Part 1 out of 6
Created by Judith Boss, Omaha, Nebraska
The Return Of Tarzan
By Edgar Rice Burroughs
1 The Affair on the Liner
2 Forging Bonds of Hate and ----?
3 What Happened in the Rue Maule
4 The Countess Explains
5 The Plot That Failed
6 A Duel
7 The Dancing Girl of Sidi Aissa
8 The Fight in the Desert
9 Numa "El Adrea"
10 Through the Valley of the Shadow
11 John Caldwell, London
12 Ships That Pass
13 The Wreck of the "Lady Alice"
14 Back to the Primitive
15 From Ape to Savage
16 The Ivory Raiders
17 The White Chief of the Waziri
18 The Lottery of Death
19 The City of Gold
21 The Castaways
22 The Treasure Vaults of Opar
23 The Fifty Frightful Men
24 How Tarzan Came Again to Opar
25 Through the Forest Primeval
26 The Passing of the Ape-Man
The Affair on the Liner
"Magnifique!" ejaculated the Countess de Coude, beneath her breath.
"Eh?" questioned the count, turning toward his young wife. "What
is it that is magnificent?" and the count bent his eyes in various
directions in quest of the object of her admiration.
"Oh, nothing at all, my dear," replied the countess, a slight flush
momentarily coloring her already pink cheek. "I was but recalling
with admiration those stupendous skyscrapers, as they call them, of
New York," and the fair countess settled herself more comfortably
in her steamer chair, and resumed the magazine which "nothing at
all" had caused her to let fall upon her lap.
Her husband again buried himself in his book, but not without a mild
wonderment that three days out from New York his countess should
suddenly have realized an admiration for the very buildings she
had but recently characterized as horrid.
Presently the count put down his book. "It is very tiresome,
Olga," he said. "I think that I shall hunt up some others who may
be equally bored, and see if we cannot find enough for a game of
"You are not very gallant, my husband," replied the young woman,
smiling, "but as I am equally bored I can forgive you. Go and play
at your tiresome old cards, then, if you will."
When he had gone she let her eyes wander slyly to the figure of a
tall young man stretched lazily in a chair not far distant.
"MAGNIFIQUE!" she breathed once more.
The Countess Olga de Coude was twenty. Her husband forty. She was
a very faithful and loyal wife, but as she had had nothing whatever
to do with the selection of a husband, it is not at all unlikely
that she was not wildly and passionately in love with the one that
fate and her titled Russian father had selected for her. However,
simply because she was surprised into a tiny exclamation of approval
at sight of a splendid young stranger it must not be inferred
therefrom that her thoughts were in any way disloyal to her spouse.
She merely admired, as she might have admired a particularly fine
specimen of any species. Furthermore, the young man was unquestionably
good to look at.
As her furtive glance rested upon his profile he rose to leave the
deck. The Countess de Coude beckoned to a passing steward. "Who
is that gentleman?" she asked.
"He is booked, madam, as Monsieur Tarzan, of Africa," replied the
"Rather a large estate," thought the girl, but now her interest
was still further aroused.
As Tarzan walked slowly toward the smoking-room he came unexpectedly
upon two men whispering excitedly just without. He would have
vouchsafed them not even a passing thought but for the strangely
guilty glance that one of them shot in his direction. They reminded
Tarzan of melodramatic villains he had seen at the theaters in Paris.
Both were very dark, and this, in connection with the shrugs and
stealthy glances that accompanied their palpable intriguing, lent
still greater force to the similarity.
Tarzan entered the smoking-room, and sought a chair a little apart
from the others who were there. He felt in no mood for conversation,
and as he sipped his absinth he let his mind run rather sorrowfully
over the past few weeks of his life. Time and again he had wondered
if he had acted wisely in renouncing his birthright to a man to whom
he owed nothing. It is true that he liked Clayton, but--ah, but
that was not the question. It was not for William Cecil Clayton,
Lord Greystoke, that he had denied his birth. It was for the woman
whom both he and Clayton had loved, and whom a strange freak of
fate had given to Clayton instead of to him.
That she loved him made the thing doubly difficult to bear, yet
he knew that he could have done nothing less than he did do that
night within the little railway station in the far Wisconsin woods.
To him her happiness was the first consideration of all, and his
brief experience with civilization and civilized men had taught him
that without money and position life to most of them was unendurable.
Jane Porter had been born to both, and had Tarzan taken them away
from her future husband it would doubtless have plunged her into
a life of misery and torture. That she would have spurned Clayton
once he had been stripped of both his title and his estates never
for once occurred to Tarzan, for he credited to others the same
honest loyalty that was so inherent a quality in himself. Nor,
in this instance, had he erred. Could any one thing have further
bound Jane Porter to her promise to Clayton it would have been in
the nature of some such misfortune as this overtaking him.
Tarzan's thoughts drifted from the past to the future. He tried
to look forward with pleasurable sensations to his return to the
jungle of his birth and boyhood; the cruel, fierce jungle in which
he had spent twenty of his twenty-two years. But who or what of
all the myriad jungle life would there be to welcome his return?
Not one. Only Tantor, the elephant, could he call friend. The
others would hunt him or flee from him as had been their way in
Not even the apes of his own tribe would extend the hand of fellowship
If civilization had done nothing else for Tarzan of the Apes,
it had to some extent taught him to crave the society of his own
kind, and to feel with genuine pleasure the congenial warmth of
companionship. And in the same ratio had it made any other life
distasteful to him. It was difficult to imagine a world without
a friend--without a living thing who spoke the new tongues which
Tarzan had learned to love so well. And so it was that Tarzan looked
with little relish upon the future he had mapped out for himself.
As he sat musing over his cigarette his eyes fell upon a mirror
before him, and in it he saw reflected a table at which four men
sat at cards. Presently one of them rose to leave, and then another
approached, and Tarzan could see that he courteously offered to
fill the vacant chair, that the game might not be interrupted. He
was the smaller of the two whom Tarzan had seen whispering just
outside the smoking-room.
It was this fact that aroused a faint spark of interest in Tarzan,
and so as he speculated upon the future he watched in the mirror
the reflection of the players at the table behind him. Aside from
the man who had but just entered the game Tarzan knew the name of
but one of the other players. It was he who sat opposite the new
player, Count Raoul de Coude, whom at over-attentive steward had
pointed out as one of the celebrities of the passage, describing
him as a man high in the official family of the French minister of
Suddenly Tarzan's attention was riveted upon the picture in the
glass. The other swarthy plotter had entered, and was standing
behind the count's chair. Tarzan saw him turn and glance furtively
about the room, but his eyes did not rest for a sufficient time
upon the mirror to note the reflection of Tarzan's watchful eyes.
Stealthily the man withdrew something from his pocket. Tarzan
could not discern what the object was, for the man's hand covered
Slowly the hand approached the count, and then, very deftly, the
thing that was in it was transferred to the count's pocket. The
man remained standing where he could watch the Frenchman's cards.
Tarzan was puzzled, but he was all attention now, nor did he permit
another detail of the incident to escape him.
The play went on for some ten minutes after this, until the count
won a considerable wager from him who had last joined the game, and
then Tarzan saw the fellow back of the count's chair nod his head
to his confederate. Instantly the player arose and pointed a finger
at the count.
"Had I known that monsieur was a professional card sharp I had not
been so ready to be drawn into the game," he said.
Instantly the count and the two other players were upon their feet.
De Coude's face went white.
"What do you mean, sir?" he cried. "Do you know to whom you speak?"
"I know that I speak, for the last time, to one who cheats at
cards," replied the fellow.
The count leaned across the table, and struck the man full in the
mouth with his open palm, and then the others closed in between
"There is some mistake, sir," cried one of the other players. "Why,
this is Count de Coude, of France." "If I am mistaken," said the
accuser, "I shall gladly apologize; but before I do so first let
monsieur le count explain the extra cards which I saw him drop into
his side pocket."
And then the man whom Tarzan had seen drop them there turned to
sneak from the room, but to his annoyance he found the exit barred
by a tall, gray-eyed stranger.
"Pardon," said the man brusquely, attempting to pass to one side.
"Wait," said Tarzan.
"But why, monsieur?" exclaimed the other petulantly. "Permit me
to pass, monsieur."
"Wait," said Tarzan. "I think that there is a matter in here that
you may doubtless be able to explain."
The fellow had lost his temper by this time, and with a low oath
seized Tarzan to push him to one side. The ape-man but smiled as
he twisted the big fellow about and, grasping him by the collar
of his coat, escorted him back to the table, struggling, cursing,
and striking in futile remonstrance. It was Nikolas Rokoff's first
experience with the muscles that had brought their savage owner
victorious through encounters with Numa, the lion, and Terkoz, the
great bull ape.
The man who had accused De Coude, and the two others who had been
playing, stood looking expectantly at the count. Several other
passengers had drawn toward the scene of the altercation, and all
awaited the denouement.
"The fellow is crazy," said the count. "Gentlemen, I implore that
one of you search me."
"The accusation is ridiculous." This from one of the players.
"You have but to slip your hand in the count's coat pocket and
you will see that the accusation is quite serious," insisted the
accuser. And then, as the others still hesitated to do so: "Come,
I shall do it myself if no other will," and he stepped forward
toward the count.
"No, monsieur," said De Coude. "I will submit to a search only at
the hands of a gentleman."
"It is unnecessary to search the count. The cards are in his
pocket. I myself saw them placed there."
All turned in surprise toward this new speaker, to behold a very
well-built young man urging a resisting captive toward them by the
scruff of his neck.
