Part 5 out of 6
The man stared at her through his fishy eyes for a moment in silence,
then there broke from his lips a peal of mirthless, uncanny laughter.
"Go away! Leave you alone!" he cried. "I have found you. We are
going to be good friends. There is no one else in the world but
us. No one will ever know what we do or what becomes of us and now
you ask me to go away and live alone in this hellish solitude."
Again he laughed, though neither the muscles of his eyes or his
mouth reflected any mirth--it was just a hollow sound that imitated
"Remember your promise," she said.
"Promise! Promise! What are promises? They are made to be broken--we
taught the world that at Liege and Louvain. No, no! I will not go
away. I shall stay and protect you."
"I do not need your protection," she insisted. "You have already
seen that I can use a spear."
"Yes," he said; "but it would not be right to leave you here
alone--you are but a woman. No, no; I am an officer of the Kaiser
and I cannot abandon you."
Once more he laughed. "We could be very happy here together," he
The woman could not repress a shudder, nor, in fact, did she attempt
to hide her aversion.
"You do not like me?" he asked. "Ah, well; it is too sad. But some
day you will love me," and again the hideous laughter.
The woman had wrapped the pieces of the buck in the hide and this
she now raised and threw across her shoulder. In her other hand
she held her spear and faced the German.
"Go!" she commanded. "We have wasted enough words. This is my country
and I shall defend it. If I see you about again I shall kill you.
Do you understand?"
An expression of rage contorted Obergatz' features. He raised his
club and started toward her.
"Stop!" she commanded, throwing her spear-hand backward for a cast.
"You saw me kill this buck and you have said truthfully that no
one will ever know what we do here. Put these two facts together,
German, and draw your own conclusions before you take another step
in my direction."
The man halted and his club-hand dropped to his side. "Come," he
begged in what he intended as a conciliatory tone. "Let us be friends,
Lady Greystoke. We can be of great assistance to each other and I
promise not to harm you."
"Remember Liege and Louvain," she reminded him with a sneer. "I
am going now--be sure that you do not follow me. As far as you can
walk in a day from this spot in any direction you may consider the
limits of my domain. If ever again I see you within these limits
I shall kill you."
There could be no question that she meant what she said and the
man seemed convinced for he but stood sullenly eyeing her as she
backed from sight beyond a turn in the game trail that crossed the
ford where they had met, and disappeared in the forest.
Silently in the Night
In A-lur the fortunes of the city had been tossed from hand to hand.
The party of Ko-tan's loyal warriors that Tarzan had led to the
rendezvous at the entrance to the secret passage below the palace
gates had met with disaster. Their first rush had been met with
soft words from the priests. They had been exhorted to defend the
faith of their fathers from blasphemers. Ja-don was painted to
them as a defiler of temples, and the wrath of Jad-ben-Otho was
prophesied for those who embraced his cause. The priests insisted
that Lu-don's only wish was to prevent the seizure of the throne
by Ja-don until a new king could be chosen according to the laws
of the Ho-don.
The result was that many of the palace warriors joined their fellows
of the city, and when the priests saw that those whom they could
influence outnumbered those who remained loyal to the palace, they
caused the former to fall upon the latter with the result that many
were killed and only a handful succeeded in reaching the safety of
the palace gates, which they quickly barred.
The priests led their own forces through the secret passageway
into the temple, while some of the loyal ones sought out Ja-don
and told him all that had happened. The fight in the banquet hall
had spread over a considerable portion of the palace grounds and had
at last resulted in the temporary defeat of those who had opposed
Ja-don. This force, counseled by under priests sent for the purpose
by Lu-don, had withdrawn within the temple grounds so that now
the issue was plainly marked as between Ja-don on the one side and
Lu-don on the other.
The former had been told of all that had occurred in the apartments
of O-lo-a to whose safety he had attended at the first opportunity
and he had also learned of Tarzan's part in leading his men to the
gathering of Lu-don's warriors.
These things had naturally increased the old warrior's former
inclinations of friendliness toward the ape-man, and now he regretted
that the other had departed from the city.
The testimony of O-lo-a and Pan-at-lee was such as to strengthen
whatever belief in the godliness of the stranger Ja-don and others
of the warriors had previously entertained, until presently there
appeared a strong tendency upon the part of this palace faction
to make the Dor-ul-otho an issue of their original quarrel with
Lu-don. Whether this occurred as the natural sequence to repeated
narrations of the ape-man's exploits, which lost nothing by repetition,
in conjunction with Lu-don's enmity toward him, or whether it was
the shrewd design of some wily old warrior such as Ja-don, who
realized the value of adding a religious cause to their temporal
one, it were difficult to determine; but the fact remained that
Ja-don's followers developed bitter hatred for the followers of
Lu-don because of the high priest's antagonism to Tarzan.
Unfortunately however Tarzan was not there to inspire the followers
of Ja-don with the holy zeal that might have quickly settled the
dispute in the old chieftain's favor. Instead, he was miles away
and because their repeated prayers for his presence were unanswered,
the weaker spirits among them commenced to suspect that their cause
did not have divine favor. There was also another and a potent cause
for defection from the ranks of Ja-don. It emanated from the city
where the friends and relatives of the palace warriors, who were
largely also the friends and relatives of Lu-don's forces, found
the means, urged on by the priesthood, to circulate throughout the
palace pernicious propaganda aimed at Ja-don's cause.
The result was that Lu-don's power increased while that of Ja-don
waned. Then followed a sortie from the temple which resulted in the
defeat of the palace forces, and though they were able to withdraw
in decent order withdraw they did, leaving the palace to Lu-don,
who was now virtually ruler of Pal-ul-don.
Ja-don, taking with him the princess, her women, and their slaves,
including Pan-at-lee, as well as the women and children of his
faithful followers, retreated not only from the palace but from the
city of A-lur as well and fell back upon his own city of Ja-lur. Here
he remained, recruiting his forces from the surrounding villages
of the north which, being far removed from the influence of the
priesthood of A-lur, were enthusiastic partisans in any cause that
the old chieftain espoused, since for years he had been revered as
their friend and protector.
And while these events were transpiring in the north, Tarzan-jad-guru
lay in the lion pit at Tu-lur while messengers passed back and
forth between Mo-sar and Lu-don as the two dickered for the throne
of Pal-ul-don. Mo-sar was cunning enough to guess that should an
open breach occur between himself and the high priest he might use
his prisoner to his own advantage, for he had heard whisperings
among even his own people that suggested that there were those who
were more than a trifle inclined to belief in the divinity of the
stranger and that he might indeed be the Dor-ul-Otho. Lu-don wanted
Tarzan himself. He wanted to sacrifice him upon the eastern altar
with his own hands before a multitude of people, since he was
not without evidence that his own standing and authority had been
lessened by the claims of the bold and heroic figure of the stranger.
The method that the high priest of Tu-lur had employed to trap
Tarzan had left the ape-man in possession of his weapons though
there seemed little likelihood of their being of any service to
him. He also had his pouch, in which were the various odds and ends
which are the natural accumulation of all receptacles from a gold
meshbag to an attic. There were bits of obsidian and choice feathers
for arrows, some pieces of flint and a couple of steel, an old
knife, a heavy bone needle, and strips of dried gut. Nothing very
useful to you or me, perhaps; but nothing useless to the savage
life of the ape-man.
When Tarzan realized the trick that had been so neatly played upon
him he had awaited expectantly the coming of the lion, for though
the scent of ja was old he was sure that sooner or later they would
let one of the beasts in upon him. His first consideration was a
thorough exploration of his prison. He had noticed the hide-covered
windows and these he immediately uncovered, letting in the light,
and revealing the fact that though the chamber was far below the
level of the temple courts it was yet many feet above the base of
the hill from which the temple was hewn. The windows were so closely
barred that he could not see over the edge of the thick wall in
which they were cut to determine what lay close in below him. At
a little distance were the blue waters of Jad-in-lul and beyond,
the verdure-clad farther shore, and beyond that the mountains. It
was a beautiful picture upon which he looked--a picture of peace
and harmony and quiet. Nor anywhere a slightest suggestion of the
savage men and beasts that claimed this lovely landscape as their
own. What a paradise! And some day civilized man would come
and--spoil it! Ruthless axes would raze that age-old wood; black,
sticky smoke would rise from ugly chimneys against that azure sky;
grimy little boats with wheels behind or upon either side would
churn the mud from the bottom of Jad-in-lul, turning its blue waters
to a dirty brown; hideous piers would project into the lake from
squalid buildings of corrugated iron, doubtless, for of such are
the pioneer cities of the world.
But would civilized man come? Tarzan hoped not. For countless
generations civilization had ramped about the globe; it had dispatched
its emissaries to the North Pole and the South; it had circled
Pal-ul-don once, perhaps many times, but it had never touched her.
God grant that it never would. Perhaps He was saving this little
spot to be always just as He had made it, for the scratching of
the Ho-don and the Waz-don upon His rocks had not altered the fair
face of Nature.
Through the windows came sufficient light to reveal the whole
interior to Tarzan. The room was fairly large and there was a door
at each end--a large door for men and a smaller one for lions.
Both were closed with heavy masses of stone that had been lowered
in grooves running to the floor. The two windows were small and closely
barred with the first iron that Tarzan had seen in Pal-ul-don. The
bars were let into holes in the casing, and the whole so strongly
and neatly contrived that escape seemed impossible. Yet within a
few minutes of his incarceration Tarzan had commenced to undertake
his escape. The old knife in his pouch was brought into requisition
and slowly the ape-man began to scrape and chip away the stone from
about the bars of one of the windows. It was slow work but Tarzan
had the patience of absolute health.
Each day food and water were brought him and slipped quickly beneath
the smaller door which was raised just sufficiently to allow the
stone receptacles to pass in. The prisoner began to believe that
he was being preserved for something beside lions. However that
was immaterial. If they would but hold off for a few more days they
might select what fate they would--he would not be there when they
arrived to announce it.
And then one day came Pan-sat, Lu-don's chief tool, to the city
of Tu-lur. He came ostensibly with a fair message for Mo-sar from
the high priest at A-lur. Lu-don had decided that Mo-sar should
be king and he invited Mo-sar to come at once to A-lur and then
Pan-sat, having delivered the message, asked that he might go to
the temple of Tu-lur and pray, and there he sought the high priest
of Tu-lur to whom was the true message that Lu-don had sent. The
two were closeted alone in a little chamber and Pan-sat whispered
into the ear of the high priest.
"Mo-sar wishes to be king," he said, "and Lu-don wishes to be
king. Mo-sar wishes to retain the stranger who claims to be the
Dor-ul-Otho and Lu-don wishes to kill him, and now," he leaned even
closer to the ear of the high priest of Tu-lur, "if you would be
high priest at A-lur it is within your power."
