-ben-Otho at the source of one of the larger streams
which bears the mountain waters down into the valley to empty them
into the main river just below The Great Lake on whose northern
shore lies A-lur. As they had come down out of the mountains they
had been surprised by a party of Ho-don hunters. Obergatz had
escaped while Jane had been taken prisoner and brought to A-lur.
She had neither seen nor heard aught of the German since that time
and she did not know whether he had perished in this strange land,
or succeeded in successfully eluding its savage denizens and making
his way at last into South Africa.
For her part, she had been incarcerated alternately in the palace
and the temple as either Ko-tan or Lu-don succeeded in wresting
her temporarily from the other by various strokes of cunning and
intrigue. And now at last she was in the power of a new captor,
one whom she knew from the gossip of the temple and the palace to
be cruel and degraded. And she was in the stern of the last canoe,
and every enemy back was toward her, while almost at her feet
Mo-sar's loud snores gave ample evidence of his unconsciousness to
his immediate surroundings.
The dark shore loomed closer to the south as Jane Clayton, Lady
Greystoke, slid quietly over the stern of the canoe into the chill
waters of the lake. She scarcely moved other than to keep her
nostrils above the surface while the canoe was yet discernible in
the last rays of the declining moon. Then she struck out toward
the southern shore.
Alone, unarmed, all but naked, in a country overrun by savage beasts
and hostile men, she yet felt for the first time in many months
a sensation of elation and relief. She was free! What if the next
moment brought death, she knew again, at least a brief instant of
absolute freedom. Her blood tingled to the almost forgotten sensation
and it was with difficulty that she restrained a glad triumphant
cry as she clambered from the quiet waters and stood upon the silent
Before her loomed a forest, darkly, and from its depths came those
nameless sounds that are a part of the night life of the jungle--the
rustling of leaves in the wind, the rubbing together of contiguous
branches, the scurrying of a rodent, all magnified by the darkness
to sinister and awe-inspiring proportions; the hoot of an owl, the
distant scream of a great cat, the barking of wild dogs, attested
the presence of the myriad life she could not see--the savage life,
the free life of which she was now a part. And then there came to
her, possibly for the first time since the giant ape-man had come
into her life, a fuller realization of what the jungle meant to him,
for though alone and unprotected from its hideous dangers she yet
felt its lure upon her and an exaltation that she had not dared
hope to feel again.
Ah, if that mighty mate of hers were but by her side! What utter
joy and bliss would be hers! She longed for no more than this. The
parade of cities, the comforts and luxuries of civilization held
forth no allure half as insistent as the glorious freedom of the
A lion moaned in the blackness to her right, eliciting delicious
thrills that crept along her spine. The hair at the back of
her head seemed to stand erect--yet she was unafraid. The muscles
bequeathed her by some primordial ancestor reacted instinctively
to the presence of an ancient enemy--that was all. The woman moved
slowly and deliberately toward the wood. Again the lion moaned;
this time nearer. She sought a low-hanging branch and finding it
swung easily into the friendly shelter of the tree. The long and
perilous journey with Obergatz had trained her muscles and her
nerves to such unaccustomed habits. She found a safe resting place
such as Tarzan had taught her was best and there she curled herself,
thirty feet above the ground, for a night's rest. She was cold
and uncomfortable and yet she slept, for her heart was warm with
renewed hope and her tired brain had found temporary surcease from
She slept until the heat of the sun, high in the heavens, awakened
her. She was rested and now her body was well as her heart was warm.
A sensation of ease and comfort and happiness pervaded her being.
She rose upon her gently swaying couch and stretched luxuriously,
her naked limbs and lithe body mottled by the sunlight filtering
through the foliage above combined with the lazy gesture to impart
to her appearance something of the leopard. With careful eye she
scrutinized the ground below and with attentive ear she listened for
any warning sound that might suggest the near presence of enemies,
either man or beast. Satisfied at last that there was nothing
close of which she need have fear she clambered to the ground. She
wished to bathe but the lake was too exposed and just a bit too far
from the safety of the trees for her to risk it until she became
more familiar with her surroundings. She wandered aimlessly through
the forest searching for food which she found in abundance. She
ate and rested, for she had no objective as yet. Her freedom was
too new to be spoiled by plannings for the future. The haunts of
civilized man seemed to her now as vague and unattainable as the
half-forgotten substance of a dream. If she could but live on here
in peace, waiting, waiting for--him. It was the old hope revived.
She knew that he would come some day, if he lived. She had always
known that, though recently she had believed that he would come too
late. If he lived! Yes, he would come if he lived, and if he did
not live she were as well off here as elsewhere, for then nothing
mattered, only to wait for the end as patiently as might be.
