Edgar Rice Burroughs - Tarzan 21 - Tarzan the Magnificent

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    Tarzan 21 - Tarzan the Magnificentby

    Edgar Rice Burroughs

    Chapter 1. Out of the Past.TRUTH IS STRANGER than fiction.If this tale should see in part incredi!le" please !ear this a#io in ind. It had its !e$innin$ore than t%ent& &ears a$o" unless one %ishes to $o further !ac' to the first aoe!a or e(en!e&ond that to the cosos shatterin$ clash of t%o for$otten suns) !ut %e shall confine our stor&"other than !& occasional reference" to the sta$e" the actors" and the !usiness of the present tie.The searin$ sun ra&s scorch do%n upon a shri(eled plain a scant fi(e de$rees north of thee*uator. A an" clothed in torn shirt and trousers upon %hich dried !lood has ca'ed and turned arust& !ro%n" sta$$ers and falls to lie inert.

    A $reat lion loo's do%n upon the scene fro the suit of a distant roc'& led$e %here a fe%tenacious !ushes clin$ to $i(e shade to the lair of the 'in$) for this is Africa.S'a" the (ulture" %heels and circles in the !lue" s'& + %ritin$ anticipation far a!o(e the !od& of the

    fallen an.Not far to the south" at the ed$e of the dr& plain" another an s%in$s easil& to%ard the north. Nosi$n of fati$ue or e#haustion here. The !ron,e s'in $lo%s %ith health" full uscles $lide !eneathit. The free $ait" the noiseless tread i$ht !e those of Sheeta" the panther) !ut there is no slin'in$here. It is the carria$e of one %ho 'no%s neither dou!t nor fear" of a lord in his o%n doain.He is encu!ered !& !ut a sin$le $arent" a loincloth of doe + s'in. A coil of $rass rope is loopedo(er one shoulder" !ehind the other han$s a *ui(er of arro%s) a sca!!arded 'nife s%in$s at hiship) a !o% and a short spear coplete his e*uipent. A shoc' of !lac' hair falls in disorder a!o(eserene" $re& e&es" e&es that can reflect the li$ht of a suer sea or the flashin$ steel of a rapier.The -ord of the un$le is a!road.He is far to the north of his ancient haunts" &et this is no unfailiar terrain. He has !een herean& ties !efore. He 'no%s %here %ater a& !e had for the di$$in$. He 'no%s %here thenearest %ater hole lies %here he can a'e a 'ill and fill his !ell&.

    He has coe north at the !ehest of an eperor to in(esti$ate a ruor that a European po%er isatteptin$ to cause the defection of a nati(e chief !& eans of !ri!er&. /ar and ruors of %arare in the air" !ut of this tale such thin$s are not a part + %e hope. Ho%e(er" %e are no prophet./e are erel& a chronicler of e(ents as the& transpire. /e follo% the acti(ities of our charactersto the !itter end" e(en to %ar) !ut %e hope for the !est. Ho%e(er" onl& tie can tell.

    As Tar,an s%un$ %ith eas& strides out across the plain" no sound escaped his 'een ears) noo(in$ thin$" his e&es) no scent" !orne upon the soft !oso of Usha the %ind" %ent unidentified.0ar in the distance he sa% Nua the lion standin$ upon his roc'& led$e) he sa% S'a the (ulturecirclin$ a!o(e soethin$ that Tar,an could not see. In all that he sa% or heard or selled he reada stor&) for to hi this sa(a$e %orld %as an open !oo'" soeties a thrillin$" al%a&s aninterestin$ narrati(e of lo(e" of hate" of life" of death./here &ou or I i$ht occasionall& pic' out a letter or a %ord" Tar,an of the Apes $rasped theentire te#t and countless iplications that %e i$ht ne(er $uess.Presentl&" ahead of hi" he sa% soethin$ %hite shinin$ in the sunli$ht + a huan s'ull) and ashe cae closer his e&es pic'ed out the s'eleton of a an" the !ones onl& sli$htl& disarran$ed.0ro aon$ the $re% a lo% desert shru! proclaiin$ that the s'eleton had lain there for a lon$tie.Tar,an paused to in(esti$ate" for to hi in his %orld nothin$ is too tri(ial to pass !& %ithout*uestion. He sa% that the s'eleton %as that of a Ne$ro and that it had lain" there for a lon$ tie"&ears pro!a!l&) %hich %as entirel& possi!le in this hot" dr& plain. He could not tell ho% the anhad coe to his death" !ut he $uessed that it i$ht ha(e !een fro thirst.Then he sa% soethin$ l&in$ !& the !ones of a hand" soethin$ half !uried !& shiftin$ soil) andhe stopped and pic'ed it up" dra%in$ it carefull& out of the earth. It %as a split stic' of hard%ood

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    in the split end of %hich %as %ed$ed a thin parcel of oiled sil'.The sil' %as stained and !rittle and dr&. It seeed that it i$ht cru!le to his touch" !ut that %asonl& the outer la&er. As he carefull& un%rapped it" he found the inner la&ers !etter preser(ed.Inside the sil' %rapper he found %hat he had e#pected + a letter.It %as %ritten in En$lish in a sall" e#treel& le$i!le hand. Tar,an read it %ith interest" interestthat %as perhaps stiulated !& the date at the top of the sheet. T%ent& &ears had elapsed sincethat letter had !een %ritten. 0or t%ent& &ears it had lain here !eside the s'eleton of its !earer inute testion& to the loneliness of this !arren plain.Tar,an read it To /ho This 2a& Coe I a dispatchin$ this %ithout uch hope that it %ille(en $et out of this dana!le countr&" still less that it %ill reach an& %hite an) !ut if it does"please contact the nearest Resident Coissioner or an& other authorit& that can $et help to us*uic'l&.2& %ife and I %ere e#plorin$ north of -a'e Rudolph. /e cae too far. It %as the old stor&. Our!o&s !ecae fri$htened !& ruors of a fierce tri!e inha!itin$ the countr& in %hich %e %ere. The&deserted us./here the 2afa Ri(er epties into the Neu!ari %e turned up the $or$e of the forer as thou$hdra%n !& soe supernatural po%er" and %ere captured !& the %ild %oen of 3a4i" %hen %ereached the plateau. A &ear later our dau$hter %as !orn and & %ife died + the she + de(ils of 3a4i'illed her !ecause she did not !ear a son. The& %ant %hite en. That is %h& the& ha(e not 'illede and a do,en other %hite en capti(es.

    The 3a4i countr& lies on a hi$h plateau a!o(e the falls of the 2afa. It is alost inaccessi!le" !utcan !e reached !& follo%in$ the $or$e of the 2afa fro the Neu!ari.It %ill re*uire a stron$ e#pedition of %hite en to rescue e and & little dau$hter" as I dou!t that!lac's can !e induced to enter the countr&. These 3a4i %oen fi$ht li'e de(ils" and the& ha(estran$e" occult po%ers of soe nature. I ha(e seen thin$s here that + %ell" thin$s that 4ust can5t !e!ut are.No nati(e tri!es %ill li(e near this &sterious" ill + oened countr&) so" little is 'no%n of the 3a4i)!ut ruors of their terrif&in$ practices ha(e !ecoe part of the fol'lore of their nearest nei$h!ors"and it is the hushed recital of these that fri$htens the !earers of an& safari that coes %ithin thesphere of their !aneful influence.The %hite en a& ne(er 'no% the cause of it" for the !lac's fear to tell the" thin'in$ that the!lac' a$ic of the 3a4i %ill reach out and destro& the) !ut the result is al%a&s the sae + if thesafari approaches too close to 3a4i" the !lac's all desert.

    Then that happens %hich happened to & %ife and e + the %hites are lured !& soe &steriouseans to the plateau and ade prisoners.Perhaps e(en a lar$e force i$ht !e o(ercoe" for the %hites %ould not !e contendin$ a$ainstnatural forces) !ut if the& succeeded" the re%ard i$ht !e (er& $reat. It is the hope of this re%ardthat I hold out a$ainst the dan$ers in(ol(ed.The 3a4i o%n an enorous diaond. /here it cae fro" %here it %as ined" I ha(e !eenuna!le to ascertain) !ut I suspect that it cae fro the soil of their o%n countr&.I ha(e seen and handled the Cullinan diaond" %hich %ei$hed o(er three thousand carats) and Ia certain that the diaond of 3a4i %ei$hs full& si# thousand. ust %hat its (alue a& !e I do not'no%" !ut usin$ the (alue of the 6ra,ilian stone" Star of the South" as a easure" it ust !e %orthclose to 78"999"999 + a re%ard %ell %orth soe ris'.It is ipossi!le for e to 'no% %hether I shall e(er $et this letter out of 3a4i" !ut I ha(e hopes ofdoin$ so !& !ri!in$ one of their !lac' sla(es %ho occasionall& lea(e the plateau to sp& in the

    lo%lands.God $rant this !e deli(ered in tie.2ountford.Tar,an of the Apes read the letter throu$h t%ice. 2ountford: Alost e(er since he couldree!er" it seeed" the &sterious disappearance of -ord and -ad& 2ountford had !eenrecalled to the inds of en !& ruors that the& still li(ed" until the& had !ecoe a le$end of the%ilderness.No one reall& !elie(ed that the& li(ed" &et at inter(als soe %anderer fro the interior %ouldre(i(e the ruor %ith ore or less circustantial e(idence. He had had the stor& fro thechieftain of a reote tri!e" or perhaps fro the lips of a d&in$ %hite an) !ut there ne(er cae

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    an& definite cle% as to the e#act %herea!outs of the 2ountfords + the& had !een reported fro ascore of places all the %a& fro the Soudan to Rhodesia.

    And no% at last the truth had coe" !ut too late.. -ad& 2ountford had !een dead for t%ent&&ears" and it %as *uite ipro!a!le that her hus!and still li(ed. The child ust" of course" ha(edied or !een 'illed !& the 3a4i. It could scarcel& ha(e sur(i(ed aon$ those sa(a$e peoplethrou$h infanc&.To the 4un$le !red ape + an death %as a coonplace phenoenon of e#istence and far lessrear'a!le than an& other anifestations of nature" for it cae e(entuall& to all li(in$ thin$s) sothe possi!ilit& of the death of the an and the child induced no reaction of sorro% or re$ret. Itsipl& eant nothin$ to hi %hatsoe(er. He %ould deli(er the letter to the En$lish authorities atthe first opportunit&" and that %ould !e all that there %ould !e to it. Or so Tar,an thou$ht. Hecontinued his %a&" puttin$ the atter fro his ind. He %as ore interested in the aneu(ers ofS'a the (ulture" for the& indicated that S'a %as circlin$ a!out soe creature not &et dead and%hich" !ecause of its si,e or nature" he hesitated to attac'.

    As Tar,an approached the spot a!o(e %hich S'a %heeled on static %in$s he sa% Nua the liondrop fro the led$e upon %hich he had !een standin$ and o(e cautiousl& to%ard the thin$ thathad aroused the an5s curiosit&. Thou$h the latter %as in plain si$ht" Nua seein$l& i$nored hispresence) nor did Tar,an alter his course !ecause of the lion. If neither chan$ed his pace or hisdirection the& %ould eet close to the thin$ a!o(e %hich S'a ho(ered.

    As the ape + an cae nearer the o!4ect of his interest he sa% the !od& of a an l&in$ in a little

    natural depression of the $round + the !od& of a %hite an.To the ri$ht of it" a hundred &ards a%a&" %as Nua. Presentl& the an stirred. He %as not dead.He raised his head and sa% the lion) then he stru$$led to rise" !ut he %as (er& %ea' and couldonl& ana$e to raise hiself to one 'nee. 6ehind hi %as Tar,an" %ho he did not see.

