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The Son of Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Part 6 out of 6

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She clapped her hands in ecstasy, and turned to run toward the
bungalow. "Wait!" she cried over her shoulder. "I have all his
little suits--I have saved them all. I will bring one to you."

Tarzan laughed and called to her to stop.

"The only clothing on the place that will fit him," he said, "is
mine--if it isn't too small for him--your little boy has grown,

She laughed, too; she felt like laughing at everything, or at nothing.
The world was all love and happiness and joy once more--the world
that had been shrouded in the gloom of her great sorrow for so
many years. So great was her joy that for the moment she forgot
the sad message that awaited Meriem. She called to Tarzan after
he had ridden away to prepare her for it, but he did not hear and
rode on without knowing himself what the event was to which his
wife referred.

And so, an hour later, Korak, The Killer, rode home to his mother--the
mother whose image had never faded in his boyish heart--and found
in her arms and her eyes the love and forgiveness that he plead

And then the mother turned toward Meriem, an expression of pitying
sorrow erasing the happiness from her eyes.

"My little girl," she said, "in the midst of our happiness a great
sorrow awaits you--Mr. Baynes did not survive his wound."

The expression of sorrow in Meriem's eyes expressed only what she
sincerely felt; but it was not the sorrow of a woman bereft of her
best beloved.

"I am sorry," she said, quite simply. "He would have done me a
great wrong; but he amply atoned before he died. Once I thought
that I loved him. At first it was only fascination for a type
that was new to me--then it was respect for a brave man who had
the moral courage to admit a sin and the physical courage to face
death to right the wrong he had committed. But it was not love.
I did not know what love was until I knew that Korak lived," and
she turned toward The Killer with a smile.

Lady Greystoke looked quickly up into the eyes of her son--the son
who one day would be Lord Greystoke. No thought of the difference
in the stations of the girl and her boy entered her mind. To her
Meriem was fit for a king. She only wanted to know that Jack loved
the little Arab waif. The look in his eyes answered the question
in her heart, and she threw her arms about them both and kissed
them each a dozen times.

"Now," she cried, "I shall really have a daughter!"

It was several weary marches to the nearest mission; but they only
waited at the farm a few days for rest and preparation for the great
event before setting out upon the journey, and after the marriage
ceremony had been performed they kept on to the coast to take passage
for England. Those days were the most wonderful of Meriem's life.
She had not dreamed even vaguely of the marvels that civilization
held in store for her. The great ocean and the commodious steamship
filled her with awe. The noise, and bustle and confusion of the
English railway station frightened her.

"If there was a good-sized tree at hand," she confided to Korak, "I
know that I should run to the very top of it in terror of my life."

"And make faces and throw twigs at the engine?" he laughed back.

"Poor old Numa," sighed the girl. "What will he do without us?"

"Oh, there are others to tease him, my little Mangani," assured

The Greystoke town house quite took Meriem's breath away; but when
strangers were about none might guess that she had not been to the
manner born.

They had been home but a week when Lord Greystoke received a message
from his friend of many years, D'Arnot.

It was in the form of a letter of introduction brought by one General
Armand Jacot. Lord Greystoke recalled the name, as who familiar
with modern French history would not, for Jacot was in reality the
Prince de Cadrenet--that intense republican who refused to use,
even by courtesy, a title that had belonged to his family for four
hundred years.

"There is no place for princes in a republic," he was wont to say.

Lord Greystoke received the hawk-nosed, gray mustached soldier in
his library, and after a dozen words the two men had formed a mutual
esteem that was to endure through life.

"I have come to you," explained General Jacot, "because our dear
Admiral tells me that there is no one in all the world who is more
intimately acquainted with Central Africa than you.

"Let me tell you my story from the beginning. Many years ago
my little daughter was stolen, presumably by Arabs, while I was
serving with the Foreign Legion in Algeria. We did all that love
and money and even government resources could do to discover her;
but all to no avail. Her picture was published in the leading
papers of every large city in the world, yet never did we find a
man or woman who ever had seen her since the day she mysteriously

"A week since there came to me in Paris a swarthy Arab, who called
himself Abdul Kamak. He said that he had found my daughter and
could lead me to her. I took him at once to Admiral d'Arnot, whom
I knew had traveled some in Central Africa. The man's story led
the Admiral to believe that the place where the white girl the Arab
supposed to be my daughter was held in captivity was not far from
your African estates, and he advised that I come at once and call
upon you--that you would know if such a girl were in your neighborhood."

"What proof did the Arab bring that she was your daughter?" asked
Lord Greystoke.

"None," replied the other. "That is why we thought best to
consult you before organizing an expedition. The fellow had only
an old photograph of her on the back of which was pasted a newspaper
cutting describing her and offering a reward. We feared that having
found this somewhere it had aroused his cupidity and led him to
believe that in some way he could obtain the reward, possibly by
foisting upon us a white girl on the chance that so many years had
elapsed that we would not be able to recognize an imposter as such."

"Have you the photograph with you?" asked Lord Greystoke.

The General drew an envelope from his pocket, took a yellowed
photograph from it and handed it to the Englishman.

Tears dimmed the old warrior's eyes as they fell again upon the
pictured features of his lost daughter.

Lord Greystoke examined the photograph for a moment. A queer
expression entered his eyes. He touched a bell at his elbow, and
an instant later a footman entered.

"Ask my son's wife if she will be so good as to come to the library,"
he directed.

The two men sat in silence. General Jacot was too well bred to show
in any way the chagrin and disappointment he felt in the summary
manner in which Lord Greystoke had dismissed the subject of his
call. As soon as the young lady had come and he had been presented
he would make his departure. A moment later Meriem entered.

Lord Greystoke and General Jacot rose and faced her. The Englishman
spoke no word of introduction--he wanted to mark the effect of
the first sight of the girl's face on the Frenchman, for he had
a theory--a heaven-born theory that had leaped into his mind the
moment his eyes had rested on the baby face of Jeanne Jacot.

General Jacot took one look at Meriem, then he turned toward Lord

"How long have you known it?" he asked, a trifle accusingly.

"Since you showed me that photograph a moment ago," replied the

"It is she," said Jacot, shaking with suppressed emotion; "but she
does not recognize me--of course she could not." Then he turned
to Meriem. "My child," he said, "I am your--"

But she interrupted him with a quick, glad cry, as she ran toward
him with outstretched arms.

"I know you! I know you!" she cried. "Oh, now I remember," and
the old man folded her in his arms.

Jack Clayton and his mother were summoned, and when the story had
been told them they were only glad that little Meriem had found a
father and a mother.

"And really you didn't marry an Arab waif after all," said Meriem.
"Isn't it fine!"

"You are fine," replied The Killer. "I married my little Meriem,
and I don't care, for my part, whether she is an Arab, or just a
little Tarmangani."

"She is neither, my son," said General Armand Jacot. "She
is a princess in her own right."

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