Part 2 out of 6
report of the scandal that was to stir social Paris on the morrow.
A heavy step sounded on the stairway. "Ah, but these newspaper men
are prompt," exclaimed Rokoff, and as a knock fell upon the door
of their room: "Enter, monsieur."
The smile of welcome froze upon the Russian's face as he looked
into the hard, gray eyes of his visitor.
"Name of a name!" he shouted, springing to his feet, "What brings
"Sit down!" said Tarzan, so low that the men could barely catch
the words, but in a tone that brought Rokoff to his chair, and kept
Paulvitch in his.
"You know what has brought me here," he continued, in the same
low tone. "It should be to kill you, but because you are Olga de
Coude's brother I shall not do that--now.
"I shall give you a chance for your lives. Paulvitch does not
count much--he is merely a stupid, foolish little tool, and so I
shall not kill him so long as I permit you to live. Before I leave
you two alive in this room you will have done two things. The
first will be to write a full confession of your connection with
tonight's plot--and sign it.
"The second will be to promise me upon pain of death that you
will permit no word of this affair to get into the newspapers. If
you do not do both, neither of you will be alive when I pass next
through that doorway. Do you understand?" And, without waiting
for a reply: "Make haste; there is ink before you, and paper and
Rokoff assumed a truculent air, attempting by bravado to show how
little he feared Tarzan's threats. An instant later he felt the
ape-man's steel fingers at his throat, and Paulvitch, who attempted
to dodge them and reach the door, was lifted completely off the
floor, and hurled senseless into a corner. When Rokoff commenced
to blacken about the face Tarzan released his hold and shoved the
fellow back into his chair. After a moment of coughing Rokoff
sat sullenly glaring at the man standing opposite him. Presently
Paulvitch came to himself, and limped painfully back to his chair
at Tarzan's command.
"Now write," said the ape-man. "If it is necessary to handle you
again I shall not be so lenient."
Rokoff picked up a pen and commenced to write.
"See that you omit no detail, and that you mention every name,"
Presently there was a knock at the door. "Enter," said Tarzan.
A dapper young man came in. "I am from the MATIN," he announced.
"I understand that Monsieur Rokoff has a story for me."
"Then you are mistaken, monsieur," replied Tarzan. "You have no
story for publication, have you, my dear Nikolas."
Rokoff looked up from his writing with an ugly scowl upon his face.
"No," he growled, "I have no story for publication--now."
"Nor ever, my dear Nikolas," and the reporter did not see the nasty
light in the ape-man's eye; but Nikolas Rokoff did.
"Nor ever," he repeated hastily.
"It is too bad that monsieur has been troubled," said Tarzan,
turning to the newspaper man. "I bid monsieur good evening," and
he bowed the dapper young man out of the room, and closed the door
in his face.
An hour later Tarzan, with a rather bulky manuscript in his coat
pocket, turned at the door leading from Rokoff's room.
"Were I you I should leave France," he said, "for sooner or later
I shall find an excuse to kill you that will not in any way compromise
D'Arnot was asleep when Tarzan entered their apartments after
leaving Rokoff's. Tarzan did not disturb him, but the following
morning he narrated the happenings of the previous evening, omitting
not a single detail.
"What a fool I have been," he concluded. "De Coude and his
wife were both my friends. How have I returned their friendship?
Barely did I escape murdering the count. I have cast a stigma on
the name of a good woman. It is very probable that I have broken
up a happy home."
"Do you love Olga de Coude?" asked D'Arnot.
"Were I not positive that she does not love me I could not answer
your question, Paul; but without disloyalty to her I tell you that
I do not love her, nor does she love me. For an instant we were
the victims of a sudden madness--it was not love--and it would have
left us, unharmed, as suddenly as it had come upon us even though
De Coude had not returned. As you know, I have had little experience
of women. Olga de Coude is very beautiful; that, and the dim light
and the seductive surroundings, and the appeal of the defenseless
for protection, might have been resisted by a more civilized man,
but my civilization is not even skin deep--it does not go deeper
than my clothes.
"Paris is no place for me. I will but continue to stumble into more
and more serious pitfalls. The man-made restrictions are irksome.
I feel always that I am a prisoner. I cannot endure it, my friend,
and so I think that I shall go back to my own jungle, and lead the
life that God intended that I should lead when He put me there."
"Do not take it so to heart, Jean," responded D'Arnot. "You have
acquitted yourself much better than most `civilized' men would have
under similar circumstances. As to leaving Paris at this time, I
rather think that Raoul de Coude may be expected to have something
to say on that subject before long."
Nor was D'Arnot mistaken. A week later on Monsieur Flaubert
was announced about eleven in the morning, as D'Arnot and Tarzan
were breakfasting. Monsieur Flaubert was an impressively polite
gentleman. With many low bows he delivered Monsieur le Count de
Coude's challenge to Monsieur Tarzan. Would monsieur be so very
kind as to arrange to have a friend meet Monsieur Flaubert at as
early an hour as convenient, that the details might be arranged to
the mutual satisfaction of all concerned?
Certainly. Monsieur Tarzan would be delighted to place his interests
unreservedly in the hands of his friend, Lieutenant D'Arnot. And
so it was arranged that D'Arnot was to call on Monsieur Flaubert
at two that afternoon, and the polite Monsieur Flaubert, with many
bows, left them.
When they were again alone D'Arnot looked quizzically at Tarzan.
"Well?" he said.
"Now to my sins I must add murder, or else myself be killed," said
Tarzan. "I am progressing rapidly in the ways of my civilized
"What weapons shall you select?" asked D'Arnot. "De Coude is
accredited with being a master with the sword, and a splendid shot."
"I might then choose poisoned arrows at twenty paces, or spears at
the same distance," laughed Tarzan. "Make it pistols, Paul."
"He will kill you, Jean."
"I have no doubt of it," replied Tarzan. "I must die some day."
"We had better make it swords," said D'Arnot. "He will be satisfied
with wounding you, and there is less danger of a mortal wound."
"Pistols," said Tarzan, with finality.
D'Arnot tried to argue him out of it, but without avail, so pistols
D'Arnot returned from his conference with Monsieur Flaubert shortly
"It is all arranged," he said. "Everything is satisfactory. Tomorrow
morning at daylight--there is a secluded spot on the road not far
from Etamps. For some personal reason Monsieur Flaubert preferred
it. I did not demur."
"Good!" was Tarzan's only comment. He did not refer to the matter
again even indirectly. That night he wrote several letters before
he retired. After sealing and addressing them he placed them all
in an envelope addressed to D'Arnot. As he undressed D'Arnot heard
him humming a music-hall ditty.
The Frenchman swore under his breath. He was very unhappy, for
he was positive that when the sun rose the next morning it would
look down upon a dead Tarzan. It grated upon him to see Tarzan so
"This is a most uncivilized hour for people to kill each other,"
remarked the ape-man when he had been routed out of a comfortable
bed in the blackness of the early morning hours. He had slept
well, and so it seemed that his head scarcely touched the pillow
ere his man deferentially aroused him. His remark was addressed to
D'Arnot, who stood fully dressed in the doorway of Tarzan's bedroom.
D'Arnot had scarcely slept at all during the night. He was nervous,
and therefore inclined to be irritable.
"I presume you slept like a baby all night," he said.
Tarzan laughed. "From your tone, Paul, I infer that you rather
harbor the fact against me. I could not help it, really."
"No, Jean; it is not that," replied D'Arnot, himself smiling. "But
you take the entire matter with such infernal indifference--it is
exasperating. One would think that you were going out to shoot at
a target, rather than to face one of the best shots in France."
Tarzan shrugged his shoulders. "I am going out to expiate
a great wrong, Paul. A very necessary feature of the expiation
is the marksmanship of my opponent. Wherefore, then, should I be
dissatisfied? Have you not yourself told me that Count de Coude
is a splendid marksman?"
"You mean that you hope to be killed?" exclaimed D'Arnot, in horror.
"I cannot say that I hope to be; but you must admit that there is
little reason to believe that I shall not be killed."
Had D'Arnot known the thing that was in the ape-man's mind--that
had been in his mind almost from the first intimation that De Coude
would call him to account on the field of honor--he would have been
even more horrified than he was.
In silence they entered D'Arnot's great car, and in similar silence
they sped over the dim road that leads to Etamps. Each man was
occupied with his own thoughts. D'Arnot's were very mournful, for
he was genuinely fond of Tarzan. The great friendship which had
sprung up between these two men whose lives and training had been
so widely different had but been strengthened by association, for
they were both men to whom the same high ideals of manhood, of
personal courage, and of honor appealed with equal force. They could
understand one another, and each could be proud of the friendship
of the other.
Tarzan of the Apes was wrapped in thoughts of the past; pleasant
memories of the happier occasions of his lost jungle life. He
recalled the countless boyhood hours that he had spent cross-legged
upon the table in his dead father's cabin, his little brown body
bent over one of the fascinating picture books from which, unaided,
he had gleaned the secret of the printed language long before the
sounds of human speech fell upon his ears. A smile of contentment
softened his strong face as he thought of that day of days that he
had had alone with Jane Porter in the heart of his primeval forest.
Presently his reminiscences were broken in upon by the stopping of
the car--they were at their destination. Tarzan's mind returned
to the affairs of the moment. He knew that he was about to die,
but there was no fear of death in him. To a denizen of the cruel
jungle death is a commonplace. The first law of nature compels
them to cling tenaciously to life--to fight for it; but it does
not teach them to fear death.
D'Arnot and Tarzan were first upon the field of honor. A moment
later De Coude, Monsieur Flaubert, and a third gentleman arrived.
The last was introduced to D'Arnot and Tarzan; he was a physician.
D'Arnot and Monsieur Flaubert spoke together in whispers for a
brief time. The Count de Coude and Tarzan stood apart at opposite
sides of the field. Presently the seconds summoned them. D'Arnot
and Monsieur Flaubert had examined both pistols. The two men who
were to face each other a moment later stood silently while Monsieur
Flaubert recited the conditions they were to observe.
