Part 2 out of 6
Inch by inch at first Numa advanced. He was growling now and presently
he commenced to roar. Suddenly he leaped forward and Tarzan knew
that he had caught the scent of meat ahead. Dragging the machine
gun beside him the ape-man followed quickly after the lion whose
roars he could plainly hear ahead mingled with the unmistakable
screams of frightened men. Once again a grim smile touched the lips
of this man-beast.
"They murdered my Waziri," he muttered; "they crucified Wasimbu,
son of Muviro."
When Tarzan reached the trench and emerged into it there was no one
in sight in that particular bay, nor in the next, nor the next as
he hurried forward in the direction of the German center; but in the
fourth bay he saw a dozen men jammed in the angle of the traverse
at the end while leaping upon them and rending with talons and fangs
was Numa, a terrific incarnation of ferocity and ravenous hunger.
Whatever held the men at last gave way as they fought madly with
one another in their efforts to escape this dread creature that
from their infancy had filled them with terror, and again they
were retreating. Some clambered over the parados and some even over
the parapet preferring the dangers of No Man's Land to this other
As the British advanced slowly toward the German trenches, they
first met terrified blacks who ran into their arms only too willing
to surrender. That pandemonium had broken loose in the Hun trench
was apparent to the Rhodesians not only from the appearance of the
deserters, but from the sounds of screaming, cursing men which came
clearly to their ears; but there was one that baffled them for it
resembled nothing more closely than the infuriated growling of an
And when at last they reached the trench, those farthest on the left
of the advancing Britishers heard a machine gun sputter suddenly
before them and saw a huge lion leap over the German parados with
the body of a screaming Hun soldier between his jaws and vanish
into the shadows of the night, while squatting upon a traverse to
their left was Tarzan of the Apes with a machine gun before him
with which he was raking the length of the German trenches.
The foremost Rhodesians saw something else--they saw a huge German
officer emerge from a dugout just in rear of the ape-man. They saw
him snatch up a discarded rifle with bayonet fixed and creep upon
the apparently unconscious Tarzan. They ran forward, shouting
warnings; but above the pandemonium of the trenches and the machine
gun their voices could not reach him. The German leaped upon the
parapet behind him--the fat hands raised the rifle butt aloft for
the cowardly downward thrust into the naked back and then, as moves
Ara, the lightning, moved Tarzan of the Apes.
It was no man who leaped forward upon that Boche officer, striking
aside the sharp bayonet as one might strike aside a straw in a
baby's hand--it was a wild beast and the roar of a wild beast was
upon those savage lips, for as that strange sense that Tarzan owned
in common with the other jungle-bred creatures of his wild domain
warned him of the presence behind him and he had whirled to meet
the attack, his eyes had seen the corps and regimental insignia upon
the other's blouse--it was the same as that worn by the murderers
of his wife and his people, by the despoilers of his home and his
It was a wild beast whose teeth fastened upon the shoulder of the
Hun--it was a wild beast whose talons sought that fat neck. And
then the boys of the Second Rhodesian Regiment saw that which will
live forever in their memories. They saw the giant ape-man pick
the heavy German from the ground and shake him as a terrier might
shake a rat--as Sabor, the lioness, sometimes shakes her prey.
They saw the eyes of the Hun bulge in horror as he vainly struck
with his futile hands against the massive chest and head of his
assailant. They saw Tarzan suddenly spin the man about and placing
a knee in the middle of his back and an arm about his neck bend
his shoulders slowly backward. The German's knees gave and he sank
upon them, but still that irresistible force bent him further and
further. He screamed in agony for a moment-then something snapped
and Tarzan cast him aside, a limp and lifeless thing.
The Rhodesians started forward, a cheer upon their lips-a cheer
that never was uttered--a cheer that froze in their throats, for
at that moment Tarzan placed a foot upon the carcass of his kill
and, raising his face to the heavens, gave voice to the weird and
terrifying victory cry of the bull ape.
Underlieutenant von Goss was dead.
Without a backward glance at the awe-struck soldiers Tarzan leaped
the trench and was gone.
The Golden Locket
The little British army in East Africa, after suffering severe
reverses at the hands of a numerically much superior force, was
at last coming into its own. The German offensive had been broken
and the Huns were now slowly and doggedly retreating along the
railway to Tanga. The break in the German lines had followed the
clearing of a section of their left-flank trenches of native soldiers
by Tarzan and Numa, the lion, upon that memorable night that the
ape-man had loosed a famishing man-eater among the superstitious
and terror-stricken blacks. The Second Rhodesian Regiment had
immediately taken possession of the abandoned trench and from this
position their flanking fire had raked contiguous sections of the
German line, the diversion rendering possible a successful night
attack on the part of the balance of the British forces.
Weeks had elapsed. The Germans were contesting stubbornly every
mile of waterless, thorn-covered ground and clinging desperately
to their positions along the railway. The officers of the Second
Rhodesians had seen nothing more of Tarzan of the Apes since he
had slain Underlieutenant von Goss and disappeared toward the very
heart of the German position, and there were those among them who
believed that he had been killed within the enemy lines.
"They may have killed him," assented Colonel Capell; "but I fancy
they never captured the beggar alive."
Nor had they, nor killed him either. Tarzan had spent those intervening
weeks pleasantly and profitably. He had amassed a considerable
fund of knowledge concerning the disposition and strength of German
troops, their methods of warfare, and the various ways in which a
lone Tarmangani might annoy an army and lower its morale.
At present he was prompted by a specific desire. There was a certain
German spy whom he wished to capture alive and take back to the
British When he had made his first visit to German headquarters,
he had seen a young woman deliver a paper to the German general,
and later he had seen that same young woman within the British
lines in the uniform of a British officer. The conclusions were
obvious--she was a spy.
And so Tarzan haunted German headquarters upon many nights hoping
to see her again or to pick up some clew as to her whereabouts,
and at the same time he utilized many an artifice whereby he might
bring terror to the hearts of the Germans. That he was successful
was often demonstrated by the snatches of conversation he overheard as
he prowled through the German camps. One night as he lay concealed
in the bushes close beside a regimental headquarters he listened to
the conversation of several Boche officers. One of the men reverted
to the stories told by the native troops in connection with their
rout by a lion several weeks before and the simultaneous appearance
in their trenches of a naked, white giant whom they were perfectly
assured was some demon of the jungle.
"The fellow must have been the same as he who leaped into the
general's headquarters and carried off Schneider," asserted one.
"I wonder how he happened to single out the poor major. They say
the creature seemed interested in no one but Schneider. He had von
Kelter in his grasp, and he might easily have taken the general
himself; but he ignored them all except Schneider. Him he pursued
about the room, seized and carried off into the night. Gott knows
what his fate was."
"Captain Fritz Schneider has some sort of theory," said another.
"He told me only a week or two ago that he thinks he knows why his
brother was taken--that it was a case of mistaken identity. He was
not so sure about it until von Goss was killed, apparently by the
same creature, the night the lion entered the trenches. Von Goss was
attached to Schneider's company. One of Schneider's men was found
with his neck wrung the same night that the major was carried off
and Schneider thinks that this devil is after him and his command
--that it came for him that night and got his brother by mistake.
He says Kraut told him that in presenting the major to Fraulein
Kircher the former's name was no sooner spoken than this wild man
leaped through the window and made for him."
Suddenly the little group became rigid--listening. "What was that?"
snapped one, eyeing the bushes from which a smothered snarl had
issued as Tarzan of the Apes realized that through his mistake the
perpetrator of the horrid crime at his bungalow still lived--that
the murderer of his wife went yet unpunished.
For a long minute the officers stood with tensed nerves, every eye
riveted upon the bushes from whence the ominous sound had issued.
Each recalled recent mysterious disappearances from the heart of
camps as well as from lonely out-guards. Each thought of the silent
dead he had seen, slain almost within sight of their fellows by some
unseen creature. They thought of the marks upon dead throats-made
by talons or by giant fingers, they could not tell which--and those
upon shoulders and jugulars where powerful teeth had fastened and
they waited with drawn pistols.
Once the bushes moved almost imperceptibly and an instant later
one of the officers, without warning, fired into them; but Tarzan
of the Apes was not there. In the interval between the moving of
the bushes and the firing of the shot he had melted into the night.
Ten minutes later he was hovering on the outskirts of that part
of camp where were bivouacked for the night the black soldiers of
a native company commanded by one Hauptmann Fritz Schneider. The
men were stretched upon the ground without tents; but there were
tents pitched for the officers. Toward these Tarzan crept. It was
slow and perilous work, as the Germans were now upon the alert for
the uncanny foe that crept into their camps to take his toll by
night, yet the ape-man passed their sentinels, eluded the vigilance
of the interior guard, and crept at last to the rear of the officers'
Here he flattened himself against the ground close behind the
nearest tent and listened. From within came the regular breathing
of a sleeping man--one only. Tarzan was satisfied. With his knife
he cut the tie strings of the rear flap and entered. He made no
noise. The shadow of a falling leaf, floating gently to earth upon
a still day, could have been no more soundless. He moved to the
side of the sleeping man and bent low over him. He could not know,
of course, whether it was Schneider or another, as he had never seen
Schneider; but he meant to know and to know even more. Gently he
shook the man by the shoulder. The fellow turned heavily and grunted
in a thick guttural.
"Silence!" admonished the ape-man in a low whisper. "Silence--I
The Hun opened his eyes. In the dim light he saw a giant figure
bending over him. Now a mighty hand grasped his shoulder and another
closed lightly about his throat.
"Make no outcry," commanded Tarzan; "but answer in a whisper my
questions. What is your name?"
"Luberg," replied the officer. He was trembling. The weird presence
of this naked giant filled him with dread. He, too, recalled the
men mysteriously murdered in the still watches of the night camps.
"What do you want?"
"Where is Hauptmann Fritz Schneider?" asked Tarzan, "Which is his
"He is not here," replied Luberg. "He was sent to Wilhelmstal
"I shall not kill you--now," said the ape-man. "First I shall go
and learn if you have lied to me and if you have your death shall
be the more terrible. Do you know how Major Schneider died?"
Luberg shook his head negatively.
"I do," continued Tarzan, "and it was not a nice way to die--even
for an accursed German. Turn over with your face down and cover
your eyes. Do not move or make any sound."
The man did as he was bid and the instant that his eyes were turned
away, Tarzan slipped from the tent. An hour later he was outside
the German camp and headed for the little hill town of Wilhelmstal,
the summer seat of government of German East Africa.