"It is a conspiracy," cried De Coude angrily. "There are no cards
in my coat," and with that he ran his hand into his pocket. As he
did so tense silence reigned in the little group. The count went
dead white, and then very slowly he withdrew his hand, and in it
were three cards.
He looked at them in mute and horrified surprise, and slowly the
red of mortification suffused his face. Expressions of pity and
contempt tinged the features of those who looked on at the death
of a man's honor.
"It is a conspiracy, monsieur." It was the gray-eyed stranger
who spoke. "Gentlemen," he continued, "monsieur le count did not
know that those cards were in his pocket. They were placed there
without his knowledge as he sat at play. From where I sat in that
chair yonder I saw the reflection of it all in the mirror before
me. This person whom I just intercepted in an effort to escape
placed the cards in the count's pocket."
De Coude had glanced from Tarzan to the man in his grasp.
"MON DIEU, Nikolas!" he cried. "You?"
Then he turned to his accuser, and eyed him intently for a moment.
"And you, monsieur, I did not recognize you without your beard.
It quite disguises you, Paulvitch. I see it all now. It is quite
"What shall we do with them, monsieur?" asked Tarzan. "Turn them
over to the captain?"
"No, my friend," said the count hastily. "It is a personal matter,
and I beg that you will let it drop. It is sufficient that I have
been exonerated from the charge. The less we have to do with such
fellows, the better. But, monsieur, how can I thank you for the
great kindness you have done me? Permit me to offer you my card,
and should the time come when I may serve you, remember that I am
yours to command."
Tarzan had released Rokoff, who, with his confederate, Paulvitch,
had hastened from the smoking-room. Just as he was leaving, Rokoff
turned to Tarzan. "Monsieur will have ample opportunity to regret
his interference in the affairs of others."
Tarzan smiled, and then, bowing to the count, handed him his own
The count read:
M. JEAN C. TARZAN
"Monsieur Tarzan," he said, "may indeed wish that he had never
befriended me, for I can assure him that he has won the enmity of
two of the most unmitigated scoundrels in all Europe. Avoid them,
monsieur, by all means."
"I have had more awe-inspiring enemies, my dear count," replied
Tarzan with a quiet smile, "yet I am still alive and unworried. I
think that neither of these two will ever find the means to harm
"Let us hope not, monsieur," said De Coude; "but yet it will do no
harm to be on the alert, and to know that you have made at least
one enemy today who never forgets and never forgives, and in
whose malignant brain there are always hatching new atrocities to
perpetrate upon those who have thwarted or offended him. To say
that Nikolas Rokoff is a devil would be to place a wanton affront
upon his satanic majesty."
That night as Tarzan entered his cabin he found a folded note upon
the floor that had evidently been pushed beneath the door. He
opened it and read:
Doubtless you did not realize the gravity of your offense, or
you would not have done the thing you did today. I am willing to
believe that you acted in ignorance and without any intention to
offend a stranger. For this reason I shall gladly permit you to
offer an apology, and on receiving your assurances that you will
not again interfere in affairs that do not concern you, I shall
drop the matter.
Otherwise--but I am sure that you will see the wisdom of
adopting the course I suggest.
Tarzan permitted a grim smile to play about his lips for a moment,
then he promptly dropped the matter from his mind, and went to bed.
In a nearby cabin the Countess de Coude was speaking to her husband.
"Why so grave, my dear Raoul?" she asked. "You have been as glum
as could be all evening. What worries you?"
"Olga, Nikolas is on board. Did you know it?"
"Nikolas!" she exclaimed. "But it is impossible, Raoul. It cannot
be. Nikolas is under arrest in Germany."
"So I thought myself until I saw him today--him and that other arch
scoundrel, Paulvitch. Olga, I cannot endure his persecution much
longer. No, not even for you. Sooner or later I shall turn him
over to the authorities. In fact, I am half minded to explain all
to the captain before we land. On a French liner it were an easy
matter, Olga, permanently to settle this Nemesis of ours."
"Oh, no, Raoul!" cried the countess, sinking to her knees before
him as he sat with bowed head upon a divan. "Do not do that.
Remember your promise to me. Tell me, Raoul, that you will not do
that. Do not even threaten him, Raoul."
De Coude took his wife's hands in his, and gazed upon her pale and
troubled countenance for some time before he spoke, as though he
would wrest from those beautiful eyes the real reason which prompted
her to shield this man.
"Let it be as you wish, Olga," he said at length. "I cannot
understand. He has forfeited all claim upon your love, loyalty,
or respect. He is a menace to your life and honor, and the life
and honor of your husband. I trust you may never regret championing
"I do not champion him, Raoul," she interrupted vehemently. "I
believe that I hate him as much as you do, but--Oh, Raoul, blood
is thicker than water."
"I should today have liked to sample the consistency of his," growled
De Coude grimly. "The two deliberately attempted to besmirch my
honor, Olga," and then he told her of all that had happened in the
smoking-room. "Had it not been for this utter stranger, they had
succeeded, for who would have accepted my unsupported word against
the damning evidence of those cards hidden on my person? I had
almost begun to doubt myself when this Monsieur Tarzan dragged
your precious Nikolas before us, and explained the whole cowardly
"Monsieur Tarzan?" asked the countess, in evident surprise.
"Yes. Do you know him, Olga?"
"I have seen him. A steward pointed him out to me."
"I did not know that he was a celebrity," said the count.
Olga de Coude changed the subject. She discovered suddenly that she
might find it difficult to explain just why the steward had pointed
out the handsome Monsieur Tarzan to her. Perhaps she flushed the
least little bit, for was not the count, her husband, gazing at
her with a strangely quizzical expression. "Ah," she thought, "a
guilty conscience is a most suspicious thing."
Forging Bonds of Hate and ----?
It was not until late the following afternoon that Tarzan saw anything
more of the fellow passengers into the midst of whose affairs his
love of fair play had thrust him. And then he came most unexpectedly
upon Rokoff and Paulvitch at a moment when of all others the two
might least appreciate his company.
They were standing on deck at a point which was temporarily deserted,
and as Tarzan came upon them they were in heated argument with a
woman. Tarzan noted that she was richly appareled, and that her
slender, well-modeled figure denoted youth; but as she was heavily
veiled he could not discern her features.
The men were standing on either side of her, and the backs of all
were toward Tarzan, so that he was quite close to them without
their being aware of his presence. He noticed that Rokoff seemed
to be threatening, the woman pleading; but they spoke in a strange
tongue, and he could only guess from appearances that the girl was
Rokoff's attitude was so distinctly filled with the threat of
physical violence that the ape-man paused for an instant just behind
the trio, instinctively sensing an atmosphere of danger. Scarcely
had he hesitated ere the man seized the woman roughly by the wrist,
twisting it as though to wring a promise from her through torture.
What would have happened next had Rokoff had his way we may only
conjecture, since he did not have his way at all. Instead, steel
fingers gripped his shoulder, and he was swung unceremoniously
around, to meet the cold gray eyes of the stranger who had thwarted
him on the previous day.
"SAPRISTI!" screamed the infuriated Rokoff. "What do you mean?
Are you a fool that you thus again insult Nikolas Rokoff?"
"This is my answer to your note, monsieur," said Tarzan, in a low
voice. And then he hurled the fellow from him with such force that
Rokoff lunged sprawling against the rail.
"Name of a name!" shrieked Rokoff. "Pig, but you shall die for
this," and, springing to his feet, he rushed upon Tarzan, tugging
the meanwhile to draw a revolver from his hip pocket. The girl
shrank back in terror.
"Nikolas!" she cried. "Do not--oh, do not do that. Quick, monsieur,
fly, or he will surely kill you!" But instead of flying Tarzan
advanced to meet the fellow. "Do not make a fool of yourself,
monsieur," he said.
Rokoff, who was in a perfect frenzy of rage at the humiliation the
stranger had put upon him, had at last succeeded in drawing the
revolver. He had stopped, and now he deliberately raised it to
Tarzan's breast and pulled the trigger. The hammer fell with a
futile click on an empty chamber--the ape-man's hand shot out like
the head of an angry python; there was a quick wrench, and the
revolver sailed far out across the ship's rail, and dropped into
For a moment the two men stood there facing one another. Rokoff
had regained his self-possession. He was the first to speak.
"Twice now has monsieur seen fit to interfere in matters which do
not concern him. Twice he has taken it upon himself to humiliate
Nikolas Rokoff. The first offense was overlooked on the assumption
that monsieur acted through ignorance, but this affair shall not
be overlooked. If monsieur does not know who Nikolas Rokoff is,
this last piece of effrontery will insure that monsieur later has
good reason to remember him."
"That you are a coward and a scoundrel, monsieur," replied Tarzan,
"is all that I care to know of you," and he turned to ask the girl
if the man had hurt her, but she had disappeared. Then, without
even a glance toward Rokoff and his companion, he continued his
stroll along the deck.
Tarzan could not but wonder what manner of conspiracy was on
foot, or what the scheme of the two men might be. There had been
something rather familiar about the appearance of the veiled woman
to whose rescue he had just come, but as he had not seen her face
he could not be sure that he had ever seen her before. The only thing
about her that he had particularly noticed was a ring of peculiar
workmanship upon a finger of the hand that Rokoff had seized, and
he determined to note the fingers of the women passengers he came
upon thereafter, that he might discover the identity of her whom
Rokoff was persecuting, and learn if the fellow had offered her
Tarzan had sought his deck chair, where he sat speculating on the
numerous instances of human cruelty, selfishness, and spite that
had fallen to his lot to witness since that day in the jungle four
years since that his eyes had first fallen upon a human being other
than himself--the sleek, black Kulonga, whose swift spear had that
day found the vitals of Kala, the great she-ape, and robbed the
youth, Tarzan, of the only mother he had ever known.
