Part 1 out of 4
Created by Judith Boss, Omaha, Nebraska
The Beasts of Tarzan
By Edgar Rice Burroughs
To Joan Burroughs
1 Kidnapped . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
2 Marooned . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
3 Beasts at Bay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
4 Sheeta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
5 Mugambi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
6 A Hideous Crew . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
7 Betrayed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
8 The Dance of Death . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
9 Chivalry or Villainy . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
10 The Swede . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
11 Tambudza . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
12 A Black Scoundrel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
13 Escape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107
14 Alone in the Jungle . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
15 Down the Ugambi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123
16 In the Darkness of the Night . . . . . . . . 132
17 On the Deck of the "Kincaid" . . . . . . . . 140
18 Paulvitch Plots Revenge . . . . . . . . . . . 147
19 The Last of the "Kincaid" . . . . . . . . . . 158
20 Jungle Island Again . . . . . . . . . . . . . 162
21 The Law of the Jungle . . . . . . . . . . . . 172
"The entire affair is shrouded in mystery," said D'Arnot. "I have
it on the best of authority that neither the police nor the special
agents of the general staff have the faintest conception of how it
was accomplished. All they know, all that anyone knows, is that
Nikolas Rokoff has escaped."
John Clayton, Lord Greystoke--he who had been "Tarzan of the
Apes"--sat in silence in the apartments of his friend, Lieutenant
Paul D'Arnot, in Paris, gazing meditatively at the toe of his
His mind revolved many memories, recalled by the escape of his
arch-enemy from the French military prison to which he had been
sentenced for life upon the testimony of the ape-man.
He thought of the lengths to which Rokoff had once gone to compass
his death, and he realized that what the man had already done would
doubtless be as nothing by comparison with what he would wish and
plot to do now that he was again free.
Tarzan had recently brought his wife and infant son to London to
escape the discomforts and dangers of the rainy season upon their
vast estate in Uziri--the land of the savage Waziri warriors whose
broad African domains the ape-man had once ruled.
He had run across the Channel for a brief visit with his old friend,
but the news of the Russian's escape had already cast a shadow upon
his outing, so that though he had but just arrived he was already
contemplating an immediate return to London.
"It is not that I fear for myself, Paul," he said at last. "Many
times in the past have I thwarted Rokoff's designs upon my life;
but now there are others to consider. Unless I misjudge the man,
he would more quickly strike at me through my wife or son than
directly at me, for he doubtless realizes that in no other way
could he inflict greater anguish upon me. I must go back to them
at once, and remain with them until Rokoff is recaptured--or dead."
As these two talked in Paris, two other men were talking together
in a little cottage upon the outskirts of London. Both were dark,
One was bearded, but the other, whose face wore the pallor of long
confinement within doors, had but a few days' growth of black beard
upon his face. It was he who was speaking.
"You must needs shave off that beard of yours, Alexis," he said
to his companion. "With it he would recognize you on the instant.
We must separate here in the hour, and when we meet again upon the
deck of the Kincaid, let us hope that we shall have with us two
honoured guests who little anticipate the pleasant voyage we have
planned for them.
"In two hours I should be upon my way to Dover with one of them,
and by tomorrow night, if you follow my instructions carefully, you
should arrive with the other, provided, of course, that he returns
to London as quickly as I presume he will.
"There should be both profit and pleasure as well as other good things
to reward our efforts, my dear Alexis. Thanks to the stupidity of
the French, they have gone to such lengths to conceal the fact of
my escape for these many days that I have had ample opportunity
to work out every detail of our little adventure so carefully that
there is little chance of the slightest hitch occurring to mar our
prospects. And now good-bye, and good luck!"
Three hours later a messenger mounted the steps to the apartment
of Lieutenant D'Arnot.
"A telegram for Lord Greystoke," he said to the servant who answered
his summons. "Is he here?"
The man answered in the affirmative, and, signing for the message,
carried it within to Tarzan, who was already preparing to depart
Tarzan tore open the envelope, and as he read his face went white.
"Read it, Paul," he said, handing the slip of paper to D'Arnot.
"It has come already."
The Frenchman took the telegram and read:
"Jack stolen from the garden through complicity of new servant.
Come at once.--JANE."
As Tarzan leaped from the roadster that had met him at the station
and ran up the steps to his London town house he was met at the
door by a dry-eyed but almost frantic woman.
Quickly Jane Porter Clayton narrated all that she had been able to
learn of the theft of the boy.
The baby's nurse had been wheeling him in the sunshine on the walk
before the house when a closed taxicab drew up at the corner of the
street. The woman had paid but passing attention to the vehicle,
merely noting that it discharged no passenger, but stood at the
kerb with the motor running as though waiting for a fare from the
residence before which it had stopped.
Almost immediately the new houseman, Carl, had come running from
the Greystoke house, saying that the girl's mistress wished to
speak with her for a moment, and that she was to leave little Jack
in his care until she returned.
The woman said that she entertained not the slightest suspicion of
the man's motives until she had reached the doorway of the house,
when it occurred to her to warn him not to turn the carriage so as
to permit the sun to shine in the baby's eyes.
As she turned about to call this to him she was somewhat surprised
to see that he was wheeling the carriage rapidly toward the corner,
and at the same time she saw the door of the taxicab open and a
swarthy face framed for a moment in the aperture.
Intuitively, the danger to the child flashed upon her, and with a
shriek she dashed down the steps and up the walk toward the taxicab,
into which Carl was now handing the baby to the swarthy one within.
Just before she reached the vehicle, Carl leaped in beside his
confederate, slamming the door behind him. At the same time the
chauffeur attempted to start his machine, but it was evident that
something had gone wrong, as though the gears refused to mesh, and
the delay caused by this, while he pushed the lever into reverse
and backed the car a few inches before again attempting to go ahead,
gave the nurse time to reach the side of the taxicab.
Leaping to the running-board, she had attempted to snatch the baby
from the arms of the stranger, and here, screaming and fighting, she
had clung to her position even after the taxicab had got under way;
nor was it until the machine had passed the Greystoke residence at
good speed that Carl, with a heavy blow to her face, had succeeded
in knocking her to the pavement.
Her screams had attracted servants and members of the families
from residences near by, as well as from the Greystoke home. Lady
Greystoke had witnessed the girl's brave battle, and had herself
tried to reach the rapidly passing vehicle, but had been too late.
That was all that anyone knew, nor did Lady Greystoke dream of the
possible identity of the man at the bottom of the plot until her
husband told her of the escape of Nikolas Rokoff from the French
prison where they had hoped he was permanently confined.
As Tarzan and his wife stood planning the wisest course to pursue,
the telephone bell rang in the library at their right. Tarzan
quickly answered the call in person.
"Lord Greystoke?" asked a man's voice at the other end of the line.
"Your son has been stolen," continued the voice, "and I alone may
help you to recover him. I am conversant with the plot of those
who took him. In fact, I was a party to it, and was to share in
the reward, but now they are trying to ditch me, and to be quits
with them I will aid you to recover him on condition that you will
not prosecute me for my part in the crime. What do you say?"
"If you lead me to where my son is hidden," replied the ape-man,
"you need fear nothing from me."
"Good," replied the other. "But you must come alone to meet me,
for it is enough that I must trust you. I cannot take the chance
of permitting others to learn my identity."
"Where and when may I meet you?" asked Tarzan.
The other gave the name and location of a public-house on the
water-front at Dover--a place frequented by sailors.
"Come," he concluded, "about ten o'clock tonight. It would do
no good to arrive earlier. Your son will be safe enough in the
meantime, and I can then lead you secretly to where he is hidden.
But be sure to come alone, and under no circumstances notify Scotland
Yard, for I know you well and shall be watching for you.
"Should any other accompany you, or should I see suspicious characters
who might be agents of the police, I shall not meet you, and your
last chance of recovering your son will be gone."
Without more words the man rang off.
Tarzan repeated the gist of the conversation to his wife. She
begged to be allowed to accompany him, but he insisted that it
might result in the man's carrying out his threat of refusing to
aid them if Tarzan did not come alone, and so they parted, he to
hasten to Dover, and she, ostensibly to wait at home until he should
notify her of the outcome of his mission.
Little did either dream of what both were destined to pass through
before they should meet again, or the far-distant--but why anticipate?
For ten minutes after the ape-man had left her Jane Clayton walked
restlessly back and forth across the silken rugs of the library.
Her mother heart ached, bereft of its firstborn. Her mind was in
an anguish of hopes and fears.
Though her judgment told her that all would be well were her Tarzan
to go alone in accordance with the mysterious stranger's summons,
her intuition would not permit her to lay aside suspicion of the
gravest dangers to both her husband and her son.
The more she thought of the matter, the more convinced she became
that the recent telephone message might be but a ruse to keep them
inactive until the boy was safely hidden away or spirited out of
England. Or it might be that it had been simply a bait to lure
Tarzan into the hands of the implacable Rokoff.
With the lodgment of this thought she stopped in wide-eyed terror.
Instantly it became a conviction. She glanced at the great clock
ticking the minutes in the corner of the library.
It was too late to catch the Dover train that Tarzan was to take.