Fraulein Bertha Kircher was lost. She was humiliated and angry--it
was long before she would admit it, that she, who prided herself
upon her woodcraft, was lost in this little patch of country between
the Pangani and the Tanga railway. She knew that Wilhelmstal lay
southeast of her about fifty miles; but, through a combination of
untoward circumstances, she found herself unable to determine which
In the first place she had set out from German headquarters on a
well-marked road that was being traveled by troops and with every
reason to believe that she would follow that road to Wilhelmstal.
Later she had been warned from this road by word that a strong
British patrol had come down the west bank of the Pangani, effected
a crossing south of her, and was even then marching on the railway
After leaving the road she found herself in thick bush and as the
sky was heavily overcast she presently had recourse to her compass
and it was not until then that she discovered to her dismay that
she did not have it with her. So sure was she of her woodcraft,
however, that she continued on in the direction she thought west
until she had covered sufficient distance to warrant her in feeling
assured that, by now turning south, she could pass safely in rear
of the British patrol.
Nor did she commence to feel any doubts until long after she had
again turned toward the east well south, as she thought, of the
patrol. It was late afternoon--she should long since have struck
the road again south of Tonda; but she had found no road and now
she began to feel real anxiety.
Her horse had traveled all day without food or water, night
was approaching and with it a realization that she was hopelessly
lost in a wild and trackless country notorious principally for its
tsetse flies and savage beasts. It was maddening to know that she
had absolutely no knowledge of the direction she was traveling--that
she might be forging steadily further from the railway, deeper
into the gloomy and forbidding country toward the Pangani; yet it
was impossible to stop-she must go on.
Bertha Kircher was no coward, whatever else she may have been, but
as night began to close down around her she could not shut out from
her mind entirely contemplation of the terrors of the long hours
ahead before the rising sun should dissipate the Stygian gloom--the
horrid jungle night--that lures forth all the prowling, preying
creatures of destruction.
She found, just before dark, an open meadow-like break in the
almost interminable bush. There was a small clump of trees near the
center and here she decided to camp. The grass was high and thick,
affording feed for her horse and a bed for herself, and there was
more than enough dead wood lying about the trees to furnish a good
fire well through the night. Removing the saddle and bridle from
her mount she placed them at the foot of a tree and then picketed
the animal close by. Then she busied herself collecting firewood
and by the time darkness had fallen she had a good fire and enough
wood to last until morning.
From her saddlebags she took cold food and from her canteen a
swallow of water. She could not afford more than a small swallow
for she could not know how long a time it might be before she should
find more. It filled her with sorrow that her poor horse must go
waterless, for even German spies may have hearts and this one was
very young and very feminine.
It was now dark. There was neither moon nor stars and the light
from her fire only accentuated the blackness beyond. She could see
the grass about her and the boles of the trees which stood out in
brilliant relief against the solid background of impenetrable night,
and beyond the firelight there was nothing.
The jungle seemed ominously quiet. Far away in the distance she
heard faintly the boom of big guns; but she could not locate their
direction. She strained her ears until her nerves were on the point
of breaking; but she could not tell from whence the sound came. And
it meant so much to her to know, for the battle-lines were north
of her and if she could but locate the direction of the firing she
would know which way to go in the morning.
In the morning! Would she live to see another morning? She squared
her shoulders and shook herself together. Such thoughts must be
banished--they would never do. Bravely she hummed an air as she
arranged her saddle near the fire and pulled a quantity of long
grass to make a comfortable seat over which she spread her saddle
blanket. Then she un-strapped a heavy, military coat from the cantle
of her saddle and donned it, for the air was already chill.
Seating herself where she could lean against the saddle she prepared
to maintain a sleepless vigil throughout the night. For an hour
the silence was broken only by the distant booming of the guns and
the low noises of the feeding horse and then, from possibly a mile
away, came the rumbling thunder of a lion's roar. The girl started
and laid her hand upon the rifle at her side. A little shudder ran
through her slight frame and she could feel the goose flesh rise
upon her body.
Again and again was the awful sound repeated and each time she was
certain that it came nearer. She could locate the direction of this
sound although she could not that of the guns, for the origin of
the former was much closer. The lion was up wind and so could not
have caught her scent as yet, though he might be approaching to
investigate the light of the fire which could doubtless be seen
for a considerable distance.
For another fear-filled hour the girl sat straining her eyes and
ears out into the black void beyond her little island of light.
During all that time the lion did not roar again; but there was
constantly the sensation that it was creeping upon her. Again and
again she would start and turn to peer into the blackness beyond
the trees behind her as her overwrought nerves conjured the stealthy
fall of padded feet. She held the rifle across her knees at the
ready now and she was trembling from head to foot.
Suddenly her horse raised his head and snorted, and with a little
cry of terror the girl sprang to her feet. The animal turned and
trotted back toward her until the picket rope brought him to a stand,
and then he wheeled about and with ears up-pricked gazed out into
the night; but the girl could neither see nor hear aught.
Still another hour of terror passed during which the horse often
raised his head to peer long and searchingly into the dark. The girl
replenished the fire from time to time. She found herself becoming
very sleepy. Her heavy lids persisted in drooping; but she dared
not sleep. Fearful lest she might be overcome by the drowsiness
that was stealing through her she rose and walked briskly to and
fro, then she threw some more wood on the fire, walked over and
stroked her horse's muzzle and returned to her seat.
Leaning against the saddle she tried to occupy her mind with plans
for the morrow; but she must have dozed. With a start she awoke.
It was broad daylight. The hideous night with its indescribable
terrors was gone.
She could scarce believe the testimony of her senses. She had slept
for hours, the fire was out and yet she and the horse were safe
and alive, nor was there sign of savage beast about. And, best of
all, the sun was shining, pointing the straight road to the east.
Hastily she ate a few mouthfuls of her precious rations, which with
a swallow of water constituted her breakfast. Then she saddled her
horse and mounted. Already she felt that she was as good as safe
Possibly, however, she might have revised her conclusions could she
have seen the two pairs of eyes watching her every move intently
from different points in the bush.
Light-hearted and unsuspecting, the girl rode across the clearing
toward the bush while directly before her two yellow-green eyes
glared round and terrible, a tawny tail twitched nervously and
great, padded paws gathered beneath a sleek barrel for a mighty
spring. The horse was almost at the edge of the bush when Numa,
the lion, launched himself through the air. He struck the animal's
right shoulder at the instant that it reared, terrified, to wheel
in flight. The force of the impact hurled the horse backward to the
ground and so quickly that the girl had no opportunity to extricate
herself; but fell to the earth with her mount, her left leg pinned
beneath its body.
Horror-stricken, she saw the king of beasts open his mighty jaws
and seize the screaming creature by the back of its neck. The
great jaws closed, there was an instant's struggle as Numa shook
his prey. She could hear the vertebrae crack as the mighty fangs
crunched through them, and then the muscles of her faithful friend
relaxed in death.
Numa crouched upon his kill. His terrifying eyes riveted themselves
upon the girl's face--she could feel his hot breath upon her cheek
and the odor of the fetid vapor nauseated her. For what seemed
an eternity to the girl the two lay staring at each other and then
the lion uttered a menacing growl.
Never before had Bertha Kircher been so terrified--never before had
she had such cause for terror. At her hip was a pistol--a formidable
weapon with which to face a man; but a puny thing indeed with
which to menace the great beast before her. She knew that at best
it could but enrage him and yet she meant to sell her life dearly,
for she felt that she must die. No human succor could have availed
her even had it been there to offer itself. For a moment she tore
her gaze from the hypnotic fascination of that awful face and
breathed a last prayer to her God. She did not ask for aid, for she
felt that she was beyond even divine succor--she only asked that
the end might come quickly and with as little pain as possible.
No one can prophesy what a lion will do in any given emergency.
This one glared and growled at the girl for a moment and then fell
to feeding upon the dead horse. Fraulein Kircher wondered for an
instant and then attempted to draw her leg cautiously from beneath
the body of her mount; but she could not budge it. She increased
the force of her efforts and Numa looked up from his feeding to
growl again. The girl desisted. She hoped that he might satisfy
his hunger and then depart to lie up, but she could not believe
that he would leave her there alive. Doubtless he would drag the
remains of his kill into the bush for hiding and, as there could
be no doubt that he considered her part of his prey, he would
certainly come back for her, or possibly drag her in first and kill
Again Numa fell to feeding. The girl's nerves were at the breaking
point. She wondered that she had not fainted under the strain
of terror and shock. She recalled that she often had wished she
might see a lion, close to, make a kill and feed upon it. God! how
realistically her wish had been granted.
Again she bethought herself of her pistol. As she had fallen, the
holster had slipped around so that the weapon now lay beneath her.
Very slowly she reached for it; but in so doing she was forced to
raise her body from the ground. Instantly the lion was aroused.
With the swiftness of a cat he reached across the carcass of the
horse and placed a heavy, taloned paw upon her breast, crushing her
back to earth, and all the time he growled and snarled horribly.
His face was a picture of frightful rage incarnate. For a moment
neither moved and then from behind her the girl heard a human voice
uttering bestial sounds.
Numa suddenly looked up from the girl's face at the thing beyond
her. His growls increased to roars as he drew back, ripping the
front of the girl's waist almost from her body with his long talons,
exposing her white bosom, which through some miracle of chance the
great claws did not touch.
Tarzan of the Apes had witnessed the entire encounter from the
moment that Numa had leaped upon his prey. For some time before,
he had been watching the girl, and after the lion attacked her he
had at first been minded to let Numa have his way with her. What
was she but a hated German and a spy besides? He had seen her at
General Kraut's headquarters, in conference with the German staff
and again he had seen her within the British lines masquerading as
a British officer. It was the latter thought that prompted him to
interfere. Doubtless General Jan Smuts would be glad to meet and
question her. She might be forced to divulge information of value
to the British commander before Smuts had her shot.
Tarzan had recognized not only the girl, but the lion as well. All
lions may look alike to you and me; but not so to their intimates
of the jungle. Each has his individual characteristics of face and
form and gait as well defined as those that differentiate members
of the human family, and besides these the creatures of the jungle
have a still more positive test-that of scent. Each of us, man or
beast, has his own peculiar odor, and it is mostly by this that
the beasts of the jungle, endowed with miraculous powers of scent,
It is the final proof. You have seen it demonstrated a thousand
times--a dog recognizes your voice and looks at you. He knows your
face and figure. Good, there can be no doubt in his mind but that
it is you; but is he satisfied? No, sir-he must come up and smell
of you. All his other senses may be fallible, but not his sense of
smell, and so he makes assurance positive by the final test.