They were to stand back to back. At a signal from Monsieur Flaubert
they were to walk in opposite directions, their pistols hanging by
their sides. When each had proceeded ten paces D'Arnot was to give
the final signal--then they were to turn and fire at will until
one fell, or each had expended the three shots allowed.
While Monsieur Flaubert spoke Tarzan selected a cigarette from
his case, and lighted it. De Coude was the personification of
coolness--was he not the best shot in France?
Presently Monsieur Flaubert nodded to D'Arnot, and each man placed
his principal in position.
"Are you quite ready, gentlemen?" asked Monsieur Flaubert.
"Quite," replied De Coude.
Tarzan nodded. Monsieur Flaubert gave the signal. He and D'Arnot
stepped back a few paces to be out of the line of fire as the men
paced slowly apart. Six! Seven! Eight! There were tears in
D'Arnot's eyes. He loved Tarzan very much. Nine! Another pace,
and the poor lieutenant gave the signal he so hated to give. To
him it sounded the doom of his best friend.
Quickly De Coude wheeled and fired. Tarzan gave a little start.
His pistol still dangled at his side. De Coude hesitated, as
though waiting to see his antagonist crumple to the ground. The
Frenchman was too experienced a marksman not to know that he had
scored a hit. Still Tarzan made no move to raise his pistol. De
Coude fired once more, but the attitude of the ape-man--the utter
indifference that was so apparent in every line of the nonchalant
ease of his giant figure, and the even unruffled puffing of his
cigarette--had disconcerted the best marksman in France. This time
Tarzan did not start, but again De Coude knew that he had hit.
Suddenly the explanation leaped to his mind--his antagonist was
coolly taking these terrible chances in the hope that he would
receive no staggering wound from any of De Coude's three shots.
Then he would take his own time about shooting De Coude down
deliberately, coolly, and in cold blood. A little shiver ran up
the Frenchman's spine. It was fiendish--diabolical. What manner
of creature was this that could stand complacently with two bullets
in him, waiting for the third?
And so De Coude took careful aim this time, but his nerve was gone,
and he made a clean miss. Not once had Tarzan raised his pistol
hand from where it hung beside his leg.
For a moment the two stood looking straight into each other's eyes.
On Tarzan's face was a pathetic expression of disappointment. On
De Coude's a rapidly growing expression of horror--yes, of terror.
He could endure it no longer.
"Mother of God! Monsieur--shoot!" he screamed.
But Tarzan did not raise his pistol. Instead, he advanced toward
De Coude, and when D'Arnot and Monsieur Flaubert, misinterpreting
his intention, would have rushed between them, he raised his left
hand in a sign of remonstrance.
"Do not fear," he said to them, "I shall not harm him."
It was most unusual, but they halted. Tarzan advanced until he
was quite close to De Coude.
"There must have been something wrong with monsieur's pistol," he
said. "Or monsieur is unstrung. Take mine, monsieur, and try again,"
and Tarzan offered his pistol, butt foremost, to the astonished De
"MON DIEU, monsieur!" cried the latter. "Are you mad?"
"No, my friend," replied the ape-man; "but I deserve to die. It
is the only way in which I may atone for the wrong I have done a
very good woman. Take my pistol and do as I bid."
"It would be murder," replied De Coude. "But what wrong did you
do my wife? She swore to me that--"
"I do not mean that," said Tarzan quickly. "You saw all the wrong
that passed between us. But that was enough to cast a shadow upon
her name, and to ruin the happiness of a man against whom I had no
enmity. The fault was all mine, and so I hoped to die for it this
morning. I am disappointed that monsieur is not so wonderful a
marksman as I had been led to believe."
"You say that the fault was all yours?" asked De Coude eagerly.
"All mine, monsieur. Your wife is a very pure woman. She loves
only you. The fault that you saw was all mine. The thing that
brought me there was no fault of either the Countess de Coude or
myself. Here is a paper which will quite positively demonstrate
that," and Tarzan drew from his pocket the statement Rokoff had
written and signed.
De Coude took it and read. D'Arnot and Monsieur Flaubert had drawn
near. They were interested spectators of this strange ending of a
strange duel. None spoke until De Coude had quite finished, then
he looked up at Tarzan.
"You are a very brave and chivalrous gentleman," he said. "I thank
God that I did not kill you."
De Coude was a Frenchman. Frenchmen are impulsive. He threw his
arms about Tarzan and embraced him. Monsieur Flaubert embraced
D'Arnot. There was no one to embrace the doctor. So possibly it
was pique which prompted him to interfere, and demand that he be
permitted to dress Tarzan's wounds.
"This gentleman was hit once at least," he said. "Possibly thrice."
"Twice," said Tarzan. "Once in the left shoulder, and again in the
left side--both flesh wounds, I think." But the doctor insisted
upon stretching him upon the sward, and tinkering with him until
the wounds were cleansed and the flow of blood checked.
One result of the duel was that they all rode back to Paris together
in D'Arnot's car, the best of friends. De Coude was so relieved to
have had this double assurance of his wife's loyalty that he felt
no rancor at all toward Tarzan. It is true that the latter had
assumed much more of the fault than was rightly his, but if he lied
a little he may be excused, for he lied in the service of a woman,
and he lied like a gentleman.
The ape-man was confined to his bed for several days. He felt that
it was foolish and unnecessary, but the doctor and D'Arnot took the
matter so to heart that he gave in to please them, though it made
him laugh to think of it.
"It is droll," he said to D'Arnot. "To lie abed because of a pin
prick! Why, when Bolgani, the king gorilla, tore me almost to
pieces, while I was still but a little boy, did I have a nice soft
bed to lie on? No, only the damp, rotting vegetation of the jungle.
Hidden beneath some friendly bush I lay for days and weeks with
only Kala to nurse me--poor, faithful Kala, who kept the insects
from my wounds and warned off the beasts of prey.
"When I called for water she brought it to me in her own mouth--the
only way she knew to carry it. There was no sterilized gauze,
there was no antiseptic bandage--there was nothing that would not
have driven our dear doctor mad to have seen. Yet I recovered--recovered
to lie in bed because of a tiny scratch that one of the jungle folk
would scarce realize unless it were upon the end of his nose."
But the time was soon over, and before he realized it Tarzan found
himself abroad again. Several times De Coude had called, and when
he found that Tarzan was anxious for employment of some nature he
promised to see what could be done to find a berth for him.
It was the first day that Tarzan was permitted to go out that
he received a message from De Coude requesting him to call at the
count's office that afternoon.
He found De Coude awaiting him with a very pleasant welcome, and a
sincere congratulation that he was once more upon his feet. Neither
had ever mentioned the duel or the cause of it since that morning
upon the field of honor.
"I think that I have found just the thing for you, Monsieur Tarzan,"
said the count. "It is a position of much trust and responsibility,
which also requires considerably physical courage and prowess. I
cannot imagine a man better fitted than you, my dear Monsieur Tarzan,
for this very position. It will necessitate travel, and later it
may lead to a very much better post--possibly in the diplomatic
"At first, for a short time only, you will be a special agent in
the service of the ministry of war. Come, I will take you to the
gentleman who will be your chief. He can explain the duties better
than I, and then you will be in a position to judge if you wish to
accept or no."
De Coude himself escorted Tarzan to the office of General Rochere,
the chief of the bureau to which Tarzan would be attached if he
accepted the position. There the count left him, after a glowing
description to the general of the many attributes possessed by the
ape-man which should fit him for the work of the service.
A half hour later Tarzan walked out of the office the possessor
of the first position he had ever held. On the morrow he was to
return for further instructions, though General Rochere had made it
quite plain that Tarzan might prepare to leave Paris for an almost
indefinite period, possibly on the morrow.
It was with feelings of the keenest elation that he hastened home
to bear the good news to D'Arnot. At last he was to be of some
value in the world. He was to earn money, and, best of all, to
travel and see the world.
He could scarcely wait to get well inside D'Arnot's sitting room
before he burst out with the glad tidings. D'Arnot was not so
"It seems to delight you to think that you are to leave Paris, and
that we shall not see each other for months, perhaps. Tarzan, you
are a most ungrateful beast!" and D'Arnot laughed.
"No, Paul; I am a little child. I have a new toy, and I am tickled
And so it came that on the following day Tarzan left Paris en route
for Marseilles and Oran.
The Dancing Girl of Sidi Aissa
Tarzan's first mission did not bid fair to be either exciting or
vastly important. There was a certain lieutenant of SPAHIS whom
the government had reason to suspect of improper relations with a
great European power. This Lieutenant Gernois, who was at present
stationed at Sidibel-Abbes, had recently been attached to the general
staff, where certain information of great military value had come
into his possession in the ordinary routine of his duties. It was
this information which the government suspected the great power
was bartering for with the officer.
It was at most but a vague hint dropped by a certain notorious
Parisienne in a jealous mood that had caused suspicion to rest upon
the lieutenant. But general staffs are jealous of their secrets,
and treason so serious a thing that even a hint of it may not be
safely neglected. And so it was that Tarzan had come to Algeria
in the guise of an American hunter and traveler to keep a close
eye upon Lieutenant Gernois.
He had looked forward with keen delight to again seeing his beloved
Africa, but this northern aspect of it was so different from his
tropical jungle home that he might as well have been back in Paris
for all the heart thrills of homecoming that he experienced. At
Oran he spent a day wandering through the narrow, crooked alleys
of the Arab quarter enjoying the strange, new sights. The next
day found him at Sidi-bel-Abbes, where he presented his letters of
introduction to both civil and military authorities--letters which
gave no clew to the real significance of his mission.
Tarzan possessed a sufficient command of English to enable him to
pass among Arabs and Frenchmen as an American, and that was all that
was required of it. When he met an Englishman he spoke French in
order that he might not betray himself, but occasionally talked
in English to foreigners who understood that tongue, but could not
note the slight imperfections of accent and pronunciation that were
Here he became acquainted with many of the French officers, and
soon became a favorite among them. He met Gernois, whom he found
to be a taciturn, dyspeptic-looking man of about forty, having
little or no social intercourse with his fellows.
