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neither you nor your child nor your husband will ever again set foot
within any port, civilized or otherwise."

"I would not trust you," she replied. "What guarantee have I that you
would not take my money and then do as you pleased with me and mine
regardless of your promise?"

"I think you will do as I bid," he said, turning to leave the cabin.
"Remember that I have your son - if you chance to hear the agonized wail
of a tortured child it may console you to reflect that it is because of
your stubbornness that the baby suffers - and that it is your baby."

"You would not do it!" cried the girl. "You would not - could not be so
fiendishly cruel!"

"It is not I that am cruel, but you," he returned, "for you permit a
paltry sum of money to stand between your baby and immunity from
suffering."

The end of it was that Jane Clayton wrote out a cheque of large
denomination and handed it to Nikolas Rokoff, who left her cabin with a
grin of satisfaction upon his lips.

The following day the hatch was removed from Tarzan's cell, and as he
looked up he saw Paulvitch's head framed in the square of light above
him.

"Come up," commanded the Russian. "But bear in mind that you will be
shot if you make a single move to attack me or any other aboard the
ship."

The ape-man swung himself lightly to the deck. About him, but at a
respectful distance, stood a half-dozen sailors armed with rifles and
revolvers. Facing him was Paulvitch.

Tarzan looked about for Rokoff, who he felt sure must be aboard, but
there was no sign of him.

"Lord Greystoke," commenced the Russian, "by your continued and wanton
interference with M. Rokoff and his plans you have at last brought
yourself and your family to this unfortunate extremity. You have only
yourself to thank. As you may imagine, it has cost M. Rokoff a large
amount of money to finance this expedition, and, as you are the sole
cause of it, he naturally looks to you for reimbursement.

"Further, I may say that only by meeting M. Rokoff's just demands may
you avert the most unpleasant consequences to your wife and child, and
at the same time retain your own life and regain your liberty."

"What is the amount?" asked Tarzan. "And what assurance have I that
you will live up to your end of the agreement? I have little reason to
trust two such scoundrels as you and Rokoff, you know."

The Russian flushed.

"You are in no position to deliver insults," he said. "You have no
assurance that we will live up to our agreement other than my word, but
you have before you the assurance that we can make short work of you if
you do not write out the cheque we demand.

"Unless you are a greater fool than I imagine, you should know that
there is nothing that would give us greater pleasure than to order
these men to fire. That we do not is because we have other plans for
punishing you that would be entirely upset by your death."

"Answer one question," said Tarzan. "Is my son on board this ship?"

"No," replied Alexis Paulvitch, "your son is quite safe elsewhere; nor
will he be killed until you refuse to accede to our fair demands. If
it becomes necessary to kill you, there will be no reason for not
killing the child, since with you gone the one whom we wish to punish
through the boy will be gone, and he will then be to us only a constant
source of danger and embarrassment. You see, therefore, that you may
only save the life of your son by saving your own, and you can only
save your own by giving us the cheque we ask."

"Very well," replied Tarzan, for he knew that he could trust them to
carry out any sinister threat that Paulvitch had made, and there was a
bare chance that by conceding their demands he might save the boy.

That they would permit him to live after he had appended his name to
the cheque never occurred to him as being within the realms of
probability. But he was determined to give them such a battle as they
would never forget, and possibly to take Paulvitch with him into
eternity. He was only sorry that it was not Rokoff.

He took his pocket cheque-book and fountain-pen from his pocket.

"What is the amount?" he asked.

Paulvitch named an enormous sum. Tarzan could scarce restrain a smile.

Their very cupidity was to prove the means of their undoing, in the
matter of the ransom at least. Purposely he hesitated and haggled over
the amount, but Paulvitch was obdurate. Finally the ape-man wrote out
his cheque for a larger sum than stood to his credit at the bank.

As he turned to hand the worthless slip of paper to the Russian his
glance chanced to pass across the starboard bow of the Kincaid. To his
surprise he saw that the ship lay within a few hundred yards of land.
Almost down to the water's edge ran a dense tropical jungle, and behind
was higher land clothed in forest.

Paulvitch noted the direction of his gaze.

"You are to be set at liberty here," he said.