He recalled the murder of King by the rat-faced Snipes; the
abandonment of Professor Porter and his party by the mutineers of
the ARROW; the cruelty of the black warriors and women of Mbonga
to their captives; the petty jealousies of the civil and military
officers of the West Coast colony that had afforded him his first
introduction to the civilized world.
"MON DIEU!" he soliloquized, "but they are all alike. Cheating,
murdering, lying, fighting, and all for things that the beasts
of the jungle would not deign to possess--money to purchase the
effeminate pleasures of weaklings. And yet withal bound down by
silly customs that make them slaves to their unhappy lot while firm
in the belief that they be the lords of creation enjoying the only
real pleasures of existence. In the jungle one would scarcely stand
supinely aside while another took his mate. It is a silly world,
an idiotic world, and Tarzan of the Apes was a fool to renounce
the freedom and the happiness of his jungle to come into it."
Presently, as he sat there, the sudden feeling came over him that
eyes were watching from behind, and the old instinct of the wild
beast broke through the thin veneer of civilization, so that Tarzan
wheeled about so quickly that the eyes of the young woman who had
been surreptitiously regarding him had not even time to drop before
the gray eyes of the ape-man shot an inquiring look straight into
them. Then, as they fell, Tarzan saw a faint wave of crimson creep
swiftly over the now half-averted face.
He smiled to himself at the result of his very uncivilized and
ungallant action, for he had not lowered his own eyes when they
met those of the young woman. She was very young, and equally good
to look upon. Further, there was something rather familiar about
her that set Tarzan to wondering where he had seen her before. He
resumed his former position, and presently he was aware that she
had arisen and was leaving the deck. As she passed, Tarzan turned
to watch her, in the hope that he might discover a clew to satisfy
his mild curiosity as to her identity.
Nor was he disappointed entirely, for as she walked away she raised
one hand to the black, waving mass at the nape of her neck--the
peculiarly feminine gesture that admits cognizance of appraising
eyes behind her--and Tarzan saw upon a finger of this hand the
ring of strange workmanship that he had seen upon the finger of
the veiled woman a short time before.
So it was this beautiful young woman Rokoff had been persecuting.
Tarzan wondered in a lazy sort of way whom she might be, and what
relations one so lovely could have with the surly, bearded Russian.
After dinner that evening Tarzan strolled forward, where he remained
until after dark, in conversation with the second officer, and when
that gentleman's duties called him elsewhere Tarzan lolled lazily
by the rail watching the play of the moonlight upon the gently
rolling waters. He was half hidden by a davit, so that two men
who approached along the deck did not see him, and as they passed
Tarzan caught enough of their conversation to cause him to fall
in behind them, to follow and learn what deviltry they were up to.
He had recognized the voice as that of Rokoff, and had seen that
his companion was Paulvitch.
Tarzan had overheard but a few words: "And if she screams you may
choke her until--" But those had been enough to arouse the spirit
of adventure within him, and so he kept the two men in sight as
they walked, briskly now, along the deck. To the smoking-room he
followed them, but they merely halted at the doorway long enough,
apparently, to assure themselves that one whose whereabouts they
wished to establish was within.
Then they proceeded directly to the first-class cabins upon the
promenade deck. Here Tarzan found greater difficulty in escaping
detection, but he managed to do so successfully. As they halted
before one of the polished hardwood doors, Tarzan slipped into the
shadow of a passageway not a dozen feet from them.
To their knock a woman's voice asked in French: "Who is it?"
"It is I, Olga--Nikolas," was the answer, in Rokoff's now familiar
guttural. "May I come in?"
"Why do you not cease persecuting me, Nikolas?" came the voice of
the woman from beyond the thin panel. "I have never harmed you."
"Come, come, Olga," urged the man, in propitiary tones; "I but
ask a half dozen words with you. I shall not harm you, nor shall
I enter your cabin; but I cannot shout my message through the door."
Tarzan heard the catch click as it was released from the inside. He
stepped out from his hiding-place far enough to see what transpired
when the door was opened, for he could not but recall the sinister
words he had heard a few moments before upon the deck, "And if she
screams you may choke her."
Rokoff was standing directly in front of the door. Paulvitch had
flattened himself against the paneled wall of the corridor beyond.
The door opened. Rokoff half entered the room, and stood with his
back against the door, speaking in a low whisper to the woman, whom
Tarzan could not see. Then Tarzan heard the woman's voice, level,
but loud enough to distinguish her words.
"No, Nikolas," she was saying, "it is useless. Threaten as you
will, I shall never accede to your demands. Leave the room, please;
you have no right here. You promised not to enter."
"Very well, Olga, I shall not enter; but before I am done with
you, you shall wish a thousand times that you had done at once the
favor I have asked. In the end I shall win anyway, so you might
as well save trouble and time for me, and disgrace for yourself
"Never, Nikolas!" interrupted the woman, and then Tarzan saw Rokoff
turn and nod to Paulvitch, who sprang quickly toward the doorway
of the cabin, rushing in past Rokoff, who held the door open for
him. Then the latter stepped quickly out. The door closed. Tarzan
heard the click of the lock as Paulvitch turned it from the inside.
Rokoff remained standing before the door, with head bent, as though
to catch the words of the two within. A nasty smile curled his
Tarzan could hear the woman's voice commanding the fellow to leave
her cabin. "I shall send for my husband," she cried. "He will
show you no mercy."
Paulvitch's sneering laugh came through the polished panels.
"The purser will fetch your husband, madame," said the man. "In
fact, that officer has already been notified that you are entertaining
a man other than your husband behind the locked door of your cabin."
"Bah!" cried the woman. "My husband will know!"
"Most assuredly your husband will know, but the purser will not;
nor will the newspaper men who shall in some mysterious way hear
of it on our landing. But they will think it a fine story, and so
will all your friends when they read of it at breakfast on--let me
see, this is Tuesday--yes, when they read of it at breakfast next
Friday morning. Nor will it detract from the interest they will
all feel when they learn that the man whom madame entertained is
a Russian servant--her brother's valet, to be quite exact."
"Alexis Paulvitch," came the woman's voice, cold and fearless, "you
are a coward, and when I whisper a certain name in your ear you
will think better of your demands upon me and your threats against
me, and then you will leave my cabin quickly, nor do I think that
ever again will you, at least, annoy me," and there came a moment's
silence in which Tarzan could imagine the woman leaning toward
the scoundrel and whispering the thing she had hinted at into his
ear. Only a moment of silence, and then a startled oath from the
man--the scuffling of feet--a woman's scream--and silence.
But scarcely had the cry ceased before the ape-man had leaped from
his hiding-place. Rokoff started to run, but Tarzan grasped him
by the collar and dragged him back. Neither spoke, for both felt
instinctively that murder was being done in that room, and Tarzan
was confident that Rokoff had had no intention that his confederate
should go that far--he felt that the man's aims were deeper than
that--deeper and even more sinister than brutal, cold-blooded
murder. Without hesitating to question those within, the ape-man
threw his giant shoulder against the frail panel, and in a shower
of splintered wood he entered the cabin, dragging Rokoff after
him. Before him, on a couch, the woman lay, and on top of her was
Paulvitch, his fingers gripping the fair throat, while his victim's
hands beat futilely at his face, tearing desperately at the cruel
fingers that were forcing the life from her.
The noise of his entrance brought Paulvitch to his feet, where he
stood glowering menacingly at Tarzan. The girl rose falteringly
to a sitting posture upon the couch. One hand was at her throat,
and her breath came in little gasps. Although disheveled and very
pale, Tarzan recognized her as the young woman whom he had caught
staring at him on deck earlier in the day.
"What is the meaning of this?" said Tarzan, turning to Rokoff, whom
he intuitively singled out as the instigator of the outrage. The
man remained silent, scowling. "Touch the button, please," continued
the ape-man; "we will have one of the ship's officers here--this
affair has gone quite far enough."
"No, no," cried the girl, coming suddenly to her feet. "Please do
not do that. I am sure that there was no real intention to harm
me. I angered this person, and he lost control of himself, that
is all. I would not care to have the matter go further, please,
monsieur," and there was such a note of pleading in her voice
that Tarzan could not press the matter, though his better judgment
warned him that there was something afoot here of which the proper
authorities should be made cognizant.
"You wish me to do nothing, then, in the matter?" he asked.
"Nothing, please," she replied.
"You are content that these two scoundrels should continue persecuting
She did not seem to know what answer to make, and looked very
troubled and unhappy. Tarzan saw a malicious grin of triumph curl
Rokoff's lip. The girl evidently was in fear of these two--she
dared not express her real desires before them.
"Then," said Tarzan, "I shall act on my own responsibility. To
you," he continued, turning to Rokoff, "and this includes your
accomplice, I may say that from now on to the end of the voyage I
shall take it upon myself to keep an eye on you, and should there
chance to come to my notice any act of either one of you that
might even remotely annoy this young woman you shall be called to
account for it directly to me, nor shall the calling or the accounting
be pleasant experiences for either of you.
"Now get out of here," and he grabbed Rokoff and Paulvitch each by
the scruff of the neck and thrust them forcibly through the doorway,
giving each an added impetus down the corridor with the toe of his
boot. Then he turned back to the stateroom and the girl. She was
looking at him in wide-eyed astonishment.
"And you, madame, will confer a great favor upon me if you will
but let me know if either of those rascals troubles you further."
"Ah, monsieur," she answered, "I hope that you will not suffer
for the kind deed you attempted. You have made a very wicked and
resourceful enemy, who will stop at nothing to satisfy his hatred.