For a month nothing of moment occurred. Gernois apparently had
no visitors, nor did he on his occasional visits to the town hold
communication with any who might even by the wildest flight of
imagination be construed into secret agents of a foreign power.
Tarzan was beginning to hope that, after all, the rumor might have
been false, when suddenly Gernois was ordered to Bou Saada in the
Petit Sahara far to the south.
A company of SPAHIS and three officers were to relieve another
company already stationed there. Fortunately one of the officers,
Captain Gerard, had become an excellent friend of Tarzan's, and so
when the ape-man suggested that he should embrace the opportunity
of accompanying him to Bou Saada, where he expected to find hunting,
it caused not the slightest suspicion.
At Bouira the detachment detrained, and the balance of the journey
was made in the saddle. As Tarzan was dickering at Bouira for a
mount he caught a brief glimpse of a man in European clothes eying
him from the doorway of a native coffeehouse, but as Tarzan looked
the man turned and entered the little, low-ceilinged mud hut, and
but for a haunting impression that there had been something familiar
about the face or figure of the fellow, Tarzan gave the matter no
The march to Aumale was fatiguing to Tarzan, whose equestrian
experiences hitherto had been confined to a course of riding lessons
in a Parisian academy, and so it was that he quickly sought the
comforts of a bed in the Hotel Grossat, while the officers and
troops took up their quarters at the military post.
Although Tarzan was called early the following morning, the company
of SPAHIS was on the march before he had finished his breakfast. He
was hurrying through his meal that the soldiers might not get too
far in advance of him when he glanced through the door connecting
the dining room with the bar.
To his surprise, he saw Gernois standing there in conversation
with the very stranger he had seen in the coffee-house at Bouira
the day previous. He could not be mistaken, for there was the same
strangely familiar attitude and figure, though the man's back was
As his eyes lingered on the two, Gernois looked up and caught
the intent expression on Tarzan's face. The stranger was talking
in a low whisper at the time, but the French officer immediately
interrupted him, and the two at once turned away and passed out of
the range of Tarzan's vision.
This was the first suspicious occurrence that Tarzan had ever
witnessed in connection with Gernois' actions, but he was positive
that the men had left the barroom solely because Gernois had caught
Tarzan's eyes upon them; then there was the persistent impression
of familiarity about the stranger to further augment the ape-man's
belief that here at length was something which would bear watching.
A moment later Tarzan entered the barroom, but the men had left,
nor did he see aught of them in the street beyond, though he found
a pretext to ride to various shops before he set out after the column
which had now considerable start of him. He did not overtake them
until he reached Sidi Aissa shortly after noon, where the soldiers
had halted for an hour's rest. Here he found Gernois with the
column, but there was no sign of the stranger.
It was market day at Sidi Aissa, and the numberless caravans
of camels coming in from the desert, and the crowds of bickering
Arabs in the market place, filled Tarzan with a consuming desire
to remain for a day that he might see more of these sons of the
desert. Thus it was that the company of SPAHIS marched on that
afternoon toward Bou Saada without him. He spent the hours until
dark wandering about the market in company with a youthful Arab,
one Abdul, who had been recommended to him by the innkeeper as a
trustworthy servant and interpreter.
Here Tarzan purchased a better mount than the one he had selected
at Bouira, and, entering into conversation with the stately Arab
to whom the animal had belonged, learned that the seller was Kadour
ben Saden, sheik of a desert tribe far south of Djelfa. Through
Abdul, Tarzan invited his new acquaintance to dine with him. As
the three were making their way through the crowds of marketers,
camels, donkeys, and horses that filled the market place with a
confusing babel of sounds, Abdul plucked at Tarzan's sleeve.
"Look, master, behind us," and he turned, pointing at a figure
which disappeared behind a camel as Tarzan turned. "He has been
following us about all afternoon," continued Abdul.
"I caught only a glimpse of an Arab in a dark-blue burnoose and
white turban," replied Tarzan. "Is it he you mean?"
"Yes. I suspected him because he seems a stranger here, without
other business than following us, which is not the way of the Arab
who is honest, and also because he keeps the lower part of his face
hidden, only his eyes showing. He must be a bad man, or he would
have honest business of his own to occupy his time."
"He is on the wrong scent then, Abdul," replied Tarzan, "for no one
here can have any grievance against me. This is my first visit to
your country, and none knows me. He will soon discover his error,
and cease to follow us."
"Unless he be bent on robbery," returned Abdul.
"Then all we can do is wait until he is ready to try his hand upon
us," laughed Tarzan, "and I warrant that he will get his bellyful
of robbing now that we are prepared for him," and so he dismissed
the subject from his mind, though he was destined to recall it
before many hours through a most unlooked-for occurrence.
Kadour ben Saden, having dined well, prepared to take leave of
his host. With dignified protestations of friendship, he invited
Tarzan to visit him in his wild domain, where the antelope, the
stag, the boar, the panther, and the lion might still be found in
sufficient numbers to tempt an ardent huntsman.
On his departure the ape-man, with Abdul, wandered again into the
streets of Sidi Aissa, where he was soon attracted by the wild din
of sound coming from the open doorway of one of the numerous CAFES
MAURES. It was after eight, and the dancing was in full swing as
Tarzan entered. The room was filled to repletion with Arabs. All
were smoking, and drinking their thick, hot coffee.
Tarzan and Abdul found seats near the center of the room, though the
terrific noise produced by the musicians upon their Arab drums and
pipes would have rendered a seat farther from them more acceptable
to the quiet-loving ape-man. A rather good-looking Ouled-Nail was
dancing, and, perceiving Tarzan's European clothes, and scenting
a generous gratuity, she threw her silken handkerchief upon his
shoulder, to be rewarded with a franc.
When her place upon the floor had been taken by another the
bright-eyed Abdul saw her in conversation with two Arabs at the far
side of the room, near a side door that let upon an inner court,
around the gallery of which were the rooms occupied by the girls
who danced in this cafe.
At first he thought nothing of the matter, but presently he noticed
from the corner of his eye one of the men nod in their direction,
and the girl turn and shoot a furtive glance at Tarzan. Then the
Arabs melted through the doorway into the darkness of the court.
When it came again the girl's turn to dance she hovered close to
Tarzan, and for the ape-man alone were her sweetest smiles. Many
an ugly scowl was cast upon the tall European by swarthy, dark-eyed
sons of the desert, but neither smiles nor scowls produced
any outwardly visible effect upon him. Again the girl cast her
handkerchief upon his shoulder, and again was she rewarded with a
franc piece. As she was sticking it upon her forehead, after the
custom of her kind, she bent low toward Tarzan, whispering a quick
word in his ear.
"There are two without in the court," she said quickly, in broken
French, "who would harm m'sieur. At first I promised to lure you
to them, but you have been kind, and I cannot do it. Go quickly,
before they find that I have failed them. I think that they are
very bad men."
Tarzan thanked the girl, assuring her that he would be careful,
and, having finished her dance, she crossed to the little doorway
and went out into the court. But Tarzan did not leave the cafe as
she had urged.
For another half hour nothing unusual occurred, then a surly-looking
Arab entered the cafe from the street. He stood near Tarzan,
where he deliberately made insulting remarks about the European,
but as they were in his native tongue Tarzan was entirely innocent
of their purport until Abdul took it upon himself to enlighten him.
"This fellow is looking for trouble," warned Abdul. "He is not
alone. In fact, in case of a disturbance, nearly every man here
would be against you. It would be better to leave quietly, master."
"Ask the fellow what he wants," commanded Tarzan.
"He says that `the dog of a Christian' insulted the Ouled-Nail,
who belongs to him. He means trouble, m'sieur."
"Tell him that I did not insult his or any other Ouled-Nail, that
I wish him to go away and leave me alone. That I have no quarrel
with him, nor has he any with me."
"He says," replied Abdul, after delivering this message to the
Arab, "that besides being a dog yourself that you are the son of
one, and that your grandmother was a hyena. Incidentally you are
The attention of those near by had now been attracted by the
altercation, and the sneering laughs that followed this torrent
of invective easily indicated the trend of the sympathies of the
majority of the audience.
Tarzan did not like being laughed at, neither did he relish the
terms applied to him by the Arab, but he showed no sign of anger as
he arose from his seat upon the bench. A half smile played about
his lips, but of a sudden a mighty fist shot into the face of the
scowling Arab, and back of it were the terrible muscles of the
At the instant that the man fell a half dozen fierce plainsmen
sprang into the room from where they had apparently been waiting
for their cue in the street before the cafe. With cries of "Kill
the unbeliever!" and "Down with the dog of a Christian!" they made
straight for Tarzan. A number of the younger Arabs in the audience
sprang to their feet to join in the assault upon the unarmed white
man. Tarzan and Abdul were rushed back toward the end of the room
by the very force of numbers opposing them. The young Arab remained
loyal to his master, and with drawn knife fought at his side.
With tremendous blows the ape-man felled all who came within reach
of his powerful hands. He fought quietly and without a word, upon
his lips the same half smile they had worn as he rose to strike down
the man who had insulted him. It seemed impossible that either he
or Abdul could survive the sea of wicked-looking swords and knives
that surrounded them, but the very numbers of their assailants
proved the best bulwark of their safety. So closely packed was the
howling, cursing mob that no weapon could be wielded to advantage,
and none of the Arabs dared use a firearm for fear of wounding one
of his compatriots.
Finally Tarzan succeeded in seizing one of the most persistent of
his attackers. With a quick wrench he disarmed the fellow, and
then, holding him before them as a shield, he backed slowly beside
Abdul toward the little door which led into the inner courtyard. At
the threshold he paused for an instant, and, lifting the struggling
Arab above his head, hurled him, as though from a catapult, full
in the faces of his on-pressing fellows.
Then Tarzan and Abdul stepped into the semidarkness of the court.