Tarzan's plan for immediate physical revenge upon the Russian vanished.
He thought the land before him the mainland of Africa, and he knew that
should they liberate him here he could doubtless find his way to
civilization with comparative ease.

Paulvitch took the cheque.

"Remove your clothing," he said to the ape-man. "Here you will not
need it."

Tarzan demurred.

Paulvitch pointed to the armed sailors. Then the Englishman slowly
divested himself of his clothing.

A boat was lowered, and, still heavily guarded, the ape-man was rowed
ashore. Half an hour later the sailors had returned to the Kincaid,
and the steamer was slowly getting under way.

As Tarzan stood upon the narrow strip of beach watching the departure
of the vessel he saw a figure appear at the rail and call aloud to
attract his attention.

The ape-man had been about to read a note that one of the sailors had
handed him as the small boat that bore him to the shore was on the
point of returning to the steamer, but at the hail from the vessel's
deck he looked up.

He saw a black-bearded man who laughed at him in derision as he held
high above his head the figure of a little child. Tarzan half started
as though to rush through the surf and strike out for the already
moving steamer; but realizing the futility of so rash an act he halted
at the water's edge.

Thus he stood, his gaze riveted upon the Kincaid until it disappeared
beyond a projecting promontory of the coast.

From the jungle at his back fierce bloodshot eyes glared from beneath
shaggy overhanging brows upon him.

Little monkeys in the tree-tops chattered and scolded, and from the
distance of the inland forest came the scream of a leopard.

But still John Clayton, Lord Greystoke, stood deaf and unseeing,
suffering the pangs of keen regret for the opportunity that he had
wasted because he had been so gullible as to place credence in a single
statement of the first lieutenant of his arch-enemy.

"I have at least," he thought, "one consolation - the knowledge that
Jane is safe in London. Thank Heaven she, too, did not fall into the
clutches of those villains."

Behind him the hairy thing whose evil eyes had been watching him as a
cat watches a mouse was creeping stealthily toward him.

Where were the trained senses of the savage ape-man?

Where the acute hearing?

Where the uncanny sense of scent?




Chapter 3

Beasts at Bay


Slowly Tarzan unfolded the note the sailor had thrust into his hand,
and read it. At first it made little impression on his sorrow-numbed
senses, but finally the full purport of the hideous plot of revenge
unfolded itself before his imagination.

"This will explain to you" [the note read] "the exact nature of my
intentions relative to your offspring and to you.

"You were born an ape. You lived naked in the jungles - to your own we
have returned you; but your son shall rise a step above his sire. It
is the immutable law of evolution.

"The father was a beast, but the son shall be a man - he shall take the
next ascending step in the scale of progress. He shall be no naked
beast of the jungle, but shall wear a loin-cloth and copper anklets,
and, perchance, a ring in his nose, for he is to be reared by men - a
tribe of savage cannibals.

"I might have killed you, but that would have curtailed the full
measure of the punishment you have earned at my hands.

"Dead, you could not have suffered in the knowledge of your son's
plight; but living and in a place from which you may not escape to seek
or succour your child, you shall suffer worse than death for all the
years of your life in contemplation of the horrors of your son's
existence.

"This, then, is to be a part of your punishment for having dared to pit
yourself against

N. R.

"P.S. - The balance of your punishment has to do with what shall
presently befall your wife - that I shall leave to your imagination."


As he finished reading, a slight sound behind him brought him back with
a start to the world of present realities.

Instantly his senses awoke, and he was again Tarzan of the Apes.

As he wheeled about, it was a beast at bay, vibrant with the instinct
of self-preservation, that faced a huge bull-ape that was already
charging down upon him.

The two years that had elapsed since Tarzan had come out of the savage
forest with his rescued mate had witnessed slight diminution of the
mighty powers that had made him the invincible lord of the jungle. His
great estates in Uziri had claimed much of his time and attention, and
there he had found ample field for the practical use and retention of
his almost superhuman powers; but naked and unarmed to do battle with
the shaggy, bull-necked beast that now confronted him was a test that
the ape-man would scarce have welcomed at any period of his wild
existence.

But there was no alternative other than to meet the rage-maddened
creature with the weapons with which nature had endowed him.