There was another, later, however, that would bring her to the
Channel port in time to reach the address the stranger had given
her husband before the appointed hour.
Summoning her maid and chauffeur, she issued instructions rapidly.
Ten minutes later she was being whisked through the crowded streets
toward the railway station.
It was nine-forty-five that night that Tarzan entered the squalid
"pub" on the water-front in Dover. As he passed into the evil-smelling
room a muffled figure brushed past him toward the street.
"Come, my lord!" whispered the stranger.
The ape-man wheeled about and followed the other into the ill-lit
alley, which custom had dignified with the title of thoroughfare.
Once outside, the fellow led the way into the darkness, nearer a
wharf, where high-piled bales, boxes, and casks cast dense shadows.
Here he halted.
"Where is the boy?" asked Greystoke.
"On that small steamer whose lights you can just see yonder,"
replied the other.
In the gloom Tarzan was trying to peer into the features of his
companion, but he did not recognize the man as one whom he had ever
before seen. Had he guessed that his guide was Alexis Paulvitch
he would have realized that naught but treachery lay in the man's
heart, and that danger lurked in the path of every move.
"He is unguarded now," continued the Russian. "Those who took
him feel perfectly safe from detection, and with the exception of
a couple of members of the crew, whom I have furnished with enough
gin to silence them effectually for hours, there is none aboard
the Kincaid. We can go aboard, get the child, and return without
the slightest fear."
"Let's be about it, then," he said.
His guide led him to a small boat moored alongside the wharf. The
two men entered, and Paulvitch pulled rapidly toward the steamer.
The black smoke issuing from her funnel did not at the time make
any suggestion to Tarzan's mind. All his thoughts were occupied
with the hope that in a few moments he would again have his little
son in his arms.
At the steamer's side they found a monkey-ladder dangling close
above them, and up this the two men crept stealthily. Once on
deck they hastened aft to where the Russian pointed to a hatch.
"The boy is hidden there," he said. "You had better go down after
him, as there is less chance that he will cry in fright than should
he find himself in the arms of a stranger. I will stand on guard
So anxious was Tarzan to rescue the child that he gave not the
slightest thought to the strangeness of all the conditions surrounding
the Kincaid. That her deck was deserted, though she had steam up,
and from the volume of smoke pouring from her funnel was all ready
to get under way made no impression upon him.
With the thought that in another instant he would fold that precious
little bundle of humanity in his arms, the ape-man swung down into
the darkness below. Scarcely had he released his hold upon the edge
of the hatch than the heavy covering fell clattering above him.
Instantly he knew that he was the victim of a plot, and that far
from rescuing his son he had himself fallen into the hands of his
enemies. Though he immediately endeavoured to reach the hatch and
lift the cover, he was unable to do so.
Striking a match, he explored his surroundings, finding that a little
compartment had been partitioned off from the main hold, with the
hatch above his head the only means of ingress or egress. It was
evident that the room had been prepared for the very purpose of
serving as a cell for himself.
There was nothing in the compartment, and no other occupant. If
the child was on board the Kincaid he was confined elsewhere.
For over twenty years, from infancy to manhood, the ape-man had
roamed his savage jungle haunts without human companionship of
any nature. He had learned at the most impressionable period of
his life to take his pleasures and his sorrows as the beasts take
So it was that he neither raved nor stormed against fate, but instead
waited patiently for what might next befall him, though not by any
means without an eye to doing the utmost to succour himself. To
this end he examined his prison carefully, tested the heavy planking
that formed its walls, and measured the distance of the hatch above
And while he was thus occupied there came suddenly to him the
vibration of machinery and the throbbing of the propeller.
The ship was moving! Where to and to what fate was it carrying
And even as these thoughts passed through his mind there came to
his ears above the din of the engines that which caused him to go
cold with apprehension.
Clear and shrill from the deck above him rang the scream of a
As Tarzan and his guide had disappeared into the shadows upon the
dark wharf the figure of a heavily veiled woman had hurried down
the narrow alley to the entrance of the drinking-place the two men
had just quitted.
Here she paused and looked about, and then as though satisfied that
she had at last reached the place she sought, she pushed bravely
into the interior of the vile den.
A score of half-drunken sailors and wharf-rats looked up at the
unaccustomed sight of a richly gowned woman in their midst. Rapidly
she approached the slovenly barmaid who stared half in envy, half
in hate, at her more fortunate sister.
"Have you seen a tall, well-dressed man here, but a minute since,"
she asked, "who met another and went away with him?"
The girl answered in the affirmative, but could not tell which way
the two had gone. A sailor who had approached to listen to the
conversation vouchsafed the information that a moment before as he
had been about to enter the "pub" he had seen two men leaving it
who walked toward the wharf.
"Show me the direction they went," cried the woman, slipping a coin
into the man's hand.
The fellow led her from the place, and together they walked quickly
toward the wharf and along it until across the water they saw a
small boat just pulling into the shadows of a nearby steamer.
"There they be," whispered the man.
"Ten pounds if you will find a boat and row me to that steamer,"
cried the woman.
"Quick, then," he replied, "for we gotta go it if we're goin' to
catch the Kincaid afore she sails. She's had steam up for three
hours an' jest been a-waitin' fer that one passenger. I was
a-talkin' to one of her crew 'arf an hour ago."
As he spoke he led the way to the end of the wharf where he knew
another boat lay moored, and, lowering the woman into it, he jumped
in after and pushed off. The two were soon scudding over the water.
At the steamer's side the man demanded his pay and, without
waiting to count out the exact amount, the woman thrust a handful
of bank-notes into his outstretched hand. A single glance at them
convinced the fellow that he had been more than well paid. Then he
assisted her up the ladder, holding his skiff close to the ship's
side against the chance that this profitable passenger might wish
to be taken ashore later.
But presently the sound of the donkey engine and the rattle of
a steel cable on the hoisting-drum proclaimed the fact that the
Kincaid's anchor was being raised, and a moment later the waiter
heard the propellers revolving, and slowly the little steamer moved
away from him out into the channel.
As he turned to row back to shore he heard a woman's shriek from
the ship's deck.
"That's wot I calls rotten luck," he soliloquized. "I might jest
as well of 'ad the whole bloomin' wad."
When Jane Clayton climbed to the deck of the Kincaid she found the
ship apparently deserted. There was no sign of those she sought
nor of any other aboard, and so she went about her search for her
husband and the child she hoped against hope to find there without
Quickly she hastened to the cabin, which was half above and half
below deck. As she hurried down the short companion-ladder into
the main cabin, on either side of which were the smaller rooms
occupied by the officers, she failed to note the quick closing of
one of the doors before her. She passed the full length of the
main room, and then retracing her steps stopped before each door
to listen, furtively trying each latch.
All was silence, utter silence there, in which the throbbing of
her own frightened heart seemed to her overwrought imagination to
fill the ship with its thunderous alarm.
One by one the doors opened before her touch, only to reveal empty
interiors. In her absorption she did not note the sudden activity
upon the vessel, the purring of the engines, the throbbing of the
propeller. She had reached the last door upon the right now, and
as she pushed it open she was seized from within by a powerful,
dark-visaged man, and drawn hastily into the stuffy, ill-smelling
The sudden shock of fright which the unexpected attack had upon
her drew a single piercing scream from her throat; then the man
clapped a hand roughly over the mouth.
"Not until we are farther from land, my dear," he said. "Then
you may yell your pretty head off."
Lady Greystoke turned to look into the leering, bearded face so
close to hers. The man relaxed the pressure of his fingers upon
her lips, and with a little moan of terror as she recognized him
the girl shrank away from her captor.
"Nikolas Rokoff! M. Thuran!" she exclaimed.
"Your devoted admirer," replied the Russian, with a low bow.
"My little boy," she said next, ignoring the terms of endearment--"where
is he? Let me have him. How could you be so cruel--even as you--Nikolas
Rokoff--cannot be entirely devoid of mercy and compassion? Tell
me where he is. Is he aboard this ship? Oh, please, if such a
thing as a heart beats within your breast, take me to my baby!"
"If you do as you are bid no harm will befall him," replied Rokoff.
"But remember that it is your own fault that you are here. You
came aboard voluntarily, and you may take the consequences. I
little thought," he added to himself, "that any such good luck as
this would come to me."
He went on deck then, locking the cabin-door upon his prisoner,
and for several days she did not see him. The truth of the matter
being that Nikolas Rokoff was so poor a sailor that the heavy seas
the Kincaid encountered from the very beginning of her voyage sent
the Russian to his berth with a bad attack of sea-sickness.
During this time her only visitor was an uncouth Swede, the Kincaid's
unsavoury cook, who brought her meals to her. His name was Sven
Anderssen, his one pride being that his patronymic was spelt with
a double "s."
The man was tall and raw-boned, with a long yellow moustache, an
unwholesome complexion, and filthy nails. The very sight of him
with one grimy thumb buried deep in the lukewarm stew, that seemed,
from the frequency of its repetition, to constitute the pride of
his culinary art, was sufficient to take away the girl's appetite.
His small, blue, close-set eyes never met hers squarely. There
was a shiftiness of his whole appearance that even found expression
in the cat-like manner of his gait, and to it all a sinister suggestion
was added by the long slim knife that always rested at his waist,
slipped through the greasy cord that supported his soiled apron.