The frightened Ouled-Nails were crouching at the tops of the
stairs which led to their respective rooms, the only light in the
courtyard coming from the sickly candles which each girl had stuck
with its own grease to the woodwork of her door-frame, the better
to display her charms to those who might happen to traverse the
Scarcely had Tarzan and Abdul emerged from the room ere a revolver
spoke close at their backs from the shadows beneath one of the
stairways, and as they turned to meet this new antagonist, two
muffled figures sprang toward them, firing as they came. Tarzan
leaped to meet these two new assailants. The foremost lay, a second
later, in the trampled dirt of the court, disarmed and groaning
from a broken wrist. Abdul's knife found the vitals of the second
in the instant that the fellow's revolver missed fire as he held
it to the faithful Arab's forehead.
The maddened horde within the cafe were now rushing out in pursuit
of their quarry. The Ouled-Nails had extinguished their candles
at a cry from one of their number, and the only light within the
yard came feebly from the open and half-blocked door of the cafe.
Tarzan had seized a sword from the man who had fallen before Abdul's
knife, and now he stood waiting for the rush of men that was coming
in search of them through the darkness.
Suddenly he felt a light hand upon his shoulder from behind, and
a woman's voice whispering, "Quick, m'sieur; this way. Follow me."
"Come, Abdul," said Tarzan, in a low tone, to the youth; "we can
be no worse off elsewhere than we are here."
The woman turned and led them up the narrow stairway that ended
at the door of her quarters. Tarzan was close beside her. He saw
the gold and silver bracelets upon her bare arms, the strings of
gold coin that depended from her hair ornaments, and the gorgeous
colors of her dress. He saw that she was a Ouled-Nail, and
instinctively he knew that she was the same who had whispered the
warning in his ear earlier in the evening.
As they reached the top of the stairs they could hear the angry
crowd searching the yard beneath.
"Soon they will search here," whispered the girl. "They must not
find you, for, though you fight with the strength of many men, they
will kill you in the end. Hasten; you can drop from the farther
window of my room to the street beyond. Before they discover that
you are no longer in the court of the buildings you will be safe
within the hotel."
But even as she spoke, several men had started up the stairway at
the head of which they stood. There was a sudden cry from one of
the searchers. They had been discovered. Quickly the crowd rushed
for the stairway. The foremost assailant leaped quickly upward,
but at the top he met the sudden sword that he had not expected--the
quarry had been unarmed before.
With a cry, the man toppled back upon those behind him. Like tenpins
they rolled down the stairs. The ancient and rickety structure
could not withstand the strain of this unwonted weight and jarring.
With a creaking and rending of breaking wood it collapsed beneath
the Arabs, leaving Tarzan, Abdul, and the girl alone upon the frail
platform at the top.
"Come!" cried the Ouled-Nail. "They will reach us from another
stairway through the room next to mine. We have not a moment to
Just as they were entering the room Abdul heard and translated
a cry from the yard below for several to hasten to the street and
cut off escape from that side.
"We are lost now," said the girl simply.
"We?" questioned Tarzan.
"Yes, m'sieur," she responded; "they will kill me as well. Have
I not aided you?"
This put a different aspect on the matter. Tarzan had rather been
enjoying the excitement and danger of the encounter. He had not
for an instant supposed that either Abdul or the girl could suffer
except through accident, and he had only retreated just enough to
keep from being killed himself. He had had no intention of running
away until he saw that he was hopelessly lost were he to remain.
Alone he could have sprung into the midst of that close-packed
mob, and, laying about him after the fashion of Numa, the lion,
have struck the Arabs with such consternation that escape would
have been easy. Now he must think entirely of these two faithful
He crossed to the window which overlooked the street. In a minute
there would be enemies below. Already he could hear the mob
clambering the stairway to the next quarters--they would be at the
door beside him in another instant. He put a foot upon the sill
and leaned out, but he did not look down. Above him, within arm's
reach, was the low roof of the building. He called to the girl.
She came and stood beside him. He put a great arm about her and
lifted her across his shoulder.
"Wait here until I reach down for you from above," he said to
Abdul. "In the meantime shove everything in the room against that
door--it may delay them long enough." Then he stepped to the sill
of the narrow window with the girl upon his shoulders. "Hold
tight," he cautioned her. A moment later he had clambered to the
roof above with the ease and dexterity of an ape. Setting the girl
down, he leaned far over the roof's edge, calling softly to Abdul.
The youth ran to the window.
"Your hand," whispered Tarzan. The men in the room beyond were
battering at the door. With a sudden crash it fell splintering in,
and at the same instant Abdul felt himself lifted like a feather
onto the roof above. They were not a moment too soon, for as the
men broke into the room which they had just quitted a dozen more
rounded the corner in the street below and came running to a spot
beneath the girl's window.
The Fight in the Desert
As the three squatted upon the roof above the quarters of the
Ouled-Nails they heard the angry cursing of the Arabs in the room
beneath. Abdul translated from time to time to Tarzan.
"They are berating those in the street below now," said Abdul, "for
permitting us to escape so easily. Those in the street say that we
did not come that way--that we are still within the building, and
that those above, being too cowardly to attack us, are attempting
to deceive them into believing that we have escaped. In a moment
they will have fighting of their own to attend to if they continue
Presently those in the building gave up the search, and returned to
the cafe. A few remained in the street below, smoking and talking.
Tarzan spoke to the girl, thanking her for the sacrifice she had
made for him, a total stranger.
"I liked you," she said simply. "You were unlike the others who
come to the cafe. You did not speak coarsely to me--the manner in
which you gave me money was not an insult."
"What shall you do after tonight?" he asked. "You cannot return
to the cafe. Can you even remain with safety in Sidi Aissa?"
"Tomorrow it will be forgotten," she replied. "But I should be glad
if it might be that I need never return to this or another cafe.
I have not remained because I wished to; I have been a prisoner."
"A prisoner!" ejaculated Tarzan incredulously.
"A slave would be the better word," she answered. "I was stolen
in the night from my father's DOUAR by a band of marauders. They
brought me here and sold me to the Arab who keeps this cafe. It
has been nearly two years now since I saw the last of mine own
people. They are very far to the south. They never come to Sidi
"You would like to return to your people?" asked Tarzan. "Then I
shall promise to see you safely so far as Bou Saada at least. There
we can doubtless arrange with the commandant to send you the rest
of the way."
"Oh, m'sieur," she cried, "how can I ever repay you! You cannot
really mean that you will do so much for a poor Ouled-Nail. But
my father can reward you, and he will, for is he not a great sheik?
He is Kadour ben Saden."
"Kadour ben Saden!" ejaculated Tarzan. "Why, Kadour ben Saden is
in Sidi Aissa this very night. He dined with me but a few hours
"My father in Sidi Aissa?" cried the amazed girl. "Allah be praised
then, for I am indeed saved."
"Hssh!" cautioned Abdul. "Listen."
From below came the sound of voices, quite distinguishable upon
the still night air. Tarzan could not understand the words, but
Abdul and the girl translated.
"They have gone now," said the latter. "It is you they want,
m'sieur. One of them said that the stranger who had offered money
for your slaying lay in the house of Akmed din Soulef with a broken
wrist, but that he had offered a still greater reward if some would
lay in wait for you upon the road to Bou Saada and kill you."
"It is he who followed m'sieur about the market today," exclaimed
Abdul. "I saw him again within the cafe--him and another; and
the two went out into the inner court after talking with this girl
here. It was they who attacked and fired upon us, as we came out
of the cafe. Why do they wish to kill you, m'sieur?"
"I do not know," replied Tarzan, and then, after a pause: "Unless--"
But he did not finish, for the thought that had come to his mind,
while it seemed the only reasonable solution of the mystery,
appeared at the same time quite improbable. Presently the men in
the street went away. The courtyard and the cafe were deserted.
Cautiously Tarzan lowered himself to the sill of the girl's window.
The room was empty. He returned to the roof and let Abdul down,
then he lowered the girl to the arms of the waiting Arab.
From the window Abdul dropped the short distance to the street
below, while Tarzan took the girl in his arms and leaped down as
he had done on so many other occasions in his own forest with a
burden in his arms. A little cry of alarm was startled from the
girl's lips, but Tarzan landed in the street with but an imperceptible
jar, and lowered her in safety to her feet.
She clung to him for a moment.
"How strong m'sieur is, and how active," she cried. "EL ADREA,
the black lion, himself is not more so."
"I should like to meet this EL ADREA of yours," he said. "I have
heard much about him."
"And you come to the DOUAR of my father you shall see him," said
the girl. "He lives in a spur of the mountains north of us, and
comes down from his lair at night to rob my father's DOUAR. With
a single blow of his mighty paw he crushes the skull of a bull, and
woe betide the belated wayfarer who meets EL ADREA abroad at night."
Without further mishap they reached the hotel. The sleepy landlord
objected strenuously to instituting a search for Kadour ben Saden
until the following morning, but a piece of gold put a different
aspect on the matter, so that a few moments later a servant had
started to make the rounds of the lesser native hostelries where
it might be expected that a desert sheik would find congenial
associations. Tarzan had felt it necessary to find the girl's
father that night, for fear he might start on his homeward journey
too early in the morning to be intercepted.
They had waited perhaps half an hour when the messenger returned
with Kadour ben Saden. The old sheik entered the room with a
questioning expression upon his proud face.
"Monsieur has done me the honor to--" he commenced, and then his
eyes fell upon the girl. With outstretched arms he crossed the
room to meet her. "My daughter!" he cried. "Allah is merciful!"
and tears dimmed the martial eyes of the old warrior.
When the story of her abduction and her final rescue had been told
to Kadour ben Saden he extended his hand to Tarzan.
"All that is Kadour ben Saden's is thine, my friend, even to his
life," he said very simply, but Tarzan knew that those were no idle
It was decided that although three of them would have to ride after
practically no sleep, it would be best to make an early start in
the morning, and attempt to ride all the way to Bou Saada in one
day. It would have been comparatively easy for the men, but for
the girl it was sure to be a fatiguing journey.
She, however, was the most anxious to undertake it, for it seemed
to her that she could not quickly enough reach the family and
friends from whom she had been separated for two years.