Her wanderings brought her to a crystal brook and there she drank
and bathed beneath an overhanging tree that offered her quick asylum
in the event of danger. It was a quiet and beautiful spot and she
loved it from the first. The bottom of the brook was paved with
pretty stones and bits of glassy obsidian. As she gathered a handful
of the pebbles and held them up to look at them she noticed that
one of her fingers was bleeding from a clean, straight cut. She fell
to searching for the cause and presently discovered it in one of
the fragments of volcanic glass which revealed an edge that was
almost razor-like. Jane Clayton was elated. Here, God-given to
her hands, was the first beginning with which she might eventually
arrive at both weapons and tools--a cutting edge. Everything was
possible to him who possessed it--nothing without.
She sought until she had collected many of the precious bits
of stone--until the pouch that hung at her right side was almost
filled. Then she climbed into the great tree to examine them at
leisure. There were some that looked like knife blades, and some
that could easily be fashioned into spear heads, and many smaller
ones that nature seemed to have intended for the tips of savage
The spear she would essay first--that would be easiest. There was
a hollow in the bole of the tree in a great crotch high above the
ground. Here she cached all of her treasure except a single knifelike
sliver. With this she descended to the ground and searching out a
slender sapling that grew arrow-straight she hacked and sawed until
she could break it off without splitting the wood. It was just the
right diameter for the shaft of a spear--a hunting spear such as
her beloved Waziri had liked best. How often had she watched them
fashioning them, and they had taught her how to use them, too--them
and the heavy war spears--laughing and clapping their hands as her
She knew the arborescent grasses that yielded the longest and
toughest fibers and these she sought and carried to her tree with
the spear shaft that was to be. Clambering to her crotch she bent
to her work, humming softly a little tune. She caught herself and
smiled--it was the first time in all these bitter months that song
had passed her lips or such a smile.
"I feel," she sighed, "I almost feel that John is near--my John--my
She cut the spear shaft to the proper length and removed the twigs
and branches and the bark, whittling and scraping at the nubs
until the surface was all smooth and straight. Then she split one
end and inserted a spear point, shaping the wood until it fitted
perfectly. This done she laid the shaft aside and fell to splitting
the thick grass stems and pounding and twisting them until she had
separated and partially cleaned the fibers. These she took down
to the brook and washed and brought back again and wound tightly
around the cleft end of the shaft, which she had notched to receive
them, and the upper part of the spear head which she had also
notched slightly with a bit of stone. It was a crude spear but the
best that she could attain in so short a time. Later, she promised
herself, she should have others--many of them--and they would be
spears of which even the greatest of the Waziri spear-men might be
The Lion Pit of Tu-lur
Though Tarzan searched the outskirts of the city until nearly dawn
he discovered nowhere the spoor of his mate. The breeze coming down
from the mountains brought to his nostrils a diversity of scents
but there was not among them the slightest suggestion of her whom
he sought. The natural deduction was therefore that she had been
taken in some other direction. In his search he had many times
crossed the fresh tracks of many men leading toward the lake and
these he concluded had probably been made by Jane Clayton's abductors.
It had only been to minimize the chance of error by the process of
elimination that he had carefully reconnoitered every other avenue
leading from A-lur toward the southeast where lay Mo-sar's city of
Tu-lur, and now he followed the trail to the shores of Jad-ben-lul
where the party had embarked upon the quiet waters in their sturdy
He found many other craft of the same description moored along the
shore and one of these he commandeered for the purpose of pursuit.
It was daylight when he passed through the lake which lies next
below Jad-ben-lul and paddling strongly passed within sight of the
very tree in which his lost mate lay sleeping.
Had the gentle wind that caressed the bosom of the lake been blowing
from a southerly direction the giant ape-man and Jane Clayton would
have been reunited then, but an unkind fate had willed otherwise
and the opportunity passed with the passing of his canoe which
presently his powerful strokes carried out of sight into the stream
at the lower end of the lake.
Following the winding river which bore a considerable distance to
the north before doubling back to empty into the Jad-in-lul, the
ape-man missed a portage that would have saved him hours of paddling.
It was at the upper end of this portage where Mo-sar and his warriors
had debarked that the chief discovered the absence of his captive.
As Mo-sar had been asleep since shortly after their departure from
A-lur, and as none of the warriors recalled when she had last been
seen, it was impossible to conjecture with any degree of accuracy
the place where she had escaped. The consensus of opinion was,
however, that it had been in the narrow river connecting Jad-ben-lul
with the lake next below it, which is called Jad-bal-lul, which
freely translated means the lake of gold. Mo-sar had been very wroth
and having himself been the only one at fault he naturally sought
with great diligence to fix the blame upon another.
He would have returned in search of her had he not feared to meet
a pursuing company dispatched either by Ja-don or the high priest,
both of whom, he knew, had just grievances against him. He would
not even spare a boatload of his warriors from his own protection
to return in quest of the fugitive but hastened onward with as
little delay as possible across the portage and out upon the waters
The morning sun was just touching the white domes of Tu-lur when
Mo-sar's paddlers brought their canoes against the shore at the
city's edge. Safe once more behind his own walls and protected
by many warriors, the courage of the chief returned sufficiently
at least to permit him to dispatch three canoes in search of Jane
Clayton, and also to go as far as A-lur if possible to learn what
had delayed Bu-lot, whose failure to reach the canoes with the
balance of the party at the time of the flight from the northern
city had in no way delayed Mo-sar's departure, his own safety being
of far greater moment than that of his son.
