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Tarzan of the Apes, by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Chapter XXV: The
Outpost of the World
the report of his gun D'Arnot saw the door fly open and the figure of a
man pitch headlong within onto the cabin floor.
Frenchman in his panic raised his gun to fire again into the prostrate
form, but suddenly in the half dusk of the open door he saw that the man
was white and in another instant realized that he had shot his friend and
protector, Tarzan of the Apes.
a cry of anguish D'Arnot sprang to the ape-man's side, and kneeling,
lifted the latter's head in his arms--calling Tarzan's name aloud.
was no response, and then D'Arnot placed his ear above the man's heart.
To his joy he heard its steady beating beneath.
he lifted Tarzan to the cot, and then, after closing and bolting the door,
he lighted one of the lamps and examined the wound.
bullet had struck a glancing blow upon the skull. There was an ugly flesh
wound, but no signs of a fracture of the skull.
breathed a sigh of relief, and went about bathing the blood from Tarzan's
the cool water revived him, and presently he opened his eyes to look in
questioning surprise at D'Arnot.
latter had bound the wound with pieces of cloth, and as he saw that Tarzan
had regained consciousness he arose and going to the table wrote a
message, which he handed to the ape-man, explaining the terrible mistake
he had made and how thankful he was that the wound was not more serious.
after reading the message, sat on the edge of the couch and laughed.
is nothing," he said in French, and then, his vocabulary failing him,
should have seen what Bolgani did to me, and Kerchak, and Terkoz, before I
killed them--then you would laugh at such a little scratch.
D'Arnot handed Tarzan the two messages that had been left for
read the first one through with a look of sorrow on his face.
The second one he turned over and over, searching for an
opening--he had never seen a sealed envelope before. At length he handed
it to D'Arnot.
Frenchman had been watching him, and knew that Tarzan was puzzled over the
envelope. How strange it seemed that to a full-grown white man an
envelope was a mystery. D'Arnot opened it and handed the letter back to
on a camp stool the ape-man spread the written sheet before him and read:
TARZAN OF THE APES:
I leave let me add my thanks to those of Mr. Clayton for the kindness you
have shown in permitting us the use of your cabin.
you never came to make friends with us has been a great regret to us.
We should have liked so much to have seen and thanked our host.
is another I should like to thank also, but he did not come back, though I
cannot believe that he is dead.
do not know his name. He is
the great white giant who wore the diamond locket upon his breast.
you know him and can speak his language carry my thanks to him, and tell
him that I waited seven days for him to return.
him, also, that in my home in America, in the city of Baltimore, there
will always be a welcome for him if he cares to come.
found a note you wrote me lying among the leaves beneath a tree near the
cabin. I do not know how you
learned to love me, who have never spoken to me, and I am very sorry if it
is true, for I have already given my heart to another.
know that I am always your friend,
Tarzan sat with gaze fixed upon the floor for nearly an hour.
It was evident to him from the notes that they did not know that he
and Tarzan of the Apes were one and the same.
have given my heart to another," he repeated over and over again to
she did not love him! How
could she have pretended love, and raised him to such a pinnacle of hope
only to cast him down to such utter depths of despair!
her kisses were only signs of friendship.
How did he know, who knew nothing of the customs of human beings?
he arose, and, bidding D'Arnot good night as he had learned to do, threw
himself upon the couch of ferns that had been Jane Porter's.
extinguished the lamp, and lay down upon the cot.
a week they did little but rest, D'Arnot coaching Tarzan in French.
At the end of that time the two men could converse quite easily.
night, as they were sitting within the cabin before retiring, Tarzan
turned to D'Arnot.
is America?" he said.
pointed toward the northwest.
thousands of miles across the ocean," he replied.
am going there."
shook his head.
is impossible, my friend," he said.
rose, and, going to one of the cupboards, returned with a well-thumbed
to a map of the world, he said:
have never quite understood all this; explain it to me, please."
D'Arnot had done so, showing him that the blue represented all the water
on the earth, and the bits of other colors the continents and islands,
Tarzan asked him to point out the spot where they now were.
point out America," said Tarzan.
as D'Arnot placed his finger upon North America, Tarzan smiled and laid
his palm upon the page, spanning the great ocean that lay between the two
see it is not so very far," he said; "scarce the width of my
laughed. How could he make the man understand?
he took a pencil and made a tiny point upon the shore of Africa.
little mark," he said, "is many times larger upon this map than
your cabin is upon the earth. Do
you see now how very far it is?"
thought for a long time.
any white men live in Africa?" he asked.
are the nearest?"
pointed out a spot on the shore just north of them.
close?" asked Tarzan, in surprise.
said D'Arnot; "but it is not close."
they big boats to cross the ocean?"
shall go there to-morrow," announced Tarzan.