It seemed to Tarzan that he had not closed his eyes before he was
awakened, and in another hour the party was on its way south toward
Bou Saada. For a few miles the road was good, and they made rapid
progress, but suddenly it became only a waste of sand, into which
the horses sank fetlock deep at nearly every step. In addition to
Tarzan, Abdul, the sheik, and his daughter were four of the wild
plainsmen of the sheik's tribe who had accompanied him upon the trip
to Sidi Aissa. Thus, seven guns strong, they entertained little
fear of attack by day, and if all went well they should reach Bou
Saada before nightfall.
A brisk wind enveloped them in the blowing sand of the desert, until
Tarzan's lips were parched and cracked. What little he could see
of the surrounding country was far from alluring--a vast expanse
of rough country, rolling in little, barren hillocks, and tufted
here and there with clumps of dreary shrub. Far to the south rose
the dim lines of the Saharan Atlas range. How different, thought
Tarzan, from the gorgeous Africa of his boyhood!
Abdul, always on the alert, looked backward quite as often as he
did ahead. At the top of each hillock that they mounted he would
draw in his horse and, turning, scan the country to the rear with
utmost care. At last his scrutiny was rewarded.
"Look!" he cried. "There are six horsemen behind us."
"Your friends of last evening, no doubt, monsieur," remarked Kadour
ben Saden dryly to Tarzan.
"No doubt," replied the ape-man. "I am sorry that my society should
endanger the safety of your journey. At the next village I shall
remain and question these gentlemen, while you ride on. There is
no necessity for my being at Bou Saada tonight, and less still why
you should not ride in peace."
"If you stop we shall stop," said Kadour ben Saden. "Until you
are safe with your friends, or the enemy has left your trail, we
shall remain with you. There is nothing more to say."
Tarzan nodded his head. He was a man of few words, and possibly
it was for this reason as much as any that Kadour ben Saden had
taken to him, for if there be one thing that an Arab despises it
is a talkative man.
All the balance of the day Abdul caught glimpses of the horsemen
in their rear. They remained always at about the same distance.
During the occasional halts for rest, and at the longer halt at
noon, they approached no closer.
"They are waiting for darkness," said Kadour ben Saden.
And darkness came before they reached Bou Saada. The last glimpse
that Abdul had of the grim, white-robed figures that trailed them,
just before dusk made it impossible to distinguish them, had made
it apparent that they were rapidly closing up the distance that
intervened between them and their intended quarry. He whispered
this fact to Tarzan, for he did not wish to alarm the girl. The
ape-man drew back beside him.
"You will ride ahead with the others, Abdul," said Tarzan. "This
is my quarrel. I shall wait at the next convenient spot, and
interview these fellows."
"Then Abdul shall wait at thy side," replied the young Arab, nor
would any threats or commands move him from his decision.
"Very well, then," replied Tarzan. "Here is as good a place as we
could wish. Here are rocks at the top of this hillock. We shall
remain hidden here and give an account of ourselves to these
gentlemen when they appear."
They drew in their horses and dismounted. The others riding ahead
were already out of sight in the darkness. Beyond them shone the
lights of Bou Saada. Tarzan removed his rifle from its boot and
loosened his revolver in its holster. He ordered Abdul to withdraw
behind the rocks with the horses, so that they should be shielded
from the enemies' bullets should they fire. The young Arab
pretended to do as he was bid, but when he had fastened the two
animals securely to a low shrub he crept back to lie on his belly
a few paces behind Tarzan.
The ape-man stood erect in the middle of the road, waiting. Nor did
he have long to wait. The sound of galloping horses came suddenly
out of the darkness below him, and a moment later he discerned the
moving blotches of lighter color against the solid background of
"Halt," he cried, "or we fire!"
The white figures came to a sudden stop, and for a moment there
was silence. Then came the sound of a whispered council, and like
ghosts the phantom riders dispersed in all directions. Again the
desert lay still about him, yet it was an ominous stillness that
Abdul raised himself to one knee. Tarzan cocked his jungle-trained
ears, and presently there came to him the sound of horses walking
quietly through the sand to the east of him, to the west, to the
north, and to the south. They had been surrounded. Then a shot
came from the direction in which he was looking, a bullet whirred
through the air above his head, and he fired at the flash of the
Instantly the soundless waste was torn with the quick staccato of
guns upon every hand. Abdul and Tarzan fired only at the flashes--they
could not yet see their foemen. Presently it became evident that
the attackers were circling their position, drawing closer and
closer in as they began to realize the paltry numbers of the party
which opposed them.
But one came too close, for Tarzan was accustomed to using his eyes
in the darkness of the jungle night, than which there is no more
utter darkness this side the grave, and with a cry of pain a saddle
"The odds are evening, Abdul," said Tarzan, with a low laugh.
But they were still far too one-sided, and when the five remaining
horsemen whirled at a signal and charged full upon them it looked
as if there would be a sudden ending of the battle. Both Tarzan
and Abdul sprang to the shelter of the rocks, that they might keep
the enemy in front of them. There was a mad clatter of galloping
hoofs, a volley of shots from both sides, and the Arabs withdrew
to repeat the maneuver; but there were now only four against the
For a few moments there came no sound from out of the surrounding
blackness. Tarzan could not tell whether the Arabs, satisfied
with their losses, had given up the fight, or were waiting farther
along the road to waylay them as they proceeded on toward Bou Saada.
But he was not left long in doubt, for now all from one direction
came the sound of a new charge. But scarcely had the first gun
spoken ere a dozen shots rang out behind the Arabs. There came the
wild shouts of a new party to the controversy, and the pounding of
the feet of many horses from down the road to Bou Saada.
The Arabs did not wait to learn the identity of the oncomers. With
a parting volley as they dashed by the position which Tarzan and
Abdul were holding, they plunged off along the road toward Sidi
Aissa. A moment later Kadour ben Saden and his men dashed up.
The old sheik was much relieved to find that neither Tarzan nor Abdul
had received a scratch. Not even had their horses been wounded.
They sought out the two men who had fallen before Tarzan's shots,
and, finding that both were dead, left them where they lay.
"Why did you not tell me that you contemplated ambushing those
fellows?" asked the sheik in a hurt tone. "We might have had them
all if the seven of us had stopped to meet them."
"Then it would have been useless to stop at all," replied Tarzan,
"for had we simply ridden on toward Bou Saada they would have
been upon us presently, and all could have been engaged. It was
to prevent the transfer of my own quarrel to another's shoulders
that Abdul and I stopped off to question them. Then there is your
daughter--I could not be the cause of exposing her needlessly to
the marksmanship of six men."
Kadour ben Saden shrugged his shoulders. He did not relish having
been cheated out of a fight.
The little battle so close to Bou Saada had drawn out a company
of soldiers. Tarzan and his party met them just outside the town.
The officer in charge halted them to learn the significance of the
"A handful of marauders," replied Kadour ben Saden. "They attacked
two of our number who had dropped behind, but when we returned to
them the fellows soon dispersed. They left two dead. None of my
party was injured."
This seemed to satisfy the officer, and after taking the names of
the party he marched his men on toward the scene of the skirmish to
bring back the dead men for purposes of identification, if possible.
Two days later, Kadour ben Saden, with his daughter and followers,
rode south through the pass below Bou Saada, bound for their home
in the far wilderness. The sheik had urged Tarzan to accompany
him, and the girl had added her entreaties to those of her father;
but, though he could not explain it to them, Tarzan's duties loomed
particularly large after the happenings of the past few days, so
that he could not think of leaving his post for an instant. But
he promised to come later if it lay within his power to do so, and
they had to content themselves with that assurance.
During these two days Tarzan had spent practically all his time
with Kadour ben Saden and his daughter. He was keenly interested
in this race of stern and dignified warriors, and embraced the
opportunity which their friendship offered to learn what he could
of their lives and customs. He even commenced to acquire the
rudiments of their language under the pleasant tutorage of the
brown-eyed girl. It was with real regret that he saw them depart,
and he sat his horse at the opening to the pass, as far as which
he had accompanied them, gazing after the little party as long as
he could catch a glimpse of them.
Here were people after his own heart! Their wild, rough lives,
filled with danger and hardship, appealed to this half-savage
man as nothing had appealed to him in the midst of the effeminate
civilization of the great cities he had visited. Here was a life
that excelled even that of the jungle, for here he might have the
society of men--real men whom he could honor and respect, and yet
be near to the wild nature that he loved. In his head revolved an
idea that when he had completed his mission he would resign and
return to live for the remainder of his life with the tribe of
Kadour ben Saden.
Then he turned his horse's head and rode slowly back to Bou Saada.
The front of the Hotel du Petit Sahara, where Tarzan stopped
in Bou Saada, is taken up with the bar, two dining-rooms, and the
kitchens. Both of the dining-rooms open directly off the bar,
and one of them is reserved for the use of the officers of the
garrison. As you stand in the barroom you may look into either of
the dining-rooms if you wish.
It was to the bar that Tarzan repaired after speeding Kadour ben
Saden and his party on their way. It was yet early in the morning,
for Kadour ben Saden had elected to ride far that day, so that
it happened that when Tarzan returned there were guests still at
As his casual glance wandered into the officers' dining-room,
Tarzan saw something which brought a look of interest to his
eyes. Lieutenant Gernois was sitting there, and as Tarzan looked
a white-robed Arab approached and, bending, whispered a few words
into the lieutenant's ear. Then he passed on out of the building
through another door.
In itself the thing was nothing, but as the man had stooped to
speak to the officer, Tarzan had caught sight of something which the
accidental parting of the man's burnoose had revealed--he carried
his left arm in a sling.
Numa "El Adrea"
On the same day that Kadour ben Saden rode south the diligence
from the north brought Tarzan a letter from D'Arnot which had been
forwarded from Sidi-bel-Abbes. It opened the old wound that Tarzan
would have been glad to have forgotten; yet he was not sorry that
D'Arnot had written, for one at least of his subjects could never
cease to interest the ape-man. Here is the letter:
MY DEAR JEAN:
Since last I wrote you I have been across to London on a matter of
business. I was there but three days. The very first day I came
upon an old friend of yours--quite unexpectedly--in Henrietta
Street. Now you never in the world would guess whom. None other
than Mr. Samuel T. Philander. But it is true. I can see your
look of incredulity. Nor is this all. He insisted that I return
to the hotel with him, and there I found the others--Professor
Archimedes Q. Porter, Miss Porter, and that enormous black woman,
Miss Porter's maid--Esmeralda, you will recall. While I was there
Clayton came in. They are to be married soon, or rather sooner,
for I rather suspect that we shall receive announcements almost
any day. On account of his father's death it is to be a very quiet
affair--only blood relatives.