Tarzan recognized Numa as he whom he had muzzled with the hide of
Horta, the boar--as he whom he handled by a rope for two days and
finally loosed in a German front-line trench, and he knew that Numa
would recognize him--that he would remember the sharp spear that
had goaded him into submission and obedience and Tarzan hoped that
the lesson he had learned still remained with the lion.
Now he came forward calling to Numa in the language of the great
apes--warning him away from the girl. It is open to question that
Numa, the lion, understood him; but he did understand the menace of
the heavy spear that the Tarmangani carried so ready in his brown,
right hand, and so he drew back, growling, trying to decide in his
little brain whether to charge or flee.
On came the ape-man with never a pause, straight for the lion. "Go
away, Numa," he cried, "or Tarzan will tie you up again and lead
you through the jungle without food. See Arad, my spear! Do you
recall how his point stuck into you and how with his haft I beat
you over the head? Go, Numa! I am Tarzan of the Apes!"
Numa wrinkled the skin of his face into great folds, until his
eyes almost disappeared and he growled and roared and snarled and
growled again, and when the spear point came at last quite close
to him he struck at it viciously with his armed paw; but he drew
back. Tarzan stepped over the dead horse and the girl lying behind
him gazed in wide-eyed astonishment at the handsome figure driving
an angry lion deliberately from its kill.
When Numa had retreated a few yards, the ape-man called back to
the girl in perfect German, "Are you badly hurt?"
"I think not," she replied; "but I cannot extricate my foot from
beneath my horse."
"Try again," commanded Tarzan. "I do not know how long I can hold
The girl struggled frantically; but at last she sank back upon an
"It is impossible," she called to him.
He backed slowly until he was again beside the horse, when he
reached down and grasped the cinch, which was still intact. Then
with one hand he raised the carcass from the ground. The girl
freed herself and rose to her feet.
"You can walk?" asked Tarzan.
"Yes," she said; "my leg is numb; but it does not seem to be
"Good," commented the ape-man. "Back slowly away behind me--make
no sudden movements. I think he will not charge."
With utmost deliberation the two backed toward the bush. Numa
stood for a moment, growling, then he followed them, slowly. Tarzan
wondered if he would come beyond his kill or if he would stop there.
If he followed them beyond, then they could look for a charge, and
if Numa charged it was very likely that he would get one of them.
When the lion reached the carcass of the horse Tarzan stopped and
so did Numa, as Tarzan had thought that he would and the ape-man
waited to see what the lion would do next. He eyed them for a
moment, snarled angrily and then looked down at the tempting meat.
Presently he crouched upon his kill and resumed feeding.
The girl breathed a deep sigh of relief as she and the ape-man
resumed their slow retreat with only an occasional glance from the
lion, and when at last they reached the bush and had turned and
entered it, she felt a sudden giddiness overwhelm her so that she
staggered and would have fallen had Tarzan not caught her. It was
only a moment before she regained control of herself.
"I could not help it," she said, in half apology. "I was so close
to death--such a horrible death--it unnerved me for an instant;
but I am all right now. How can I ever thank you? It was so
wonderful--you did not seem to fear the frightful creature in the
least; yet he was afraid of you. Who are you?"
"He knows me," replied Tarzan, grimly--"that is why he fears me."
He was standing facing the girl now and for the first time
he had a chance to look at her squarely and closely. She was very
beautiful--that was undeniable; but Tarzan realized her beauty only
in a subconscious way. It was superficial--it did not color her
soul which must be black as sin. She was German--a German spy. He
hated her and desired only to compass her destruction; but he would
choose the manner so that it would work most grievously against
the enemy cause.
He saw her naked breasts where Numa had torn her clothing from her
and dangling there against the soft, white flesh he saw that which
brought a sudden scowl of surprise and anger to his face--the
diamond-studded, golden locket of his youth--the love token that
had been stolen from the breast of his mate by Schneider, the Hun.
The girl saw the scowl but did not interpret it correctly. Tarzan
grasped her roughly by the arm.
"Where did you get this?" he demanded, as he tore the bauble from
The girl drew herself to her full height. "Take your hand from me,"
she demanded, but the ape-man paid no attention to her words, only
seizing her more forcibly.
"Answer me!" he snapped. "Where did you get this?"
"What is it to you?" she countered.
"It is mine," he replied. "Tell me who gave it to you or I will
throw you back to Numa."
"You would do that?" she asked.
"Why not?" he queried. "You are a spy and spies must die if they
"You were going to kill me, then?"
"I was going to take you to headquarters. They would dispose of
you there; but Numa can do it quite as effectively. Which do you
"Hauptmann Fritz Schneider gave it to me," she said.
"Headquarters it will be then," said Tarzan. "Come!" The girl
moved at his side through the bush and all the time her mind worked
quickly. They were moving east, which suited her, and as long as
they continued to move east she was glad to have the protection
of the great, white savage. She speculated much upon the fact that
her pistol still swung at her hip. The man must be mad not to take
it from her.
"What makes you think I am a spy?" she asked after a long silence.
"I saw you at German headquarters," he replied, "and then again
inside the British lines."
She could not let him take her back to them. She must reach
Wilhelmstal at once and she was determined to do so even if she
must have recourse to her pistol. She cast a side glance at the
tall figure. What a magnificent creature! But yet he was a brute
who would kill her or have her killed if she did not slay him. And
the locket! She must have that back--it must not fail to reach
Wilhelmstal. Tarzan was now a foot or two ahead of her as the path
was very narrow. Cautiously she drew her pistol. A single shot would
suffice and he was so close that she could not miss. As she figured
it all out her eyes rested on the brown skin with the graceful muscles
rolling beneath it and the perfect limbs and head and the carriage
that a proud king of old might have envied. A wave of revulsion
for her contemplated act surged through her. No, she could not
do it--yet, she must be free and she must regain possession of
the locket. And then, almost blindly, she swung the weapon up and
struck Tarzan heavily upon the back of the head with its butt. Like
a felled ox he dropped in his tracks.
Vengeance and Mercy
It was an hour later that Sheeta, the panther, hunting, chanced to
glance upward into the blue sky where his attention was attracted
by Ska, the vulture, circling slowly above the bush a mile away and
downwind. For a long minute the yellow eyes stared intently at the
gruesome bird. They saw Ska dive and rise again to continue his
ominous circling and in these movements their woodcraft read that
which, while obvious to Sheeta, would doubtless have meant nothing
to you or me.
The hunting cat guessed that on the ground beneath Ska was some
living thing of flesh--either a beast feeding upon its kill or a
dying animal that Ska did not yet dare attack. In either event it
might prove meat for Sheeta, and so the wary feline stalked by a
circuitous route, upon soft, padded feet that gave forth no sound,
until the circling aasvogel and his intended prey were upwind. Then,
sniffing each vagrant zephyr, Sheeta, the panther, crept cautiously
forward, nor had he advanced any considerable distance before his
keen nostrils were rewarded with the scent of man--a Tarmangani.
Sheeta paused. He was not a hunter of men. He was young and in his
prime; but always before he had avoided this hated presence. Of
late he had become more accustomed to it with the passing of many
soldiers through his ancient hunting ground, and as the soldiers
had frightened away a great part of the game Sheeta had been wont
to feed upon, the days had been lean, and Sheeta was hungry.
The circling Ska suggested that this Tarmangani might be helpless
and upon the point of dying, else Ska would not have been interested
in him, and so easy prey for Sheeta. With this thought in mind the
cat resumed his stalking. Presently he pushed through the thick
bush and his yellow-green eyes rested gloatingly upon the body of
an almost naked Tarmangani lying face down in a narrow game trail.
Numa, sated, rose from the carcass of Bertha Kircher's horse and
seized the partially devoured body by the neck and dragged it into
the bush; then he started east toward the lair where he had left
his mate. Being uncomfortably full he was inclined to be sleepy
and far from belligerent. He moved slowly and majestically with no
effort at silence or concealment. The king walked abroad, unafraid.
With an occasional regal glance to right or left he moved along a
narrow game trail until at a turn he came to a sudden stop at what
lay revealed before him--Sheeta, the panther, creeping stealthily
upon the almost naked body of a Tarmangani lying face down in the
deep dust of the pathway. Numa glared intently at the quiet body
in the dust. Recognition came. It was his Tarmangani. A low growl
of warning rumbled from his throat and Sheeta halted with one paw
upon Tarzan's back and turned suddenly to eye the intruder.
What passed within those savage brains? Who may say? The panther
seemed debating the wisdom of defending his find, for he growled
horribly as though warning Numa away from the prey. And Numa? Was
the idea of property rights dominating his thoughts? The Tarmangani
was his, or he was the Tarmangani's. Had not the Great White Ape
mastered and subdued him and, too, had he not fed him? Numa recalled
the fear that he had felt of this man-thing and his cruel spear;
but in savage brains fear is more likely to engender respect than
hatred and so Numa found that he respected the creature who had
subdued and mastered him. He saw Sheeta, upon whom he looked with
contempt, daring to molest the master of the lion. Jealousy and
greed alone might have been sufficient to prompt Numa to drive Sheeta
away, even though the lion was not sufficiently hungry to devour
the flesh that he thus wrested from the lesser cat; but then, too,
there was in the little brain within the massive head a sense of
loyalty, and perhaps this it was that sent Numa quickly forward,
growling, toward the spitting Sheeta.
For a moment the latter stood his ground with arched back and
snarling face, for all the world like a great, spotted tabby.
Numa had not felt like fighting; but the sight of Sheeta daring
to dispute his rights kindled his ferocious brain to sudden fire.
His rounded eyes glared with rage, his undulating tail snapped to
stiff erectness as, with a frightful roar, he charged this presuming
It came so suddenly and from so short a distance that Sheeta had
no chance to turn and flee the rush, and so he met it with raking
talons and snapping jaws; but the odds were all against him. To
the larger fangs and the more powerful jaws of his adversary were
added huge talons and the preponderance of the lion's great weight.
At the first clash Sheeta was crushed and, though he deliberately
fell upon his back and drew up his powerful hind legs beneath Numa
with the intention of disemboweling him, the lion forestalled him
and at the same time closed his awful jaws upon Sheeta's throat.
It was soon over. Numa rose, shaking himself, and stood above the
torn and mutilated body of his foe. His own sleek coat was cut and
the red blood trickled down his flank; though it was but a minor
injury, it angered him. He glared down at the dead panther and
then, in a fit of rage, he seized and mauled the body only to drop
it in a moment, lower his head, voice a single terrific roar, and
turn toward the ape-man.
Approaching the still form he sniffed it over from head to foot.
Then he placed a huge paw upon it and turned it over with its face
up. Again he smelled about the body and at last with his rough tongue
licked Tarzan's face. It was then that Tarzan opened his eyes.