Ostensibly it was but an implement of his calling; but the girl
could never free herself of the conviction that it would require
less provocation to witness it put to other and less harmless uses.
His manner toward her was surly, yet she never failed to meet him
with a pleasant smile and a word of thanks when he brought her
food to her, though more often than not she hurled the bulk of it
through the tiny cabin port the moment that the door closed behind
During the days of anguish that followed Jane Clayton's imprisonment,
but two questions were uppermost in her mind--the whereabouts of her
husband and her son. She fully believed that the baby was aboard
the Kincaid, provided that he still lived, but whether Tarzan had
been permitted to live after having been lured aboard the evil
craft she could not guess.
She knew, of course, the deep hatred that the Russian felt for the
Englishman, and she could think of but one reason for having him
brought aboard the ship--to dispatch him in comparative safety in
revenge for his having thwarted Rokoff's pet schemes, and for having
been at last the means of landing him in a French prison.
Tarzan, on his part, lay in the darkness of his cell, ignorant of
the fact that his wife was a prisoner in the cabin almost above
The same Swede that served Jane brought his meals to him, but,
though on several occasions Tarzan had tried to draw the man into
conversation, he had been unsuccessful. He had hoped to learn
through this fellow whether his little son was aboard the Kincaid,
but to every question upon this or kindred subjects the fellow
returned but one reply, "Ay tank it blow purty soon purty hard."
So after several attempts Tarzan gave it up.
For weeks that seemed months to the two prisoners the little steamer
forged on they knew not where. Once the Kincaid stopped to coal,
only immediately to take up the seemingly interminable voyage.
Rokoff had visited Jane Clayton but once since he had locked her
in the tiny cabin. He had come gaunt and hollow-eyed from a long
siege of sea-sickness. The object of his visit was to obtain from
her her personal cheque for a large sum in return for a guarantee
of her personal safety and return to England.
"When you set me down safely in any civilized port, together with
my son and my husband," she replied, "I will pay you in gold twice
the amount you ask; but until then you shall not have a cent, nor
the promise of a cent under any other conditions."
"You will give me the cheque I ask," he replied with a snarl, "or
neither you nor your child nor your husband will ever again set
foot within any port, civilized or otherwise."
"I would not trust you," she replied. "What guarantee have I that
you would not take my money and then do as you pleased with me and
mine regardless of your promise?"
"I think you will do as I bid," he said, turning to leave the
cabin. "Remember that I have your son--if you chance to hear the
agonized wail of a tortured child it may console you to reflect
that it is because of your stubbornness that the baby suffers--and
that it is your baby."
"You would not do it!" cried the girl. "You would not--could not
be so fiendishly cruel!"
"It is not I that am cruel, but you," he returned, "for you permit
a paltry sum of money to stand between your baby and immunity from
The end of it was that Jane Clayton wrote out a cheque of large
denomination and handed it to Nikolas Rokoff, who left her cabin
with a grin of satisfaction upon his lips.
The following day the hatch was removed from Tarzan's cell, and as
he looked up he saw Paulvitch's head framed in the square of light
"Come up," commanded the Russian. "But bear in mind that you will
be shot if you make a single move to attack me or any other aboard
The ape-man swung himself lightly to the deck. About him, but at
a respectful distance, stood a half-dozen sailors armed with rifles
and revolvers. Facing him was Paulvitch.
Tarzan looked about for Rokoff, who he felt sure must be aboard,
but there was no sign of him.
"Lord Greystoke," commenced the Russian, "by your continued and
wanton interference with M. Rokoff and his plans you have at last
brought yourself and your family to this unfortunate extremity.
You have only yourself to thank. As you may imagine, it has cost
M. Rokoff a large amount of money to finance this expedition,
and, as you are the sole cause of it, he naturally looks to you
"Further, I may say that only by meeting M. Rokoff's just demands
may you avert the most unpleasant consequences to your wife and
child, and at the same time retain your own life and regain your
"What is the amount?" asked Tarzan. "And what assurance have I
that you will live up to your end of the agreement? I have little
reason to trust two such scoundrels as you and Rokoff, you know."
The Russian flushed.
"You are in no position to deliver insults," he said. "You have
no assurance that we will live up to our agreement other than my
word, but you have before you the assurance that we can make short
work of you if you do not write out the cheque we demand.
"Unless you are a greater fool than I imagine, you should know
that there is nothing that would give us greater pleasure than to
order these men to fire. That we do not is because we have other
plans for punishing you that would be entirely upset by your death."
"Answer one question," said Tarzan. "Is my son on board this ship?"
"No," replied Alexis Paulvitch, "your son is quite safe elsewhere;
nor will he be killed until you refuse to accede to our fair demands.
If it becomes necessary to kill you, there will be no reason for
not killing the child, since with you gone the one whom we wish to
punish through the boy will be gone, and he will then be to us only
a constant source of danger and embarrassment. You see, therefore,
that you may only save the life of your son by saving your own,
and you can only save your own by giving us the cheque we ask."
"Very well," replied Tarzan, for he knew that he could trust them
to carry out any sinister threat that Paulvitch had made, and there
was a bare chance that by conceding their demands he might save
That they would permit him to live after he had appended his name
to the cheque never occurred to him as being within the realms of
probability. But he was determined to give them such a battle as
they would never forget, and possibly to take Paulvitch with him
into eternity. He was only sorry that it was not Rokoff.
He took his pocket cheque-book and fountain-pen from his pocket.
"What is the amount?" he asked.
Paulvitch named an enormous sum. Tarzan could scarce restrain a
Their very cupidity was to prove the means of their undoing, in the
matter of the ransom at least. Purposely he hesitated and haggled
over the amount, but Paulvitch was obdurate. Finally the ape-man
wrote out his cheque for a larger sum than stood to his credit at
As he turned to hand the worthless slip of paper to the Russian
his glance chanced to pass across the starboard bow of the Kincaid.
To his surprise he saw that the ship lay within a few hundred yards
of land. Almost down to the water's edge ran a dense tropical
jungle, and behind was higher land clothed in forest.
Paulvitch noted the direction of his gaze.
"You are to be set at liberty here," he said.
Tarzan's plan for immediate physical revenge upon the Russian
vanished. He thought the land before him the mainland of Africa,
and he knew that should they liberate him here he could doubtless
find his way to civilization with comparative ease.
Paulvitch took the cheque.
"Remove your clothing," he said to the ape-man. "Here you will
not need it."
Paulvitch pointed to the armed sailors. Then the Englishman slowly
divested himself of his clothing.
A boat was lowered, and, still heavily guarded, the ape-man was
rowed ashore. Half an hour later the sailors had returned to the
Kincaid, and the steamer was slowly getting under way.
As Tarzan stood upon the narrow strip of beach watching the departure
of the vessel he saw a figure appear at the rail and call aloud to
attract his attention.
The ape-man had been about to read a note that one of the sailors
had handed him as the small boat that bore him to the shore was
on the point of returning to the steamer, but at the hail from the
vessel's deck he looked up.
He saw a black-bearded man who laughed at him in derision as he
held high above his head the figure of a little child. Tarzan
half started as though to rush through the surf and strike out for
the already moving steamer; but realizing the futility of so rash
an act he halted at the water's edge.
Thus he stood, his gaze riveted upon the Kincaid until it disappeared
beyond a projecting promontory of the coast.
From the jungle at his back fierce bloodshot eyes glared from
beneath shaggy overhanging brows upon him.
Little monkeys in the tree-tops chattered and scolded, and from
the distance of the inland forest came the scream of a leopard.
But still John Clayton, Lord Greystoke, stood deaf and unseeing,
suffering the pangs of keen regret for the opportunity that he had
wasted because he had been so gullible as to place credence in a
single statement of the first lieutenant of his arch-enemy.
"I have at least," he thought, "one consolation--the knowledge that
Jane is safe in London. Thank Heaven she, too, did not fall into
the clutches of those villains."
Behind him the hairy thing whose evil eyes had been watching his
as a cat watches a mouse was creeping stealthily toward him.
Where were the trained senses of the savage ape-man?
Where the acute hearing?
Where the uncanny sense of scent?
Beasts at Bay
Slowly Tarzan unfolded the note the sailor had thrust into
his hand, and read it. At first it made little impression on his
sorrow-numbed senses, but finally the full purport of the hideous
plot of revenge unfolded itself before his imagination.
"This will explain to you" [the note read] "the exact nature of my
intentions relative to your offspring and to you.
"You were born an ape. You lived naked in the jungles--to your
own we have returned you; but your son shall rise a step above his
sire. It is the immutable law of evolution.
"The father was a beast, but the son shall be a man--he shall take
the next ascending step in the scale of progress. He shall be no
naked beast of the jungle, but shall wear a loincloth and copper
anklets, and, perchance, a ring in his nose, for he is to be reared
by men--a tribe of savage cannibals.
"I might have killed you, but that would have curtailed the full
measure of the punishment you have earned at my hands.