While I was alone with Mr. Philander the old fellow became rather
confidential. Said Miss Porter had already postponed the wedding
on three different occasions. He confided that it appeared to him
that she was not particularly anxious to marry Clayton at all; but
this time it seems that it is quite likely to go through.
Of course they all asked after you, but I respected your wishes
in the matter of your true origin, and only spoke to them of your
Miss Porter was especially interested in everything I had to say
about you, and asked many questions. I am afraid I took a rather
unchivalrous delight in picturing your desire and resolve to go back
eventually to your native jungle. I was sorry afterward, for it
did seem to cause her real anguish to contemplate the awful dangers
to which you wished to return. "And yet," she said, "I do not
know. There are more unhappy fates than the grim and terrible
jungle presents to Monsieur Tarzan. At least his conscience will
be free from remorse. And there are moments of quiet and restfulness
by day, and vistas of exquisite beauty. You may find it strange
that I should say it, who experienced such terrifying experiences
in that frightful forest, yet at times I long to return, for I cannot
but feel that the happiest moments of my life were spent there."
There was an expression of ineffable sadness on her face as
she spoke, and I could not but feel that she knew that I knew her
secret, and that this was her way of transmitting to you a last
tender message from a heart that might still enshrine your memory,
though its possessor belonged to another.
Clayton appeared nervous and ill at ease while you were the subject
of conversation. He wore a worried and harassed expression. Yet
he was very kindly in his expressions of interest in you. I wonder
if he suspects the truth about you?
Tennington came in with Clayton. They are great friends, you know.
He is about to set out upon one of his interminable cruises in that
yacht of his, and was urging the entire party to accompany him.
Tried to inveigle me into it, too. Is thinking of circumnavigating
Africa this time. I told him that his precious toy would take him
and some of his friends to the bottom of the ocean one of these
days if he didn't get it out of his head that she was a liner or
I returned to Paris day before yesterday, and yesterday I met the
Count and Countess de Coude at the races. They inquired after
you. De Coude really seems quite fond of you. Doesn't appear to
harbor the least ill will. Olga is as beautiful as ever, but a
trifle subdued. I imagine that she learned a lesson through her
acquaintance with you that will serve her in good stead during the
balance of her life. It is fortunate for her, and for De Coude as
well, that it was you and not another man more sophisticated.
Had you really paid court to Olga's heart I am afraid that there
would have been no hope for either of you.
She asked me to tell you that Nikolas had left France. She paid him
twenty thousand francs to go away, and stay. She is congratulating
herself that she got rid of him before he tried to carry out a
threat he recently made her that he should kill you at the first
opportunity. She said that she should hate to think that her
brother's blood was on your hands, for she is very fond of you,
and made no bones in saying so before the count. It never for a
moment seemed to occur to her that there might be any possibility
of any other outcome of a meeting between you and Nikolas. The
count quite agreed with her in that. He added that it would take
a regiment of Rokoffs to kill you. He has a most healthy respect
for your prowess.
Have been ordered back to my ship. She sails from Havre in
two days under sealed orders. If you will address me in her
care, the letters will find me eventually. I shall write you
as soon as another opportunity presents.
Your sincere friend,
"I fear," mused Tarzan, half aloud, "that Olga has thrown away her
twenty thousand francs."
He read over that part of D'Arnot's letter several times in which
he had quoted from his conversation with Jane Porter. Tarzan
derived a rather pathetic happiness from it, but it was better than
no happiness at all.
The following three weeks were quite uneventful. On several
occasions Tarzan saw the mysterious Arab, and once again he had
been exchanging words with Lieutenant Gernois; but no amount of
espionage or shadowing by Tarzan revealed the Arab's lodgings, the
location of which Tarzan was anxious to ascertain.
Gernois, never cordial, had kept more than ever aloof from Tarzan
since the episode in the dining-room of the hotel at Aumale. His
attitude on the few occasions that they had been thrown together
had been distinctly hostile.
That he might keep up the appearance of the character he was
playing, Tarzan spent considerable time hunting in the vicinity of
Bou Saada. He would spend entire days in the foothills, ostensibly
searching for gazelle, but on the few occasions that he came close
enough to any of the beautiful little animals to harm them he
invariably allowed them to escape without so much as taking his
rifle from its boot. The ape-man could see no sport in slaughtering
the most harmless and defenseless of God's creatures for the mere
pleasure of killing.
In fact, Tarzan had never killed for "pleasure," nor to him was
there pleasure in killing. It was the joy of righteous battle
that he loved--the ecstasy of victory. And the keen and successful
hunt for food in which he pitted his skill and craftiness against
the skill and craftiness of another; but to come out of a town filled
with food to shoot down a soft-eyed, pretty gazelle--ah, that was
crueller than the deliberate and cold-blooded murder of a fellow
man. Tarzan would have none of it, and so he hunted alone that
none might discover the sham that he was practicing.
And once, probably because of the fact that he rode alone, he was
like to have lost his life. He was riding slowly through a little
ravine when a shot sounded close behind him, and a bullet passed
through the cork helmet he wore. Although he turned at once and
galloped rapidly to the top of the ravine, there was no sign of
any enemy, nor did he see aught of another human being until he
reached Bou Saada.
"Yes," he soliloquized, in recalling the occurrence, "Olga has
indeed thrown away her twenty thousand francs."
That night he was Captain Gerard's guest at a little dinner.
"Your hunting has not been very fortunate?" questioned the officer.
"No," replied Tarzan; "the game hereabout is timid, nor do I care
particularly about hunting game birds or antelope. I think I shall
move on farther south, and have a try at some of your Algerian
"Good!" exclaimed the captain. "We are marching toward Djelfa on
the morrow. You shall have company that far at least. Lieutenant
Gernois and I, with a hundred men, are ordered south to patrol a
district in which the marauders are giving considerable trouble.
Possibly we may have the pleasure of hunting the lion together--what
Tarzan was more than pleased, nor did he hesitate to say so; but
the captain would have been astonished had he known the real reason
of Tarzan's pleasure. Gernois was sitting opposite the ape-man.
He did not seem so pleased with his captain's invitation.
"You will find lion hunting more exciting than gazelle shooting,"
remarked Captain Gerard, "and more dangerous."
"Even gazelle shooting has its dangers," replied Tarzan. "Especially
when one goes alone. I found it so today. I also found that
while the gazelle is the most timid of animals, it is not the most
He let his glance rest only casually upon Gernois after he had spoken,
for he did not wish the man to know that he was under suspicion,
or surveillance, no matter what he might think. The effect of his
remark upon him, however, might tend to prove his connection with,
or knowledge of, certain recent happenings. Tarzan saw a dull
red creep up from beneath Gernois' collar. He was satisfied, and
quickly changed the subject.
When the column rode south from Bou Saada the next morning there
were half a dozen Arabs bringing up the rear.
"They are not attached to the command," replied Gerard in response
to Tarzan's query. "They merely accompany us on the road for
Tarzan had learned enough about Arab character since he had been
in Algeria to know that this was no real motive, for the Arab is
never overfond of the companionship of strangers, and especially
of French soldiers. So his suspicions were aroused, and he decided
to keep a sharp eye on the little party that trailed behind the
column at a distance of about a quarter of a mile. But they did
not come close enough even during the halts to enable him to obtain
a close scrutiny of them.
He had long been convinced that there were hired assassins on his
trail, nor was he in great doubt but that Rokoff was at the bottom
of the plot. Whether it was to be revenge for the several occasions
in the past that Tarzan had defeated the Russian's purposes and
humiliated him, or was in some way connected with his mission in
the Gernois affair, he could not determine. If the latter, and it
seemed probable since the evidence he had had that Gernois suspected
him, then he had two rather powerful enemies to contend with, for
there would be many opportunities in the wilds of Algeria, for
which they were bound, to dispatch a suspected enemy quietly and
without attracting suspicion.
After camping at Djelfa for two days the column moved to the southwest,
from whence word had come that the marauders were operating against
the tribes whose DOUARS were situated at the foot of the mountains.
The little band of Arabs who had accompanied them from Bou Saada
had disappeared suddenly the very night that orders had been given
to prepare for the morrow's march from Djelfa. Tarzan made casual
inquiries among the men, but none could tell him why they had left,
or in what direction they had gone. He did not like the looks
of it, especially in view of the fact that he had seen Gernois in
conversation with one of them some half hour after Captain Gerard
had issued his instructions relative to the new move. Only
Gernois and Tarzan knew the direction of the proposed march. All
the soldiers knew was that they were to be prepared to break camp
early the next morning. Tarzan wondered if Gernois could have
revealed their destination to the Arabs.
Late that afternoon they went into camp at a little oasis in which
was the DOUAR of a sheik whose flocks were being stolen, and whose
herdsmen were being killed. The Arabs came out of their goatskin
tents, and surrounded the soldiers, asking many questions in the
native tongue, for the soldiers were themselves natives. Tarzan,
who, by this time, with the assistance of Abdul, had picked up
quite a smattering of Arab, questioned one of the younger men who
had accompanied the sheik while the latter paid his respects to
No, he had seen no party of six horsemen riding from the direction
of Djelfa. There were other oases scattered about--possibly they
had been journeying to one of these. Then there were the marauders
in the mountains above--they often rode north to Bou Saada in small
parties, and even as far as Aumale and Bouira. It might indeed
have been a few marauders returning to the band from a pleasure
trip to one of these cities.
Early the next morning Captain Gerard split his command in two,
giving Lieutenant Gernois command of one party, while he headed
the other. They were to scour the mountains upon opposite sides
of the plain.