You must be very careful indeed, Monsieur--"
"Pardon me, madame, my name is Tarzan."
"Monsieur Tarzan. And because I would not consent to notify the
officers, do not think that I am not sincerely grateful to you for
the brave and chivalrous protection you rendered me. Good night,
Monsieur Tarzan. I shall never forget the debt I owe you," and,
with a most winsome smile that displayed a row of perfect teeth,
the girl curtsied to Tarzan, who bade her good night and made his
way on deck.
It puzzled the man considerably that there should be two on board--this
girl and Count de Coude--who suffered indignities at the hands of
Rokoff and his companion, and yet would not permit the offenders to
be brought to justice. Before he turned in that night his thoughts
reverted many times to the beautiful young woman into the evidently
tangled web of whose life fate had so strangely introduced him.
It occurred to him that he had not learned her name. That she was
married had been evidenced by the narrow gold band that encircled
the third finger of her left hand. Involuntarily he wondered who
the lucky man might be.
Tarzan saw nothing further of any of the actors in the little
drama that he had caught a fleeting glimpse of until late in the
afternoon of the last day of the voyage. Then he came suddenly
face to face with the young woman as the two approached their deck
chairs from opposite directions. She greeted him with a pleasant
smile, speaking almost immediately of the affair he had witnessed
in her cabin two nights before. It was as though she had been perturbed
by a conviction that he might have construed her acquaintance with
such men as Rokoff and Paulvitch as a personal reflection upon
"I trust monsieur has not judged me," she said, "by the unfortunate
occurrence of Tuesday evening. I have suffered much on account
of it--this is the first time that I have ventured from my cabin
since; I have been ashamed," she concluded simply.
"One does not judge the gazelle by the lions that attack it," replied
Tarzan. "I had seen those two work before--in the smoking-room
the day prior to their attack on you, if I recollect it correctly,
and so, knowing their methods, I am convinced that their enmity is
a sufficient guarantee of the integrity of its object. Men such
as they must cleave only to the vile, hating all that is noblest
"It is very kind of you to put it that way," she replied, smiling.
"I have already heard of the matter of the card game. My husband
told me the entire story. He spoke especially of the strength
and bravery of Monsieur Tarzan, to whom he feels that he owes an
immense debt of gratitude."
"Your husband?" repeated Tarzan questioningly.
"Yes. I am the Countess de Coude."
"I am already amply repaid, madame, in knowing that I have rendered
a service to the wife of the Count de Coude."
"Alas, monsieur, I already am so greatly indebted to you that I
may never hope to settle my own account, so pray do not add further
to my obligations," and she smiled so sweetly upon him that Tarzan
felt that a man might easily attempt much greater things than he had
accomplished, solely for the pleasure of receiving the benediction
of that smile.
He did not see her again that day, and in the rush of landing on
the following morning he missed her entirely, but there had been
something in the expression of her eyes as they parted on deck the
previous day that haunted him. It had been almost wistful as they
had spoken of the strangeness of the swift friendships of an ocean
crossing, and of the equal ease with which they are broken forever.
Tarzan wondered if he should ever see her again.
What Happened in the Rue Maule
On his arrival in Paris, Tarzan had gone directly to the apartments
of his old friend, D'Arnot, where the naval lieutenant had scored
him roundly for his decision to renounce the title and estates
that were rightly his from his father, John Clayton, the late Lord
"You must be mad, my friend," said D'Arnot, "thus lightly to give up
not alone wealth and position, but an opportunity to prove beyond
doubt to all the world that in your veins flows the noble blood
of two of England's most honored houses--instead of the blood of
a savage she-ape. It is incredible that they could have believed
you--Miss Porter least of all.
"Why, I never did believe it, even back in the wilds of your African
jungle, when you tore the raw meat of your kills with mighty jaws,
like some wild beast, and wiped your greasy hands upon your thighs.
Even then, before there was the slightest proof to the contrary, I
knew that you were mistaken in the belief that Kala was your mother.
"And now, with your father's diary of the terrible life led by him
and your mother on that wild African shore; with the account of
your birth, and, final and most convincing proof of all, your own
baby finger prints upon the pages of it, it seems incredible to me
that you are willing to remain a nameless, penniless vagabond."
"I do not need any better name than Tarzan," replied the ape-man;
"and as for remaining a penniless vagabond, I have no intention
of so doing. In fact, the next, and let us hope the last, burden
that I shall be forced to put upon your unselfish friendship will
be the finding of employment for me."
"Pooh, pooh!" scoffed D'Arnot. "You know that I did not mean that.
Have I not told you a dozen times that I have enough for twenty
men, and that half of what I have is yours? And if I gave it all
to you, would it represent even the tenth part of the value I place
upon your friendship, my Tarzan? Would it repay the services you
did me in Africa? I do not forget, my friend, that but for you
and your wondrous bravery I had died at the stake in the village of
Mbonga's cannibals. Nor do I forget that to your self-sacrificing
devotion I owe the fact that I recovered from the terrible wounds
I received at their hands--I discovered later something of what it
meant to you to remain with me in the amphitheater of apes while
your heart was urging you on to the coast.
"When we finally came there, and found that Miss Porter and her
party had left, I commenced to realize something of what you had
done for an utter stranger. Nor am I trying to repay you with
money, Tarzan. It is that just at present you need money; were it
sacrifice that I might offer you it were the same--my friendship
must always be yours, because our tastes are similar, and I admire
you. That I cannot command, but the money I can and shall."
"Well," laughed Tarzan, "we shall not quarrel over the money. I
must live, and so I must have it; but I shall be more contented
with something to do. You cannot show me your friendship in a
more convincing manner than to find employment for me--I shall die
of inactivity in a short while. As for my birthright--it is in
good hands. Clayton is not guilty of robbing me of it. He truly
believes that he is the real Lord Greystoke, and the chances are
that he will make a better English lord than a man who was born and
raised in an African jungle. You know that I am but half civilized
even now. Let me see red in anger but for a moment, and all the
instincts of the savage beast that I really am, submerge what little
I possess of the milder ways of culture and refinement.
"And then again, had I declared myself I should have robbed the
woman I love of the wealth and position that her marriage to Clayton
will now insure to her. I could not have done that--could I, Paul?
"Nor is the matter of birth of great importance to me," he went
on, without waiting for a reply. "Raised as I have been, I see
no worth in man or beast that is not theirs by virtue of their own
mental or physical prowess. And so I am as happy to think of Kala
as my mother as I would be to try to picture the poor, unhappy
little English girl who passed away a year after she bore me. Kala
was always kind to me in her fierce and savage way. I must have
nursed at her hairy breast from the time that my own mother died.
She fought for me against the wild denizens of the forest, and
against the savage members of our tribe, with the ferocity of real
"And I, on my part, loved her, Paul. I did not realize how much
until after the cruel spear and the poisoned arrow of Mbonga's
black warrior had stolen her away from me. I was still a child
when that occurred, and I threw myself upon her dead body and wept
out my anguish as a child might for his own mother. To you, my
friend, she would have appeared a hideous and ugly creature, but
to me she was beautiful--so gloriously does love transfigure its
object. And so I am perfectly content to remain forever the son
of Kala, the she-ape."
"I do not admire you the less for your loyalty," said D'Arnot,
"but the time will come when you will be glad to claim your own.
Remember what I say, and let us hope that it will be as easy then
as it is now. You must bear in mind that Professor Porter and Mr.
Philander are the only people in the world who can swear that the
little skeleton found in the cabin with those of your father and
mother was that of an infant anthropoid ape, and not the offspring
of Lord and Lady Greystoke. That evidence is most important. They
are both old men. They may not live many years longer. And then,
did it not occur to you that once Miss Porter knew the truth she
would break her engagement with Clayton? You might easily have
your title, your estates, and the woman you love, Tarzan. Had you
not thought of that?"
Tarzan shook his head. "You do not know her," he said. "Nothing
could bind her closer to her bargain than some misfortune to Clayton.
She is from an old southern family in America, and southerners
pride themselves upon their loyalty."
Tarzan spent the two following weeks renewing his former brief
acquaintance with Paris. In the daytime he haunted the libraries
and picture galleries. He had become an omnivorous reader, and
the world of possibilities that were opened to him in this seat of
culture and learning fairly appalled him when he contemplated the
very infinitesimal crumb of the sum total of human knowledge that
a single individual might hope to acquire even after a lifetime of
study and research; but he learned what he could by day, and threw
himself into a search for relaxation and amusement at night. Nor
did he find Paris a whit less fertile field for his nocturnal
If he smoked too many cigarettes and drank too much absinth it was
because he took civilization as he found it, and did the things
that he found his civilized brothers doing. The life was a new
and alluring one, and in addition he had a sorrow in his breast and
a great longing which he knew could never be fulfilled, and so he
sought in study and in dissipation--the two extremes--to forget
the past and inhibit contemplation of the future.
He was sitting in a music hall one evening, sipping his absinth
and admiring the art of a certain famous Russian dancer, when he
caught a passing glimpse of a pair of evil black eyes upon him.
The man turned and was lost in the crowd at the exit before Tarzan
could catch a good look at him, but he was confident that he
had seen those eyes before and that they had been fastened on him
this evening through no passing accident. He had had the uncanny
feeling for some time that he was being watched, and it was in
response to this animal instinct that was strong within him that
he had turned suddenly and surprised the eyes in the very act of
Before he left the music hall the matter had been forgotten, nor
did he notice the swarthy individual who stepped deeper into the
shadows of an opposite doorway as Tarzan emerged from the brilliantly
lighted amusement hall.
Had Tarzan but known it, he had been followed many times from this
and other places of amusement, but seldom if ever had he been alone.