As the three canoes reached the portage on their return journey
the warriors who were dragging them from the water were suddenly
startled by the appearance of two priests, carrying a light canoe
in the direction of Jad-in-lul. At first they thought them the
advance guard of a larger force of Lu-don's followers, although
the correctness of such a theory was belied by their knowledge that
priests never accepted the risks or perils of a warrior's vocation,
nor even fought until driven into a corner and forced to do so.
Secretly the warriors of Pal-ul-don held the emasculated priesthood
in contempt and so instead of immediately taking up the offensive
as they would have had the two men been warriors from A-lur instead
of priests, they waited to question them.
At sight of the warriors the priests made the sign of peace and
upon being asked if they were alone they answered in the affirmative.
The leader of Mo-sar's warriors permitted them to approach. "What
do you here," he asked, "in the country of Mo-sar, so far from your
"We carry a message from Lu-don, the high priest, to Mo-sar,"
"Is it a message of peace or of war?" asked the warrior.
"It is an offer of peace," replied the priest.
"And Lu-don is sending no warriors behind you?" queried the fighting
"We are alone," the priest assured him. "None in A-lur save Lu-don
knows that we have come upon this errand."
"Then go your way," said the warrior.
"Who is that?" asked one of the priests suddenly, pointing toward
the upper end of the lake at the point where the river from
Jad-bal-lul entered it.
All eyes turned in the direction that he had indicated to see
a lone warrior paddling rapidly into Jad-in-lul, the prow of his
canoe pointing toward Tu-lur. The warriors and the priests drew
into the concealment of the bushes on either side of the portage.
"It is the terrible man who called himself the Dor-ul-Otho,"
whispered one of the priests. "I would know that figure among a
great multitude as far as I could see it."
"You are right, priest," cried one of the warriors who had seen
Tarzan the day that he had first entered Ko-tan's palace. "It is
indeed he who has been rightly called Tarzan-jad-guru."
"Hasten priests," cried the leader of the party. "You are two paddles
in a light canoe. Easily can you reach Tu-lur ahead of him and warn
Mo-sar of his coming, for he has but only entered the lake."
For a moment the priests demurred for they had no stomach for an
encounter with this terrible man, but the warrior insisted and even
went so far as to threaten them. Their canoe was taken from them
and pushed into the lake and they were all but lifted bodily from
their feet and put aboard it. Still protesting they were shoved
out upon the water where they were immediately in full view of the
lone paddler above them. Now there was no alternative. The city
of Tu-lur offered the only safety and bending to their paddles the
two priests sent their craft swiftly in the direction of the city.
The warriors withdrew again to the concealment of the foliage. If
Tarzan had seen them and should come hither to investigate there
were thirty of them against one and naturally they had no fear
of the outcome, but they did not consider it necessary to go out
upon the lake to meet him since they had been sent to look for the
escaped prisoner and not to intercept the strange warrior, the
stories of whose ferocity and prowess doubtless helped them to
arrive at their decision to provoke no uncalled-for quarrel with
If he had seen them he gave no sign, but continued paddling steadily
and strongly toward the city, nor did he increase his speed as the
two priests shot out in full view. The moment the priests' canoe
touched the shore by the city its occupants leaped out and hurried
swiftly toward the palace gate, casting affrighted glances behind
them. They sought immediate audience with Mo-sar, after warning
the warriors on guard that Tarzan was approaching.
They were conducted at once to the chief, whose court was a smaller
replica of that of the king of A-lur. "We come from Lu-don, the
high priest," explained the spokesman. "He wishes the friendship
of Mo-sar, who has always been his friend. Ja-don is gathering
warriors to make himself king. Throughout the villages of the
Ho-don are thousands who will obey the commands of Lu-don, the high
priest. Only with Lu-don's assistance can Mo-sar become king, and
the message from Lu-don is that if Mo-sar would retain the friendship
of Lu-don he must return immediately the woman he took from the
quarters of the Princess O-lo-a."
At this juncture a warrior entered. His excitement was evident.
"The Dor-ul-Otho has come to Tu-lur and demands to see Mo-sar at
once," he said.
"The Dor-ul-Otho!" exclaimed Mo-sar.
"That is the message he sent," replied the warrior, "and indeed he
is not as are the people of Pal-ul-don. He is, we think, the same
of whom the warriors that returned from A-lur today told us and
whom some call Tarzan-jad-guru and some Dor-ul-Otho. But indeed
only the son of god would dare come thus alone to a strange city,
so it must be that he speaks the truth."