    As the an half rose" the lion $ro%led. It %as onl& a %arnin$ in %hich there %as no iediateenace. Tar,an reco$ni,ed it as such. He 'ne% that Nua had !een attracted !& curiosit& andnot !& hun$er. His !ell& %as full.6ut the an did not 'no% these thin$s. He thou$ht it %as the end" for he %as unared andhelpless) and the $reat carni(ore" the 'in$ of !easts" %as alost upon hi.Then he heard another lo% $ro%l !ehind hi and" turnin$ his e&es *uic'l& in that direction" sa%an alost na'ed an coin$ to%ard hi. 0or an instant he did not understand" for he sa% noother !east) then he heard the $ro%l a$ain and sa% that it cae fro the throat of the !ron,ed$iant approachin$ hi.

    Nua heard the $ro%l too and paused. He shoo' his head and snarled. Tar,an did not pause) hecontinued on to%ard the an. There %as no sanctuar& should the lion attac' no tree to offer thesafet& of its !ranches) there %ere onl& Tar,an5s %eapons and his $reat stren$th and his s'ill) !ut$reatest of all %as his con(iction that Nua %ould not attac'.The -ord of the un$le %ell 'ne% the art of !luff and its (alue. Suddenl& he raised his head and(oiced the hideous %arnin$ + cr& of the !ull ape. The an shuddered as he heard the !estial cr&issue fro the lips of a huan !ein$. Nua" %ith a partin$ $ro%l" turned and stal'ed a%a&.Tar,an cae and stood o(er the an. ;Are &ou hurt

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    part of the 4ourne& he %as as one dead./hen the& cae at last to %ater" Tar,an laid the an in the shade of a sall tree) and" raisin$ hishead and shoulders" forced a fe% drops of the li*uid !et%een his lips. Presentl& he could ta'eore" and %ith its re(i(if&in$ effects he coenced to spea' + !ro'en" dis4ointed" soetiesincoherent snatches of sentences) as one spea's in deliriu or %hen eer$in$ fro ananesthetic.;She + de(il"; he u!led. ;... !eautiful... God: ho% !eautiful.; Then he %as silent for a %hile asTar,an !athed his face and %rists %ith the cool %ater.Presentl& he opened his e&es and loo'ed at the ape + an" his !ro%s %rin'led in *uestionin$ andpu,,leent. ;The diaond:; he deanded. ;?id &ou $et the diaond< Hu$e... she ust ha(e!een sired !& Satan... !eautiful + enorous + !i$ as... %hat< It can5t !e... !ut I sa% it + %ith &o%n e&es + e&es: e&es:... %hat e&es:... !ut a fiend... ten illion dollars... all of that... !i$... !i$ as a%oan5s head.;;6e *uiet"; said the ape + an" ;and rest. I %ill $et food.;/hen he returned" the an %as sleepin$ peacefull& and ni$ht %as fallin$. Tar,an !uilt a fire andprepared a !race of *uail and a hare that he had !rou$ht do%n %ith arro%s fro his !o%. The*uail he %rapped in %et cla& and laid in the e!ers) the hare he 4ointed and $rilled on sharpenedstic's./hen he had done" he $lanced at the an and sa% that his e&es %ere open and upon hi. The$a,e %as *uite noral" !ut the e#pression %as one of pu,,leent.

    ;/ho are &ou

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    curse her in & sleep" so nearl& one are lo(e and hate" the t%o ost po%erful and de(astatin$eotions that control an" nations" life + so nearl& one that the& are separated onl& !& a $lance" a$esture" a s&lla!le. I hate her %ith & ind) I lo(e her %ith & !od& and & soul.;6ear %ith e if I anticipate. 0or e she is the !e$innin$ and the end + the !e$innin$ and the endof e(er&thin$) !ut I5ll tr& to !e ore coherent and ore chronolo$ical.;To !e$in %ith ha(e &ou e(er heard of the &sterious disappearance of -ord and -ad&2ountford

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    %ere lic'ed) !ut the& ne(er found a one of the" thou$h the& %ere $one for t%o da&s.;6o! and I %ere 4ust a!out to pull out on our o%n %hen the& $ot !ac') for" !elie(e e" if %e5d hadplent& of it !efore the& left %e5d had a dou!le dose %hile the& %ere a%a&.;I can5t tell &ou %hat it %as" for %e ne(er sa% an&one. 2a&!e %e %ere 4ust plain scared" !ut Idon5t thin' that could ha(e !een it. @an E&' has plent& of ner(e" and I ha(e !een in lots of tou$hplaces + lost and alone aon$ the head + hunters of E*uador" captured in the interior of Ne%Guinea !& canni!als" stood up in front of a firin$ s*uad durin$ a Central Aerican re(olution + the'ind of thin$s" &ou 'no%" that a tra(el %riter $ets i#ed up in if he5s reall& loo'in$ for thrills to %ritea!out and hasn5t (er& $ood sense.;No" this %as different. It %as 4ust a feelin$ + a hauntin$ sense of !ein$ %atched !& in(isi!le e&es"da& and ni$ht. And there %ere noises" too. I can5t descri!e the + the& %eren5t huan noises" noranial either. The& %ere 4ust noises that ade &our flesh creep and &our scalp tin$le.;/e had a council of %ar the ni$ht Spi'e and Troli $ot !ac'. At first the& lau$hed at us" !ut prett&soon the& coenced to feel and hear thin$s. After that the& a$reed %ith us that the !est thin$ todo %ould !e to !eat it !ac'.;/e decided to carr& nothin$ !ut a re(ol(er and rifle apiece" aunition" and food" a!andonin$e(er&thin$ else. /e %ere $oin$ to start earl& the follo%in$ ornin$.;/hen ornin$ cae %e ate our !rea'fasts in silence" shouldered our pac's" and %ithout a %ordstarted out up the Neu!ari. /e didn5t e(en loo' at one another. I don5t 'no% a!out the rest ofthe" !ut I %as ashaed to.

    ;There %e %ere" doin$ 4ust the opposite of the thin$ %e had decided on + $oin$ deeper anddeeper into trou!le + and not 'no%in$ %h& %e %ere doin$ it. I tried to e#ercise & %ill and force& feet in the opposite direction" !ut it %as no $o. A po%er far $reater than & o%n %ill directede. It %as terrif&in$.;/e hadn5t $one ore than fi(e iles !efore %e cae across a an l&in$ in the trail + a %hitean. His hair and !eard %ere %hite" !ut he didn5t loo' so (er& old + %ell under fift&" I should ha(esaid. He seeed prett& %ell done in" not%ithstandin$ the fact that he appeared in $ood ph&sicalcondition + no indication of star(ation) and he couldn5t (er& %ell ha(e !een sufferin$ fro thirst" forthe Neu!ari ri(er %as less than fift& &ards fro %here he la&.;/hen %e stopped !eside hi" he opened his e&es and loo'ed up at us.; 5Go !ac':5 he %hispered. He seeed (er& %ea'" and it %as o!(iousl& an effort for hi to spea'.;I had a little flas' of !rand& that I carried for eer$encies" and I ade hi drin' a little. Itseeed to re(i(e hi soe.

    ; 50or God5s sa'e turn !ac'"5 he said. 5There are not enou$h of &ou. The&5ll $et &ou as the& $ot eore than t%ent& &ears a$o" and &ou can5t $et a%a& + &ou can5t escape. After all these &ears Ithou$ht I sa% & chance) and I tried it. 6ut &ou see: The&5(e $ot e. I5 d&in$. His po%er: Hesends it after &ou" and it $ets &ou. Go !ac' and $et a !i$ force of %hite en + !lac's %on5t coeinto this countr&. Get a !i$ force and $et into the countr& of the 3a4i. If &ou can 'ill hi &ou5ll !e allri$ht. He is the po%er" he alone.5; 5/ho do &ou ean !& ;he;

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    illion. =es" 2ountford told us a!out it) and after that Troll and Spi'e %ere 'een on $ettin$ intothis 3a4i countr&" hopin$ to steal the diaond. Nothin$ 2ountford said could deter the. 6ut afterall it ade no difference. /e couldn5t ha(e turned !ac' if %e5d %anted to.;;And 2ountford

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    people are. Seein$ so uch of her and !ein$ near her !ro'e do%n & re(ulsion for her cruelties)so that I %as al%a&s entall& a'in$ e#cuses for her. And all the tie I 'ept on lo(in$ her oreand ore" until finall& I told her.;She loo'ed at e for a lon$ tie %ithout sa&in$ a %ord. I didn5t 'no% %hether she %as sore ornot. If &ou 'ne% %hat a !i$ shot the *ueen of the 3a4i is" &ou5d reali,e ho% presuptuous I %as indeclarin$ & lo(e. She5s ore than a *ueen) she5s a sort of deit& that the& %orship + all i#ed up%ith their %orship of the diaond.; 5-o(e"5 she said in a little" lo% (oice. 5-o(e: So that is %hat it is:5;Then she strai$htened up and !ecae suddenl& (er& re$al. 5?o &ou 'no% %hat &ou ha(e done

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    Other%ise" he i$ht ne(er $ain the inforation he sou$ht. He had felt safe fro reco$nition" forhe %as un'no%n in this district.;6& the %a&"; continued /ood. ;=ou ha(e not told e &our nae. I ha(e seen so an&un!elie(a!le thin$s since I cae into this countr& that not e(en the si$ht of an e(identl& hi$hl&ci(ili,ed an %anderin$ alost na'ed and alone in a %ilderness surprised e as uch as itother%ise i$ht ha(e. Of course" I don5t %ant to pr& into &our affairs" !ut naturall& & curiosit& isaroused. I %onder %ho &ou are and %hat &ou are doin$ here.; He stopped suddenl& and loo'edintentl& at Tar,an. His e&es re$istered suspicion and a shado% of fear. ;Sa&:; he e#claied. ;?id2af'a send &ou< Are &ou one of his + his creatures

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    an.?isissin$ the atter fro his ind" he stretched and fell asleep.The sun %as half a hand + !readth a!o(e the hori,on %hen /ood a%o'e. He %as alone. Thestran$e %hite an had disappeared./ood %as not $reatl& surprised. There %as no reason %h& this stran$er should %ait and !e!urdened !& a an he did not 'no%" !ut he felt that he i$ht at least ha(e %aited until he %asa%a'e !efore desertin$ hi and lea(in$ hi pre& for the first lion or leopard that i$ht chance topic' up his scent.