Pan-sat ceased speaking and waited for the other's reply. The high
priest was visibly affected. To be high priest at A-lur! That was
almost as good as being king of all Pal-ul-don, for great were the
powers of him who conducted the sacrifices upon the altars of A-lur.
"How?" whispered the high priest. "How may I become high priest at
Again Pan-sat leaned close: "By killing the one and bringing the
other to A-lur," replied he. Then he rose and departed knowing chat
the other had swallowed the bait and could be depended upon to do
whatever was required to win him the great prize.
Nor was Pan-sat mistaken other than in one trivial consideration.
This high priest would indeed commit murder and treason to attain
the high office at A-lur; but he had misunderstood which of
his victims was to be killed and which to be delivered to Lu-don.
Pan-sat, knowing himself all the details of the plannings of
Lu-don, had made the quite natural error of assuming that the ocher
was perfectly aware that only by publicly sacrificing the false
Dor-ul-Otho could the high priest at A-lur bolster his waning power
and that the assassination of Mo-sar, the pretender, would remove
from Lu-don's camp the only obstacle to his combining the offices
of high priest and king. The high priest at Tu-lur thought that he
had been commissioned to kill Tarzan and bring Mo-sar to A-lur. He
also thought that when he had done these things he would be made
high priest at A-lur; but he did not know that already the priest
had been selected who was to murder him within the hour that
he arrived at A-lur, nor did he know that a secret grave had been
prepared for him in the floor of a subterranean chamber in the very
temple he dreamed of controlling.
And so when he should have been arranging the assassination of
his chief he was leading a dozen heavily bribed warriors through
the dark corridors beneath the temple to slay Tarzan in the lion
pit. Night had fallen. A single torch guided the footsteps of the
murderers as they crept stealthily upon their evil way, for they
knew that they were doing the thing that their chief did not want
done and their guilty consciences warned them to stealth.
In the dark of his cell the ape-man worked at his seemingly endless
chipping and scraping. His keen ears detected the coming of footsteps
along the corridor without--footsteps that approached the larger
door. Always before had they come to the smaller door--the footsteps
of a single slave who brought his food. This time there were many
more than one and their coming at this time of night carried a
sinister suggestion. Tarzan continued to work at his scraping and
chipping. He heard them stop beyond the door. All was silence broken
only by the scrape, scrape, scrape of the ape-man's tireless blade.
Those without heard it and listening sought to explain it. They
whispered in low tones making their plans. Two would raise the door
quickly and the others would rush in and hurl their clubs at the
prisoner. They would take no chances, for the stories that had
circulated in A-lur had been brought to Tu-lur--stories of the great
strength and wonderful prowess of Tarzan-jad-guru that caused the
sweat to stand upon the brows of the warriors, though it was cool
in the damp corridor and they were twelve to one.
And then the high priest gave the signal--the door shot upward
and ten warriors leaped into the chamber with poised clubs. Three
of the heavy weapons flew across the room toward a darker shadow
that lay in the shadow of the opposite wall, then the flare of the
torch in the priest's hand lighted the interior and they saw that
the thing at which they had flung their clubs was a pile of skins
torn from the windows and that except for themselves the chamber
One of them hastened to a window. All but a single bar was gone and
to this was tied one end of a braided rope fashioned from strips
cut from the leather window hangings.
To the ordinary dangers of Jane Clayton's existence was now added
the menace of Obergatz' knowledge of her whereabouts. The lion
and the panther had given her less cause for anxiety than did the
return of the unscrupulous Hun, whom she had always distrusted
and feared, and whose repulsiveness was now immeasurably augmented
by his unkempt and filthy appearance, his strange and mirthless
laughter, and his unnatural demeanor. She feared him now with a new
fear as though he had suddenly become the personification of some
nameless horror. The wholesome, outdoor life that she had been
leading had strengthened and rebuilt her nervous system yet it
seemed to her as she thought of him that if this man should ever
touch her she should scream, and, possibly, even faint. Again and
again during the day following their unexpected meeting the woman
reproached herself for not having killed him as she would ja or
jato or any other predatory beast that menaced her existence or
her safety. There was no attempt at self-justification for these
sinister reflections--they needed no justification. The standards
by which the acts of such as you or I may be judged could not
apply to hers. We have recourse to the protection of friends and
relatives and the civil soldiery that upholds the majesty of the
law and which may be invoked to protect the righteous weak against
the unrighteous strong; but Jane Clayton comprised within herself
not only the righteous weak but all the various agencies for the
protection of the weak. To her, then, Lieutenant Erich Obergatz
presented no different problem than did ja, the lion, other than
that she considered the former the more dangerous animal. And so
she determined that should he ignore her warning there would be
no temporizing upon the occasion of their next meeting--the same
swift spear that would meet ja's advances would meet his.
That night her snug little nest perched high in the great tree
seemed less the sanctuary that it had before. What might resist the
sanguinary intentions of a prowling panther would prove no great
barrier to man, and influenced by this thought she slept less well
than before. The slightest noise that broke the monotonous hum of the
nocturnal jungle startled her into alert wakefulness to lie with
straining ears in an attempt to classify the origin of the disturbance,
and once she was awakened thus by a sound that seemed to come from
something moving in her own tree. She listened intently--scarce
breathing. Yes, there it was again. A scuffing of something soft
against the hard bark of the tree. The woman reached out in the
darkness and grasped her spear. Now she felt a slight sagging of
one of the limbs that supported her shelter as though the thing,
whatever it was, was slowly raising its weight to the branch. It
came nearer. Now she thought that she could detect its breathing.
It was at the door. She could hear it fumbling with the frail
barrier. What could it be? It made no sound by which she might
identify it. She raised herself upon her hands and knees and crept
stealthily the little distance to the doorway, her spear clutched
tightly in her hand. Whatever the thing was, it was evidently
attempting to gain entrance without awakening her. It was just
beyond the pitiful little contraption of slender boughs that she
had bound together with grasses and called a door--only a few inches
lay between the thing and her. Rising to her knees she reached out
with her left hand and felt until she found a place where a crooked
branch had left an opening a couple of inches wide near the center
of the barrier. Into this she inserted the point of her spear. The
thing must have heard her move within for suddenly it abandoned its
efforts for stealth and tore angrily at the obstacle. At the same
moment Jane thrust her spear forward with all her strength. She
felt it enter flesh. There was a scream and a curse from without,
followed by the crashing of a body through limbs and foliage. Her
spear was almost dragged from her grasp, but she held to it until
it broke free from the thing it had pierced.
It was Obergatz; the curse had told her that. From below came
no further sound. Had she, then, killed him? She prayed so--with
all her heart she prayed it. To be freed from the menace of this
loathsome creature were relief indeed. During all the balance of
the night she lay there awake, listening. Below her, she imagined,
she could see the dead man with his hideous face bathed in the cold
light of the moon--lying there upon his back staring up at her.
She prayed that ja might come and drag it away, but all during
the remainder of the night she heard never another sound above the
drowsy hum of the jungle. She was glad that he was dead, but she
dreaded the gruesome ordeal that awaited her on the morrow, for
she must bury the thing that had been Erich Obergatz and live on
there above the shallow grave of the man she had slain.
She reproached herself for her weakness, repeating over and over
that she had killed in self-defense, that her act was justified;
but she was still a woman of today, and strong upon her were the
iron mandates of the social order from which she had sprung, its
interdictions and its superstitions.
At last came the tardy dawn. Slowly the sun topped the distant
mountains beyond Jad-in-lul. And yet she hesitated to loosen the
fastenings of her door and look out upon the thing below. But it
must be done. She steeled herself and untied the rawhide thong that
secured the barrier. She looked down and only the grass and the
flowers looked up at her. She came from her shelter and examined
the ground upon the opposite side of the tree--there was no dead man
there, nor anywhere as far as she could see. Slowly she descended,
keeping a wary eye and an alert ear ready for the first intimation
At the foot of the tree was a pool of blood and a little trail of
crimson drops upon the grass, leading away parallel with the shore
of Jad-ben-lul. Then she had not slain him! She was vaguely aware
of a peculiar, double sensation of relief and regret. Now she
would be always in doubt. He might return; but at least she would
not have to live above his grave.
She thought some of following the bloody spoor on the chance that
he might have crawled away to die later, but she gave up the idea
for fear that she might find him dead nearby, or, worse yet badly
wounded. What then could she do? She could not finish him with
her spear--no, she knew that she could not do that, nor could she
bring him back and nurse him, nor could she leave him there to
die of hunger or of thirst, or to become the prey of some prowling
beast. It were better then not to search for him for fear that she
might find him.
That day was one of nervous starting to every sudden sound. The
day before she would have said that her nerves were of iron; but
not today. She knew now the shock that she had suffered and that
this was the reaction. Tomorrow it might be different, but something
told her that never again would her little shelter and the patch
of forest and jungle that she called her own be the same. There
would hang over them always the menace of this man. No longer would
she pass restful nights of deep slumber. The peace of her little
world was shattered forever.
That night she made her door doubly secure with additional thongs
of rawhide cut from the pelt of the buck she had slain the day that
she met Obergatz. She was very tired for she had lost much sleep
the night before; but for a long time she lay with wide-open eyes
staring into the darkness. What saw she there? Visions that brought
tears to those brave and beautiful eyes--visions of a rambling
bungalow that had been home to her and that was no more, destroyed
by the same cruel force that haunted her even now in this remote,
uncharted corner of the earth; visions of a strong man whose protecting
arm would never press her close again; visions of a tall, straight
son who looked at her adoringly out of brave, smiling eyes that were
like his father's. Always the vision of the crude simple bungalow
rather than of the stately halls that had been as much a part of
her life as the other. But he had loved the bungalow and the broad,
free acres best and so she had come to love them best, too.
At last she slept, the sleep of utter exhaustion. How long it
lasted she did not know; but suddenly she was wide awake and once
again she heard the scuffing of a body against the bark of her
tree and again the limb bent to a heavy weight. He had returned!
She went cold, trembling as with ague. Was it he, or, O God! had
she killed him then and was this--? She tried to drive the horrid
thought from her mind, for this way, she knew, lay madness.
And once again she crept to the door, for the thing was outside
just as it had been last night. Her hands trembled as she placed
the point of her weapon to the opening. She wondered if it would
scream as it fell.
The last bar that would make the opening large enough to permit
his body to pass had been removed as Tarzan heard the warriors
whispering beyond the stone door of his prison. Long since had the
rope of hide been braided. To secure one end to the remaining bar
that he had left for this purpose was the work of but a moment,
and while the warriors whispered without, the brown body of the
ape-man slipped through the small aperture and disappeared below
Tarzan's escape from the cell left him still within the walled
area that comprised the palace and temple grounds and buildings.