"Dead, you could not have suffered in the knowledge of your son's
plight; but living and in a place from which you may not escape to
seek or succour your child, you shall suffer worse than death for
all the years of your life in contemplation of the horrors of your
"This, then, is to be a part of your punishment for having dared
to pit yourself against
"P.S.--The balance of your punishment has to do with what shall
presently befall your wife--that I shall leave to your imagination."
As he finished reading, a slight sound behind him brought him back
with a start to the world of present realities.
Instantly his senses awoke, and he was again Tarzan of the Apes.
As he wheeled about, it was a beast at bay, vibrant with the instinct
of self-preservation, that faced a huge bull-ape that was already
charging down upon him.
The two years that had elapsed since Tarzan had come out of the
savage forest with his rescued mate had witnessed slight diminution
of the mighty powers that had made him the invincible lord of the
jungle. His great estates in Uziri had claimed much of his time
and attention, and there he had found ample field for the practical
use and retention of his almost superhuman powers; but naked and
unarmed to do battle with the shaggy, bull-necked beast that now
confronted him was a test that the ape-man would scarce have welcomed
at any period of his wild existence.
But there was no alternative other than to meet the rage-maddened
creature with the weapons with which nature had endowed him.
Over the bull's shoulder Tarzan could see now the heads and shoulders
of perhaps a dozen more of these mighty fore-runners of primitive
He knew, however, that there was little chance that they would attack
him, since it is not within the reasoning powers of the anthropoid
to be able to weigh or appreciate the value of concentrated action
against an enemy--otherwise they would long since have become
the dominant creatures of their haunts, so tremendous a power of
destruction lies in their mighty thews and savage fangs.
With a low snarl the beast now hurled himself at Tarzan, but the
ape-man had found, among other things in the haunts of civilized
man, certain methods of scientific warfare that are unknown to the
Whereas, a few years since, he would have met the brute rush with
brute force, he now sidestepped his antagonist's headlong charge,
and as the brute hurtled past him swung a mighty right to the pit
of the ape's stomach.
With a howl of mingled rage and anguish the great anthropoid bent
double and sank to the ground, though almost instantly he was again
struggling to his feet.
Before he could regain them, however, his white-skinned foe had
wheeled and pounced upon him, and in the act there dropped from
the shoulders of the English lord the last shred of his superficial
mantle of civilization.
Once again he was the jungle beast revelling in bloody conflict
with his kind. Once again he was Tarzan, son of Kala the she-ape.
His strong, white teeth sank into the hairy throat of his enemy as
he sought the pulsing jugular.
Powerful fingers held the mighty fangs from his own flesh, or
clenched and beat with the power of a steam-hammer upon the snarling,
foam-flecked face of his adversary.
In a circle about them the balance of the tribe of apes stood
watching and enjoying the struggle. They muttered low gutturals
of approval as bits of white hide or hairy bloodstained skin were
torn from one contestant or the other. But they were silent in
amazement and expectation when they saw the mighty white ape wriggle
upon the back of their king, and, with steel muscles tensed beneath
the armpits of his antagonist, bear down mightily with his open
palms upon the back of the thick bullneck, so that the king ape
could but shriek in agony and flounder helplessly about upon the
thick mat of jungle grass.
As Tarzan had overcome the huge Terkoz that time years before when
he had been about to set out upon his quest for human beings of his
own kind and colour, so now he overcame this other great ape with
the same wrestling hold upon which he had stumbled by accident
during that other combat. The little audience of fierce anthropoids
heard the creaking of their king's neck mingling with his agonized
shrieks and hideous roaring.
Then there came a sudden crack, like the breaking of a stout limb
before the fury of the wind. The bullet-head crumpled forward
upon its flaccid neck against the great hairy chest--the roaring
and the shrieking ceased.
The little pig-eyes of the onlookers wandered from the still form
of their leader to that of the white ape that was rising to its
feet beside the vanquished, then back to their king as though in
wonder that he did not arise and slay this presumptuous stranger.
They saw the new-comer place a foot upon the neck of the quiet
figure at his feet and, throwing back his head, give vent to the
wild, uncanny challenge of the bull-ape that has made a kill. Then
they knew that their king was dead.
Across the jungle rolled the horrid notes of the victory cry.
The little monkeys in the tree-tops ceased their chattering. The
harsh-voiced, brilliant-plumed birds were still. From afar came
the answering wail of a leopard and the deep roar of a lion.
It was the old Tarzan who turned questioning eyes upon the little
knot of apes before him. It was the old Tarzan who shook his head
as though to toss back a heavy mane that had fallen before his
face--an old habit dating from the days that his great shock of
thick, black hair had fallen about his shoulders, and often tumbled
before his eyes when it had meant life or death to him to have his
The ape-man knew that he might expect an immediate attack on the
part of that particular surviving bull-ape who felt himself best
fitted to contend for the kingship of the tribe. Among his own
apes he knew that it was not unusual for an entire stranger to
enter a community and, after having dispatched the king, assume the
leadership of the tribe himself, together with the fallen monarch's
On the other hand, if he made no attempt to follow them, they might
move slowly away from him, later to fight among themselves for the
supremacy. That he could be king of them, if he so chose, he was
confident; but he was not sure he cared to assume the sometimes
irksome duties of that position, for he could see no particular
advantage to be gained thereby.
One of the younger apes, a huge, splendidly muscled brute, was edging
threateningly closer to the ape-man. Through his bared fighting
fangs there issued a low, sullen growl.
Tarzan watched his every move, standing rigid as a statue. To
have fallen back a step would have been to precipitate an immediate
charge; to have rushed forward to meet the other might have had the
same result, or it might have put the bellicose one to flight--it
all depended upon the young bull's stock of courage.
To stand perfectly still, waiting, was the middle course. In this
event the bull would, according to custom, approach quite close to
the object of his attention, growling hideously and baring slavering
fangs. Slowly he would circle about the other, as though with a
chip upon his shoulder; and this he did, even as Tarzan had foreseen.
It might be a bluff royal, or, on the other hand, so unstable is
the mind of an ape, a passing impulse might hurl the hairy mass,
tearing and rending, upon the man without an instant's warning.
As the brute circled him Tarzan turned slowly, keeping his eyes
ever upon the eyes of his antagonist. He had appraised the young
bull as one who had never quite felt equal to the task of overthrowing
his former king, but who one day would have done so. Tarzan saw
that the beast was of wondrous proportions, standing over seven
feet upon his short, bowed legs.
His great, hairy arms reached almost to the ground even when he
stood erect, and his fighting fangs, now quite close to Tarzan's
face, were exceptionally long and sharp. Like the others of his
tribe, he differed in several minor essentials from the apes of
At first the ape-man had experienced a thrill of hope at sight of
the shaggy bodies of the anthropoids--a hope that by some strange
freak of fate he had been again returned to his own tribe; but a
closer inspection had convinced him that these were another species.
As the threatening bull continued his stiff and jerky circling of
the ape-man, much after the manner that you have noted among dogs
when a strange canine comes among them, it occurred to Tarzan to
discover if the language of his own tribe was identical with that
of this other family, and so he addressed the brute in the language
of the tribe of Kerchak.
"Who are you," he asked, "who threatens Tarzan of the Apes?"
The hairy brute looked his surprise.
"I am Akut," replied the other in the same simple, primal tongue
which is so low in the scale of spoken languages that, as Tarzan
had surmised, it was identical with that of the tribe in which the
first twenty years of his life had been spent.
"I am Akut," said the ape. "Molak is dead. I am king. Go away
or I shall kill you!"
"You saw how easily I killed Molak," replied Tarzan. "So I could
kill you if I cared to be king. But Tarzan of the Apes would not
be king of the tribe of Akut. All he wishes is to live in peace
in this country. Let us be friends. Tarzan of the Apes can help
you, and you can help Tarzan of the Apes."
"You cannot kill Akut," replied the other. "None is so great as
Akut. Had you not killed Molak, Akut would have done so, for Akut
was ready to be king."
For answer the ape-man hurled himself upon the great brute who
during the conversation had slightly relaxed his vigilance.
In the twinkling of an eye the man had seized the wrist of the
great ape, and before the other could grapple with him had whirled
him about and leaped upon his broad back.
Down they went together, but so well had Tarzan's plan worked out
that before ever they touched the ground he had gained the same
hold upon Akut that had broken Molak's neck.
Slowly he brought the pressure to bear, and then as in days gone
by he had given Kerchak the chance to surrender and live, so now
he gave to Akut--in whom he saw a possible ally of great strength
and resource--the option of living in amity with him or dying as
he had just seen his savage and heretofore invincible king die.
"Ka-Goda?" whispered Tarzan to the ape beneath him.
It was the same question that he had whispered to Kerchak, and in
the language of the apes it means, broadly, "Do you surrender?"
Akut thought of the creaking sound he had heard just before Molak's
thick neck had snapped, and he shuddered.
He hated to give up the kingship, though, so again he struggled
to free himself; but a sudden torturing pressure upon his vertebra
brought an agonized "ka-goda!" from his lips.
Tarzan relaxed his grip a trifle.
"You may still be king, Akut," he said. "Tarzan told you that he
did not wish to be king. If any question your right, Tarzan of
the Apes will help you in your battles."