Tonight D'Arnot had had another engagement, and Tarzan had come by
As he turned in the direction he was accustomed to taking from this
part of Paris to his apartments, the watcher across the street ran
from his hiding-place and hurried on ahead at a rapid pace.
Tarzan had been wont to traverse the Rue Maule on his way home at
night. Because it was very quiet and very dark it reminded him
more of his beloved African jungle than did the noisy and garish
streets surrounding it. If you are familiar with your Paris you
will recall the narrow, forbidding precincts of the Rue Maule. If
you are not, you need but ask the police about it to learn that
in all Paris there is no street to which you should give a wider
berth after dark.
On this night Tarzan had proceeded some two squares through the
dense shadows of the squalid old tenements which line this dismal
way when he was attracted by screams and cries for help from the
third floor of an opposite building. The voice was a woman's.
Before the echoes of her first cries had died Tarzan was bounding
up the stairs and through the dark corridors to her rescue.
At the end of the corridor on the third landing a door stood
slightly ajar, and from within Tarzan heard again the same appeal
that had lured him from the street. Another instant found him in
the center of a dimly-lighted room. An oil lamp burned upon a high,
old-fashioned mantel, casting its dim rays over a dozen repulsive
figures. All but one were men. The other was a woman of about
thirty. Her face, marked by low passions and dissipation, might
once have been lovely. She stood with one hand at her throat,
crouching against the farther wall.
"Help, monsieur," she cried in a low voice as Tarzan entered the
room; "they were killing me."
As Tarzan turned toward the men about him he saw the crafty, evil
faces of habitual criminals. He wondered that they had made no
effort to escape. A movement behind him caused him to turn. Two
things his eyes saw, and one of them caused him considerable
wonderment. A man was sneaking stealthily from the room, and in
the brief glance that Tarzan had of him he saw that it was Rokoff.
But the other thing that he saw was of more immediate interest. It
was a great brute of a fellow tiptoeing upon him from behind with
a huge bludgeon in his hand, and then, as the man and his confederates
saw that he was discovered, there was a concerted rush upon Tarzan
from all sides. Some of the men drew knives. Others picked up
chairs, while the fellow with the bludgeon raised it high above
his head in a mighty swing that would have crushed Tarzan's head
had it ever descended upon it.
But the brain, and the agility, and the muscles that had coped with
the mighty strength and cruel craftiness of Terkoz and Numa in the
fastness of their savage jungle were not to be so easily subdued
as these apaches of Paris had believed.
Selecting his most formidable antagonist, the fellow with the
bludgeon, Tarzan charged full upon him, dodging the falling weapon,
and catching the man a terrific blow on the point of the chin that
felled him in his tracks.
Then he turned upon the others. This was sport. He was reveling
in the joy of battle and the lust of blood. As though it had been
but a brittle shell, to break at the least rough usage, the thin
veneer of his civilization fell from him, and the ten burly villains
found themselves penned in a small room with a wild and savage
beast, against whose steel muscles their puny strength was less
At the end of the corridor without stood Rokoff, waiting the
outcome of the affair. He wished to be sure that Tarzan was dead
before he left, but it was not a part of his plan to be one of
those within the room when the murder occurred.
The woman still stood where she had when Tarzan entered, but her
face had undergone a number of changes with the few minutes which
had elapsed. From the semblance of distress which it had worn when
Tarzan first saw it, it had changed to one of craftiness as he had
wheeled to meet the attack from behind; but the change Tarzan had
Later an expression of surprise and then one of horror superseded
the others. And who may wonder. For the immaculate gentleman her
cries had lured to what was to have been his death had been suddenly
metamorphosed into a demon of revenge. Instead of soft muscles and
a weak resistance, she was looking upon a veritable Hercules gone
"MON DIEU!" she cried; "he is a beast!" For the strong, white teeth
of the ape-man had found the throat of one of his assailants, and
Tarzan fought as he had learned to fight with the great bull apes
of the tribe of Kerchak.
He was in a dozen places at once, leaping hither and thither about
the room in sinuous bounds that reminded the woman of a panther she
had seen at the zoo. Now a wrist-bone snapped in his iron grip,
now a shoulder was wrenched from its socket as he forced a victim's
arm backward and upward.
With shrieks of pain the men escaped into the hallway as quickly
as they could; but even before the first one staggered, bleeding
and broken, from the room, Rokoff had seen enough to convince him
that Tarzan would not be the one to lie dead in that house this
night, and so the Russian had hastened to a nearby den and telephoned
the police that a man was committing murder on the third floor
of Rue Maule, 27. When the officers arrived they found three men
groaning on the floor, a frightened woman lying upon a filthy bed,
her face buried in her arms, and what appeared to be a well-dressed
young gentleman standing in the center of the room awaiting the
reenforcements which he had thought the footsteps of the officers
hurrying up the stairway had announced--but they were mistaken in
the last; it was a wild beast that looked upon them through those
narrowed lids and steel-gray eyes. With the smell of blood the
last vestige of civilization had deserted Tarzan, and now he stood
at bay, like a lion surrounded by hunters, awaiting the next overt
act, and crouching to charge its author.
"What has happened here?" asked one of the policemen.
Tarzan explained briefly, but when he turned to the woman for
confirmation of his statement he was appalled by her reply.
"He lies!" she screamed shrilly, addressing the policeman. "He
came to my room while I was alone, and for no good purpose. When
I repulsed him he would have killed me had not my screams attracted
these gentlemen, who were passing the house at the time. He is a
devil, monsieurs; alone he has all but killed ten men with his bare
hands and his teeth."
So shocked was Tarzan by her ingratitude that for a moment he was
struck dumb. The police were inclined to be a little skeptical,
for they had had other dealings with this same lady and her lovely
coterie of gentlemen friends. However, they were policemen, not
judges, so they decided to place all the inmates of the room under
arrest, and let another, whose business it was, separate the innocent
from the guilty.
But they found that it was one thing to tell this well-dressed young
man that he was under arrest, but quite another to enforce it.
"I am guilty of no offense," he said quietly. "I have but sought
to defend myself. I do not know why the woman has told you what
she has. She can have no enmity against me, for never until I came
to this room in response to her cries for help had I seen her."
"Come, come," said one of the officers; "there are judges to
listen to all that," and he advanced to lay his hand upon Tarzan's
shoulder. An instant later he lay crumpled in a corner of the
room, and then, as his comrades rushed in upon the ape-man, they
experienced a taste of what the apaches had but recently gone
through. So quickly and so roughly did he handle them that they
had not even an opportunity to draw their revolvers.
During the brief fight Tarzan had noted the open window and, beyond,
the stem of a tree, or a telegraph pole--he could not tell which.
As the last officer went down, one of his fellows succeeded in
drawing his revolver and, from where he lay on the floor, fired
at Tarzan. The shot missed, and before the man could fire again
Tarzan had swept the lamp from the mantel and plunged the room into
The next they saw was a lithe form spring to the sill of the open
window and leap, panther-like, onto the pole across the walk. When
the police gathered themselves together and reached the street
their prisoner was nowhere to be seen.
They did not handle the woman and the men who had not escaped any
too gently when they took them to the station; they were a very sore
and humiliated detail of police. It galled them to think that it
would be necessary to report that a single unarmed man had wiped the
floor with the whole lot of them, and then escaped them as easily
as though they had not existed.
The officer who had remained in the street swore that no one had
leaped from the window or left the building from the time they
entered until they had come out. His comrades thought that he
lied, but they could not prove it.
When Tarzan found himself clinging to the pole outside the window,
he followed his jungle instinct and looked below for enemies before
he ventured down. It was well he did, for just beneath stood
a policeman. Above, Tarzan saw no one, so he went up instead of
The top of the pole was opposite the roof of the building, so it
was but the work of an instant for the muscles that had for years
sent him hurtling through the treetops of his primeval forest to
carry him across the little space between the pole and the roof.
From one building he went to another, and so on, with much climbing,
until at a cross street he discovered another pole, down which he
ran to the ground.
For a square or two he ran swiftly; then he turned into a little
all-night cafe and in the lavatory removed the evidences of his
over-roof promenade from hands and clothes. When he emerged a few
moments later it was to saunter slowly on toward his apartments.
Not far from them he came to a well-lighted boulevard which it was
necessary to cross. As he stood directly beneath a brilliant arc
light, waiting for a limousine that was approaching to pass him,
he heard his name called in a sweet feminine voice. Looking up, he
met the smiling eyes of Olga de Coude as she leaned forward upon
the back seat of the machine. He bowed very low in response to her
friendly greeting. When he straightened up the machine had borne
"Rokoff and the Countess de Coude both in the same evening," he
soliloquized; "Paris is not so large, after all."
The Countess Explains
"Your Paris is more dangerous than my savage jungles, Paul,"
concluded Tarzan, after narrating his adventures to his friend the
morning following his encounter with the apaches and police in the
Rue Maule. "Why did they lure me there? Were they hungry?"
D'Arnot feigned a horrified shudder, but he laughed at the quaint
"It is difficult to rise above the jungle standards and reason
by the light of civilized ways, is it not, my friend?" he queried
"Civilized ways, forsooth," scoffed Tarzan. "Jungle standards do
not countenance wanton atrocities. There we kill for food and for
self-preservation, or in the winning of mates and the protection
of the young. Always, you see, in accordance with the dictates of
some great natural law. But here! Faugh, your civilized man is
more brutal than the brutes. He kills wantonly, and, worse than
that, he utilizes a noble sentiment, the brotherhood of man, as a
lure to entice his unwary victim to his doom. It was in answer to
an appeal from a fellow being that I hastened to that room where
the assassins lay in wait for me.