He had reconnoitered as best he might from the window after he
had removed enough bars to permit him to pass his head through the
opening, so that he knew what lay immediately before him--a winding
and usually deserted alleyway leading in the direction of the outer
gate that opened from the palace grounds into the city.
The darkness would facilitate his escape. He might even pass out
of the palace and the city without detection. If he could elude the
guard at the palace gate the rest would be easy. He strode along
confidently, exhibiting no fear of detection, for he reasoned that
thus would he disarm suspicion. In the darkness he easily could pass
for a Ho-don and in truth, though he passed several after leaving
the deserted alley, no one accosted or detained him, and thus he
came at last to the guard of a half-dozen warriors before the palace
gate. These he attempted to pass in the same unconcerned fashion
and he might have succeeded had it not been for one who came running
rapidly from the direction of the temple shouting: "Let no one pass
the gates! The prisoner has escaped from the pal-ul-ja!"
Instantly a warrior barred his way and simultaneously the fellow
recognized him. "Xot tor!" he exclaimed: "Here he is now. Fall upon
him! Fall upon him! Back! Back before I kill you."
The others came forward. It cannot be said that they rushed forward.
If it was their wish to fall upon him there was a noticeable lack
of enthusiasm other than that which directed their efforts to
persuade someone else to fall upon him. His fame as a fighter had
been too long a topic of conversation for the good of the morale of
Mo-sar's warriors. It were safer to stand at a distance and hurl
their clubs and this they did, but the ape-man had learned something
of the use of this weapon since he had arrived in Pal-ul-don. And
as he learned great had grown his respect for this most primitive
of arms. He had come to realize that the black savages he had known
had never appreciated the possibilities of their knob sticks, nor
had he, and he had discovered, too, why the Pal-ul-donians had
turned their ancient spears into plowshares and pinned their faith
to the heavy-ended club alone. In deadly execution it was far more
effective than a spear and it answered, too, every purpose of
a shield, combining the two in one and thus reducing the burden
of the warrior. Thrown as they throw it, after the manner of the
hammer-throwers of the Olympian games, an ordinary shield would
prove more a weakness than a strength while one that would be
strong enough to prove a protection would be too heavy to carry.
Only another club, deftly wielded to deflect the course of an enemy
missile, is in any way effective against these formidable weapons
and, too, the war club of Pal-ul-don can be thrown with accuracy
a far greater distance than any spear.
And now was put to the test that which Tarzan had learned from
Om-at and Ta-den. His eyes and his muscles trained by a lifetime of
necessity moved with the rapidity of light and his brain functioned
with an uncanny celerity that suggested nothing less than prescience,
and these things more than compensated for his lack of experience
with the war club he handled so dexterously. Weapon after weapon
he warded off and always he moved with a single idea in mind--to
place himself within reach of one of his antagonists. But they were
wary for they feared this strange creature to whom the superstitious
fears of many of them attributed the miraculous powers of deity.
They managed to keep between Tarzan and the gateway and all the time
they bawled lustily for reinforcements. Should these come before
he had made his escape the ape-man realized that the odds against
him would be unsurmountable, and so he redoubled his efforts to
carry out his design.
Following their usual tactics two or three of the warriors were
always circling behind him collecting the thrown clubs when Tarzan's
attention was directed elsewhere. He himself retrieved several
of them which he hurled with such deadly effect as to dispose of
two of his antagonists, but now he heard the approach of hurrying
warriors, the patter of their bare feet upon the stone pavement and
then the savage cries which were to bolster the courage of their
fellows and fill the enemy with fear.
There was no time to lose. Tarzan held a club in either hand and,
swinging one he hurled it at a warrior before him and as the man
dodged he rushed in and seized him, at the same time casting his
second club at another of his opponents. The Ho-don with whom he
grappled reached instantly for his knife but the ape-man grasped
his wrist. There was a sudden twist, the snapping of a bone and an
agonized scream, then the warrior was lifted bodily from his feet
and held as a shield between his fellows and the fugitive as the
latter backed through the gateway. Beside Tarzan stood the single
torch that lighted the entrance to the palace grounds. The warriors
were advancing to the succor of their fellow when the ape-man raised
his captive high above his head and flung him full in the face of
the foremost attacker. The fellow went down and two directly behind
him sprawled headlong over their companion as the ape-man seized the
torch and cast it back into the palace grounds to be extinguished
as it struck the bodies of those who led the charging reinforcements.
In the ensuing darkness Tarzan disappeared in the streets of Tu-lur
beyond the palace gate. For a time he was aware of sounds of pursuit
but the fact that they trailed away and died in the direction
of Jad-in-lul informed him that they were searching in the wrong
direction, for he had turned south out of Tu-lur purposely to throw
them off his track. Beyond the outskirts of the city he turned
directly toward the northwest, in which direction lay A-lur.
In his path he knew lay Jad-bal-lul, the shore of which he was
compelled to skirt, and there would be a river to cross at the
lower end of the great lake upon the shores of which lay A-lur.
What other obstacles lay in his way he did not know but he believed
that he could make better time on foot than by attempting to steal
a canoe and force his way up stream with a single paddle. It was
his intention to put as much distance as possible between himself
and Tu-lur before he slept for he was sure that Mo-sar would not
lightly accept his loss, but that with the coming of day, or possibly
even before, he would dispatch warriors in search of him.
A mile or two from the city he entered a forest and here at last
he felt such a measure of safety as he never knew in open spaces
or in cities. The forest and the jungle were his birthright.
No creature that went upon the ground upon four feet, or climbed
among the trees, or crawled upon its belly had any advantage over
the ape-man in his native heath. As myrrh and frankincense were
the dank odors of rotting vegetation in the nostrils of the great
Tarmangani. He squared his broad shoulders and lifting his head filled
his lungs with the air that he loved best. The heavy fragrance of
tropical blooms, the commingled odors of the myriad-scented life
of the jungle went to his head with a pleasurable intoxication
far more potent than aught contained in the oldest vintages of
He took to the trees now, not from necessity but from pure love of
the wild freedom that had been denied him so long. Though it was
dark and the forest strange yet he moved with a surety and ease
that bespoke more a strange uncanny sense than wondrous skill. He
heard ja moaning somewhere ahead and an owl hooted mournfully to
the right of him--long familiar sounds that imparted to him no sense
of loneliness as they might to you or to me, but on the contrary
one of companionship for they betokened the presence of his fellows
of the jungle, and whether friend or foe it was all the same to
He came at last to a little stream at a spot where the trees did
not meet above it so he was forced to descend to the ground and
wade through the water and upon the opposite shore he stopped as
though suddenly his godlike figure had been transmuted from flesh
to marble. Only his dilating nostrils bespoke his pulsing vitality.
For a long moment he stood there thus and then swiftly, but with
a caution and silence that were inherent in him he moved forward
again, but now his whole attitude bespoke a new urge. There was
a definite and masterful purpose in every movement of those steel
muscles rolling softly beneath the smooth brown hide. He moved
now toward a certain goal that quite evidently filled him with far
greater enthusiasm than had the possible event of his return to
And so he came at last to the foot of a great tree and there he
stopped and looked up above him among the foliage where the dim
outlines of a roughly rectangular bulk loomed darkly. There was a
choking sensation in Tarzan's throat as he raised himself gently
into the branches. It was as though his heart were swelling either
to a great happiness or a great fear.
Before the rude shelter built among the branches he paused listening.
From within there came to his sensitive nostrils the same delicate
aroma that had arrested his eager attention at the little stream
a mile away. He crouched upon the branch close to the little door.
"Jane," he called, "heart of my heart, it is I."
The only answer from within was as the sudden indrawing of a breath
that was half gasp and half sigh, and the sound of a body falling
to the floor. Hurriedly Tarzan sought to release the thongs which
held the door but they were fastened from the inside, and at last,
impatient with further delay, he seized the frail barrier in one
giant hand and with a single effort tore it completely away. And
then he entered to find the seemingly lifeless body of his mate
stretched upon the floor.
He gathered her in his arms; her heart beat; she still breathed,
and presently he realized that she had but swooned.
When Jane Clayton regained consciousness it was to find herself
held tightly in two strong arms, her head pillowed upon the broad
shoulder where so often before her fears had been soothed and her
sorrows comforted. At first she was not sure but that it was all
a dream. Timidly her hand stole to his cheek.
"John," she murmured, "tell me, is it really you?"
In reply he drew her more closely to him. "It is I," he replied.
"But there is something in my throat," he said haltingly, "that
makes it hard for me to speak."
She smiled and snuggled closer to him. "God has been good to us,
Tarzan of the Apes," she said.
For some time neither spoke. It was enough that they were reunited
and that each knew that the other was alive and safe. But at
last they found their voices and when the sun rose they were still
talking, so much had each to tell the other; so many questions
there were to be asked and answered.
"And Jack," she asked, "where is he?"
"I do not know," replied Tarzan. "The last I heard of him he was
on the Argonne Front."
"Ah, then our happiness is not quite complete," she said, a little
note of sadness creeping into her voice.
"No," he replied, "but the same is true in countless other English
homes today, and pride is learning to take the place of happiness
She shook her head, "I want my boy," she said.
"And I too," replied Tarzan, "and we may have him yet. He was safe
and unwounded the last word I had. And now," he said, "we must plan
upon our return. Would you like to rebuild the bungalow and gather
together the remnants of our Waziri or would you rather return to
"Only to find Jack," she said. "I dream always of the bungalow and
never of the city, but John, we can only dream, for Obergatz told
me that he had circled this whole country and found no place where
he might cross the morass."
"I am not Obergatz," Tarzan reminded her, smiling. "We will rest
today and tomorrow we will set out toward the north. It is a savage
country, but we have crossed it once and we can cross it again."
And so, upon the following morning, the Tarmangani and his mate
went forth upon their journey across the Valley of Jad-ben-Otho,
and ahead of them were fierce men and savage beasts, and the lofty
mountains of Pal-ul-don; and beyond the mountains the reptiles and
the morass, and beyond that the arid, thorn-covered steppe, and
other savage beasts and men and weary, hostile miles of untracked
wilderness between them and the charred ruins of their home.
Lieutenant Erich Obergatz crawled through the grass upon all fours,
leaving a trail of blood behind him after Jane's spear had sent
him crashing to the ground beneath her tree. He made no sound after
the one piercing scream that had acknowledged the severity of his
wound. He was quiet because of a great fear that had crept into
his warped brain that the devil woman would pursue and slay him.
And so he crawled away like some filthy beast of prey, seeking a
thicket where he might lie down and hide.
He thought that he was going to die, but he did not, and with the
coming of the new day he discovered that his wound was superficial.