Above him towered the huge lion, its hot breath upon his face, its
rough tongue upon his cheek. The ape-man had often been close to
death; but never before so close as this, he thought, for he was
convinced that death was but a matter of seconds. His brain was
still numb from the effects of the blow that had felled him, and
so he did not, for a moment, recognize the lion that stood over
him as the one he had so recently encountered.
Presently, however, recognition dawned upon him and with it
a realization of the astounding fact that Numa did not seem bent
on devouring him--at least not immediately. His position was a
delicate one. The lion stood astraddle Tarzan with his front paws.
The ape-man could not rise, therefore, without pushing the lion away
and whether Numa would tolerate being pushed was an open question.
Too, the beast might consider him already dead and any movement that
indicated the contrary was true would, in all likelihood, arouse
the killing instinct of the man-eater.
But Tarzan was tiring of the situation. He was in no mood to lie
there forever, especially when he contemplated the fact that the
girl spy who had tried to brain him was undoubtedly escaping as
rapidly as possible.
Numa was looking right into his eyes now evidently aware that he was
alive. Presently the lion cocked his head on one side and whined.
Tarzan knew the note, and he knew that it spelled neither rage nor
hunger, and then he risked all on a single throw, encouraged by
that low whine.
"Move, Numa!" he commanded and placing a palm against the tawny
shoulder he pushed the lion aside. Then he rose and with a hand
on his hunting knife awaited that which might follow. It was then
that his eyes fell for the first time on the torn body of Sheeta.
He looked from the dead cat to the live one and saw the marks of
conflict upon the latter, too, and in an instant realized something
of what had happened--Numa had saved him from the panther!
It seemed incredible and yet the evidence pointed clearly to the
fact. He turned toward the lion and without fear approached and
examined his wounds which he found superficial, and as Tarzan knelt
beside him Numa rubbed an itching ear against the naked, brown
shoulder. Then the ape-man stroked the great head, picked up his
spear, and looked about for the trail of the girl. This he soon
found leading toward the east, and as he set out upon it something
prompted him to feel for the locket he had hung about his neck. It
No trace of anger was apparent upon the ape-man's face unless it
was a slight tightening of the jaws; but he put his hand ruefully
to the back of his head where a bump marked the place where the
girl had struck him and a moment later a half-smile played across
his lips. He could not help but admit that she had tricked him
neatly, and that it must have taken nerve to do the thing she did
and to set out armed only with a pistol through the trackless waste
that lay between them and the railway and beyond into the hills
where Wilhelmstal lies.
Tarzan admired courage. He was big enough to admit it and admire
it even in a German spy, but he saw that in this case it only added
to her resourcefulness and made her all the more dangerous and the
necessity for putting her out of the way paramount. He hoped to
overtake her before she reached Wilhelmstal and so he set out at
the swinging trot that he could hold for hours at a stretch without
That the girl could hope to reach the town on foot in less than two
days seemed improbable, for it was a good thirty miles and part
of it hilly. Even as the thought crossed his mind he heard the
whistle of a locomotive to the east and knew that the railway was
in operation again after a shutdown of several days. If the train
was going south the girl would signal it if she had reached the
right of way. His keen ears caught the whining of brake shoes on
wheels and a few minutes later the signal blast for brakes off.
The train had stopped and started again and, as it gained headway
and greater distance, Tarzan could tell from the direction of the
sound that it was moving south.
The ape-man followed the trail to the railway where it ended
abruptly on the west side of the track, showing that the girl had
boarded the train, just as he thought. There was nothing now but
to follow on to Wilhelmstal, where he hoped to find Captain Fritz
Schneider, as well as the girl, and to recover his diamond-studded
It was dark when Tarzan reached the little hill town of Wilhelmstal.
He loitered on the outskirts, getting his bearings and trying to
determine how an almost naked white man might explore the village
without arousing suspicion. There were many soldiers about and
the town was under guard, for he could see a lone sentinel walking
his post scarce a hundred yards from him. To elude this one would
not be difficult; but to enter the village and search it would be
practically impossible, garbed, or un-garbed, as he was.
Creeping forward, taking advantage of every cover, lying flat and
motionless when the sentry's face was toward him, the ape-man at
last reached the sheltering shadows of an outhouse just inside the
lines. From there he moved stealthily from building to building
until at last he was discovered by a large dog in the rear of one of
the bungalows. The brute came slowly toward him, growling. Tarzan
stood motionless beside a tree. He could see a light in the bungalow
and uniformed men moving about and he hoped that the dog would not
bark. He did not; but he growled more savagely and, just at the
moment that the rear door of the bungalow opened and a man stepped
out, the animal charged.
He was a large dog, as large as Dango, the hyena, and he charged
with all the vicious impetuosity of Numa, the lion. As he came
Tarzan knelt and the dog shot through the air for his throat; but
he was dealing with no man now and he found his quickness more
than matched by the quickness of the Tarmangani. His teeth never
reached the soft flesh--strong fingers, fingers of steel, seized
his neck. He voiced a single startled yelp and clawed at the naked
breast before him with his talons; but he was powerless. The mighty
fingers closed upon his throat; the man rose, snapped the clawing
body once, and cast it aside. At the same time a voice from the
open bungalow door called: "Simba!"
There was no response. Repeating the call the man descended the
steps and advanced toward the tree. In the light from the doorway
Tarzan could see that he was a tall, broad-shouldered man in the
uniform of a German officer. The ape-man withdrew into the shadow
of the tree's stem. The man came closer, still calling the dog--he
did not see the savage beast, crouching now in the shadow, awaiting
him. When he had approached within ten feet of the Tarmangani,
Tarzan leaped upon him--as Sabor springs to the kill, so sprang the
ape-man. The momentum and weight of his body hurled the German to
the ground, powerful fingers prevented an outcry and, though the
officer struggled, he had no chance and a moment later lay dead
beside the body of the dog.
As Tarzan stood for a moment looking down upon his kill and regretting
that he could not risk voicing his beloved victory cry, the sight
of the uniform suggested a means whereby he might pass to and
fro through Wilhelmstal with the minimum chance of detection. Ten
minutes later a tall, broad-shouldered officer stepped from the
yard of the bungalow leaving behind him the corpses of a dog and
a naked man.
He walked boldly along the little street and those who passed him
could not guess that beneath Imperial Germany's uniform beat a
savage heart that pulsed with implacable hatred for the Hun. Tarzan's
first concern was to locate the hotel, for here he guessed he would
find the girl, and where the girl was doubtless would be Hauptmann
Fritz Schneider, who was either her confederate, her sweetheart,
or both, and there, too, would be Tarzan's precious locket.
He found the hotel at last, a low, two-storied building with
a veranda. There were lights on both floors and people, mostly
officers, could be seen within. The ape-man considered entering
and inquiring for those he sought; but his better judgment finally
prompted him to reconnoiter first. Passing around the building he
looked into all the lighted rooms on the first floor and, seeing
neither of those for whom he had come, he swung lightly to the roof
of the veranda and continued his investigations through windows of
the second story.
At one corner of the hotel in a rear room the blinds were drawn;
but he heard voices within and once he saw a figure silhouetted
momentarily against the blind. It appeared to be the figure
of a woman; but it was gone so quickly that he could not be sure.
Tarzan crept close to the window and listened. Yes, there was a
woman there and a man--he heard distinctly the tones of their voices
although he could overhear no words, as they seemed to be whispering.
The adjoining room was dark. Tarzan tried the window and found it
unlatched. All was quiet within. He raised the sash and listened
again--still silence. Placing a leg over the sill he slipped within
and hurriedly glanced about. The room was vacant. Crossing to the
door he opened it and looked out into the hall. There was no one
there, either, and he stepped out and approached the door of the
adjoining room where the man and woman were.
Pressing close to the door he listened. Now he distinguished
words, for the two had raised their voices as though in argument.
The woman was speaking.
"I have brought the locket," she said, "as was agreed upon between
you and General Kraut, as my identification. I carry no other
credentials. This was to be enough. You have nothing to do but give
me the papers and let me go."
The man replied in so low a tone that Tarzan could not catch the
words and then the woman spoke again--a note of scorn and perhaps
a little of fear in her voice.
"You would not dare, Hauptmann Schneider," she said, and then: "Do
not touch me! Take your hands from me!"
It was then that Tarzan of the Apes opened the door and stepped
into the room. What he saw was a huge, bull-necked German officer
with one arm about the waist of Fraulein Bertha Kircher and a hand
upon her forehead pushing her head back as he tried to kiss her
on the mouth. The girl was struggling against the great brute; but
her efforts were futile. Slowly the man's lips were coming closer
to hers and slowly, step by step, she was being carried backward.
Schneider heard the noise of the opening and closing door behind
him and turned. At sight of this strange officer he dropped the
girl and straightened up.
"What is the meaning of this intrusion, Lieutenant?" he demanded,
noting the other's epaulettes. "Leave the room at once."
Tarzan made no articulate reply; but the two there with him heard
a low growl break from those firm lips--a growl that sent a shudder
through the frame of the girl and brought a pallor to the red face
of the Hun and his hand to his pistol but even as he drew his weapon
it was wrested from him and hurled through the blind and window to
the yard beyond. Then Tarzan backed against the door and slowly
removed the uniform coat.
"You are Hauptmann Schneider," he said to the German.
"What of it?" growled the latter.
"I am Tarzan of the Apes," replied the ape-man. "Now you know why
The two before him saw that he was naked beneath the coat which he
threw upon the floor and then he slipped quickly from the trousers
and stood there clothed only in his loin cloth. The girl had
recognized him by this time, too.
"Take your hand off that pistol," Tarzan admonished her. Her hand
dropped at her side. "Now come here!"
She approached and Tarzan removed the weapon and hurled it after
the other. At the mention of his name Tarzan had noted the sickly
pallor that overspread the features of the Hun. At last he had found
the right man. At last his mate would be partially avenged--never
could she be entirely avenged. Life was too short and there were
too many Germans.
"What do you want of me?" demanded Schneider.
"You are going to pay the price for the thing you did at the little
bungalow in the Waziri country," replied the ape-man.
Schneider commenced to bluster and threaten. Tarzan turned the key
in the lock of the door and hurled the former through the window
after the pistols. Then he turned to the girl. "Keep out of the
way," he said in a low voice. "Tarzan of the Apes is going to kill."
The Hun ceased blustering and began to plead. "I have a wife and
children at home," he cried. "I have done nothing," I--"
"You are going to die as befits your kind," said Tarzan, "with blood
on your hands and a lie on your lips." He started across the room
toward the burly Hauptmann. Schneider was a large and powerful
man--about the height of the ape-man but much heavier. He saw that
neither threats nor pleas would avail him and so he prepared to
fight as a cornered rat fights for its life with all the maniacal
rage, cunning, and ferocity that the first law of nature imparts
to many beasts.