Mo-sar, his heart filled with terror and indecision, turned
questioningly toward the priests.
"Receive him graciously, Mo-sar," counseled he who had spoken before,
his advice prompted by the petty shrewdness of his defective brain
which, under the added influence of Lu-don's tutorage leaned always
toward duplicity. "Receive him graciously and when he is quite
convinced of your friendship he will be off his guard, and then
you may do with him as you will. But if possible, Mo-sar, and you
would win the undying gratitude of Lu-don, the high-priest, save
him alive for my master."
Mo-sar nodded understandingly and turning to the warrior commanded
that he conduct the visitor to him.
"We must not be seen by the creature," said one of the priests.
"Give us your answer to Lu-don, Mo-sar, and we will go our way."
"Tell Lu-don," replied the chief, "that the woman would have been
lost to him entirely had it not been for me. I sought to bring
her to Tu-lur that I might save her for him from the clutches of
Ja-don, but during the night she escaped. Tell Lu-don that I have
sent thirty warriors to search for her. It is strange you did not
see them as you came."
"We did," replied the priests, "but they told us nothing of the
purpose of their journey."
"It is as I have told you," said Mo-sar, "and if they find her,
assure your master that she will be kept unharmed in Tu-lur for
him. Also tell him that I will send my warriors to join with his
against Ja-don whenever he sends word that he wants them. Now go,
for Tarzan-jad-guru will soon be here."
He signaled to a slave. "Lead the priests to the temple," he
commanded, "and ask the high priest of Tu-lur to see that they are
fed and permitted to return to A-lur when they will."
The two priests were conducted from the apartment by the slave
through a doorway other than that at which they had entered, and
a moment later Tarzan-jad-guru strode into the presence of Mo-sar,
ahead of the warrior whose duty it had been to conduct and announce
him. The ape-man made no sign of greeting or of peace but strode
directly toward the chief who, only by the exertion of his utmost
powers of will, hid the terror that was in his heart at sight of
the giant figure and the scowling face.
"I am the Dor-ul-Otho," said the ape-man in level tones that carried
to the mind of Mo-sar a suggestion of cold steel; "I am Dor-ul-Otho,
and I come to Tu-lur for the woman you stole from the apartments
of O-lo-a, the princess."
The very boldness of Tarzan's entry into this hostile city had had
the effect of giving him a great moral advantage over Mo-sar and
the savage warriors who stood upon either side of the chief. Truly
it seemed to them that no other than the son of Jad-ben-Otho would
dare so heroic an act. Would any mortal warrior act thus boldly,
and alone enter the presence of a powerful chief and, in the midst
of a score of warriors, arrogantly demand an accounting? No, it
was beyond reason. Mo-sar was faltering in his decision to betray
the stranger by seeming friendliness. He even paled to a sudden
thought--Jad-ben-Otho knew everything, even our inmost thoughts.
Was it not therefore possible that this creature, if after all it
should prove true that he was the Dor-ul-Otho, might even now be
reading the wicked design that the priests had implanted in the
brain of Mo-sar and which he had entertained so favorably? The
chief squirmed and fidgeted upon the bench of hewn rock that was
"Quick," snapped the ape-man, "Where is she?"
"She is not here," cried Mo-sar.
"You lie," replied Tarzan.
"As Jad-ben-Otho is my witness, she is not in Tu-lur," insisted
the chief. "You may search the palace and the temple and the entire
city but you will not find her, for she is not here."
"Where is she, then?" demanded the ape-man. "You took her from
the palace at A-lur. If she is not here, where is she? Tell me not
that harm has befallen her," and he took a sudden threatening step
toward Mo-sar, that sent the chief shrinking back in terror.
"Wait," he cried, "if you are indeed the Dor-ul-Otho you will know
that I speak the truth. I took her from the palace of Ko-tan to
save her for Lu-don, the high priest, lest with Ko-tan dead Ja-don
seize her. But during the night she escaped from me between here
and A-lur, and I have but just sent three canoes full-manned in
search of her."
Something in the chief's tone and manner assured the ape-man that
he spoke in part the truth, and that once again he had braved
incalculable dangers and suffered loss of time futilely.
"What wanted the priests of Lu-don that preceded me here?" demanded
Tarzan chancing a shrewd guess that the two he had seen paddling
so frantically to avoid a meeting with him had indeed come from
the high priest at A-lur.
"They came upon an errand similar to yours," replied Mo-sar; "to
demand the return of the woman whom Lu-don thought I had stolen
from him, thus wronging me as deeply, O Dor-ul-Otho, as have you."
"I would question the priests," said Tarzan. "Bring them hither."
His peremptory and arrogant manner left Mo-sar in doubt as to
whether to be more incensed, or terrified, but ever as is the way
with such as he, he concluded that the first consideration was his
own safety. If he could transfer the attention and the wrath of
this terrible man from himself to Lu-don's priests it would more
than satisfy him and if they should conspire to harm him, then Mo-sar
would be safe in the eyes of Jad-ben-Otho if it finally developed
that the stranger was in reality the son of god. He felt uncomfortable
in Tarzan's presence and this fact rather accentuated his doubt,
for thus indeed would mortal feel in the presence of a god. Now he
saw a way to escape, at least temporarily.