    And then there %as 2af'a. The thou$ht aroused *uestions in the ind of the Aerican. 2i$ht notthis fello% %ho called hiself Cla&ton !e a tool of the a$ician of the 3a4i< The (er& fact that hedenied that he had heard an& stran$e sounds or sensed an& unusual presence lent color to thissuspicion. He ust ha(e heard) he ust ha(e sensed. Then %h& did he den& ituli %ere one tri!e %ith t%oedicine + en" or %itch + doctors" or %hate(er &ou i$ht call the. One %as 2af'a" the other%as a chap called /oora.;ealous& arose !et%een the t%o" causin$ a schis. 2e!ers of the tri!e too' sides" and there%as a !attle. ?urin$ the fracas" /oora s%iped one of the hol& fetishes and !eat it" tellin$ soe of

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    his follo%ers %here he %as $oin$ and to 4oin hi %hen the fi$ht %as o(er. =ou see" li'e thepeople %ho cause ci(ili,ed %ars" he %as not ta'in$ part in it personall&.;/ell" it sees that this other fetish that he lifts is the copleent of the $reat diaond" theGonfal" of the 3a4i. United" their po%er is supree) !ut separated" that of each is $reatl& reduced.So the 3a4i and the >uli are often !attlin$" each see'in$ to o!tain possession of the fetish of theother.;It %as the stories of the raids and s'irishes and !attles for these pri,es" as told e !& Gonfalaand others of the 3a4i" that $a(e e the hunch that these ladies are prett& ean %arriors. Soeof the &arns I5(e heard %ere sure tall) !ut the scars of old %ounds on ost of the sort of !earthe out" as do the $risl& trophies that han$ fro the outer %alls of Gonfala5s palace + theshri(eled heads of %oen" suspended !& their lon$ hair.;An interestin$ feature of the stor& is the description of the fetish of the >uli + a $reen stone aslar$e as the Gonfal and as !rilliant. It $listens li'e an eerald) !ut" hol& cats: Thin' of an eerald%ei$hin$ si# thousand carats: That %ould !e soethin$ %orth !attlin$ for" and the& don5t 'no%the (alue of it.;;?o &ouATION that the Aerican had $one there cae to Tar,an a fuller reali,ation ofthe potenc& of 2af'a5s necroanc&) for he did not for a oent dou!t that it %as the influence ofthe 3a4i a$ician that had forced the desertion of the un%illin$ /ood.The ape + an conceded adiration to the cunnin$ and the po%er that had stolen the an frohi" for he had ta'en particular pains to circu(ent 4ust such a possi!ilit&. /hen the& had laindo%n to sleep" Tar,an had fastened one end of his $rass rope securel& to an an'le of the an he

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    had ta'en under his protection and the other end to one of his o%n %rists) !ut that upon %hich hehad depended ost %as his o%n preternatural 'eenness of sense %hich ordinaril& functionedonl& a little less acti(el& %hen he slept than %hen he %as a%a'e.That /ood had !een a!le to free hiself and escape could ha(e !een due to no po%ers of hiso%n) !ut ust ha(e !een attri!uta!le solel& to the supernatural achinations of 2af'a"constitutin$ in the e&es of the ape + an a direct challen$e to his o%n pro%ess.Perhaps this oti(ated hi in part" !ut it %as also a desire to sa(e the &oun$ Aerican fro anun'no%n fate that propted hi to turn !ac' in pursuit.He did not follo% the !ac' trail to the 2afa Ri(er" !ut struc' out in a south + easterl& direction intothe ountainous countr& that fors an alost ipre$na!le protection for the stron$hold of the3a4i.?eep $or$es and precipitous cliffs retarded the pro$ress of the ape + an) so that it %as o(erthree da&s !efore he reached his o!4ecti(e a point near the head%aters of the 2afa a full da&5sarch to the east of the Cit& of 3a4i.He had foreseen that 2af'a i$ht e#pect hi to follo% /ood" %hich %ould offer the a$ician anopportunit& to ha(e Tar,an %a&laid and destro&ed at soe point upon the trail %here he %ould !ehelpless a$ainst the onslau$ht of a %ell+placed detachent of 3a4i %arrior + %oen) and so hehad elected to coe upon 3a4i fro an une#pected direction and depend upon his anialcunnin$ and his $reat stren$th and a$ilit& to carr& hi into the (er& presence of the ali$n po%erthe destruction of %hich appeared to !e the onl& eans %here!& /ood and his copanions

    i$ht !e set at li!ert& peranentl&.6ut a!o(e all" his success depended upon the (erit& of his con(iction that he %as iune to thesupernatural po%ers of 2af'a) thou$h upon this point there %as one thin$ that trou!led hi) itseeed to hi that 2af'a ust ha(e 'no%n of his !efriendin$ of /ood. The (er& fact that he hadta'en /ood fro hi su$$ested that. =et this i$ht ha(e !een accoplished !& eans of spies"%hich the Aerican had specificall& stated %ere eplo&ed !& the 3a4i. There %as also thepossi!ilit& that 2af'a5s po%er o(er his (ictis %as so $reat that he could read their inds e(en at$reat distances and thus see throu$h their e&es the thin$s that the& sa%) so that %hile Tar,an had!een in the copan& of the Aerican" 2af'a had !een as %ell a%are of hi and his acti(ities asthou$h he had !een present in person) !ut %hen /ood %as no lon$er %ith hi" the a$iciancould not e#ercise his telepathic sur(eillance o(er hi. This %as the preise upon %hich the ape+ an !ased his strate$&.It %as late in the afternoon of the third da& after /ood5s disappearance that Tar,an paused upon

    a loft& ountain rid$e and sur(e&ed the countr& a!out hi. In a can&on !elo% and to the south ofhi raced a tur!ulent ountain strea. /ith his e&es he follo%ed its eanderin$s to%ard the%est %here" in the di and ha,& distance" he sa% a cleft in the serried ran$e that he 'ne% ust!e the $or$e of the 2afa leadin$ do%n to its confluence %ith the Neu!ari.He stood" then" near the head%aters of the forer strea !et%een the countries of the 3a4i andthe >uli.

    A %est %ind !le% $entl& fro the lo%er countr& to%ard the suit of the ran$e" carr&in$ to thenostrils of the apean e(idence of thin$s unseen + of Ton$ani the !a!oon" Sheeta the leopard" ofthe red %olf" and the !uffalo) !ut of the east he had no 'no%led$e e#cept that %hich his e&es andhis ears furnished) and so" facin$ the %est" he %as una%are of the e&es that %atched hi fro!ehind the suit of the rid$e a!o(e hi" e&es that disappeared %hen the ape + an turned intheir direction.There %ere a do,en pairs of the" and their o%ners fored a otle& cre% of un'ept" sa(a$e

    %arriors. Of the" se(en %ere !earded %hite en and fi(e %ere !lac's. All %ere siilarl& $ar!edin %ell %orn loin + cloths of the s'ins of %ild !easts. The& carried !o%s and arro%s and short"hea(& spears) and all the !lac's and soe of the %hites %ore !ar!aric ornaents + nec'laces ofthe teeth of anials and arlets and an'lets. Upon their !ac's %ere sall shields of the hide ofthe !uffalo.The& %atched Tar,an as he descended into the $or$e of the 2afa and sla'ed his thirst. The& sa%hi ta'e a piece of eat fro his *ui(er and eat" and e(er& o(e that he ade the& %atched.Soeties the& spo'e to$ether in lo% %hispers that could not carr& a$ainst the %ind to the earsof the apean.One" %ho seeed to !e the leader" spo'e ost often. He %as a %hite an %hose !ro%n hair had

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    $re&ed at the teples and %hose !eard %as strea'ed %ith $re&. He %as %ell !uilt" %ith the hardleanness of the athlete. His forehead and his e&es denoted intelli$ence. His copanions calledhi -ord.Tar,an %as tired. 0or three da&s he had scaled cliffs and cra$s" descended into a!&sses" andcla!ered to loft& suits) and the pre(ious ni$ht his rest had !een !ro'en !& huntin$ leopardsthat had cau$ht his scent and stal'ed hi. He had 'illed one that had attac'ed hi) !ut othershad 'ept hi constantl& on the alert" precludin$ the possi!ilit& of continued rest.The sun %as still an hour hi$h %hen he la& do%n to sleep !ehind a !ush on the slope a!o(e the2afa. That he %as do$ + tired ust account for that %hich follo%ed" for ordinaril& nothin$ couldha(e approached %ithout arousin$ hi./hen he did a%a'en" it %as still da&li$ht) and a do,en %arriors fored a close circle a!out hi"the points of their spears directed at his unprotected !od&. He loo'ed up into the sa(a$e"unfriendl& e&es of a !lac' an) then he $lanced *uic'l& around the circle and noted thecoposition of the $roup. He did not spea'. He sa% that he %as outnu!ered and a capti(e.Under the circustances there %as nothin$ that he could sa& that %ould ser(e hi an& purpose.His silence and his coposure set his captors a!ac'. The& had e#pected hi to sho% fear ande#citeent. He did neither. He 4ust la& there and appraised the throu$h stead&" $re& e&es.;/ell" 3a4i"; said -ord at last" ;%e5(e $ot &ou.;The truth of the stateent %as too o!(ious to re*uire coent) so Tar,an reained silent. He%as interested less in %hat the an said than in the lan$ua$e in %hich he said it. The fello%

    appeared definitel& An$lo + Sa#on" &et he spo'e a !astard ton$ue the !ase of %hich %as Galla!ut so interi#ed %ith other ton$ues that it %ould ha(e !een unintelli$i!le to one less (ersed in

    African dialect and European lan$ua$es than Tar,an. In his !rief speech" that could !e translatedinto si# En$lish %ords" he had used as an& ton$ues.-ord shifted his %ei$ht fro one foot to the other. ;/ell" 3a4i"; he said after a !rief silence" ;%hatha(e &ou $ot to sa&

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    all of the" !ut especiall& the %oen" e(inced considera!le interest in Tar,an as -ord led hithrou$h the (illa$e.;Ai" 3a4i:; the& &elled at hi. ;=ou %ill soon !e dead" 3a4i.;;It is too !ad he is a 3a4i"; shouted one %oan. ;He %ould a'e a fine hus!and.;;Perhaps /oora %ill $i(e hi to &ou"; !antered another" ;%hen he $ets throu$h %ith hi.;;He %ill !e no $ood for a hus!and then. I do not %ant lion eat for a hus!and.;;I hope /oora feeds hi to the lions ali(e. /e ha(e had no $ood sport since !efore the lastrains.;;He %ill not turn this one to the lions. The fello% has too $ood a head. He loo's as thou$h hei$ht ha(e !rains" and /oora ne(er %astes $ood !rains on the lions.;Throu$h this !arra$e of coent" -ord led his capti(e to the entrance to the !i$ !uildin$ thatdoinated the (illa$e. At its portals %ere a do,en %arrior + %oen" !arrin$ entrance. One of thead(anced to eet -ord" the point of her spear dropped to the le(el of the an5s a!doen.-ord halted. ;Tell /oora that %e !rin$ a 3a4i prisoner"; he said.The %oan turned to one of her %arriors. ;Tell /oora that -ord !rin$s a 3a4i prisoner"; shedirected) then her e&es tra(elled o(er the ape + an appraisin$l&.;A $ood specien" ehuli + curiosit& and the hope that he i$ht learn soethin$ ofad(anta$e fro these eneies of the 3a4i that %ould aid hi in freein$ the t%o Aericans andtheir copanions fro capti(it& and releasin$ the peranentl& fro the ali$n po%er of 2af'a.