"I did not realize, I could not realize for a long time afterward,
that any woman could sink to such moral depravity as that one must
have to call a would-be rescuer to death. But it must have been
so--the sight of Rokoff there and the woman's later repudiation of
me to the police make it impossible to place any other construction
upon her acts. Rokoff must have known that I frequently passed
through the Rue Maule. He lay in wait for me--his entire scheme
worked out to the last detail, even to the woman's story in case
a hitch should occur in the program such as really did happen. It
is all perfectly plain to me."
"Well," said D'Arnot, "among other things, it has taught you what
I have been unable to impress upon you--that the Rue Maule is a
good place to avoid after dark."
"On the contrary," replied Tarzan, with a smile, "it has convinced
me that it is the one worth-while street in all Paris. Never again
shall I miss an opportunity to traverse it, for it has given me
the first real entertainment I have had since I left Africa."
"It may give you more than you will relish even without another
visit," said D'Arnot. "You are not through with the police yet,
remember. I know the Paris police well enough to assure you that
they will not soon forget what you did to them. Sooner or later
they will get you, my dear Tarzan, and then they will lock the wild
man of the woods up behind iron bars. How will you like that?"
"They will never lock Tarzan of the Apes behind iron bars," replied
There was something in the man's voice as he said it that caused
D'Arnot to look up sharply at his friend. What he saw in the set
jaw and the cold, gray eyes made the young Frenchman very apprehensive
for this great child, who could recognize no law mightier than his
own mighty physical prowess. He saw that something must be done
to set Tarzan right with the police before another encounter was
"You have much to learn, Tarzan," he said gravely. "The law of
man must be respected, whether you relish it or no. Nothing but
trouble can come to you and your friends should you persist in
defying the police. I can explain it to them once for you, and
that I shall do this very day, but hereafter you must obey the law.
If its representatives say `Come,' you must come; if they say `Go,'
you must go. Now we shall go to my great friend in the department
and fix up this matter of the Rue Maule. Come!"
Together they entered the office of the police official a half hour
later. He was very cordial. He remembered Tarzan from the visit
the two had made him several months prior in the matter of finger
When D'Arnot had concluded the narration of the events which had
transpired the previous evening, a grim smile was playing about
the lips of the policeman. He touched a button near his hand, and
as he waited for the clerk to respond to its summons he searched
through the papers on his desk for one which he finally located.
"Here, Joubon," he said as the clerk entered. "Summon these
officers--have them come to me at once," and he handed the man the
paper he had sought. Then he turned to Tarzan.
"You have committed a very grave offense, monsieur," he said, not
unkindly, "and but for the explanation made by our good friend here
I should be inclined to judge you harshly. I am, instead, about
to do a rather unheard-of-thing. I have summoned the officers whom
you maltreated last night. They shall hear Lieutenant D'Arnot's
story, and then I shall leave it to their discretion to say whether
you shall be prosecuted or not.
"You have much to learn about the ways of civilization. Things
that seem strange or unnecessary to you, you must learn to accept
until you are able to judge the motives behind them. The officers
whom you attacked were but doing their duty. They had no discretion
in the matter. Every day they risk their lives in the protection
of the lives or property of others. They would do the same for
you. They are very brave men, and they are deeply mortified that
a single unarmed man bested and beat them.
"Make it easy for them to overlook what you did. Unless I am
gravely in error you are yourself a very brave man, and brave men
are proverbially magnanimous."
Further conversation was interrupted by the appearance of the four
policemen. As their eyes fell on Tarzan, surprise was writ large
on each countenance.
"My children," said the official, "here is the gentleman whom you
met in the Rue Maule last evening. He has come voluntarily to
give himself up. I wish you to listen attentively to Lieutenant
D'Arnot, who will tell you a part of the story of monsieur's life.
It may explain his attitude toward you of last night. Proceed, my
D'Arnot spoke to the policemen for half an hour. He told them
something of Tarzan's wild jungle life. He explained the savage
training that had taught him to battle like a wild beast in
self-preservation. It became plain to them that the man had been
guided by instinct rather than reason in his attack upon them. He
had not understood their intentions. To him they had been little
different from any of the various forms of life he had been accustomed
to in his native jungle, where practically all were his enemies.
"Your pride has been wounded," said D'Arnot, in conclusion. "It
is the fact that this man overcame you that hurts the most. But
you need feel no shame. You would not make apologies for defeat
had you been penned in that small room with an African lion, or
with the great Gorilla of the jungles.
"And yet you were battling with muscles that have time and time
again been pitted, and always victoriously, against these terrors
of the dark continent. It is no disgrace to fall beneath the
superhuman strength of Tarzan of the Apes."
And then, as the men stood looking first at Tarzan and then at
their superior the ape-man did the one thing which was needed to
erase the last remnant of animosity which they might have felt for
him. With outstretched hand he advanced toward them.
"I am sorry for the mistake I made," he said simply. "Let us be
friends." And that was the end of the whole matter, except that
Tarzan became a subject of much conversation in the barracks of
the police, and increased the number of his friends by four brave
men at least.
On their return to D'Arnot's apartments the lieutenant found a
letter awaiting him from an English friend, William Cecil Clayton,
Lord Greystoke. The two had maintained a correspondence since the
birth of their friendship on that ill-fated expedition in search
of Jane Porter after her theft by Terkoz, the bull ape.
"They are to be married in London in about two months," said D'Arnot,
as he completed his perusal of the letter. Tarzan did not need to
be told who was meant by "they." He made no reply, but he was very
quiet and thoughtful during the balance of the day.
That evening they attended the opera. Tarzan's mind was still
occupied by his gloomy thoughts. He paid little or no attention
to what was transpiring upon the stage. Instead he saw only the
lovely vision of a beautiful American girl, and heard naught but
a sad, sweet voice acknowledging that his love was returned. And
she was to marry another!
He shook himself to be rid of his unwelcome thoughts, and at the
same instant he felt eyes upon him. With the instinct that was his
by virtue of training he looked up squarely into the eyes that were
looking at him, to find that they were shining from the smiling
face of Olga, Countess de Coude. As Tarzan returned her bow he was
positive that there was an invitation in her look, almost a plea.
The next intermission found him beside her in her box.
"I have so much wished to see you," she was saying. "It has troubled
me not a little to think that after the service you rendered to
both my husband and myself no adequate explanation was ever made
you of what must have seemed ingratitude on our part in not taking
the necessary steps to prevent a repetition of the attacks upon us
by those two men."
"You wrong me," replied Tarzan. "My thoughts of you have been only
the most pleasant. You must not feel that any explanation is due
me. Have they annoyed you further?"
"They never cease," she replied sadly. "I feel that I must tell
some one, and I do not know another who so deserves an explanation
as you. You must permit me to do so. It may be of service to you,
for I know Nikolas Rokoff quite well enough to be positive that
you have not seen the last of him. He will find some means to be
revenged upon you. What I wish to tell you may be of aid to you
in combating any scheme of revenge he may harbor. I cannot tell
you here, but tomorrow I shall be at home to Monsieur Tarzan at
"It will be an eternity until tomorrow at five," he said, as he bade
her good night. From a corner of the theater Rokoff and Paulvitch
saw Monsieur Tarzan in the box of the Countess de Coude, and both
At four-thirty the following afternoon a swarthy, bearded man
rang the bell at the servants' entrance of the palace of the Count
de Coude. The footman who opened the door raised his eyebrows in
recognition as he saw who stood without. A low conversation passed
between the two.
At first the footman demurred from some proposition that the bearded
one made, but an instant later something passed from the hand of
the caller to the hand of the servant. Then the latter turned and
led the visitor by a roundabout way to a little curtained alcove
off the apartment in which the countess was wont to serve tea of
A half hour later Tarzan was ushered into the room, and presently
his hostess entered, smiling, and with outstretched hands.
"I am so glad that you came," she said.
"Nothing could have prevented," he replied.
For a few moments they spoke of the opera, of the topics that were
then occupying the attention of Paris, of the pleasure of renewing
their brief acquaintance which had had its inception under such
odd circumstances, and this brought them to the subject that was
uppermost in the minds of both.
"You must have wondered," said the countess finally, "what the
object of Rokoff's persecution could be. It is very simple. The
count is intrusted with many of the vital secrets of the ministry
of war. He often has in his possession papers that foreign powers
would give a fortune to possess--secrets of state that their agents
would commit murder and worse than murder to learn.
"There is such a matter now in his possession that would make
the fame and fortune of any Russian who could divulge it to his
government. Rokoff and Paulvitch are Russian spies. They will
stop at nothing to procure this information. The affair on the
liner--I mean the matter of the card game--was for the purpose of
blackmailing the knowledge they seek from my husband.
"Had he been convicted of cheating at cards, his career would have
been blighted. He would have had to leave the war department. He
would have been socially ostracized. They intended to hold this
club over him--the price of an avowal on their part that the count
was but the victim of the plot of enemies who wished to besmirch
his name was to have been the papers they seek.
"You thwarted them in this. Then they concocted the scheme whereby
my reputation was to be the price, instead of the count's. When
Paulvitch entered my cabin he explained it to me. If I would obtain
the information for them he promised to go no farther, otherwise
Rokoff, who stood without, was to notify the purser that I was
entertaining a man other than my husband behind the locked doors
of my cabin. He was to tell every one he met on the boat, and when
we landed he was to have given the whole story to the newspaper
"Was it not too horrible? But I happened to know something of
Monsieur Paulvitch that would send him to the gallows in Russia if
it were known by the police of St. Petersburg. I dared him to carry
out his plan, and then I leaned toward him and whispered a name in
his ear. Like that"--and she snapped her fingers--"he flew at my
throat as a madman. He would have killed me had you not interfered."