Lowering his bull head he charged for the ape-man and in the center
of the floor the two clinched. There they stood locked and swaying
for a moment until Tarzan succeeded in forcing his antagonist backward
over a table which crashed to the floor, splintered by the weight
of the two heavy bodies.
The girl stood watching the battle with wide eyes. She saw the two
men rolling hither and thither across the floor and she heard with
horror the low growls that came from the lips of the naked giant.
Schneider was trying to reach his foe's throat with his fingers
while, horror of horrors, Bertha Kircher could see that the other
was searching for the German's jugular with his teeth!
Schneider seemed to realize this too, for he redoubled his efforts
to escape and finally succeeded in rolling over on top of the ape-man
and breaking away. Leaping to his feet he ran for the window; but
the ape-man was too quick for him and before he could leap through
the sash a heavy hand fell upon his shoulder and he was jerked
back and hurled across the room to the opposite wall. There Tarzan
followed him, and once again they locked, dealing each other terrific
blows, until Schneider in a piercing voice screamed, "Kamerad!
Tarzan grasped the man by the throat and drew his hunting knife.
Schneider's back was against the wall so that though his knees
wobbled he was held erect by the ape-man. Tarzan brought the sharp
point to the lower part of the German's abdomen.
"Thus you slew my mate," he hissed in a terrible voice. "Thus
shall you die!"
The girl staggered forward. "Oh, God, no!" she cried. "Not that.
You are too brave--you cannot be such a beast as that!"
Tarzan turned at her. "No," he said, "you are right, I cannot do
it--I am no German," and he raised the point of his blade and sunk
it deep into the putrid heart of Hauptmann Fritz Schneider, putting
a bloody period to the Hun's last gasping cry: "I did not do it!
She is not--"
Then Tarzan turned toward the girl and held out his hand. "Give
me my locket," he said.
She pointed toward the dead officer. "He has it." Tarzan searched
him and found the trinket. "Now you may give me the papers," he said
to the girl, and without a word she handed him a folded document.
For a long time he stood looking at her before ho spoke again.
"I came for you, too," he said. "It would be difficult to take you
back from here and so I was going to kill you, as I have sworn to
kill all your kind; but you were right when you said that I was
not such a beast as that slayer of women. I could not slay him as
he slew mine, nor can I slay you, who are a woman."
He crossed to the window, raised the sash and an instant later he
had stepped out and disappeared into the night. And then Fraulein
Bertha Kircher stepped quickly to the corpse upon the floor, slipped
her hand inside the blouse and drew forth a little sheaf of papers
which she tucked into her waist before she went to the window and
called for help.
When Blood Told
Tarzan of the Apes was disgusted. He had had the German spy, Bertha
Kircher, in his power and had left her unscathed. It is true that he
had slain Hauptmann Fritz Schneider, that Underlieutenant von Goss
had died at his hands, and that he had otherwise wreaked vengeance
upon the men of the German company who had murdered, pillaged, and
raped at Tarzan's bungalow in the Waziri country. There was still
another officer to be accounted for, but him he could not find.
It was Lieutenant Obergatz he still sought, though vainly, for at
last he learned that the man had been sent upon some special mission,
whether in Africa or back to Europe Tarzan's informant either did
not know or would not divulge.
But the fact that he had permitted sentiment to stay his hand when
he might so easily have put Bertha Kircher out of the way in the
hotel at Wilhelmstal that night rankled in the ape-man's bosom.
He was shamed by his weakness, and when he had handed the paper
she had given him to the British chief of staff, even though
the information it contained permitted the British to frustrate a
German flank attack, he was still much dissatisfied with himself.
And possibly the root of this dissatisfaction lay in the fact that
he realized that were he again to have the same opportunity he
would still find it as impossible to slay a woman as it had been
in Wilhelmstal that night.
Tarzan blamed this weakness, as he considered it, upon his association
with the effeminizing influences of civilization, for in the bottom
of his savage heart he held in contempt both civilization and its
representatives--the men and women of the civilized countries of
the world. Always was he comparing their weaknesses, their vices,
their hypocrisies, and their little vanities with the open,
primitive ways of his ferocious jungle mates, and all the while
there battled in that same big heart with these forces another mighty
force--Tarzan's love and loyalty for his friends of the civilized
The ape-man, reared as he had been by savage beasts amid savage
beasts, was slow to make friends. Acquaintances he numbered by the
hundreds; but of friends he had few. These few he would have died
for as, doubtless, they would have died for him; but there were
none of these fighting with the British forces in East Africa, and
so, sickened and disgusted by the sight of man waging his cruel
and inhuman warfare, Tarzan determined to heed the insistent call
of the remote jungle of his youth, for the Germans were now on the
run and the war in East Africa was so nearly over that he realized
that his further services would be of negligible value.
Never regularly sworn into the service of the King, he was under
no obligation to remain now that the moral obligation had been
removed, and so it was that he disappeared from the British camp
as mysteriously as he had appeared a few months before.
More than once had Tarzan reverted to the primitive only to return
again to civilization through love for his mate; but now that she
was gone he felt that this time he had definitely departed forever
from the haunts of man, and that he should live and die a beast
among beasts even as he had been from infancy to maturity.
Between him and destination lay a trackless wilderness of untouched
primeval savagery where, doubtless in many spots, his would be the
first human foot to touch the virgin turf. Nor did this prospect
dismay the Tarmangani--rather was it an urge and an inducement, for
rich in his veins flowed that noble strain of blood that has made
most of the earth's surface habitable for man.
The question of food and water that would have risen paramount in
the mind of an ordinary man contemplating such an excursion gave
Tarzan little concern. The wilderness was his natural habitat
and woodcraft as inherent to him as breathing. Like other jungle
animals he could scent water from a great distance and, where you
or I might die of thirst, the ape-man would unerringly select the
exact spot at which to dig and find water.
For several days Tarzan traversed a country rich in game
and watercourses. He moved slowly, hunting and fishing, or again
fraternizing or quarreling with the other savage denizens of
the jungle. Now it was little Manu, the monkey, who chattered and
scolded at the mighty Tarmangani and in the next breath warned him
that Histah, the snake, lay coiled in the long grass just ahead.
Of Manu Tarzan inquired concerning the great apes--the Mangani--and
was told that few inhabited this part of the jungle, and that even
these were hunting farther to the north this season of the year.
"But there is Bolgani," said Manu. "Would you like to see Bolgani?"
Manu's tone was sneering, and Tarzan knew that it was because little
Manu thought all creatures feared mighty Bolgani, the gorilla.
Tarzan arched his great chest and struck it with a clinched fist.
"I am Tarzan," he cried. "While Tarzan was yet a balu he slew a
Bolgani. Tarzan seeks the Mangani, who are his brothers, but Bolgani
he does not seek, so let Bolgani keep from the path of Tarzan."
Little Manu, the monkey, was much impressed, for the way of the
jungle is to boast and to believe. It was then that he condescended
to tell Tarzan more of the Mangani.
"They go there and there and there," he said, making a wide sweep
with a brown hand first toward the north, then west, and then south
again. "For there," and he pointed due west, "is much hunting; but
between lies a great place where there is no food and no water,
so they must go that way," and again he swung his hand through the
half-circle that explained to Tarzan the great detour the apes made
to come to their hunting ground to the west.
That was all right for the Mangani, who are lazy and do not care to
move rapidly; but for Tarzan the straight road would be the best.
He would cross the dry country and come to the good hunting in a third
of the time that it would take to go far to the north and circle
back again. And so it was that he continued on toward the west, and
crossing a range of low mountains came in sight of a broad plateau,
rock strewn and desolate. Far in the distance he saw another range
of mountains beyond which he felt must lie the hunting ground of
the Mangani. There he would join them and remain for a while before
continuing on toward the coast and the little cabin that his father
had built beside the land-locked harbor at the jungle's edge.
Tarzan was full of plans. He would rebuild and enlarge the cabin
of his birth, constructing storage houses where he would make the
apes lay away food when it was plenty against the times that were
lean--a thing no ape ever had dreamed of doing. And the tribe would
remain always in the locality and he would be king again as he had
in the past. He would try to teach them some of the better things
that he had learned from man, yet knowing the ape-mind as only
Tarzan could, he feared that his labors would be for naught.
The ape-man found the country he was crossing rough in the extreme,
the roughest he ever had encountered. The plateau was cut by frequent
canyons the passage of which often entailed hours of wearing effort.
The vegetation was sparse and of a faded brown color that lent to
the whole landscape a most depressing aspect. Great rocks were strewn
in every direction as far as the eye could see, lying partially
embedded in an impalpable dust that rose in clouds about him at
every step. The sun beat down mercilessly out of a cloudless sky.
For a day Tarzan toiled across this now hateful land and at the
going down of the sun the distant mountains to the west seemed no
nearer than at morn. Never a sign of living thing had the ape-man
seen, other than Ska, that bird of ill omen, that had followed him
tirelessly since he had entered this parched waste.
No littlest beetle that he might eat had given evidence that life
of any sort existed here, and it was a hungry and thirsty Tarzan who
lay down to rest in the evening. He decided now to push on during
the cool of the night, for he realized that even mighty Tarzan had
his limitations and that where there was no food one could not eat
and where there was no water the greatest woodcraft in the world
could find none. It was a totally new experience to Tarzan to find
so barren and terrible a country in his beloved Africa. Even the
Sahara had its oases; but this frightful world gave no indication
of containing a square foot of hospitable ground.
However, he had no misgivings but that he would fare forth into
the wonder country of which little Manu had told him, though it
was certain that he would do it with a dry skin and an empty belly.
And so he fought on until daylight, when he again felt the need
of rest. He was at the edge of another of those terrible canyons,
the eighth he had crossed, whose precipitous sides would have taxed
to the uttermost the strength of an untired man well fortified by
food and water, and for the first time, as he looked down into the
abyss and then at the opposite side that he must scale, misgivings
began to assail his mind.
He did not fear death--with the memory of his murdered mate still
fresh in his mind he almost courted it, yet strong within him
was that primal instinct of self-preservation--the battling force
of life that would keep him an active contender against the Great
Reaper until, fighting to the very last, he should be overcome by
a superior power.