D'Arnot smiled and shook his head.
is too far. We should die
long before we reached them."
you wish to stay here then forever?" asked Tarzan.
we shall start to-morrow. I
do not like it here longer. I
should rather die than remain here."
answered D'Arnot, with a shrug, "I do not know, my friend, but that I
also would rather die than remain here. If you go, I shall go with
is settled then," said Tarzan. "I
shall start for America to-morrow."
will you get to America without money?" asked D'Arnot.
is money?" inquired Tarzan.
took a long time to make him understand even imperfectly.
do men get money?" he asked at last.
work for it."
well. I will work for it, then."
my friend," returned D'Arnot, "you need not worry about money,
nor need you work for it. I
have enough money for two--enough for twenty.
Much more than is good for one man and you shall have all you need
if ever we reach civilization."
on the following day they started north along the shore. Each man carrying
a rifle and ammunition, beside bedding and some food and cooking utensils.
latter seemed to Tarzan a most useless encumbrance, so he threw his away.
you must learn to eat cooked food, my friend," remonstrated D'Arnot.
"No civilized men eat raw flesh."
will be time enough when I reach civilization," said Tarzan.
"I do not like the things and they only spoil the taste of
a month they traveled north. Sometimes
finding food in plenty and again going hungry for days.
saw no signs of natives nor were they molested by wild beasts.
Their journey was a miracle of ease.
asked questions and learned rapidly.
D'Arnot taught him many of the refinements of civilization--even to
the use of knife and fork; but sometimes Tarzan would drop them in disgust
and grasp his food in his strong brown hands, tearing it with his molars
like a wild beast.
D'Arnot would expostulate with him, saying:
must not eat like a brute, Tarzan, while I am trying to make a gentleman
of you. MON DIEU! Gentlemen
do not thus--it is terrible."
would grin sheepishly and pick up his knife and fork again, but at heart
he hated them.
the journey he told D'Arnot about the great chest he had seen the sailors
bury; of how he had dug it up and carried it to the gathering place of the
apes and buried it there.
must be the treasure chest of Professor Porter," said D'Arnot.
"It is too bad, but of course you did not know."
Tarzan recalled the letter written by Jane to her friend--the one he had
stolen when they first came to his cabin, and now he knew what was in the
chest and what it meant to Jane.
we shall go back after it," he announced to D'Arnot.
back?" exclaimed D'Arnot. "But,
my dear fellow, we have now been three weeks upon the march.
It would require three more to return to the treasure, and then,
with that enormous weight which required, you say, four sailors to carry,
it would be months before we had again reached this spot."
"It must be done, my friend," insisted Tarzan.
"You may go on toward civilization, and I will return for the
treasure. I can go very much faster alone."
have a better plan, Tarzan," exclaimed D'Arnot.
"We shall go on together to the nearest settlement, and there
we will charter a boat and sail back down the coast for the treasure and
so transport it easily. That
will be safer and quicker and also not require us to be separated.
What do you think of that plan?"
well," said Tarzan. "The
treasure will be there whenever we go for it; and while I could fetch it
now, and catch up with you in a moon or two, I shall feel safer for you to
know that you are not alone on the trail.
When I see how helpless you are, D'Arnot, I often wonder how the
human race has escaped annihilation all these ages which you tell me
about. Why, Sabor, single handed, could exterminate a thousand of
will think more highly of your genus when you have seen its armies and
navies, its great cities, and its mighty engineering works.
Then you will realize that it is mind, and not muscle, that makes
the human animal greater than the mighty beasts of your jungle.
and unarmed, a single man is no match for any of the larger beasts; but if
ten men were together, they would combine their wits and their muscles
against their savage enemies, while the beasts, being unable to reason,
would never think of combining against the men.
Otherwise, Tarzan of the Apes, how long would you have lasted in
the savage wilderness?"
are right, D'Arnot," replied Tarzan, "for if Kerchak had come to
Tublat's aid that night at the Dum-Dum, there would have been an end of
me. But Kerchak could never
think far enough ahead to take advantage of any such opportunity.
Even Kala, my mother, could never plan ahead. She simply ate what
she needed when she needed it, and if the supply was very scarce, even
though she found plenty for several meals, she would never gather any
remember that she used to think it very silly of me to burden myself with
extra food upon the march, though she was quite glad to eat it with me, if
the way chanced to be barren of sustenance."
you knew your mother, Tarzan?" asked D'Arnot, in surprise.
"Yes. She was a great, fine ape, larger than I, and weighing twice
your father?" asked D'Arnot.
did not know him. Kala told
me he was a white ape, and hairless like myself.
I know now that he must have been a white man."
looked long and earnestly at his companion.
he said at length, "it is impossible that the ape, Kala, was your
mother. If such a thing can
be, which I doubt, you would have inherited some of the characteristics of
the ape, but you have not--you are pure man, and, I should say, the
offspring of highly bred and intelligent parents.
Have you not the slightest clue to your past?"
the slightest," replied Tarzan.
writings in the cabin that might have told something of the lives of its
have read everything that was in the cabin with the exception of one book
which I know now to be written in a language other than English.