Over the bull's shoulder Tarzan could see now the heads and shoulders
of perhaps a dozen more of these mighty fore-runners of primitive man.

He knew, however, that there was little chance that they would attack
him, since it is not within the reasoning powers of the anthropoid to
be able to weigh or appreciate the value of concentrated action against
an enemy - otherwise they would long since have become the dominant
creatures of their haunts, so tremendous a power of destruction lies in
their mighty thews and savage fangs.

With a low snarl the beast now hurled himself at Tarzan, but the
ape-man had found, among other things in the haunts of civilized man,
certain methods of scientific warfare that are unknown to the jungle
folk.

Whereas, a few years since, he would have met the brute rush with brute
force, he now sidestepped his antagonist's headlong charge, and as the
brute hurtled past him swung a mighty right to the pit of the ape's
stomach.

With a howl of mingled rage and anguish the great anthropoid bent
double and sank to the ground, though almost instantly he was again
struggling to his feet.

Before he could regain them, however, his white-skinned foe had wheeled
and pounced upon him, and in the act there dropped from the shoulders
of the English lord the last shred of his superficial mantle of
civilization.

Once again he was the jungle beast revelling in bloody conflict with
his kind. Once again he was Tarzan, son of Kala the she-ape.

His strong, white teeth sank into the hairy throat of his enemy as he
sought the pulsing jugular.

Powerful fingers held the mighty fangs from his own flesh, or clenched
and beat with the power of a steam-hammer upon the snarling,
foam-flecked face of his adversary.

In a circle about them the balance of the tribe of apes stood watching
and enjoying the struggle. They muttered low gutturals of approval as
bits of white hide or hairy bloodstained skin were torn from one
contestant or the other. But they were silent in amazement and
expectation when they saw the mighty white ape wriggle upon the back of
their king, and, with steel muscles tensed beneath the armpits of his
antagonist, bear down mightily with his open palms upon the back of the
thick bullneck, so that the king ape could but shriek in agony and
flounder helplessly about upon the thick mat of jungle grass.

As Tarzan had overcome the huge Terkoz that time years before when he
had been about to set out upon his quest for human beings of his own
kind and colour, so now he overcame this other great ape with the same
wrestling hold upon which he had stumbled by accident during that other
combat. The little audience of fierce anthropoids heard the creaking
of their king's neck mingling with his agonized shrieks and hideous
roaring.

Then there came a sudden crack, like the breaking of a stout limb
before the fury of the wind. The bullet-head crumpled forward upon its
flaccid neck against the great hairy chest - the roaring and the
shrieking ceased.

The little pig-eyes of the onlookers wandered from the still form of
their leader to that of the white ape that was rising to its feet
beside the vanquished, then back to their king as though in wonder that
he did not arise and slay this presumptuous stranger.

They saw the new-comer place a foot upon the neck of the quiet figure
at his feet and, throwing back his head, give vent to the wild, uncanny
challenge of the bull-ape that has made a kill. Then they knew that
their king was dead.

Across the jungle rolled the horrid notes of the victory cry. The
little monkeys in the tree-tops ceased their chattering. The
harsh-voiced, brilliant-plumed birds were still. From afar came the
answering wail of a leopard and the deep roar of a lion.

It was the old Tarzan who turned questioning eyes upon the little knot
of apes before him. It was the old Tarzan who shook his head as though
to toss back a heavy mane that had fallen before his face - an old habit
dating from the days that his great shock of thick, black hair had
fallen about his shoulders, and often tumbled before his eyes when it
had meant life or death to him to have his vision unobstructed.

The ape-man knew that he might expect an immediate attack on the part
of that particular surviving bull-ape who felt himself best fitted to
contend for the kingship of the tribe. Among his own apes he knew
that it was not unusual for an entire stranger to enter a community
and, after having dispatched the king, assume the leadership of the
tribe himself, together with the fallen monarch's mates.

On the other hand, if he made no attempt to follow them, they might
move slowly away from him, later to fight among themselves for the
supremacy. That he could be king of them, if he so chose, he was
confident; but he was not sure he cared to assume the sometimes irksome
duties of that position, for he could see no particular advantage to be
gained thereby.