The ape-man rose, and Akut came slowly to his feet. Shaking his
bullet head and growling angrily, he waddled toward his tribe,
looking first at one and then at another of the larger bulls who
might be expected to challenge his leadership.
But none did so; instead, they drew away as he approached, and
presently the whole pack moved off into the jungle, and Tarzan was
left alone once more upon the beach.
The ape-man was sore from the wounds that Molak had inflicted upon
him, but he was inured to physical suffering and endured it with
the calm and fortitude of the wild beasts that had taught him to
lead the jungle life after the manner of all those that are born
His first need, he realized, was for weapons of offence and defence,
for his encounter with the apes, and the distant notes of the savage
voices of Numa the lion, and Sheeta, the panther, warned him that
his was to be no life of indolent ease and security.
It was but a return to the old existence of constant bloodshed and
danger--to the hunting and the being hunted. Grim beasts would
stalk him, as they had stalked him in the past, and never would
there be a moment, by savage day or by cruel night, that he might
not have instant need of such crude weapons as he could fashion
from the materials at hand.
Upon the shore he found an out-cropping of brittle, igneous rock.
By dint of much labour he managed to chip off a narrow sliver some
twelve inches long by a quarter of an inch thick. One edge was
quite thin for a few inches near the tip. It was the rudiment of
With it he went into the jungle, searching until he found a fallen
tree of a certain species of hardwood with which he was familiar.
From this he cut a small straight branch, which he pointed at one
Then he scooped a small, round hole in the surface of the prostrate
trunk. Into this he crumbled a few bits of dry bark, minutely
shredded, after which he inserted the tip of his pointed stick,
and, sitting astride the bole of the tree, spun the slender rod
rapidly between his palms.
After a time a thin smoke rose from the little mass of tinder, and
a moment later the whole broke into flame. Heaping some larger
twigs and sticks upon the tiny fire, Tarzan soon had quite a
respectable blaze roaring in the enlarging cavity of the dead tree.
Into this he thrust the blade of his stone knife, and as it became
superheated he would withdraw it, touching a spot near the thin
edge with a drop of moisture. Beneath the wetted area a little
flake of the glassy material would crack and scale away.
Thus, very slowly, the ape-man commenced the tedious operation of
putting a thin edge upon his primitive hunting-knife.
He did not attempt to accomplish the feat all in one sitting.
At first he was content to achieve a cutting edge of a couple of
inches, with which he cut a long, pliable bow, a handle for his
knife, a stout cudgel, and a goodly supply of arrows.
These he cached in a tall tree beside a little stream, and here also
he constructed a platform with a roof of palm-leaves above it.
When all these things had been finished it was growing dusk, and
Tarzan felt a strong desire to eat.
He had noted during the brief incursion he had made into the forest
that a short distance up-stream from his tree there was a much-used
watering place, where, from the trampled mud of either bank, it
was evident beasts of all sorts and in great numbers came to drink.
To this spot the hungry ape-man made his silent way.
Through the upper terrace of the tree-tops he swung with the grace
and ease of a monkey. But for the heavy burden upon his heart he
would have been happy in this return to the old free life of his
Yet even with that burden he fell into the little habits and
manners of his early life that were in reality more a part of him
than the thin veneer of civilization that the past three years of
his association with the white men of the outer world had spread
lightly over him--a veneer that only hid the crudities of the beast
that Tarzan of the Apes had been.
Could his fellow-peers of the House of Lords have seen him then
they would have held up their noble hands in holy horror.
Silently he crouched in the lower branches of a great forest giant
that overhung the trail, his keen eyes and sensitive ears strained
into the distant jungle, from which he knew his dinner would
Nor had he long to wait.
Scarce had he settled himself to a comfortable position, his lithe,
muscular legs drawn well up beneath him as the panther draws his
hindquarters in preparation for the spring, than Bara, the deer,
came daintily down to drink.
But more than Bara was coming. Behind the graceful buck came another
which the deer could neither see nor scent, but whose movements were
apparent to Tarzan of the Apes because of the elevated position of
the ape-man's ambush.
He knew not yet exactly the nature of the thing that moved so
stealthily through the jungle a few hundred yards behind the deer;
but he was convinced that it was some great beast of prey stalking
Bara for the selfsame purpose as that which prompted him to await
the fleet animal. Numa, perhaps, or Sheeta, the panther.
In any event, Tarzan could see his repast slipping from his grasp
unless Bara moved more rapidly toward the ford than at present.
Even as these thoughts passed through his mind some noise of the
stalker in his rear must have come to the buck, for with a sudden
start he paused for an instant, trembling, in his tracks, and then
with a swift bound dashed straight for the river and Tarzan. It
was his intention to flee through the shallow ford and escape upon
the opposite side of the river.
Not a hundred yards behind him came Numa.
Tarzan could see him quite plainly now. Below the ape-man Bara
was about to pass. Could he do it? But even as he asked himself
the question the hungry man launched himself from his perch full
upon the back of the startled buck.
In another instant Numa would be upon them both, so if the ape-man
were to dine that night, or ever again, he must act quickly.
Scarcely had he touched the sleek hide of the deer with a momentum
that sent the animal to its knees than he had grasped a horn in
either hand, and with a single quick wrench twisted the animal's
neck completely round, until he felt the vertebrae snap beneath
The lion was roaring in rage close behind him as he swung the deer
across his shoulder, and, grasping a foreleg between his strong
teeth, leaped for the nearest of the lower branches that swung
above his head.
With both hands he grasped the limb, and, at the instant that Numa
sprang, drew himself and his prey out of reach of the animal's
There was a thud below him as the baffled cat fell back to earth,
and then Tarzan of the Apes, drawing his dinner farther up to the
safety of a higher limb, looked down with grinning face into the
gleaming yellow eyes of the other wild beast that glared up at him
from beneath, and with taunting insults flaunted the tender carcass
of his kill in the face of him whom he had cheated of it.
With his crude stone knife he cut a juicy steak from the hindquarters,
and while the great lion paced, growling, back and forth below him,
Lord Greystoke filled his savage belly, nor ever in the choicest
of his exclusive London clubs had a meal tasted more palatable.
The warm blood of his kill smeared his hands and face and filled
his nostrils with the scent that the savage carnivora love best.
And when he had finished he left the balance of the carcass in
a high fork of the tree where he had dined, and with Numa trailing
below him, still keen for revenge, he made his way back to his tree-top
shelter, where he slept until the sun was high the following morning.
The next few days were occupied by Tarzan in completing his weapons
and exploring the jungle. He strung his bow with tendons from the
buck upon which he had dined his first evening upon the new shore,
and though he would have preferred the gut of Sheeta for the purpose,
he was content to wait until opportunity permitted him to kill one
of the great cats.
He also braided a long grass rope--such a rope as he had used so
many years before to tantalize the ill-natured Tublat, and which
later had developed into a wondrous effective weapon in the practised
hands of the little ape-boy.
A sheath and handle for his hunting-knife he fashioned, and a quiver
for arrows, and from the hide of Bara a belt and loin-cloth. Then
he set out to learn something of the strange land in which he found
himself. That it was not his old familiar west coast of the African
continent he knew from the fact that it faced east--the rising sun
came up out of the sea before the threshold of the jungle.
But that it was not the east coast of Africa he was equally positive,
for he felt satisfied that the Kincaid had not passed through the
Mediterranean, the Suez Canal, and the Red Sea, nor had she had
time to round the Cape of Good Hope. So he was quite at a loss to
know where he might be.
Sometimes he wondered if the ship had crossed the broad Atlantic to
deposit him upon some wild South American shore; but the presence
of Numa, the lion, decided him that such could not be the case.
As Tarzan made his lonely way through the jungle paralleling the
shore, he felt strong upon him a desire for companionship, so that
gradually he commenced to regret that he had not cast his lot with
the apes. He had seen nothing of them since that first day, when
the influences of civilization were still paramount within him.
Now he was more nearly returned to the Tarzan of old, and though he
appreciated the fact that there could be little in common between
himself and the great anthropoids, still they were better than no
company at all.
Moving leisurely, sometimes upon the ground and again among
the lower branches of the trees, gathering an occasional fruit or
turning over a fallen log in search of the larger bugs, which he
still found as palatable as of old, Tarzan had covered a mile or
more when his attention was attracted by the scent of Sheeta up-wind
ahead of him.
Now Sheeta, the panther, was one of whom Tarzan was exceptionally
glad to fall in with, for he had it in mind not only to utilize
the great cat's strong gut for his bow, but also to fashion a new
quiver and loin-cloth from pieces of his hide. So, whereas the
ape-man had gone carelessly before, he now became the personification
of noiseless stealth.
Swiftly and silently he glided through the forest in the wake of
the savage cat, nor was the pursuer, for all his noble birth, one
whit less savage than the wild, fierce thing he stalked.
As he came closer to Sheeta he became aware that the panther on his
part was stalking game of his own, and even as he realized this
fact there came to his nostrils, wafted from his right by a vagrant
breeze, the strong odour of a company of great apes.