A shadow swung slowly across the ground beside him, and looking
up, the ape-man saw Ska, the vulture, wheeling a wide circle above
him. The grim and persistent harbinger of evil aroused the man
to renewed determination. He arose and approached the edge of the
canyon, and then, wheeling, with his face turned upward toward the
circling bird of prey, he bellowed forth the challenge of the bull
"I am Tarzan," he shouted, "Lord of the Jungle. Tarzan of the Apes
is not for Ska, eater of carrion. Go back to the lair of Dango
and feed off the leavings of the hyenas, for Tarzan will leave no
bones for Ska to pick in this empty wilderness of death."
But before he reached the bottom of the canyon he again was forced
to the realization that his great strength was waning, and when he
dropped exhausted at the foot of the cliff and saw before him the
opposite wall that must be scaled, he bared his fighting fangs and
growled. For an hour he lay resting in the cool shade at the foot
of the cliff. All about him reigned utter silence--the silence of
the tomb. No fluttering birds, no humming insects, no scurrying
reptiles relieved the deathlike stillness. This indeed was the
valley of death. He felt the depressing influence of the horrible
place setting down upon him; but he staggered to his feet, shaking
himself like a great lion, for was he not still Tarzan, mighty
Tarzan of the Apes? Yes, and Tarzan the mighty he would be until
the last throb of that savage heart!
As he crossed the floor of the canyon he saw something lying close
to the base of the side wall he was approaching-something that
stood out in startling contrast to all the surroundings and yet
seemed so much a part and parcel of the somber scene as to suggest
an actor amid the settings of a well-appointed stage, and, as though
to carry out the allegory, the pitiless rays of flaming Kudu topped
the eastern cliff, picking out the thing lying at the foot of the
western wall like a giant spotlight.
And as Tarzan came nearer he saw the bleached skull and bones of
a human being about which were remnants of clothing and articles
of equipment that, as he examined them, filled the ape-man with
curiosity to such an extent that for a time he forgot his own
predicament in contemplation of the remarkable story suggested by
these mute evidences of a tragedy of a time long past.
The bones were in a fair state of preservation and indicated by
their intactness that the flesh had probably been picked from them
by vultures as none was broken; but the pieces of equipment bore
out the suggestion of their great age. In this protected spot where
there were no frosts and evidently but little rainfall, the bones
might have lain for ages without disintegrating, for there were
here no other forces to scatter or disturb them.
Near the skeleton lay a helmet of hammered brass and a corroded
breastplate of steel while at one side was a long, straight sword
in its scabbard and an ancient harquebus. The bones were those of
a large man--a man of wondrous strength and vitality Tarzan knew
he must have been to have penetrated thus far through the dangers
of Africa with such a ponderous yet at the same time futile armament.
The ape-man felt a sense of deep admiration for this nameless
adventurer of a bygone day. What a brute of a man he must have been
and what a glorious tale of battle and kaleidoscopic vicissitudes
of fortune must once have been locked within that whitened skull!
Tarzan stooped to examine the shreds of clothing that still lay
about the bones. Every particle of leather had disappeared, doubtless
eaten by Ska. No boots remained, if the man had worn boots, but
there were several buckles scattered about suggesting that a great
part of his trappings had been of leather, while just beneath the
bones of one hand lay a metal cylinder about eight inches long and
two inches in diameter. As Tarzan picked it up he saw that it had
been heavily lacquered and had withstood the slight ravages of
time so well as to be in as perfect a state of preservation today
as it had been when its owner dropped into his last, long sleep
perhaps centuries ago.
As he examined it he discovered that one end was closed with
a friction cover which a little twisting force soon loosened and
removed, revealing within a roll of parchment which the ape-man
removed and opened, disclosing a number of age-yellowed sheets
closely written upon in a fine hand in a language which he guessed
to be Spanish but which he could not decipher. Upon the last sheet
was a roughly drawn map with numerous reference points marked upon
it, all unintelligible to Tarzan, who, after a brief examination
of the papers, returned them to their metal case, replaced the top
and was about to toss the little cylinder to the ground beside the
mute remains of its former possessor when some whim of curiosity
unsatisfied prompted him to slip it into the quiver with his arrows,
though as he did so it was with the grim thought that possibly
centuries hence it might again come to the sight of man beside his
own bleached bones.
And then, with a parting glance at the ancient skeleton, he turned
to the task of ascending the western wall of the canyon. Slowly
and with many rests he dragged his weakening body upwards. Again and
again he slipped back from sheer exhaustion and would have fallen
to the floor of the canyon but for merest chance. How long it took
him to scale that frightful wall he could not have told, and when
at last he dragged himself over the top it was to lie weak and
gasping, too spent to rise or even to move a few inches farther
from the perilous edge of the chasm.
At last he arose, very slowly and with evident effort gaining his
knees first and then staggering to his feet, yet his indomitable
will was evidenced by a sudden straightening of his shoulders and
a determined shake of his head as he lurched forward on unsteady
legs to take up his valiant fight for survival. Ahead he scanned
the rough landscape for sign of another canyon which he knew would
spell inevitable doom. The western hills rose closer now though
weirdly unreal as they seemed to dance in the sunlight as though
mocking him with their nearness at the moment that exhaustion was
about to render them forever unattainable.
Beyond them he knew must be the fertile hunting grounds of which Manu
had told. Even if no canyon intervened, his chances of surmounting
even low hills seemed remote should he have the fortune to reach
their base; but with another canyon hope was dead. Above them Ska
still circled, and it seemed to the ape-man that the ill-omened
bird hovered ever lower and lower as though reading in that failing
gait the nearing of the end, and through cracked lips Tarzan growled
out his defiance.
Mile after mile Tarzan of the Apes put slowly behind him, borne up
by sheer force of will where a lesser man would have lain down to
die and rest forever tired muscles whose every move was an agony of
effort; but at last his progress became practically mechanical--he
staggered on with a dazed mind that reacted numbly to a single
urge--on, on, on! The hills were now but a dim, ill-defined blur
ahead. Sometimes he forgot that they were hills, and again he
wondered vaguely why he must go on forever through all this torture
endeavoring to overtake them--the fleeing, elusive hills. Presently
he began to hate them and there formed within his half-delirious
brain the hallucination that the hills were German hills, that they
had slain someone dear to him, whom he could never quite recall,
and that he was pursuing to slay them.
This idea, growing, appeared to give him strength--a new and
revivifying purpose--so that for a time he no longer staggered; but
went forward steadily with head erect. Once he stumbled and fell,
and when he tried to rise he found that he could not--that his
strength was so far gone that he could only crawl forward on his
hands and knees for a few yards and then sink down again to rest.
It was during one of these frequent periods of utter exhaustion
that he heard the flap of dismal wings close above him. With his
remaining strength he turned himself over on his back to see Ska
wheel quickly upward. With the sight Tarzan's mind cleared for a
"Is the end so near as that?" he thought. "Does Ska know that I am
so near gone that he dares come down and perch upon my carcass?"
And even then a grim smile touched those swollen lips as into the
savage mind came a sudden thought-the cunning of the wild beast
at bay. Closing his eyes he threw a forearm across them to protect
them from Ska's powerful beak and then he lay very still and waited.
It was restful lying there, for the sun was now obscured by clouds
and Tarzan was very tired. He feared that he might sleep and something
told him that if he did he would never awaken, and so he concentrated
all his remaining powers upon the one thought of remaining awake.
Not a muscle moved-to Ska, circling above, it became evident that
the end had come--that at last he should be rewarded for his long
Circling slowly he dropped closer and closer to the dying man. Why
did not Tarzan move? Had he indeed been overcome by the sleep of
exhaustion, or was Ska right--had death at last claimed that mighty
body? Was that great, savage heart stilled forever? It is unthinkable.
Ska, filled with suspicions, circled warily. Twice he almost alighted
upon the great, naked breast only to wheel suddenly away; but the
third time his talons touched the brown skin. It was as though the
contact closed an electric circuit that instantaneously vitalized
the quiet clod that had lain motionless so long. A brown hand swept
downward from the brown forehead and before Ska could raise a wing
in flight he was in the clutches of his intended victim.
Ska fought, but he was no match for even a dying Tarzan, and
a moment later the ape-man's teeth closed upon the carrion-eater.
The flesh was coarse and tough and gave off an unpleasant odor and
a worse taste; but it was food and the blood was drink and Tarzan
only an ape at heart and a dying ape into the bargain--dying of
starvation and thirst.
Even mentally weakened as he was the ape-man was still master
of his appetite and so he ate but sparingly, saving the rest, and
then, feeling that he now could do so safely, he turned upon his
side and slept.
Rain, beating heavily upon his body, awakened him and sitting up he
cupped his hands and caught the precious drops which he transferred
to his parched throat. Only a little he got at a time; but that
was best. The few mouthfuls of Ska that he had eaten, together with
the blood and rain water and the sleep had refreshed him greatly
and put new strength into his tired muscles.
Now he could see the hills again and they were close and, though
there was no sun, the world looked bright and cheerful, for Tarzan
knew that he was saved. The bird that would have devoured him, and
the providential rain, had saved him at the very moment that death
Again partaking of a few mouthfuls of the unsavory flesh of Ska,
the vulture, the ape-man arose with something of his old force
and set out with steady gait toward the hills of promise rising
alluringly ahead. Darkness fell before he reached them; but he
kept on until he felt the steeply rising ground that proclaimed
his arrival at the base of the hills proper, and then he lay down
and waited until morning should reveal the easiest passage to the
land beyond. The rain had ceased, but the sky still was overcast
so that even his keen eyes could not penetrate the darkness farther
than a few feet. And there he slept, after eating again of what
remained of Ska, until the morning sun awakened him with a new
sense of strength and well-being.
And so at last he came through the hills out of the valley of death
into a land of park-like beauty, rich in game. Below him lay a deep
valley through the center of which dense jungle vegetation marked
the course of a river beyond which a primeval forest extended
for miles to terminate at last at the foot of lofty, snow-capped
mountains. It was a land that Tarzan never had looked upon before,
nor was it likely that the foot of another white man ever had
touched it unless, possibly, in some long-gone day the adventurer
whose skeleton he had found bleaching in the canyon had traversed
Tarzan and the Great Apes
Three days the ape-man spent in resting and recuperating, eating
fruits and nuts and the smaller animals that were most easily
bagged, and upon the fourth he set out to explore the valley and
search for the great apes. Time was a negligible factor in the
equation of life--it was all the same to Tarzan if he reached the
west coast in a month or a year or three years. All time was his and
all Africa. His was absolute freedom--the last tie that had bound
him to civilization and custom had been severed. He was alone but
he was not exactly lonely. The greater part of his life had been
spent thus, and though there was no other of his kind, he was at
all times surrounded by the jungle peoples for whom familiarity had
bred no contempt within his breast. The least of them interested
him, and, too, there were those with whom he always made friends
easily, and there were his hereditary enemies whose presence gave a
spice to life that might otherwise have become humdrum and monotonous.