One of the younger apes, a huge, splendidly muscled brute, was edging
threateningly closer to the ape-man. Through his bared fighting fangs
there issued a low, sullen growl.

Tarzan watched his every move, standing rigid as a statue. To have
fallen back a step would have been to precipitate an immediate charge;
to have rushed forward to meet the other might have had the same
result, or it might have put the bellicose one to flight - it all
depended upon the young bull's stock of courage.

To stand perfectly still, waiting, was the middle course. In this
event the bull would, according to custom, approach quite close to the
object of his attention, growling hideously and baring slavering fangs.
Slowly he would circle about the other, as though with a chip upon his
shoulder; and this he did, even as Tarzan had foreseen.

It might be a bluff royal, or, on the other hand, so unstable is the
mind of an ape, a passing impulse might hurl the hairy mass, tearing
and rending, upon the man without an instant's warning.

As the brute circled him Tarzan turned slowly, keeping his eyes ever
upon the eyes of his antagonist. He had appraised the young bull as
one who had never quite felt equal to the task of overthrowing his
former king, but who one day would have done so. Tarzan saw that the
beast was of wondrous proportions, standing over seven feet upon his
short, bowed legs.

His great, hairy arms reached almost to the ground even when he stood
erect, and his fighting fangs, now quite close to Tarzan's face, were
exceptionally long and sharp. Like the others of his tribe, he
differed in several minor essentials from the apes of Tarzan's boyhood.

At first the ape-man had experienced a thrill of hope at sight of the
shaggy bodies of the anthropoids - a hope that by some strange freak of
fate he had been again returned to his own tribe; but a closer
inspection had convinced him that these were another species.

As the threatening bull continued his stiff and jerky circling of the
ape-man, much after the manner that you have noted among dogs when a
strange canine comes among them, it occurred to Tarzan to discover if
the language of his own tribe was identical with that of this other
family, and so he addressed the brute in the language of the tribe of
Kerchak.

"Who are you," he asked, "who threatens Tarzan of the Apes?"

The hairy brute looked his surprise.

"I am Akut," replied the other in the same simple, primal tongue which
is so low in the scale of spoken languages that, as Tarzan had
surmised, it was identical with that of the tribe in which the first
twenty years of his life had been spent.

"I am Akut," said the ape. "Molak is dead. I am king. Go away or I
shall kill you!"

"You saw how easily I killed Molak," replied Tarzan. "So I could kill
you if I cared to be king. But Tarzan of the Apes would not be king of
the tribe of Akut. All he wishes is to live in peace in this country.
Let us be friends. Tarzan of the Apes can help you, and you can help
Tarzan of the Apes."

"You cannot kill Akut," replied the other. "None is so great as Akut.
Had you not killed Molak, Akut would have done so, for Akut was ready
to be king."

For answer the ape-man hurled himself upon the great brute who during
the conversation had slightly relaxed his vigilance.

In the twinkling of an eye the man had seized the wrist of the great
ape, and before the other could grapple with him had whirled him about
and leaped upon his broad back.

Down they went together, but so well had Tarzan's plan worked out that
before ever they touched the ground he had gained the same hold upon
Akut that had broken Molak's neck.

Slowly he brought the pressure to bear, and then as in days gone by he
had given Kerchak the chance to surrender and live, so now he gave to
Akut - in whom he saw a possible ally of great strength and
resource - the option of living in amity with him or dying as he had
just seen his savage and heretofore invincible king die.

"Ka-Goda?" whispered Tarzan to the ape beneath him.

It was the same question that he had whispered to Kerchak, and in the
language of the apes it means, broadly, "Do you surrender?"

Akut thought of the creaking sound he had heard just before Molak's
thick neck had snapped, and he shuddered.

He hated to give up the kingship, though, so again he struggled to free
himself; but a sudden torturing pressure upon his vertebra brought an
agonized "ka-goda!" from his lips.

Tarzan relaxed his grip a trifle.

"You may still be king, Akut," he said. "Tarzan told you that he did
not wish to be king. If any question your right, Tarzan of the Apes
will help you in your battles."

The ape-man rose, and Akut came slowly to his feet. Shaking his
bullet head and growling angrily, he waddled toward his tribe, looking
first at one and then at another of the larger bulls who might be
expected to challenge his leadership.