"And with which detachment will Monsieur Tarzan ride?" asked
the captain. "Or maybe it is that monsieur does not care to hunt
"Oh, I shall be delighted to go," Tarzan hastened to explain. He
was wondering what excuse he could make to accompany Gernois.
His embarrassment was short-lived, and was relieved from a most
unexpected source. It was Gernois himself who spoke.
"If my captain will forego the pleasure of Monsieur Tarzan's company
for this once, I shall esteem it an honor indeed to have monsieur
ride with me today," he said, nor was his tone lacking in cordiality.
In fact, Tarzan imagined that he had overdone it a trifle, but,
even so, he was both astounded and pleased, hastening to express
his delight at the arrangement.
And so it was that Lieutenant Gernois and Tarzan rode off side
by side at the head of the little detachment of SPAHIS. Gernois'
cordiality was short-lived. No soone had they ridden out of sight
of Captain Gerard and his men than he lapsed once more into his
accustomed taciturnity. As they advanced the ground became rougher.
Steadily it ascended toward the mountains, into which they filed
through a narrow canon close to noon. By the side of a little
rivulet Gernois called the midday halt. Here the men prepared and
ate their frugal meal, and refilled their canteens.
After an hour's rest they advanced again along the canon, until
they presently came to a little valley, from which several rocky
gorges diverged. Here they halted, while Gernois minutely examined
the surrounding heights from the center of the depression.
"We shall separate here," he said, "several riding into each of
these gorges," and then he commenced to detail his various squads
and issue instructions to the non-commissioned officers who were
to command them. When he had done he turned to Tarzan. "Monsieur
will be so good as to remain here until we return."
Tarzan demurred, but the officer cut him short. "There may be
fighting for one of these sections," he said, "and troops cannot
be embarrassed by civilian noncombatants during action."
"But, my dear lieutenant," expostulated Tarzan, "I am most ready
and willing to place myself under command of yourself or any of your
sergeants or corporals, and to fight in the ranks as they direct.
It is what I came for."
"I should be glad to think so," retorted Gernois, with a sneer
he made no attempt to disguise. Then shortly: "You are under my
orders, and they are that you remain here until we return. Let
that end the matter," and he turned and spurred away at the head
of his men. A moment later Tarzan found himself alone in the midst
of a desolate mountain fastness.
The sun was hot, so he sought the shelter of a nearby tree, where
he tethered his horse, and sat down upon the ground to smoke. Inwardly
he swore at Gernois for the trick he had played upon him. A mean
little revenge, thought Tarzan, and then suddenly it occurred
to him that the man would not be such a fool as to antagonize him
through a trivial annoyance of so petty a description. There must
be something deeper than this behind it. With the thought he arose
and removed his rifle from its boot. He looked to its loads and
saw that the magazine was full. Then he inspected his revolver.
After this preliminary precaution he scanned the surrounding heights
and the mouths of the several gorges--he was determined that he
should not be caught napping.
The sun sank lower and lower, yet there was no sign of returning
SPAHIS. At last the valley was submerged in shadow Tarzan was too
proud to go back to camp until he had given the detachment ample
time to return to the valley, which he thought was to have been
their rendezvous. With the closing in of night he felt safer from
attack, for he was at home in the dark. He knew that none might
approach him so cautiously as to elude those alert and sensitive
ears of his; then there were his eyes, too, for he could see well
at night; and his nose, if they came toward him from up-wind, would
apprise him of the approach of an enemy while they were still a
great way off.
So he felt that he was in little danger, and thus lulled to a sense
of security he fell asleep, with his back against the tree.
He must have slept for several hours, for when he was suddenly
awakened by the frightened snorting and plunging of his horse the
moon was shining full upon the little valley, and there, not ten
paces before him, stood the grim cause of the terror of his mount.
Superb, majestic, his graceful tail extended and quivering, and his
two eyes of fire riveted full upon his prey, stood Numa EL ADREA,
the black lion. A little thrill of joy tingled through Tarzan's
nerves. It was like meeting an old friend after years of separation.
For a moment he sat rigid to enjoy the magnificent spectacle of
this lord of the wilderness.
But now Numa was crouching for the spring. Very slowly Tarzan raised
his gun to his shoulder. He had never killed a large animal with
a gun in all his life--heretofore he had depended upon his spear,
his poisoned arrows, his rope, his knife, or his bare hands.
Instinctively he wished that he had his arrows and his knife--he
would have felt surer with them.
Numa was lying quite flat upon the ground now, presenting only his
head. Tarzan would have preferred to fire a little from one side,
for he knew what terrific damage the lion could do if he lived
two minutes, or even a minute after he was hit. The horse stood
trembling in terror at Tarzan's back. The ape-man took a cautious
step to one side--Numa but followed him with his eyes. Another
step he took, and then another. Numa had not moved. Now he could
aim at a point between the eye and the ear.
His finger tightened upon the trigger, and as he fired Numa sprang.
At the same instant the terrified horse made a last frantic effort
to escape--the tether parted, and he went careening down the canon
toward the desert.
No ordinary man could have escaped those frightful claws when Numa
sprang from so short a distance, but Tarzan was no ordinary man.
From earliest childhood his muscles had been trained by the fierce
exigencies of his existence to act with the rapidity of thought.
As quick as was EL ADREA, Tarzan of the Apes was quicker, and so
the great beast crashed against a tree where he had expected to
feel the soft flesh of man, while Tarzan, a couple of paces to the
right, pumped another bullet into him that brought him clawing and
roaring to his side.
Twice more Tarzan fired in quick succession, and then EL ADREA lay
still and roared no more. It was no longer Monsieur Jean Tarzan;
it was Tarzan of the Apes that put a savage foot upon the body of
his savage kill, and, raising his face to the full moon, lifted
his mighty voice in the weird and terrible challenge of his kind--a
bull ape had made his kill. And the wild things in the wild
mountains stopped in their hunting, and trembled at this new and
awful voice, while down in the desert the children of the wilderness
came out of their goatskin tents and looked toward the mountains,
wondering what new and savage scourge had come to devastate their
A half mile from the valley in which Tarzan stood, a score of
white-robed figures, bearing long, wicked-looking guns, halted at
the sound, and looked at one another with questioning eyes. But
presently, as it was not repeated, they took up their silent,
stealthy way toward the valley.
Tarzan was now confident that Gernois had no intention of returning
for him, but he could not fathom the object that had prompted the
officer to desert him, yet leave him free to return to camp. His
horse gone, he decided that it would be foolish to remain longer
in the mountains, so he set out toward the desert.
He had scarcely entered the confines of the canon when the first of
the white-robed figures emerged into the valley upon the opposite
side. For a moment they scanned the little depression from behind
sheltering bowlders, but when they had satisfied themselves that
it was empty they advanced across it. Beneath the tree at one side
they came upon the body of EL ADREA. With muttered exclamations
they crowded about it. Then, a moment later, they hurried down
the canon which Tarzan was threading a brief distance in advance
of them. They moved cautiously and in silence, taking advantage
of shelter, as men do who are stalking man.
Through the Valley of the Shadow
As Tarzan walked down the wild canon beneath the brilliant African
moon the call of the jungle was strong upon him. The solitude and
the savage freedom filled his heart with life and buoyancy. Again
he was Tarzan of the Apes--every sense alert against the chance of
surprise by some jungle enemy--yet treading lightly and with head
erect, in proud consciousness of his might.
The nocturnal sounds of the mountains were new to him, yet they
fell upon his ears like the soft voice of a half-forgotten love.
Many he intuitively sensed--ah, there was one that was familiar
indeed; the distant coughing of Sheeta, the leopard; but there was
a strange note in the final wail which made him doubt. It was a
panther he heard.
Presently a new sound--a soft, stealthy sound--obtruded itself
among the others. No human ears other than the ape-man's would
have detected it. At first he did not translate it, but finally
he realized that it came from the bare feet of a number of human
beings. They were behind him, and they were coming toward him
quietly. He was being stalked.
In a flash he knew why he had been left in that little valley by
Gernois; but there had been a hitch in the arrangements--the men
had come too late. Closer and closer came the footsteps. Tarzan
halted and faced them, his rifle ready in his hand. Now he caught
a fleeting glimpse of a white burnoose. He called aloud in French,
asking what they would of him. His reply was the flash of a long
gun, and with the sound of the shot Tarzan of the Apes plunged
forward upon his face.
The Arabs did not rush out immediately; instead, they waited to be
sure that their victim did not rise. Then they came rapidly from
their concealment, and bent over him. It was soon apparent that
he was not dead. One of the men put the muzzle of his gun to the
back of Tarzan's head to finish him, but another waved him aside.
"If we bring him alive the reward is to be greater," explained the
latter. So they bound his hands and feet, and, picking him up,
placed him on the shoulders of four of their number. Then the
march was resumed toward the desert. When they had come out of the
mountains they turned toward the south, and about daylight came to
the spot where their horses stood in care of two of their number.
From here on their progress was more rapid. Tarzan, who had regained
consciousness, was tied to a spare horse, which they evidently
had brought for the purpose. His wound was but a slight scratch,
which had furrowed the flesh across his temple. It had stopped
bleeding, but the dried and clotted blood smeared his face and
clothing. He had said no word since he had fallen into the hands
of these Arabs, nor had they addressed him other than to issue a
few brief commands to him when the horses had been reached.
For six hours they rode rapidly across the burning desert, avoiding
the oases near which their way led. About noon they came to a
DOUAR of about twenty tents. Here they halted, and as one of the
Arabs was releasing the alfa-grass ropes which bound him to his
mount they were surrounded by a mob of men, women, and children.
Many of the tribe, and more especially the women, appeared to take
delight in heaping insults upon the prisoner, and some had even
gone so far as to throw stones at him and strike him with sticks,
when an old sheik appeared and drove them away.
"Ali-ben-Ahmed tells me," he said, "that this man sat alone in the
mountains and slew EL ADREA. What the business of the stranger
who sent us after him may be, I know not, and what he may do with
this man when we turn him over to him, I care not; but the prisoner
is a brave man, and while he is in our hands he shall be treated
with the respect that be due one who hunts THE LORD WITH THE LARGE
HEAD alone and by night--and slays him."