    As he %aited !efore the entrance to the palace of /oora he decided that he %as rather en4o&in$the ad(enture. The fran' appraisal of -orro aused hi. The idea of a %oan fi$htin$ forpossession of hi appealed to his sense of huor. At the tie he did not 'no% e#actl& %hat the%oan5s %ords connoted" !ut he ade a shre%d $uess !ased on %hat /ood had told hi of thecustos of the 3a4i.Indifferentl& he appraised the %oan. She i$ht ha(e !een an octoroon" or she i$ht ha(e !eena %hite %oan %ith a coat of tan. Her features %ere not Ne$roid. E#cept for her dar' hair she

    i$ht ha(e passed easil& for a Scandina(ian. She %as a %ell+fored %oan of a!out thirt&" cleanli!ed and %ith the uscular contours of an athlete rendered $raceful !& feininit&. Her features%ere $ood" and !& an& ci(ili,ed standards she %ould ha(e !een accounted a handsoe %oan.The ape + an5s reflections upon the su!4ect %ere interrupted !& the return of the %arrior -orrohad sent to ad(ise /oora of -ord5s return %ith a prisoner.;-ord is to ta'e the 3a4i to /oora"; she announced. ;See that the prisoner !ears no %eapons" thathis hands are tied !ehind hi" and that a stron$ $uard accopanies hi and -ord + a $uard of%oen.;/ith si# of her %arriors" -orro escorted -ord and his prisoner into the palace" a palace onl& !&(irtue of its !ein$ occupied !& a ruler + a palace !& courtes&" one i$ht sa&.The& entered a $loo& hall li$hted dil& !& a !urnin$ %ic' in a shallo% potter& dish" a priiti(ecresset that $a(e forth ore soot than li$ht. Upon either side of the corridor %ere door%a&s"across ost of %hich %ere dra%n han$in$s fashioned fro the pelts of anials" ostl& !uffaloes.

    One unco(ered door%a& re(ealed a cha!er in %hich a nu!er of %arrior + %oen %erecon$re$ated. Soe la& on lo%" s'in + co(ered cots) others s*uatted in a circle upon the floorintent upon soe $ae the& %ere pla&in$. The %alls of the roo %ere hun$ %ith spears andshields and !o%s and arro%s. It %as e(identl& a $uard + roo. ust !e&ond it" the corridor ended!efore a assi(e door $uarded !& t%o %arriors.It %as e(ident that the $uards %ere e#pectin$ the part& and had recei(ed their instructions" for asthe& approached the doors %ere s%un$ open for the to enter.Tar,an sa% !efore hi a lar$e roo at the far end of %hich a fi$ure %as seated upon a dais. T%oscore or ore of so'in$ cressets li$hted the interior" re(ealin$ %alls hun$ %ith a stran$e arra&of s'ins" %eapons" ru$s" sil's" calicoes + a (erita!le useu" Tar,an con4ectured" of the loot of

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    an& a safari) !ut !& far the ost outstandin$ and ipressi(e feature of the decorations %as thefrie,e of huan heads that encircled the cha!er + the uified heads of %oen" han$in$ !&their lon$ hair" %hile fro the so'e + dar'ened !eas of the ceilin$ depended a hundred ore.These thin$s the e&es of the ape + an too' in in a s%eepin$ $lance) then the& returned to thedais and the fi$ure upon it. A score of %oen %arriors flan'ed the dais %here the lone fi$ure satupon a hu$e throne chair.

    At first $lance Tar,an sa% onl& an enorous head thatched %ith scra$$l& $re& hair) and then"!elo% the head" a shri(elled !od& that %as ostl& a!doen + a hideousl& repulsi(e fi$ure" na'ed!ut for a loin cloth. The s'in of the face and head %ere dra%n li'e &ello% parchent o(er the!ones of the s'ull + a li(in$ death5s head in %hich %ere set t%o deep" $lo%in$ e&es thatsouldered and !urned as t%in pits of Hell. And Tar,an 'ne% that he %as in the presence of/oora.On a ta!le directl& in front of the a$ician rested an enorous eerald that reflected the li$htsfro the nearer cressets and shot the !ac' in scintillant ra&s that filled the apartent %ith theiruncann& li$ht.6ut it %as the an rather than the eerald that interested Tar,an. /oora %as no !lac' an" &et it%as difficult to deterine to %hat race he i$ht !elon$. His s'in %as &ello%" &et his features %erenot those of a Chinese. He i$ht ha(e !een alost an&thin$.0or se(eral inutes he sat starin$ at Tar,an after the latter %as halted !efore the dais. Graduall&an e#pression of pu,,leent and frustration o(erspread his face) then he spo'e.

    ;Ho% is & !rotheruli

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    /hen the $uard had closed and !olted the door and departed" Tar,an %al'ed to the %indo% andloo'ed out. The oon had risen and the li$ht clouds that had o(ercast the s'& earlier in the ni$hthad disappeared.In the soft $lo% of the ni$ht li$ht" the ape + an sa% a %alled copound directl& !eneath the%indo%) and in the shado% of the %all soethin$ that %as unreco$ni,a!le !& si$ht" &et Tar,an'ne% %hat it %as fro the scent that rose to his nostrils. He too' hold of the !ars and testedthe) then he turned !ac' and faced -ord.;If &ou had as'ed e"; he said" ;I should ha(e told &ou that I %as not a 3a4i) then &ou %ouldn5tha(e !een in this ess.;-ord shoo' his head. ;It %as onl& an e#cuse to 'ill e"; he said. ;/oora has !een %aitin$ for one.He is afraid of e. The en are ore iportant here than the& are in the 3a4i countr&. /e areallo%ed to !ear ars and !e %arriors. That is !ecause /oora 'no%s that %e cannot escape" asthe onl& route to the outer %orld lies throu$h the countr& of the 3a4i. The& %ould a'e sla(es ofus or 'ill us.;/oora has heard that soe of the en ha(e !anded to$ether for the purpose of escapin$. Theplan included assassinatin$ /oora and stealin$ the $reat eerald" %hich is supposed to !e thesource of his a$ic po%er. /ith this eerald" %hich 2af'a cra(es ore than an&thin$ in the%orld" %e hoped to !ri!e our %a& throu$h and out of the 3a4i countr&.;/oora !elie(es that I a the insti$ator of the plot" and so he %ants to destro& e. Of course" hecould do that at an& tie he %ishes" !ut he is a %il& old de(il and is tr&in$ to hide the fact that he

    has an& suspicions. In this %a& he hopes to trap all of the plotters e(entuall&" 'illin$ the one !&one on one prete#t or another.;;Ho% can &ou 'no% so uch of his plansuli a& (er&pro!a!l& ha(e caused this to !e true) so if either 2af'a or /oora %ere depri(ed of his stone hispo%er %ould !e lost. 6ut 'illin$ the %ould a'e it surer. /e %ere ta'in$ no chances) %e %ere$oin$ to 'ill /oora. 6ut no%" as far as I a concerned" the drea is o(er. I5ll $o to the lions) &ou5ll!e tortured to death.;

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    ;/h& the difference

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    each of the %hites is arried to an&%here fro se(en to a do,en >uli %oen !ecause there areso fe% of us) so the hei$ht of the a!ition of e(er& >uli is to ha(e a hus!and of her o%n.;;/h& don5t the& 'ill /oora thesel(es" then

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    ;2a&!e" !ut let5s %ait and see.; He thre% the other le$ o(er the sill) then he turned upon his !ell&.In his ri$ht hand %as one of the hea(& !ars he had ta'en fro the %indo%. Cautiousl&" silentl&" heslipped do%n until he hun$ fro the sill !& one hand.-ord %atched hi" !reathless. He sa% the fin$ers slip $raduall& fro their hold on the sill) then heloo'ed out. The an had ali$hted erect and then turned li'e li$htnin$ to face the panther" !ut the!east had not o(ed. It still slept.Tar,an crept to%ard it" silent as the shado% of Usha the %ind. The ape + an had co(ered halfthe distance to the panther %hen the !east a%o'e) then" !efore it could $ather its %its the anleaped to%ard it.In the %indo% a!o(e" -ord held his !reath. He could not !ut adire the coura$e of his fello%prisoner" !ut he thou$ht hi foolhard&. ust then the panther char$ed.

    Chapter F. Trapped.O0 A-- THE cats none !ears so e(il a reputation as the panther. His ferocit& is pro(er!ial" his%iliness uncann&" the force and fur& of his attac' deoniacal. 6ut all these thin$s the ape + an'ne% and %as prepared for. He had %ei$hed his chances %ith the panther a$ainst his chances%ith /oora" and he had chosen the lesser of t%o e(ils first in the !elief that thus he i$ht ridhiself of !oth. And no% in a fe% seconds his 4ud$ent %ould !e (indicated" or he %ould !edead.The !lac' !east char$ed %ith all the fur& of its 'ind" and it char$ed in silence. No $ro%ls distur!ed

    the deathl& still ness of the ni$ht. A serene oon loo'ed do%n upon the (illa$e of the >uli" and!e&ond the confines of the copound there %as no %arnin$ of death.-ord loo'ed do%n upon the s%ift tra$ed& %ith soethin$ of contept for the stupidit& that %ouldperit a an to thro% his life a%a& uselessl&" and fro another %indo% t%o deep + set" $lo%in$e&es %atched a!o(e snarlin$ lips + %atched fro the %indo% of the roo that %as /oora5s.Graspin$ the hard%ood rod in !oth hands" Tar,an s%un$ it a!o(e his head in a $reat circle thatstarted lo% at his ri$ht side" tiin$ it to the fraction of a second so that it et the panther %ith itsfull oentu" !ac'ed !& the stren$th of the ape + an5s $iant the%s" at the hei$ht of the !east5sspeed.0ull upon the fierce" flat s'ull it fell !efore the protracted talons or !ared fan$s could reach theflesh of the panther5s intended pre&. There %as the sound of splinterin$ %ood and !one" the thudof the hea(& !od& upon the hard $round" then silence.-ord dre% in his !reath in a *uic' $asp. Althou$h he had seen the thin$ %ith his o%n e&es" he

    could scarcel& !elie(e. The e&es at /oora5s %indo% %ere filled %ith a sudden fear + %ith fear andcunnin$. The& %atched intentl& to see %hat the ne#t o(e of the stran$e prisoner %ould !e.Tar,an placed a foot upon the carcass of his 'ill and raised his face to Goro the 2oon. ust for aninstant he stood thus" !ut no (ictor& cr& of the !ull ape shoc'ed the silence of the ni$ht to %arnhis eneies that he %as a!road. Then he o(ed in the direction of the %indo% that opened intothe roo of /oora" the a$ician) and as he did so" the e&es receded into the dar'ness of theinterior.The ape + an paused at the open %indo% %hile his ears and his nostrils searched the dar'cha!er. His ears heard a faint rustlin$ sound as of the scuffin$ of sandaled feet upon a floor andthe alost silent closin$ of a door. His nostrils cau$ht clearl& the scent of /oora.Placin$ a hand upon the sill" Tar,an (aulted silentl& into the roo. He stood in silence" listenin$"in one hand the splintered reains of the hard%ood rod. He heard no sound" not e(en the faintestsound of !reathin$ that his ears %ould ha(e detected had there !een another in the roo. He

    concluded" then" that /oora had seen hi coin$ and that the sli$ht noises he had heard had!een caused !& the a$ician5s departure. No% he ust !e dou!l& on his $uard.-ord had told hi that there %ere three roos in /oora5s suite. There %as also the throne + rooad4oinin$. To %hich roo had the an fled< Had he $one to suon help< This %as pro!a!le"&et Tar,an heard no sound to indicate that an&one %as coin$.The faint oonli$ht dissipated !ut sli$htl& the dar'ness of the roo" &et it %as enou$h for the'een e&es of the ape + an as the& !ecae accustoed to the $loo. He ad(anced noiselessl&into the apartent" and presentl& he sa% a door in the %all !efore hi and another at his ri$ht.The latter" he 4ud$ed" ust lead into the throne + roo. He approached the other and found thelatch.