The rough obsidian-shod spear had entered the muscles of his side
beneath his right arm inflicting a painful, but not a fatal wound.
With the realization of this fact came a renewed desire to put as
much distance as possible between himself and Jane Clayton. And
so he moved on, still going upon all fours because of a persistent
hallucination that in this way he might escape observation. Yet
though he fled his mind still revolved muddily about a central
desire--while he fled from her he still planned to pursue her,
and to his lust of possession was added a desire for revenge. She
should pay for the suffering she had inflicted upon him. She should
pay for rebuffing him, but for some reason which he did not try
to explain to himself he would crawl away and hide. He would come
back though. He would come back and when he had finished with her,
he would take that smooth throat in his two hands and crush the
life from her.
He kept repeating this over and over to himself and then he fell
to laughing out loud, the cackling, hideous laughter that had
terrified Jane. Presently he realized his knees were bleeding and
that they hurt him. He looked cautiously behind. No one was in
sight. He listened. He could hear no indications of pursuit and so
he rose to his feet and continued upon his way a sorry sight--covered
with filth and blood, his beard and hair tangled and matted and
filled with burrs and dried mud and unspeakable filth. He kept no
track of time. He ate fruits and berries and tubers that he dug
from the earth with his fingers. He followed the shore of the lake
and the river that he might be near water, and when ja roared or
moaned he climbed a tree and hid there, shivering.
And so after a time he came up the southern shore of Jad-ben-lul
until a wide river stopped his progress. Across the blue water a
white city glimmered in the sun. He looked at it for a long time,
blinking his eyes like an owl. Slowly a recollection forced itself
through his tangled brain. This was A-lur, the City of Light. The
association of ideas recalled Bu-lur and the Waz-ho-don. They had
called him Jad-ben-Otho. He commenced to laugh aloud and stood
up very straight and strode back and forth along the shore. "I am
Jad-ben-Otho," he cried, "I am the Great God. In A-lur is my temple
and my high priests. What is Jad-ben-Otho doing here alone in the
He stepped out into the water and raising his voice shrieked loudly
across toward A-lur. "I am Jad-ben-Otho!" he screamed. "Come
hither slaves and take your god to his temple." But the distance
was great and they did not hear him and no one came, and the feeble
mind was distracted by other things--a bird flying in the air, a
school of minnows swimming around his feet. He lunged at them trying
to catch them, and falling upon his hands and knees he crawled
through the water grasping futilely at the elusive fish.
Presently it occurred to him that he was a sea lion and he forgot
the fish and lay down and tried to swim by wriggling his feet in
the water as though they were a tail. The hardships, the privations,
the terrors, and for the past few weeks the lack of proper nourishment
had reduced Erich Obergatz to little more than a gibbering idiot.
A water snake swam out upon the surface of the lake and the man
pursued it, crawling upon his hands and knees. The snake swam toward
the shore just within the mouth of the river where tall reeds grew
thickly and Obergatz followed, making grunting noises like a pig.
He lost the snake within the reeds but he came upon something
else--a canoe hidden there close to the bank. He examined it with
cackling laughter. There were two paddles within it which he took
and threw out into the current of the river. He watched them for a
while and then he sat down beside the canoe and commenced to splash
his hands up and down upon the water. He liked to hear the noise
and see the little splashes of spray. He rubbed his left forearm
with his right palm and the dirt came off and left a white spot
that drew his attention. He rubbed again upon the now thoroughly
soaked blood and grime that covered his body. He was not attempting
to wash himself; he was merely amused by the strange results.
"I am turning white," he cried. His glance wandered from his body
now that the grime and blood were all removed and caught again the
white city shimmering beneath the hot sun.
"A-lur--City of Light!" he shrieked and that reminded him again of
Tu-lur and by the same process of associated ideas that had before
suggested it, he recalled that the Waz-ho-don had thought him
"I am Jad-ben-Otho!" he screamed and then his eyes fell again upon
the canoe. A new idea came and persisted. He looked down at himself,
examining his body, and seeing the filthy loin cloth, now water
soaked and more bedraggled than before, he tore it from him and
flung it into the lake. "Gods do not wear dirty rags," he said aloud.
"They do not wear anything but wreaths and garlands of flowers and
I am a god--I am Jad-ben-Otho--and I go in state to my sacred city
He ran his fingers through his matted hair and beard. The water
had softened the burrs but had not removed them. The man shook his
head. His hair and beard failed to harmonize with his other godly
attributes. He was commencing to think more clearly now, for the
great idea had taken hold of his scattered wits and concentrated
them upon a single purpose, but he was still a maniac. The only
difference being that he was now a maniac with a fixed intent. He
went out on the shore and gathered flowers and ferns and wove them
in his beard and hair--blazing blooms of different colors--green
ferns that trailed about his ears or rose bravely upward like the
plumes in a lady's hat.
When he was satisfied that his appearance would impress the most
casual observer with his evident deity he returned to the canoe,
pushed it from shore and jumped in. The impetus carried it into
the river's current and the current bore it out upon the lake. The
naked man stood erect in the center of the little craft, his arms
folded upon his chest. He screamed aloud his message to the city:
"I am Jad-ben-Otho! Let the high priest and the under priests attend
As the current of the river was dissipated by the waters of the
lake the wind caught him and his craft and carried them bravely
forward. Sometimes he drifted with his back toward A-lur and sometimes
with his face toward it, and at intervals he shrieked his message
and his commands. He was still in the middle of the lake when
someone discovered him from the palace wall, and as he drew nearer,
a crowd of warriors and women and children were congregated there
watching him and along the temple walls were many priests and
among them Lu-don, the high priest. When the boat had drifted close
enough for them to distinguish the bizarre figure standing in it
and for them to catch the meaning of his words Lu-don's cunning
eyes narrowed. The high priest had learned of the escape of Tarzan
and he feared that should he join Ja-don's forces, as seemed likely,
he would attract many recruits who might still believe in him, and
the Dor-ul-Otho, even if a false one, upon the side of the enemy
might easily work havoc with Lu-don's plans.
The man was drifting close in. His canoe would soon be caught in
the current that ran close to shore here and carried toward the
river that emptied the waters of Jad-ben-lul into Jad-bal-lul. The
under priests were looking toward Lu-don for instructions.
"Fetch him hither!" he commanded. "If he is Jad-ben-Otho I shall
The priests hurried to the palace grounds and summoned warriors.
"Go, bring the stranger to Lu-don. If he is Jad-ben-Otho we shall
And so Lieutenant Erich Obergatz was brought before the high priest
at A-lur. Lu-don looked closely at the naked man with the fantastic
"Where did you come from?" he asked.
"I am Jad-ben-Otho," cried the German. "I came from heaven. Where
is my high priest?"
"I am the high priest," replied Lu-don.
Obergatz clapped his hands. "Have my feet bathed and food brought
to me," he commanded.
Lu-don's eyes narrowed to mere slits of crafty cunning. He bowed
low until his forehead touched the feet of the stranger. Before
the eyes of many priests, and warriors from the palace he did it.
"Ho, slaves," he cried, rising; "fetch water and food for the Great
God," and thus the high priest acknowledged before his people the
godhood of Lieutenant Erich Obergatz, nor was it long before the
story ran like wildfire through the palace and out into the city
and beyond that to the lesser villages all the way from A-lur to
The real god had come--Jad-ben-Otho himself, and he had espoused
the cause of Lu-don, the high priest. Mo-sar lost no time in placing
himself at the disposal of Lu-don, nor did he mention aught about
his claims to the throne. It was Mo-sar's opinion that he might
consider himself fortunate were he allowed to remain in peaceful
occupation of his chieftainship at Tu-lur, nor was Mo-sar wrong in
But Lu-don could still use him and so he let him live and sent word
to him to come to A-lur with all his warriors, for it was rumored
that Ja-don was raising a great army in the north and might soon
march upon the City of Light.
Obergatz thoroughly enjoyed being a god. Plenty of food and peace
of mind and rest partially brought back to him the reason that
had been so rapidly slipping from him; but in one respect he was
madder than ever, since now no power on earth would ever be able to
convince him that he was not a god. Slaves were put at his disposal
and these he ordered about in godly fashion. The same portion of
his naturally cruel mind met upon common ground the mind of Lu-don,
so that the two seemed always in accord. The high priest saw in the
stranger a mighty force wherewith to hold forever his power over
all Pal-ul-don and thus the future of Obergatz was assured so long
as he cared to play god to Lu-don's high priest.
A throne was erected in the main temple court before the eastern
altar where Jad-ben-Otho might sit in person and behold the sacrifices
that were offered up to him there each day at sunset. So much did
the cruel, half-crazed mind enjoy these spectacles that at times
he even insisted upon wielding the sacrificial knife himself and
upon such occasions the priests and the people fell upon their
faces in awe of the dread deity.
If Obergatz taught them not to love their god more he taught them
to fear him as they never had before, so that the name of Jad-ben-Otho
was whispered in the city and little children were frightened into
obedience by the mere mention of it. Lu-don, through his priests and
slaves, circulated the information that Jad-ben-Otho had commanded
all his faithful followers to flock to the standard of the high
priest at A-lur and that all others were cursed, especially Ja-don
and the base impostor who had posed as the Dor-ul-Otho. The curse
was to take the form of early death following terrible suffering,
and Lu-don caused it to be published abroad that the name of any
warrior who complained of a pain should be brought to him, for such
might be deemed to be under suspicion, since the first effects of
the curse would result in slight pains attacking the unholy. He
counseled those who felt pains to look carefully to their loyalty.
The result was remarkable and immediate--half a nation without a
pain, and recruits pouring into A-lur to offer their services to
Lu-don while secretly hoping that the little pains they had felt
in arm or leg or belly would not recur in aggravated form.
A Journey on a Gryf
Tarzan and Jane skirted the shore of Jad-bal-lul and crossed the
river at the head of the lake. They moved in leisurely fashion
with an eye to comfort and safety, for the ape-man, now that he
had found his mate, was determined to court no chance that might
again separate them, or delay or prevent their escape from Pal-ul-don.
How they were to recross the morass was a matter of little concern
to him as yet--it would be time enough to consider that matter when
it became of more immediate moment. Their hours were filled with
the happiness and content of reunion after long separation; they
had much to talk of, for each had passed through many trials and
vicissitudes and strange adventures, and no important hour might
go unaccounted for since last they met.