The panther had taken to a large tree as Tarzan came within sight
of him, and beyond and below him Tarzan saw the tribe of Akut
lolling in a little, natural clearing. Some of them were dozing
against the boles of trees, while others roamed about turning over
bits of bark from beneath which they transferred the luscious grubs
and beetles to their mouths.
Akut was the closest to Sheeta.
The great cat lay crouched upon a thick limb, hidden from the ape's
view by dense foliage, waiting patiently until the anthropoid should
come within range of his spring.
Tarzan cautiously gained a position in the same tree with the
panther and a little above him. In his left hand he grasped his
slim stone blade. He would have preferred to use his noose, but
the foliage surrounding the huge cat precluded the possibility of
an accurate throw with the rope.
Akut had now wandered quite close beneath the tree wherein lay the
waiting death. Sheeta slowly edged his hind paws along the branch
still further beneath him, and then with a hideous shriek he
launched himself toward the great ape. The barest fraction of a
second before his spring another beast of prey above him leaped,
its weird and savage cry mingling with his.
As the startled Akut looked up he saw the panther almost above him,
and already upon the panther's back the white ape that had bested
him that day near the great water.
The teeth of the ape-man were buried in the back of Sheeta's neck
and his right arm was round the fierce throat, while the left hand,
grasping a slender piece of stone, rose and fell in mighty blows
upon the panther's side behind the left shoulder.
Akut had just time to leap to one side to avoid being pinioned
beneath these battling monsters of the jungle.
With a crash they came to earth at his feet. Sheeta was screaming,
snarling, and roaring horribly; but the white ape clung tenaciously
and in silence to the thrashing body of his quarry.
Steadily and remorselessly the stone knife was driven home through
the glossy hide--time and again it drank deep, until with a final
agonized lunge and shriek the great feline rolled over upon its
side and, save for the spasmodic jerking of its muscles, lay quiet
and still in death.
Then the ape-man raised his head, as he stood over the carcass of
his kill, and once again through the jungle rang his wild and savage
Akut and the apes of Akut stood looking in startled wonder at the
dead body of Sheeta and the lithe, straight figure of the man who
had slain him.
Tarzan was the first to speak.
He had saved Akut's life for a purpose, and, knowing the limitations
of the ape intellect, he also knew that he must make this purpose
plain to the anthropoid if it were to serve him in the way he hoped.
"I am Tarzan of the Apes," he said, "Mighty hunter. Mighty fighter.
By the great water I spared Akut's life when I might have taken it
and become king of the tribe of Akut. Now I have saved Akut from
death beneath the rending fangs of Sheeta.
"When Akut or the tribe of Akut is in danger, let them call to
Tarzan thus"--and the ape-man raised the hideous cry with which
the tribe of Kerchak had been wont to summon its absent members in
times of peril.
"And," he continued, "when they hear Tarzan call to them, let them
remember what he has done for Akut and come to him with great speed.
Shall it be as Tarzan says?"
"Huh!" assented Akut, and from the members of his tribe there rose
a unanimous "Huh."
Then, presently, they went to feeding again as though nothing had
happened, and with them fed John Clayton, Lord Greystoke.
He noticed, however, that Akut kept always close to him, and was
often looking at him with a strange wonder in his little bloodshot
eyes, and once he did a thing that Tarzan during all his long
years among the apes had never before seen an ape do--he found a
particularly tender morsel and handed it to Tarzan.
As the tribe hunted, the glistening body of the ape-man mingled
with the brown, shaggy hides of his companions. Oftentimes they
brushed together in passing, but the apes had already taken his
presence for granted, so that he was as much one of them as Akut
If he came too close to a she with a young baby, the former would
bare her great fighting fangs and growl ominously, and occasionally
a truculent young bull would snarl a warning if Tarzan approached
while the former was eating. But in those things the treatment
was no different from that which they accorded any other member of
Tarzan on his part felt very much at home with these fierce, hairy
progenitors of primitive man. He skipped nimbly out of reach of
each threatening female--for such is the way of apes, if they be
not in one of their occasional fits of bestial rage--and he growled
back at the truculent young bulls, baring his canine teeth even
as they. Thus easily he fell back into the way of his early life,
nor did it seem that he had ever tasted association with creatures
of his own kind.
For the better part of a week he roamed the jungle with his new
friends, partly because of a desire for companionship and partially
through a well-laid plan to impress himself indelibly upon their
memories, which at best are none too long; for Tarzan from past
experience knew that it might serve him in good stead to have a
tribe of these powerful and terrible beasts at his call.
When he was convinced that he had succeeded to some extent in fixing
his identity upon them he decided to again take up his exploration.
To this end he set out toward the north early one day, and, keeping
parallel with the shore, travelled rapidly until almost nightfall.
When the sun rose the next morning he saw that it lay almost directly
to his right as he stood upon the beach instead of straight out
across the water as heretofore, and so he reasoned that the shore
line had trended toward the west. All the second day he continued
his rapid course, and when Tarzan of the Apes sought speed, he
passed through the middle terrace of the forest with the rapidity
of a squirrel.
That night the sun set straight out across the water opposite the
land, and then the ape-man guessed at last the truth that he had
Rokoff had set him ashore upon an island.
He might have known it! If there was any plan that would render
his position more harrowing he should have known that such would
be the one adopted by the Russian, and what could be more terrible
than to leave him to a lifetime of suspense upon an uninhabited
Rokoff doubtless had sailed directly to the mainland, where it
would be a comparatively easy thing for him to find the means of
delivering the infant Jack into the hands of the cruel and savage
foster-parents, who, as his note had threatened, would have the
upbringing of the child.
Tarzan shuddered as he thought of the cruel suffering the little
one must endure in such a life, even though he might fall into
the hands of individuals whose intentions toward him were of the
kindest. The ape-man had had sufficient experience with the lower
savages of Africa to know that even there may be found the cruder
virtues of charity and humanity; but their lives were at best but
a series of terrible privations, dangers, and sufferings.
Then there was the horrid after-fate that awaited the child as he
grew to manhood. The horrible practices that would form a part
of his life-training would alone be sufficient to bar him forever
from association with those of his own race and station in life.
A cannibal! His little boy a savage man-eater! It was too horrible
The filed teeth, the slit nose, the little face painted hideously.
Tarzan groaned. Could he but feel the throat of the Russ fiend
beneath his steel fingers!
What tortures of doubt and fear and uncertainty she must be suffering.
He felt that his position was infinitely less terrible than hers,
for he at least knew that one of his loved ones was safe at home,
while she had no idea of the whereabouts of either her husband or
It is well for Tarzan that he did not guess the truth, for the
knowledge would have but added a hundredfold to his suffering.
As he moved slowly through the jungle his mind absorbed by his gloomy
thoughts, there presently came to his ears a strange scratching
sound which he could not translate.
Cautiously he moved in the direction from which it emanated,
presently coming upon a huge panther pinned beneath a fallen tree.
As Tarzan approached, the beast turned, snarling, toward him,
struggling to extricate itself; but one great limb across its back
and the smaller entangling branches pinioning its legs prevented
it from moving but a few inches in any direction.
The ape-man stood before the helpless cat fitting an arrow to his
bow that he might dispatch the beast that otherwise must die of
starvation; but even as he drew back the shaft a sudden whim stayed
Why rob the poor creature of life and liberty, when it would be
so easy a thing to restore both to it! He was sure from the fact
that the panther moved all its limbs in its futile struggle for
freedom that its spine was uninjured, and for the same reason he
knew that none of its limbs were broken.
Relaxing his bowstring, he returned the arrow to the quiver and,
throwing the bow about his shoulder, stepped closer to the pinioned
On his lips was the soothing, purring sound that the great cats
themselves made when contented and happy. It was the nearest approach
to a friendly advance that Tarzan could make in the language of
The panther ceased his snarling and eyed the ape-man closely. To
lift the tree's great weight from the animal it was necessary to
come within reach of those long, strong talons, and when the tree
had been removed the man would be totally at the mercy of the savage
beast; but to Tarzan of the Apes fear was a thing unknown.
Having decided, he acted promptly.
Unhesitatingly, he stepped into the tangle of branches close to the
panther's side, still voicing his friendly and conciliatory purr.
The cat turned his head toward the man, eyeing him steadily--questioningly.
The long fangs were bared, but more in preparedness than threat.
Tarzan put a broad shoulder beneath the bole of the tree, and as
he did so his bare leg pressed against the cat's silken side, so
close was the man to the great beast.
Slowly Tarzan extended his giant thews.
The great tree with its entangling branches rose gradually from
the panther, who, feeling the encumbering weight diminish, quickly
crawled from beneath. Tarzan let the tree fall back to earth, and
the two beasts turned to look upon one another.
A grim smile lay upon the ape-man's lips, for he knew that he had
taken his life in his hands to free this savage jungle fellow; nor
would it have surprised him had the cat sprung upon him the instant
that it had been released.
But it did not do so. Instead, it stood a few paces from the tree
watching the ape-man clamber out of the maze of fallen branches.
Once outside, Tarzan was not three paces from the panther. He might
have taken to the higher branches of the trees upon the opposite
side, for Sheeta cannot climb to the heights to which the ape-man
can go; but something, a spirit of bravado perhaps, prompted him
to approach the panther as though to discover if any feeling of
gratitude would prompt the beast to friendliness.