"The brutes!" muttered Tarzan.
"They are worse than that, my friend," she said.
"They are devils. I fear for you because you have gained their
hatred. I wish you to be on your guard constantly. Tell me that
you will, for my sake, for I should never forgive myself should
you suffer through the kindness you did me."
"I do not fear them," he replied. "I have survived grimmer enemies
than Rokoff and Paulvitch." He saw that she knew nothing of the
occurrence in the Rue Maule, nor did he mention it, fearing that
it might distress her.
"For your own safety," he continued, "why do you not turn the
scoundrels over to the authorities? They should make quick work
She hesitated for a moment before replying.
"There are two reasons," she said finally. "One of them it is that
keeps the count from doing that very thing. The other, my real
reason for fearing to expose them, I have never told--only Rokoff
and I know it. I wonder," and then she paused, looking intently
at him for a long time.
"And what do you wonder?" he asked, smiling.
"I was wondering why it is that I want to tell you the thing that
I have not dared tell even to my husband. I believe that you would
understand, and that you could tell me the right course to follow.
I believe that you would not judge me too harshly."
"I fear that I should prove a very poor judge, madame," Tarzan
replied, "for if you had been guilty of murder I should say that
the victim should be grateful to have met so sweet a fate."
"Oh, dear, no," she expostulated; "it is not so terrible as that.
But first let me tell you the reason the count has for not prosecuting
these men; then, if I can hold my courage, I shall tell you the
real reason that I dare not. The first is that Nikolas Rokoff is
my brother. We are Russians. Nikolas has been a bad man since
I can remember. He was cashiered from the Russian army, in which
he held a captaincy. There was a scandal for a time, but after a
while it was partially forgotten, and my father obtained a position
for him in the secret service.
"There have been many terrible crimes laid at Nikolas' door, but he
has always managed to escape punishment. Of late he has accomplished
it by trumped-up evidence convicting his victims of treason against
the czar, and the Russian police, who are always only too ready
to fasten guilt of this nature upon any and all, have accepted his
version and exonerated him."
"Have not his attempted crimes against you and your husband
forfeited whatever rights the bonds of kinship might have accorded
him?" asked Tarzan. "The fact that you are his sister has not
deterred him from seeking to besmirch your honor. You owe him no
"Ah, but there is that other reason. If I owe him no loyalty though
he be my brother, I cannot so easily disavow the fear I hold him
in because of a certain episode in my life of which he is cognizant.
"I might as well tell you all," she resumed after a pause, "for
I see that it is in my heart to tell you sooner or later. I was
educated in a convent. While there I met a man whom I supposed to
be a gentleman. I knew little or nothing about men and less about
love. I got it into my foolish head that I loved this man, and
at his urgent request I ran away with him. We were to have been
"I was with him just three hours. All in the daytime and in
public places--railroad stations and upon a train. When we reached
our destination where we were to have been married, two officers
stepped up to my escort as we descended from the train, and placed
him under arrest. They took me also, but when I had told my story
they did not detain me, other than to send me back to the convent
under the care of a matron. It seemed that the man who had wooed
me was no gentleman at all, but a deserter from the army as well
as a fugitive from civil justice. He had a police record in nearly
every country in Europe.
"The matter was hushed up by the authorities of the convent. Not
even my parents knew of it. But Nikolas met the man afterward, and
learned the whole story. Now he threatens to tell the count if I
do not do just as he wishes me to."
Tarzan laughed. "You are still but a little girl. The story that
you have told me cannot reflect in any way upon your reputation,
and were you not a little girl at heart you would know it. Go to
your husband tonight, and tell him the whole story, just as you
have told it to me. Unless I am much mistaken he will laugh at
you for your fears, and take immediate steps to put that precious
brother of yours in prison where he belongs."
"I only wish that I dared," she said; "but I am afraid. I learned
early to fear men. First my father, then Nikolas, then the fathers
in the convent. Nearly all my friends fear their husbands--why
should I not fear mine?"
"It does not seem right that women should fear men," said Tarzan,
an expression of puzzlement on his face. "I am better acquainted
with the jungle folk, and there it is more often the other way
around, except among the black men, and they to my mind are in most
ways lower in the scale than the beasts. No, I cannot understand
why civilized women should fear men, the beings that are created
to protect them. I should hate to think that any woman feared me."
"I do not think that any woman would fear you, my friend," said Olga
de Coude softly. "I have known you but a short while, yet though
it may seem foolish to say it, you are the only man I have ever
known whom I think that I should never fear--it is strange, too, for
you are very strong. I wondered at the ease with which you handled
Nikolas and Paulvitch that night in my cabin. It was marvellous."
As Tarzan was leaving her a short time later he wondered a little
at the clinging pressure of her hand at parting, and the firm
insistence with which she exacted a promise from him that he would
call again on the morrow.
The memory of her half-veiled eyes and perfect lips as she had stood
smiling up into his face as he bade her good-by remained with him
for the balance of the day. Olga de Coude was a very beautiful
woman, and Tarzan of the Apes a very lonely young man, with a
heart in him that was in need of the doctoring that only a woman
As the countess turned back into the room after Tarzan's departure,
she found herself face to face with Nikolas Rokoff.
"How long have you been here?" she cried, shrinking away from him.
"Since before your lover came," he answered, with a nasty leer.
"Stop!" she commanded. "How dare you say such a thing to me--your
"Well, my dear Olga, if he is not your lover, accept my apologies;
but it is no fault of yours that he is not. Had he one-tenth
the knowledge of women that I have you would be in his arms this
minute. He is a stupid fool, Olga. Why, your every word and act
was an open invitation to him, and he had not the sense to see it."
The woman put her hands to her ears.
"I will not listen. You are wicked to say such things as that.
No matter what you may threaten me with, you know that I am a good
woman. After tonight you will not dare to annoy me, for I shall
tell Raoul all. He will understand, and then, Monsieur Nikolas,
"You shall tell him nothing," said Rokoff. "I have this affair
now, and with the help of one of your servants whom I may trust
it will lack nothing in the telling when the time comes that the
details of the sworn evidence shall be poured into your husband's
ears. The other affair served its purpose well--we now have something
tangible to work on, Olga. A real AFFAIR--and you a trusted wife.
Shame, Olga," and the brute laughed.
So the countess told her count nothing, and matters were worse
than they had been. From a vague fear her mind was transferred
to a very tangible one. It may be, too, that conscience helped to
enlarge it out of all proportion.
The Plot That Failed
For a month Tarzan was a regular and very welcome devotee at the
shrine of the beautiful Countess de Coude. Often he met other
members of the select little coterie that dropped in for tea of an
afternoon. More often Olga found devices that would give her an
hour of Tarzan alone.
For a time she had been frightened by what Nikolas had insinuated.
She had not thought of this big, young man as anything more than
friend, but with the suggestion implanted by the evil words of
her brother she had grown to speculate much upon the strange force
which seemed to attract her toward the gray-eyed stranger. She
did not wish to love him, nor did she wish his love.
She was much younger than her husband, and without having realized
it she had been craving the haven of a friendship with one nearer
her own age. Twenty is shy in exchanging confidences with forty.
Tarzan was but two years her senior. He could understand her, she
felt. Then he was clean and honorable and chivalrous. She was not
afraid of him. That she could trust him she had felt instinctively
from the first.
From a distance Rokoff had watched this growing intimacy with
malicious glee. Ever since he had learned that Tarzan knew that
he was a Russian spy there had been added to his hatred for the
ape-man a great fear that he would expose him. He was but waiting
now until the moment was propitious for a master stroke. He wanted
to rid himself forever of Tarzan, and at the same time reap an ample
revenge for the humiliations and defeats that he had suffered at
Tarzan was nearer to contentment than he had been since the peace
and tranquility of his jungle had been broken in upon by the
advent of the marooned Porter party. He enjoyed the pleasant social
intercourse with Olga's friends, while the friendship which had
sprung up between the fair countess and himself was a source of
never-ending delight. It broke in upon and dispersed his gloomy
thoughts, and served as a balm to his lacerated heart.
Sometimes D'Arnot accompanied him on his visits to the De Coude
home, for he had long known both Olga and the count. Occasionally
De Coude dropped in, but the multitudinous affairs of his official
position and the never-ending demands of politics kept him from
home usually until late at night.
Rokoff spied upon Tarzan almost constantly, waiting for the time
that he should call at the De Coude palace at night, but in this
he was doomed to disappointment. On several occasions Tarzan
accompanied the countess to her home after the opera, but he
invariably left her at the entrance--much to the disgust of the
lady's devoted brother.
Finding that it seemed impossible to trap Tarzan through any voluntary
act of his own, Rokoff and Paulvitch put their heads together to
hatch a plan that would trap the ape-man in all the circumstantial
evidence of a compromising position.
For days they watched the papers as well as the movements of De
Coude and Tarzan. At length they were rewarded. A morning paper
made brief mention of a smoker that was to be given on the following
evening by the German minister. De Coude's name was among those
of the invited guests. If he attended this meant that he would be
absent from his home until after midnight.
On the night of the banquet Paulvitch waited at the curb before the
residence of the German minister, where he could scan the face of
each guest that arrived. He had not long to wait before De Coude
descended from his car and passed him. That was enough. Paulvitch
hastened back to his quarters, where Rokoff awaited him. There they
waited until after eleven, then Paulvitch took down the receiver
of their telephone. He called a number.
"The apartments of Lieutenant D'Arnot?" he asked, when he had
obtained his connection.
"A message for Monsieur Tarzan, if he will be so kind as to step
to the telephone."
