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Tarzan of the Apes, by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Chapter XXVIII: Conclusion
the sight of Jane, cries of relief and delight broke from every lip, and
as Tarzan's car stopped beside the other, Professor Porter caught his
daughter in his arms.
a moment no one noticed Tarzan, sitting silently in his seat.
was the first to remember, and, turning, held out his hand.
can we ever thank you?" he exclaimed.
"You have saved us all. You
called me by name at the cottage, but I do not seem to recall yours,
though there is something very familiar about you.
It is as though I had known you well under very different
conditions a long time ago."
smiled as he took the proffered hand.
are quite right, Monsieur Clayton," he said, in French. "You
will pardon me if I do not speak to you in English. I am just learning it,
and while I understand it fairly well I speak it very poorly."
who are you?" insisted Clayton, speaking in French this time himself.
of the Apes."
started back in surprise.
Jove!" he exclaimed. "It
Professor Porter and Mr. Philander pressed forward to add their thanks to
Clayton's, and to voice their surprise and pleasure at seeing their jungle
friend so far from his savage home.
party now entered the modest little hostelry, where Clayton soon made
arrangements for their entertainment.
were sitting in the little, stuffy parlor when the distant chugging of an
approaching automobile caught their attention.
Philander, who was sitting near the window, looked out as the car drew in
sight, finally stopping beside the other automobiles.
me!" said Mr. Philander, a shade of annoyance in his tone.
"It is Mr. Canler. I
had hoped, er--I had thought or--er--how very happy we should be that he
was not caught in the fire," he ended lamely.
tut! Mr. Philander," said Professor Porter.
"Tut, tut! I have often admonished my pupils to count ten before
speaking. Were I you, Mr.
Philander, I should count at least a thousand, and then maintain a
me, yes!" acquiesced Mr. Philander.
"But who is the clerical appearing gentleman with him?"
moved uneasily in his chair.
Porter removed his spectacles nervously, and breathed upon them, but
replaced them on his nose without wiping.
ubiquitous Esmeralda grunted.
Tarzan did not comprehend.
Robert Canler burst into the room.
God!" he cried. "I
feared the worst, until I saw your car, Clayton.
I was cut off on the south road and had to go away back to town,
and then strike east to this road. I
thought we'd never reach the cottage."
one seemed to enthuse much. Tarzan
eyed Robert Canler as Sabor eyes her prey.
glanced at him and coughed nervously.
Canler," she said, "this is Monsieur Tarzan, an old
turned and extended his hand. Tarzan
rose and bowed as only D'Arnot could have taught a gentleman to do it, but
he did not seem to see Canler's hand.
did Canler appear to notice the oversight.
is the Reverend Mr. Tousley, Jane," said Canler, turning to the
clerical party behind him. "Mr.
Tousley, Miss Porter."
Tousley bowed and beamed.
introduced him to the others.
can have the ceremony at once, Jane," said Canler. "Then you and
I can catch the midnight train in town."
understood the plan instantly. He
glanced out of half-closed eyes at Jane, but he did not move.
girl hesitated. The room was
tense with the silence of taut nerves.
eyes turned toward Jane, awaiting her reply.
we wait a few days?" she asked.
"I am all unstrung. I have been through so much today."
felt the hostility that emanated from each member of the party.
It made him angry.
have waited as long as I intend to wait," he said roughly.
"You have promised to marry me.
I shall be played with no longer.
I have the license and here is the preacher. Come Mr. Tousley; come
Jane. There are plenty of
witnesses --more than enough," he added with a disagreeable
inflection; and taking Jane Porter by the arm, he started to lead her
toward the waiting minister.
scarcely had he taken a single step ere a heavy hand closed upon his arm
with a grip of steel.
hand shot to his throat and in a moment he was being shaken high above the
floor, as a cat might shake a mouse.
turned in horrified surprise toward Tarzan.
as she looked into his face, she saw the crimson band upon his forehead
that she had seen that other day in far distant Africa, when Tarzan of the
Apes had closed in mortal combat with the great anthropoid--Terkoz.
knew that murder lay in that savage heart, and with a little cry of horror
she sprang forward to plead with the ape-man.
But her fears were more for Tarzan than for Canler.