Possibly you can read it."
fished the little black diary from the bottom of his quiver, and handed it
to his companion.
glanced at the title page.
is the diary of John Clayton, Lord Greystoke, an English nobleman, and it
is written in French," he said.
he proceeded to read the diary that had been written over twenty years
before, and which recorded the details of the story which we already
know--the story of adventure, hardships and sorrow of John Clayton and his
wife Alice, from the day they left England until an hour before he was
struck down by Kerchak.
read aloud. At times his
voice broke, and he was forced to stop reading for the pitiful
hopelessness that spoke between the lines.
he glanced at Tarzan; but the ape-man sat upon his haunches, like a carven
image, his eyes fixed upon the ground.
when the little babe was mentioned did the tone of the diary alter from
the habitual note of despair which had crept into it by degrees after the
first two months upon the shore.
the passages were tinged with a subdued happiness that was even sadder
than the rest.
entry showed an almost hopeful spirit.
our little boy is six months old. He
is sitting in Alice's lap beside the table where I am writing--a happy,
healthy, perfect child.
even against all reason, I seem to see him a grown man, taking his
father's place in the world--the second John Clayton--and bringing added
honors to the house of Greystoke.
though to give my prophecy the weight of his endorsement--he has grabbed
my pen in his chubby fists and with his inkbegrimed little fingers has
placed the seal of his tiny finger prints upon the page.
And there, on the margin of the page, were the partially
blurred imprints of four wee fingers and the outer half of the thumb.
D'Arnot had finished the diary the two men sat in silence for some
"Well! Tarzan of the Apes, what think you?" asked D'Arnot.
"Does not this little book clear up the mystery of your parentage?
man, you are Lord Greystoke."
book speaks of but one child," he replied.
"Its little skeleton lay in the crib, where it died crying for
nourishment, from the first time I entered the cabin until Professor
Porter's party buried it, with its father and mother, beside the cabin.
that was the babe the book speaks of--and the mystery of my origin is
deeper than before, for I have thought much of late of the possibility of
that cabin having been my birthplace.
I am afraid that Kala spoke the truth," he concluded sadly.
shook his head. He was
unconvinced, and in his mind had sprung the determination to prove the
correctness of his theory, for he had discovered the key which alone could
unlock the mystery, or consign it forever to the realms of the
week later the two men came suddenly upon a clearing in the forest.
the distance were several buildings surrounded by a strong palisade.
Between them and the enclosure stretched a cultivated field in
which a number of negroes were working.
two halted at the edge of the jungle.
fitted his bow with a poisoned arrow, but D'Arnot placed a hand upon his
would you do, Tarzan?" he asked.
will try to kill us if they see us," replied Tarzan. "I prefer
to be the killer."
they are friends," suggested D'Arnot.
are black," was Tarzan's only reply.
again he drew back his shaft.
must not, Tarzan!" cried D'Arnot.
"White men do not kill wantonly.
MON DIEU! but you have much to learn.
pity the ruffian who crosses you, my wild man, when I take you to Paris.
I will have my hands full keeping your neck from beneath the
lowered his bow and smiled.
do not know why I should kill the blacks back there in my jungle, yet not
kill them here. Suppose Numa,
the lion, should spring out upon us, I should say, then, I presume: Good
morning, Monsieur Numa, how is Madame Numa; eh?"
until the blacks spring upon you," replied D'Arnot, "then you
may kill them. Do not assume
that men are your enemies until they prove it."
said Tarzan, "let us go and present ourselves to be killed," and
he started straight across the field, his head high held and the tropical
sun beating upon his smooth, brown skin.
him came D'Arnot, clothed in some garments which had been discarded at the
cabin by Clayton when the officers of the French cruiser had fitted him
out in more presentable fashion.
one of the blacks looked up, and beholding Tarzan, turned, shrieking,
toward the palisade.
an instant the air was filled with cries of terror from the fleeing
gardeners, but before any had reached the palisade a white man emerged
from the enclosure, rifle in hand, to discover the cause of the commotion.
he saw brought his rifle to his shoulder, and Tarzan of the Apes would
have felt cold lead once again had not D'Arnot cried loudly to the man
with the leveled gun:
not fire! We are
then!" was the reply.
Tarzan!" cried D'Arnot. "He
thinks we are enemies."
dropped into a walk, and together he and D'Arnot advanced toward the white
man by the gate.
latter eyed them in puzzled bewilderment.
manner of men are you?" he asked, in French.
men," replied D'Arnot. "We
have been lost in the jungle for a long time."
man had lowered his rifle and now advanced with outstretched hand.
am Father Constantine of the French Mission here," he said, "and
I am glad to welcome you."
is Monsieur Tarzan, Father Constantine," replied D'Arnot, indicating
the ape-man; and as the priest extended his hand to Tarzan, D'Arnot added:
"and I am Paul D'Arnot, of the French Navy."
Constantine took the hand which Tarzan extended in imitation of the
priest's act, while the latter took in the superb physique and handsome
face in one quick, keen glance.
thus came Tarzan of the Apes to the first outpost of civilization.
a week they remained there, and the ape-man, keenly observant, learned
much of the ways of men; meanwhile black women sewed white duck garments
for himself and D'Arnot so that they might continue their journey properly
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