It was Tarzan's intention to choose a way above A-lur and the
scattered Ho-don villages below it, passing about midway between
them and the mountains, thus avoiding, in so far as possible, both
the Ho-don and Waz-don, for in this area lay the neutral territory
that was uninhabited by either. Thus he would travel northwest
until opposite the Kor-ul-ja where he planned to stop to pay his
respects to Om-at and give the gund word of Pan-at-lee, and a plan
Tarzan had for insuring her safe return to her people. It was upon
the third day of their journey and they had almost reached the
river that passes through A-lur when Jane suddenly clutched Tarzan's
arm and pointed ahead toward the edge of a forest that they were
approaching. Beneath the shadows of the trees loomed a great bulk
that the ape-man instantly recognized.
"What is it?" whispered Jane.
"A gryf," replied the ape-man, "and we have met him in the worst
place that we could possibly have found. There is not a large tree
within a quarter of a mile, other than those among which he stands.
Come, we shall have to go back, Jane; I cannot risk it with you
along. The best we can do is to pray that he does not discover us."
"And if he does?"
"Then I shall have to risk it."
"The chance that I can subdue him as I subdued one of his fellows,"
replied Tarzan. "I told you--you recall?"
"Yes, but I did not picture so huge a creature. Why, John, he is
as big as a battleship."
The ape-man laughed. "Not quite, though I'll admit he looks quite
as formidable as one when he charges."
They were moving away slowly so as not to attract the attention of
"I believe we're going to make it," whispered the woman, her voice
tense with suppressed excitement. A low rumble rolled like distant
thunder from the wood. Tarzan shook his head.
"'The big show is about to commence in the main tent,'" he quoted,
grinning. He caught the woman suddenly to his breast and kissed
her. "One can never tell, Jane," he said. "We'll do our best--that
is all we can do. Give me your spear, and--don't run. The only
hope we have lies in that little brain more than in us. If I can
control it--well, let us see."
The beast had emerged from the forest and was looking about through
his weak eyes, evidently in search of them. Tarzan raised his voice
in the weird notes of the Tor-o-don's cry, "Whee-oo! Whee-oo!
Whee-oo!" For a moment the great beast stood motionless, his attention
riveted by the call. The ape-man advanced straight toward him, Jane
Clayton at his elbow. "Whee-oo!" he cried again peremptorily. A
low rumble rolled from the gryf's cavernous chest in answer to the
call, and the beast moved slowly toward them.
"Fine!" exclaimed Tarzan. "The odds are in our favor now. You can
keep your nerve?--but I do not need to ask."
"I know no fear when I am with Tarzan of the Apes," she replied
softly, and he felt the pressure of her soft fingers on his arm.
And thus the two approached the giant monster of a forgotten
epoch until they stood close in the shadow of a mighty shoulder.
"Whee-oo!" shouted Tarzan and struck the hideous snout with the
shaft of the spear. The vicious side snap that did not reach its
mark--that evidently was not intended to reach its mark--was the
"Come," said Tarzan, and taking Jane by the hand he led her around
behind the monster and up the broad tail to the great, horned back.
"Now will we ride in the state that our forebears knew, before which
the pomp of modern kings pales into cheap and tawdry insignificance.
How would you like to canter through Hyde Park on a mount like
"I am afraid the Bobbies would be shocked by our riding habits,
John," she cried, laughingly.
Tarzan guided the gryf in the direction that they wished to go.
Steep embankments and rivers proved no slightest obstacle to the
"A prehistoric tank, this," Jane assured him, and laughing and
talking they continued on their way. Once they came unexpectedly
upon a dozen Ho-don warriors as the gryf emerged suddenly into
a small clearing. The fellows were lying about in the shade of a
single tree that grew alone. When they saw the beast they leaped
to their feet in consternation and at their shouts the gryf issued
his hideous, challenging bellow and charged them. The warriors
fled in all directions while Tarzan belabored the beast across the
snout with his spear in an effort to control him, and at last he
succeeded, just as the gryf was almost upon one poor devil that
it seemed to have singled out for its special prey. With an angry
grunt the gryf stopped and the man, with a single backward glance
that showed a face white with terror, disappeared in the jungle he
had been seeking to reach.
The ape-man was elated. He had doubted that he could control the
beast should it take it into its head to charge a victim and had
intended abandoning it before they reached the Kor-ul-ja. Now he
altered his plans--they would ride to the very village of Om-at
upon the gryf, and the Kor-ul-ja would have food for conversation
for many generations to come. Nor was it the theatric instinct
of the ape-man alone that gave favor to this plan. The element of
Jane's safety entered into the matter for he knew that she would
be safe from man and beast alike so long as she rode upon the back
of Pal-ul-don's most formidable creature.
As they proceeded slowly in the direction of the Kor-ul-ja, for the
natural gait of the gryf is far from rapid, a handful of terrified
warriors came panting into A-lur, spreading a weird story of the
Dor-ul-Otho, only none dared call him the Dor-ul-Otho aloud. Instead
they spoke of him as Tarzan-jad-guru and they told of meeting him
mounted upon a mighty gryf beside the beautiful stranger woman whom
Ko-tan would have made queen of Pal-ul-don. This story was brought
to Lu-don who caused the warriors to be hailed to his presence,
when he questioned them closely until finally he was convinced that
they spoke the truth and when they had told him the direction in
which the two were traveling, Lu-don guessed that they were on their
way to Ja-lur to join Ja-don, a contingency that he felt must be
prevented at any cost. As was his wont in the stress of emergency, he
called Pan-sat into consultation and for long the two sat in close
conference. When they arose a plan had been developed. Pan-sat
went immediately to his own quarters where he removed the headdress
and trappings of a priest to don in their stead the harness and
weapons of a warrior. Then he returned to Lu-don.
"Good!" cried the latter, when he saw him. "Not even your fellow-priests
or the slaves that wait upon you daily would know you now. Lose no
time, Pan-sat, for all depends upon the speed with which you strike
and--remember! Kill the man if you can; but in any event bring the
woman to me here, alive. You understand?"
"Yes, master," replied the priest, and so it was that a lone warrior
set out from A-lur and made his way northwest in the direction of
The gorge next above Kor-ul-ja is uninhabited and here the wily
Ja-don had chosen to mobilize his army for its descent upon A-lur.
Two considerations influenced him--one being the fact that could he
keep his plans a secret from the enemy he would have the advantage
of delivering a surprise attack upon the forces of Lu-don from a
direction that they would not expect attack, and in the meantime he
would be able to keep his men from the gossip of the cities where
strange tales were already circulating relative to the coming of
Jad-ben-Otho in person to aid the high priest in his war against
Ja-don. It took stout hearts and loyal ones to ignore the implied
threats of divine vengeance that these tales suggested. Already
there had been desertions and the cause of Ja-don seemed tottering
Such was the state of affairs when a sentry posted on the knoll
in the mouth of the gorge sent word that he had observed in the
valley below what appeared at a distance to be nothing less than
two people mounted upon the back of a gryf. He said that he had
caught glimpses of them, as they passed open spaces, and they seemed
to be traveling up the river in the direction of the Kor-ul-ja.
At first Ja-don was inclined to doubt the veracity of his informant;
but, like all good generals, he could not permit even palpably false
information to go uninvestigated and so he determined to visit the
knoll himself and learn precisely what it was that the sentry had
observed through the distorting spectacles of fear. He had scarce
taken his place beside the man ere the fellow touched his arm and
pointed. "They are closer now," he whispered, "you can see them
plainly." And sure enough, not a quarter of a mile away Ja-don saw
that which in his long experience in Pal-ul-don he had never before
seen--two humans riding upon the broad back of a gryf.
At first he could scarce credit even this testimony of his own eyes,
but soon he realized that the creatures below could be naught else
than they appeared, and then he recognized the man and rose to his
feet with a loud cry.
"It is he!" he shouted to those about him. "It is the Dor-ul-Otho
The gryf and his riders heard the shout though not the words. The
former bellowed terrifically and started in the direction of the
knoll, and Ja-don, followed by a few of his more intrepid warriors,
ran to meet him. Tarzan, loath to enter an unnecessary quarrel,
tried to turn the animal, but as the beast was far from tractable
it always took a few minutes to force the will of its master upon
it; and so the two parties were quite close before the ape-man
succeeded in stopping the mad charge of his furious mount.
Ja-don and his warriors, however, had come to the realization that
this bellowing creature was bearing down upon them with evil intent
and they had assumed the better part of valor and taken to trees,
accordingly. It was beneath these trees that Tarzan finally stopped
the gryf. Ja-don called down to him.
"We are friends," he cried. "I am Ja-don, Chief of Ja-lur. I and
my warriors lay our foreheads upon the feet of Dor-ul-Otho and pray
that he will aid us in our righteous fight with Lu-don, the high
"You have not defeated him yet?" asked Tarzan. "Why I thought you
would be king of Pal-ul-don long before this."
"No," replied Ja-don. "The people fear the high priest and now that
he has in the temple one whom he claims to be Jad-ben-Otho many of
my warriors are afraid. If they but knew that the Dor-ul-Otho had
returned and that he had blessed the cause of Ja-don I am sure that
victory would be ours."
Tarzan thought for a long minute and then he spoke. "Ja-don," he
said, "was one of the few who believed in me and who wished to accord
me fair treatment. I have a debt to pay to Ja-don and an account
to settle with Lu-don, not alone on my own behalf, but principally
upon that of my mate. I will go with you Ja-don to mete to Lu-don
the punishment he deserves. Tell me, chief, how may the Dor-ul-Otho
best serve his father's people?"
"By coming with me to Ja-lur and the villages between," replied
Ja-don quickly, "that the people may see that it is indeed the
Dor-ul-Otho and that he smiles upon the cause of Ja-don."
"You think that they will believe in me more now than before?"
asked the ape-man.
"Who will dare doubt that he who rides upon the great gryf is less
than a god?" returned the old chief.
"And if I go with you to the battle at A-lur," asked Tarzan, "can
you assure the safety of my mate while I am gone from her?"
"She shall remain in Ja-lur with the Princess O-lo-a and my own
women," replied Ja-don. "There she will be safe for there I shall
leave trusted warriors to protect them. Say that you will come,
O Dor-ul-Otho, and my cup of happiness will be full, for even now
Ta-den, my son, marches toward A-lur with a force from the northwest
and if we can attack, with the Dor-ul-Otho at our head, from the
northeast our arms should be victorious."
"It shall be as you wish, Ja-don," replied the ape-man; "but first
you must have meat fetched for my gryf."
"There are many carcasses in the camp above," replied Ja-don, "for
my men have little else to do than hunt."
"Good," exclaimed Tarzan. "Have them brought at once."
And when the meat was-brought and laid at a distance the ape-man
slipped from the back of his fierce charger and fed him with his
own hand. "See that there is always plenty of flesh for him," he
said to Ja-don, for he guessed that his mastery might be short-lived
should the vicious beast become over-hungry.
It was morning before they could leave for Ja-lur, but Tarzan found
the gryf lying where he had left him the night before beside the
carcasses of two antelope and a lion; but now there was nothing
but the gryf.