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    Noiselessl& he pulled the door to%ard hi" 'eepin$ partiall& !ehind it to shield hiself fro asurprise !lo% or a issile. The roo %as dar' as a poc'et. He listened intentl& !ut heard nothin$.His nostrils told hi that /oora had !een there recentl&" !ut his ears assured hi that he had$one + pro!a!l& into the farthest apartent.He stepped into the roo" !ent upon searchin$ the ne#t and last. He 'ne% that /oora had coethis %a& and that he %ould find hi !e&ond the ne#t door. He felt soethin$ !eneath his feet thatfelt li'e cords laid upon the floor. Instantl& he %as suspicious + the suspicion of the %ild anialthat senses a trap.He started to retreat to the roo he had 4ust *uitted + !ut too late. Cords spran$ up around hi.The& pulled at hi and tripped hi" so that he fell. Then he felt the closin$ and ti$htenin$ a!outhi. He stru$$led to escape the" !ut the& %ere e(er&%here. He %as entan$led in a esh ofcords.The door of the third roo opened lettin$ in li$ht. In the door%a& stood /oora" a cresset in hishand. His death5s head face %as contorted in a snarlin$ $rin. 6ehind the a$ician" Tar,an cau$hta $lipse of a roo that i$ht ha(e !een the la!orator& of a edie(al alcheist !ut for the $risl&arra& of huan heads that depended fro the !eas of the ceilin$.The apartent %as li$hted !& se(eral cressets" and upon a ta!le in the center la& the $reateerald of the >uli" radiatin$ its %eird and !aleful li$ht" so that the entire cha!er %as filled %itha seein$l& palpa!le essence that %as" in soe %a&" &steriousl& ali$n.;=ou court an earlier and ore horri!le death than %e had planned for &ou"; s*uea'ed /oora.

    The ape + an ade no repl&. He %as e#ainin$ the trap that had cau$ht hi. It %as a hea(& netof ra%hide the outh of %hich could !e pulled fro the floor and closed !& a cord that ranthrou$h a !loc' dependin$ fro a ceilin$ !ea and thence throu$h a hole near the ceilin$ intothe roo %here /oora had %aited to snare his pre&. It %as plain to Tar,an that this roo %asde(oted solel& to the purposes of the net" forin$ the a$ician5s final protection a$ainst anassassin %ho sou$ht his life.In this he %as onl& partiall& ri$ht" as pre(iousl& all of its (ictis had !een in(ited to his innerostsanctu !& the a$ician and" rendered helpless in the net" easil& urdered. Toni$ht it ser(ed ane% purpose.Satisfied %ith the success of his strate$& in lurin$ the stran$er to this roo" /oora %as in apleasant frae of ind. The fear and the an$er had left his e&es. He sur(e&ed the ape + an %ithinterest.;=ou intri$ue e"; he said. ;I shall 'eep &ou here for a %hile to e#aine &ou. Perhaps &ou %ill $et

    hun$r& and thirst&" !ut one %ho is shortl& to die has no need of food or drin'. 6ut &ou shall %atche eat and drin'" and &ou shall editate upon the (arious slo% and torturin$ deaths that ana& die. I proise &ou that I shall select soethin$ no(el and protracted for &ou" if onl& toa(en$e the 'illin$ of & pet + the one creature in all the %orld that I reall& lo(ed. =ou shall diean& deaths for that and not a fe% for see'in$ to destro& e or steal the $reat eerald. I do not'no% %hich &ou planned doin$" nor do I care. Either %arrants the direst punishent of %hich Ican concei(e.;In the eantie" I shall sho% &ou that /oora can !e 'ind e(en to an ene&. It is %ell for &outhat I a neither cruel nor (indicti(e. I %ould sa(e &ou fro unnecessar& sufferin$" fro entalan$uish induced !& the si$ht of horri!le or su$$esti(e o!4ects. /atch e closel&.;

    As he ceased spea'in$ he stepped into the ad4oinin$ roo %here he !usied hiself li$htin$ thecharcoal in a !ra,ier. It too' soe tie to produce a hot fire) !ut %hen this %as accoplished" hefetched a lon$ etal rod %ith a sharpened point and a %ooden handle. The point he inserted

    aon$ the hot coals) then he turned his attention once ore to the apean.;The huan heads upon the %alls of & apartent" the paraphernalia of & profession" thepreparations that I ust a'e for &our torture and death) the si$ht of these thin$s %ould pro(eost depressin$ to &ou and add unnecessaril& to &our sufferin$) therefore I a $oin$ to !urn out&our e&es so that &ou cannot see the:;

    And &et the ape + an did not spea'. His le(el $a,e reained fi#ed upon the repulsi(e fi$ure ofthe old a$ician and the %eird settin$ in %hich he %rou$ht his (illainies" all !athed in the unhol&$reen li$ht of the $reat eerald. /hat his thou$hts %ere onl& he 'ne%" !ut it is safe to assuethat the& %ere not of death + not of his o%n death. Pro!a!l& the& %ere of escape. He tested thestren$th of the ra%hide net. It $a(e" !ut it did not !rea'.

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    /oora sa% hi and lau$hed. ;A !ull elephant could not !rea' that"; he said. /ith his $rotes*uehead coc'ed upon one side he stared intentl& at his (icti. The lau$h died on his lips" lea(in$ asnarl. He %as an$r& !ecause the ape + an sho%ed no fear. He loo'ed to the iron" utterin$ andu!lin$ to hiself. It had $ro%n hot) the point $lo%ed.;Ta'e a last loo'" & $uest"; cac'led /oora" ;for after a oent &ou %ill ne(er a$ain seean&thin$.; He %ithdre% the iron fro the coals and approached his prisoner.The strands of the net closed snu$l& a!out the ape + an" confinin$ his ars) so that thou$h hecould o(e the" he could o(e the neither *uic'l& nor far. He %ould ha(e difficult& indefendin$ hiself a$ainst the $lo%in$ point of the iron rod./oora cae close and raised the red + hot iron to the le(el of Tar,an5s e&es) then he 4a!!edsuddenl& at one of the. The (icti %arded off the searin$ point fro its intended tar$et. Onl& hishand %as !urned. A$ain and a$ain /oora 4a!!ed) !ut al%a&s Tar,an succeeded in sa(in$ hise&es" &et at the e#pense of his hands and forears.

    At his repeated failures to !lind his (icti" /oora !ecae con(ulsed %ith ra$e. He screaed andcursed as he danced a!out" foain$ at the outh) then" *uite suddenl&" he $ained control ofhiself. He carried the iron !ac' to the !ra,ier and inserted it aon$ the coals) then he steppedto another part of the roo that %as not in line %ith the door%a&" and therefore outside the ran$eof Tar,an5s (ision. He %as $one for !ut a oent" and %hen he returned he carried a rope in hishand.He %as chuc'lin$ a$ain as he approached Tar,an. ;The iron %ill !e hotter this tie"; he said"

    ;and this tie it %ill reach &our e&es.;He passed the rope around the net and Tar,an and ade a slip noose and dre% it ti$ht) then he%al'ed around and around the ape + an" !indin$ his hands and his ars %ith an& coils of ropeuntil Tar,an had no use of the for protection.No% he %ent to the !ra,ier and %ithdre% the iron. It $lo%ed stran$el& red in the %eird $reen li$htof the cha!er. /ith it" /oora crept slo%l& to%ard his (icti as thou$h he %ere tr&in$ to prolon$the a$on& of suspense) !ut Tar,an $a(e no e(idence of fear. He 'ne% that he %as helpless" andhe a%aited the ine(ita!le %ith stoic indifference.Suddenl& /oora %as sei,ed !& another spas of fur&. ;=ou pretend that &ou are not afraid"; hescreaed" ;!ut I5ll a'e &ou shrie' for erc& &et. 0irst the ri$ht e&e:; And he cae for%ard a$ain"holdin$ the red point on a le(el %ith the ape + an5s e&es.Tar,an heard the door !ehind hi open. He sa% /oora shrin' !ac'" a ne% e#pression of fur& %ritupon his face) then a an leaped past hi carr&in$ a stout %ooden !ar in his hand. It %as -ord.

    /oora turned to flee into the ne#t apartent" !ut -ord o(ertoo' hi" stri'in$ hi a $lancin$ !lo%on the head %ith the rod. The a$ician turned then and sou$ht to defend hiself %ith the hotiron. He screaed for erc& and for help) !ut there %as no erc& in -ord5s attac'" and no helpcae./ieldin$ the rod in !oth hands" the En$lishan struc' the iron fro /oora5s hand" !rea'in$ thear at the %rist) then he s%un$ it a$ain furiousl&" crashin$ full on the $rotes*ue s'ull) and %ith asplinterin$ and crushin$ of !one /oora san' to the floor" dead.-ord turned to Tar,an. ;A close call"; !e said.;=es" a (er& close call. I shall not for$et it.;;I sa% &ou 'ill the panther"; continued -ord. ;2& %ord: I5d ne(er ha(e thou$ht it possi!le. Then I%aited. I didn5t 'no% 4ust %hat to do. Presentl& I coenced to %orr&) I 'ne% %hat a %il& old de(il/oora %as) so I follo%ed &ou" and it %as a $ood thin$ that I did.;/hile he tal'ed" the En$lishan found a 'nife and cut the !onds and the net that held the ape +

    an) then the t%o en e#ained the contents of the inner roo. There %as a sall furnace inone corner" se(eral retorts and test tu!es on a lon$ ta!le" shel(es %ith !ottles and (ials storedupon the" a sall li!rar& of occultis" !lac' a$ic" (oodoois. In a little niche" !efore %hichstood a chair" there %as a cr&stal sphere. 6ut" doinatin$ all" the center of e(er&thin$" %as the$reat eerald.-ord loo'ed at it" spell!ound" fascinated. ;It is %orth o(er t%o illion pounds sterlin$"; he said";and it is ours for the ta'in$: There are still se(eral hours of dar'ness) and it a& !e hours ore"perhaps da&s" !efore an&one disco(ers that /oora is dead and the eerald $one. The& couldne(er o(erta'e us.;;=ou for$et &our friends here"; Tar,an reinded hi.

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    ;An& one of the %ould do the sae if he had the chance"; ar$ued -ord. ;The& %ill ha(e theirfreedo. /e ha(e $i(en the that. The eerald should !e ours.;;=ou ha(e also for$otten the 3a4i. Ho% %ill &ou pass throu$h their countr&

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    !& this tie" all the %oen %arriors %ere aroused and leapin$ to ars.-orro %as the first to reco$ni,e the En$lishan. ;/hat is it" -orduli that the death of /oora %as anept& !eneficence %ithout possession of the eerald that %as to ha(e $i(en the %ealth andindependence in the outer %orld) so that it %as an an$r&" !lood + thirst& o! that pursued the-ord of the un$le throu$h the soft African ni$ht.Plain to the ears of the ape + an cae the sounds of the pursuit" and he $uessed the teper of

    the pursuers. If the& o(ertoo' hi" he could hope for neither (ictor& nor *uarter. There %ere tooan& of the for the one" and the& %ere too an$r& and too sa(a$e to accord the other. Onl& thecunnin$ of the %ild !east that en(ironent and trainin$ had iplanted %ithin hi could a(ail hia$ainst such odds.

    As he trotted alon$ the %indin$ trail that led up the course of the ri(ulet to%ard the di(ide he!ecae acutel& a%are of a presence that he could not see. His acute senses told hi that he%as alone" &et the feelin$ persisted that he %as not alone. Soethin$ o(ed %ith hi" clin$in$as closel& as his shado%. He stopped to listen. The thin$ seeed so near that he should ha(eheard it !reathe" !ut there %as no sound. His 'een nostrils sou$ht a cle% + there %as none.