As he approached the mighty cat the creature stepped warily to one
side, and the ape-man brushed past him within a foot of the dripping
jaws, and as he continued on through the forest the panther followed
on behind him, as a hound follows at heel.
For a long time Tarzan could not tell whether the beast was following
out of friendly feelings or merely stalking him against the time
he should be hungry; but finally he was forced to believe that the
former incentive it was that prompted the animal's action.
Later in the day the scent of a deer sent Tarzan into the trees,
and when he had dropped his noose about the animal's neck he called
to Sheeta, using a purr similar to that which he had utilized
to pacify the brute's suspicions earlier in the day, but a trifle
louder and more shrill.
It was similar to that which he had heard panthers use after a kill
when they had been hunting in pairs.
Almost immediately there was a crashing of the underbrush close at
hand, and the long, lithe body of his strange companion broke into
At sight of the body of Bara and the smell of blood the panther gave
forth a shrill scream, and a moment later two beasts were feeding
side by side upon the tender meat of the deer.
For several days this strangely assorted pair roamed the jungle
When one made a kill he called the other, and thus they fed well
On one occasion as they were dining upon the carcass of a boar that
Sheeta had dispatched, Numa, the lion, grim and terrible, broke
through the tangled grasses close beside them.
With an angry, warning roar he sprang forward to chase them from
their kill. Sheeta bounded into a near-by thicket, while Tarzan
took to the low branches of an overhanging tree.
Here the ape-man unloosed his grass rope from about his neck, and
as Numa stood above the body of the boar, challenging head erect,
he dropped the sinuous noose about the maned neck, drawing the
stout strands taut with a sudden jerk. At the same time he called
shrilly to Sheeta, as he drew the struggling lion upward until only
his hind feet touched the ground.
Quickly he made the rope fast to a stout branch, and as the panther,
in answer to his summons, leaped into sight, Tarzan dropped to the
earth beside the struggling and infuriated Numa, and with a long
sharp knife sprang upon him at one side even as Sheeta did upon
The panther tore and rent Numa upon the right, while the ape-man
struck home with his stone knife upon the other, so that before
the mighty clawing of the king of beasts had succeeded in parting
the rope he hung quite dead and harmless in the noose.
And then upon the jungle air there rose in unison from two savage
throats the victory cry of the bull-ape and the panther, blended
into one frightful and uncanny scream.
As the last notes died away in a long-drawn, fearsome wail, a score
of painted warriors, drawing their long war-canoe upon the beach,
halted to stare in the direction of the jungle and to listen.
By the time that Tarzan had travelled entirely about the coast of
the island, and made several trips inland from various points, he
was sure that he was the only human being upon it.
Nowhere had he found any sign that men had stopped even temporarily
upon this shore, though, of course, he knew that so quickly does
the rank vegetation of the tropics erase all but the most permanent
of human monuments that he might be in error in his deductions.
The day following the killing of Numa, Tarzan and Sheeta came upon
the tribe of Akut. At sight of the panther the great apes took to
flight, but after a time Tarzan succeeded in recalling them.
It had occurred to him that it would be at least an interesting
experiment to attempt to reconcile these hereditary enemies. He
welcomed anything that would occupy his time and his mind beyond
the filling of his belly and the gloomy thoughts to which he fell
prey the moment that he became idle.
To communicate his plan to the apes was not a particularly difficult
matter, though their narrow and limited vocabulary was strained in
the effort; but to impress upon the little, wicked brain of Sheeta
that he was to hunt with and not for his legitimate prey proved a
task almost beyond the powers of the ape-man.
Tarzan, among his other weapons, possessed a long, stout cudgel,
and after fastening his rope about the panther's neck he used this
instrument freely upon the snarling beast, endeavouring in this
way to impress upon its memory that it must not attack the great,
shaggy manlike creatures that had approached more closely once they
had seen the purpose of the rope about Sheeta's neck.
That the cat did not turn and rend Tarzan is something of a miracle
which may possibly be accounted for by the fact that twice when
it turned growling upon the ape-man he had rapped it sharply upon
its sensitive nose, inculcating in its mind thereby a most wholesome
fear of the cudgel and the ape-beasts behind it.
It is a question if the original cause of his attachment for Tarzan
was still at all clear in the mind of the panther, though doubtless
some subconscious suggestion, superinduced by this primary reason
and aided and abetted by the habit of the past few days, did much
to compel the beast to tolerate treatment at his hands that would
have sent it at the throat of any other creature.
Then, too, there was the compelling force of the manmind exerting
its powerful influence over this creature of a lower order, and,
after all, it may have been this that proved the most potent factor
in Tarzan's supremacy over Sheeta and the other beasts of the jungle
that had from time to time fallen under his domination.
Be that as it may, for days the man, the panther, and the great
apes roamed their savage haunts side by side, making their kills
together and sharing them with one another, and of all the fierce
and savage band none was more terrible than the smooth-skinned,
powerful beast that had been but a few short months before a familiar
figure in many a London drawing room.
Sometimes the beasts separated to follow their own inclinations
for an hour or a day, and it was upon one of these occasions when
the ape-man had wandered through the tree-tops toward the beach,
and was stretched in the hot sun upon the sand, that from the low
summit of a near-by promontory a pair of keen eyes discovered him.
For a moment the owner of the eyes looked in astonishment at the
figure of the savage white man basking in the rays of that hot,
tropic sun; then he turned, making a sign to some one behind him.
Presently another pair of eyes were looking down upon the ape-man,
and then another and another, until a full score of hideously
trapped, savage warriors were lying upon their bellies along the
crest of the ridge watching the white-skinned stranger.
They were down wind from Tarzan, and so their scent was not carried
to him, and as his back was turned half toward them he did not see
their cautious advance over the edge of the promontory and down
through the rank grass toward the sandy beach where he lay.
Big fellows they were, all of them, their barbaric headdresses and
grotesquely painted faces, together with their many metal ornaments
and gorgeously coloured feathers, adding to their wild, fierce
Once at the foot of the ridge, they came cautiously to their feet,
and, bent half-double, advanced silently upon the unconscious white
man, their heavy war-clubs swinging menacingly in their brawny
The mental suffering that Tarzan's sorrowful thoughts induced had
the effect of numbing his keen, perceptive faculties, so that the
advancing savages were almost upon him before he became aware that
he was no longer alone upon the beach.
So quickly, though, were his mind and muscles wont to react in
unison to the slightest alarm that he was upon his feet and facing
his enemies, even as he realized that something was behind him. As
he sprang to his feet the warriors leaped toward him with raised
clubs and savage yells, but the foremost went down to sudden death
beneath the long, stout stick of the ape-man, and then the lithe,
sinewy figure was among them, striking right and left with a fury,
power, and precision that brought panic to the ranks of the blacks.
For a moment they withdrew, those that were left of them, and
consulted together at a short distance from the ape-man, who stood
with folded arms, a half-smile upon his handsome face, watching
them. Presently they advanced upon him once more, this time wielding
their heavy war-spears. They were between Tarzan and the jungle,
in a little semicircle that closed in upon him as they advanced.
There seemed to the ape-man but slight chance to escape the final
charge when all the great spears should be hurled simultaneously
at him; but if he had desired to escape there was no way other than
through the ranks of the savages except the open sea behind him.
His predicament was indeed most serious when an idea occurred to
him that altered his smile to a broad grin. The warriors were
still some little distance away, advancing slowly, making, after
the manner of their kind, a frightful din with their savage yells
and the pounding of their naked feet upon the ground as they leaped
up and down in a fantastic war dance.
Then it was that the ape-man lifted his voice in a series of wild,
weird screams that brought the blacks to a sudden, perplexed halt.
They looked at one another questioningly, for here was a sound
so hideous that their own frightful din faded into insignificance
beside it. No human throat could have formed those bestial notes,
they were sure, and yet with their own eyes they had seen this
white man open his mouth to pour forth his awful cry.
But only for a moment they hesitated, and then with one accord they
again took up their fantastic advance upon their prey; but even
then a sudden crashing in the jungle behind them brought them once
more to a halt, and as they turned to look in the direction of this
new noise there broke upon their startled visions a sight that may
well have frozen the blood of braver men than the Wagambi.
Leaping from the tangled vegetation of the jungle's rim came a
huge panther, with blazing eyes and bared fangs, and in his wake
a score of mighty, shaggy apes lumbering rapidly toward them,
half erect upon their short, bowed legs, and with their long arms
reaching to the ground, where their horny knuckles bore the weight
of their ponderous bodies as they lurched from side to side in
their grotesque advance.
The beasts of Tarzan had come in answer to his call.
Before the Wagambi could recover from their astonishment the frightful
horde was upon them from one side and Tarzan of the Apes from the
other. Heavy spears were hurled and mighty war-clubs wielded, and
though apes went down never to rise, so, too, went down the men of
Sheeta's cruel fangs and tearing talons ripped and tore at the black
hides. Akut's mighty yellow tusks found the jugular of more than
one sleek-skinned savage, and Tarzan of the Apes was here and there
and everywhere, urging on his fierce allies and taking a heavy toll
with his long, slim knife.