For a minute there was silence.
"Ah, yes, monsieur, this is Francois--in the service of the Countess
de Coude. Possibly monsieur does poor Francois the honor to recall
"Yes, monsieur. I have a message, an urgent message from the countess.
She asks that you hasten to her at once--she is in trouble, monsieur.
"No, monsieur, poor Francois does not know. Shall I tell madame
that monsieur will be here shortly?
"Thank you, monsieur. The good God will bless you."
Paulvitch hung up the receiver and turned to grin at Rokoff.
"It will take him thirty minutes to get there. If you reach the
German minister's in fifteen, De Coude should arrive at his home
in about forty-five minutes. It all depends upon whether the fool
will remain fifteen minutes after he finds that a trick has been
played upon him; but unless I am mistaken Olga will be loath to let
him go in so short a time as that. Here is the note for De Coude.
Paulvitch lost no time in reaching the German minister's. At the
door he handed the note to a footman. "This is for the Count de
Coude. It is very urgent. You must see that it is placed in his
hands at once," and he dropped a piece of silver into the willing
hand of the servant. Then he returned to his quarters.
A moment later De Coude was apologizing to his host as he tore
open the envelope. What he read left his face white and his hand
MONSIEUR LE COUNT DE COUDE:
One who wishes to save the honor of your name takes this means to
warn you that the sanctity of your home is this minute in jeopardy.
A certain man who for months has been a constant visitor there
during your absence is now with your wife. If you go at once to
your countess' boudoir you will find them together.
Twenty minutes after Paulvitch had called Tarzan, Rokoff obtained
a connection with Olga's private line. Her maid answered the
telephone which was in the countess' boudoir.
"But madame has retired," said the maid, in answer to Rokoff's
request to speak with her.
"This is a very urgent message for the countess' ears alone,"
replied Rokoff. "Tell her that she must arise and slip something
about her and come to the telephone. I shall call up again in five
minutes." Then he hung up his receiver. A moment later Paulvitch
"The count has the message?" asked Rokoff.
"He should be on his way to his home by now," replied Paulvitch.
"Good! My lady will be sitting in her boudoir, very much in negligee,
about now. In a minute the faithful Jacques will escort Monsieur
Tarzan into her presence without announcing him. It will take
a few minutes for explanations. Olga will look very alluring in
the filmy creation that is her night-dress, and the clinging robe
which but half conceals the charms that the former does not conceal
at all. Olga will be surprised, but not displeased.
"If there is a drop of red blood in the man the count will break
in upon a very pretty love scene in about fifteen minutes from now.
I think we have planned marvelously, my dear Alexis. Let us go
out and drink to the very good health of Monsieur Tarzan in some of
old Plancon's unparalleled absinth; not forgetting that the Count
de Coude is one of the best swordsmen in Paris, and by far the best
shot in all France."
When Tarzan reached Olga's, Jacques was awaiting him at the entrance.
"This way, Monsieur," he said, and led the way up the broad, marble
staircase. In another moment he had opened a door, and, drawing
aside a heavy curtain, obsequiously bowed Tarzan into a dimly
lighted apartment. Then Jacques vanished.
Across the room from him Tarzan saw Olga seated before a little
desk on which stood her telephone. She was tapping impatiently
upon the polished surface of the desk. She had not heard him enter.
"Olga," he said, "what is wrong?"
She turned toward him with a little cry of alarm.
"Jean!" she cried. "What are you doing here? Who admitted you?
What does it mean?"
Tarzan was thunderstruck, but in an instant he realized a part of
"Then you did not send for me, Olga?"
"Send for you at this time of night? MON DIEU! Jean, do you think
that I am quite mad?"
"Francois telephoned me to come at once; that you were in trouble
and wanted me."
"Francois? Who in the world is Francois?"
"He said that he was in your service. He spoke as though I should
recall the fact."
"There is no one by that name in my employ. Some one has played
a joke upon you, Jean," and Olga laughed.
"I fear that it may be a most sinister `joke,' Olga," he replied.
"There is more back of it than humor."
"What do you mean? You do not think that--"
"Where is the count?" he interrupted.
"At the German ambassador's."
"This is another move by your estimable brother. Tomorrow the count
will hear of it. He will question the servants. Everything will
point to--to what Rokoff wishes the count to think."
"The scoundrel!" cried Olga. She had arisen, and come close to
Tarzan, where she stood looking up into his face. She was very
frightened. In her eyes was an expression that the hunter sees in
those of a poor, terrified doe--puzzled--questioning. She trembled,
and to steady herself raised her hands to his broad shoulders. "What
shall we do, Jean?" she whispered. "It is terrible. Tomorrow all
Paris will read of it--he will see to that."
Her look, her attitude, her words were eloquent of the age-old
appeal of defenseless woman to her natural protector--man. Tarzan
took one of the warm little hands that lay on his breast in his own
strong one. The act was quite involuntary, and almost equally so
was the instinct of protection that threw a sheltering arm around
the girl's shoulders.
The result was electrical. Never before had he been so close
to her. In startled guilt they looked suddenly into each other's
eyes, and where Olga de Coude should have been strong she was weak,
for she crept closer into the man's arms, and clasped her own about
his neck. And Tarzan of the Apes? He took the panting figure into
his mighty arms, and covered the hot lips with kisses.
Raoul de Coude made hurried excuses to his host after he had read
the note handed him by the ambassador's butler. Never afterward
could he recall the nature of the excuses he made. Everything was
quite a blur to him up to the time that he stood on the threshold
of his own home. Then he became very cool, moving quietly and with
caution. For some inexplicable reason Jacques had the door open
before he was halfway to the steps. It did not strike him at the
time as being unusual, though afterward he remarked it.
Very softly he tiptoed up the stairs and along the gallery to
the door of his wife's boudoir. In his hand was a heavy walking
stick--in his heart, murder.
Olga was the first to see him. With a horrified shriek she tore
herself from Tarzan's arms, and the ape-man turned just in time to
ward with his arm a terrific blow that De Coude had aimed at his
head. Once, twice, three times the heavy stick fell with lightning
rapidity, and each blow aided in the transition of the ape-man back
to the primordial.
With the low, guttural snarl of the bull ape he sprang for the
Frenchman. The great stick was torn from his grasp and broken in
two as though it had been matchwood, to be flung aside as the now
infuriated beast charged for his adversary's throat. Olga de Coude
stood a horrified spectator of the terrible scene which ensued
during the next brief moment, then she sprang to where Tarzan was
murdering her husband--choking the life from him--shaking him as
a terrier might shake a rat.
Frantically she tore at his great hands. "Mother of God!" she
cried. "You are killing him, you are killing him! Oh, Jean, you
are killing my husband!"
Tarzan was deaf with rage. Suddenly he hurled the body to the floor,
and, placing his foot upon the upturned breast, raised his head.
Then through the palace of the Count de Coude rang the awesome
challenge of the bull ape that has made a kill. From cellar to
attic the horrid sound searched out the servants, and left them
blanched and trembling. The woman in the room sank to her knees
beside the body of her husband, and prayed.
Slowly the red mist faded from before Tarzan's eyes. Things began
to take form--he was regaining the perspective of civilized man.
His eyes fell upon the figure of the kneeling woman. "Olga," he
whispered. She looked up, expecting to see the maniacal light of
murder in the eyes above her. Instead she saw sorrow and contrition.
"Oh, Jean!" she cried. "See what you have done. He was my husband.
I loved him, and you have killed him."
Very gently Tarzan raised the limp form of the Count de Coude and
bore it to a couch. Then he put his ear to the man's breast.
"Some brandy, Olga," he said.
She brought it, and together they forced it between his lips.
Presently a faint gasp came from the white lips. The head turned,
and De Coude groaned.
"He will not die," said Tarzan. "Thank God!"
"Why did you do it, Jean?" she asked.
"I do not know. He struck me, and I went mad. I have seen the
apes of my tribe do the same thing. I have never told you my story,
Olga. It would have been better had you known it--this might not
have happened. I never saw my father. The only mother I knew was
a ferocious she-ape. Until I was fifteen I had never seen a human
being. I was twenty before I saw a white man. A little more than
a year ago I was a naked beast of prey in an African jungle.
"Do not judge me too harshly. Two years is too short a time in
which to attempt to work the change in an individual that it has
taken countless ages to accomplish in the white race."
"I do not judge at all, Jean. The fault is mine. You must go now--he
must not find you here when he regains consciousness. Good-by."
It was a sorrowful Tarzan who walked with bowed head from the palace
of the Count de Coude.
Once outside his thoughts took definite shape, to the end that
twenty minutes later he entered a police station not far from the
Rue Maule. Here he soon found one of the officers with whom he
had had the encounter several weeks previous. The policeman was
genuinely glad to see again the man who had so roughly handled him.
After a moment of conversation Tarzan asked if he had ever heard
of Nikolas Rokoff or Alexis Paulvitch.
"Very often, indeed, monsieur. Each has a police record, and
while there is nothing charged against them now, we make it a point
to know pretty well where they may be found should the occasion
demand. It is only the same precaution that we take with every
known criminal. Why does monsieur ask?"
"They are known to me," replied Tarzan. "I wish to see Monsieur
Rokoff on a little matter of business. If you can direct me to
his lodgings I shall appreciate it."
A few minutes later he bade the policeman adieu, and, with a slip
of paper in his pocket bearing a certain address in a semirespectable
quarter, he walked briskly toward the nearest taxi stand.
Rokoff and Paulvitch had returned to their rooms, and were sitting
talking over the probable outcome of the evening's events. They
had telephoned to the offices of two of the morning papers from
which they momentarily expected representatives to hear the first