"I will fetch them myself, Dor-ul-Otho," he said, and turning,
left the apartment. His hurried steps brought him quickly to the
temple, for the palace grounds of Tu-lur, which also included the
temple as in all of the Ho-don cities, covered a much smaller area
than those of the larger city of A-lur. He found Lu-don's messengers
with the high priest of his own temple and quickly transmitted to
them the commands of the ape-man.
"What do you intend to do with him?" asked one of the priests.
"I have no quarrel with him," replied Mo-sar. "He came in peace
and he may depart in peace, for who knows but that he is indeed
"We know that he is not," replied Lu-don's emissary. "We have
every proof that he is only mortal, a strange creature from another
country. Already has Lu-don offered his life to Jad-ben-Otho if he
is wrong in his belief that this creature is not the son of god.
If the high priest of A-lur, who is the highest priest of all the
high priests of Pal-ul-don is thus so sure that the creature in an
impostor as to stake his life upon his judgment then who are we to
give credence to the claims of this stranger? No, Mo-sar, you need
not fear him. He is only a warrior who may be overcome with the
same weapons that subdue your own fighting men. Were it not for
Lu-don's command that he be taken alive I would urge you to set
your warriors upon him and slay him, but the commands of Lu-don are
the commands of Jad-ben-Otho himself, and those we may not disobey."
But still the remnant of a doubt stirred within the cowardly breast
of Mo-sar, urging him to let another take the initiative against
"He is yours then," he replied, "to do with as you will. I have
no quarrel with him. What you may command shall be the command of
Lu-don, the high priest, and further than that I shall have nothing
to do in the matter."
The priests turned to him who guided the destinies of the temple
at Tu-lur. "Have you no plan?" they asked. "High indeed will he
stand in the counsels of Lu-don and in the eyes of Jad-ben-Otho
who finds the means to capture this impostor alive."
"There is the lion pit," whispered the high priest. "It is now
vacant and what will hold ja and jato will hold this stranger if
he is not the Dor-ul-Otho."
"It will hold him," said Mo-sar; "doubtless too it would hold a
gryf, but first you would have to get the gryf into it."
The priests pondered this bit of wisdom thoughtfully and then one
of those from A-lur spoke. "It should not be difficult," he said,
"if we use the wits that Jad-ben-Otho gave us instead of the
worldly muscles which were handed down to us from our fathers and
our mothers and which have not even the power possessed by those
of the beasts that run about on four feet."
"Lu-don matched his wits with the stranger and lost," suggested
Mo-sar. "But this is your own affair. Carry it out as you see best."
"At A-lur, Ko-tan made much of this Dor-ul-Otho and the priests
conducted him through the temple. It would arouse in his mind
no suspicion were you to do the same, and let the high priest of
Tu-lur invite him to the temple and gathering all the priests make
a great show of belief in his kinship to Jad-ben-Otho. And what
more natural then than that the high priest should wish to show
him through the temple as did Lu-don at A-lur when Ko-tan commanded
it, and if by chance he should be led through the lion pit it would
be a simple matter for those who bear the torches to extinguish them
suddenly and before the stranger was aware of what had happened,
the stone gates could be dropped, thus safely securing him."
"But there are windows in the pit that let in light," interposed
the high priest, "and even though the torches were extinguished
he could still see and might escape before the stone door could be
"Send one who will cover the windows tightly with hides," said the
priest from A-lur.
"The plan is a good one," said Mo-sar, seeing an opportunity for
entirely eliminating himself from any suspicion of complicity, "for
it will require the presence of no warriors, and thus with only
priests about him his mind will entertain no suspicion of harm."
They were interrupted at this point by a messenger from the palace
who brought word that the Dor-ul-Otho was becoming impatient and
if the priests from A-lur were not brought to him at once he would
come himself to the temple and get them. Mo-sar shook his head.
He could not conceive of such brazen courage in mortal breast and
glad he was that the plan evolved for Tarzan's undoing did not
necessitate his active participation.
And so, while Mo-sar left for a secret corner of the palace by a
roundabout way, three priests were dispatched to Tarzan and with
whining words that did not entirely deceive him, they acknowledged
his kinship to Jad-ben-Otho and begged him in the name of the high
priest to honor the temple with a visit, when the priests from
A-lur would be brought to him and would answer any questions that
he put to them.
Confident that a continuation of his bravado would best serve his
purpose, and also that if suspicion against him should crystallize
into conviction on the part of Mo-sar and his followers that he
would be no worse off in the temple than in the palace, the ape-man
haughtily accepted the invitation of the high priest.