She realized the stern retribution which justice metes to the
she could reach them, however, Clayton had jumped to Tarzan's side and
attempted to drag Canler from his grasp.
a single sweep of one mighty arm the Englishman was hurled across the
room, and then Jane laid a firm white hand upon Tarzan's wrist, and looked
up into his eyes.
my sake," she said.
grasp upon Canler's throat relaxed.
looked down into the beautiful face before him.
you wish this to live?" he asked in surprise.
do not wish him to die at your hands, my friend," she replied.
"I do not wish you to become a murderer."
removed his hand from Canler's throat.
you release her from her promise?" he asked.
"It is the price of your life."
gasping for breath, nodded.
you go away and never molest her further?"
the man nodded his head, his face distorted by fear of the death that had
been so close.
released him, and Canler staggered toward the door.
In another moment he was gone, and the terror- stricken preacher
turned toward Jane.
I speak with you for a moment, alone," he asked.
girl nodded and started toward the door leading to the narrow veranda of
the little hotel. She passed
out to await Tarzan and so did not hear the conversation which followed.
cried Professor Porter, as Tarzan was about to follow.
professor had been stricken dumb with surprise by the rapid developments
of the past few minutes.
we go further, sir, I should like an explanation of the events which have
just transpired. By what
right, sir, did you interfere between my daughter and Mr. Canler?
I had promised him her hand, sir, and regardless of our personal
likes or dislikes, sir, that promise must be kept."
interfered, Professor Porter," replied Tarzan, "because your
daughter does not love Mr. Canler--she does not wish to marry him.
That is enough for me to know."
do not know what you have done," said Professor Porter.
"Now he will doubtless refuse to marry her."
most certainly will," said Tarzan, emphatically.
further," added Tarzan, "you need not fear that your pride will
suffer, Professor Porter, for you will be able to pay the Canler person
what you owe him the moment you reach home."
tut, sir!" exclaimed Professor Porter.
"What do you mean, sir?"
treasure has been found," said Tarzan.
is that you are saying?" cried the professor. "You are mad, man.
It cannot be."
is, though. It was I who
stole it, not knowing either its value or to whom it belonged.
I saw the sailors bury it, and, ape-like, I had to dig it up and
bury it again elsewhere. When
D'Arnot told me what it was and what it meant to you I returned to the
jungle and recovered it. It
had caused so much crime and suffering and sorrow that D'Arnot thought it
best not to attempt to bring the treasure itself on here, as had been my
intention, so I have brought a letter of credit instead.
it is, Professor Porter," and Tarzan drew an envelope from his pocket
and handed it to the astonished professor, "two hundred and forty-one
thousand dollars. The
treasure was most carefully appraised by experts, but lest there should be
any question in your mind, D'Arnot himself bought it and is holding it for
you, should you prefer the treasure to the credit."
the already great burden of the obligations we owe you, sir," said
Professor Porter, with trembling voice, "is now added this greatest
of all services. You have given me the means to save my honor."
who had left the room a moment after Canler, now returned.
me," he said. "I
think we had better try to reach town before dark and take the first train
out of this forest. A native
just rode by from the north, who reports that the fire is moving slowly in
announcement broke up further conversation, and the entire party went out
to the waiting automobiles.
with Jane, the professor and Esmeralda occupied Clayton's car, while
Tarzan took Mr. Philander in with him.
me!" exclaimed Mr. Philander, as the car moved off after Clayton.
"Who would ever have thought it possible! The last time I saw you you were a veritable wild man,
skipping about among the branches of a tropical African forest, and now
you are driving me along a Wisconsin road in a French automobile. Bless me! But it
is most remarkable."
assented Tarzan, and then, after a pause, "Mr. Philander, do you
recall any of the details of the finding and burying of three skeletons
found in my cabin beside that African jungle?"
distinctly, sir, very distinctly," replied Mr. Philander.
there anything peculiar about any of those skeletons?"
Philander eyed Tarzan narrowly.
do you ask?"
means a great deal to me to know," replied Tarzan. "Your answer
may clear up a mystery. It
can do no worse, at any rate, than to leave it still a mystery.
I have been entertaining a theory concerning those skeletons for
the past two months, and I want you to answer my question to the best of
your knowledge--were the three skeletons you buried all human
said Mr. Philander, "the smallest one, the one found in the crib, was
the skeleton of an anthropoid ape."
you," said Tarzan.
the car ahead, Jane was thinking fast and furiously.