"The paleontologists say that he was herbivorous," said Tarzan as
he and Jane approached the beast.
The journey to Ja-lur was made through the scattered villages where
Ja-don hoped to arouse a keener enthusiasm for his cause. A party
of warriors preceded Tarzan that the people might properly be
prepared, not only for the sight of the gryf but to receive the
Dor-ul-Otho as became his high station. The results were all that
Ja-don could have hoped and in no village through which they passed
was there one who doubted the deity of the ape-man.
As they approached Ja-lur a strange warrior joined them, one whom
none of Ja-don's following knew. He said he came from one of the
villages to the south and that he had been treated unfairly by
one of Lu-don's chiefs. For this reason he had deserted the cause
of the high priest and come north in the hope of finding a home
in Ja-lur. As every addition to his forces was welcome to the old
chief he permitted the stranger to accompany them, and so he came
into Ja-lur with them.
There arose now the question as to what was to be done with the
gryf while they remained in the city. It was with difficulty that
Tarzan had prevented the savage beast from attacking all who came
near it when they had first entered the camp of Ja-don in the
uninhabited gorge next to the Kor-ul-ja, but during the march to
Ja-lur the creature had seemed to become accustomed to the presence
of the Ho-don. The latter, however, gave him no cause for annoyance
since they kept as far from him as possible and when he passed
through the streets of the city he was viewed from the safety
of lofty windows and roofs. However tractable he appeared to have
become there would have been no enthusiastic seconding of a suggestion
to turn him loose within the city. It was finally suggested that
he be turned into a walled enclosure within the palace grounds and
this was done, Tarzan driving him in after Jane had dismounted.
More meat was thrown to him and he was left to his own devices, the
awe-struck inhabitants of the palace not even venturing to climb
upon the walls to look at him.
Ja-don led Tarzan and Jane to the quarters of the Princess O-lo-a
who, the moment that she beheld the ape-man, threw herself to the
ground and touched her forehead to his feet. Pan-at-lee was there
with her and she too seemed happy to see Tarzan-jad-guru again.
When they found that Jane was his mate they looked with almost
equal awe upon her, since even the most skeptical of the warriors
of Ja-don were now convinced that they were entertaining a god and
a goddess within the city of Ja-lur, and that with the assistance
of the power of these two, the cause of Ja-don would soon be
victorious and the old Lion-man set upon the throne of Pal-ul-don.
From O-lo-a Tarzan learned that Ta-den had returned and that they
were to be united in marriage with the weird rites of their religion
and in accordance with the custom of their people as soon as Ta-den
came home from the battle that was to be fought at A-lur.
The recruits were now gathering at the city and it was decided
that the next day Ja-don and Tarzan would return to the main body
in the hidden camp and immediately under cover of night the attack
should be made in force upon Lu-don's forces at A-lur. Word of
this was sent to Ta-den where he awaited with his warriors upon
the north side of Jad-ben-lul, only a few miles from A-lur.
In the carrying out of these plans it was necessary to leave Jane
behind in Ja-don's palace at Ja-lur, but O-lo-a and her women were
with her and there were many warriors to guard them, so Tarzan
bid his mate good-bye with no feelings of apprehension as to her
safety, and again seated upon the gryf made his way out of the city
with Ja-don and his warriors.
At the mouth of the gorge the ape-man abandoned his huge mount since
it had served its purpose and could be of no further value to him
in their attack upon A-lur, which was to be made just before dawn
the following day when, as he could not have been seen by the enemy,
the effect of his entry to the city upon the gryf would have been
totally lost. A couple of sharp blows with the spear sent the big
animal rumbling and growling in the direction of the Kor-ul-gryf
nor was the ape-man sorry to see it depart since he had never known
at what instant its short temper and insatiable appetite for flesh
might turn it upon some of his companions.
Immediately upon their arrival at the gorge the march on A-lur was
As night fell a warrior from the palace of Ja-lur slipped into the
temple grounds. He made his way to where the lesser priests were
quartered. His presence aroused no suspicion as it was not unusual
for warriors to have business within the temple. He came at last to
a chamber where several priests were congregated after the evening
meal. The rites and ceremonies of the sacrifice had been concluded
and there was nothing more of a religious nature to make call upon
their time until the rites at sunrise.
Now the warrior knew, as in fact nearly all Pal-ul-don knew, that
there was no strong bond between the temple and the palace at
Ja-lur and that Ja-don only suffered the presence of the priests
and permitted their cruel and abhorrent acts because of the fact
that these things had been the custom of the Ho-don of Pal-ul-don
for countless ages, and rash indeed must have been the man who would
have attempted to interfere with the priests or their ceremonies.
That Ja-don never entered the temple was well known, and that his
high priest never entered the palace, but the people came to the
temple with their votive offerings and the sacrifices were made
night and morning as in every other temple in Pal-ul-don.
The warriors knew these things, knew them better perhaps than a
simple warrior should have known them. And so it was here in the
temple that he looked for the aid that he sought in the carrying
out of whatever design he had.
As he entered the apartment where the priests were he greeted them
after the manner which was customary in Pal-ul-don, but at the
same time he made a sign with his finger that might have attracted
little attention or scarcely been noticed at all by one who knew
not its meaning. That there were those within the room who noticed
it and interpreted it was quickly apparent, through the fact that
two of the priests rose and came close to him as he stood just within
the doorway and each of them, as he came, returned the signal that
the warrior had made.
The three talked for but a moment and then the warrior turned and
left the apartment. A little later one of the priests who had talked
with him left also and shortly after that the other.
In the corridor they found the warrior waiting, and led him to
a little chamber which opened upon a smaller corridor just beyond
where it joined the larger. Here the three remained in whispered
conversation for some little time and then the warrior returned to
the palace and the two priests to their quarters.
The apartments of the women of the palace at Ja-lur are all upon
the same side of a long, straight corridor. Each has a single door
leading into the corridor and at the opposite end several windows
overlooking a garden. It was in one of these rooms that Jane slept
alone. At each end of the corridor was a sentinel, the main body
of the guard being stationed in a room near the outer entrance to
the women's quarters.
The palace slept for they kept early hours there where Ja-don ruled.
The pal-e-don-so of the great chieftain of the north knew no such
wild orgies as had resounded through the palace of the king at
A-lur. Ja-lur was a quiet city by comparison with the capital, yet
there was always a guard kept at every entrance to the chambers
of Ja-don and his immediate family as well as at the gate leading
into the temple and that which opened upon the city.
These guards, however, were small, consisting usually of not more than
five or six warriors, one of whom remained awake while the others
slept. Such were the conditions then when two warriors presented
themselves, one at either end of the corridor, to the sentries who
watched over the safety of Jane Clayton and the Princess O-lo-a,
and each of the newcomers repeated to the sentinels the stereotyped
words which announced that they were relieved and these others sent
to watch in their stead. Never is a warrior loath to be relieved
of sentry duty. Where, under different circumstances he might
ask numerous questions he is now too well satisfied to escape the
monotonies of that universally hated duty. And so these two men
accepted their relief without question and hastened away to their
And then a third warrior entered the corridor and all of the
newcomers came together before the door of the ape-man's slumbering
mate. And one was the strange warrior who had met Ja-don and Tarzan
outside the city of Ja-lur as they had approached it the previous
day; and he was the same warrior who had entered the temple a short
hour before, but the faces of his fellows were unfamiliar, even to
one another, since it is seldom that a priest removes his hideous
headdress in the presence even of his associates.
Silently they lifted the hangings that hid the interior of the
room from the view of those who passed through the corridor, and
stealthily slunk within. Upon a pile of furs in a far corner lay
the sleeping form of Lady Greystoke. The bare feet of the intruders
gave forth no sound as they crossed the stone floor toward her.
A ray of moonlight entering through a window near her couch shone
full upon her, revealing the beautiful contours of an arm and
shoulder in cameo-distinctness against the dark furry pelt beneath
which she slept, and the perfect profile that was turned toward
the skulking three.
But neither the beauty nor the helplessness of the sleeper aroused
such sentiments of passion or pity as might stir in the breasts of
normal men. To the three priests she was but a lump of clay, nor
could they conceive aught of that passion which had aroused men to
intrigue and to murder for possession of this beautiful American
girl, and which even now was influencing the destiny of undiscovered
Upon the floor of the chamber were numerous pelts and as the
leader of the trio came close to the sleeping woman he stooped and
gathered up one of the smaller of these. Standing close to her head
he held the rug outspread above her face. "Now," he whispered and
simultaneously he threw the rug over the woman's head and his two
fellows leaped upon her, seizing her arms and pinioning her body
while their leader stifled her cries with the furry pelt. Quickly
and silently they bound her wrists and gagged her and during the
brief time that their work required there was no sound that might
have been heard by occupants of the adjoining apartments.
Jerking her roughly to her feet they forced her toward a window
but she refused to walk, throwing herself instead upon the floor.
They were very angry and would have resorted to cruelties to compel
her obedience but dared not, since the wrath of Lu-don might fall
heavily upon whoever mutilated his fair prize.
And so they were forced to lift and carry her bodily. Nor was the
task any sinecure since the captive kicked and struggled as best
she might, making their labor as arduous as possible. But finally
they succeeded in getting her through the window and into the
garden beyond where one of the two priests from the Ja-lur temple
directed their steps toward a small barred gateway in the south
wall of the enclosure.
Immediately beyond this a flight of stone stairs led downward
toward the river and at the foot of the stairs were moored several
canoes. Pan-sat had indeed been fortunate in enlisting aid from
those who knew the temple and the palace so well, or otherwise he
might never have escaped from Ja-lur with his captive. Placing the
woman in the bottom of a light canoe Pan-sat entered it and took up
the paddle. His companions unfastened the moorings and shoved the
little craft out into the current of the stream. Their traitorous
work completed they turned and retraced their steps toward the
temple, while Pan-sat, paddling strongly with the current, moved
rapidly down the river that would carry him to the Jad-ben-lul and
The moon had set and the eastern horizon still gave no hint of
approaching day as a long file of warriors wound stealthily through
the darkness into the city of A-lur. Their plans were all laid and
there seemed no likelihood of their miscarriage. A messenger had
been dispatched to Ta-den whose forces lay northwest of the city.
Tarzan, with a small contingent, was to enter the temple through
the secret passageway, the location of which he alone knew, while
Ja-don, with the greater proportion of the warriors, was to attack
the palace gates.
The ape-man, leading his little band, moved stealthily through the
winding alleys of A-lur, arriving undetected at the building which
hid the entrance to the secret passageway. This spot being best
protected by the fact that its existence was unknown to others
than the priests, was unguarded. To facilitate the passage of his
little company through the narrow winding, uneven tunnel, Tarzan
lighted a torch which had been brought for the purpose and preceding
his warriors led the way toward the temple.