And so he came into the temple and was received in a manner befitting
his high claims. He questioned the two priests of A-lur from whom
he obtained only a repetition of the story that Mo-sar had told
him, and then the high priest invited him to inspect the temple.
They took him first to the altar court, of which there was only one
in Tu-lur. It was almost identical in every respect with those at
A-lur. There was a bloody altar at the east end and the drowning
basin at the west, and the grizzly fringes upon the headdresses of
the priests attested the fact that the eastern altar was an active
force in the rites of the temple. Through the chambers and corridors
beneath they led him, and finally, with torch bearers to light
their steps, into a damp and gloomy labyrinth at a low level and
here in a large chamber, the air of which was still heavy with
the odor of lions, the crafty priests of Tu-lur encompassed their
The torches were suddenly extinguished. There was a hurried confusion
of bare feet moving rapidly across the stone floor. There was a
loud crash as of a heavy weight of stone falling upon stone, and
then surrounding the ape-man naught but the darkness and the silence
of the tomb.
Diana of the Jungle
Jane had made her first kill and she was very proud of it. It was
not a very formidable animal--only a hare; but it marked an epoch
in her existence. Just as in the dim past the first hunter had
shaped the destinies of mankind so it seemed that this event might
shape hers in some new mold. No longer was she dependent upon the
wild fruits and vegetables for sustenance. Now she might command
meat, the giver of the strength and endurance she would require
successfully to cope with the necessities of her primitive existence.
The next step was fire. She might learn to eat raw flesh as had
her lord and master; but she shrank from that. The thought even
was repulsive. She had, however, a plan for fire. She had given
the matter thought, but had been too busy to put it into execution
so long as fire could be of no immediate use to her. Now it was
different--she had something to cook and her mouth watered for the
flesh of her kill. She would grill it above glowing embers. Jane
hastened to her tree. Among the treasures she had gathered in the
bed of the stream were several pieces of volcanic glass, clear as
crystal. She sought until she had found the one in mind, which was
convex. Then she hurried to the ground and gathered a little pile
of powdered bark that was very dry, and some dead leaves and grasses
that had lain long in the hot sun. Near at hand she arranged a
supply of dead twigs and branches--small and large.
Vibrant with suppressed excitement she held the bit of glass above
the tinder, moving it slowly until she had focused the sun's rays
upon a tiny spot. She waited breathlessly. How slow it was! Were
her high hopes to be dashed in spite of all her clever planning?
No! A thin thread of smoke rose gracefully into the quiet air.
Presently the tinder glowed and broke suddenly into flame. Jane
clasped her hands beneath her chin with a little gurgling exclamation
of delight. She had achieved fire!
She piled on twigs and then larger branches and at last dragged a
small log to the flames and pushed an end of it into the fire which
was crackling merrily. It was the sweetest sound that she had heard
for many a month. But she could not wait for the mass of embers
that would be required to cook her hare. As quickly as might be she
skinned and cleaned her kill, burying the hide and entrails. That
she had learned from Tarzan. It served two purposes. One was the
necessity for keeping a sanitary camp and the other the obliteration
of the scent that most quickly attracts the man-eaters.
Then she ran a stick through the carcass and held it above the
flames. By turning it often she prevented burning and at the same
time permitted the meat to cook thoroughly all the way through.
When it was done she scampered high into the safety of her tree to
enjoy her meal in quiet and peace. Never, thought Lady Greystoke,
had aught more delicious passed her lips. She patted her spear
affectionately. It had brought her this toothsome dainty and with
it a feeling of greater confidence and safety than she had enjoyed
since that frightful day that she and Obergatz had spent their
last cartridge. She would never forget that day--it had seemed one
hideous succession of frightful beast after frightful beast. They
had not been long in this strange country, yet they thought that
they were hardened to dangers, for daily they had had encounters
with ferocious creatures; but this day--she shuddered when she
thought of it. And with her last cartridge she had killed a black
and yellow striped lion-thing with great saber teeth just as it was
about to spring upon Obergatz who had futilely emptied his rifle
into it--the last shot--his final cartridge. For another day they
had carried the now useless rifles; but at last they had discarded
them and thrown away the cumbersome bandoleers, as well. How they
had managed to survive during the ensuing week she could never quite
understand, and then the Ho-don had come upon them and captured her.
Obergatz had escaped--she was living it all over again. Doubtless
he was dead unless he had been able to reach this side of the valley
which was quite evidently less overrun with savage beasts.
Jane's days were very full ones now, and the daylight hours seemed
all too short in which to accomplish the many things she had
determined upon, since she had concluded that this spot presented
as ideal a place as she could find to live until she could fashion
the weapons she considered necessary for the obtaining of meat and
She felt that she must have, in addition to a good spear, a knife,
and bow and arrows. Possibly when these had been achieved she
might seriously consider an attempt to fight her way to one of
civilization's nearest outposts. In the meantime it was necessary
to construct some sort of protective shelter in which she might
feel a greater sense of security by night, for she knew that there
was a possibility that any night she might receive a visit from a
prowling panther, although she had as yet seen none upon this side
of the valley. Aside from this danger she felt comparatively safe
in her aerial retreat.