In a moment the blacks had scattered for their lives, but of the
score that had crept down the grassy sides of the promontory only
a single warrior managed to escape the horde that had overwhelmed
This one was Mugambi, chief of the Wagambi of Ugambi, and as he
disappeared in the tangled luxuriousness of the rank growth upon the
ridge's summit only the keen eyes of the ape-man saw the direction
of his flight.
Leaving his pack to eat their fill upon the flesh of their
victims--flesh that he could not touch--Tarzan of the Apes pursued
the single survivor of the bloody fray. Just beyond the ridge he
came within sight of the fleeing black, making with headlong leaps
for a long war-canoe that was drawn well up upon the beach above
the high tide surf.
Noiseless as the fellow's shadow, the ape-man raced after the
terror-stricken black. In the white man's mind was a new plan,
awakened by sight of the war-canoe. If these men had come to his
island from another, or from the mainland, why not utilize their
craft to make his way to the country from which they had come?
Evidently it was an inhabited country, and no doubt had occasional
intercourse with the mainland, if it were not itself upon the
continent of Africa.
A heavy hand fell upon the shoulder of the escaping Mugambi before
he was aware that he was being pursued, and as he turned to do
battle with his assailant giant fingers closed about his wrists
and he was hurled to earth with a giant astride him before he could
strike a blow in his own defence.
In the language of the West Coast, Tarzan spoke to the prostrate
man beneath him.
"Who are you?" he asked.
"Mugambi, chief of the Wagambi," replied the black.
"I will spare your life," said Tarzan, "if you will promise to help
me to leave this island. What do you answer?"
"I will help you," replied Mugambi. "But now that you have killed
all my warriors, I do not know that even I can leave your country,
for there will be none to wield the paddles, and without paddlers
we cannot cross the water."
Tarzan rose and allowed his prisoner to come to his feet. The
fellow was a magnificent specimen of manhood--a black counterpart
in physique of the splendid white man whom he faced.
"Come!" said the ape-man, and started back in the direction from
which they could hear the snarling and growling of the feasting
pack. Mugambi drew back.
"They will kill us," he said.
"I think not," replied Tarzan. "They are mine."
Still the black hesitated, fearful of the consequences of approaching
the terrible creatures that were dining upon the bodies of his
warriors; but Tarzan forced him to accompany him, and presently the
two emerged from the jungle in full view of the grisly spectacle
upon the beach. At sight of the men the beasts looked up with
menacing growls, but Tarzan strode in among them, dragging the
trembling Wagambi with him.
As he had taught the apes to accept Sheeta, so he taught them
to adopt Mugambi as well, and much more easily; but Sheeta seemed
quite unable to understand that though he had been called upon to
devour Mugambi's warriors he was not to be allowed to proceed after
the same fashion with Mugambi. However, being well filled, he
contented himself with walking round the terror-stricken savage,
emitting low, menacing growls the while he kept his flaming, baleful
eyes riveted upon the black.
Mugambi, on his part, clung closely to Tarzan, so that the ape-man
could scarce control his laughter at the pitiable condition to which
the chief's fear had reduced him; but at length the white took the
great cat by the scruff of the neck and, dragging it quite close
to the Wagambi, slapped it sharply upon the nose each time that it
growled at the stranger.
At the sight of the thing--a man mauling with his bare hands one of
the most relentless and fierce of the jungle carnivora--Mugambi's
eyes bulged from their sockets, and from entertaining a sullen respect
for the giant white man who had made him prisoner, the black felt
an almost worshipping awe of Tarzan.
The education of Sheeta progressed so well that in a short time
Mugambi ceased to be the object of his hungry attention, and the
black felt a degree more of safety in his society.
To say that Mugambi was entirely happy or at ease in his new
environment would not be to adhere strictly to the truth. His
eyes were constantly rolling apprehensively from side to side as
now one and now another of the fierce pack chanced to wander near
him, so that for the most of the time it was principally the whites
Together Tarzan and Mugambi, with Sheeta and Akut, lay in wait at
the ford for a deer, and when at a word from the ape-man the four
of them leaped out upon the affrighted animal the black was sure
that the poor creature died of fright before ever one of the great
beasts touched it.
Mugambi built a fire and cooked his portion of the kill; but Tarzan,
Sheeta, and Akut tore theirs, raw, with their sharp teeth, growling
among themselves when one ventured to encroach upon the share of
It was not, after all, strange that the white man's ways should
have been so much more nearly related to those of the beasts than
were the savage blacks. We are, all of us, creatures of habit,
and when the seeming necessity for schooling ourselves in new ways
ceases to exist, we fall naturally and easily into the manners and
customs which long usage has implanted ineradicably within us.
Mugambi from childhood had eaten no meat until it had been cooked,
while Tarzan, on the other hand, had never tasted cooked food of
any sort until he had grown almost to manhood, and only within the
past three or four years had he eaten cooked meat. Not only did
the habit of a lifetime prompt him to eat it raw, but the craving
of his palate as well; for to him cooked flesh was spoiled flesh
when compared with the rich and juicy meat of a fresh, hot kill.
That he could, with relish, eat raw meat that had been buried by
himself weeks before, and enjoy small rodents and disgusting grubs,
seems to us who have been always "civilized" a revolting fact; but
had we learned in childhood to eat these things, and had we seen
all those about us eat them, they would seem no more sickening to
us now than do many of our greatest dainties, at which a savage
African cannibal would look with repugnance and turn up his nose.
For instance, there is a tribe in the vicinity of Lake Rudolph that
will eat no sheep or cattle, though its next neighbors do so. Near
by is another tribe that eats donkey-meat--a custom most revolting
to the surrounding tribes that do not eat donkey. So who may say
that it is nice to eat snails and frogs' legs and oysters, but
disgusting to feed upon grubs and beetles, or that a raw oyster,
hoof, horns, and tail, is less revolting than the sweet, clean meat
of a fresh-killed buck?
The next few days Tarzan devoted to the weaving of a barkcloth sail
with which to equip the canoe, for he despaired of being able to
teach the apes to wield the paddles, though he did manage to get
several of them to embark in the frail craft which he and Mugambi
paddled about inside the reef where the water was quite smooth.
During these trips he had placed paddles in their hands, when
they attempted to imitate the movements of him and Mugambi, but so
difficult is it for them long to concentrate upon a thing that he
soon saw that it would require weeks of patient training before they
would be able to make any effective use of these new implements,
if, in fact, they should ever do so.
There was one exception, however, and he was Akut. Almost from
the first he showed an interest in this new sport that revealed a
much higher plane of intelligence than that attained by any of his
tribe. He seemed to grasp the purpose of the paddles, and when
Tarzan saw that this was so he took much pains to explain in the
meagre language of the anthropoid how they might be used to the
From Mugambi Tarzan learned that the mainland lay but a short distance
from the island. It seemed that the Wagambi warriors had ventured
too far out in their frail craft, and when caught by a heavy tide
and a high wind from offshore they had been driven out of sight of
land. After paddling for a whole night, thinking that they were
headed for home, they had seen this land at sunrise, and, still
taking it for the mainland, had hailed it with joy, nor had Mugambi
been aware that it was an island until Tarzan had told him that
this was the fact.
The Wagambi chief was quite dubious as to the sail, for he had
never seen such a contrivance used. His country lay far up the
broad Ugambi River, and this was the first occasion that any of
his people had found their way to the ocean.
Tarzan, however, was confident that with a good west wind he
could navigate the little craft to the mainland. At any rate, he
decided, it would be preferable to perish on the way than to remain
indefinitely upon this evidently uncharted island to which no ships
might ever be expected to come.
And so it was that when the first fair wind rose he embarked upon
his cruise, and with him he took as strange and fearsome a crew as
ever sailed under a savage master.
Mugambi and Akut went with him, and Sheeta, the panther, and a
dozen great males of the tribe of Akut.
A Hideous Crew
The war-canoe with its savage load moved slowly toward the break in
the reef through which it must pass to gain the open sea. Tarzan,
Mugambi, and Akut wielded the paddles, for the shore kept the west
wind from the little sail.
Sheeta crouched in the bow at the ape-man's feet, for it had
seemed best to Tarzan always to keep the wicked beast as far from
the other members of the party as possible, since it would require
little or no provocation to send him at the throat of any than the
white man, whom he evidently now looked upon as his master.
In the stern was Mugambi, and just in front of him squatted Akut,
while between Akut and Tarzan the twelve hairy apes sat upon their
haunches, blinking dubiously this way and that, and now and then
turning their eyes longingly back toward shore.
All went well until the canoe had passed beyond the reef. Here
the breeze struck the sail, sending the rude craft lunging among
the waves that ran higher and higher as they drew away from the
With the tossing of the boat the apes became panic-stricken.
They first moved uneasily about, and then commenced grumbling and
whining. With difficulty Akut kept them in hand for a time; but
when a particularly large wave struck the dugout simultaneously
with a little squall of wind their terror broke all bounds, and,
leaping to their feet, they all but overturned the boat before Akut
and Tarzan together could quiet them. At last calm was restored,
and eventually the apes became accustomed to the strange antics of
their craft, after which no more trouble was experienced with them.