That he could accomplish much once he reached the inner chambers
of the temple with his little band of picked warriors the ape-man
was confident since an attack at this point would bring confusion
and consternation to the easily overpowered priests, and permit
Tarzan to attack the palace forces in the rear at the same time
that Ja-don engaged them at the palace gates, while Ta-den and his
forces swarmed the northern walls. Great value had been placed by
Ja-don on the moral effect of the Dor-ul-Otho's mysterious appearance
in the heart of the temple and he had urged Tarzan to take every
advantage of the old chieftain's belief that many of Lu-don's
warriors still wavered in their allegiance between the high priest
and the Dor-ul-Otho, being held to the former more by the fear which
he engendered in the breasts of all his followers than by any love
or loyalty they might feel toward him.
There is a Pal-ul-donian proverb setting forth a truth similar to
that contained in the old Scotch adage that "The best laid schemes
o' mice and men gang aft a-gley." Freely translated it might
read, "He who follows the right trail sometimes reaches the wrong
destination," and such apparently was the fate that lay in the
footsteps of the great chieftain of the north and his godlike ally.
Tarzan, more familiar with the windings of the corridors than his
fellows and having the advantage of the full light of the torch,
which at best was but a dim and flickering affair, was some distance
ahead of the others, and in his keen anxiety to close with the
enemy he gave too little thought to those who were to support him.
Nor is this strange, since from childhood the ape-man had been
accustomed to fight the battles of life single-handed so that it
had become habitual for him to depend solely upon his own cunning
And so it was that he came into the upper corridor from which opened
the chambers of Lu-don and the lesser priests far in advance of his
warriors, and as he turned into this corridor with its dim cressets
flickering somberly, he saw another enter it from a corridor before
him--a warrior half carrying, half dragging the figure of a woman.
Instantly Tarzan recognized the gagged and fettered captive whom
he had thought safe in the palace of Ja-don at Ja-lur.
The warrior with the woman had seen Tarzan at the same instant that
the latter had discovered him. He heard the low beastlike growl
that broke from the ape-man's lips as he sprang forward to wrest
his mate from her captor and wreak upon him the vengeance that was
in the Tarmangani's savage heart. Across the corridor from Pan-sat
was the entrance to a smaller chamber. Into this he leaped carrying
the woman with him.
Close behind came Tarzan of the Apes. He had cast aside his torch
and drawn the long knife that had been his father's. With the
impetuosity of a charging bull he rushed into the chamber in pursuit
of Pan-sat to find himself, when the hangings dropped behind him,
in utter darkness. Almost immediately there was a crash of stone
on stone before him followed a moment later by a similar crash
behind. No other evidence was necessary to announce to the ape-man
that he was again a prisoner in Lu-don's temple.
He stood perfectly still where he had halted at the first sound of
the descending stone door. Not again would he easily be precipitated
to the gryf pit, or some similar danger, as had occurred when Lu-don
had trapped him in the Temple of the Gryf. As he stood there his
eyes slowly grew accustomed to the darkness and he became aware that
a dim light was entering the chamber through some opening, though
it was several minutes before he discovered its source. In the roof
of the chamber he finally discerned a small aperture, possibly three
feet in diameter and it was through this that what was really only
a lesser darkness rather than a light was penetrating its Stygian
blackness of the chamber in which he was imprisoned.
Since the doors had fallen he had heard no sound though his keen
ears were constantly strained in an effort to discover a clue
to the direction taken by the abductor of his mate. Presently he
could discern the outlines of his prison cell. It was a small room,
not over fifteen feet across. On hands and knees, with the utmost
caution, he examined the entire area of the floor. In the exact
center, directly beneath the opening in the roof, was a trap, but
otherwise the floor was solid. With this knowledge it was only
necessary to avoid this spot in so far as the floor was concerned.
The walls next received his attention. There were only two openings.
One the doorway through which he had entered, and upon the opposite
side that through which the warrior had borne Jane Clayton. These
were both closed by the slabs of stone which the fleeing warrior
had released as he departed.
Lu-don, the high priest, licked his thin lips and rubbed his bony
white hands together in gratification as Pan-sat bore Jane Clayton
into his presence and laid her on the floor of the chamber before
"Good, Pan-sat!" he exclaimed. "You shall be well rewarded for this
service. Now, if we but had the false Dor-ul-Otho in our power all
Pal-ul-don would be at our feet."
"Master, I have him!" cried Pan-sat.
"What!" exclaimed Lu-don, "you have Tarzan-jad-guru? You have slain
him perhaps. Tell me, my wonderful Pan-sat, tell me quickly. My
breast is bursting with a desire to know."
"I have taken him alive, Lu-don, my master," replied Pan-sat. "He
is in the little chamber that the ancients built to trap those who
were too powerful to take alive in personal encounter."
"You have done well, Pan-sat, I--"
A frightened priest burst into the apartment. "Quick, master, quick,"
he cried, "the corridors are filled with the warriors of Ja-don."
"You are mad," cried the high priest. "My warriors hold the palace
and the temple."
"I speak the truth, master," replied the priest, "there are warriors
in the corridor approaching this very chamber, and they come from
the direction of the secret passage which leads hither from the
"It may be even as he says," exclaimed Pan-sat. "It was from that
direction that Tarzan-jad-guru was coming when I discovered and
trapped him. He was leading his warriors to the very holy of holies."
Lu-don ran quickly to the doorway and looked out into the corridor.
At a glance he saw that the fears of the frightened priest were
well founded. A dozen warriors were moving along the corridor toward
him but they seemed confused and far from sure of themselves. The
high priest guessed that deprived of the leadership of Tarzan they
were little better than lost in the unknown mazes of the subterranean
precincts of the temple.
Stepping back into the apartment he seized a leathern thong that
depended from the ceiling. He pulled upon it sharply and through
the temple boomed the deep tones of a metal gong. Five times the
clanging notes rang through the corridors, then he turned toward
the two priests. "Bring the woman and follow me," he directed.
Crossing the chamber he passed through a small doorway, the others
lifting Jane Clayton from the floor and following him. Through a
narrow corridor and up a flight of steps they went, turning to right
and left and doubling back through a maze of winding passageways
which terminated in a spiral staircase that gave forth at the
surface of the ground within the largest of the inner altar courts
close beside the eastern altar.
From all directions now, in the corridors below and the grounds
above, came the sound of hurrying footsteps. The five strokes of
the great gong had summoned the faithful to the defense of Lu-don
in his private chambers. The priests who knew the way led the less
familiar warriors to the spot and presently those who had accompanied
Tarzan found themselves not only leaderless but facing a vastly
superior force. They were brave men but under the circumstances
they were helpless and so they fell back the way they had come,
and when they reached the narrow confines of the smaller passageway
their safety was assured since only one foeman could attack them
at a time. But their plans were frustrated and possibly also their
entire cause lost, so heavily had Ja-don banked upon the success
of their venture.
With the clanging of the temple gong Ja-don assumed that Tarzan
and his party had struck their initial blow and so he launched his
attack upon the palace gate. To the ears of Lu-don in the inner
temple court came the savage war cries that announced the beginning
of the battle. Leaving Pan-sat and the other priest to guard
the woman he hastened toward the palace personally to direct his
force and as he passed through the temple grounds he dispatched a
messenger to learn the outcome of the fight in the corridors below,
and other messengers to spread the news among his followers that
the false Dor-ul-Otho was a prisoner in the temple.
As the din of battle rose above A-lur, Lieutenant Erich Obergatz
turned upon his bed of soft hides and sat up. He rubbed his eyes
and looked about him. It was still dark without.
"I am Jad-ben-Otho," he cried, "who dares disturb my slumber?"
A slave squatting upon the floor at the foot of his couch shuddered
and touched her forehead to the floor. "It must be that the enemy
have come, O Jad-ben-Otho." She spoke soothingly for she had reason
to know the terrors of the mad frenzy into which trivial things
sometimes threw the Great God.
A priest burst suddenly through the hangings of the doorway and
falling upon his hands and knees rubbed his forehead against the
stone flagging. "O Jad-ben-Otho," he cried, "the warriors of Ja-don
have attacked the palace and the temple. Even now they are fighting
in the corridors near the quarters of Lu-don, and the high priest
begs that you come to the palace and encourage your faithful warriors
by your presence."
Obergatz sprang to his feet. "I am Jad-ben-Otho," he screamed.
"With lightning I will blast the blasphemers who dare attack the
holy city of A-lur."
For a moment he rushed aimlessly and madly about the room, while
the priest and the slave remained upon hands and knees with their
foreheads against the floor.
"Come," cried Obergatz, planting a vicious kick in the side of the
slave girl. "Come! Would you wait here all day while the forces of
darkness overwhelm the City of Light?"
Thoroughly frightened as were all those who were forced to serve the
Great God, the two arose and followed Obergatz towards the palace.
Above the shouting of the warriors rose constantly the cries of
the temple priests: "Jad-ben-Otho is here and the false Dor-ul-Otho
is a prisoner in the temple." The persistent cries reached even to
the ears of the enemy as it was intended that they should.
The Messenger of Death
The sun rose to see the forces of Ja-don still held at the palace
gate. The old warrior had seized the tall structure that stood
just beyond the palace and at the summit of this he kept a warrior
stationed to look toward the northern wall of the palace where
Ta-den was to make his attack; but as the minutes wore into hours
no sign of the other force appeared, and now in the full light of
the new sun upon the roof of one of the palace buildings appeared
Lu-don, the high priest, Mo-sar, the pretender, and the strange,
naked figure of a man, into whose long hair and beard were woven
fresh ferns and flowers. Behind them were banked a score of lesser
priests who chanted in unison: "This is Jad-ben-Otho. Lay down your
arms and surrender." This they repeated again and again, alternating
it with the cry: "The false Dor-ul-Otho is a prisoner."
In one of those lulls which are common in battles between forces
armed with weapons that require great physical effort in their use,
a voice suddenly arose from among the followers of Ja-don: "Show
us the Dor-ul-Otho. We do not believe you!"
"Wait," cried Lu-don. "If I do not produce him before the sun has
moved his own width, the gates of the palace shall be opened to
you and my warriors will lay down their arms."
He turned to one of his priests and issued brief instructions.
The ape-man paced the confines of his narrow cell. Bitterly he
reproached himself for the stupidity which had led him into this
trap, and yet was it stupidity? What else might he have done other
than rush to the succor of his mate? He wondered how they had stolen
her from Ja-lur, and then suddenly there flashed to his mind the
features of the warrior whom he had just seen with her. They were
strangely familiar. He racked his brain to recall where he had seen
the man before and then it came to him. He was the strange warrior
who had joined Ja-don's forces outside of Ja-lur the day that
Tarzan had ridden upon the great gryf from the uninhabited gorge
next to the Kor-ul-ja down to the capital city of the chieftain of
the north. But who could the man be? Tarzan knew that never before
that other day had he seen him.