And so it was that on the fourth day he set out to explore the
valley and search for his fellow-apes. He had proceeded southward
for a short distance when his nostrils were assailed by the scent
of man, of Gomangani, the black man. There were many of them, and
mixed with their scent was another-that of a she Tarmangani.
Swinging through the trees Tarzan approached the authors of these
disturbing scents. He came warily from the flank, but paying no
attention to the wind, for he knew that man with his dull senses
could apprehend him only through his eyes or ears and then only
when comparatively close. Had he been stalking Numa or Sheeta he
would have circled about until his quarry was upwind from him, thus
taking practically all the advantage up to the very moment that
he came within sight or hearing; but in the stalking of the dull
clod, man, he approached with almost contemptuous indifference,
so that all the jungle about him knew that he was passing--all but
the men he stalked.
From the dense foliage of a great tree he watched them pass--a
disreputable mob of blacks, some garbed in the uniform of German
East African native troops, others wearing a single garment of the
same uniform, while many had reverted to the simple dress of their
forbears--approximating nudity. There were many black women with
them, laughing and talking as they kept pace with the men, all of
whom were armed with German rifles and equipped with German belts
There were no white officers there, but it was none the less apparent
to Tarzan that these men were from some German native command,
and he guessed that they had slain their officers and taken to the
jungle with their women, or had stolen some from native villages
through which they must have passed. It was evident that they were
putting as much ground between themselves and the coast as possible
and doubtless were seeking some impenetrable fastness of the vast
interior where they might inaugurate a reign of terror among the
primitively armed inhabitants and by raiding, looting, and rape
grow rich in goods and women at the expense of the district upon
which they settled themselves.
Between two of the black women marched a slender white girl. She
was hatless and with torn and disheveled clothing that had evidently
once been a trim riding habit. Her coat was gone and her waist half
torn from her body. Occasionally and without apparent provocation
one or the other of the Negresses struck or pushed her roughly.
Tarzan watched through half-closed eyes. His first impulse was to
leap among them and bear the girl from their cruel clutches. He had
recognized her immediately and it was because of this fact that he
What was it to Tarzan of the Apes what fate befell this enemy
spy? He had been unable to kill her himself because of an inherent
weakness that would not permit him to lay hands upon a woman, all
of which of course had no bearing upon what others might do to
her. That her fate would now be infinitely more horrible than the
quick and painless death that the ape-man would have meted to her
only interested Tarzan to the extent that the more frightful the
end of a German the more in keeping it would be with what they all
And so he let the blacks pass with Fraulein Bertha Kircher in their
midst, or at least until the last straggling warrior suggested to
his mind the pleasures of black-baiting--an amusement and a sport
in which he had grown ever more proficient since that long-gone day
when Kulonga, the son of Mbonga, the chief, had cast his unfortunate
spear at Kala, the ape-man's foster mother.
The last man, who must have stopped for some purpose, was fully a
quarter of a mile in rear of the party. He was hurrying to catch
up when Tarzan saw him, and as he passed beneath the tree in which
the ape-man perched above the trail, a silent noose dropped deftly
about his neck. The main body still was in plain sight, and as the
frightened man voiced a piercing shriek of terror, they looked back
to see his body rise as though by magic straight into the air and
disappear amidst the leafy foliage above.
For a moment the blacks stood paralyzed by astonishment and fear;
but presently the burly sergeant, Usanga, who led them, started
back along the trail at a run, calling to the others to follow
him. Loading their guns as they came the blacks ran to succor their
fellow, and at Usanga's command they spread into a thin line that
presently entirely surrounded the tree into which their comrade
Usanga called but received no reply; then he advanced slowly with
rifle at the ready, peering up into the tree. He could see no
one--nothing. The circle closed in until fifty blacks were searching
among the branches with their keen eyes. What had become of their
fellow? They had seen him rise into the tree and since then many
eyes had been fastened upon the spot, yet there was no sign of him.
One, more venturesome than his fellows, volunteered to climb into
the tree and investigate. He was gone but a minute or two and
when he dropped to earth again he swore that there was no sign of
a creature there.
Perplexed, and by this time a bit awed, the blacks drew slowly
away from the spot and with many backward glances and less laughing
continued upon their journey until, when about a mile beyond the
spot at which their fellow had disappeared, those in the lead saw
him peering from behind a tree at one side of the trail just in
front of them. With shouts to their companions that he had been
found they ran forwards; but those who were first to reach the
tree stopped suddenly and shrank back, their eyes rolling fearfully
first in one direction and then in another as though they expected
some nameless horror to leap out upon them.
Nor was their terror without foundation. Impaled upon the end of
a broken branch the head of their companion was propped behind the
tree so that it appeared to be looking out at them from the opposite
side of the bole.
It was then that many wished to turn back, arguing that they
had offended some demon of the wood upon whose preserve they had
trespassed; but Usanga refused to listen to them, assuring them
that inevitable torture and death awaited them should they return
and fall again into the hands of their cruel German masters. At
last his reasoning prevailed to the end that a much-subdued and
terrified band moved in a compact mass, like a drove of sheep,
forward through the valley and there were no stragglers.
It is a happy characteristic of the Negro race, which they hold
in common with little children, that their spirits seldom remain
depressed for a considerable length of time after the immediate
cause of depression is removed, and so it was that in half an hour
Usanga's band was again beginning to take on to some extent its
former appearance of carefree lightheartedness. Thus were the heavy
clouds of fear slowly dissipating when a turn in the trail brought
them suddenly upon the headless body of their erstwhile companion
lying directly in their path, and they were again plunged into the
depth of fear and gloomy forebodings.
So utterly inexplicable and uncanny had the entire occurrence been
that there was not a one of them who could find a ray of comfort
penetrating the dead blackness of its ominous portent. What had
happened to one of their number each conceived as being a wholly
possible fate for himself--in fact quite his probable fate. If such
a thing could happen in broad daylight what frightful thing might
not fall to their lot when night had enshrouded them in her mantle
of darkness. They trembled in anticipation.
The white girl in their midst was no less mystified than they; but
far less moved, since sudden death was the most merciful fate to
which she might now look forward. So far she had been subjected
to nothing worse than the petty cruelties of the women, while, on
the other hand, it had alone been the presence of the women that
had saved her from worse treatment at the hands of some of the
men--notably the brutal, black sergeant, Usanga. His own woman
was of the party--a veritable giantess, a virago of the first
magnitude--and she was evidently the only thing in the world of
which Usanga stood in awe. Even though she was particularly cruel
to the young woman, the latter believed that she was her sole
protection from the degraded black tyrant.
Late in the afternoon the band came upon a small palisaded village
of thatched huts set in a clearing in the jungle close beside
a placid river. At their approach the villagers came pouring out,
and Usanga advanced with two of his warriors to palaver with the
chief. The experiences of the day had so shaken the nerves of the
black sergeant that he was ready to treat with these people rather
than take their village by force of arms, as would ordinarily have
been his preference; but now a vague conviction influenced him
that there watched over this part of the jungle a powerful demon
who wielded miraculous power for evil against those who offended
him. First Usanga would learn how these villagers stood with this
savage god and if they had his good will Usanga would be most
careful to treat them with kindness and respect.
At the palaver it developed that the village chief had food,
goats, and fowl which he would be glad to dispose of for a proper
consideration; but as the consideration would have meant parting
with precious rifles and ammunition, or the very clothing from their
backs, Usanga began to see that after all it might be forced upon
him to wage war to obtain food.
A happy solution was arrived at by a suggestion of one of his
men--that the soldiers go forth the following day and hunt for the
villagers, bringing them in so much fresh meat in return for their
hospitality. This the chief agreed to, stipulating the kind and
quantity of game to be paid in return for flour, goats, and fowl,
and a certain number of huts that were to be turned over to the
visitors. The details having been settled after an hour or more
of that bickering argument of which the native African is so fond,
the newcomers entered the village where they were assigned to huts.
Bertha Kircher found herself alone in a small hut to the palisade
at the far end of the village street, and though she was neither
bound nor guarded, she was assured by Usanga that she could not
escape the village without running into almost certain death in the
jungle, which the villagers assured them was infested by lions of
great size and ferocity. "Be good to Usanga," he concluded, "and
no harm will befall you. I will come again to see you after the
others are asleep. Let us be friends."
As the brute left her the girl's frame was racked by a convulsive
shudder as she sank to the floor of the hut and covered her face
with her hands. She realized now why the women had not been left
to guard her. It was the work of the cunning Usanga, but would not
his woman suspect something of his intentions? She was no fool and,
further, being imbued with insane jealousy she was ever looking
for some overt act upon the part of her ebon lord. Bertha Kircher
felt that only she might save her and that she would save her if
word could be but gotten to her. But how?
Left alone and away from the eyes of her captors for the first time
since the previous night, the girl immediately took advantage of
the opportunity to assure herself that the papers she had taken
from the body of Hauptmann Fritz Schneider were still safely sewn
inside one of her undergarments.
Alas! Of what value could they now ever be to her beloved country?
But habit and loyalty were so strong within her that she still clung
to the determined hope of eventually delivering the little packet
to her chief.
The natives seemed to have forgotten her existence--no one came
near the hut, not even to bring her food. She could hear them at
the other end of the village laughing and yelling and knew that
they were celebrating with food and native beer--knowledge which
only increased her apprehension. To be prisoner in a native village
in the very heart of an unexplored region of Central Africa--the
only white woman among a band of drunken Negroes! The very thought
appalled her. Yet there was a slight promise in the fact that she
had so far been unmolested--the promise that they might, indeed,
have forgotten her and that soon they might become so hopelessly
drunk as to be harmless.
Darkness had fallen and still no one came. The girl wondered if
she dared venture forth in search of Naratu, Usanga's woman, for
Usanga might not forget that he had promised to return. No one was
near as she stepped out of the hut and made her way toward the part
of the village where the revelers were making merry about a fire.
As she approached she saw the villagers and their guests squatting
in a large circle about the blaze before which a half-dozen naked
warriors leaped and bent and stamped in some grotesque dance.
Pots of food and gourds of drink were being passed about among
the audience. Dirty hands were plunged into the food pots and the
captured portions devoured so greedily that one might have thought
the entire community had been upon the point of starvation. The
gourds they held to their lips until the beer ran down their chins
and the vessels were wrested from them by greedy neighbors. The
drink had now begun to take noticeable effect upon most of them,
with the result that they were beginning to give themselves up to
utter and licentious abandon.