The cutting of the long poles for her home occupied all of the
daylight hours that were not engaged in the search for food. These
poles she carried high into her tree and with them constructed a
flooring across two stout branches binding the poles together and
also to the branches with fibers from the tough arboraceous grasses
that grew in profusion near the stream. Similarly she built walls
and a roof, the latter thatched with many layers of great leaves.
The fashioning of the barred windows and the door were matters of
great importance and consuming interest. The windows, there were
two of them, were large and the bars permanently fixed; but the
door was small, the opening just large enough to permit her to
pass through easily on hands and knees, which made it easier to
barricade. She lost count of the days that the house cost her; but
time was a cheap commodity--she had more of it than of anything
else. It meant so little to her that she had not even any desire to
keep account of it. How long since she and Obergatz had fled from
the wrath of the Negro villagers she did not know and she could
only roughly guess at the seasons. She worked hard for two reasons;
one was to hasten the completion of her little place of refuge, and
the other a desire for such physical exhaustion at night that she
would sleep through those dreaded hours to a new day. As a matter
of fact the house was finished in less than a week--that is, it
was made as safe as it ever would be, though regardless of how long
she might occupy it she would keep on adding touches and refinements
here and there.
Her daily life was filled with her house building and her hunting,
to which was added an occasional spice of excitement contributed
by roving lions. To the woodcraft that she had learned from Tarzan,
that master of the art, was added a considerable store of practical
experience derived from her own past adventures in the jungle and
the long months with Obergatz, nor was any day now lacking in some
added store of useful knowledge. To these facts was attributable
her apparent immunity from harm, since they told her when ja was
approaching before he crept close enough for a successful charge
and, too, they kept her close to those never-failing havens of
The nights, filled with their weird noises, were lonely and depressing.
Only her ability to sleep quickly and soundly made them endurable.
The first night that she spent in her completed house behind barred
windows and barricaded door was one of almost undiluted peace and
happiness. The night noises seemed far removed and impersonal and
the soughing of the wind in the trees was gently soothing. Before,
it had carried a mournful note and was sinister in that it might
hide the approach of some real danger. That night she slept indeed.
She went further afield now in search of food. So far nothing but
rodents had fallen to her spear--her ambition was an antelope,
since beside the flesh it would give her, and the gut for her bow,
the hide would prove invaluable during the colder weather that she
knew would accompany the rainy season. She had caught glimpses of
these wary animals and was sure that they always crossed the stream
at a certain spot above her camp. It was to this place that she
went to hunt them. With the stealth and cunning of a panther she
crept through the forest, circling about to get up wind from the
ford, pausing often to look and listen for aught that might menace
her--herself the personification of a hunted deer. Now she moved
silently down upon the chosen spot. What luck! A beautiful buck
stood drinking in the stream. The woman wormed her way closer. Now
she lay upon her belly behind a small bush within throwing distance
of the quarry. She must rise to her full height and throw her spear
almost in the same instant and she must throw it with great force
and perfect accuracy. She thrilled with the excitement of the
minute, yet cool and steady were her swift muscles as she rose and
cast her missile. Scarce by the width of a finger did the point
strike from the spot at which it had been directed. The buck leaped
high, landed upon the bank of the stream, and fell dead. Jane
Clayton sprang quickly forward toward her kill.
"Bravo!" A man's voice spoke in English from the shrubbery
upon the opposite side of the stream. Jane Clayton halted in her
tracks--stunned, almost, by surprise. And then a strange, unkempt
figure of a man stepped into view. At first she did not recognize
him, but when she did, instinctively she stepped back.
"Lieutenant Obergatz!" she cried. "Can it be you?"
"It can. It is," replied the German. "I am a strange sight, no doubt;
but still it is I, Erich Obergatz. And you? You have changed too,
is it not?"
He was looking at her naked limbs and her golden breastplates, the
loin cloth of jato-hide, the harness and ornaments that constitute
the apparel of a Ho-don woman--the things that Lu-don had dressed
her in as his passion for her grew. Not Ko-tan's daughter, even,
had finer trappings.
"But why are you here?" Jane insisted. "I had thought you safely
among civilized men by this time, if you still lived."
"Gott!" he exclaimed. "I do not know why I continue to live. I
have prayed to die and yet I cling to life. There is no hope. We
are doomed to remain in this horrible land until we die. The bog!
The frightful bog! I have searched its shores for a place to cross
until I have entirely circled the hideous country. Easily enough
we entered; but the rains have come since and now no living man
could pass that slough of slimy mud and hungry reptiles. Have I not
tried it! And the beasts that roam this accursed land. They hunt
me by day and by night."
"But how have you escaped them?" she asked.