    As he trotted on he sou$ht to reason out the &ster&. He e(en tried to con(ince hiself that he%as the (icti of a delusion) !ut Tar,an had ne(er had a delusion + he had onl& heard that otherssoeties had the. And al%a&s the presence %as %ith hi" hauntin$ hi li'e a $host.He siled. Perhaps that %as it + the $host of /oora. And then" *uite suddenl& the truth da%ned

    upon hi. It %as the $reat eerald:It seeed ipossi!le" &et it could !e nothin$ else. The &sterious stone had soe *ualit& incoon %ith life + an aura that %as" perhaps" eseric. It %as concei(a!le that it %as this (er&thin$ that had iparted to /oora the occult po%ers that had ade hi so feared" so po%erful.This %ould account in part for the care %ith %hich the stone had !een $uarded.If this %ere true" then the sae conditions i$ht o!tain %ith the Gonfal" the $reat diaond of the3a4i. /ithout it" the po%er of 2af'a %ould !e $one. The ape + an %ondered. He also %onderedif 2af'a5s po%er %ould !e dou!led if he possessed !oth the diaond and the eerald.Ho% %ould these stones affect the po%er of others< ?id the ere possession of one of theipart to an& ortal such po%ers as those %ielded !& /oora and 2af'a< The idea intri$uedTar,an. He let his ind pla& %ith it for a %hile as he trotted up to%ard the di(ide) then he reacheda decision.Turnin$ a!ruptl& to the ri$ht" he left the trail and sou$ht a place of concealent. Presentl& he

    found a $reat !oulder at the foot of the can&on %all. 6ehind it he %ould !e hidden fro the (ie%of an&one passin$ alon$ the trail. Al%a&s cautious" he loo'ed a!out for an a(enue of retreat" ifone !ecae necessar& and sa% that he could scale the can&on side easil&) then he placedhiself !ehind the !oulder and %aited.He heard the >uli coin$ up the trail. The& %ere a'in$ no effort to conceal their presence. It%as e(ident that the& %ere *uite sure that the fu$iti(e could not escape the.No% the head of the colun cae into (ie%. It %as led !& -ord. There %ere o(er fift& en" ostl&%hite" and three or four hundred %arrior + %oen. Tar,an concentrated his efforts on the latter.;Turn !ac': Turn !ac':; he %illed. ;Go !ac' to the (illa$e and sta& there.;The %oen 'ept on alon$ the trail" apparentl& unaffected) &et Tar,an felt the presence of the

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    eerald ore stron$l& than e(er. He raised it fro his side and tore a%a& the s'in in %hich hehad %rapped it. Its polished surface" reflectin$ the oonli$ht" $a(e forth ra&s that en(eloped theape + an in an unearthl& $lo%.

    As his !are hands touched the stone he felt a tin$lin$ in his ars" his !od&" as thou$h a ildelectric current %ere passin$ throu$h hi. He felt a sur$e of ne% po%er + a stran$e" uncann&po%er that had ne(er !efore !een his. A$ain he %illed the %oen to turn !ac'" and no% he 'ne%that the& %ould turn" no% he 'ne% his o%n po%er %ithout *uestion" %ithout a dou!t.The %oen stopped and turned a!out.;/hat5s the atter

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    Tar,an shru$$ed. ;Thin' %hat &ou please"; he said) ;it a'es no difference. No% &ou %ill follo%e"; and thus the& started once ore alon$ the trail that led across the di(ide and do%n into thecountr& of the 3a4i.It %as dus' of the follo%in$ da& %hen" fro a sli$ht einence" Tar,an sa% for the first tie thecit& of 3a4i and the stron$hold of 2af'a. It %as !uilt at the side of a (alle& close to the face of aperpendicular liestone cliff. It appeared to !e a place considera!l& lar$er than the >uli (illa$efro %hich he had 4ust escaped. He stood $a,in$ at it for a fe% oents) then he turned to theen $rouped !ehind hi.;/e ha(e tra(elled far and eaten little"; he said. ;2an& of &ou are tired. It %ill not !e %ell toapproach the cit& until %ell after dar') therefore %e %ill rest.; He too' a spear fro one of the enand dre% a lon$ line upon the $round %ith the sharp point. ;=ou cannot cross this line"; he said";not one of &ou;) then he handed the spear !ac' to its o%ner" %al'ed a short distance a%a& frothe line that he had dra%n !et%een the" and la& do%n. One hand rested upon the $leain$surface of the eerald) thus he slept.The others $lad of an opportunit& to rest" la& do%n iediatel&) and soon all %ere asleep. No"not all. -ord reained a%a'e" his fascinated e&es held !& the faint radiance of the 4e%el thatcon4ured in his ind the fleshpots of ci(ili,ation its %ealth i$ht purchase.?us' passed *uic'l&" and ni$ht cae. The oon had not &et risen" and it %as (er& dar'. Onl& the$reen luinosit& surroundin$ the ape + an relie(ed the St&$ian !lac'ness. In its %eird radiance-ord could see the an he called the 3a4i. He %atched the hand restin$ upon the eerald +

    %atched and %aited) for -ord 'ne% uch of the po%er of the $reat stone and the anner in %hichit %as conferred upon its possessor.He ade plans) soe he discarded. He %aited. Tar,an o(ed in his sleep) his hand slipped frothe face of the eerald) then -ord arose. He $ripped his spear firl& and crept cautiousl& to%ardthe sleepin$ an. Tar,an had not slept for t%o da&s" and he %as sun' in the slu!er ofe#haustion.

    At the line Tar,an had dra%n upon the $round -ord hesitated a oent) then he stepped acrossand 'ne% that the po%er of the eerald had passed fro the stran$er as his hand had slippedfro the stone. 0or an& &ears -ord had %atched /oora" and he 'ne% that al%a&s %hen he%ould force his %ill upon another soe part of his !od& %as in contact %ith the eerald) !ut he!reathed a si$h of relief %ith the confiration of his hope.No% he approached the sleepin$ ape + an" his spear read& in his hand. He cae close andstood silentl& for an instant a!o(e the unconscious sleeper) then he stooped and $athered up the

    eerald.The plan to 'ill Tar,an %as one of those he had discarded. He feared the an i$ht a'e anoutcr& !efore he died and arouse the others) and this did not fit in %ith -ord5s plan" %hich %as topossess the eerald for hiself alone.Creepin$ stealthil& a%a&" -ord disappeared in the ni$ht.

    Chapter . The -eopard Pit.THE APE + 2AN A/O3E %ith a start. The oon %as shinin$ full upon his face. Instantl& he 'ne%that he had slept too lon$. He sensed that soethin$ %as aiss. He felt for the eerald) and%hen he did not feel it" he loo'ed for it. It %as $one. He leaped to his feet and approached thesleepin$ en. A *uic' $lance confired his first suspicion + -ord %as $one:He considered the en. There %ere fift& of the. /ithout the eerald he had no po%er o(erthe) he could not control the. The& %ould !e eneies. He turned a%a& and circled the cap

    until he pic'ed up the scent + spoor of the thief. It %as %here he had e#pected to find it + leadin$do%n the (alle& of the 2afa to%ard the (alle& of the Neu!ari.He did not 'no% ho% uch start -ord had. It i$ht !e as uch as t%o hours) !ut had it !een t%o%ee's" it %ould ha(e !een the sae. No an could escape the -ord of the un$le.Throu$h the ni$ht he follo%ed" the scent + spoor stron$ in his nostrils. The trail $a(e the cit& of the3a4i a %ide !erth. The terrain %as open and sloped $entl&" the oon %as !ri$ht. Tar,an o(eds%iftl&" far ore s%iftl& than -ord.He had !een follo%in$ the En$lishan for perhaps an hour %hen he discerned far ahead a faint"$reenish li$ht. It %as o(in$ a little to the ri$ht of a direct line) and Tar,an 'ne% that" ha(in$passed the cit& of the 3a4i" -ord %as s%in$in$ !ac' onto the direct trail. 6& cuttin$ strai$ht across"

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    the ape + an %ould $ain considera!le distance. As he did so" he increased his speed" o(in$s%iftl&" %ith lon$" eas& strides.He %as $ainin$ rapidl& %hen suddenl& the $round $a(e %a& !eneath his feet and he %asprecipitated into a !lac' hole. He fell on loose earth and slender !ranches that fored a cushion"!rea'in$ the fall) so that he %as not in4ured./hen he re$ained his feet he found that it %as difficult to o(e a!out aon$ the !ranches that$a(e %hen he stepped on the or entan$led his feet if he endea(ored to a(oid the. -oo'in$ up"he sa% the outh of the pit out of reach a!o(e hi. He $uessed its purpose. It %as pro!a!l& aleopard pit" used !& the 3a4i to capture the fierce cats ali(e. And he reali,ed" too" the purpose ofthe loose earth and !ranches that had !ro'en his fall) the& $a(e no fir footin$ fro %hich aleopard could sprin$ to freedo. He loo'ed up a$ain at the pit5s ri. It %as far a!o(e his head. Hedou!ted that a cat could ha(e leaped out of it if there had !een no !ranches on the floor) he %assure that he could not.There %as nothin$ to do !ut %ait. If this %ere a ne% pit" and it loo'ed ne%" the 3a4i %ould !ealon$ %ithin a da& or so) then he %ould !e 'illed or captured. This %as a!out all he had to e#pect.No leopard %ould fall in upon hi no% that the outh of the pit %as no lon$er concealed !& theco(erin$ he had !ro'en throu$h.He thou$ht of -ord and of the har he could do %ere he to reach the outside %orld in possessionof the $reat eerald of the >uli" !ut he did not concern hiself $reatl& on account of his failure too(erta'e the En$lishan. /hat %as" %as. He had done his !est. He ne(er repined) he ne(er

    %orried. He erel& a%aited the ne#t e(ent in life" coposed in the 'no%led$e that %hate(er it%as he %ould eet it %ith natural resources !e&ond those of ordinar& en. He %as note$otistical) he %as erel& *uite sure of hiself.The ni$ht %ore on" and he too' ad(anta$e of it to add to his sleep. His ner(es" uncontainated!& dissipation" %ere not e(en sli$htl& unstrun$ !& his predicaent or !& the iinence of captureor death. He slept.The sun %as hi$h in the hea(ens %hen he a%o'e. He listened intentl& for the sound that hada%a'ened hi. It %as the sound of footfalls carried to hi fro a distance throu$h the ediu ofthe earth. The& cae closer. He heard (oices. So" the& %ere coin$: The& %ould !e surprised%hen the& sa% the leopard the& had trapped.The& cae closer" and he heard the e#clai %ith satisfaction %hen the& disco(ered that theco(erin$ of the pit had !een !ro'en throu$h) then the& %ere at the pit5s ed$e loo'in$ do%n at hi.He sa% the faces of se(eral %arrior %oen and soe en. The& %ere filled %ith astonishent.