But none did so; instead, they drew away as he approached, and
presently the whole pack moved off into the jungle, and Tarzan was left
alone once more upon the beach.

The ape-man was sore from the wounds that Molak had inflicted upon him,
but he was inured to physical suffering and endured it with the calm
and fortitude of the wild beasts that had taught him to lead the jungle
life after the manner of all those that are born to it.

His first need, he realized, was for weapons of offence and defence,
for his encounter with the apes, and the distant notes of the savage
voices of Numa the lion, and Sheeta, the panther, warned him that his
was to be no life of indolent ease and security.

It was but a return to the old existence of constant bloodshed and
danger - to the hunting and the being hunted. Grim beasts would stalk
him, as they had stalked him in the past, and never would there be a
moment, by savage day or by cruel night, that he might not have instant
need of such crude weapons as he could fashion from the materials at
hand.

Upon the shore he found an out-cropping of brittle, igneous rock. By
dint of much labour he managed to chip off a narrow sliver some twelve
inches long by a quarter of an inch thick. One edge was quite thin for
a few inches near the tip. It was the rudiment of a knife.

With it he went into the jungle, searching until he found a fallen tree
of a certain species of hardwood with which he was familiar. From this
he cut a small straight branch, which he pointed at one end.

Then he scooped a small, round hole in the surface of the prostrate
trunk. Into this he crumbled a few bits of dry bark, minutely
shredded, after which he inserted the tip of his pointed stick, and,
sitting astride the bole of the tree, spun the slender rod rapidly
between his palms.

After a time a thin smoke rose from the little mass of tinder, and a
moment later the whole broke into flame. Heaping some larger twigs
and sticks upon the tiny fire, Tarzan soon had quite a respectable
blaze roaring in the enlarging cavity of the dead tree.

Into this he thrust the blade of his stone knife, and as it became
superheated he would withdraw it, touching a spot near the thin edge
with a drop of moisture. Beneath the wetted area a little flake of the
glassy material would crack and scale away.

Thus, very slowly, the ape-man commenced the tedious operation of
putting a thin edge upon his primitive hunting-knife.

He did not attempt to accomplish the feat all in one sitting. At first
he was content to achieve a cutting edge of a couple of inches, with
which he cut a long, pliable bow, a handle for his knife, a stout
cudgel, and a goodly supply of arrows.

These he cached in a tall tree beside a little stream, and here also he
constructed a platform with a roof of palm-leaves above it.

When all these things had been finished it was growing dusk, and Tarzan
felt a strong desire to eat.

He had noted during the brief incursion he had made into the forest
that a short distance up-stream from his tree there was a much-used
watering place, where, from the trampled mud of either bank, it was
evident beasts of all sorts and in great numbers came to drink. To
this spot the hungry ape-man made his silent way.

Through the upper terrace of the tree-tops he swung with the grace and
ease of a monkey. But for the heavy burden upon his heart he would
have been happy in this return to the old free life of his boyhood.

Yet even with that burden he fell into the little habits and manners of
his early life that were in reality more a part of him than the thin
veneer of civilization that the past three years of his association
with the white men of the outer world had spread lightly over him - a
veneer that only hid the crudities of the beast that Tarzan of the Apes
had been.

Could his fellow-peers of the House of Lords have seen him then they
would have held up their noble hands in holy horror.

Silently he crouched in the lower branches of a great forest giant that
overhung the trail, his keen eyes and sensitive ears strained into the
distant jungle, from which he knew his dinner would presently emerge.

Nor had he long to wait.

Scarce had he settled himself to a comfortable position, his lithe,
muscular legs drawn well up beneath him as the panther draws his
hindquarters in preparation for the spring, than Bara, the deer, came
daintily down to drink.

But more than Bara was coming. Behind the graceful buck came another
which the deer could neither see nor scent, but whose movements were
apparent to Tarzan of the Apes because of the elevated position of the
ape-man's ambush.

He knew not yet exactly the nature of the thing that moved so
stealthily through the jungle a few hundred yards behind the deer; but
he was convinced that it was some great beast of prey stalking Bara for


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