Tarzan had heard of the respect in which Arabs held a lion-killer,
and he was not sorry that chance had played into his hands thus
favorably to relieve him of the petty tortures of the tribe. Shortly
after this he was taken to a goat-skin tent upon the upper side of
the DOUAR. There he was fed, and then, securely bound, was left
lying on a piece of native carpet, alone in the tent.
He could see a guard sitting before the door of his frail prison,
but when he attempted to force the stout bonds that held him he
realized that any extra precaution on the part of his captors was
quite unnecessary; not even his giant muscles could part those
Just before dusk several men approached the tent where he lay,
and entered it. All were in Arab dress, but presently one of the
number advanced to Tarzan's side, and as he let the folds of cloth
that had hidden the lower half of his face fall away the ape-man
saw the malevolent features of Nikolas Rokoff. There was a nasty
smile on the bearded lips. "Ah, Monsieur Tarzan," he said, "this
is indeed a pleasure. But why do you not rise and greet your
guest?" Then, with an ugly oath, "Get up, you dog!" and, drawing
back his booted foot, he kicked Tarzan heavily in the side. "And
here is another, and another, and another," he continued, as he
kicked Tarzan about the face and side. "One for each of the injuries
you have done me."
The ape-man made no reply--he did not even deign to look upon the
Russian again after the first glance of recognition. Finally the
sheik, who had been standing a mute and frowning witness of the
cowardly attack, intervened.
"Stop!" he commanded. "Kill him if you will, but I will see no
brave man subjected to such indignities in my presence. I have
half a mind to turn him loose, that I may see how long you would
kick him then."
This threat put a sudden end to Rokoff's brutality, for he had no
craving to see Tarzan loosed from his bonds while he was within
reach of those powerful hands.
"Very well," he replied to the Arab; "I shall kill him presently."
"Not within the precincts of my DOUAR," returned the sheik. "When
he leaves here he leaves alive. What you do with him in the desert
is none of my concern, but I shall not have the blood of a Frenchman
on the hands of my tribe on account of another man's quarrel--they
would send soldiers here and kill many of my people, and burn our
tents and drive away our flocks."
"As you say," growled Rokoff. "I'll take him out into the desert
below the DOUAR, and dispatch him."
"You will take him a day's ride from my country," said the sheik,
firmly, "and some of my children shall follow you to see that you
do not disobey me--otherwise there may be two dead Frenchmen in
Rokoff shrugged. "Then I shall have to wait until the morrow--it
is already dark."
"As you will," said the sheik. "But by an hour after dawn you must
be gone from my DOUAR. I have little liking for unbelievers, and
none at all for a coward."
Rokoff would have made some kind of retort, but he checked himself,
for he realized that it would require but little excuse for the old
man to turn upon him. Together they left the tent. At the door
Rokoff could not resist the temptation to turn and fling a parting
taunt at Tarzan. "Sleep well, monsieur," he said, "and do not
forget to pray well, for when you die tomorrow it will be in such
agony that you will be unable to pray for blaspheming."
No one had bothered to bring Tarzan either food or water since
noon, and consequently he suffered considerably from thirst. He
wondered if it would be worth while to ask his guard for water, but
after making two or three requests without receiving any response,
he decided that it would not.
Far up in the mountains he heard a lion roar. How much safer one
was, he soliloquized, in the haunts of wild beasts than in the haunts
of men. Never in all his jungle life had he been more relentlessly
tracked down than in the past few months of his experience among
civilized men. Never had he been any nearer death.
Again the lion roared. It sounded a little nearer. Tarzan felt
the old, wild impulse to reply with the challenge of his kind. His
kind? He had almost forgotten that he was a man and not an ape.
He tugged at his bonds. God, if he could but get them near those
strong teeth of his. He felt a wild wave of madness sweep over
him as his efforts to regain his liberty met with failure.
Numa was roaring almost continually now. It was quite evident
that he was coming down into the desert to hunt. It was the roar
of a hungry lion. Tarzan envied him, for he was free. No one
would tie him with ropes and slaughter him like a sheep. It was
that which galled the ape-man. He did not fear to die, no--it was
the humiliation of defeat before death, without even a chance to
battle for his life.
It must be near midnight, thought Tarzan. He had several hours
to live. Possibly he would yet find a way to take Rokoff with him
on the long journey. He could hear the savage lord of the desert
quite close by now. Possibly he sought his meat from among the
penned animals within the DOUAR.
For a long time silence reigned, then Tarzan's trained ears caught
the sound of a stealthily moving body. It came from the side of
the tent nearest the mountains--the back. Nearer and nearer it
came. He waited, listening intently, for it to pass. For a time
there was silence without, such a terrible silence that Tarzan was
surprised that he did not hear the breathing of the animal he felt
sure must be crouching close to the back wall of his tent.
There! It is moving again. Closer it creeps. Tarzan turns his
head in the direction of the sound. It is very dark within the
tent. Slowly the back rises from the ground, forced up by the head
and shoulders of a body that looks all black in the semi-darkness.
Beyond is a faint glimpse of the dimly starlit desert. A grim smile
plays about Tarzan's lips. At least Rokoff will be cheated. How
mad he will be! And death will be more merciful than he could have
hoped for at the hands of the Russian.
Now the back of the tent drops into place, and all is darkness
again--whatever it is is inside the tent with him. He hears it
creeping close to him--now it is beside him. He closes his eyes
and waits for the mighty paw. Upon his upturned face falls the
gentle touch of a soft hand groping in the dark, and then a girl's
voice in a scarcely audible whisper pronounces his name.
"Yes, it is I," he whispers in reply. "But in the name of Heaven
who are you?"
"The Ouled-Nail of Sisi Aissa," came the answer. While she spoke
Tarzan could feel her working about his bonds. Occasionally the
cold steel of a knife touched his flesh. A moment later he was
"Come!" she whispered.
On hands and knees he followed her out of the tent by the way she
had come. She continued crawling thus flat to the ground until she
reached a little patch of shrub. There she halted until he gained
her side. For a moment he looked at her before he spoke.
"I cannot understand," he said at last. "Why are you here? How
did you know that I was a prisoner in that tent? How does it happen
that it is you who have saved me?"
She smiled. "I have come a long way tonight," she said, "and we
have a long way to go before we shall be out of danger. Come; I
shall tell you all about as we go."
Together they rose and set off across the desert in the direction
of the mountains.
"I was not quite sure that I should ever reach you," she said at
last. "EL ADREA is abroad tonight, and after I left the horses I
think he winded me and was following--I was terribly frightened."
"What a brave girl," he said. "And you ran all that risk for a
stranger--an alien--an unbeliever?"
She drew herself up very proudly.
"I am the daughter of the Sheik Kabour ben Saden," she answered.
"I should be no fit daughter of his if I would not risk my life
to save that of the man who saved mine while he yet thought that
I was but a common Ouled-Nail."
"Nevertheless," he insisted, "you are a very brave girl. But how
did you know that I was a prisoner back there?"
"Achmet-din-Taieb, who is my cousin on my father's side, was
visiting some friends who belong to the tribe that captured you.
He was at the DOUAR when you were brought in. When he reached home
he was telling us about the big Frenchman who had been captured by
Ali-ben-Ahmed for another Frenchman who wished to kill him. From
the description I knew that it must be you. My father was away.
I tried to persuade some of the men to come and save you, but they
would not do it, saying: `Let the unbelievers kill one another if
they wish. It is none of our affair, and if we go and interfere
with Ali-ben-Ahmed's plans we shall only stir up a fight with our
"So when it was dark I came alone, riding one horse and leading
another for you. They are tethered not far from here. By morning
we shall be within my father's DOUAR. He should be there himself by
now--then let them come and try to take Kadour ben Saden's friend."
For a few moments they walked on in silence.
"We should be near the horses," she said. "It is strange that I
do not see them here."
Then a moment later she stopped, with a little cry of consternation.
"They are gone!" she exclaimed. "It is here that I tethered them."
Tarzan stooped to examine the ground. He found that a large shrub
had been torn up by the roots. Then he found something else. There
was a wry smile on his face as he rose and turned toward the girl.
"EL ADREA has been here. From the signs, though, I rather think
that his prey escaped him. With a little start they would be safe
enough from him in the open."
There was nothing to do but continue on foot. The way led them
across a low spur of the mountains, but the girl knew the trail as
well as she did her mother's face. They walked in easy, swinging
strides, Tarzan keeping a hand's breadth behind the girl's shoulder,
that she might set the pace, and thus be less fatigued. As they
walked they talked, occasionally stopping to listen for sounds of
It was now a beautiful, moonlit night. The air was crisp
and invigorating. Behind them lay the interminable vista of the
desert, dotted here and there with an occasional oasis. The date
palms of the little fertile spot they had just left, and the circle
of goatskin tents, stood out in sharp relief against the yellow
sand--a phantom paradise upon a phantom sea. Before them rose the
grim and silent mountains. Tarzan's blood leaped in his veins.
This was life! He looked down upon the girl beside him--a daughter
of the desert walking across the face of a dead world with a son
of the jungle. He smiled at the thought. He wished that he had
had a sister, and that she had been like this girl. What a bully
chum she would have been!
They had entered the mountains now, and were progressing more
slowly, for the trail was steeper and very rocky.
For a few minutes they had been silent. The girl was wondering if
they would reach her father's DOUAR before the pursuit had overtaken
them. Tarzan was wishing that they might walk on thus forever. If
the girl were only a man they might. He longed for a friend who
loved the same wild life that he loved. He had learned to crave
companionship, but it was his misfortune that most of the men he
knew preferred immaculate linen and their clubs to nakedness and
the jungle. It was, of course, difficult to understand, yet it
was very evident that they did.
The two had just turned a projecting rock around which the trail
ran when they were brought to a sudden stop. There, before them,
directly in the middle of the path, stood Numa, EL ADREA, the
black lion. His green eyes looked very wicked, and he bared his
teeth, and lashed his bay-black sides with his angry tail. Then
he roared--the fearsome, terror-inspiring roar of the hungry lion