Presently he heard the clanging of a gong from the corridor without
and very faintly the rush of feet, and shouts. He guessed that
his warriors had been discovered and a fight was in progress. He
fretted and chafed at the chance that had denied him participation
Again and again he tried the doors of his prison and the trap in the
center of the floor, but none would give to his utmost endeavors.
He strained his eyes toward the aperture above but he could see
nothing, and then he continued his futile pacing to and fro like
a caged lion behind its bars.
The minutes dragged slowly into hours. Faintly sounds came to him
as of shouting men at a great distance. The battle was in progress.
He wondered if Ja-don would be victorious and should he be, would
his friends ever discover him in this hidden chamber in the bowels
of the hill? He doubted it.
And now as he looked again toward the aperture in the roof there
appeared to be something depending through its center. He came closer
and strained his eyes to see. Yes, there was something there. It
appeared to be a rope. Tarzan wondered if it had been there all the
time. It must have, he reasoned, since he had heard no sound from
above and it was so dark within the chamber that he might easily
have overlooked it.
He raised his hand toward it. The end of it was just within his
reach. He bore his weight upon it to see if it would hold him.
Then he released it and backed away, still watching it, as you have
seen an animal do after investigating some unfamiliar object, one
of the little traits that differentiated Tarzan from other men,
accentuating his similarity to the savage beasts of his native
jungle. Again and again he touched and tested the braided leather
rope, and always he listened for any warning sound from above.
He was very careful not to step upon the trap at any time and when
finally he bore all his weight upon the rope and took his feet from
the floor he spread them wide apart so that if he fell he would
fall astride the trap. The rope held him. There was no sound from
above, nor any from the trap below.
Slowly and cautiously he drew himself upward, hand over hand. Nearer
and nearer the roof he came. In a moment his eyes would be above
the level of the floor above. Already his extended arms projected
into the upper chamber and then something closed suddenly upon
both his forearms, pinioning them tightly and leaving him hanging
in mid-air unable to advance or retreat.
Immediately a light appeared in the room above him and presently
he saw the hideous mask of a priest peering down upon him. In the
priest's hands were leathern thongs and these he tied about Tarzan's
wrists and forearms until they were completely bound together
from his elbows almost to his fingers. Behind this priest Tarzan
presently saw others and soon several lay hold of him and pulled
him up through the hole.
Almost instantly his eyes were above the level of the floor he
understood how they had trapped him. Two nooses had lain encircling
the aperture into the cell below. A priest had waited at the end
of each of these ropes and at opposite sides of the chamber. When
he had climbed to a sufficient height upon the rope that had dangled
into his prison below and his arms were well within the encircling
snares the two priests had pulled quickly upon their ropes and he
had been made an easy captive without any opportunity of defending
himself or inflicting injury upon his captors.
And now they bound his legs from his ankles to his knees and picking
him up carried him from the chamber. No word did they speak to him
as they bore him upward to the temple yard.
The din of battle had risen again as Ja-don had urged his forces to
renewed efforts. Ta-den had not arrived and the forces of the old
chieftain were revealing in their lessened efforts their increasing
demoralization, and then it was that the priests carried Tarzan-jad-guru
to the roof of the palace and exhibited him in the sight of the
warriors of both factions.
"Here is the false Dor-ul-Otho," screamed Lu-don.
Obergatz, his shattered mentality having never grasped fully the
meaning of much that was going on about him, cast a casual glance
at the bound and helpless prisoner, and as his eyes fell upon the
noble features of the ape-man, they went wide in astonishment and
fright, and his pasty countenance turned a sickly blue. Once before
had he seen Tarzan of the Apes, but many times had he dreamed that
he had seen him and always was the giant ape-man avenging the wrongs
that had been committed upon him and his by the ruthless hands of
the three German officers who had led their native troops in the
ravishing of Tarzan's peaceful home. Hauptmann Fritz Schneider
had paid the penalty of his needless cruelties; Unter-lieutenant
von Goss, too, had paid; and now Obergatz, the last of the three,
stood face to face with the Nemesis that had trailed him through
his dreams for long, weary months. That he was bound and helpless
lessened not the German's terror--he seemed not to realize that
the man could not harm him. He but stood cringing and jibbering
and Lu-don saw and was filled with apprehension that others might
see and seeing realize that this bewhiskered idiot was no god--that
of the two Tarzan-jad-guru was the more godly figure. Already the
high priest noted that some of the palace warriors standing near
were whispering together and pointing. He stepped closer to Obergatz.
"You are Jad-ben-Otho," he whispered, "denounce him!"
The German shook himself. His mind cleared of all but his great
terror and the words of the high priest gave him the clue to safety.
"I am Jad-ben-Otho!" he screamed.
Tarzan looked him straight in the eye. "You are Lieutenant Obergatz
of the German Army," he said in excellent German. "You are the
last of the three I have sought so long and in your putrid heart
you know that God has not brought us together at last for nothing."
The mind of Lieutenant Obergatz was functioning clearly and rapidly
at last. He too saw the questioning looks upon the faces of some
of those around them. He saw the opposing warriors of both cities
standing by the gate inactive, every eye turned upon him, and the
trussed figure of the ape-man. He realized that indecision now meant
ruin, and ruin, death. He raised his voice in the sharp barking
tones of a Prussian officer, so unlike his former maniacal screaming
as to quickly arouse the attention of every ear and to cause an
expression of puzzlement to cross the crafty face of Lu-don.
"I am Jad-ben-Otho," snapped Obergatz. "This creature is no son of
mine. As a lesson to all blasphemers he shall die upon the altar
at the hand of the god he has profaned. Take him from my sight,
and when the sun stands at zenith let the faithful congregate in
the temple court and witness the wrath of this divine hand," and
he held aloft his right palm.
Those who had brought Tarzan took him away then as Obergatz had
directed, and the German turned once more to the warriors by the
gate. "Throw down your arms, warriors of Ja-don," he cried, "lest
I call down my lightnings to blast you where you stand. Those who
do as I bid shall be forgiven. Come! Throw down your arms."
The warriors of Ja-don moved uneasily, casting looks of appeal at
their leader and of apprehension toward the figures upon the palace
roof. Ja-don sprang forward among his men. "Let the cowards and
knaves throw down their arms and enter the palace," he cried, "but
never will Ja-don and the warriors of Ja-lur touch their foreheads
to the feet of Lu-don and his false god. Make your decision now,"
he cried to his followers.
A few threw down their arms and with sheepish looks passed through
the gateway into the palace, and with the example of these to
bolster their courage others joined in the desertion from the old
chieftain of the north, but staunch and true around him stood the
majority of his warriors and when the last weakling had left their
ranks Ja-don voiced the savage cry with which he led his followers
to the attack, and once again the battle raged about the palace
At times Ja-don's forces pushed the defenders far into the palace
ground and then the wave of combat would recede and pass out into
the city again. And still Ta-den and the reinforcements did not come.
It was drawing close to noon. Lu-don had mustered every available
man that was not actually needed for the defense of the gate within
the temple, and these he sent, under the leadership of Pan-sat,
out into the city through the secret passageway and there they fell
upon Ja-don's forces from the rear while those at the gate hammered
them in front.
Attacked on two sides by a vastly superior force the result was
inevitable and finally the last remnant of Ja-don's little army
capitulated and the old chief was taken a prisoner before Lu-don.
"Take him to the temple court," cried the high priest. "He shall
witness the death of his accomplice and perhaps Jad-ben-Otho shall
pass a similar sentence upon him as well."
The inner temple court was packed with humanity. At either end of
the western altar stood Tarzan and his mate, bound and helpless.
The sounds of battle had ceased and presently the ape-man saw Ja-don
being led into the inner court, his wrists bound tightly together
before him. Tarzan turned his eyes toward Jane and nodded in the
direction of Ja-don. "This looks like the end," he said quietly.
"He was our last and only hope."
"We have at least found each other, John," she replied, "and our
last days have been spent together. My only prayer now is that if
they take you they do not leave me."
Tarzan made no reply for in his heart was the same bitter thought
that her own contained--not the fear that they would kill him but
the fear that they would not kill her. The ape-man strained at
his bonds but they were too many and too strong. A priest near him
saw and with a jeering laugh struck the defenseless ape-man in the
"The brute!" cried Jane Clayton.
Tarzan smiled. "I have been struck thus before, Jane," he said,
"and always has the striker died."
"You still have hope?" she asked.
"I am still alive," he said as though that were sufficient answer.
She was a woman and she did not have the courage of this man who
knew no fear. In her heart of hearts she knew that he would die
upon the altar at high noon for he had told her, after he had been
brought to the inner court, of the sentence of death that Obergatz
had pronounced upon him, and she knew too that Tarzan knew that
he would die, but that he was too courageous to admit it even to
As she looked upon him standing there so straight and wonderful
and brave among his savage captors her heart cried out against
the cruelty of the fate that had overtaken him. It seemed a gross
and hideous wrong that that wonderful creature, now so quick with
exuberant life and strength and purpose should be presently naught
but a bleeding lump of clay--and all so uselessly and wantonly.
Gladly would she have offered her life for his but she knew that
it was a waste of words since their captors would work upon them
whatever it was their will to do--for him, death; for her--she
shuddered at the thought.
And now came Lu-don and the naked Obergatz, and the high priest
led the German to his place behind the altar, himself standing upon
the other's left. Lu-don whispered a word to Obergatz, at the same
time nodding in the direction of Ja-don. The Hun cast a scowling
look upon the old warrior.
"And after the false god," he cried, "the false prophet," and he
pointed an accusing finger at Ja-don. Then his eyes wandered to
the form of Jane Clayton.
"And the woman, too?" asked Lu-don.
"The case of the woman I will attend to later," replied Obergatz.
"I will talk with her tonight after she has had a chance to meditate
upon the consequences of arousing the wrath of Jad-ben-Otho."
He cast his eyes upward at the sun. "The time approaches," he said
to Lu-don. "Prepare the sacrifice."
Lu-don nodded to the priests who were gathered about Tarzan. They
seized the ape-man and lifted him bodily to the altar where they laid
him upon his back with his head at the south end of the monolith,
but a few feet from where Jane Clayton stood. Impulsively and
before they could restrain her the woman rushed forward and bending
quickly kissed her mate upon the forehead. "Good-bye, John," she
"Good-bye," he answered, smiling.
The priests seized her and dragged her away. Lu-don handed the