As the girl came nearer, keeping in the shadow of the huts, looking
for Naratu she was suddenly discovered by one upon the edge of the
crowd--a huge woman, who rose, shrieking, and came toward her. From
her aspect the white girl thought that the woman meant literally
to tear her to pieces. So utterly wanton and uncalled-for was the
attack that it found the girl entirely unprepared, and what would
have happened had not a warrior interfered may only be guessed.
And then Usanga, noting the interruption, came lurching forward to
"What do you want," he cried, "food and drink? Come with me!" and
he threw an arm about her and dragged her toward the circle.
"No!" she cried, "I want Naratu. Where is Naratu?"
This seemed to sober the black for a moment as though he
had temporarily forgotten his better half. He cast quick, fearful
glances about, and then, evidently assured that Naratu had noticed
nothing, he ordered the warrior who was still holding the infuriated
black woman from the white girl to take the latter back to her hut
and to remain there on guard over her.
First appropriating a gourd of beer for himself the warrior
motioned the girl to precede him, and thus guarded she returned to
her hut, the fellow squatting down just outside the doorway, where
he confined his attentions for some time to the gourd.
Bertha Kircher sat down at the far side of the hut awaiting she
knew not what impending fate. She could not sleep so filled was her
mind with wild schemes of escape though each new one must always be
discarded as impractical. Half an hour after the warrior had returned
her to her prison he rose and entered the hut, where he tried to
engage in conversation with her. Groping across the interior he
leaned his short spear against the wall and sat down beside her,
and as he talked he edged closer and closer until at last he could
reach out and touch her. Shrinking, she drew away.
"Do not touch me!" she cried. "I will tell Usanga if you do not
leave me alone, and you know what he will do to you."
The man only laughed drunkenly, and, reaching out his hand, grabbed
her arm and dragged her toward him. She fought and cried aloud for
Usanga and at the same instant the entrance to the hut was darkened
by the form of a man.
"What is the matter?" shouted the newcomer in the deep tones that
the girl recognized as belonging to the black sergeant. He had
come, but would she be any better off? She knew that she would not
unless she could play upon Usanga's fear of his woman.
When Usanga found what had happened he kicked the warrior out of
the hut and bade him begone, and when the fellow had disappeared,
muttering and grumbling, the sergeant approached the white girl. He
was very drunk, so drunk that several times she succeeded in eluding
him and twice she pushed him so violently away that he stumbled
Finally he became enraged and rushing upon her, seized her in his
long, apelike arms. Striking at his face with clenched fists she
tried to protect herself and drive him away. She threatened him
with the wrath of Naratu, and at that he changed his tactics and
began to plead, and as he argued with her, promising her safety
and eventual freedom, the warrior he had kicked out of the hut made
his staggering way to the hut occupied by Naratu.
Usanga finding that pleas and promises were as unavailing as
threats, at last lost both his patience and his head, seizing the
girl roughly, and simultaneously there burst into the hut a raging
demon of jealousy. Naratu had come. Kicking, scratching, striking,
biting, she routed the terrified Usanga in short order, and
so obsessed was she by her desire to inflict punishment upon her
unfaithful lord and master that she quite forgot the object of his
Bertha Kircher heard her screaming down the village street at Usanga's
heels and trembled at the thought of what lay in store for her at
the hands of these two, for she knew that tomorrow at the latest
Naratu would take out upon her the full measure of her jealous
hatred after she had spent her first wrath upon Usanga.
The two had departed but a few minutes when the warrior guard
returned. He looked into the hut and then entered. "No one will
stop me now, white woman," he growled as he stepped quickly across
the hut toward her.
Tarzan of the Apes, feasting well upon a juicy haunch from Bara,
the deer, was vaguely conscious of a troubled mind. He should
have been at peace with himself and all the world, for was he not
in his native element surrounded by game in plenty and rapidly
filling his belly with the flesh he loved best? But Tarzan of
the Apes was haunted by the picture of a slight, young girl being
shoved and struck by brutal Negresses, and in imagination could
see her now camped in this savage country a prisoner among degraded
Why was it so difficult to remember that she was only a hated German
and a spy? Why would the fact that she was a woman and white always
obtrude itself upon his consciousness? He hated her as he hated
all her kind, and the fate that was sure to be hers was no more
terrible than she in common with all her people deserved. The matter
was settled and Tarzan composed himself to think of other things,
yet the picture would not die--it rose in all its details and annoyed
him. He began to wonder what they were doing to her and where they
were taking her. He was very much ashamed of himself as he had been
after the episode in Wilhelmstal when his weakness had permitted
him to spare this spy's life. Was he to be thus weak again? No!
Night came and he settled himself in an ample tree to rest until
morning; but sleep would not come. Instead came the vision of a
white girl being beaten by black women, and again of the same girl
at the mercy of the warriors somewhere in that dark and forbidding
With a growl of anger and self-contempt Tarzan arose, shook himself,
and swung from his tree to that adjoining, and thus, through the
lower terraces, he followed the trail that Usanga's party had taken
earlier in the afternoon. He had little difficulty as the band had
followed a well-beaten path and when toward midnight the stench
of a native village assailed his delicate nostrils he guessed that
his goal was near and that presently he should find her whom he
Prowling stealthily as prowls Numa, the lion, stalking a wary
prey, Tarzan moved noiselessly about the palisade, listening and
sniffing. At the rear of the village he discovered a tree whose
branches extended over the top of the palisade and a moment later
he had dropped quietly into the village.
From hut to hut he went searching with keen ears and nostrils some
confirming evidence of the presence of the girl, and at last, faint
and almost obliterated by the odor of the Gomangani, he found it
hanging like a delicate vapor about a small hut. The village was
quiet now, for the last of the beer and the food had been disposed
of and the blacks lay in their huts overcome by stupor, yet Tarzan
made no noise that even a sober man keenly alert might have heard.
He passed around to the entrance of the hut and listened. From
within came no sound, not even the low breathing of one awake; yet
he was sure that the girl had been here and perhaps was even now,
and so he entered, slipping in as silently as a disembodied spirit.
For a moment he stood motionless just within the entranceway,
listening. No, there was no one here, of that he was sure, but he
would investigate. As his eyes became accustomed to the greater
darkness within the hut an object began to take form that presently
outlined itself in a human form supine upon the floor.
Tarzan stepped closer and leaned over to examine it--it was the dead
body of a naked warrior from whose chest protruded a short spear.
Then he searched carefully every square foot of the remaining floor
space and at last returned to the body again where he stooped and
smelled of the haft of the weapon that had slain the black. A slow
smile touched his lips--that and a slight movement of his head
betokened that he understood.
A rapid search of the balance of the village assured him that the
girl had escaped and a feeling of relief came over him that no harm
had befallen her. That her life was equally in jeopardy in the
savage jungle to which she must have flown did not impress him
as it would have you or me, since to Tarzan the jungle was not
a dangerous place--he considered one safer there than in Paris or
London by night.
He had entered the trees again and was outside the palisade when
there came faintly to his ears from far beyond the village an old,
familiar sound. Balancing lightly upon a swaying branch he stood,
a graceful statue of a forest god, listening intently. For a minute
he stood thus and then there broke from his lips the long, weird
cry of ape calling to ape and he was away through the jungle toward
the sound of the booming drum of the anthropoids leaving behind him
an awakened and terrified village of cringing blacks, who would
forever after connect that eerie cry with the disappearance of
their white prisoner and the death of their fellow-warrior.
Bertha Kircher, hurrying through the jungle along a well-beaten
game trail, thought only of putting as much distance as possible
between herself and the village before daylight could permit pursuit
of her. Whither she was going she did not know, nor was it a matter
of great moment since death must be her lot sooner or later.
Fortune favored her that night, for she passed unscathed through
as savage and lion-ridden an area as there is in all Africa--a
natural hunting ground which the white man has not yet discovered,
where deer and antelope and zebra, giraffe and elephant, buffalo,
rhinoceros, and the other herbivorous animals of central Africa
abound unmolested by none but their natural enemies, the great
cats which, lured here by easy prey and immunity from the rifles
of big-game hunters, swarm the district.
She had fled for an hour or two, perhaps, when her attention was
arrested by the sound of animals moving about, muttering and growling
close ahead. Assured that she had covered a sufficient distance
to insure her a good start in the morning before the blacks could
take to her trail, and fearful of what the creatures might be,
she climbed into a large tree with the intention of spending the
balance of the night there.
She had no sooner reached a safe and comfortable branch when she
discovered that the tree stood upon the edge of a small clearing
that had been hidden from her by the heavy undergrowth upon the
ground below, and simultaneously she discovered the identity of
the beasts she had heard.
In the center of the clearing below her, clearly visible in the
bright moonlight, she saw fully twenty huge, manlike apes--great,
shaggy fellows who went upon their hind feet with only slight
assistance from the knuckles of their hands. The moonlight glanced
from their glossy coats, the numerous gray-tipped hairs imparting
a sheen that made the hideous creatures almost magnificent in their
The girl had watched them but a minute or two when the little band
was joined by others, coming singly and in groups until there were
fully fifty of the great brutes gathered there in the moonlight.
Among them were young apes and several little ones clinging tightly
to their mothers' shaggy shoulders. Presently the group parted to
form a circle about what appeared to be a small, flat-topped mound
of earth in the center of the clearing. Squatting close about this
mound were three old females armed with short, heavy clubs with
which they presently began to pound upon the flat top of the earth
mound which gave forth a dull, booming sound, and almost immediately
the other apes commenced to move about restlessly, weaving in and
out aimlessly until they carried the impression of a moving mass
of great, black maggots.
The beating of the drum was in a slow, ponderous cadence, at first
without time but presently settling into a heavy rhythm to which
the apes kept time with measured tread and swaying bodies. Slowly
the mass separated into two rings, the outer of which was composed
of shes and the very young, the inner of mature bulls. The former
ceased to move and squatted upon their haunches, while the bulls
now moved slowly about in a circle the center of which was the drum
and all now in the same direction.
It was then that there came faintly to the ears of the girl from
the direction of the village she had recently quitted a weird and
high-pitched cry. The effect upon the apes was electrical--they
stopped their movements and stood in attitudes of intent listening
for a moment, and then one fellow, huger than his companions, raised
his face to the heavens and in a voice that sent the cold shudders
through the girl's slight frame answered the far-off cry.
Once again the beaters took up their drumming and the slow dance
went on. There was a certain fascination in the savage ceremony
that held the girl spellbound, and as there seemed little likelihood
of her being discovered, she felt that she might as well remain
the balance of the night in her tree and resume her flight by the
comparatively greater safety of daylight.
Assuring herself that her packet of papers was safe she sought as
comfortable a position as possible among the branches, and settled