She had felt the purpose for which Tarzan had asked a few words
with her, and she knew that she must be prepared to give him an answer in
the very near future.
was not the sort of person one could put off, and somehow that very
thought made her wonder if she did not really fear him.
could she love where she feared?
realized the spell that had been upon her in the depths of that far-off
jungle, but there was no spell of enchantment now in prosaic Wisconsin.
did the immaculate young Frenchman appeal to the primal woman in her, as
had the stalwart forest god.
she love him? She did not
glanced at Clayton out of the corner of her eye.
Was not here a man trained in the same school of environment in
which she had been trained--a man with social position and culture such as
she had been taught to consider as the prime essentials to congenial
not her best judgment point to this young English nobleman, whose love she
knew to be of the sort a civilized woman should crave, as the logical mate
for such as herself?
she love Clayton? She could
see no reason why she could not. Jane
was not coldly calculating by nature, but training, environment and
heredity had all combined to teach her to reason even in matters of the
she had been carried off her feet by the strength of the young giant when
his great arms were about her in the distant African forest, and again
today, in the Wisconsin woods, seemed to her only attributable to a
temporary mental reversion to type on her part--to the psychological
appeal of the primeval man to the primeval woman in her nature.
he should never touch her again, she reasoned, she would never feel
attracted toward him. She had not loved him, then. It had been nothing more than a
passing hallucination, super-induced by excitement and by personal
would not always mark their future relations, should she marry him, and
the power of personal contact eventually would be dulled by familiarity.
she glanced at Clayton. He
was very handsome and every inch a gentleman.
She should be very proud of such a husband.
then he spoke--a minute sooner or a minute later might have made all the
difference in the world to three lives --but chance stepped in and pointed
out to Clayton the psychological moment.
are free now, Jane," he said. "Won't
you say yes--I will devote my life to making you very happy."
evening in the little waiting room at the station Tarzan caught Jane alone
for a moment.
are free now, Jane," he said, "and _I_ have come across the ages
out of the dim and distant past from the lair of the primeval man to claim
you--for your sake I have become a civilized man--for your sake I have
crossed oceans and continents--for your sake I will be whatever you will
me to be. I can make you
happy, Jane, in the life you know and love best.
Will you marry me?"
the first time she realized the depths of the man's love --all that he had
accomplished in so short a time solely for love of her.
Turning her head she buried her face in her arms.
had she done? Because she had
been afraid she might succumb to the pleas of this giant, she had burned
her bridges behind her--in her groundless apprehension that she might make
a terrible mistake, she had made a worse one.
then she told him all--told him the truth word by word, without attempting
to shield herself or condone her error.
can we do?" he asked. "You
have admitted that you love me. You
know that I love you; but I do not know the ethics of society by which you
are governed. I shall leave
the decision to you, for you know best what will be for your eventual
cannot tell him, Tarzan," she said.
"He too, loves me, and he is a good man.
I could never face you nor any other honest person if I repudiated
my promise to Mr. Clayton. I
shall have to keep it--and you must help me bear the burden, though we may
not see each other again after tonight."
others were entering the room now and Tarzan turned toward the little
he saw nothing outside--within he saw a patch of greensward surrounded by
a matted mass of gorgeous tropical plants and flowers, and, above, the
waving foliage of mighty trees, and, over all, the blue of an equatorial
the center of the greensward a young woman sat upon a little mound of
earth, and beside her sat a young giant. They ate pleasant fruit and
looked into each other's eyes and smiled.
They were very happy, and they were all alone.
thoughts were broken in upon by the station agent who entered asking if
there was a gentleman by the name of Tarzan in the party.
am Monsieur Tarzan," said the ape-man.
is a message for you, forwarded from Baltimore; it is a cablegram from
took the envelope and tore it open. The
message was from D'Arnot.
prove you Greystoke. Congratulations.
Tarzan finished reading, Clayton entered and came toward him with extended
was the man who had Tarzan's title, and Tarzan's estates, and was going to
marry the woman whom Tarzan loved--the woman who loved Tarzan.
A single word from Tarzan would make a great difference in this
would take away his title and his lands and his castles, and--it would
take them away from Jane Porter also. "I say, old man," cried
Clayton, "I haven't had a chance to thank you for all you've done for
us. It seems as though you
had your hands full saving our lives in Africa and here.
awfully glad you came on here. We
must get better acquainted. I
often thought about you, you know, and the remarkable circumstances of
it's any of my business, how the devil did you ever get into that bally
was born there," said Tarzan, quietly.
"My mother was an Ape, and of course she couldn't tell me much
about it. I never knew who my father was."
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