"I do not know," he replied gloomily. "I have fled and fled and
fled. I have remained hungry and thirsty in tree tops for days
at a time. I have fashioned weapons--clubs and spears--and I have
learned to use them. I have slain a lion with my club. So even will
a cornered rat fight. And we are no better than rats in this land
of stupendous dangers, you and I. But tell me about yourself. If it
is surprising that I live, how much more so that you still survive."
Briefly she told him and all the while she was wondering what she
might do to rid herself of him. She could not conceive of a prolonged
existence with him as her sole companion. Better, a thousand
times better, to be alone. Never had her hatred and contempt for
him lessened through the long weeks and months of their constant
companionship, and now that he could be of no service in returning
her to civilization, she shrank from the thought of seeing him
daily. And, too, she feared him. Never had she trusted him; but now
there was a strange light in his eye that had not been there when
last she saw him. She could not interpret it--all she knew was that
it gave her a feeling of apprehension--a nameless dread.
"You lived long then in the city of A-lur?" he said, speaking in
the language of Pal-ul-don.
"You have learned this tongue?" she asked. "How?"
"I fell in with a band of half-breeds," he replied, "members of
a proscribed race that dwells in the rock-bound gut through which
the principal river of the valley empties into the morass. They
are called Waz-ho-don and their village is partly made up of cave
dwellings and partly of houses carved from the soft rock at the
foot of the cliff. They are very ignorant and superstitious and
when they first saw me and realized that I had no tail and that my
hands and feet were not like theirs they were afraid of me. They
thought that I was either god or demon. Being in a position where
I could neither escape them nor defend myself, I made a bold
front and succeeded in impressing them to such an extent that they
conducted me to their city, which they call Bu-lur, and there they
fed me and treated me with kindness. As I learned their language
I sought to impress them more and more with the idea that I was a
god, and I succeeded, too, until an old fellow who was something of
a priest among them, or medicine-man, became jealous of my growing
power. That was the beginning of the end and came near to being the
end in fact. He told them that if I was a god I would not bleed if
a knife was stuck into me--if I did bleed it would prove conclusively
that I was not a god. Without my knowledge he arranged to stage
the ordeal before the whole village upon a certain night--it was
upon one of those numerous occasions when they eat and drink to
Jad-ben-Otho, their pagan deity. Under the influence of their vile
liquor they would be ripe for any bloodthirsty scheme the medicine-man
might evolve. One of the women told me about the plan--not with
any intent to warn me of danger, but prompted merely by feminine
curiosity as to whether or not I would bleed if stuck with a dagger.
She could not wait, it seemed, for the orderly procedure of the
ordeal--she wanted to know at once, and when I caught her trying
to slip a knife into my side and questioned her she explained the
whole thing with the utmost naivete. The warriors already had
commenced drinking--it would have been futile to make any sort of
appeal either to their intellects or their superstitions. There
was but one alternative to death and that was flight. I told the
woman that I was very much outraged and offended at this reflection
upon my godhood and that as a mark of my disfavor I should abandon
them to their fate.
"'I shall return to heaven at once!' I exclaimed.
"She wanted to hang around and see me go, but I told her that her
eyes would be blasted by the fire surrounding my departure and
that she must leave at once and not return to the spot for at least
an hour. I also impressed upon her the fact that should any other
approach this part of the village within that time not only they,
but she as well, would burst into flames and be consumed.
"She was very much impressed and lost no time in leaving, calling
back as she departed that if I were indeed gone in an hour she and
all the village would know that I was no less than Jad-ben-Otho
himself, and so they must thank me, for I can assure you that I was
gone in much less than an hour, nor have I ventured close to the
neighborhood of the city of Bu-lur since," and he fell to laughing
in harsh, cackling notes that sent a shiver through the woman's
As Obergatz talked Jane had recovered her spear from the carcass of
the antelope and commenced busying herself with the removal of the
hide. The man made no attempt to assist her, but stood by talking
and watching her, the while he continually ran his filthy fingers
through his matted hair and beard. His face and body were caked
with dirt and he was naked except for a torn greasy hide about his
loins. His weapons consisted of a club and knife of Waz-don pattern,
that he had stolen from the city of Bu-lur; but what more greatly
concerned the woman than his filth or his armament were his cackling
laughter and the strange expression in his eyes.
She went on with her work, however, removing those parts of the buck
she wanted, taking only as much meat as she might consume before
it spoiled, as she was not sufficiently a true jungle creature to
relish it beyond that stage, and then she straightened up and faced
"Lieutenant Obergatz," she said, "by a chance of accident we have
met again. Certainly you would not have sought the meeting any
more than I. We have nothing in common other than those sentiments
which may have been engendered by my natural dislike and suspicion
of you, one of the authors of all the misery and sorrow that I
have endured for endless months. This little corner of the world
is mine by right of discovery and occupation. Go away and leave me
to enjoy here what peace I may. It is the least that you can do to
amend the wrong that you have done me and mine."