    ;A fine leopard:; e#claied one.;2af'a %ill !e $lad to ha(e another recruit.;;6ut ho% did he $et here< Ho% could he pass the $uards at the entrance to the (alle&

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    Tar,an shru$$ed. ;E(identl& I did not coe in that %a&"; he said.;There is no other %a&" I tell &ou"; insisted the %arrior.;6ut I cae in another %a&. I entered the ountains se(eral arches fro here to hunt) that isthe reason I cae do%n fro the east. I hunted in the !ac' countr&" coin$ do%n fro the north.The $oin$ %as rou$h. I %as loo'in$ for an easier %a& to the Neu!ari. No% that I a out of the pit"I5ll $o on & %a&.;;Not so fast"; said the %oan %ho had first addressed hi and %ho had done ost of the tal'in$since. ;=ou are coin$ %ith us. =ou are a prisoner.;;All ri$ht"; conceded the ape + an. ;Ha(e it &our o%n %a& + &ou are ei$ht spears" and I a onl&one 'nife.;Presentl&" Tar,an %as not e(en a 'nife) for the& too' it a%a& fro hi. The& did not !ind hishands !ehind hi" e(idencin$ their contept for the pro%ess of en. Soe of the archedahead" soe !ehind Tar,an and the four other en" as the& started !ac' to%ard the cit& thatcould !e seen in the near distance. At an& tie the ape + an could ha(e ade a !rea' forescape had he %ished to" and %ith the chances $reatl& in his fa(or !ecause of his $reat speed)!ut it pleased hi to $o to the cit& of the 3a4i.His captors tal'ed incessantl& aon$ thesel(es. The& discussed other %oen %ho %ere not%ith the" al%a&s dispara$in$l&) the& coplained of the difficulties the& e#perienced in thedressin$ of their hair) the& copared the cut and fit and *ualit& of the pelts that fored theirloincloths) and each of the e#patiated upon the erits of soe e#ceptionall& rare s'in she

    hoped to ac*uire in the future.The four en archin$ %ith Tar,an sou$ht to en$a$e hi in con(ersation. One %as a S%ede"one a Pole" one a Geran" and one an En$lishan. All spo'e the stran$e ton$ue of the 3a4i + ai#ture of an& ton$ues. Tar,an could understand the" !ut he had difficult& in a'in$ theunderstand hi unless he spo'e in the nati(e ton$ue of the one he chanced to !e tal'in$ to orspo'e in 0rench" %hich he had learned fro d5Arnot !efore he ac*uired a 'no%led$e of En$lish.The S%ede alone understood no 0rench" !ut he spo'e !ro'en En$lish" a lan$ua$e the Geranunderstood !ut not the Pole. Thus a $eneral con(ersation %as rendered difficult. He found iteasier to tal' to the En$lishan" %hose 0rench %as s'etch&" in their coon lan$ua$e.He heard this an addressed as Troll" and recalled that Stanle& /ood had told hi that this %asthe nae of one of their %hite hunters. The an %as short and stal'&" %ith hea(&" stoopedshoulders and lon$ ars that $a(e hi a $orillaes*ue appearance. He %as po%erfull& uscled.Tar,an o(ed closer to hi.

    ;=ou %ere %ith /ood and (an E&'

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    e one ni$ht 5cause I %ished she %as %hite5< /ell that5s it) that5s the ans%er. The& %ant to !e%hite. God onl& 'no%s %h&) no!od& e(er sees 5e !ut us) and %e don5t care %hat color the& are.The& could !e $reen as far as I5 concerned. I5 arried to si# of 5e. The& a'e e do all the%or' %hile the& sit around an5 $a!!le a!out hair and loincloths. God ali$ht&: I hate the si$ht ofhair an5 loincloths. /hen the& ain5t doin5 that the&5re 'noc'in5 hell out o5 soe dae that ain5tthere.;I $ot an old %oan !ac' in En$land. I thou$ht she %as !ad. I run a%a& fro her" an5 loo' %hat I$o into: Si# of e.;Troll 'ept up a runnin$ fire of con(ersation all the %a& to the cit&. He had ore trou!les than thee#chan$e des' in a departent store.The cit& of 3a4i %as %alled %ith !loc's of liestone *uarried fro the cliff a$ainst %hich it %as!uilt. The !uildin$s %ithin the enclosure %ere of liestone also. The& %ere of one and t%o stories"e#cept the palace of 2af'a" %hich rose a$ainst the cliff to a hei$ht of four stories.The palace and the cit& $a(e e(idence of ha(in$ !een lon$ in the !uildin$" soe parts of thepalace and soe of the !uildin$s !elo% it !ein$ far ore %eather + %orn than others. There %ere!lac' en and %hite and %arrior %oen in the streets. A fe% children" all $irls" pla&ed in thesunshine) ilch $oats %ere e(er&%here under foot. These thin$s and an& others the ape + ano!ser(ed as he %as conducted alon$ the ain street to%ard the palace of 2af'a.He heard the %oen discussin$ hi and appraisin$ hi as farers i$ht discuss a pri,e !ull.One of the rear'ed that he should !rin$ a $ood price. 6ut he o(ed on" apparentl& totall&

    o!li(ious of the all.The interior of the palace reinded hi of that of /oora" e#cept that there %as ore and richerstuff here. 2af'a %as nearer the source of suppl&. Here %as the loot of an& safaris. Tar,an%ondered ho% /oora had o!tained an&thin$.The four en had !een disissed %ithin the cit&) onl& the ei$ht %oen accopanied Tar,an intothe palace. The& had !een halted at the hea(il& $uarded entrance and had %aited there %hile%ord %as carried into the interior) then %ith a nu!er of the $uard as escort" the& had !een ledinto the palace.?o%n a lon$ corridor to another $uarded door%a& the& proceeded) then the& %ere ushered into alar$e cha!er. At the far end" a fi$ure crouched upon a throne. At si$ht of hi" Tar,an %asalost surprised into a sho% of eotion + it %as /oora:6eside hi" on another throne + chair" sat a !eautiful $irl. Tar,an assued that this ust !eGonfala" the ueen. 6ut /oora: He had seen the an 'illed !efore his o%n e&es. ?id a$ic $o

    as far as this" that it could resurrect the deaduli. 6oth of 5e: -ord: The& ust !e %orth illions.;He started to touch the" !ut dre% !ac' in terror. He 'ne% the po%er that la& in the" and fearedit.Tar,an dropped o(er the led$e into the fireplace then" and the others follo%ed hi. As the&$athered around 2af'a5s couch" /ood and his copanions %ere speechless %ith astonishent%hen the& sa% the old a$ician l&in$ !ound and helpless.

    ;Ho% did &ou do it

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    The ape + an shoo' his head. ;/e don5t 'no% the teper of the 3a4i %oen. This an ust !esoethin$ of a deit& to the. He represents their po%er + he is their po%er. /ithout hi" the&%ould !e 4ust a tri!e of %oen upon %hich an& other tri!e could pre&. He eans ost to us ali(e"as a hosta$e.;/ood nodded. ;I thin' Cla&ton5s ri$ht.;The discussion %as interrupted !& a cootion in the outer corridor upon %hich the apartentsof 2af'a and Gonfala opened. There %as poundin$ upon the door of 2af'a5s apartent and loudcries for the a$ician.Tar,an turned to Gonfala. ;Call soe %arrior in authorit& and see %hat the& %ant. /e5ll %ait in thene#t roo. Coe:; He otioned the others to follo% hi" and led the %a& into the ad4oinin$apartent.Gonfala crossed the roo and struc' a dru that stood upon the floor near the door%a& leadin$into the corridor. Three ties she struc' it) then she dre% the !olt that secured the door upon theinside. A oent later the door %as s%un$ open" and a %arrior + %oan entered the apartent.She !ent to one 'nee !efore the *ueen.;/hat is the eanin$ of the noise in the corridor< /h& are the& callin$ 2af'a at this hour of theornin$uli are coin$" Gonfala. The& are coin$ to a'e %ar upon us. The& sent a sla(e todeand the return of their $reat eerald. There are an& of the. /e in(o'e the po%er of 2af'ato a'e the >uli %ea' so that %e can 'ill an& of the and dri(e the a%a&.;

    ;The& ha(e no po%er. /oora is dead" and %e ha(e the $reat eerald. Tell the %arriors that I"Gonfala the ueen" coand the to $o out and sla& the >uli.;;The >uli are alread& at the $ates of the cit&. Our %arriors are afraid" for the& ha(e no po%er fro2af'a. /here is 2af'a< /h& does he not ans%er the pra&ers of the 3a4i

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    The throne roo %as ept&. The captains had not &et arri(ed. At Tar,an5s direction" /ood placedthe Gonfal on the stand !eside the throne) Troll and Spi'e seated 2af'a" still !ound" $a$$ed" and!lindfolded" in his chair) Gonfala seated herself in the other. Tar,an stood !eside the ta!le!earin$ the Gonfal. The others stood !ehind the chairs. @an E&' concealed the $reat eerald ofthe >uli !eneath a s'in he too' fro the floor of the dais.In silence the& %aited. All !ut Tar,an %ere tense %ith ner(ousness. Presentl& the& heardapproachin$ footfalls in the corridor leadin$ to the throne roo. The doors %ere s%un$ open" andthe captains of the 3a4i filed in.The& cae %ith heads !ent in re(erence for their *ueen and the $reat po%er of their a$ician./hen the& loo'ed up the& %ere close to the dais. At si$ht of 2af'a the& $a(e (ent to cries ofastonishent and an$er. The& loo'ed at the stran$ers on the dais) then their e&es centered uponthe *ueen.One of the stepped for%ard. ;/hat is the eanin$ of this" Gonfalauli concealed !eneath a %rappin$ of s'in.In the ain street of the cit& a little $roup of !lac' en and %hite a%aited the" suoned !&

    Tar,an throu$h the necroanc& of the Gonfal. The& %ere the sla(es and prisoners of the 3a4i.;/e are lea(in$ this countr&"; he told the) ;an& %ho %ish to a& accopan& us.;;2af'a %ill 'ill us"; o!4ected one.Shrill screas issued fro the interior of the palace onl& to !e dro%ned !& sa(a$e &ells of ra$eand hatred.;2af'a %ill ne(er 'ill a$ain"; said the ape + an.

    Chapter 11. Treacher&.IN PEACE THE= arched throu$h the countr& of the 3a4i under the protection of Tar,an and theGonfal. Those %ho had !een prisoners and sla(es for &ears %ere filled %ith ner(ous

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    apprehension. The& could not !elie(e this iracle that had seein$l& snatched the fro theclutches of the old a$ician %ho had doinated and terrori,ed the for so lon$. 2oentaril&the& e#pected to !e 'illed or dra$$ed !ac' to certain torture and death) !ut nothin$ happened"and the& cae at last to the (alle& of the Neu!ari.;I5ll lea(e &ou here"; said Tar,an. ;=ou %ill !e $oin$ south. I $o north.; He handed the Gonfal to(an E&'. ;3eep it until ornin$) then $i(e it to one of these %oen.; He indicated the three%arrior %oen %ho had accopanied the fro 3a4i) then he turned to the. ;Ta'e the stone!ac') and if an& aon$ &ou can use it" use it for $ood and not for e(il.;/ood" ta'e the $reat eerald of the >uli in trust for Gonfala. I hope it %ill !rin$ her happiness"!ut the chances are that it %ill not. At least" ho%e(er" she need ne(er %ant.;;/here do %e coe in

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    /ood lau$hed. ;=ou 'no%" the sae thou$ht cae to e. Of course" there is no such person) !utthis fello%" Cla&ton" sure %ould fill the !ill.;The !lac' !o& %ho %as coo'in$ for the called the then to the e(enin$ eal. It %as not uch"and the& decided that Spi'e and Troll %ould ha(e to do soe huntin$ the follo%in$ da&.Suddenl& /ood lau$hed + a !it ruefull&. ;/hat %ith

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    ;In a different %a& the& are %orse.;@an E&' stood up and stretched. ;I5 $oin$ to $et soe sleep"; he said. ;=ou t%o5d !etter do thesae thin$. Good ni$ht.;The& said $ood ni$ht to hi and %atched hi $o) then the $irl turned to /ood. ;I a not afraid";she said" ;and &ou ust not !e. /e shall ha(e each other" and as far as I a concerned" no oneelse in the %orld counts.;He too' her hand and stro'ed it. ;I hope &ou %ill al%a&s feel that %a&" dear. It is the %a& I feel + itis the %a& I al%a&s shall.;;Nothin$ %ill e(er coe !et%een us then.; She turned her pal !eneath his and pressed hisfin$ers.0or a little tie lon$er the& tal'ed and planned as lo(ers ha(e fro tie ieorial) and then he%ent to lie do%n at a little distance" and Gonfala to her shelter) !ut she could not sleep. She %astoo happ&. It seeed to her that she could not %aste a oent of that happiness in sleep" loseinutes of rapture that she could not e(er recall.

    After a oent she $ot up and %ent into the ni$ht. The cap slept. The oon had dropped intothe %est" and the $irl %al'ed in the dense shado% of the ancient trees a$ainst %hich the caphad !een ade. She o(ed slo%l& and silentl& in the state of !eatific rapture that %asen$endered not alone !& her lo(e !ut !& the hitherto un'no%n sense of freedo that had coe toher %ith release fro the doination of 2af'a.No lon$er %as she su!4ect to the hated sei,ures of cruelt& and (indicti(eness that she no%

    reali,ed %ere no true characteristics of her o%n !ut states that had !een iposed upon her !&the h&pnotic po%ers of the old a$ician.She shuddered as she recalled hi. Perhaps he %as her father" !ut %hat of it< /hat of a father5slo(e and tenderness had he e(er $i(en her< She tried to for$i(e hi) she tried to thin' a 'indl&thou$ht of hi) !ut no" she could not. She had hated hi in life) in death she still hated hiseor&./ith an effort she shoo' these depressin$ recollections fro her and sou$ht to center herthou$hts on the happiness that %as no% hers and that %ould !e throu$h a lon$ future.Suddenl& she !ecae a%are of (oices near her. ;The !lo'e5s !al&. The ner(e of hi" $i(in5 theGonfal !ac' to the ni$$ers. /e ort to ha(e it an5 the eerald" too. Thin' of it" Troll + nearl& fi(eillion pounds: That5s %ot the t%o to$ether %ould ha(e !rou$ht in -ondon or Paris.;;An he $i(es the eerald to that dan ni$$er %ench. /ot5ll she do %ith it< The Aerican5ll $et it.She thin's he5s soft on her" thin's he5s $oin5 to arr& her) !ut %hoe(er heard of an Aerican

    arr&in5 a ni$$er. =ou5re ri$ht" Spi'e) it5s all %ron$. /h& + ;The $irl did not %ait to hear ore. She turned and fled silentl& throu$h the dar'ness + her dreashattered" her happiness !lasted.

    K K K/ood a%a'ened earl& and called 3audi. ;/a'e the !o&s"; he directed) ;%e5re a'in$ an earl&start.; Then he called (an E&'" and the t%o !usied thesel(es directin$ the preparations for theda&5s arch. ;/e5ll let Gonfala sleep as lon$ as %e can"; he said) ;this a& !e a hard da&.;@an E&' %as $ropin$ around in the di li$ht of earl& da%n" feelin$ throu$h the $rasses on %hichhe had ade his !ed. Suddenl& he ripped out an oath.;/hat5s the atter

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    search of the cap and reali,ed that Spi'e and Troll %ere issin$./ood loo'ed crestfallen and hopeless. ;/e i$ht ha(e $uessed it ri$ht off"; he said. ;Those t%o%ere sore as pups %hen Cla&ton $a(e the Gonfal !ac' to the 3a4i and the eerald to Gonfala.;;/hat5ll %e do

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    !earers and aple pro(isions. He 'ne% that the Aericans %ere apl& a!le to !ear the e#pensee(en if the& %ere una!le to finance thesel(es on the securit& of the $reat eerald of the >uli.It %as late afternoon as the -ord of the un$le s%un$ alon$ a $ae trail at the ed$e of a forest. Ali$ht %ind %as !lo%in$ in his face" %a(in$ his !lac' hair. It !rou$ht to his nostrils e(idence ofthin$s unseen that la& ahead. Presentl& it !rou$ht the acrid scent of Nua the lion. It %as an oldlion" for the odor %as stron$er than that of a cu! or a &oun$ lion in its prie.To Tar,an it %as 4ust another lion. He $a(e it little thou$ht until the %ind !rou$ht faintl& to hisnostrils another scent + the scent spoor of a Taran$ani" a she + a %hite %oan. This scent caefro the sae direction as that of Nua. The t%o" in con4unction" spelled tra$ed&.Tar,an too' to the trees. Gae trails are %indin$. Throu$h the trees he could o(e in a strai$htline" shortenin$ the distance to his destination) and throu$h the trees he could o(e %ithincredi!le s%iftness. The& had !een his natural eleent since infanc& %hen he had !een !ornes%iftl& fro dan$er !& his foster other" 3ala the she + ape.The %oan" ha$$ard" un'ept" star(in$" e#hausted" o(ed slo%l& and hopelessl& alon$ the trail.Her senses %ere dulled !& fati$ue and sufferin$. She heard nothin$" &et soe inner sensepropted her to turn a !ac'%ard $lance alon$ the trail) then she sa% the lion. He %as o(in$softl& and slo%l& after her. /hen he sa% that he %as disco(ered" he !ared his fan$s and $ro%led.The %oan stopped and faced hi. She had not the stren$th to cli! a tree to safet&. She 'ne%that fli$ht %as useless. She 4ust stood there" %ide + e&ed and hopeless" %aitin$ for the end. Shedid not care. She had nothin$ to li(e for. She onl& pra&ed that death i$ht coe %ith erciful

    *uic'ness./hen she had stopped" the lion had stopped. He stood $larin$ at her" his e&es !la,in$. Suddenl&he started to%ard her at a trot. A fe% steps and he %ould char$e + that s%ift" erciless char$e ofthe 'in$ of !easts that is the culination of ferocit&.He seeed to crouch lo%er" alost flattenin$ hiself a$ainst the $round) and no% a horrid roar!urst fro his sa(a$e throat as he spran$ for%ard:The %oan5s e&es %ent %ide" first in horror and then in surprise) for as the lion char$ed" analost na'ed an dropped fro an o(erhan$in$ li! full upon the !east5s !ac'. She heard theroars and $ro%ls of the an in$lin$ %ith those of the !east" and she shuddered. She sa% a'nife flash in the air" once" t%ice a$ain. Then" %ith a final hideous roar" the lion sluped to the$round" dead.The an leaped to his feet. It %as then that she reco$ni,ed hi" and a feelin$ of relief and asense of securit& possessed her. The& endured for !ut a oent to !e !lasted !& the hideous

    (ictor& cr& of the !ull ape as Tar,an placed a foot upon the carcass of his 'ill and (oiced the %eirdscrea that had echoed so an& ties throu$h other forests and 4un$les" deserts and plains.Then his e&es dropped to the %oan. ;Gonfala: /hat has happened< /hat are &ou doin$ herealone

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    ;If %e 'eep on $oin$ east %e ou$ht to stri'e soe (illa$e %here %e can $et $uides.;;All ri$ht" let5s $et $oin$.;/ithin half a ile the& eer$ed fro the forest at the ed$e of a %ide" rollin$ plain.;/hat a relief:; e#claied (an E&'. ;A little ore of that forest and I5d ha(e $one nuts.;;-oo':; /ood sei,ed his copanion !& the ar and pointed. ;2en:;;-oo's li'e a %ar part&. See those plues< 2a&!e %e5d !etter la& lo%.;;/ell" the responsi!ilit& is no lon$er ours. The&5(e seen us. Here the& coe.;The t%o en stood %atchin$ a part& of a do,en %arriors approachin$ the.;Gee" the&5re a $ood+loo'in$ !unch"; coented /ood.;I hope the&5re also $ood.;The !lac's halted a do,en paces fro the %hite en) then one %ho %as e(identl& their leaderapproached closer.;/hat are the !%anas doin$ in this countr&

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    he said" as nearl& as I can recall his %ords 5I5d $o throu$h Hell for her. I5d li(e in Hell for her" andthan' God for the opportunit&. That is ho% uch I lo(e her.5 I thin' those %ere a!out his (er&%ords.;Tears cae to the $irl5s e&es. ;2a& I see hi soon

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    A$ain the& lapsed into silence. The shado% of the forest co(ered the and stretched out acrossthe plain" for the sun had all !ut set. Suddenl& there %as a fri$htened cr& of" ;6%ana: -oo':; Oneof the !lac's %as pointin$ to%ard the forest.The %hite en %heeled as the& rose to their feet. Coin$ to%ard the %ere a do,en !lac'%arriors. Spi'e stooped to pic' up his !o% and arro%s.;-a& off:; %arned Troll. ;The& ain5t enou$h of us + an5 an&%a&s the& a& !e friendl&.; Spi'e stooderect a$ain %ith ept& hands. One !& one the !lac's of their part& rose slo%l& to their feet.The stran$ers %ere approachin$ cautiousl&" their %eapons read&. The& halted a do,en pacesfro the cap" their $ri (isa$ed leader in ad(ance of the others. He sur(e&ed the t%o %hiteen and their si# !earers arro$antl&" conteptuousl&. Troll ade the si$n of peace.The leader strode for%ard follo%ed !& his %arriors. ;/hat &ou do here in the countr& of the6antan$o

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    All ni$ht the& follo%ed close to the ed$e of the forest" nor did the& stop until the& cae upon asall strea shortl& after da&li$ht. Then the& thre% thesel(es upon the $round" e#hausted.

    As the& che%ed once ore upon the flesh of the old !oar their spirits re(i(ed" and the& spo'e forthe first tie for hours.;I $uess %e don5t 'no% ho% to %or' the roc'"; (entured Troll.;/ho sa&s 5%e5

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    a dependa!le" %ell e*uipped safari furnished !& Tar,an. The en planned on de(otin$ one da& tohuntin$" as the& %ere in e#cellent $ae countr&) then the& %ould co(er the t%o lon$ arches torailhead. The dela& for huntin$ %as /ood5s concession to (an E&'" an indefati$a!le Nirod" %hohad o!tained perission fro the -ord of the un$le to ta'e out a fe% trophies for his collection.

    As ni$ht fell" the li$ht of their !east fire cast dancin$ shado%s throu$h the cap and shone far outinto the ni$ht" !oth attractin$ and repellin$ the $reat carni(ores upon %hose doain the&trespassed) for this %as lion countr&. It attracted also other e&es a ile or ore to the north.;I %onder %hat that i$ht !e"; said Spi'e.;A fire"; $ro%led Troll) ;%hat &ou thin' it %as + a ice!er$

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    here I a not afraid. So I hunt toorro% as the third an" and no% I a $oin$ to !ed. Good ni$ht"Stanlee. Good ni$ht" 6o!.;;/ell" I $uess that settles it"; rear'ed /ood" %ith a %r& sile) ;!ut %hen I $et &ou !ac' in God5scountr& &ou5ll ha(e to ind e. Good ni$ht.;;Perhaps"; said Gonfala.

    K K KThe chill of ni$ht still hun$ li'e a (apor !elo% the ne% sun as the three hunters set out fro theircap for the da&5s sport" and althou$h the hunt had !een (an E&'5s idea priaril&" each of theothers %as 'een to !a$ a lion. O(er their !rea'fast coffee the& had laid %a$ers as to %hich %ould!e the luc'& one to !rin$ do%n the first troph&" %ith the result that not a little friendl& ri(alr& had!een en$endered. That each i$ht" seeed entirel& possi!le) as the ni$